Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

ReCore Update To Reduce Load Times On The Way

A post on the official ReCore site states that an update coming this week will tackle one of the oft-cited issues with the title, excessive load times.This update will pertain to both Xbox One and Xbox One S.

[Source: ReCore Official Site]

Check out our ReCore review here!

Our Take
I haven't played ReCore, but I've certainly heard about the load times. I have a lot of patience when it comes to this sort of thing, but on some titles (ReCore, Bloodborne at launch) they become impossible to ignore and detract significantly from the gameplay experience. I'm glad that this is being looked at and addressed. We'll see how much the load times can be cut down. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Blog: Weathering the bad times as an art outsourcer

It’s a tough time for Chinese art outsourcers. But there are some ways to weather the tough times, says Junxue Li, CEO of a game art outsourcing company. …


Gamasutra News

Suiting Up As A Virtual Reality Ghostbuster At Madam Tussauds In Times Square

One of virtual reality's biggest challenges is getting people to try and enjoy the technology. While early adopters are eagerly bringing head-mounted displays home, that group represents a fraction of the potential audience. However, getting people to try an amusement park-style experience as part of a visit to a popular venue has huge potential to make believers out of average consumers.

On July 1, Madam Tussauds at Times Square in New York City will be opening its Ghostbusters Dimension experience to the general public. Visitors will be able to strap on a proton pack, hoist a particle thrower, and bust some ghosts. Sort of.

The Void, a company specializing in fully immersive, mobile VR experiences, has crafted a "hyper reality" attraction that uses custom hardware, including the Rapture backpack computer, haptic vest, head-mounted display, and gun to simulate busting ghosts. Once the visor on the HMD was lowered, I was transported into a virtual recreation of the prep room.

The experience had my team of three walking from room to room, as doors opened and walls blasted to pieces. To be clear, I don't mean we pushed a thumb stick on a game pad. The self-contained Rapture system allowed us to walk around an apartment, through doors, out onto a roof, and more.

Everything is rendered one-to-one. Every wall is perfectly mirrored in the real world, and we were encouraged to reach out and touch them. One of my teammates even sat in a chair placed in the apartment.

The first steps I took were disconcerting, but largely because we've been trained not to trust virtual environments lest we bump into our furniture. Once I touched the first door and another wall, I was able to give myself over to the illusion.

Ghostbusters Dimension makes use of some "4D" elements. Stepping onto a roof triggers fans that make it feel like wind is whipping past, an elevator rumbles and shakes as it carries passengers upward, and getting hit with ectoplasm from an angry ghost triggers directional haptics in the vest. 

The Void's Rapture head-mounted display, vest, and gun.

The tracking on the Rapture gun was good for most of the experience. At the edges of the room, it tended to start acting erratically, but slightly moving fixed the problem. 

There was a bit of stuttering when looking at the other people, and I’d love to see it improved, but it’s forgivable for how much fun the whole package is. The resolution and field of view don't seem quite as good as the home VR headsets (Rift, Vive, PSVR) available this year. 

“Those are all kind of in the works,“ says The Void chief visionary officer James Jensen of the specific output specifications. “What we’ve noticed in what we’ve created with walking virtual reality and one-to-one matching is that you kind of look past that these things that you’re critical of when sitting in a seat. The screen-door stuff kind of disappears because you’re so immersed in the experience.”

My time as a Ghostbuster was a thrilling 15 minutes that I'd love to do again. But I'm more excited about what The Void has in store for the future. 

The company has larger experiences planned that offer visitors a chance to choose their paths through the environment. These are still a blend of scripted content and interactive moments, not quite a game as many of our readers think of them, but certainly not a virtual film. 

“We have other stages called Dimension stages that are four times as big,” says The Void chief visionary officer James Jensen. “They allow you to have pathing options. You can go right, you can go left, you can break off from your team, you can go back to your team. The story method is kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure. That’s where you’ll really see the power of what we put together.” 

As for Sony, the company sees virtual reality as a multi-channel technology. Sony’s newly appointed senior vice president of virtual reality Jake Zim says that there are different purposes for hardware like PlayStation VR and experiences like the company's team-up with the Void.

“The way we see virtual reality reaching the consumer is through a couple of different channels,” Zim says. “Location-based channels are a destination. You buy a ticket, you come to the city, you go through the experience. It’s limiting in one sense, but like those early arcades were, the first instance where people will get a chance to play game or do a VR experience until the technology gets to a point where people can bring it into the home. We see VR right now as deliverable on channels that exist in locations, at home (PlayStation VR is a great product), and mobile.”

