RUST Assigns Characters Their Gender By Your SteamID

Rust is a popular open world survival game, with you foraging and hunting in order to survive and build a shelter to survive in a barren wilderness amongst friends and foes. With over 100,000 positive reviews and only around 22 thousand negative reviews, the game can be considered a success but with its latest update assigning character gender by random chance, not everyone is happy.

Listed amongst a slew of updates, one of the latest features introduced into the game is the inclusion of female models, meaning you may be hunted down by male or female characters alike. How do you pick the new option? You don’t.

Listing it as a “sore subject for a lot of people”, the studio behind RUST has included female characters and figured out a way to make it fair if someone is a male or female character. In order to figure this out, they use a very simple piece of information, your SteamID. That’s all there is to it, your SteamID helps the game figure out if your character should be male or female, no judgement or choice in the matter, your name is all that matters to the game.

While some may not be happy with the choice the change in models does nothing to the game directly, so there is no unfair bonus or not, it’s purely the look of your character that changes and with more changes coming it will no doubt be modeled and changed again and again while the game is being developed.

Let The Hype Commence – Bethesda Hiring for ‘Bleeding-edge of RPG Development’

It’s no secret that Bethesda is working on a new game, they’re a development studio, it’s what they do! However, with Fallout 4 now out of the way, and smaller teams working on patches and DLC releases for the game, the main teams will be moving onto the next big project, although for now, we have no idea what they’re going to be doing.

Bethesda has teased already that they’ve got several new games on the way that are “different to anything” they’ve done before. This would suggest that these new games aren’t part of the Fallout or Elder Scrolls series. However, we already knew these were in the works, so their new job postings spark interest for their next long-term investment.

Four new positions are now available, for an engine, gameplay and two graphics programmers. All touting that they’re required for “bleeding-edge RPG” development. If the current projects are different from what they’ve done before, it stands to reason that this one, an RPG, is a return to Elder Scrolls or Fallout. However, this is extreme early stage hiring, so we should likely expect it to be around about a year before we get hints of what it is, two years before we start to see anything from it and likely four years before it hits the market.

My gut instinct says Elder Scrolls 6, but as a fan of the series, I prefer to lie to myself and imagine that it’s been in development for a few years already and is coming much sooner than this project will; I can only hope!

Picking through some finer details, Fallout 4 lead producer, Jeff Gardiner, is listed as working on an “unannounced” project, as is Dave Schreiber, sound designer for Skyrim who’s listing says “unannounced future project.” Add to that Diego de Almeida, a freelance illustrator, has been on an “unannounced project” since the end of the Fallout 4 main development cycle last November.

Let’s cross our fingers, because as more names start to get put into this new project, leaks are bound to happen.

Meta 2 Development Kit Revealed

The Meta is known for being the forefront of augmented reality. Much like virtual reality, Augmented reality is based on the user seeing virtual objects but instead of it being on an isolated screen, augmented reality lets you bring virtual objects to life. That dream of an Iron Man experience is one step closer thanks to the Meta 2 Development Kit.

The new development kit contains all you need to start programming your augmented reality programs. Included with the Meta 2 headset you will get the source development kit (SDK) and the Meta operating environment while the Meta headset itself contains some impressive specs.

The resolution the “screens” displayed at is 2560×1440, being captured through a 720p camera that will give you a whole new level of detail in your interactions and visual manifestations of your dreams.

Four speakers and a 6-axis measurement unit mean that your whole experience will respond with the sensors to track your hands, giving you everything you need to see, hear and interact with your minority report like Minority Report like wall of screens.

At $949 the Meta 2 Kit is not for those who are looking for a quick thrill, but for those who are interested in the experience and developing for augmented reality, the product ships in the third quarter of this year.

Brigador Developer Defends $20 Price Tag

Brigador is an isometric real-time strategy game created by independent studio, Stellar Jockeys released on October 16th 2015 under Valve’s Early Access programme. The overall reception thus far has been extremely positive and the gameplay is reminiscent of the Syndicate series. Despite this, some users have questioned the game’s $19.99/£14.99 price point and believes it offers poor value. This is a common occurrence with indie titles due to the amount of bundles, and huge sales on the Steam store. As a result, consumers expect games to be discounted rather quickly. This is fantastic news for gamers on a budget, or trying to acquire a large library. However, according to Brigador’s developer, higher prices are required to fund development costs and the time investment. In a passionate statement on the Steam forums, the developer said:

“We have spent 5 years making Brigador, if you include when we started building the engine.

5 years.

Much of that has been working full time, 6-7 days a week, 8+ hours a day. Even at a very conservative estimate that’s over 10,000 hours of work per person, and there are 4 of us. We did not do a kickstarter, we do not have a publisher. We have funded this entire project out of pocket.

