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Terra Nil review – restore nature, and with it your hope for the future

The Guardian

In the beginning, there is nothing before you but cracked, brown earth. This landscape of toxic soil and dried-out riverbeds is yours to restore in Terra Nil. But the ostensibly weighty task is made satisfyingly easy for players – all you need to do is to place a windmill on a stone surface, where it will provide machines with electricity. The toxin scrubber and irrigator are crucial, whether you're restoring a continental zone, a polar zone or a piece of tropical rainforest. The scrubber detoxifies the space around it, getting it ready for new life to spring forth; the irrigator provides the crucial moisture necessary to kickstart that process, at least until you've got the tools to make it rain.

How AI will revolutionize video games


The kind of AI that controls non-player characters (NPCs) in most games is more like an intricate set of rules, manually written by the game designers. That said, in recent years, the videogame industry has woken up to the transformative potential of AI, with major studios and games companies, like Ubisoft or Electronic Arts, investing heavily in research & development. EA devoted a lot of time and resources to make bots in, the poorly received, Battlefield 2042 as realistic as possible. But the AI enemies ended up switching between incompetent and unbeatable, leading to considerable backlash from fans of the series. But fine-tuning NPC difficulty and making them feel'right' to play against isn't an exact science. Aside from NPCs, AI has a myriad of beneficial applications in gaming.

Game Mechanic Alignment Theory and Discovery Artificial Intelligence

We present a new concept called Game Mechanic Alignment theory as a way to organize game mechanics through the lens of environmental rewards and intrinsic player motivations. By disentangling player and environmental influences, mechanics may be better identified for use in an automated tutorial generation system, which could tailor tutorials for a particular playstyle or player. Within, we apply this theory to several well-known games to demonstrate how designers can benefit from it, we describe a methodology for how to estimate mechanic alignment, and we apply this methodology on multiple games in the GVGAI framework. We discuss how effectively this estimation captures intrinsic/extrinsic rewards and how our theory could be used as an alternative to critical mechanic discovery methods for tutorial generation.

Netflix plans to add roughly 40 more titles to its mobile game library this year


Netflix has no plans to slow down its gaming ambitions any time soon, as it wants to make sure it has at least one game that each of its more than 230 million subscribers can enjoy. The company's library of mobile games now has 55 titles following the recent additions of Valiant Hearts: Coming Home and the spellbindingly dystopian Highwater. There's much more to come in 2023, as Netflix plans to add around 40 more games throughout the year. The company has revealed a few of those titles, including reverse city-builder Terra Nil (March 28th) and Paper Trail, which will see you folding parts of the world to solve puzzles. Netflix has also struck a deal with Ubisoft for three exclusive games.

'Downwell' creator debuts new game 'Poinpy' on Netflix


Netflix users can check out yet another mobile game as part of their subscription starting today. Poinpy is the latest title from Ojiro Fumoto, the creator of indie classic Downwell. Fumoto and Team Poinpy have eschewed the pixelated look of Downwell for an art style that's much more cute and colorful. You'll bounce your way up the screen and avoid or take out enemies. Players will need to collect food to feed a blue beast that's chasing them.