Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

New Video Game Hall of Fame finalists include Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Minecraft

The Strong Museum of Play has announced the 2016 finalists for its World Video Game Hall of Fame, and the slate once again represents some of the most popular and influential games yet released. …


Gamasutra News

[Update] EA Pulls Fan-Made Donald Trump Mass Effect Propaganda Video

Update: EA offered a brief statement explaining its decision to request removal of the video in question. The company says it does not approve of its games being used for political purposes.

"The video was an unauthorized use of our IP," a company representative told us via email. "We do not support our assets being used in political campaigns."

Original Story:

Earlier today, United States presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted a fan-made video. The prolific tweeter takes to the social media forum every day, but gamers (and one particular publisher) took notice this time.

The video in question uses music and Martin Sheen voice-over from Mass Effect 2. It’s roughly cut together and, by all appearances, isn’t an official campaign ad.

Electronic Arts has removed the video from YouTube, but for the time being, it’s still available on Twitter. 

At least one BioWare employee has been poking at the effort. Mass Effect game designer Manveer Heir tweeted some amusing thoughts about the video:

We’ve reached out to EA for comment on the video and their decision to issue a takedown notice. We’ll update should we receive a response.

[Source: Donald Trump on Twitter via Vice Gaming]

 

Our Take
This might be the first time the video game world has had something akin to a musician objecting to his or her music being used by a candidate. However, this wasn’t an official campaign video and there is no evidence that Trump had any idea what he was sharing was riffing on a game.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Eight Video Game Franchises That Make Sense For VR

No more waiting; VR is finally here. Except we are still waiting – waiting for some games that we’d really like to play with our new toys. The Rift and Vive both have some novel launch experiences, but they are a far cry from the system-selling titles that gamers are used to seeing year-in and year-out on other platforms. While you wait for the libraries on the Vive and Rift to expand, let’s dream about which some established franchises we’d like to see make the move to VR.

This feature was originally published on March 29, 2016.


X-Wing
Eve: Valkyrie has already established that space-based shooters work really well in VR, so we’d like to see the king of space shooters make the plunge. Sure, we’ve done the Death Star trench run a million times in games at this point, but VR finally allows us to relive those epic space fights as we always dreamed we would.


Burnout
Car accidents are incredibly dangerous and no one wants to actually be in one, but as the Burnout series has taught us, smashing two souped-up muscle cars into each other creates an amazing visual display. That display will be even more impressive if players could experience it in a full 360-degree environment. We also wouldn’t mind a mode where you could pause time and actually walk around these car pile-ups – from the safety of your well-insulated house. Also, we really just want another Burnout game.


Fatal Frame
Fatal Frame makes a lot of sense for augmented reality, but VR seems like another logical choice. Not only is horror exponentially more intense when you’re in VR, but Fatal Frame is one of the most terrifying franchises on the market. We’d love to explore some creepy Japanese mansions while taking pictures of ghosts. That combo of presence and powerlessness is sure to give us some great nightmares.


XCOM
Much like sports games, VR offers gamers the opportunity to strategize in combat from a unique perspective. We’ve been saving the Earth from XCOM’s aliens for longer than we can remember, but we’d love to actually set boots on the battlefield for once. Imagine walking through a war-torn street, and staring down aliens before you command your gunner to fire into the whites of their eyes. That’s the quote, right?


SimCity
We’d love to see EA – or the Cities: Skylines team – create a city simulator that allows you to hover over your city and then reach down and sculpt things out of the earth with your hands, or carve roads with your fingers. Imagine walking through your city like some kind of intangible Godzilla (or tangible). We’d also enjoy the option to press a button and then shrink down and see the city from the vantage point of the populous.


Ace Attorney
Ace Attorney has always been a lovable yet goofy adventure series about the struggles of a hapless defense attorney. Players use evidence and cross-examinations to prove their case. Now imaging being able to actually walk around a crime scene and pick up that evidence, or being able to cross examine those witnesses face-to-face. If Capcom wanted to make a game like that in VR, we wouldn’t object. See what we did there? Actually, we don’t really know what we did there.


WarioWare
This one is a real longshot. Nintendo hasn’t announced plans to jump into VR, and it will probably take ten years longer than everyone else to do so. But out of all of Nintendo’s properties, WarioWare seems most ripe for a VR adventure. We don’t want to pretend that we could guess what Nintendo would pack into a minigame collection like this, but we’re sure it would be weirder that usual…and a lot of fun.


No Man’s Sky
Hello Games’ universe simulator is one of the most anticipated titles of the year, and for good reason. You can hop in a spaceship, fly from one planet to next, and then get out and walk around, all without loading screens. No Man’s Sky is selling a dream that you’ll be able to explore an entire universe full of crazy creatures and otherworldly sights. Now imagine how much better Hello Games could sell that experience if you were completely immersed in VR.