Ultimately, what’s going to make VR compelling for creators is the ability to tell stories. There are challenges inherent in that, but storytellers have long adapted to new mediums.

Ken Bretschneider, CEO of The Void (L) and original Ghostbusters director Ivan Retiman (R)

Famed director and producer Ivan Reitman, who was behind the camera for the original Ghostbusters films and is involved in the Ghostbusters Dimension experience sees both opportunity and challenge in virtual reality.

“It’s a little bit scary, because you have to really change the vocabulary,” Reitman says. “People will say it’s not meant for film or long-form or that it’s just a gimmick. I think that’s a very short-sighted approach. Just like there were many people who thought the advent of sound in film was hurting film, and for a minute it did. The sound techs said, ‘You can’t move the camera, and we have to have these huge blimp boxes all over the place.’ Movies started slowing down, and some of the worst movies ever made were in that first year.”

Despite the challenges, Reitman sees the potential for impactful storytelling that places the audience in the scene. He believes that filmmakers will need to adapt themselves to the intimacy of placing someone in private, emotional moments.

“What the storytellers have to learn is that there is a remarkable storytelling opportunity,” Reitman explains. “Storytelling started around a campfire, when a guy went off and hunted a buffalo. He told his friends all about it. With the advent of film, you could cut away to him fighting the buffalo and see what he experienced, but it’s still a proscenium event. With virtual reality, you’re experiencing the buffalo hunt. It’s way more complicated. Frankly, if it’s going to be done right, your character – and I don’t mean you’re actually a character with a name that people refer to – but somehow the fact that you’re at the center of it and are experiencing it in such a really tumultuous way, the opportunity is remarkable. It made me want to do it right away.”

As for Sony, the Ghostbusters Dimension attraction is just the beginning. The company expects to evaluate future projects to receive similar treatment in parallel with the efforts of the PlayStation VR team working to bring content into the home.

“The first question we ask when consider green lighting a VR project is ‘What is going to make this VR worthy?’” Zim says. “We ask why the story has to be in VR. It’s a high barrier to entry to do VR. It’s a pain in the butt to put the goggles on or come to a location like this. The value of VR is that you are in the story. I think the opportunity in a narrative VR space is to bridge and collaborate with game design people who understand moving people through a story based on triggers, throttles, achievements, wins, and losses. Take all of that, distill it, and then get the creative minds of narrative people to come together and figure out how to make the character the audience, the gamer, the user. Let’s give them a story that really creates empathy with them and a level of activity that doesn’t overwhelm them. We’re not trying to create triple-A games. There are a ton of people doing that. We’re trying to create a storyline that changes somehow because you’re in it.”

The Ghostbusters Dimension “hyper reality” attraction opens alongside the Ghostbusters Experience only at Madam Tussauds in Times Square. The images above are a small glimpse of what you’ll find walking through different scenes from the upcoming Ghostbusters film, which opens on July 15.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Is 12 Times The Size Of Twilight Princess

Nintendo has previously said its next Legend of Zelda would be big, but we didn’t know how big until getting our hands on it at E3. During our 40-minute play session we wandered a long way across Hyrule, but we barely scratched the surface.

While creating Breath of the Wild’s giant open world, Nintendo was inspired by Japanese animation and gouache art in particular, which is a kind of opaque watercolor used in animation cells.

“As you progress in the game, the scale will get even bigger. So there’ll be mountains, really, really high mountains,” says producer Eiji Aonuma. “I think for people, especially the Zelda fans, they have a curiosity to find out what happens in those places where you can’t go, where you’re not supposed to go. So we wanted to create a world where you can further that investigation, you can go further and further and continue to search for places where you can’t go.

Breath of the Wild looks to recapture the same sense of open exploration players first experienced in the original NES Legend of Zelda. For more on how the game has shaken up the Zelda formula, be sure to read our hands on impression.

For our hands on impressions on the game head here. To see the game's E3 trailer, head here.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Fallout 4 Xbox One Mod Launch Generated 50 Times As Much Traffic As PC Release

Xbox One players showed up in force with yesterday’s Fallout 4 mod rollout. The clamoring for this kind of support on console wasn’t just talk, with huge data demands crushing Bethesda’s servers for a while.

According to Bethesda Game Studios, the mod support launch on Xbox One generated 50 times the amount of traffic as the PC rollout. This gives the developer some metrics to learn from as it heads toward PlayStation 4 support in June.

