News! Tech! Tools! Talks! Games! And Stuff Worth Sharing!

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:06

Hair, fur, Quixel Megascan stuff and screen space global illumination is new in Unreal Engine 4.24.

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog ... -available

658 Atlases: Substance Source introduces a new category with hybrid scanned objects!
.. seems like they are feeling a bit of heat from the Epic / Quixel deal. :)
https://magazine.substance3d.com/658-at ... d-objects/
What's New in Substance


nVidia is working on machine learning. Which are able to turn 2D images into 3D objects >from a single image!< Pretty good results! Obviously not perfect. But still some nice advances in that field.
Image
https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2019/12/0 ... search-3d/

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:16

Ohhh nice! <3
Guardian XO real life robotic exoskeleton. Tech like that has been around for a while. Especially the virtual kind in games. ;)
But this latest iteration of the concept seems pretty responsive and fluid in it's motion. Very cool! The Aliens power loader wet dream still lives. Still super fascinating and cool. :cool:

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:30

A few indie pixel platformers

Skul: The Hero Slayer | Gameplay & First Impressions



And the very charming Castle In The Darkness 2. Haven't played the first one... 'mostly positive'.
Lets hope for even better gaming making this time around.


ScourgeBringer



The Siege and the Sandfox. (Stealth-based metroidvania). Badass pixel art!


Lunark... Memberberries all the way to Amiga classic Flashback.



Foregone.. very DeadCells inspired. Smoooth pixel art and animation. :cool:


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:31

Find a 'normal' beer in hipster land. In hipster styled, tounge in cheek game 'Dude, Where's my beer?'


So the swedes (Star Vault AB from Malmö) are at it again. First person MMO. Mortal Online 2 is in the works.
The first got around to 'mixed' reviews. So lets hope they learned their lessons this time around.


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:42

The Last Day
Looks super sleek and stylish
Also there is a demo on itch. Downloading.. hope my busy life will allow for a small playthrough.
https://studio-kiku.itch.io/the-last-day


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:45

A studio tour of CD Project Red. Working on Cyberpunk 2077.

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 22:50

From Shore to Horizon: Creating a Practical Tessellation Based Solution. Perhaps jump 10 minutes in.

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 23:10

More indie spotting

Solo project Death Trash



Twelve Minutes


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 12 Dec 2019, 23:32

Corepunk (MMORPG) Official Announcement Trailer
Very Blizzard styled! ... works! :cool:

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 13 Dec 2019, 00:07

So if you are suffering from a milder case of Japanese military mecha fetish like yours truly. This new YouTube Originals animated series 'OBSOLETE' from Bandai Namco might be of interest. 2 first episodes are free.

EP 1 OUTCAST | OBSOLETE


EP 2 BOWMAN | OBSOLETE

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 13 Dec 2019, 10:08

Played the first Hellblade. Pretty graphics! Nice'ish combat. Occasional annoying designs in various forms. Wasn't really invested in the whole insanity storyline. But overall it was decent.

Trailer looks perf! Really impressive! Also running 'in-engine' on the new Xbox Series X. So they have some rendering muscle to play with. Also lots of photogrammetry and performance capture. Looks badass!
Also I guess 'in-engine' doesn't necessarily means real time. Companies does a lot of hoopla BS to show off their upcoming games and hardware. Regardless I will assume the final game will look beautiful. Even at a reduced rendering level if that is the case.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II – The Game Awards 2019 – Announce Trailer (in-engine)

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 13 Dec 2019, 11:40

Highly acclaimed Wasteland 2 is free for a few more hours on GOG. Grab it while you can!
https://www.gog.com/game/wasteland_2_di ... ic_edition


Also Wasteland 3 is on the way!

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 13 Dec 2019, 14:53

So the new XBOX Series X with (supposedly correct (undetailed) specs?) has been revealed. Expecting the future PS5 to be in a somewhat similar range.

- 2x the GPU power of an XBO X (~12 TFLOPS)
- Supports raytracing
- future 8K/120Hz support
- GDDR6 RAM
- NVMe SSD
- Design aims to keep console quiet
- Share button on controller


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 18 Dec 2019, 11:32

Community Driven Discoverability for Indies


No Time, No Budget, No Problem: Finishing The First Tree


Making Games That Stand Out and Survive

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 19 Dec 2019, 00:39

Another port of Throughline Games, Forgotton Anne hits the world.
This time on Android!


