Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Frictional Working On Soma Beta, Apologizes For Silence With New Screen

Frictional Games has been working on its horror game Soma since 2010, and we got a chance to play it for the first time at last year's GDC conference. Since then, Frictional has gone dark on the undersea horror game's development. In a recent post on the game's official forums, creative director Thomas Grip apologized for the silence and offered a new screenshot as an olive branch.

The screen, above, shows what appears to be a pair of conveyor belts and a ripe corpse. Grip says that the team is currently hard at work on the game's beta, and that the team will reveal more once that part of development is complete.

For more information on the game, check out our hands-on impressions. Managing editor Matt Bertz got to play the game for an hour, alone, in the dark. He had a lot to say about the experience, which you can read here.

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Kanye West Is Working On A Video Game About His Mother

In an interview on The Breakfast Club radio show, rapper and musician Kanye West revealed he has been working on a video game based on his song, "Only One".

You can check out West's comment about his in-development game by heading to the 58:58 mark on the video below.

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He doesn't offer many details about the game but says, "Right now I'm working on a video game for 'Only One'. The idea is, it’s my mother going through the gates of heaven and you have to bring her to the highest gates of heaven by holding her to the light. We’ve been working on it for like six months.”

You can check out the music video for "Only One," West's 2014 collaboration with Paul McCartney, below.

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This is only tangentially related to Kanye West and video games, but here's a video of Toon Link from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD rocking out to "Black Skinhead" from Kanye West's Yeezus ablum.

[Source: The Breakfast Club 2015, via NeoGAF]

 

Our Take
West's video game sounds like a sweet memorial for his mother. I'm curious if he is actually pursuing this as a profitable video game, or if it's just meant to be a interactive accompaniment to his song. Also, is this going to be a mobile game? Or is it something larger? Hopefully West will offer more details soon, because I would certainly be curious to try out a game he created.

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Epic Announces $5 Million Grant Program For Developers Working With Unreal Engine 4

Epic Games wants to help you complete your project in Unreal Engine 4. The developer has announced a $ 5 million grant program that will support studios working in the latest version of the engine.

The company will make awards between $ 5,000 and $ 50,000, with funding going to games, animation, or visualizations created with Unreal Engine 4. Most importantly, Epic is offering these funds without any interest in ownership. Students, educators, and those engaging in crowdfunding projects are eligible, along with anyone else working in UE4.

“While development can be fueled by creativity and determination alone, finishing and releasing a commercial project often requires money,” says Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. “We know this firsthand, as Epic’s early projects were built on shoestring budgets funded by such sources as Tim Sweeney’s lawn-mowing earnings, and Mark Rein’s credit card (before they took it away from him!). A small budget can make all the difference in shipping a project with the content, marketing materials, and promotional expenses necessary for it to gain traction.”

The company says that there are no obligations to Epic tied to accepting funds, awardees will keep the rights to their intellectual property, and there are no publishing restrictions. Applications are being handled via email.

Those interested need only email Epic at [email protected] with a description of the project and supporting assets and details. Epic will entertain proposals from unannounced projects also, and says that it will not require participation in publicity if recipients opt out.

For more on applying, visit Epic’s website.

 

Our Take
Epic’s making a smart play here. With more publishers opting for in-house engines, giving people incentive to explore Unreal Engine 4 is smart in the long run. The more great games that are made on the engine, the better Epic looks.

This is near-term investment that has potential to reap big long-term rewards. It also means that Epic, which already does a good job of promoting UE4-based projects, gets another opportunity to tie its name to success.

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The Escapists Review – Working Through Tedium

Outsmarting the guards and making a great escape is every
prisoner's dream, but as The Escapists demonstrates, it isn't easy. You
meticulously plan, craft tools, wait for openings, and hope your plan goes off
without a hitch. While the premise is interesting, the gameplay relies too much
on repetition, never capturing the adrenaline rush of a daring escape.

The life of an inmate is routine, and The Escapists captures
this to a fault. You eat meals, take on boring janitorial jobs, curry favor
with other inmates, and exercise your mind and body to succeed. The simulation
starts off amusing enough; waiting for the opportune moment to steal from
inmates is exciting, and crafting better items gives you a constant focus.
However, the daily repetition (especially locating specific, randomized items)
becomes frustrating. Every day feels the same – another fight, another generic
conversation, another roll call. Even when you escape one prison and get moved
to another, the loop stays the same with a few new items and security measures.