For more on Fallout 4 mod support, check out our coverage from Friday’s live stream. You can also read up on our review of the original game and thoughts on its first meaty expansion, Far Harbor

 

Our Take
Mods have long been a large dividing line between consoles and PC. Creating this kind of infrastructure on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is a big step for living room gaming. The launch shows that there is certainly a market for this feature.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Ratchet And Clank Join Dead Star, But Only If You Play At Certain Times

The universe's favorite Lombax and his tin friend are joining Dead Star tomorrow. Dead Star is Armature Studio's 10v10 twin-stick shooter that is available for free to PlayStation Plus members for the month of April. While the duo is available at no cost to all Dead Star players, they can only be obtained at certain times.

The Ratchet portrait is obtainable between April 29 (starting at 10 a.m. Central) and May 2. The Ratchet portrait also brings unique in-game events that will only occur this weekend. Clank's portrait unlocks the following weekend between May 6 (at 10 a.m. Central) and May 9. Adding Clank to your collection also adds new weekend-exclusive events to the game.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Fire Emblem Fates Sells Five Times As Many Copies As Awakening In Opening Weekend

Nintendo has shared that Fire Emblem Fates now holds the record for best United States launch in franchise history. More than 300,000 copies were sold in the first three days.

The sales number includes all versions of the game: Birthright, Conquest, and the Collector’s Edition. This bests Awakening’s opening weekend performance by a factor of five. 

Birthright outsold the more challenging Conquest, but players will be able to get the opposite version for $ 19.99 via the eShop. For those that didn’t purchase the collector’s edition, the third chapter, Revelation, will be available on March 10.

A free DLC map has already been made available, and paid maps are on the way. An $ 18 map pack offers a discount over the total cost of individual map purchases.

For more, check out our reviews of Birthright and Conquest. We also have some tips to get you started if you need a nudge.

 

Our Take
After Fire Emblem: Awakening’s critical and fan reception, it’s no surprise that the franchise has finally pierced the North American consciousness. Chances are that with this kind of growth, we’ll be seeing more Fire Emblem down the road.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Microsoft Adapts To The Times With Digital Halo 5 Midnight Launch Event

Midnight launches for huge games, including Halo titles, are an institution. With more players purchasing their games digitally though, the phenomenon doesn’t have the same impact that it used to.

Microsoft is adapting its strategy for the launch of Halo 5 on October 27. For six hours leading up to the release (on the United States West Coast), the publisher is teaming up with YouTube for a slate of programming to celebrate the game.

The event will feature the first streaming episode of The Fall of Reach animated series, a roundtable with Halo 5’s writers and actor Nathan Fillion, and documentaries featuring Halo superfans. There will also be live events held in New Zealand, Hong Kong, New York, and others.

Those in London can enter for a chance to attend the launch event happening at The Roundhouse. New York fans can visit the Microsoft store at 53rd and Fifth.

Additional details will be revealed closer to the event. For more on Halo 5, you can read our recent hands-on preview of the campaign. 

 

Our Take
In my younger years, I used to love attending midnight openings. I’m sad that younger gamers might not be able to have those same community experiences as more people move to digital purchase. On the flip side, there is something quite nice about a game unlocking at midnight and being able to play immediately.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Watch Link Explore An Unreal Engine 4 Version Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time’s Kakariko Village

Nintendo's iconic characters continue to be unofficial spokespeople for Unreal Engine 4 with a new creation showcasing a young Link exploring Kakariko village in all of Unreal Engine 4's graphical splendor.

The creation comes from artist Ioannis Papazis' YouTube channel. In the video we see Link walking around Papazis' creation for awhile before looking at a bit of the behind-the-scenes of Unreal's software.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

This isn't the first time Nintendo's characters have appeared in Unreal Engine 4. They're unofficial fan creates (like the one above) but you can head here and here to see Mario exploring the engine.

[Source: Ioannis Papazis on YouTube]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Angry Birds 2 Was Downloaded One Million Times In Half A Day

Angry Birds 2 released on Thursday, and within 12 hours, the game had already been downloaded one million times.

It's completely free-to-play this time around, adopting the standard model of forcing players to wait to play more if they use up their continues. It also has a ridiculous number of levels strewn across a huge map, a bit like Candy Crush.

We recently played through a couple of the levels to see if it is truly deserved of the number two after its name. You can find that video here.

 

Our Take
I generally have a good times with the Angry Birds games, even if its formula is beginning to wear after all these years. The free-to-play mechanics are a big turnoff. Frankly I'd be more interested in playing the game if it was just one price, but I that complaint extends to pretty much every free-to-play mobile game I play.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed