Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2013 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, lucasfilm, lucas art, 1313
In a bid to reduce the time it takes to get a movie to screen as well as saving money on locations and sets Lucasfilm is working to modify their game engine to be used to make movies. The 1313 teaser that they showed off last year was certainly of almost cinematic quality and as it turns out that observation is more true that we thought. You can see how they will mix motion capturing with the game engine in the video at the end of The Register's article. We certainly have a long way to go before we finally make it across the uncanny valley, especially for physical effects like water and fire but there is sense in thinking that game engines can progress to being good enough to replace film. The real question is if this technology will be available to all so we can all participate in making films and perhaps make Hollywood obsolete. Maybe plots and character development will make a comeback if everyone can make any special effect they can think of easily and quickly.
"OVER THE NEXT DECADE video game engines will be used in film-making, with the two disciplines combining to eliminate the movie post-production process."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft hooks up with AT&T, gazes into YOUR data center @ The Register
- Crytek wants to use existing open street map data for video game environments @ The Inquirer
- Final preview of IE11 for Windows 7 uncanned @ The Register
- Moving Your ‘Non-Movable’ Android Apps to an SD Card @ Techgage
- DIY Ultrasonic acoustic levitation @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2013 - 04:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, obsidian, gaming, ea
Disney may have passed exclusive rights to EA for the Star Wars franchise but that might not mean the end of the world if Obsidian Entertainment's CEO has anything to say about it. Just as BioWare worked with Obsidian the idea of an EA and Obsidian partnership is not completely off the table. This might not full reassure those who still miss the old days of Black Isle and BioWare games but it seems that there is hope for the future of Star Wars games. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has a quick interview with Feargus Urquhart discussing his efforts to partner up with EA.
"We now live in a world where The Sims: Star Wars or Need for Speed: Tosche Station could become things. I’m not saying it’s likely (though the former would not shock me in the slightest), but Star Wars is under new management, so who knows? For now, all we can say for sure is that BioWare, DICE, and Visceral are actively adding their own chapters to the space opera, but we won’t see results from those initial efforts until at least mid-2014 – and much later, in all likelihood."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Time to Ante Up Again: Poker Night 2 Review @ Techgage
- Bone Hordes: Hellraid Teaser Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Old, Faithful: OpenXcom Is Near-Complete @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Xciting Stuff: X: Rebirth Pathfinding Dev Diary @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wolfenstein Videogame Announcement Bingo @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2012 - 07:14 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Star Wars, pc gaming, gaming, free to play, F2P
Bioware announced on Friday that its Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO is now Free 2 Play. As a result, my productivity over the weekend suddenly dropped dramatically (heh). The subscription option is not gone entirely, but players are now able to create characters up to level 50 without paying anything. This approach is similar to the way World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online handle the Free to Play model.
Installation is simple, and is just a matter of walking through a few standard steps and accepting the EULA. While the initial download for the installer is small, you cannot jump into the game until you download all of the assets -- and Star Wars: The Old Republic is far from a lightweight game with an asset download of about 25GB required to play (plus future smaller patches).
As a free subscriber you get access to the entire game, but there are several other limitations that might just annoy you into purchasing a subscription. If you are vigilant, it is possible not to pay anything. Some of the larger restrictions include XP-rates, number of characters per account, medical probes, reduced reward choices, and not being able to sprint until level 15 of all things (!). After level 10, the rate at which you gain experience points is reduced compared to paying subscribers. As an alternative, you can purchase XP boosters to make up the difference. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase it with in-game currency. At least it’s another one-time charge instead of paying every month for a subscription. The number of characters per account is restricted to two, so you will need to delete one or pony up for a subscription if you want to play as additional classes to get their stories. That’s unfortunate, but not a deal breaker and something that Star Trek Online also does. Medical probes allow you to respawn in the same area as opposed to respawning at a medical center. This would not be so bad if it was not for the biggest issue I have with the Free To Play version: getting around the game takes forever! With a quick travel that has a 2 hour cooldown and not being able to sprint until level 15, it takes a long time to get from mission areas and back again. This became especially evident on Coruscant where walking from the taxis to the senate tower in particular was a slog.
With all the major limitations out of the way, I will say that the game is just as good as my friend has been trying to tell me since launch. In particular, SWTOR is really fun, and I would even go as far as saying it is addicting. While it is not KOTOR 3, it is really close and definitely fills in a gap. It definitely encourages you to go for the subscription option but it is enoyable enough that the restrictions are worth putting up with, however annoying.
When I started out, the combat took a bit of getting used to, as you move around with WASD, aim the camera with the mouse, and also right click to attack. With ranged weapons it will likely not be an issue but when you are running in with a lightsaber, it may take a bit of training before you hurt the enemies more than yourself (heh). I wish that there was a keyboard key to auto-target the nearest enemy, especially since my companion just loves to walk in front of me when I'm trying to target someone with the mouse (KOTOR did combat that way, from what I remember). The force abilities of the Jedi Consular are satisfying indeed.