Here is a list of things that also take about 5 years to do:

  • get a PhD
  • get married and have two children
  • earn $72,000 at the US minimum wage (pre-tax)
  • win the election and serve a term as President of the United States
  • fight World War I
  • develop from an embryo into a person who can speak in complete sentences
  • fail to qualify for the Olympics, twice
  • start drinking too much and gain 20lbs because of stress from starting a company and building a game for 5 years
  • watch all 262 episodes of Two and a Half Men (we do not endorse doing this)

Brigador was made almost entirely from scratch, and when it ships will contain 2 hours of original music (small sample[soundcloud.com]), over 100 different enemy units (spoilers[i.imgur.com]), a story campaign, a free play mode, and a playable landmass of ~2 mi² (split between 20 maps) — roughly the size of downtown Chicago or the urban area in GTA III — hand detailed all the way down to street lamps, trash cans, stop signs, etc. I took some time to render out two of the maps in their entirety at game resolution so that you can look around for yourselves:
(heads up, each image is ~10 mbs)
St. Martim’s Commercial Spaceport[i.imgur.com]
The Sintra Necropolis[i.imgur.com] (had to be slightly downscaled to fit on imgur)

For this we kindly ask that you pay $20.

As a reference point, here is a list of things that cost more than $20:

It’s bad enough there’s a Nickelback poster worth more than the game we’ve spent the last 5 years building, worse still to have people come along and announce that in fact our game is only worth about as much as this other more common Nickelback poster[www.amazon.com]. I hope you can understand the frustration this inspires.

$20 a copy, once you factor in Valve’s take and taxes, gets cut down to about $10 a copy (we live in Illinois which has the highest state income tax rate[wallethub.com] in the US at 5%). Pretending we don’t have to pay contractors or have any other development related expenses, to pay ourselves minimum wage for the time we’ve put in requires selling 25,000 copies of Brigador. Factoring in contractors and any kind of reasonable living and that number jumps up to ~50,000 copies. While not unheard of, that’s already getting into long-shot territory, especially for a new company that has no pre-existing ties to games media or the backing of a publisher. And people’s reticence to pay what amounts to a pint of beer more for the game means adding another 33% or 16,000 copies to see the same results. That increase alone amounts to more units than many independent releases ever sell.

We’re not asking for pity or charity, nor are we saying you should buy a game just because people worked hard on it– it’s possible to struggle valiantly and still make poo. But quality, depth, innovation all require time, and projects of this scope demand full-time work. If Brigador is not worth $20 to you, that’s fine, by all means wait until it goes on sale. But understand that you’re making an already extremely difficult job that much harder. Brigador took so long to make because we wanted to take a risk on building something unique rather than just reskinning an existing game. We wrote an engine from scratch so that we could create fully destructible environments and still have good control over performance. Iterating on design, creating something even only partially new takes a tremendous amount of time, and if people are unwilling to pay a price commensurate with the labor involved in creating games like this then fewer people will take those risks, and many of the ones who do will get starved out the industry.

At the end of the day we all have to eat. So yeah, we think it’s worth $20. Hope that clears things up.”

It’s incredibly difficult to stand out in the current market because there’s so many indie games being released every day. This means, there’s hardly any coverage on Steam, and people can easily miss a game’s release date. I’m pretty torn on this issue because modern life is difficult and the average consumer doesn’t have an endless supply of money to spend on games. However, without proper support, game developers cannot feed their staff or continue to create unique experiences.

Rodeo Games Disbands After Lacklustre Warhammer Game

Rodeo Games was an independent studio specializing in digital adaptations of Warhammer board games. Given the Warhammer license, you would have expected to hear more about the developer but their creations have gone under the radar. Their latest and sadly final title, Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch was originally an iOS game and eventually ported to PC for £18.99. As you might expect, this didn’t go down well, and consumers felt very angry about the idea of paying so much for a basic mobile port. According to a post on Touch Arcade, the company has officially closed due to the poor reception of their latest game. Former staff member, Matthew Spencer said:

“I and the majority of the team left 4 months ago, so afaik there’s no one to offer support or make content. Like most indie developers, you’re only as good as your last game, and even though Deathwatch was Rodeos highest metric game, it didn’t make enough so we had to move on.”

“If you need support, I’ll try and help with what I can, I suggest hitting me up on Twitter, I don’t think the official channels are monitored anymore (I used to do it), I can’t offer any real support because I don’t have access to tools or builds but I might be able to help. Don’t flood me with a billion messages though, I don’t get paid and I do it because I care.”

One user review on Steam sums up the general consensus and reads:

“The game has fine art assets but seriously lacks in features. This was a mobile game and it shows. The fact that this costs over 20€ is absurd.”

It’s a shame to see a British development studio fold and hopefully those affected can find work at another company. Clearly, their business strategy to simply move a mobile game onto PC was flawed, and they didn’t create enough enthusiasm for the game across a wide audience. The current independent scene is extremely competitive which makes it very difficult to become profitable.

Knack II is Reportedly in Development

Knack is a platforming beat ’em up directed by Mark Cerny, who famously worked on iconic games including Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. As a result, the initial E3 showing was designed to showcase the PlayStation 4’s capabilities and unique experiences possible on Sony’s latest console. However, the game received a fairly mixed response on release and currently has a Metascore of 54. Typically, launch titles act as a technical demo and lack an engaging story. From a visual standpoint, Knack is very impressive but this wasn’t enough to hold people’s interests.

