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How DICE’s Audio Team Brings Star Wars: Battlefront Locations To Life

DICE has shared an inside look at the sound design in its upcoming shooter Star Wars: Battlefront. In a detailed essay, audio director Ben Minto explains the challenges behind designing ambient sounds for several planets in the Star Wars universe. Places like Tatooine and Hoth, for example, each possess their own distinct ambiance.

For Hoth, Minto's team focused on wind. They traveled to multiple locations in Scandanavia, sampling frigid gusts from Sweden and Norway. When wind alone proved insufficient in creating an appropriate atmosphere, Minto recorded the howls of a wapiti elk, a creaking door thrown open by a storm, the inside of a cave underneath a frozen waterfall and more. For those interested, a somewhat finalized version of Hoth's ambience lies at the bottom of the article.

Tatooine, on the other hand, was less about weather and more about its inhabitants. Although Minto again recorded wind, the emphasis shifted to wildlife. In the near finished Tatooine ambiences after the article, animal sounds take center stage behind a quieter breeze.

Many of these sounds come from the locations where George Lucas filmed the Star Wars movies. While Minto appreciated visiting the original sites, he cares more about the opportunity to record in nature. "Being there in person," he states, "and experiencing those surroundings makes it easier when trying to recreate that feel in the studio."

If you want more Star Wars: Battlefront, read our hands-on preview or check out this reveal trailer. Star Wars: Battlefront releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17.

Listen to the sound samples below. Hoth is on top, and Tatooine is on the bottom. – The Feed

Call Of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Brings Celebrity Cast To The 1940s

Activision has been increasing the star power to Call of Duty’s zombies mode, and Black Ops III continues the trend. This time out, we’re going to find out if life really can find a way.

This time out, we’ll be fighting zombies in the 1940s. The cast consists of Neal McDonough (Justified, Captain America: The First Avenger), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly), Heather Graham (Californication, The Hangover), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy), and Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager).

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The Shadows of Evil zombies campaign is part of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which is entering beta on August 19 for PlayStation 4 (Xbox One and PC betas will follow). The game launches on November 6 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Activision also confirmed the Juggernog Collector’s Edition we showed earlier. There will also be hardened and digital deluxe editions. No prices for these have been revealed. – The Feed

Witcher Patch 1.07 Brings Big Changes

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has an upcoming patch coming to all platforms that comes with a ton of fixes and interesting new additions. In a post on the forums, CDProjektRed has posted the major features:

  • A new, alternative (optional) movement response mode for Geralt.
  • A player stash for storing items, available in various locations throughout the game. Stash locations are marked on the player's map.
  • Crafting and alchemy components no longer add to the overall inventory weight.
  • Books are now placed in a dedicated tab in the Inventory and books that have already been read are properly grayed out.
  • Multiple sorting options are now available in the Inventory.
  • Alchemy formulas and crafting diagrams can be "pinned", meaning all components and ingredients required to make them will be conveniently marked in the Shop panel.
  • Dozens of fixes for quest related issues, both major and minor.
  • A few performance enhancements, including the optimization of FX, scenes and general gameplay.
  • Various improvements to horse behavior.

These are not full patch notes, but some pretty cool stuff is on the list!

Our Take
I'm super excited for a lot of these changes, especially those involving inventory management and weight. Yeah, I've got awesome saddlebags, but those alchemy ingredients were starting to really weigh Roach down. Glad I'll be able to better manage my veritable library of books and check out the new sorting options too, as the inventory has tended to be a tougher beast for me to battle than most wraiths and basilisks. These are really great fixes/changes! – The Feed

Civilization: Beyond Earth’s Rising Tide Expansion Brings New Biomes And Diplomatic Options

Firaxis and 2K have delivered new footage of the E3 2015 behind closed doors demo for the next Civilization add-on. Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide adds new biomes and diplomatic features that help take a pulse of the planet’s cultures.

Of course, with a name like Rising Tide, you’d correctly expect expanded oceanic gameplay. You’ll be able to recover new artifacts on land and sea. These can be used immediately or combine them for better results. 

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You can read more about Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide in our previous coverage. It will be out this fall. – The Feed

NYU Game Center brings on Naomi Clark, Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris

The acclaimed game development program headed by Frank Lantz has announced the addition of two new well-known faculty to its lineup. …

Gamasutra News

King Leoric Brings Potent New Abilities To Heroes Of The Storm

As part of the upcoming Diablo-themed Eternal Conflict expansion for Heroes of the Storm, King Leoric will be joining the hero roster. We took a look at Leoric's movesets and skills, and he looks absolutely insane (I would wager there will be a balance patch shortly after his release).