Free to download.. I'm very sure there is a paywall at some point. Didn't play it on mobile that long. But the port seems to be working just fine!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... gottonanne

I actually wanted to write a recommendation for a while. Since I recently completed it. :)
And the short verdict it... yes! Absolutely recommended! With a few cautioning issues.

Starting out! It's a super impressive debut production! Concerning world building, characters and overall visual production quality.
It's a curious tale of Anne 'the enforcer' having to make some important choices along her journey for identity. Wrapped in a cinematic platformer with puzzle elements.
The platforming element is not super sharp. And the control scheme is quite unorthodox. But it's not the center piece of the game and can sometimes serve more as an annoyance. So I'm willing to let it slide. As many other parts of the game elevates it much further.

There are some technical issues worth mentioning!
Bugs of the game breaking kind! Played on PC. Not sure if other versions has the same issues. But on several occasions I was unable to progress in the game. As the systems keeping track of the overall progression had gone out of whack. And sometimes you as a player just don't know. If it is your brain or the game that broke. Restarting from last save would solve the issue.
Having these game breaking bugs in a game released in may 2018 is not acceptable to my standards.

But if you are willing to overlook the most gnarling issues. You will a sweet time exploring the overall cinematic adventure set in an original universe. With a wide cast of interesting characters and amazing art, audio and animation on top.

Mind you. I did not do multiple playthroughs. But the choice and consequence structure seems to be in the lighter end of the spectrum. And dialog choices is sort of a more of a well played narrative illusion. Rather than branching out in hugely different story lines. Which is absolutely fair enough from a production stand point. It would have exploded in complexity.
But there seems to be some small differences here and there. The overall illusion of hard choices works well! Good job! :)

There are many more things to cover. But you know.. busy life. ;)

Overall I had a great time with Forgotten Anne. And hope for many more interesting games to come from the Throughline Games team! Amazingly good job! Hat's off!

I know the development process had not been easy. And pulling it off it quite the accomplishment!

And how heart warming it is when the director Alfred Nguyen (I've known him for quite years now) moved from the a job in the mobile F2P space. To starting his own company and launching a game of this caliber and following his dreams. What an achievement! Absolutely amazing! :D

Not sure I would recommend playing the game on a tiny mobile screen. The game deserves a large screen and excellent audio on PC/consoles.

So go grab it on eg. Steam. Give the free demo a try to the very least.

Image

Well.. I had to get to this last point. And the very saddest of them all. The end credits look me by complete surprise. I had NO idea Mike Sjørslev Khamphouke (Magic Mike) had passed away a little while ago. Haven't spotted a single mention of his passing on social media or heard through analog channels. I think he worked on Forgotton Anne as a production assistant and doing QA.
Not informed on the cause of death. Also sadly he didn't get very old. Maybe mid thirties?

I didn't knew Mike that well. But occasionally bumped into him on the Danish gamedev scene and around ITU. He kindly bartended the spiludvikling.dk 10 years anniversary party. So again thanks for that Mike!

The the last time I saw him was outside Imperial hanging out with his friends after a movie. It was late and I was tired and busy getting home on my bike. (Maybe 7-9 months ago?!) So no time for a hi and a chat that day. :-/

My overall impression of Mike is that he was a super great guy! Always friendly and in the mood for a geeky chat. Super passionate about games and gamer culture with his game drinks and cosplaying.

R.I.P. Magic Mike!

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 20 Dec 2019, 00:41

Prodeus
Probably not that much new in terms of gameplay or story telling. But I like the blood filled and brutal neo-retro aesthetics.


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 20 Dec 2019, 00:45

I haven't yet had the opportunity to play around with this fairly new kid on the block in procedural terrain generation. Instant Terra.
I did work with World Machine for a while, years back working at Massive. But InstaTerra seems to be more of a GPU driven piece of software and henceforth a lot faster to work with. And that's always a welcome! :)


https://www.wysilab.com/

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 20 Dec 2019, 12:23

Substance Painter 2019.3 looks pretty neat




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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 20 Dec 2019, 13:22

Also this!
Epic's giving away 12 free games over 12 days to finish out 2019

Hard to complain about more free quality games. I'm sure their launcher will mature over time. I have collected pretty much all the frees games since they started. Only missed the first, Subnautica. I have yet to play them a whole lot though. ;) Played Bad North a bit. It's actually a really cool core gameplay! But it does indeed become a bit too repetitive.