You have to give credit to Sony for creating a new IP, but there aren’t that many people who remember Knack in a fond way. Despite this, according to NeoGAF, a sequel is being developed! The information comes from Mindy Lang’s LinkedIn page which lists her employment and role for Knack II. On the other hand, since this went public, Mindy Lang has removed the job posting from her professional profile. Perhaps Sony wanted its development to remain a secret and announce it during this year’s E3 conference.

Honestly, I’m surprised to see the revival of Knack, providing the listing is correct, because it really didn’t manage to excite many people or help system sales. Hopefully, the studio has been given a greater time frame to work on the gameplay mechanics and story. It’s possible this could restore Knack’s reputation and provide consumers with an experience the original was designed to be. Nevertheless, it’s going to be an extremely difficult task because the gaming community is already hostile towards a sequel. I would like to see it do well, because a large part of my childhood revolved around quirky platformers from Sony.

On another note, if Knack II is apparently in development, this also might suggest that The Order: 1886 is turning into a franchise. I mention this because it received quite poor reviews, and became known for its absurdly short story, padded out with QTEs and mundane cover shooting.

52% of Developers Are Working on a PC Game

Consumers tend to be quite vocal about their chosen platform and demonstrate a great deal of brand loyalty. It makes sense though as investing into one platform and swapping to another is a costly endeavour. During the last few years, developers have gauged the popularity of each system, to try to maximize sales. While consoles are still selling extraordinarily well, it’s difficult to dismiss the rise of mobile gaming and PC. According to the Game Developer’s Conference State of the Industry Report, 52% of developers are currently making a PC game.  This is a slight drop from last year’s figure of 56%, but doesn’t really indicate a noticeable shift towards other platforms. In second place was mobile, with 44% of those surveyed outlining their mobile development plans. In a similar vein to PC, this is a drop of 6% from last year.

Rather unsurprisingly, the PlayStation 4 attained third position with 27%, while the Xbox One managed to achieve a very respectable 23%. Towards the lower end of the spectrum, Nintendo’s Wii U only has 5% of developers creating something for the platform. This is shocking and emphasizes how quickly support is dwindling for the Wii U. Furthermore, only 2% of developers are working on 3DS titles, which is down from 3% last year.  Clearly, Nintendo is still relying on their exclusive line-up and developers might be working on launch games for the upcoming NX console.

It’s great to see the PC platform having so much support from developers and this isn’t surprising due to the open access model. While digital distribution is still fairly new on consoles, it’s incredibly popular among PC consumers. This provides lower development costs, and there’s greater competition via Steam, GOG and other services. Although, Steam really does have a monopoly on the mainstream market. Hopefully, this trend continues and developers produce a whole host of unique titles on the PC platform.

 

Tesla Model 3 Will Be Released

Tesla has been pioneers in the electric car field, this has helped by charismatic CEO Elon Musk who has pushed Tesla firmly into the mainstream with innovations that capture consumer imagination. Tesla now plans to launch the “Model 3” with speculation that it will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1st, 2016; this new model will sit alongside the current range that includes the model S and X.

Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen had stated that the Model 3 will be conveyed to journalists and the public alike at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but that year has well and truly passed without a sign of Tesla’s new model. Now, Tesla’s spokesman Khobi Brooklyn has confirmed that the Model 3 will follow the original plan of it being released in March of this year, a slight caveat to this is that the car is not expected to be on general sale until around 2017.

As for the price, reports suggest that it will be around the $35,000 mark (£24,103.85) or around £30,000 once various taxes have been added on. Reports also suggest that this car will be limited to 300,000 units, although, this could change depending on the popularity etc.

 

Tesla’s projects are always worth following and this one should be no different.

Logan Streondj Warns That Robots Will Declare War By 2040

The continual advancement of AI is compelling at the very least; the notion that machines will have the ability to experience human emotions and abilities has opened the door to a whole new world of potential possibilities. But, are machines really a threat to mankind? Sci-fi author Logan Streondj thinks so and has detailed his vision in a blog post.

The aforementioned author suggests that a potential conflict could happen as intelligent robots are predicted to outnumber humans. The acclaimed author references the fact from “World Counts” that there are around 350 thousand human babies born each day or 130 million a year; the growth rate is 1%. According to the International Federation of Robotics, there were around 5 million robots being produced in 2014 with a growth rate of 15%. Within the same year there were approximately 11,000 military robots being produced and this could be significantly higher if you take into consideration the many top-secret projects which are being developed by governments etc.

This suggests that if growth statistics stays the same, in 25 years time or (2040) parity will be reached. Mr. Streondj also conveys the notion that there is a growth rate of 13% of military robots and by 2053, there will be around a million produced each year.

Is this possible or indeed believable? It really depends on the advancements of AI intelligence, the biggest fear among the human race is that robots will be able to decide their own destiny; if this is the case then it is conceivable that robots may not agree with us. An interesting point has been released by the World Fact Book which states that humans have a life expectancy of around 70 years globally, this compares with around 10 years for robots, this means that robots would need to produce approximately 7 times more a year in order to have the same population as humans.