Click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content covering all things VR.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Video: How Klei found success with an anti-social game: Don’t Starve

Speaking at GDC 2014, Klei’s Kevin Forbes shares lessons learned from developing a polarizing game — and how you can apply those lessons to find and foster the audience that will love your game. …


Gamasutra News

Video: World of Warcraft’s network serialization and routing

“This 2013 talk from Blizzard’s Joe Rumsey describes how World of Warcraft’s JAM networking layer came to be, and how it is used today using real world sample code from WoW and other Blizzard projects.” …


Gamasutra News

Eight Video Game Franchises That Make Sense For VR

No more waiting; VR is finally here. Except we are still waiting – waiting for some games that we’d really like to play with our new toys. The Rift and Vive both have some novel launch experiences, but they are a far cry from the system-selling titles that gamers are used to seeing year-in and year-out on other platforms. While you wait for the libraries on the Vive and Rift to expand, let’s dream about which some established franchises we’d like to see make the move to VR.


X-Wing
Eve: Valkyrie has already established that space-based shooters work really well in VR, so we’d like to see the king of space shooters make the plunge. Sure, we’ve done the Death Star trench run a million times in games at this point, but VR finally allows us to relive those epic space fights as we always dreamed we would.


Burnout
Car accidents are incredibly dangerous and no one wants to actually be in one, but as the Burnout series has taught us, smashing two souped-up muscle cars into each other creates an amazing visual display. That display will be even more impressive if players could experience it in a full 360-degree environment. We also wouldn’t mind a mode where you could pause time and actually walk around these car pile-ups – from the safety of your well-insulated house. Also, we really just want another Burnout game.


Fatal Frame
Fatal Frame makes a lot of sense for augmented reality, but VR seems like another logical choice. Not only is horror exponentially more intense when you’re in VR, but Fatal Frame is one of the most terrifying franchises on the market. We’d love to explore some creepy Japanese mansions while taking pictures of ghosts. That combo of presence and powerlessness is sure to give us some great nightmares.


XCOM
Much like sports games, VR offers gamers the opportunity to strategize in combat from a unique perspective. We’ve been saving the Earth from XCOM’s aliens for longer than we can remember, but we’d love to actually set boots on the battlefield for once. Imagine walking through a war-torn street, and staring down aliens before you command your gunner to fire into the whites of their eyes. That’s the quote, right?


SimCity
We’d love to see EA – or the Cities: Skylines team – create a city simulator that allows you to hover over your city and then reach down and sculpt things out of the earth with your hands, or carve roads with your fingers. Imagine walking through your city like some kind of intangible Godzilla (or tangible). We’d also enjoy the option to press a button and then shrink down and see the city from the vantage point of the populous.


Ace Attorney
Ace Attorney has always been a lovable yet goofy adventure series about the struggles of a hapless defense attorney. Players use evidence and cross-examinations to prove their case. Now imaging being able to actually walk around a crime scene and pick up that evidence, or being able to cross examine those witnesses face-to-face. If Capcom wanted to make a game like that in VR, we wouldn’t object. See what we did there? Actually, we don’t really know what we did there.


WarioWare
This one is a real longshot. Nintendo hasn’t announced plans to jump into VR, and it will probably take ten years longer than everyone else to do so. But out of all of Nintendo’s properties, WarioWare seems most ripe for a VR adventure. We don’t want to pretend that we could guess what Nintendo would pack into a minigame collection like this, but we’re sure it would be weirder that usual…and a lot of fun.


No Man’s Sky
Hello Games’ universe simulator is one of the most anticipated titles of the year, and for good reason. You can hop in a spaceship, fly from one planet to next, and then get out and walk around, all without loading screens. No Man’s Sky is selling a dream that you’ll be able to explore an entire universe full of crazy creatures and otherworldly sights. Now imagine how much better Hello Games could sell that experience if you were completely immersed in VR.

Click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content covering all things VR.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Helped Make A Video Game

The 2016 presidential election has, in many ways, been anything but “presidential.” Candidates have played to the lowest common denominator, turning the debate stage into something resembling a WWE promo.

Retired United States Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor hopes to leave students with a different view on the process. She founded iCivics, a nonprofit education organization in 2009, which has since released 19 edutainment games.

The latest version of Win the White House puts students in the role of presidential candidates. They must present their views on issues including gun control, immigration, and more in a civil fashion.

The software, designed by Filament Games for iCivics, has been used by more than 250,000 students since its initial release. Other software developed by the company for the nonprofit includes a game focused on making a Supreme Court decision and another about civil rights and law enforcement.

The full story from the New York Times includes anecdotes from classroom teachers and quotes from O’Connor and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is also participating in the project. Sotomayor sits on the iCivics advisory board.

You can try Win the White House and the other educational games for yourself on iCivic’s website.

