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Amazon's multiplayer Pac-Man game is made for Twitch streaming

Engadget

Amazon Games showed it's a serious competitor with the new shooter Crucible and has an MMO on the way, but its next game is the one that makes the most sense for Twitch streaming. That's because Pac-Man Live Studio is not just a variant of the arcade classic, it's apparently going to be playable directly in its own Twitch channel -- perfect for sharing and interaction between streamers and viewers, or just friends teaming up from different locations. Tonight's announcement describes three modes, with an Endless mode that allows you and friends to team up and try to progress through as many levels as you can -- as long as one person survives, everyone keeps going. A custom Maze Creator will encourage players to make maps and vote up the most popular ones, and Classic mode lets you take on everyone in the world in a battle to stay atop the leaderboard. There's no release date mentioned, but there are a few screenshots of the game that will arrive this June to celebrate Pac-Man's 40th anniversary.


Amazon Crucible: 'Can games be as fun to watch as they are to play?'

BBC News

Think of Amazon and last-minute deliveries, streaming box-sets and Kindles spring to mind - but not necessarily making video games. Now, the online giant wants that to change and is getting its teeth into game development with new release, Crucible. "We want to make games that resonate with a very large audience of players," Mike Frazzini, the vice president of Amazon Games, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. "Ultimately the players will get to decide whether or not we succeed." "We're pleased with the feedback on early play-tests, but ultimately we don't know how good it is until it gets out there."


'Crucible' proves that Amazon is finally serious about video games

Engadget

The e-commerce giant has a foothold in audiobooks, fresh groceries, Netflix-style video streaming and oh-so-much-more. It's no surprise, therefore, that the company wants to widen its influence in the video game industry. The Jeff Bezos empire already owns Twitch, the biggest game live-streaming service, and supports developers with its CryEngine-based Lumberyard platform and AWS server infrastructure. But it's never been a heavyweight game publisher. Multiplayer brawler Breakaway was canceled and The Grand Tour Game was a forgettable TV show tie-in. A lot is riding on Crucible, then.


'Crucible', Amazon's First Big-Budget Game, Arrives Wednesday

WIRED

Amazon enters the crowded games industry in full force Wednesday with its release of Crucible, the first big-budget PC game to come from Amazon Game Studios. Crucible is a promising mainstream introduction for the eight-year-old studio, which until now has had a large question mark hanging over its head. Crucible is a third-person team shooter that takes place on a large junglelike planet in a sci-fi future. As one of a diverse cast of heroes called "hunters," players mine resources from reptilian monsters and go head to head to capture points in their choice of three competitive modes. In a preview session hosted by Amazon Game Studios earlier this month, WIRED spent three hours playing the game and interviewing its designers.


Can't Leave The House? Try Playing Competitive Video Games

NPR Technology

For millions of college students around the country, coronavirus lockdowns effectively canceled their hobbies and extracurriculars. The $20,000 prize pool will go to a SUNY student emergency aid fund, medical research, personal protective equipment and student scholarships. It's sponsored by Extreme Networks, a technology company that provides the technical infrastructure for varsity esports at Canton and other campuses around the country. "We want to reach out and continue to build community," says SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. Over 400,000 SUNY students are now at home, and plans for returning to campuses are very much still in formation.


Hammer Earns NSF CAREER Award

CMU School of Computer Science

Jessica Hammer, the Thomas and Lydia Moran Assistant Professor of Learning Science in the School of Computer Science's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the organization's most prestigious award for young faculty members. The $550,000 award will support her work on creating learning-supportive game-streaming interfaces. Hammer's proposed project will apply her research interests in games and learning theory to the game streaming website Twitch.tv. Many viewers already use Twitch to learn about everything from crafting to coding. To make the platform a more effective learning environment, Hammer will use learning theory to inform the design of a more interactive viewer interface and will create new educational games that take advantage of viewer participation.


Q Learning Intro/Table - Reinforcement Learning p.1

#artificialintelligence

Welcome to a reinforcement learning tutorial. In this part, we're going to focus on Q-Learning. Q-Learning is a model-free form of machine learning, in the sense that the AI "agent" does not need to know or have a model of the environment that it will be in. The same algorithm can be used across a variety of environments. For a given environment, everything is broken down into "states" and "actions."


Turn Your Customers into Your Community

#artificialintelligence

In the early 2000s, facing growing competition from video games and the internet, LEGO found itself on the brink of bankruptcy. The company continued to struggle before staging a remarkable turnaround and surpassing Mattel to become the world's largest toy maker. Central to that transformation was a fundamental shift in how LEGO approached their customers. For more than 75 years of its history, LEGO made toys exclusively for customers in a closed innovation process. But over the last decade, LEGO learned how to build with their fan community.



Vox pop: What's fuelling creativity?

#artificialintelligence

The big battleground today is customer experience. And when new(ish) technologies such as AI and programmatic become part of their lives - creating new behaviours, building opinions, and even helping win elections - the creatives sit up and take note. Therefore, we asked The Drum Network members'what are the top trends in tech fuelling creativity?' Voice-enabled content, like Alexa skills and Flash briefings, will be central to creativity in the next five years. It's easy for brands to start using voice tech in creative ways today – for example by creating and sharing short, informative clips that are relevant to your company, industry and audience, covering anything from new offers and product launches to company or industry-wide announcements. We've recently helped Vodafone Business launch its 5G offering in the UK using a range of sound and audio tactics, including Alexa Flash briefings.