There's this small world inside GDC 2018 called Alt.Ctrl.GDC, where you'll find a booth full of quirky games that incorporate physical objects into their story. With Scissors the that than (the latter part pronounced "da da dan," according to its Japanese developer), you use giant scissors as your controller and as the main weapon inside the actual game. Before we get into the premise of Scissors the that than, you should first know that the physical pair that acts as a controller only has a joystick on the left handle (which you use to move) and a red button on the right one that starts the game.
Have you been struggling to play Sea of Thieves since it launched on March 20th? There's a good explanation for it. In a launch update, Rare's Craig Duncan and Joe Neate have revealed that over 1 million unique gamers have played the online pirate adventure in just its first 48 hours. The team had anticipated large demand, but wasn't ready for as many as 5,000 logins per minute -- the servers went down for nearly five hours on launch day as a result.
Source: Sea of Thieves (YouTube)
Oculus Go might be the virtual reality industry's best chance at pushing the medium into the mainstream. Tethered VR devices are unwieldy and generally require a beefy PC rig to run properly; mobile headsets offer a taste of what full, immersive VR has to offer, but they're limited by smartphone specs and battery life. Standalone headsets are the future of VR, and while the Oculus Go isn't the first device in this category, it's an accessible and high-quality option backed by the marketing power of Facebook.
Oculus Go is a $200 headset rumored to hit the market at Facebook's F8 conference in May, but the company is showing it off, for the first time, on the GDC show floor -- and we've already gone hands-on.
Facebook is in the middle of a public relations nightmare, caused by reports that research firm Cambridge Analytica used its site to harvest data from 50 million user profiles. But, that's not stopping the company from talking up the potential of its platform, in this case as it pertains to gaming. As part of Facebook's GDC 2018 announcements, it revealed last week that any developer can now make Instant Games, thanks to new tools that let them create HTML5-based web titles for Messenger or the News Feed. Additionally, Facebook has made it easy for devs to build livestreaming features directly into their PC games, without any capture hardware or software required, in what's a clear attempt to challenge the likes of Twitch and Youtube.
It's 2018 and developers are finally taking mobile games seriously -- or it's the other way around, depending on whom you ask.
Epic CTO Kim Liberi jumps in and adds, "I think it's almost the other way, I think it's that mobile developers are taking games more seriously."
VR and AR may be the next big thing immersive experiences but so far, their user interfaces have been anything but intuitive. Conventionally, head mounted displays have operated under the assumption that its users are owls: their eyes are locked in their skulls, facing forward requiring them to use their noses as VR cursors. Tobii is working to change that by integrating eye tracking into the next generation of Head Mounted Displays.
Capybara Games announced Below during Microsoft's 2013 E3 conference, sandwiched between details about the Xbox One, which would hit retail later that year. When it launched, Below was going to be console-exclusive to the Xbox One for an unspecified amount of time, and it immediately captured the imagination of fans and press. It was a visually powerful game, showcasing a tiny protagonist who explored caverns that stretched for miles beyond the screen, hiding mysteries and adventure around every corner. Below served as a testament to Microsoft's commitment to being a hub for innovative games, regardless of whether they were created by mainstream studios or independent developers.
Welcome to the hump! The problems for Cambridge Analytica and Facebook won't stop, we have some intriguing indie games across several consoles as well as more reportage from GDC. We also strapped an updated, incredibly well-stabilized 360-degree camera to a dog. What a day!
Nintendo wasn't done with the indie game announcements after its #Nindies live stream earlier today. At an event and on social media it revealed three more ports coming to the Switch soon: Hyper Light Drifter, Nidhogg 2 and Crashlands. All three are GameMaker Studio titles, so it's not surprising they're coming to Nintendo's convertible console now that the development tool has Switch support built-in.
Hyper Light Drifter is confirmed due this summer in the eShop -- after missing out on a hoped-for Wii U release -- while the other two are scheduled to arrive later this year. Abylight Studios is in charge of the port, and said it's working with GameMaker creator Yoyo Games since this title "pushed the technical envelope." If you'd like an early peek, the original developer tweeted a brief, blurry clip of the game running on Switch.
Source: Nintendo (Twitter), Abylight Studios
Ubisoft is finally free of Vivendi. The entertainment titan behind the Universal Music Group and Dailymotion kept buying more and more Ubisoft shares since 2015 to the point that it became the video game publisher's largest stakeholder. While Vivendi said that it was only interested in a seat in Ubisoft's board, the video game publisher sees its aggressive purchase as a hostile takeover and has been thinking of ways to fight it off for years. Now, it looks like Ubisoft will safely remain a Guillemot family business with help from (PDF) Tencent, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and other investors.
Via: Rolling Stone
One of the best things about attending GDC is that, more often than not, you come across some of the best-looking independent titles. Today, that honor goes to Apocalypse Cow, a cinematic adventure game that draws inspiration from animated films like Wreck-It Ralph and genre-classics such as Super Mario. This 2D platformer, developed by an indie studio called Monsters, features the story of a character named Penny who tries to figure out what caused a glitch in a digital universe made up of video game worlds -- hence the homage to Wreck-It Ralph.
As is custom for Blizzard, last month the company dropped a couple hints on Overwatch's Twitter account before announcing a new hero and immediately adding her to the PTR. Today, the front-line battle healer Brigitte has been added to the game across all platforms.
Source: Overwatch (Twitter)
A year ago, Nintendo followed the launch of the Switch with a bold proclamation: The console would get a new indie game every week. This signaled a new era and approach to welcome third-party games, which previous Nintendo systems had failed to court well. Today, it seems like indie titles are lining up to jump on the Switch -- and the company announced a dozen new and remastered games will be headed to the console this year.
Source: Nintendo Nindies Showecase Spring 2018
Lauded Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for his work on movies such as Birdman and The Revenant, last year nabbed a "special" Oscar award for his VR exhibition Carne y Arena. The virtual reality project, dubbed Flesh and Sand in English, takes viewers into a world where they can experience what it's like to be an immigrant trying to cross a border. As much as visuals were important to tell this story, one of Iñárritu's focus was to also to create the most immersive sounds -- which can be complicated when going from traditional film to a completely new medium like VR.
The Banner Saga 3 is coming out this summer, and you'll be able to play it on your Nintendo Switch. The cartoony, crowd-funded, Norse-themed tactical RPG series' conclusion will be released on Nintendo's hybrid portable/home console this summer the same time as PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to developer Stoic.