Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Video: Automating content creation so tiny teams can make big games

At GDC Europe 2015 developer Alexander Birke explains how a small team built an outsized game — The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle — by creating efficient automated processes to create content. …

Gamasutra News

Get a job: Be a UX Designer at Never Alone studio E-Line Media

Love designing user experiences for games? Never Alone maker E-Line Media seeks someone like you to work alongside the rest of the team at the company’s Seattle studio on an upcoming game project. …

Gamasutra News

As Rock Band 4 releases, Harmonix’s Rigopulos remembers the plastic instrument war

“It was just this epic slug-fest between MTV and Activision. … That led to an oversupply situation that was kind of a financial nightmare at the end of the day for both parties. Thinking about that, I still have PTSD from that.” …

Gamasutra News

Crows Crows Crows is The Stanley Parable co-creator’s new studio

Indie dev and Stanley Parable designer/writer William Pugh took the wraps off his new venture today, Crows Crows Crows, a global collective of indie game makers with an uncertain goal. …

Gamasutra News

Obituary: Game industry veteran Stewart Kosoy

Gamasutra has learned that Stewart Kosoy, a game industry factotum and co-founder of Digital Capital, passed away this Sunday at his home in Raleigh, North Carolina. …

Gamasutra News

Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition Roars Onto PS4 And Xbox One Later This Month

Nordic and Gunfire Games have announced that Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition will be releasing on October 27. The digital and physical editions of the remastered game will each feature a $ 29.99 price point.

In addition to making Darksiders II look better by remastering the original assets and art, the developers have taken extra care to make all of the downloadable content for the base game, which is included in this version, fit better into the experience. "Darksiders II has a lot of DLC in the form of weapons, armor and unique locations," Gunfire Games design director John Pearl says. "These pieces of DLC which felt separate from the main campaign have now been integrated into the game and rebalanced accordingly."

The Deathinitive Edition will also feature a rebalanced base game, as well as added polish with regards to bugs that were found in the original. Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition also runs at native 1080p resolution. If you'd like to see the game in action, Gunfire Games is holding a live stream on its Twitch channel today at 3 p.m. Eastern.


Our Take
As someone who always wanted to try the Darksiders franchise, but never got around to it, this sure sounds like an appealing package. The price sounds right, and with actual updates to the way the game plays, this seems like it could shape up to be a good example of how remastered releases should be done. Now, I just have to hope I have time to play it between Halo 5: Guardians and Fallout 4/Rise of the Tomb Raider. – The Feed

Konami Is Now Offering Real Money Insurance For Your MGSV FOB

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been the source of controversy over its aggressive microtransaction strategy. The FOB system, which helps facilitate the single-player campaign, is in part reliant on real money.

Playing online once you have an FOB opens you up to attacks from other players. The mechanics are similar to Clash of Clans, and you can lose soldiers and equipment if your base is successfully invaded.

Now, Konami is offering a way for you to avoid losing those hard-won resources. You just need to pay for it with MB Coins, which don’t flow quickly in-game and are largely driven by real money.

Insurance is purchased in time blocks, and protects your staff and materials from being stolen by other players. It won’t protect you if staff you kidnapped are in your brig or if soldiers get killed or extracted during an active defense that you participate in. It also won’t guard your nuclear weapons, if you have them.

In addition, Konami has added “event FOB” missions which don’t pit you against another player. These are developer-created instances that allow you to steal soldiers and resources without drawing the ire (and possible retaliation) of other MGS V fans.

Today also marks the launch of Metal Gear Online. We’ll have more on that as it becomes available to us.

[Source: Konami]


Our Take
I should be surprised at this evolution of in-game transactions in full-priced titles. I’m not, though. I’m just disappointed. There is a lot to like about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but Konami keeps drawing attention away from the gameplay and toward business practices that are going to alienate players. – The Feed

Microsoft Starts HoloLens Developer-Kit Program

Today at its Windows 10 event, Microsoft announced that it is taking applications for HoloLens developer kits, which will be available early next year.

The company said the kits will cost $ 3,000 and that they would ship in the first quarter of 2016.

To show off some of the kinds of experiences possible, Microsoft demoed Project X-Ray, a mixed-reality title also shown at this year's E3 convention.

The demo occurred onstage with a player wearing a HoloLens headset and holding a wand (it's unknown if a specific wand is required for the game or if any object will do), and what he was seeing in the demo was captured and shown on the stage screens using a special camera rig.

Microsoft says the game can be played in any room, and that enemies in the game will respond to their environment and with each other. Portals cracked and opened up on the walls of the stage set, and robot bugs crawled out on the wall. The player blasted them with his wearable gauntlet hologram. He also dodged around the stage and apparently could hear enemies' sounds in relation to where they were.