Today you can grab the excellent Into the Breach in the Epic Games Launcher.

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 20 Dec 2019, 18:10

Evolutis. Very cool looking cyberpunk game in development.




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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 25 Dec 2019, 16:00

Half-Life: Alyx tested on 8 different VR headsets

Also options for smooth locomotion or teleporting is confirmed! Nice!

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 26 Dec 2019, 13:56

(Based on a around an hour of gameplay)
Oh yeah finally got around to play the Crying Suns demo. Very nice gameplay experience! Recommended.
It feels very FTL like in it's map progression structure. But without the topdown spaceship interior management system. And with some turn based with real-time and pause execution combat gameplay on top.
The amount of narrative is sometimes a bit too much. I am not that invested in the game to spend time on immersing myself in the world. So a lot of text skipping went on here. ;) But a really nice game nonetheless! Give the demo a shot if you are into that kind of games. Think 'Out There' And FTL-like with a different flavor.


Gears Tactics is looking pretty neat. Nice to see they are trying a different direction for the IP. Certainly reusing a whole lot of assets. But nothing wrong with that. :)


Ghost of Tsushima | The Ghost | PS4 exclusive

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 26 Dec 2019, 14:52

A comment on the Nexflix The Witcher show recently mentioned.

3 episodes in. To me it feels like a generic 90's corny fantasy production. Overly theatrical and B-like in it's nature. Sword fights are over silly comic book styled. I will (maybe) watch the whole season. But just out of curiosity. Can't really say I am engaged with the plot, characters or had any emotional connection with anything I've seen so far. As a newcomer to the universe they do a poor job of introducing and grounding it.
Also a lot of casting choices feels odd and out of place with the period and universe.
Henry Cavill works fine as The Witcher. But I guess The Witcher character is just not that super interesting?!

I am not a book reader.. Or have played the games very much. (I know I should find some time for The Witcher 3 just sitting there in my library). So I can't speak from a whole lot of volume of reference to the original works. But the Netflix show just doesn't give a whole lot to like about it.

I'm sure a lot of people enjoy the show. And that's great. But It's not really for me.

HOWEVER!
I am way more likely to watch the The Witcher fanfilm Alzur's Legacy. Made on a shoestring budget. Just the intro alone clicks way more for me.

And they even speak Polish! And feels way more authentic to a medieval fantasy period. Well if you can call a medieval 'fantasy' period authentic to begin with. Probably not! But I'll do it anyways. ;) Or to put it. I like this interpretation of the universe better. With the fans here.

**UPDATE** Watched in over the weekend. And it was 'pretty cool for a fanfilm'. The audiovisual aspects nails it remarkably well for the most parts. VFX spell effects was a pretty corny. Obviously you can see it's not a fine movie crafted to perfection by veteran movie makers and story tellers with top acting talents. But all in all a fairly watchable fanfilm.


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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 26 Dec 2019, 19:35

.


Nu har de haft chancen: Politikere dropper spilfabrik efter fire års støtte
Den Fynske Spilfabrik på Polymeren i Årslev får ikke flere penge i støtte fra Faaborg-Midtfyn Kommune. Nu vil spilfabrikken kigge mod Odense.

https://fyens.dk/artikel/nu-har-de-haft ... t%C3%B8tte


.

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Unread post by jonaz.dk » 28 Dec 2019, 14:29

Starship Troopers Terrain Command! Is in the works. LOVED the Paul Verhoeven movie back in 1997. Though movie licenses rarely translates into good games as we all know. But the RTS formula does indeed look like a pretty descent fit for the IP. Not expecting something ground breaking and amazing here. ;) Might be ok! But let's see where it goes in 2020.
Also some talks about a tv series reboot in the works. Watched most of the sequels and CG animated series (pretty terrible).
There is quite the amount of games, and movies made for the franchise. But nothing remotely touching the 1997 movie.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_ ... franchise)



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