Game networking consultant Glenn Fiedler notes how a number of The Division hacks suggest developer Ubisoft Massive may have implemented a fundamentally insecure “trusted client” networking model. …
“I think it took away from development. We ended up being focused on how to get money, as opposed to how to make a good game.” …
Avalanche Studios senior software engineer Jacques Kerner is back with more of the deep physics work behind Just Cause 3′s advanced boat simulations. …
Marvel Puzzle Quest has been a mobile hit, where it’s been free-to-play since launch. As we reported earlier this month, the console release is going to shift to a premium model. It arrives today.
The $ 14.99 base game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 today. The Xbox 360 version appears to be available now, the PlayStation versions are not posted as of writing. An Xbox One version is also planned and may simply not be available on the marketplace yet.
Additionally, there are two DLC story lines. One features the Hulk, as the Dark Avengers attempt to recruit him. Purchasing the Science Friction DLC gets you Punisher. Completing it on Hard lets you add Hulk to your team.
The other stars Deadpool, in The Case of the Cold Chimichangas. Purchasing it gets you Doctor Octopus. Completing on Hard gives you Deadpool.
Each of the DLC packs will cost you $ 3.99. We'll update as we learn about the Xbox One version release.
Update: Publisher D3 has confirmed that the Xbox One version will be arriving later this year. No release date has been announced.
I'm a big fan of the Puzzle Quest series, and the free-to-play mechanics here have put me off this installment. I'm looking forward to playing this without the microtransactions.
Sony has introduced a new 30 day subscription model to its PlayStation Now streaming service in the UK. …
If all games were like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I’d be in a lot of trouble. For the last several months I’ve been staying up late, sacrificing time with my friends and loved ones, and even shirking my household responsibilities in order to play this massive game. I would hate the game for consuming my time if I didn’t love it so much. Part of the problem is that The Witcher 3 can take upwards of 160 hours to complete. Another part of the problem is that most of those 160 hours are composed of compelling content that I actually want to experience. Whereas most massive open-world games pack in a lot of side content that's about as interesting as styrofoam, The Witcher 3’s “filler” content has just as much meat on its bones as the main campaign. I'm worried that upcoming games like Fallout 4 have a lot to live up to now.
The argument over game length is an old one. There are many opinions about the perfect length for a game, but every gamer has different needs. Some gamers – usually those who are younger and have a lot of free time – are eager to sink their teeth into a game with a nearly limitless amount of content. Meanwhile, gamers with less free time and more disposable income are more keen to pay for games that deliver a powerful experience with a shorter time commitment.
For the last several years, I’ve sided with the latter group. Video games have always been a hobby of mine, and I spend the majority of my free time playing games, but there are a lot of games I want to play, and it's hard to get to them all while balancing my other responsibilities and relationships.
I don’t think I’m the only one with this dilemma; a recent study from CNN showed that less than 10 percent of people who played Red Dead Redemption actually finished it. There are probably a lot of reasons why people petered out on Rockstar's acclaimed western game, but I suspect that its massive play time was one of the primary factors. This is unfortunate, because Red Dead Redemption is one of the most beloved games of last generation – praised for its gameplay, characters, and atmosphere. It’s sad that most of the people who paid for it never even reach one of the most rewarding endings in video games.
Just one of The Witcher 3's massive landscapes
And sometimes it seems like games are only getting bigger. News recently circulated that Bethesda’s upcoming Fallout 4 could have as much as 400 hours worth of content. Even if that number is complete marketing fluff, 400 hours is an incredible amount of time to spend with any piece of content. Few other forms of media require as much devotion as massive open world games. Four hundred hours is an incredibly valuable amount of time; in that same period you could watch around 200 films, or read literary classics like War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, Lord of the Rings, and the entire Harry Potter series – and still have time left to watch their film adaptations (based on average reading times). Of course, how you spend your time is entirely up to you, but I sometimes it doesn't feel fair for developers to ask their fans to spend that much time with one piece of media.
The real problem is that a game's length isn't always equal to its worth. Many lengthy games use cheap collect-a-thon side quest or repetitive game design to artificially lengthen the experience. I remember growing particularly frustrated with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword while collecting fairy tears and other worthless doodads – which were part of the main quest – just so I could get to the next dungeon. These frustrating game design sequences irritate me not only because games are supposed to be fun, but because games are designed to be compelling. They meet our emotional needs, which encourages us to play more of them, so it feels like a bit of a betrayal when that content isn’t meaningful. If you've ever had trouble tearing yourself away from a game, it’s probably because that game was designed to make you want to keep playing it. Sometimes long games pray on our internal desires to collect, conquer, and feel competent.