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You suffer through the routine because you are preparing to
escape. Your break-outs can happen in multiple ways, like digging your way out
or taking over the prison with brute force. I enjoyed the creative and numerous
routes to freedom, but hatching a plan involves too much patience and trial-and-error.
You are given little direction for the complex mechanics, apart from a brief
tutorial that barely scratches the surface. You must learn through failure.
Want to cut your way through a fence? You need to be equipped with a fake fence
cover before you do or you automatically get sent to solitary, lose all your
contraband, and forfeit three in-game days. You only learn this after you
attempt it, and you can't possibly predict every necessary step to avoid
disaster. You're constantly punished for mistakes and losing progress because of them, yet this experimentation is essential.

Obtaining what you need to put your plan into action depends on building relationships with other inmates. Unfortunately, you don't interact with them in any meaningful way. You're constantly trying to get on their good side, so they'll sell you items or jump people for you. Yet the relationship progression comes down to you do boring favors like locating items, beating up others, and acknowledging them every day. It feels artificial though. Essentially, you're just raising a meter and your conversations remain the same – utterly generic.

The whole process is a tough barrier of frustration. From
aggravating prisoners who constantly attack to the guesswork-focused crafting
system, The Escapists is always challenging you. On the one hand, this gives
you a grand sense of accomplishment when you win; I enjoyed those lightbulb moments
when I finally figured something out, and I appreciated the tension that I felt
every time I put my exit plan into the action. On the other hand, the slow
progression loop and repetitive gameplay outweigh the brighter moments.

The Escapists implores you to dig deep for your
strategy, but it doesn't offer enough excitement along the way. The concept is
sound; I just wish I had more fun. I like the idea of The Escapists better than the game it actually is.

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Westone co-founder working on Monster World successor

Westone Bit Entertainment co-founder Ryuichi Nishizawa has partnered with indie developer Game Atelier to produce a spiritual successor to Sega’s Monster World series, publisher FDG Games confirmed this week.

Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze will…
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Test Chamber – We Looks Like Idiots While Working Out In Shape Up

When Ubisoft Montreal demoed Shape Up during E3 last year, it was the silly-looking fitness game where people worked out with elephants on their backs. Now it's the silly-looking fitness game that we’re playing with elephants on our backs. Is it fun? Kind of, but it's also a good workout.

Watch how much better Ben Reeves is than Kyle Hilliard at “nearly” everything in this radical new video. Act out what you’re seeing to get a workout yourself.

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For more Test Chamber, click the banner below, or check out our hub.

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Santa Monica Studio working on new God of War

Development of a new God of War game is underway at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, IGN reports. God of War 2 game director and Santa Monica Creative Director Cory Barlog confirmed the project during a Q&A session at a PlayStation Experience panel, and w…
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Ubisoft now working to fix Assassin’s Creed: Unity issues

Following a rough launch earlier this week, Ubisoft wants to assure fans of Assassin’s Creed: Unity that the development team is working to patch the game’s many glaring technical issues.

Just how glaring are these issues? According to the analysts…
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Warner Bros. working on new Mortal Kombat live-action series

To coincide with the 2015 launch of Mortal Kombat X, the Warner Bros. media empire is planning a new live-action series based on NetherRealm’s bloody fighter.

A joint production from publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros.’…
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EA Working On Wearable Gaming Technology That Could Be Moved Over To Apple Watch

Apple only officially announced its Apple Watch today, but Electronic Arts already has ideas for the wearable technology.

In an interview with CNET, Frank Gibeau – head of EA's mobile efforts – confirmed the company's interest in Apple's new device. Gibeau said that EA has two teams working on wearable gaming technology, and that some of its prototypes could easily work with the Apple Watch. He called out users unlocking content in an iPhone game using Apple Watch's fitness tracking capabilities as an example.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Gibeau told CNET. “We think it's very early days. But for EA, the emergence of another gaming platform is compelling for us.”

[Source: CNET]

 

Our Take
The Apple Watch certainly has potential for some interesting video game mechanics. I like the idea of playing a game on my wrist, and I'm curious to see if it will work well.

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