Last week, news emerged of Nintendo's immediate and longer term plans for the Switch, reported on the Wall Street Journal, no less. The headline made it clear that there'd be no Switch hardware revision this year, with Nintendo's emphasis shifting to USB-C peripherals and its fascinating Labo initiative. However, tucked away at the foot of the report is coverage of a February investor briefing, where Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima talks about his plans of extending Switch's lifespan beyond the five to six year console average, taking the lifespan of the console hybrid up to 2021 at least. To make this work, hardware revisions may be inevitable. The question of when the first of those updates is set to arrive will almost certainly be a matter of economics - specifically, the build cost of the Tegra X1 processor currently used by Nintendo. The chip is mass produced by Taiwainese semi-conductor giant TSMC, and it's based on their 20nm technology. A stepping stone between various 28nm … [Read more...] about In Theory: Can a Switch hardware revision extend its lifespan?
Large scale machine learning
Shaun McCabe is the game director for Ratchet & Clank (PS4), and the production director at Insomniac Games’ studio in Durham, North Carolina. Chad Dezern is the Creative Director for Ratchet & Clank (PS4), and the studio director of the North Carolina location. The two also co-directed Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (2011), Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (2012), Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (2013). *** Sure, it seems obvious now. Of course there should be a Ratchet & Clank game to tie in with the major motion picture. But Ratchet & Clank for the PlayStation 4—designed as a killer one-two punch alongside the film, the ultimate version of an origin story—didn’t always seem like such a great idea. Of course, we were thrilled when we heard that the film was a go. We’ve long felt that Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and their Solana galaxy milieu had all of the action, humor, pathos, and just plain But … [Read more...] about Ratchet & Clank (2016) postmortem
After Nvidia's most recent earnings report, investors appear ready to debate the the impact of cryptocurrency miners on Nvidia's bottom line. Seeking Alpha has two opposing viewpoints, the first is the bearish view that says cryptocurrencies are set to implode and that it will drag down Nvidia's stock (AMD apparently being exempt as it's more diversified with CPU and GPU products), and the second takes exception to that and basically says the crypto fear mongering is making a big deal out of a small part of Nvidia's business. We at PC Gamer are less worried about whether Nvidia, AMD, or Intel make lots of money and are a sound investment, and more interested in getting increasingly powerful computers to run increasingly impressive games. The question for us is, what would happen to Nvidia and AMD if cryptocurrencies suddenly disappeared as a revenue source? Will GPUs suddenly become affordable—and even if cryptos don’t crash, when will we have reasonably priced graphics … [Read more...] about What the fallout of a cryptocurrency collapse might mean for graphics cards
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
This interview is part of our Road to the IGF series. You can find the rest by clicking here. A lonely slugcat has to make its way in a world of predators and lethal storms in Rain World, a game that mixes curiosity, calmness, and terror with its sound design. As players wander this alien world, they'll be met with ambient sound that coaxes out varied emotions or enhances what the player is feeling as they laugh at the slugcat's antics, wish for its survival, and live in fear of the creatures and rain that can snuff out its life in moments. This experience in being a lowly creature in the food chain, along with its world-building musical design, earned Rain World a nomination for Excellence in Audio from the IGF. Gamasutra spoke with Joar Jakobsson and James Therrien of Videocult, developers of Rain World, to talk about creating an audio that takes players to an alien world and makes it feel real. What's your background in making games? Jakobsson: I have … [Read more...] about Road to the IGF: Videocult’s Rain World