It is really up to us, if we continue our path and develop a robot that is able to think for itself then we may technically see a revolt within the distant future, if not and we contain the abilities with which machines can reach, then we can control our own future.

Image courtesy of corbisimages

DICE Confirms ‘Next Battlefield’ is Now in Development

One of EA’s most successful products is the Battlefield series which offers large maps, tactical gameplay and astounding sound effects. It’s often perceived as a more authentic military reproduction compared to Call of Duty and continues to attract a large following. Sadly, Battlefield 4 suffered from horrendous launch bugs on PC, and EA’s Battlefield Premium service incurs a hefty cost if you want to access the game’s full map package. Nevertheless, Battlefield 4 is still a visually stunning title with great gunplay.

The franchise was temporarily put on hold to give DICE to time to create Star Wars: Battlefront. Now that the game has been released, DICE can move onto their next project which according to Development Director, Dan Vaderlind is the next Battlefield:

It’s unclear if this refers to Battlefield 5, or a new Bad Company game. Whatever the case, it’s not surprising to see another Battlefield game being made and I hope it’s not as shallow as Star Wars: Battlefront. Honestly, Star Wars: Battlefront feels rushed and isn’t up to the usual standard I expect from DICE. Hopefully, the next Battlefield game can help restore their reputation and showcase their mastery in the first-person-shooter genre.

Do you think the Battlefield series has been spoilt by EA’s premium service?

Hololens Predicted to Focus on Enterprise Instead of Game Development

Microsoft’s Hololens utilizes a high-definition stereoscopic 3D head-mounted display, and spatial sound which allows developers to create truly unique experiences using augmented reality. This revolutionary VR technology has been demoed by Microsoft and showcased its potential to revolutionize gaming. Theoretically, it’s possible to interact with worlds in a tactile manner and feel more connected with the gameplay. Although, rather unsurprisingly, it seems the Hololens technology is primarily designed for enterprise scenarios as it could be difficult to integrate with complex modern titles.

In an interview with Gamingbolt, Chris Pruett from Robot Invader discussed the viability of Hololens as a gaming device and said:

”It’s too early to tell! But I think that it’s likely to be targeted at enterprise rather than games, at least at first,” 

He also weighed in on the development process for the PlayStation VR game, Dead Secret:

“VR in general is very difficult to get right from a game play perspective. Many of the common game design patterns used for years on console and PC games simply do not apply to VR. We mentioned the HUD and user interface above, but there are many other areas that are similarly affected. Creating a comfortable motion system, for example, is very hard.”

“Our approach to locomotion is designed around the basic properties of the human vestibular system, and we did a whole lot of user testing to make sure we’d gotten it right. There are many areas like this that we take for granted when playing on a TV that must be completely rethought for VR.”

It’s clear there are some major pitfalls when trying to create games on the Hololens. That’s not to say it won’t be used for this purpose in the future, but it looks set to be a niche device for the enterprise market.

Mozilla Describe Thunderbird Client as “a Tax” on FireFox Development

Mozilla’s Thunderbird e-mail client is often overlooked and hasn’t received any major updates since 2012. Nevertheless, I still find it quite useful and think it’s a pretty good piece of software to organize multiple e-mail accounts. Clearly, Mozilla is right to focus on Firefox development as a large quantity of people view their e-mails on mobile devices or through a web browser. While Mozilla has ceased active development of Thunderbird it still appears to be having a detrimental effect. For example, Mozilla’s chairperson, Mitchell Baker said in a memo published on the company’s public governance forum:

“Many inside of Mozilla, including an overwhelming majority of our leadership, feel the need to be laser-focused on activities like Firefox that can have an industry-wide impact. With all due respect to Thunderbird and the Thunderbird community, we have been clear for years that we do not view Thunderbird as having this sort of potential.” 

“Given this, it’s clear to me that sooner or later paying a tax to support Thunderbird will not make sense as a policy for Mozilla.”

“The current setting isn’t stable, and we should start actively looking into how we can transition in an orderly way to a future where Thunderbird and Firefox are un-coupled.”

Baker’s comments here suggest that any resources or support going into the Thunderbird project will end fairly soon. From the wording, it’s clear they don’t want to just abandon it and looking for other alternative strategies. It makes sense to focus on Firefox especially with the huge competition from Google and Microsoft. To put this into perspective, I personally use Thunderbird to manage one personal and two business e-mails. I would be sad to see it go as it’s easy to use, and quite functional.

Entire Skyrim Map Recreated in Unreal Engine 4

Modding a game is one thing, it can be a demanding hobby that requires quite a lot of knowledge of a game’s engine and the ability to modify its assets, but porting an entire games world from one engine to another, that’s completely bonkers. However, that’s exactly what Polycount member DRIVEJUNKY95 has done and the end result is very impressive.

