There are many tools designed to assist game designers. Many of these tools have features that provide help with several different aspects of a game development process, such as physics and graphics. In the recent years, game engines like Unity and Unreal have contributed to popularizing the creation of complex AAA titles, once exclusively developed by major companies.
We never saw so demanding an era about videogame consumption, and the indications are that the demand will continue to increase year after year. From mobile phones to powerful console systems, from kids to elders, there seems to be a market for everyoneÕs gaming needs.
In the gaming industry, content is king. To keep players satisfied, game developers need to invest in compelling characters, stories and eye-candy graphics. Creativity and novelty are musts, since the player should not feel that they are playing the "same" game repetitively in each advancing level.
The need for such creativity and content has led to the emergence of advanced AI-assisted game development tools. Unlike generic game creation tools, such tools specifically focus on AI techniques. For example, they can automatically and flawlessly create levels and environments using minimal inputs. AI can also play games and collect data about gameplay sessions, allowing developers and makers a clear and concise window into the development and debugging process. AI can understand and predict how potential players will be interacting with the game, leading to better insights into future installments and personalized gameplay. Although AI-assisted game design tools are still in their infancy, the results are extremely exciting and present an exemplary mixed-initiative future with human-augmented AI.
- Tiago Machado
I have not quite finished Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the latest in Crystal Dynamics' rebooted saga of videogame icon Lara Croft. I'm not sure I want to, either. Following the violent archaeologist on a quest to a hidden city with the lofty goal of stopping an ancient apocalypse, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a competent, occasionally enjoyable action-adventure romp. It'd be great, if only it weren't so nasty. Lara Croft is defined by her ability to endure pain.
This year that game is undeniably Fortnite Battle Royale, an online free-for-all that every teen in America suddenly seems to be playing. It's not just kids, though–everyone from rapper Drake to Los Angeles Laker Josh Hart is a fan. That groundswell of support has propelled Fortnite from a simple video game into a cultural sensation, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide who play the game, wear the gear and even learn the characters' victory dances. "Fortnite is another in a long line of games like World of Warcraft or Guitar Hero or Minecraft that is changing everything underfoot," says Mat Piscatella, a video-game industry analyst with research firm NPD Group. Fortnite's big draw is a madcap multiplayer mode that drops up to 100 players on an island in a last-person-standing showdown.
Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite: Battle Royale, has announced the launch of its Fall Skirmish competition, which will give players of the popular game the chance to win a share of $10 million. The six-week series will begin next weekend (22 September) and conclude at the Twitchcon gaming conference in California on 26 October. "The new approach for Fall Skirmish will include both Competitive and Entertainment play formats. We're looking to incorporate some of these new formats into our large-scale events in 2019," Epic Games said in a blog post. "During Fall Skirmish, players will proudly represent themed teams and earn points based on their performances in both play formats.
Anyone who's experimented with a cloud gaming service knows that wired ethernet is almost required. At AT&T's Spark conference in San Francisco on Monday, I had a chance to try out Nvidia's GeForce Now service for PCs running over AT&T's 5G service, playing the newly-released Shadow of the Tomb Raider game on a generic Lenovo ThinkPad. The traditional way to run a PC game is locally, running the game off a hard drive or SSD on your PC, using the CPU and GPU to render the game as fast as it can. The downside, of course, is that you have to buy all of that hardware yourself. The trade-off is that the 3D rendering takes place on a remote server--a cheaper solution than buying a high-end graphics card, at least in the short term.
Three months after a 9-year-old girl was reportedly sent to therapy for Fortnite addiction that caused her to wet herself, a parent has taken the drastic step of smashing her children's iPads to prevent them from playing the popular game. TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp has been widely criticised for her parenting methods, however her frustration once again draws attention to the issue of video game addiction among children. Since launching last year, Fortnite has amassed more than 125 million players around the world, together with a fair amount of controversy. Its developer, Epic Games, has been accused of using "predatory" gambling techniques to encourage children to spend money in the game, while cyber criminals have targeted players through a series of complex campaigns. The latest iPad smashing scandal may seem relatively minor in comparison but opens up the debate over whether playing such games is harmful to both children and adults.
You can learn a lot about a person from the way they play Scrabble. Do they show off their SAT vocabulary or only know dirty words? Are they rule-sergeants or are they so competitive that they will stop at nothing to beat someone who is half their age? It seems his Scrabble strategy involves aggressive rule bending in order to win a game against a high school-age opponent. SEE ALSO: After losing trust of its users, Facebook assigns them a'trustworthiness' score This little Zuckerian anecdote comes to us from an extensive New Yorker profile about the Facebook CEO's approach toward the myriad problems currently facing the social network, and whether he's equipped to solve them.
The NFL is back in action, and along with it we have a slew of fall TV shows returning. That includes bingeable (it's a word) options on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu like Bojack Horseman season five, The First, Forever and American Vandal season two. For gamers, the standard edition of NBA 2K19 is here, plus the latest Tomb Raider game, while Blu-ray fans can get Oceans 8 or Batman: The Killing Joke on 4K Blu-ray. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed). Richard's been tech-obsessed since first laying hands on an Atari joystick.
There are two things I've always loved about Tomb Raider in all its incarnations over the years: beautiful, exciting and dangerous places to explore, and Lara Croft herself. Shadow of the Tomb Raider nails the former, with sumptuous South American locations to climb, dive and rappel around, ranging from ancient Inca cities and missionary crypts to modern-day Peruvian jungles and towns. But it does Lara a disservice, turning her into a deadly mud-camouflaged jungle warrior without much interesting to say, pushed along by a plot that's more concerned with prophecies and supernatural artefacts than with its main character. It is so silly that you can't explain it without sounding ridiculous: Lara is chasing a secret militia organisation across the south American continent to prevent them from stealing a silver box and bringing about the end of the world. Like the first two Tomb Raider games in this modern trilogy by Crystal Dynamics – though this concluding entry was developed by a different studio, Eidos Montréal - Shadow of the Tomb Raider relegates slower-paced exploring, treasure-hunting and puzzling around ancient tombs to make way for high-adrenaline action-movie-style play.
The Dell G3 15 gaming laptop delivers solid performance in a package that's a little less than an inch thick. It's very affordable, too, at just $850 from Dell (at this writing) for the Model 3579 configuration we tested. The G3 15 has its downsides, including a Full-HD display that isn't as bright as we'd like, frame rates that struggle to reach 60 fps on top-tier games, and a weight exceeding five pounds (although it's not as massive as some gaming laptops). But when we compared it to the Acer Nitro 5, another budget gaming laptop we like, with an even lower price point, there was no contest. The G3 15 posted stronger benchmarks and battery life.
If you need proof, look no further than Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($60 on Humble). As the culmination of Lara Croft's reboot trilogy, it falls to Shadow to reveal every secret hinted at by its predecessors, 2013's Tomb Raider and 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider. "Who's behind Trinity?" "What are their goals?" "Why has Trinity spared Lara's life?" So many loose threads, begging to be tied off.