First off, there's Leoric's trait: Undying. Whenever Leoric dies, he stays where he dies and can move around and even continue to use his abilities (though they won't do damage while he's immaterial), and after a short time Leoric will simply come back to life. It's important to note that although this does seem incredibly powerful, enemy teams still get full experience points for a Leoric kill, so if there's a situation where Leoric starts getting really aggressive, the experience swing could be fairly nasty.

Leoric has an arcing swing that's great for taking on minions, a life drain tether that gives Leoric a huge edge in any 1on1 confrontation, and a ghostly teleport that he can use to either chase down foes or escape.

Leo's ultimate choices are interesting – one brings up gates that function as impassable walls, allowing Leoric and his team to essentially capture and control foes to burn them down, with the level 20 effect adding spikes to the gates. The other, March of the Black King, basically annihilates everything in front of Leoric, with the level 20 effect adding the drain tether to enemies hit. Yeah, pretty crazy.

Diablo's Monk will also be joining Leoric in Eternal Conflict, and we may see some other Diablo faces show up as well. Personally, I'm holding out for a Deckard Cain reveal – that guy will rule the battlefield! – The Feed

Until Dawn Brings Halloween Early With Late August Release Date

Until Dawn might be the game you play on Halloween this year, but it might also be the game you play again on October 31. The game is coming out well in advance of the spookiest holiday, and will be one of the games kicking off the fall rush.

Along with a new trailer, Sony announced that Supermassive Games' teen slasher flick will be arriving at the end of August. Additionally, Peter Stormare (Arrow, Destiny) has been revealed as a member of the cast.

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Until Dawn will be out on August 25 on PlayStation 4. You can read our most recent preview from December's PlayStation Experience for more information. – The Feed

Koei Tecmo Brings Nobunaga’s Ambition Back To The West This Fall

It’s been six years since Koei Tecmo’s classic strategy series, Nobunaga’s Ambition, has made an appearance in the West. That changes this fall, as Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence heads to North America and Europe.

For those unfamiliar with the series, players are tasked with uniting feudal Japan. Players must build up the land, engage in diplomacy, and exert their power via military conflict.

The title is planned for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC, on September 1. For more, you can see the first screenshots below. – The Feed

Overwatch’s Mercy Brings Healing On The Wings Of Angels

Yesterday, we shared a video of Overwatch’s “omnic monk” Zenyatta finding inner peace through outright destruction of his opponents. Today, we showcase a character that plays quite differently.

Mercy is a winged healer who is better played away from the front line. You don’t want her too far out of reach though, because her healing beam can keep the damage-dealing members of the team alive and killing. She can also amplify ally damage with the alternate version of the beam.

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Mercy also has a pistol for offense, and it her ultimate ability can raise teammates from the dead. Overwatch is due to hit beta later this year. For more, you can read our impressions from PAX East. – The Feed

Crysis Analogue Edition Brings Nanosuits To The Tabletop

Just as video game developers have been thriving on Kickstarter, so to have board game creators. The latest blends to the two, bringing Crytek’s PC-melting Crysis series to the tabletop.

Crysis Analogue Edition is an officially licensed strategy game for two to eight players, with Nanosuit-wearing USF soldiers and opposing CELL troops. The game takes place on a hex-grid board with moveable walls and cover.

The game comes with character sheets that allow USF soldiers to change between the three nanosuit modes: speed, armor, and stealth with different game effects, weapon cards, and tokens. The standard version of the game is available at the €75 ($ 84) tier, with a collector’s edition (complete with four Ceph alien miniatures) for €150 ($ 167).

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Developer Frame6 says the prototype is complete and needs the funding for manufacturing. The company also has stretch goals planned that include additional scenarios and improved miniatures.

Frame6’s website indicates that it currently has a tower defense video game, Splee & Glob, that has been approved via Steam Greenlight. It also has another title that is currently on hold. No full releases are credited to the company’s name.

We’ve embedded a game walkthrough above. You can check out the Crysis Analogue Edition Kickstarter page for more details. Frame6 is asking for €85,000 ($ 94,851) to manufacture the game. – The Feed