Apart from firing a laser from his gauntlet, he also sucked an enemy to his gauntlet and destroyed it using its vortex mode.

The demo ended with him confronting a large, person-sized foe, but that will have to be a battle for another time.

It should be noted that the player's movements around the stage were fairly slow and deliberate, and the bugs' movements were also slow. It will be interesting to see how frenzied the action could get in the final product.

No release date or timeframe was announced for Project X-Ray, nor HoloLens itself. – The Feed

The Witcher 3 Lives On In Hearts Of Stone Expansion

Developer CD Project RED has just released a trailer for The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone, one of two major expansions for the game.

The trailer introduces the immortal Olgierd von Everec (naturally, not being able to die is not a blessing) as well as brings back characters from Witcher 3 and even earlier in the franchise.

Hearts of Stone comes out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 13. Come back later in the week when we'll have more on the expansion.

For Kim's initial impressions of Hearts of Stone, check out her recent preview.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Prison Architect Review – Justice And Optimization

I thought I was being smart when I built a large holding cell near the main entrance to my first prison. I figured that the less distance prisoners needed to travel before being secured, the less opportunity they had to misbehave. One broken jail door and one riot later, I discovered my strategy also put unruly prisoners a few easy steps away from freedom. Despite multiple escapes and guard fatalities, I wasn’t discouraged by this failure. Prison Architect makes it fun to poke at systems and watch how they respond, and even if the result is disastrous, you learn something to make subsequent efforts more successful.

Prison Architect entrusts you with the construction and management of a prison, including the well-being and rehabilitation of its unwilling residents. That’s a big job, and it is overwhelming at first. You manage areas like construction, utilities, daily schedules, guard patrols, education programs, and family visitation. The game is incredibly complex; the campaign mode tries to teach you the basics (with story and dialogue that take themselves too seriously), but most of your expertise comes through trial and error. This approach can be daunting, but the mistakes can be just as fun as the successes.

I had one maximum-security prisoner who was an absolute nightmare, breaking out of his cell and murdering guards at every opportunity. He eventually got killed in a brawl (which he probably started), but dealing with him taught me the importance of armored guards, tasers, and carefully zoning each area of the prison for the appropriate security levels. Despite the chaos, challenges like these are fun and make you better equipped for the next crisis.

Ultimately, the goal is efficiency. You need to keep prisoners docile enough to obey, but content enough to avoid riots – all while making a profit. This all happens through intelligently constructing your prison, from the walls to the wiring. This isn’t one of those simulations where you just follow your heart and whims because there’s “no wrong way to play.” If you build your canteen too far from your cell block, your prisoners won’t have enough time to eat. If you don’t automate your jail doors, mobs of prisoners collect on either side as they wait for a guard with keys. After you deal with the basics – like cells, food, and hygiene – the layers of complexity are gradually uncovered and give you new goals and challenges. I had a blast optimizing my layout, experimenting with new solutions, and getting closer to that feeling of having a self-sustaining, well-oiled machine.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

When all of the pieces fit together, Prison Architect is a deep and involved sim. However, the game has been in Early Access for three years, and despite this official version 1.0 release, it still bears some telltale signs of being a work-in-progress. The menu system isn’t elegant, making it difficult to find the info or item you’re looking for. Sometimes, the info you’re looking for isn’t even there; you may have to head online to find help for certain situations or problems, since the in-game explanations aren’t always sufficient or existent. I also ran into several bugs, like glitchy A.I., overlapping text, and arbitrary items (like laundry machines and weapon racks) that can’t be rotated. Simulations are complicated and have a lot of connected elements, but these hitches make some aspects of the game feel unfinished.

The long incubation period had another effect: It gave the community time to create content. You can find plenty of maps and mods to help you tailor your experience, and checking out other players’ prisons often provides inspiration. You can also use community creations (or one of your own) to try out Escape Mode, which puts you in control of an inmate trying to break free. It sounds interesting, but it’s a pretty thin offering that highlights the baffling under-the-hood A.I. workings. Why would someone let a prisoner through the staff-only door to the weapon-filled infirmary? Why do guards take me back to a different cell every time I cause trouble? Escape Mode is fun to goof around in for a bit, but your time is better spent building the prison than finding your way out.

Despite its rough edges, Prison Architect provides enough depth and customization to make it compelling. Every riot, escape attempt, and execution brings you a step closer to building the perfect prison – all accompanied by the amusing (and sometimes horrifying) moments that emerge naturally in any good simulation. – The Feed