Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Unreal Engine 5 Videos

A couple of new videos from Epic's State of Unreal Technical Showcase show off new features in upcoming games powered by Unreal Engine 5. The trailer for Lords of the Fallen highlights advanced character customization, real time lighting of complex environments, and other advances. There's also a State of Unreal Trailer for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II looking at next-level real-time facial animation that jumps clean over the uncanny valley. Word is:
We're pushing the boundaries of realtime facial animation in Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, as showcased at GDC 2023 with Unreal Engine.
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Unreal Editor For Fortnite and Creator Economy 2.0 Launch

A blog post from Epic announces the first beta of the promised Unreal Editor For Fortnite is now available for free on the Epic Games Store (Fortnite, which is also free, is required). The post also explains this marks the launch of Creator Economy 2.0, a way for Fortnite content creators to share in the revenue generated by their creations. Here's a new trailer with a look at how this will allow you to exercise your creativity in the battle royale/survival shooter. Here's more:
Engagement payouts proportionally distribute 40% of the net revenue from Fortnite’s Item Shop and most real-money Fortnite purchases to all island publishers on a monthly basis. Payouts are based on what players enjoy in Fortnite and account for things like island popularity, engagement, and attracting new players.

Engagement payout funds are separate from Support-A-Creator, and are designed to reward island creators who publish content in Fortnite. We’ve removed the Support-A-Creator device from the game entirely, which means creators can focus on developing fun and engaging experiences without asking you to use their Creator Code. Every time you play your favorite island or game in Fortnite, you are supporting its creator monetarily, no code required!

To learn more about Creator Economy 2.0 and engagement payouts, or to join the Island Creator program, please visit the Creator Portal.
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King Arthur: Legends Rise Announced

Kabam Games announces King Arthur: Legends Rise, a squad-based RPG coming to PC via Steam and to mobiles with crossplay support. This doesn't yet have a release date, but one will be announced later this year. This will be set in a version of Camelot reimagined using the Unreal Engine 5, and as the title suggests, will feature the adventures of a younger Arthur. An Early Preview Trailer accompanies the announcement with a first look. Here's more:
Embark on an action-packed, turn-based RPG adventure that takes you on a dark and mysterious journey inspired by the perilous adventures of a young King Arthur. Gather a party of loyal knights and warriors to defeat the fearsome enemies that threaten the kingdom. Explore a vast, interactive world and collect powerful Arthurian heroes to build an unbeatable team. Equip your heroes with the best weapons and gear, and upgrade them to face even greater challenges. Prepare to engage in visually stunning squad battles against epic bosses and mythical monsters. Will you be able to vanquish your enemies and restore the kingdom to its former glory?
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Bat Boy in May

X PLUS and Sonzai Games announce Bat Boy, a throwback platformer coming to Windows and consoles on May 25th. This trailer shows off the game's 8-bit style and reveals that the bat in question is Louisville Slugger, rather than a flying mammal. But you don't have to wait in the on-deck circle, as there's a playable demo right now on Steam. The description reminds us that it's all fun and games until your teammates are brainwashed into participating in the Trials of Darkness:
Ryosuke isn't just your regular high-school kid — Ryosuke is Bat Boy! He and his fellow sports-star friends secretly battle against the evil invading forces of interdimensional mage Lord Vicious, hellbent on hosting sinister athletic events for his own amusement. When Lord Vicious brainwashes Bat Boy’s fellow squad in order to participate in the Trials of Darkness, it’s up to Bat Boy to traverse a hostile world on his quest to free the minds of his sports-hero squad before they fall victim to the Trials. Along the way, Bat Boy will encounter all manner of allies and goons as he fights his way to the final confrontation with Lord Vicious.
Continue here to read the full story.

Counter-Strike 2 Announced

Valve announces Counter-Strike 2, officially taking the lid off of what has become a poorly-kept secret of late, though all the leaks may have just been viral marketing. This new era for the multiplayer first-person shooter will officially begin this summer, but limited playtesting is underway right now. Check out this FAQ for details on how to join the test. Key takeaways are that the game is being remade using the Source 2 engine, and players will retain all the items they've earned playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The new version will also include new features, which will be announced closer to the launch. But the Counter-Strike Website has first details and videos showing off some of what's new. Here's a summary:
CS2 is a free upgrade to CS:GO, marking the start a new era of Counter-Strike on Valve's Source 2 engine. The game's full range of new features will be announced at launch, but during the limited testing period we'll be evaluating a subset of those features to get it ready for the worldwide release.

Here's some of what CS2 will mean for players:

  • Upgraded and overhauled maps
  • Game-changing dynamic smoke grenades
  • Tick-rate-independent gameplay
  • Redesigned visual effects and audio
  • All of a player's CS:GO items go with them to CS2

Redfall Online Requirement May Be Removed

Developer Arkane says "we listen" in response to complaints following the recent reveleation that Redfall will require an online connection, even for the single-player campaign. Game director Harvey Smith discusses the controversy with Eurogamer, saying he's "not supposed to promise anything," but that the company is "looking into" the online requirement, and is "working actively toward fixing that in the future." The conversation addresses accusations that this was to sell more stuff, but Harvey says the game will have no store and no microtransactions. He explains the online requirement is intended to collect metrics on the player experience:
So why be online if you're not with other people? Smith said the game was designed that way to better help Arkane understand how people were playing it, and when they got into difficulty.

"It allows us to do some accessibility stuff," Smith said. "It allows us for telemetry, like - if everybody's falling off ladders and dying, holy shit that shows up. And so we can go and tweak the ladder code. There are reasons we set out to do that that are not insidious."

Amazon Luna Expands

Amazon announces the chance for more gamers to become lunatics, saying Amazon Luna has expanded beyond the United States. The Luna Blog says the cloud gaming service is now also available in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. Word is: "Amazon Prime members can play a rotating selection of games on Luna at no additional cost. Prime members can also link their Ubisoft Connect account to Luna, and play select Ubisoft PC games they already own on their Fire TV or other compatible devices." Here's more:
Starting today, we’re excited to bring Amazon Luna to everyone in Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, making it easy to instantly start gaming on select devices that you already own, including Fire TV. Gamers in the U.S. have been enjoying Luna for the past year and we’re thrilled to expand the service, giving more customers the opportunity to play high-quality, immersive games without expensive gaming hardware or lengthy downloads.

The Luna Controller is designed and optimized for Luna, connecting directly to the cloud via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to effortlessly control your game and reduce gameplay latency. Thanks to Luna Controller’s technology, gamers can seamlessly switch between compatible screens — such as Fire TV to mobile phone — without additional pairing or configuration changes. The Luna Controller is now available in Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Morning Multiplex

Official trailer.

Morning Legal Briefs

Out of the Blue

I have to hand it to Acleacius, who immediately came up with the theory that the brain fog I mentioned yesterday could be allergy-related. I don't have severe allergies, but I do have problems every spring, so I believe he's correct. I'm not completely clogged, but now that I'm thinking about it, I'm aware of my scratchy eyes/throat and slightly stuffy ears/eyes. I'm pretty sensitive to OTC antihistamines, so it will have to get pretty bad to get me to the point where I pop one of those, but it is still helpful to understand why I've been feeling a bit impaired.

Scratchy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.




Creature Features


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