Month: June 2020

Dreams Gets PlayStation VR Support for Immersive Levels 3

Dreams Gets PlayStation VR Support for Immersive Levels

Video game creation tool Dreams is reaching the PlayStation VR platform, allowing users to build their own virtual reality experiences for the public.

In a PlayStation Blog post, Media Molecule stated their next Inside the Box expansion would bring the support to Dreams on July 22, 2020. This would give users brand new guides on how to build a VR game (while inside VR) and walk around their own levels to design.

“When it comes to Create Mode in VR, sculpting is truly unique, allowing you to bring your Dreams to life around you. If you have PlayStation Move Controllers, you’ll find sculpting in VR is a very one-to-one experience and lets you fully immerse in the creation process,” Media Molecule wrote.

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Dreams – Screenshot Provided by Media Molecule/Sony

“Of course, you don’t need to be in VR to create for PS VR, and non-PS VR users will benefit from the update as well. We’re introducing a handful of new gadgets to Create Mode, and a full slate of accessibility features including comfort mode, vignette strength, static sky, and more to make the experience of playing and creating as great as possible,” they added.

Dreams would also let VR users create their experiences with some brand new assets tailored for an immersive experience, as well as objects that can be held. Create Mode would also be getting some added accessibility features with a motion-sickness vignette, static skies and a special “comfort mode”. For inspiration, Dreams would include a few pre-made VR games, including Box Gallery which showcases a shooting range.

The update is set to come later in July 2020 exclusively for PlayStation VR users. A version is likely coming for its PS5 version.

Game Informer Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara Leaves After 29 Years 1

Game Informer Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara Leaves After 29 Years

Game Informer Editor-in-Chief Andy McNamara announced his retirement from journalism, after almost three decades of covering the game industry as it grew into a multi-billion dollar medium.

McNamara was one of the original staff working at the monthly magazine when its first issue launched, under its mission to inform the public on a growing world of video games. It would also evolve through its in-depth commentary, online news and reviews which represent communities worldwide.

According to GamesIndustry, the publication was sold as a bi-monthly magazine for over 60,000 subscribers while Gamestop COO Frank Hamlin credited McNamara for bringing the industry together with information.

“While we wish Andy much success in his new endeavors, he will be missed,” Hamlin said.

In his final Letter From the Editor, McNamara told readers he was 19 years old when Game Informer took its first steps into the journalism business. After 327 issues, he would be putting the editor’s cap down for another role in the video game industry.

“I’ve had the time of my life here,” McNamara wrote, adding he had been through highs and lows to build Game Informer into “the best we could make it.”

“Things were not always easy; we had a long road to success with plenty of challenges, but I was always proud of the Game Informer team spirit that could fight through anything,” he wrote.

He thanked the countless staff, contributors, interns and readers who followed Game Informer as it grew before announcing the beginning of something else in the industry he followed closely. Instead of observing it, McNamara would instead become a part of it starting in 2020.

“To the fans of Game Informer, there is no way for me to convey the depth of my gratitude for your support. From print and online to our shows and podcasts, you have always been the reason we do what we do. You are all part of the Game Informer family. The team here is so talented, you will barely notice my absence. Please support them in all they do. It is just time for me to try something new.”

Andy McNamara, Editor-in-Chief at Game Informer

McNamara will be succeeded by Executive Editor Andrew Reiner, who would continue to oversee all stories done by Game Informer.

On behalf of CGMagazine, we wish Andy the best in the next step of his career with video games. We celebrate his contributions across three decades and over eight generations of consoles while setting a journalistic foundation for other publications to follow.

Switch "Joy-Con Drift" Addressed in Public Apology by Nintendo President 2

Switch “Joy-Con Drift” Addressed in Public Apology by Nintendo President

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa made an official apology to countless Nintendo Switch owners suffering from “Joy-Con Drift“, which sees the system’s joysticks unexpectedly move on their own.

“Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers,” Furukawa briefly said in a translation by Kotaku.

At an annual investor’s meeting, Furukawa noted the issue had definitely caused trouble for Switch players, who could notice their cameras or characters aimlessly “drifting” to one direction. The issue would be stemmed from poor connectivity issues, to a bad calibration by Nintendo out of the box. Joy-Con drift would also lead to direct customer complaints as the company would send out replacement units.

Sadly, the issue would also transfer from the original system to its second version and Switch Lites. The Joy-Con Drift was also critical enough to spark a class-action lawsuit in 2019, with allegations pushing Nintendo to fix affected Switch units for free.

An official court docket showed 18 plaintiffs demanding a jury trial with representatives from Nintendo of America.

Furukawa’s latest statement also addressed the court case after he was asked about it.

“We are continuing to aim to improve our products,” said Furukawa, adding there were no immediate measures in place to directly resolve the case.

“But as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would like to refrain from responding about any specific actions.”

NBA 2K21 Reveals Damian Lillard As First Cover Star 2

NBA 2K21 Reveals Damian Lillard As First Cover Star

NBA 2K21 players will be greeted by Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard, who confirmed he would be on the current gen versions of NBA 2K21 across its online and physical releases.