This is why I love what CD Projekt Red has done with The Witcher 3. Most of its side quests are connected to bits of story or action sequences that would normally be at home in a game’s main storyline. There are side characters and stories in the Witcher 3 that pull at my heartstrings and inspire my imagination. Many side quests are intimately connected to character from the main storyline – to the point where ignoring some of these quests will actually effect the main quest. Simple monster-hunting quests usually bore me, but in the Witcher 3, these quests are usually connected to an interesting dramatic sequence
or other piece of monster lore that’s actually worth reading. I feel like the developers at CD Projekt Red actually value my time, want me to enjoy every minute I spent with their game, and aren't just trying to artificially inflate their game clock to appease gamers who have a lot of time to kill. I don't want to go back to collecting random cave troll hides, I want all future open-world games to follow this model.
The Witcher 3’s side content reminds me why I enjoy spending my free time playing games in the first place. Video games are an impressive form of modern craftsmanship. They can inspire us. They can take us to new worlds. Sometimes they even push us out of our comfort zones, teach us something about our world, or force us to look at society from a new perspective. So if games are going to remain one of the longest forms of entertainment, then I hope they continue to rise to meat those expectations. And any game that can do all of these things will easily justify 400 hours worth of my attention.
Avalanche Studios senior software engineer Jacques Kerner (Just Cause 3) walks us through coding “a simplified model that captures the important features of a boat” in this meaty programming article. …
Update: Lionhead has shared some information on its own site about what players can expect. In addition to being able to purchase heroes, you'll be able to buy customization options.
You'll earn silver for playing, but gold can be purchased with real money. These currencies can be spent on heroes and customization items (some only with gold). Villains will be able to purchase new creatures and traps with silver or gold.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Lionhead Studios has confirmed that Fable Legends, its upcoming take on the 4-vs-1 approach, won’t cost you anything to start playing. The title will be free-to-play rather than a retail or premium digital game.
Speaking with Kotaku UK, Lionhead creative director David Eckleberry confirmed the business model. Fable Legends will borrow from the MOBA model of rotating heroes.
Four will be available at any one time, and if you choose to keep playing after they are off the free roster, you can pay. When those characters to rotate back in, you keep your experience and equipment you’ve earned for them. “We’re taking on a lot of risk,” Eckleberry told Kotaku UK “I accept that and so does Microsoft, but there’s no risk for you, as a player."
The title will launch with a number of missions, with expansions planned. Lionhead says that there won’t be traditional free-to-play paywalls or recharging energy. Whether there will be an in-game currency that can be earned to unlock characters (like League of Legends offers) has not yet been revealed.
The title still has an amorphous 2015 release date, as Lionhead plans to grow the ongoing closed beta (which is under NDA). It was announced at a recent Windows 10 event that the title will allow cross-platform play for Xbox One and PC users. For more, check out our preview from E3 2014.
[Source: Kotaku UK]
I’m not the least bit surprised that Fable Legends is going free-to-play. Unfortunately, it does mean the title won’t have the splash of a major retail outing.
I’m interested to see how Microsoft builds to the game’s release. Will it treat Fable Legends like a full-priced title or leave it to wither like Project Spark.
Lessons from Halo: “In my process, I make a mental model of how I think the system should work. It gives me a place to start figuring out what numbers to change, and in what ways I need to change them.” …
Doom's 21st anniversary occurred on Wednesday, and in honor of the
occasion, Doom programmer John Romero has been tweeting out images from the game's development – including original sketches of
You can find just a few or Romero's tweets below which detail how Doomguy's design came about. Surprisingly, Romero still has the sketch and the clay model intact.
Here's a photo of the DOOMGUY clay model when Adrian was done making it. The Baron of Hell lurks in the background. pic.twitter.com/Wy4XxHRO4J
— John Romero (@romero) December 11, 2014
Here are photos of the DOOMGUY and Baron of Hell taken just last year. Yes, they still exist in great shape. pic.twitter.com/ul4MyiQh4J
— John Romero (@romero) December 11, 2014
The original and definitive sketch of DOOMGUY. The clay model was created from this sketch. (1993) pic.twitter.com/tL37fPWYqs
— John Romero (@romero) December 13, 2014
Adrian Carmack drew the sketch of DOOMGUY, modeled him in clay, and pixel-edited/animated the character. All phases. Truly a Master.
— John Romero (@romero) December 13, 2014
You can check out Romero's twitter account by heading here (or clicking any of the tweets above) to see more images from the development of Doom, which released on December 10, 1993.