While many of you may not see this as impressive, it really is and it’s quite a complex and demanding job for one person to have undertaken. The motivation for it is unclear, but it does open up a lot of possibilities for the modding community. With so many games working with Unreal Engine, it’s going to be easy to use this map for other purposes; Unreal Tournament Skyrim map anyone?

“Focusing on the lighting at the moment but will do texture work along the way. I dove into the post processing settings and discovered stuff like LUT and the different DOF types which I tried tonight.” said DRIVEJUNKY95

The entire map is in place, but there’s still some work to be done to make it truly special. The creator is now working on bringing in improved textures and lighting to give it a big of a next-gen boost and I really can’t wait to see the results.

A Portable Blood Cleanser Being Developed by Harvard Researchers

Science and tech are compatible with each other when it comes to developing new ideas for a variety of applications. This is certainly evident in the health sector which has seen a wide scope of innovations which in turn have been implemented to save lives.

Portability is essential and Harvard researchers are actively developing a machine which can filter pathogens from the blood, this newly proposed technique could offer hope for faster and more effective treatment for sepsis. This machine is nearing the point to which it could be clinically tested on sets of human control groups, which is crucial to the operation and further development of the device.

A prototype of this device has been tested on rats under lab conditions and the results have so far been rather encouraging, below is the current understanding of this machine.

“ It has been found the device which works in a similar way to the dialysis machines already used to filter the blood of patients with kidney failure, not only efficiently removes pathogenic material from the bloodstream but also works in concert with antibiotics to prevent a harmful immune response that can lead to organ malfunction and even death”.

 The project which is being led by researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is part of an effort by the U.S. defence department to design a portable machine for treating soldiers in the field.

Sepsis is an incredibly dangerous and life threatening condition which is triggered by an infection, there is currently no effective therapy and the disorder kills millions of people around the world every year.

This device is potentially an exciting breakthrough in the search for a treatment to sepsis, what’s more exciting and potentially revolutionary is the new device removes pathogens regardless of their identity. It does this by using a genetically engineered blood protein that can bind to more than 90 varieties of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

Let’s hope this machine can be successfully developed with the aim of rolling out to patients and not stocked for US defence use only. It’s exciting times to watch from afar as the boundaries of human health treatments are being pushed to a whole new technical level.

Thank you MIT and harvard.edu for providing us with this information.

 

Amazon Cancels Hardware Projects After Fire Phone Disaster

Amazon’s ambitious entry in the incredibly competitive handset market has been a rather unsuccessful venture and resulted in extremely poor sales. According to the The Wall Street Journal, “dozens” of engineers working at the secretive Lab126 hardware development facility have been laid off. Located in Silicon Valley, the lab is used to design Amazon’s entire range of hardware products including tablets, mobile and TV. Apparently, the majority of people dismissed are those involved in the Fire phone’s development.

This isn’t a surprising revelation given the financial repressions of the Amazon Fire handset’s failure. Only three months after the product’s launch, Amazon accepted a $170 million loss to offset the lost value of the unsold Fire phones. Additionally, the company still had $83 million in its inventory at the end of this period. Even Amazon’s marketing might and huge discounts couldn’t entice people to purchase the Fire handset. Technically, it’s a fairly impressive device but the Fire operating system restricted the amount of apps available compared to Android and iOS handsets.

It’s currently unknown if Amazon will also ditch other more successful hardware projects such as the Fire TV Stick. I doubt this will be the case, as the company tries to compete with the Apple TV and offer a viable alternative to Netflix.

Was there anything in particular which deterred you from buying the Amazon Fire handset?

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

New Building In London Includes “Sky Pool”

For many swimming is a relaxing past time, the feeling of water rushing over you as you dive beneath the surface and are engulfed by a fundamental element that sustains us. Many enjoy diving to the bottom of the pool so they can touch the bottom and feel the accomplishment before resurfacing. Now imagine the next time you dive beneath the water and touch the bottom you look out to 10 floors of open space between you and the ground; residents in London could be experiencing that feeling very soon.

A new development in London will feature just that, a “sky pool” as it has been dubbed. The pool will measure 25 metres by five metres and will be encased by glass measuring 20cm’s in thickness.

The design will connect two new apartment buildings, alongside a normal pathway for those who aren’t quite ready to swim to borrow a pint of milk from their neighbour. Sadly though if your are looking at going for a swim there may be a queue, given that around two thousand homes will have access to the pool when it opens.

If you are interested in buying an apartment you can grab one for a mere £602,000, but sadly the first phase of homes have already been bought, leaving the second phase open for people who want to express their interest before they go on sale in September.

“The Sky Pool’s transparent structure is the result of significant advancements in technologies over the last decade. The experience of the pool will be truly unique; it will feel like floating through the air in central London.” Ballymore Group CEO Sean Mulryan, who came up with the original idea for the pools design.

I personally love the idea of a sky pool, but I guess a fear of heights and 10 floors of open space beneath the water may stop me from enjoying it quite as much as I think I might. If your interested though you can register your interest here, or hope that a friend gets on of the houses and invites you over.

Thank you Mashable for the information.