A teaser trailer showed Lillard on a minimalist cover this time around, with a vignette blended in a blank backdrop. He also dons the Blazers’ current association jersey – one of a few players can switch to as a cosmetic before starting a match.

Lillard called the opportunity “a dream come true,” while calling back to playing the first three NBA 2K games released on the Sega Dreamcast from 1999-2002. It was also one of the last major releases for the system before the series transitioned to the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube and the original Xbox.

Born on July 15, 1990, it’s suggested that Lillard was nine to ten years old when he played the original NBA 2K games on the Dreamcast.

Lillard is also one of two players to grace the covers of this year’s NBA 2K21. The other two are expected to reach separate versions for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when they release on Holiday 2020.

You can see the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch version’s cover featuring Damian Lillard below:

NBA 2K21 Reveals Damian Lillard As First Cover Star
Xbox Live Head Leaves Microsoft 1

Xbox Live Head Leaves Microsoft

Longtime Xbox Live executive Dan McCulloch stated he would be moving onto other career opportunities after 15 years of service.

In a tweet, McCulloch teased he would be announcing his next job while thanking players, employees and other supporters from working at Microsoft.

“I made so many friends, learned so much and truly had a blast!” McCulloch wrote, adding he is looking forward to sharing what’s next.

During his time at Microsoft and Xbox, McCulloch started as a program manager and connected the company for partnerships with Yahoo, AT&T and France Telecom. He later dove into video games as a head producer for Microsoft Game Studios when they developed the early Forza Motorsport titles. This was also when Xbox developed their Kinect technology while he managed the portfolios behind its first bundled games.

McCulloch moved onto a managing position for more first-party game pitches and hired most of the developers for games since 2011. He also lead the software development for Microsoft’s HoloLens MR headset from 2014-2017 and connected the department to Xbox. He leaves Microsoft as the former GM of its Live service for consoles.

Disco Elysium Being Adapted Into TV Series

Disco Elysium Being Adapted Into TV Series

Critically acclaimed 2019 RPG Disco Elysium will be adapted into a series by DJ2 Entertainment either as an animated or live-action production.

DJ2 is already working on a Sleeping Dogs live-action movie with Donnie Yen attached, but told Variety they would be partnering with indie studio ZA/UM to serialize their detective game. Like the original Disco Elysium, it’s also expected to come with blunt banter from NPCs and hilarious reactions to seeing crime unfolding at a scene.

But adapting the game’s plot means players would see a deep story about an amnesiac detective and partner Kim Kitsuragi as they solve a mysterious murder by hanging. The detective later starts to remember who he was as they dive deeper into a city scarred by endless wars. Disco Elysium‘s world is also divided by different factions based on political ideologies while satirizing them with charicatures.

While no writers, actors or producers are attached to the adaptation yet, the game’s lead writer Helen Hindsphere told Variety they were “gratified at the response” to head back into Disco Elysium with DJ2.

The project would also be produced with DJ2 founder and CEO Dmitri M. Johnson, who co-produced the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. His experience in adapting Sega’s game franchise would likely be used to a more mature tone for Disco Elysium‘s gritty police drama.

Disco Elysium was given a near-perfect 9/10 by CGMagazine, praising its menu-driven RPG gameplay to “absurd” but incredibly fun degree. Its deep character-building and attention to choices-to-impact were also praised, giving players unprecedented freedom “at your own pace and on your own terms.”

More Death Stranding Content Hinted by Hideo Kojima 1

More Death Stranding Content Hinted by Hideo Kojima

Recent tweets by Death Stranding and Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima showed off some of his methods to making a video game, including unseen assets which suggest a sequel or DLC is on the way for his 2019 game.

While some visuals of Kojima working at home are subtle, others show him developing a new video game concept with artists. Their screens also hint at what’s to come as other Twitter users were interested to know more.

According to Games Radar, Kojima’s tweets also contain some familiar Death Stranding elements. Its Bridge Baby isn’t making an effort to hide in one of Kojima’s concept sketches. The term “Bridges” was also etched with a ship drawing. The 2019 game had the term and tons of derelict ships scattered across the world as players traveled across.

But Death Stranding was also open to a franchise, with Kojima admitting to Famitsu he wanted to expand the universe and not leave it anytime soon. This would include a manga and potential film based on the game’s world.

Until then, it’s still unknown what Kojima Productions’ next project would be in relation to Death Stranding.

Ubisoft Reveals Hyper Scape, a Streamer-Driven Battle Royale 2

Ubisoft Reveals Hyper Scape, a Streamer-Driven Battle Royale

Ubisoft’s next online shooter, Hyper Scape, was confirmed with a teaser following a variety of leaks that circulated earlier this week.

According to game industry analyst Rod Breslau on Twitter, Hyper Scape is a futuristic FPS battle royale which takes notes from Fortnite, Valorant and Apex Legends. But apart from its drop-down-and-survive carnage, players with connected Twitch accounts can get help from their audiences.

