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ILM Experience Lab Bringing Star Wars Into Virtual Reality

A new video has released announcing the existence and showcasing the work of the ILM Experience Lab (shortened to ILMxLAB). The newly formed division of ILM and parent company Lucasfilm is exploring experiential interactive entertainment opportunities for Star Wars and other properties like Jurassic Park, with a particular focus on the use of virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift.

The video announcing the program shows off some early experiments, including a virtual reality program that allows a user to interact with a Velociraptor, as well as a very video game-like interactive Star Wars speeder sequence that sees the user zipping beneath the legs of a massive AT-AT walker. 

The new program is drawing on the talents of ILM’s story team, Industrial Light and Magic’s technical team, and the folks at Skywalker sound, all in pursuit of exploring new avenues for interactive engagement with these fictional universes. 

Beyond virtual reality, ILMxLAB is working on opportunities in augmented reality, real-time cinema, and theme park applications. The video makes no mention of any retail facing projects at this time, but with Oculus Rift now scheduled for a public release in 2016, there’s no doubt that this video is only a first step for ILMxLAB. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
It comes as no surprise that the highly successful Lucasfilm would be interested in tapping into new paths into entertainment, like those provided by virtual reality, but it's certainly exciting to see such a concerted effort underway by the company. With the technical know-how present at ILM, it’s not hard to imagine that some of the earliest virtual reality success stories may eventually come from this newly announced group.

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Starbreeze Is Bringing Payday To Mobile Devices

In addition to its StarVR headset announcement tonight, Starbreeze has announced that it is bringing its popular Payday series to mobile devices. The developer is partnering with Cmune to bring the game to new platforms.

Starbreeze didn't share many details about the game, but it says it plans to include competitive options. As part of this collaboration, Starbreeze has made a $ 1 million investment in Cmune.

No release window has yet been discussed. Payday 2 arrives on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on June 16.

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Platinum Games Bringing Unannounced Title To E3

Platinum Games will be debuting a new game at E3 2015 next week. Not only will Platinum be announcing the new game, but it will also be showing off footage on Tuesday of next week during IGN's live E3 2015 show.

The studio, which is responsible for games like Bayonetta, Wonderful 101, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, announced the Xbox One-exclusive Scalebound during Microsoft's E3 media briefing last year.

The reveal is set to go down on 3 p.m. PST during IGN's live E3 2015 show. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available next week.

[Source: IGN]

 

Our Take
Since this is an unannounced game, we know it isn't going to be new footage of Scalebound, so we can let the speculation begin as to what else it could be. It would be great to see a new platform-spanning action title from Platinum.

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NCSoft Bringing Martial Arts MMO Blade & Soul To The West This Winter

If there’s one Eastern MMORPG that I’m constantly told “needs to come over to North America”, Blade & Soul is at that top of that list. Well, it’s happening! NCSoft is bringing the title over to NA this year, with closed beta coming in the fall and launch planned for winter. The fast-paced martial-arts PC MMORPG launched in Asia in 2012, and those years of polishing and content will likely be a considerable boon as it prepares for a whole new audience.

Blade & Soul is an “action-MMORPG” in that it doesn’t use the traditional tab-targeting system and also forgoes dedicated healing classes that often make up the “holy trinity” of character archetypes. Combat is fast and furious, with active blocking, dodging, counters, and combos – if you’re looking for more active decisions and consequence-based combat in your MMORPG this is definitely a title you won’t want to miss, there’s no “going through the motions” as you dial in uninspired locked-on button presses. In fact, you can set up rather incredible combos and special moves as you acquire and use resources over the course of combat. Don’t fret if this combat system sounds a little intimidating, as each class has its own learning curve and some of them are particularly friendly for beginners, like the Summoner who pals around with an adorable (but deadly!) cat pet.

Oh, and you can fly. That’s right, travel, like combat, is quite over the top, with players being able to explore vertical space in ways that’s fairly uncommon in the genre. Why deal with an annoying mount when you can cruise through the air and explore? There are also fast travel beacons located conveniently around the world to help you get around. Enjoy dungeons? I know I do, they’re one of the main aspects of MMORPG play for me – getting into group play with friends. Blade & Soul offers a metric ton of dungeons, including solo, group, and raid, and features cross-server queueing for them, which should help a lot with wait times.

Blade & Soul features an evolving storyline that’s fairly involved, and NCSoft will have plenty of content already lined up to bring to North America in this regard due to its years of service in Asia. Avenging your fallen master may seem like a fairly traditional plotline, but it ties into much of the game and makes things feel a bit more connected and intertwined storywise. Another interesting aspect of the game is the weapon system – you level up your weapon and evolve it much like a player character, so if you become attached to one particular weapon you could theoretically use it for the vast majority of the game!