Image courtesy of Nine Elms.

Project CARS Wii U Version Has Been Cancelled

Slightly Mad Studios has confirmed the cancellation of Project CARS on the Wii U after numerous delays affecting the development schedule. This isn’t a surprising revelation given the graphical fidelity and horsepower required to run the game at a decent resolution. The Wii U is severely underpowered by today’s standards which resulted in a lack of third party support. We should give credit to Slightly Mad Studios though for attempting to release the game whilst most AAA publishers disregarded the Wii U immediately after the Xbox One and PS4 launch. The studio’s creative director, Andy Tudor, issued a personal apology and argued the port was no longer a viable possibility:

“Despite much perseverance on the Wii U version of Project Cars, we will no longer be actively pursuing development on it as the quality does not meet our own high standards nor our intended vision for the title on this platform,”

“We eagerly look forward to any announcement of further hardware from Nintendo but right now Project Cars is simply too much for Wii U despite our very best efforts.”

“Apologies to our Nintendo fans out there that have been waiting for further news on this but we have no desire to release a product that isn’t at the very least comparable with our highest-rated versions on other platforms.”

“We optimistically look forward therefore to what the future may hold.”

While expected, it is a very disappointing move and the studio might release Project CARS or Project CARS 2 on a future Nintendo system. However, many publishers have shared similar intentions which rarely come to fruition. Why? Nintendo doesn’t focus a console’s life cycle based on compute power. The Wii U’s successor, codename NX, already has rumours circulating about its lack of graphical prowess. For example, a reliable source close to Nintendo hinted that the NX would be less powerful than the PlayStation 4. Additionally, there is no chance whatsoever of Project CARS suddenly appearing on the NX anytime soon. There have been no reports of development kits which suggests the NX’s core line-up might be some time off. Many users suspect the console will arrive in 2016, but I feel 2017 makes a lot more sense.

The head of Slightly Mad Studios is a rather colourful character and hasn’t broken the news in a PR-friendly manner. On the official site’s forum, he said,

“Yup, and if you need to pass this on, we really dislike Nintendo users.”

It’s difficult to deduce if this remark was made in an ironic fashion, but it looks aggressive, and could be taken on face value. Furthermore, Nintendo fans are a passionate bunch and rightfully adore the company’s history.  This attitude is very bizarre as the Wii U gamepad could have been used to perhaps show a circuit layout or contain touch controls to make pit requests. I really hope Nintendo targets widespread 3rd party support and don’t rely solely on their own IPs.

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information.

Visual Studio 2015 Now Supports All Major Apple and Android Devices

If you’re a fan of programming here’s some news you may like. Ahead of the release date for their new operating system Microsoft have released Visual Studio 2015, their programming development environment.

With a list of languages supported straight out of the box such as; C#, C++, Java, JavaScript and SQL amongst the list of initial languages you can already see how this development environment will become a go-to for a lot of developers. Alongside the initial languages it is also possible to get the Android SDK and Xamarin libraries during installation, meaning that not only are Windows and PC’s supported but any Apple or Android devices can also be developed using the IDE (integrated development environment).

The one feature missing that is quite noticeable is the lack of Windows 10 Universal App support. The apps which are said to be better supported and more “universal” than those from the Windows 8.1 platform won’t be released until the operating system is released on the 29th July.

If you are looking at developing Android applications in Visual Studio you now have access to an android emulator which can run everything from Jelly Bean and KitKat to Lollipop. If you want to try your hand at Apple thought you will still need a Xamarin license, and access to a machine running OS X in order to run the compilers needed.

For those who like working in groups or on open source projects, the GIT support has been enhanced with better visual representations of everything from branches to commit history.

As a former Visual Studio user I can see myself returning (stopped using the IDE because I was working on languages other than .Net), and with these new features it seems Microsoft are keen on getting Visual Studio as the number one IDE for developers for any platform.

If you’re interested, the community version can be downloaded for free from here.

Thank you ArsTechnica for the information.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

 

Gearbox Might Outsource a New Duke Nukem Game

Randy Pitchford, the present of Gearbox Software has revealed his plans to outsource a brand new Duke Nukem title. The studio became the rights holder in 2010 and released Duke Nukem Forever after 15 years in development. Unfortunately, the final product was extremely generic and far too linear. While it was playable, fans of the series were expecting a lot more and something which resembled the game’s classical roots.

During a Q&A session at Develop conference in Brighton, Pitchford publicly revealed his thoughts on the series’ future direction:

“I certainly hope so. I didn’t acquire the franchise merely to make sure that we all experience Duke Nukem Forever.”

“We’ve done some concept development, and I think the challenge is, Gearbox is very busy. I think a faster way would be if the correct developer could become interested and we can work with them.

“I think it’s a challenging problem, but I’ll tell you one thing – when it does happen, there’s no doubt that the entire industry will turn its head and look.

“Getting attention is one of the hardest things to do. In fact, that’s probably the biggest challenge that Forever had. For 10 years, those guys promised it was going to be the greatest game ever made. It was legendary in its vapourware status.”