This is done though a direct integration with the chat and loot. Viewers can collectively give streamers health packs and additional boosts while a revenue system is in place. Streamers can collect some of the profit when a viewer buys a Twitch Bit.

Ubisoft Reveals Hyper Scape, a Streamer-Driven Battle Royale
Hyper Scape (Alleged Screenshot) – Ubisoft

Hyper Scape‘s teaser site is built off its in-game company Prisma Dimensions, who would be managing a large map and weapons given to players. It’s also established in a universe that researches inter-dimensional travel for colonization, while its hyper-connections keep futuristic cities in touch. This is also where players would be running around once they touch down and

Ubisoft Reveals Hyper Scape, a Streamer-Driven Battle Royale
Hyper Scape (Teaser Image) – Ubisoft

Its site drops more hints into the hyper-connection technology, which also connects with “direct neural stimulation.” This suggests that players could also be their HUDs, combat abilities and level progressions with human augmentation. Players could also be labelled as test subjects who would be trying out the latest Prisma products in battle before they’re marketed to the public.

“It has been my delight and pleasure to see the spark of greatness in Mathieu Eiffel’s legendary work, and to shepherd it from its nascent beginnings to the global hyper-network Prisma Dimensions is today,” wrote fictional Prisma CEO Dr. Ivy Tan.

“How far we’ve come from Eiffel’s early work on direct neural stimulation, to being the world’s leading multinational technology, media, and service company. We could only have achieved this with our worldwide workforce of specialized and passionate individuals,” she said.

Hyper Scape is set for a reveal by Ubisoft on July 2, 2020.

Harry Potter RPG Reportedly In Development for 2021 1

Harry Potter RPG Reportedly In Development for 2021

A Bloomberg report has revealed plans for a Harry Potter RPG developed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The game was originally rumoured to be a fully fleshed-out open-world experience based on the franchise. Its latest update puts Harry Potter under a next-generation setting for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, suggesting the scope is going to huge for a AAA Harry Potter game.

Players also become their own wizards as they learn abilities to use in exploration and combat, while they can roam Hogwarts and other locations familiar to them from the books and films. According to sources, the fabled project is “very real” while developers at Disney Infinity Studio and Avalanche Software have been working on the game in secrecy.

A leak from 2018 had apparently shown off some of the creatures and visuals adapted from the movies, though the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and controversial J.K. Rowling statements have complicated interests for the game. Another source told Bloomberg the studio has yet to address Rowling’s tweets, which were viewed as transphobic and hateful.

Rowling shares “very little direct involvement” in the AAA Harry Potter game while it was originally set for a reveal at E3 2020. The game remains under covers as it’s still unknown when the studio would show a first trailer and footage.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the last mainline game released in 2011, developed as a third person shooter by EA. The franchise would later keep its relevance over mobile platforms with Lego Harry Potter, Hogwarts Mystery and the recent open-world AR RPG Wizards Unite for iOS and Android devices.

The Vast of Night (2019) Review 1

The Vast of Night (2019) Review

There’s no shortage of wholesome alien/UFO films. While the most recent use of “aliens” typically involves actual close, gory encounters, there was a time when Spielbergian adventure romps were able to roam free about the film landscape. Super 8 is a fairly recent example of an attempt to give this subgenre a resurgence, but the Vast of Night is a successful mix of thrills and nostalgia.

So many horror projects just crib wholesale from Twilight Zone, but The Vast of Night uses it as a loving framing device. Billed as an episode of “Paradox Theater,” the story takes place in a small town; involving a DJ and a switchboard operator who happen to uncover a potential conspiracy during the night of a big high school basketball game.

What occurs of the course of the breezy hour and a half runtime can only be described as gradual and natural. None of it feels forced, as you’re slowly taken out of the folksy feel of the “big game” and into a new universe. But its throughput is still very much folksy, to its credit.

The Vast of Night benefits from an American Graffiti vibe before any of the alleged alien insidiousness happens. Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz have fantastic chemistry together as Fay and Everett respectively, navigating this new landscape together alongside of the audience. The sparing supporting cast all do some heavy lifting too.

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The Vast of Night (2020)

Combined with masterful direction Andrew Patterson, which often shifts the focus entirely to audio on occasion, only helps draw you further in. Watch for that great tracking shot too: the cherry on top of cinematographer M. I. Littin-Menz’s tempered contribution. The commitment to the period is pretty insane (a large chunk of the budget was spent making a period-correct gym, which isn’t even featured all that often), as is the great grain effect that still looks crisp on a home theater setup.

The result is a highly atmospheric, often creepy film that’s somehow extremely monologue heavy. It’s not easy to do, but slowly the framework of a literal modern radio drama comes into place: albeit in a not-so-subtle fashion with the DJ angle. The Vast of Night isn’t a typical alien flick or a thriller. It’s a slow burn with a reasonable budget that does a lot with so little. If you’re even remotely interested in something that more successfully re-creates the Twilight Zone formula than the new Peele-helmed Twilight Zone reboot, give it a shot.

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