[Source: New York Times]

 

Our Take
Especially in this contentious election season, it’s refreshing to see accessible alternatives that put students in the driver’s seat. While edutainment programs can be hit-or-miss, with the lesson plans provided by iCivics and the context of current events, I’d be very interested to see these used more widely.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

New Behind-The-Scenes Video From Rare Puts Spotlight On Kameo

Rare's Kameo: Elements of Power is featured in a new making of video, focusing on its development on the GameCube that was later slated over to the Xbox 360.

The video is part of the Rare Revealed series, which looks into the behind-the-scenes development of many Rare games, in celebration of the launch of Rare Replay last year. The video discusses how the game was Rare's first to feature an orchestral soundtrack, and also touches upon various influences that range from Resident Evil to Pokémon.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Kameo was re-released last year as part of the Rare Replay pack on Xbox One, which included over 30 other games from Rare such as favorites like Banjo-Kazooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day. For more on the Rare Revealed series, you can also view last week's segment on Banjo-Kazooie.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Video: How NetherRealm built Mortal Kombat’s cinematic story mode

In this GDC 2013 talk NetherRealm’s Adisak Pochanayon explains how, exactly, “there’s a full-length feature film rendered in our game, with seamless transitions in and out of gameplay.” …


Gamasutra News

The 10 Greatest Versus Rivalries In Video Games

This feature was originally published on March 22, 2016.

The upcoming release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has us thinking about some of the memorable confrontations in gaming. We’ve chosen these one-on-one contests not just because they made for great fights, but because the conflict between the two individuals in each case defines our memory of the game. Sometimes a powerful rivalry is as potent and engaging as the most romantic of love stories or enduring of friendships. Here are our picks for the greatest video game match-ups in history.

NOTE: Most of the games on this list are older classics, but they do discuss SPOILERS about the major conflicts and characters of those games. You have been warned.

10.   Little Mac vs. Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!)

Little Mac has fought his way up through one boxer after another, learning their moves and mastering different offensive strategies. At long last, the Dream Fight beckons, and the diminutive Mac steps out into the ring opposite the greatest fighter of his generation: Mike Tyson. Dynamite punches begin to fly, and the David vs. Goliath battle is on. Mac’s confrontation with Mike Tyson was the definitive video game battle for a whole generation, and the dynamic between the two boxers is a classic underdog tale, presuming you can ever land that final punch.

9. Mario vs. Bowser (Super Mario Bros.)

It’s a conflict born out of the very roots of the console gaming scene, and even in this first game, the battle comes back again and again. It’s hard to count how many times Bowser has kidnapped the hapless Princess Peach, and Mario has leapt up in pursuit, and that all started in the original Super Mario Bros. Bowser’s need to stop Mario extends out through every moment of the game – whether it’s his minion Koopas that threaten progression, or Bowser’s fireballs flung across entire stages to keep Mario at bay. The overall-wearing plumber jumps and sprints past it all, and flings Bowser down into the lava time and again. But the giant dragon-turtle king always finds a way to come back and disrupt the Mushroom Kingdom yet again. 

8. Kratos vs. Zeus (God of War III)

Don’t mess with Kratos. That seems to be the point driven home as we see the one-time god of war clamber over the murdered bodies of gods in pursuit of vengeance against his father, Zeus. The king of the gods feared that his son would usurp his throne just as he once did to his father, so he struck down the blade-wielding warrior to preemptively halt the inevitable succession. Big mistake. Kratos besieges Olympus with the angry Titans at his side, and eventually goes head-to-head with Zeus in a truly godlike confrontation. Father/son relationships turn out to be much more complicated when you’re an immensely powerful mythological figure – a lesson Zeus learns all too well as one bloody punch after another settles the matter once and for all.

7. Alucard vs. Dracula (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)

Video game characters must have rough relationships with their fathers; this time, it’s the complicated dynamic between the lord of vampires, Dracula, and his prodigal son. Alucard’s identity as Dracula’s progeny goes a long way to establishing his awesome powers, and he needs all the help he can get to survive the many dangers in his adventure. The fortress of Castlevania is a living edifice and representation of Dracula’s evil and power, so Alucard is effectively fighting against his father in every battle he tackles within the cursed castle. In the final conflict, Alucard is forced to confront a decision between his human nature and his cursed heritage, making for one of the most epic head-to-head exchanges in games.

6. Link vs. Ganon (The Legend of Zelda series)

Most of the entries on our list are focused on a confrontation that unfolds in a single entry of a series, but Link and Ganon make the list for the timeless nature of their confrontation, echoing through the Zelda timeline in a seemingly endless series of interactions.  Every time Ganon rises to threaten the world, a hero named Link arrives to save the day. The origins and backgrounds of Link and Zelda vary in minor ways between entries, but taken together, the story often comes down to the triumph of courage over power – a theme that helps this versus contest stand the test of time.

Next Page: Check out our picks for the five greatest versus contests in video games. 


www.GameInformer.com – The Feed