Alan Blum, who I worked with when I joined 3D realms back in the Duke Nukem 3D era is one of the greatest designers I’ve ever known – and I’ve worked at a lot of brilliant designers, both at Gearbox and a lot of incredible studios. He worked on that game for 15 years and some of his stuff was genius.

Pitchford declared his fondness for Duke Nukem Forever but also acknowledged this could have been down to a skewed, insider perception. I personally know quite a few people who enjoy it as a shooter, but not as a piece of Duke Nukem history. Gearbox outsourcing the next game seems like a sensible strategic move and ensures it doesn’t become rushed due to a lack of time. I’m fairly confident there are a number of experienced, reputable developers who would relish bringing this iconic franchise back to life.

What are you favourite memories of the Duke Nukem series?

Thank you Digitalspy for providing us with this information.

We Could Be Teaching Computers How and What to Learn in the Near Future

We’ve seen a lot of projects and methods involving machine learning up until now, but the truth is that no matter how efficient and quick a computer is, the software will always be its limit. However, Microsoft plans to change that and is working on a new tool that would allow you to teach computers new things.

There is a lot of information about the project and tool on Microsoft’s website, but let’s get straight to what the Microsoft Research team wants to do. Take a jigsaw puzzle for example, where every piece of it fits somewhere and contributes to the big picture once complete. This seems to be the approach Microsoft hopes people will take, where each jigsaw puzzle piece is created by someone knowledgeable in his or her field. This means that a doctor can teach a computer how to search for specific patient details in a database, while a chef can teach it how to make the best dish according to a recipe.

However, to get a lot of people from different fields together in this project, Microsoft also needs to build the tool as simple and understandable as possible. This means that Microsoft is looking for a way to make the tool more autonomous and offer a simple and understandable user interface. I mean developers know how to use such tools, but they can’t expect a doctor to know how to use a complex development tool.

The tool, named Language Understanding Intelligent Service or LUIS for short, is part of the Oxford Project. Though it still is in its early stages, it may prove to be a strong and useful tool for complex AI development. You can view more details about the project over at Microsoft’s Blog. The tool can also be found over at its website here, but you will need to get an invitation first to try it out.

Image courtesy of Radio1.be

A New Digital Currency In Development

Digital currencies have been gaining popularity in recent years due to the notion of a stateless payment method which is not influenced by any bank or country. This is perhaps why the big sharks are now starting to circulate around this notion of an online payment, as it’s been announced that Citibank has built its own digital currency based on Bitcoin and the blockchain.

According to Kenneth Moore, who is the head of Citigroup Innovations Lab, has stated that “we have up and running three separate systems within Citi now that actually deploy blockchain distributed ledger technologies. They are all within the labs just now so there is no real money passing through these systems yet, they are at a pre-production level.”

On paper this seems like a fantastic idea for funding and expertise to enter the Bitcoin field, the problem is however that if Citibank develop and release a currency, they will own it, and if they own it then the government will notice it, and if they notice it then this will fall under regulations which govern banks. If this happens, the currency will not be so free and more influenced. Only time will tell as to what will be the makeup of digital currencies in the next ten years or so. Just on a side note, it makes me wonder if the whole notion of “Online” is a dream for institutions seeking control. After all, people moved from real money to online money as a preference, if online money is influenced, where will people move to?

Thank You to IBT for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Miles Worker

Fallout 4 Development is Near Completion

With the recent announcement of fallout 4 at E3 this year one of the most exciting thing about the announcement was the release date November 10th, it’s not often we get a game announcement at E3 that will release that same year most occasions have games coming out at least a year later or more.

the sole reason Bethesda were more than happy to announce the game is because the development process of fallout 4 is basically done with development, the studio is just finishing and ironing out the last few details of the game ready for the November release. Hines told game radar ”We felt like we could, if we didn’t feel like that was enough time to generate the excitement that we expected and interest that we wanted, then we would have announced it earlier. So part of it is because we felt like it was big enough title that we could get away it.”Hines also said it was more “fun” to announce the release date alongside the first trailer, instead of mailing out a press release with a link to a trailer.

Bethesda continues to impress us with the E3 announcement and now we get confirmation that the game is now near completion I look forward to exploring the wasteland once again in November.

are you excited for fallout 4’s release in November?

Thank you pcgames for providing us with this informaiton.

GitHub’s Text Editor Finally Receives Its First Stable Release

A great development text editor comes from the guys over at GitHub. Its name is Atom and if you’ve never heard of it, I suggest you download it and give it a try. I’ve been using it for some time now and for what it has to offer, I don’t think I’ll change to another IDE any time soon.

Atom has been getting a lot of beta releases up until now, but even with its stable 1.0 release, the GitHub development team still says it’s not quite ready yet. The software is completely customizable and modular. This means you can tweak its interface and theme as much as you want and even add packages and third-party plugins to make it work with your projects.

In addition to the above, it features a development-friendly API, so you can contribute to the vast pool of packages it offers yourself. However, the best part about it is that the piece of software is free and available under the MIT license.