(Hint, if you go with the Jedi Shadow option as I did when you chose an advanced class, you get a free double bladed lightsaber in a backpack that shows up in your inventory--the game doesn’t make this clear at all and it took me reading on a forum after looking around the game for a couple hours trying to find a double bladed saber that is required for some of the Jedi Consular’s abilities... It ended up being in my inventory the whole time, d’oh).
You can grab the game from Bioware’s SWTOR website. If you are a Star Wars fan, I encourage you to try it out for yourself. The download is huge but ultimately worth it. Just keep an eye on the time as otherwise you may look up and notice it’s 5 AM and you missed all the Black Friday deals!
What do you think of SW:TOR?
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2012 - 07:34 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: video, Star Wars, E3 12, E3
Star Wars 1313 is a mature-themed video game published and developed internally by LucasArts as well as its sister companies: Lucasfilm Animation, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound. The game allows the player to experience being a bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. The demo released at E3 is powered by Unreal Engine 3 and an NVIDIA GPU.
The Star Wars franchise has not been the most beloved lately -- but this might change some minds.
Rumors leading up to E3 have claimed that a game would be announced which allows you to play as Boba Fett. On the opening day LucasArts announced Star Wars 1313 which allows you to take control of an unidentified bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. Geoff Keighley of Game Trailers and Spike TV was shown a demo of the game.
What does this have to do with Nashville, Spike?
There are two possibilities for the identity of the bounty hunter -- and they are not mutually exclusive. Typical speculation is that the bounty hunter will be the premiere star in an upcoming LucasFilm production such as a live action TV show. What I speculate, and the look of the player model supports this, is that the character actually is related to Jango Fett as was previously rumored.
That of course is just speculation and not one that I will flesh out any further.
The demo itself was stated by Mark Rein of Epic Games to be running on Unreal Engine 3. LucasArts has confirmed that the demo is running on a PC with an NVIDIA GPU doing the calculations.
I have not been able to track down release date information or supported platforms but it is pretty safe to say given the demo that it will be available on the PC. I guess that is all I really care about, to be honest.
Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2011 - 03:49 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: The Old Republic, Star Wars, MMO, BioWare
WOW there is a lot of anticipation building up towards EA’s The Old Republic. The MMO Star Wars fans seem to be swooning over after each successive trailer release has released yet another trailer. Made entirely in-game (with the likely exception of a few title sequences) the new trailer shows the breadth of the MMO: Ton-Ton to Wookie; Droid wars to Space battles. Then, with a final unexpected jolt of music, it is finally revealed to be released December 20th, 2011 in North America and December 22nd, 2011 in Europe. And the floor be once again littered with passed out piles of PC Gamers.
Those three Jawa got messed up!
While I am personally not an MMO player it looks to me like BioWare will do Star Wars fans justice with this offering. Few companies can spread their focus and make massive games like BioWare and that is one of the main attributes required to recreate an entire world for many different viewpoints to explore. Many were nervous about the fate of The Old Republic; BioWare was very cagey with disclosing their release dates which led to speculation of behind the scene troubles developing a game as massive as they promised. Now that a date is official and is as nearby as it is, it seems like BioWare was simply just keeping the mantra: “It is done when it is done.”
Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2011 - 03:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TacTile, Star Wars, gaming
Look at those kids, they aren't even smiling, yet they are controlling a giant fleet battle in the Star Wars Universe by touch! Arthur Nishimoto was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and this is what he designed as part of his course. It is hard to say exactly what the pop up menus signify exactly, but don't you desperately want to find out? You can glean quite a bit about the Fleet Commander game and the interface called TacTile which was used at his personal site here. The full size HD YouTube link also contains interesting comments, an almost unique occurance for that site.
"It's probably the level of concentration required, but these kids do not look nearly as excited about what they are doing as I think they should.
For the last two years, University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student Arthur Nishimoto has been working on this incredible-looking video game based around a multi-touch interface."
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- 10 Clever Indie Games Ready to Shine at PAX @ Wired
- Alice: Madness Returns @ Bjorn3D
- Duke Nukem Forever Benchmarks : 3D Vision Tested on all NVIDIA 500 Series Video Cards @Hi Tech Legion
- Leaks, riots, and monocles: how a $60 in-game item almost destroyed EVE Online @ Ars Technica
- Dungeon Siege 3 (PC) Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition @ HEXUS
- Battlefield 3 PC specs detailed @ HEXUS
- Saints Row 3 Loses Last Vestiges Of Sanity @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dawn Of War 3: “Custom Mega Armies" @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Cthulhu Saves The World @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- inFamous 2 - PS3 @ HEXUS
- Hands-on with Xbox 360 and Kinect games @ The Inquirer
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3DS @ Tweaktown
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