Blade & Soul will be launching as a free-to-play title sometime this winter.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Nintendo is bringing its characters to Universal theme parks

The Japanese company is hungry to improve its fortunes, and now its announced a partnership with Universal to produce amusement park attractions featuring Nintendo characters. …


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Technical postmortem: Bringing Octodad to life

From character modeling to dealing with deploying on multiple platforms, this exhaustive technical postmortem gives you a look at what it took to make Dadliest Catch. …


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Danganronpa Spoiler Talk: Creator Sheds Light On Bringing Back Characters And How Monokuma Works

Recently, we interviewed Danganronpa's creator, Kazutaka
Kodaka. Kodaka covered a lot of ground from how it feels to kill off his
characters to what the future holds. However, he also answered a few questions
that contain spoilers. We wanted to share his responses, but only those who have finished both games should read the
interview below
.  You've been warned;
spoilers are ahead!


How Monokuma Works

Monokuma is one maniacal villain, but as we found out later
in the first game, someone was actually his puppetmaster. Junko was really
behind the robotic bear, but it's never been clear how she controlled him. This
was Kodaka's chance to set the record straight, but he left part of it up to
your imagination. "There's a control room for Monokuma and Junko might be in
there playing around with all the switches," Kodaka teases. "Hopefully, that's
what happened. Remember, different Monokumas pop up in the first game, so it's
possible they might have been set up beforehand in those rooms to pop out."

On Bringing Back
Junko

After the final showdown with Junko at the end of Happy
Trigger Havoc, she was supposed to be gone for good. But in the world of
Danganronpa, there's always some interesting way for a character to come back
(see: Nekomaru). Kodaka thought about many different avenues for who would end
up the villain of the second game. He considered making it a past survivor or
even the player character, but then he decided it'db be really interesting to
make it somebody who we thought had perished. 
"When it came time for the second game, I felt there was no one greater
than Junko as a villain," Kodaka says. 
"I don't know if you'd call it, 'I couldn't top that,' but she was so
powerful as a character."

Kodaka also wanted to interject a new plot device and liked
the idea of a computer program allowing a person to live on. In a way, even in
death, they'd still be in control. "I liked the idea of a computer program that
becomes larger than life," he says. "When I put two and two together, Junko is
such a great villain and then having this computer program existing and being
in control of things and becoming larger and larger, it was the best idea to go
with."

Why The Returning
Cast Showed Up So Late In Goodbye Despair

When you start Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, it feels very
separate from the world we encountered in the first. For starters, you're not
trapped in a school, but locked on a vibrant island. You also have a new cast.
The ending of Trigger Happy Havoc was left a bit ambiguous, leaving fans to
wonder what became of the survivors. The second game doesn't address this for a
long time. Kodaka says that actually wasn't intentional. "Interestingly enough,
it wasn't set up to surprise the players or [toy] with them."

At first, Kodaka wanted to avoid the first game entirely and
make a new story in the world. But as he started writing more, he came up with
the idea of having the survivors from the first game help the characters in the
second. "That idea was really interesting to me and I wanted to explore it, so
that's why you end up where you do in the second half of the game," he says.
"Because there were these two different ideas I guess you could say two has its
own self-contained story, but then you have this other half that ties into the
first game. Both ideas ended up working together."

Check out more from our interview here

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Atlus Is Bringing Song-Filled RPG Stella Glow To North America

Atlus has announced that it will be publishing Imageepoch’s lyrical roleplaying game Stella Glow here in North America. The title is slated for a 2015 release.

There aren’t any localized assets yet, but we have the Japanese trailer for the title so you can get a feel for the theme and combat. The title was originally published by Atlus parent Sega overseas.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

In Stella Glow, Alto (pictured above) must unite the witches of the land in battle against Hilda, the Witch of Destruction. Players will use the magic of song in battle against her minions.

Stella Glow is a new IP from Imageepoch, which developed the Luminous Arc series (published by Atlus) on the Nintendo DS. We’ll have more information about the game as it’s revealed.

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Reader Discussion: How Much Souls Experience Are You Bringing Into Bloodborne?

Bloodborne is finally here, and while we're all pretty excited to play through it, we know the challenge that we're likely in for. Some of us here at Game Informer are seasoned veterans of From Software's punishing brand of action, while others are jumping into Bloodborne with minimal Souls experience.

I have almost no experience with the Souls series heading into Bloodborne, so I'm expecting to be thoroughly punished for the neglect I've paid to From Software's popular series. Because of this, I have my concerns about getting into the game and understanding the flow, since it sounds like it has the potential to be even more difficult than the Dark Souls games.

If you're picking up Bloodborne, how much experience do you have with the Souls series? Which Souls game was your favorite? What do you think of Bloodborne from our coverage to this point?

Also, if you're excited for Bloodborne, stick around until later tonight to catch our review, guides, and live stream.

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PAX East postmortem: Bringing Jotun to the fans

“I’ll go through what our goals for the event were, how we prepared, how much it cost and how things went. TL;DR: PAX was insane.” …


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