Should you decide to use it, I would recommend downloading the Script package as a ‘must have’ tool. The package lets you compile script on-the-fly directly in the text editor, which is what makes Atom so powerful. It does have compiling limitations on some coding languages, but it extremely useful and constantly updated. While Script works well with Atom on Mac, I got it to compile on Windows too, but there’s some work to be done on the latter OS before you can get it to compile.

If you are interested in downloading the Atom text editor, head on over to its website where you can also get some extra info on it.

Thank you LifeHacker for providing us with this information

CryEngine Gets Support for Linux and SteamOS

It seems that the recent shift in the game engine market strategy is now forcing everyone licensing their own engines to comply with the times. CryTek is known for its CryEngine development platform and we all know the Crysis titles. However, the CryEngine is also licensed to other developers who want to make their games based on the latter engine.

Up until now, the CryEngine was focusing only on the Windows operating system and DirectX. But as times change and competition grows stronger, the company made a few changes. They announced that starting with CryEngine 3.8.1, developers can now ship their titles for the Linux operating system, as well as the upcoming SteamOS.

However, developers still need to do a bit of work to get them to work on the Linux OS. But this marks the beginning of a whole new CryEngine and future AAA graphics for Linux. In addition to the latter, OpenGL support will not necessarily restrict titles to be shipped for just Linux and SteamOS. We could even see support for Mac, Android, PlayStation and possibly even Nintendo.

In the end, a lot of support is now offered in engines to help developers port games. While we won’t see the same support in in-house engines, publicly available game engines such as CryEngine, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 seem to start making cross-platform development a priority.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

This Is Why New Software Comes With Old Flaws

You are probably wondering why we hear that legacy flaws are still present in new software. Well, the answer is simple. Developers have a habit of reusing old code for most of their projects and the code is not reviewed for all potential flaws, but rather the approach tends to be similar to the slang ‘if it works, then don’t try to fix it’.

This does not mean that developers are lazy. The approach is favourable even by top-notch programmers because of the tight deadlines they have to meet, so time will always be above everything else when shipping new software.

However, this comes at a hefty price. While we hear of many hacking incidents, only a few of them are complex enough to break even the most impenetrable systems. Most of them were done by exploiting the already ‘implanted’ flaws in all software products. Everything except the operating systems can be deemed ‘hackable’ by most people with some knowledge of hacking.

The flaws go so deep that even some government departments are at high risk. Security analyst found out that some software in government departments is still based on older programming languages. But is this the future of programming? Of course not.

Security analysts in the field say that the problems with legacy flaws may likely increase, but they don’t have to. The real problem is that, by focusing exclusively on shoving new software on the market, companies forget about security completely. A better approach here is to split project development into two major components, development and testing, which could work in parallel. This way, a lot of bugs could be fixed and major security bugs flagged before the software hits the market.

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of nikopik

Minecraft May Be the ‘Killer App’ for Microsoft’s HoloLens

While the hype is still going into virtual reality, we shift focus for a bit and try to look at what augmented reality has to bring too. Microsoft just demoed how its HoloLens gear deals with augmented reality and used Minecraft as a game example on stage at E3.

Though Minecraft first appeared in a HoloLens press release earlier this year, it did not look so appealing at first. However, Microsoft really outdid themselves when they did the E3 demo. It began on a virtual TV screen, which seemed pretty normal for a presentation. But it was not until someone dragged it onto the table that got everyone so excited.

If you know Minecraft, you sort of get the 3D Lego feeling when you work around its vast world. Now picture it on a table and interacting with it from above. Pretty amazing, huh? You may not have any idea how amazing it is until you watch the video below.

Though augmented reality may seem a bit locked into certain types of games, such as crafting, building and RTS in general, Microsoft did announce it already has a partnership with Oculus for future development. Also, Microsoft is working on bringing compatibility with the SteamVR as well, so we are bound to see a lot of potential in future games.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information

CD Projekt RED Explains Why The Witcher 3 Got a Visual Downgrade

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been shown off with amazing graphics and gameplay footage, something that fans were eager to experience themselves. However, what they got was not what they saw when the company showed off their title, so complaints were bound to crop up. But we also have to take a look at what the company has to say about it.

As with all other games, companies show off their products in their early stages. That’s when they shove everything in and make it look nice and pretty, the thing that users gets so hyped about. But the sad truth is that when they actually add everything and start to see who can run it, things start to fall apart.

What this means is that not everything works from the very start, so a balance between performance and visuals needs to be made before the initial stages and up to the point of delivering the product. If this doesn’t go as planned, we might see another Assassin’s Creed Unity incident and I don’t think fans want to play games at 20FPS just to see those awesome graphics.

Marcin Iwinski told the same thing after the comments started rolling in, adding that once they started to put in the open-world environment and other details that make up The Witcher 3 gameplay, they went ‘oh s**t, it doesn’t really work’. So changes needed to be made for the product to deliver an amazing gameplay as well as great performance. But will this visual setback affect a lot of fans who already enjoy the title? Probably not.

Thank you GameSpresso for providing us with this information