Alolan Meowth is brilliantly haughty - the way cats can be, when they sit in judgement awaiting food when you're still lying in bed. It's one of my favourite Alolan designs - the tropical takes on popular Pokémon which were added to Pokémon Go around midnight last night. And so, shortly after midnight last night, I was delighted to see a friend had just gotten an Alolan Meowth of his own. But not via a Twitter post or gloating Whatsapp message - I saw this via the new friends section within Pokémon Go itself, where we'd just finished adding each other. Pokémon Go has always been a game about collecting things and over the past six months with the introduction of weather-based gameplay, quests and yet more Pokémon it has only gotten better. But Pokémon Go previously lacked a direct way to connect with everyone else out there playing, doing the same things - leaving its dedicated community blind without the aid of external services like Discord or IM. … [Read more...] about Two years on, Pokémon Go’s new friend system refreshes the game
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LOOKING for a cheap 4K TV for the World Cup 2018? Or have you got money to burn and want a top model? We've hand-picked the best Ultra HD televisions for any budget. It's a great time to buy a new TV too: there's loads of 4K content available to watch these days, and it's cheaper than ever to pick up a high-spec television. 4K TVs – what you need to know Before we dive into our recommended models, here are some key terms you need to know about first: 4K / Ultra HD / UHD – These terms all mean the same thing. They mean that a TV screen has four times the number of pixels as a regular Full HD television. So if you've got a TV show or movie that's been filmed in 4K (from Netflix or Amazon Video, for instance), then you'll be able to watch it in its "native" resolution i.e. the high quality it was originally filmed at. HDR – This stands for High Dynamic Range, and it simply means that a piece of video has improved contrast (so better lights and darks) and a wider range of … [Read more...] about Best 4K TVs – we reveal the best cheap 4K televisions for any budget for the World Cup 2018
Microsoft is on the prowl. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in November of last year that the Redmond behemoth is looking to improve its ability to "create content"—which is to say, to increase its first-party games output. One quick-and-easy way of doing that is to hoover up studios or publishers, and rumors of potential buyouts, some wild and others more grounded, quickly surfaced following the proclamation. Microsoft's primary goal is to make up ground against Sony, whose first-party oriented approach to the PlayStation 4 console has served it well. But Microsoft's "ecosystem" approach to the Xbox makes the matter relevant to those of us who call PC home too. Microsoft has had mixed luck with internal studios—for every Turn 10, a Lionhead—and so watching how the future unfolds for whichever studio ends up in its grasp will be interesting in its own right. But any big studio purchase could send massive ripples throughout gaming: Imagine, if you will, Cyberpunk 2077 as a … [Read more...] about What game studios might Microsoft actually buy?
It's that time again: to prepare for the big GDC 2018 Level Design Workshop on Tuesday, March 20th, a handful of the speakers wanted to warm up by chatting (via email) about some of the finer points of level design. Gathering question from the community, they shared some interesting insights, experiences, and learnings in a shared document that's reprinted below for your reading pleasure. The participants in this exchange, in no particular order, are: Robert Yang, NYU video game professor and indie game maker Blake Rebouche, senior quest designer at Guerrilla Games Nina Freeman, level designer at Fullbright Steve Gaynor, game designer and Fullbright cofounder Heather Robertson, indie game maker Mike Bithell, game designer and Bithell Games founder Christopher Totten, game designer and founder of Pie for Breakfast Studios David Shaver, game designer at Naughty Dog Nathan Fouts, game designer and founder of Mommy's Best Games [more detailed bios for everyone are at the … [Read more...] about GDC 2018 Level Design Workshop: An expert roundtable Q&A
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history