Friday, March 23, 2018

Weekly Link Round Up

Yea! Another week on the books. It's time for another round up! A gathering of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet! Here's what we've got on the list this week:

- While Epic Games is ruling the world with Fortnite right now, they showed off something way flashier at GDC this week: Siren. Teaming up with 3Lateral, Cubic Motion, Tencent, and Vicon, Siren captures real-time character animations, rendering them almost instantly. This is all powered with the Unreal Engine. And the results are creepy realistic. This is probably the cleanest demo we have seen so far, with real-time rendering of a digital character. The person's hair and clothing could use some work, as they feel a bit too animated. But the skin, facial expressions, and textures are insane. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the applications of this for future games and films would be staggering.

- Endadget journalist Jessica Conditt toured GDC this week and found an anomaly among the reporters that hasn't happened before. Someone finally asked "[h]ow come there are no women?" Icing on the cake is that this occurred at an Ubisoft promo event. The same company that said making a female lead in Assassin's Creed would prove to be too difficult as more time would be required to animated the character. This may seem minor, but few people question the disproportionate gender balance in games at conferences. Someone did. That's a step forward, as tiny as it is.

- Gaming with a disability has always been a challenge. While the industry is getting better at making games more accessible, there are still those that struggle with basic needs - such as making text easier to size/read for the visually impaired (Monster Hunter: World, I'm looking at you).
EA Sports Accessibility Lead Karen Stevens spoke at GDC this week about how the blind made up a significant number of their player base, and what they are doing to help support them. We can trash EA as much as we want, but sometimes they do good things.

- Kotaku would like to remind you that drinking in video games sucks and is usually unrealistic. Enjoy!

- Clunker Junker is a game you'll never be able to play in you home, unless you have a lot of money. But this premise sounds entertaining as hell. A co-op spaceship sim that falls apart the more you play. What makes it fun to watch is that the interactive nature is beyond the screen. There are boxes, ports, and various objects you have to fix as your ship is damaged. Click the link to see the video.

- Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon, spoke with CNBC at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong about the single most-important aspect to have with a game: longevity of players. If you were looking for a ground-breaking thought here, it's not going to happen.

- Mashable decided to throw something to gamers. Here's a video of a dog reacting to someone playing Call of Duty. That's all.

- Finally, for those gamers who are fashion forward and have the money to spend, Bloomingdale's has a collection of retro-gamewear. While a number of the pieces are Mario-themed, you can find a variety of sweaters, shirts, pants, swim trunks, and inflatable swimming tubes decked-out in gaming goodness. How about a Yoshi baseball cap for $80? No really. Look. It's $80. Yea capitalism?

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