Gaming

Unity Gaming Engine’s “Adam”.

Modern film making is less than 100 years old. Think about this, the first movie with synced sound is 89 years old. The first feature length color motion picture dates to 1914. In 102 years the industry has seen massive changes in technology and the way film making is created. Looking to the future you have to think about how gaming works, realistic images get rendered on screen in real-time with real world dynamics.

Recently Unity showed a demo of what the future might hold for the film industry. Not all of it, but definitely some of it. Using just $3000.00 of hardware, running Unity’s gaming engine, they rendered out the video below to a live audience in real-time. The quality is pretty damn amazing especially when you think back to what gaming was like just ten years ago.

Unity’s film The is ADAM, and it’s a multi-part series to be released over the course of the next few months. Each segment is being developed to test each beta release of the Unity gaming engine and additional features, quality, and improved render capabilities. It is all part of a way to demo the new Unity 5.4 and the cinematic sequencer currently being developed, along with an experiments in implementing of real-time believable volumetric area lighting. The Unity demo shows off the physics simulation tool CaronteFX and the quality of the natural physics it produces.

Pretty impressive stuff. The full length short will be shown at Unite Europe 2016 in Amsterdam.

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Put Your Happy Goggles On.

Pretty much everyone knows what a McDonald’s Happy Meal is. What most people don’t know is, while he didn’t invent the concept, Bob Bernstein of Bernstein Rein advertising in Kansas City polished the concept into what it became. That however has little to do with this post. The video below is for “Happy Goggles” McDonald’s foray into the world of VR and an attempt to sell more Happy Meals. The concept is pretty straight forward, the box has a lens kit instead of a toy. The box becomes the viewer, that your kids use to interact with a game designed for McDonalds. Right now it is being tested in Sweden, but I have a feeling they will roll this out worldwide if it shows any kind of success. The link to the website above goes to a fairly slick site that explains how it works and shows the game in action.

MPC and Adam Berg’s Opener for Forza Horizon 2 is Pretty Mind Blowing.

Keeping with the previous post from today, the video below blends CG and live action so well you really can’t tell which is which at times. The live action footage was shot in Italy over a 3 day period by Adam Berg and MPC for the Xbox game Forza Horizon 2. This 90 second spot has a huge crew, and obviously a huge budget and it shows. It’s a really well done action packed spot. The MPC VFX Team of 22 people did an amazing job blending the VFX into the live action footage. All in all they created 3D scenes with the tilt-shift effects, compositing depth passes, crafting over 40 matte paintings and adding CG racetracks, cars, and explosions. Once again technology moves forward and makes film and video work even better.

“Ori and The Blind Forest”.

I’m not much of a computer or console gamer any more. I used to play a few games on the PC but I really haven’t played much of anything beyond my phone or iPad in quite awhile. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the art, craft, and storytelling that go into making a game that really stands out. With that said I might have to pick up “Ori and The Blind Forest” when it comes out this fall, if for nothing else than the beautiful artwork it contains.

Four years in the making, and advances in computer technology have allowed Moon Studios, and Microsoft to create something that really is visually stunning. A platform game that pays homage to 8 and 16 bit games of the past, “Ori and The Blind Forest” truely raises the bar visually to an entirely new level. Below are images, and the official trailer for the game. The look of the video is what the actual game will look like, and frankly I think it is pretty exciting.

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Over the past four years, Moon Studios has been feverishly working on Ori and the Blind Forest.

At Moon Studios, we all grew up playing games like Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past, etc. and with Ori, we wanted to recapture the magic of these games.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a bit of a genremix – It’s a ‘Metroidvania‘, but with a stronger platforming focus and light RPG elements, all set within an atmospheric world.

Naturally we tried to push 2D gaming forward on all fronts: We tried to make every single screen in Ori look like a painting come to life while making sure that the controls are still pixel-perfect.

We’ve been taking lessons from games like Super Metroid and A Link to the Past in order to really bring back this sensation you had when you played the games Nintendo was building in the early 90s. The level of polish and the execution of design in these games – we feel – was extraordinary. We felt strongly that children and adults today should get that same feeling again. Remember the first time you played Zelda or Metroid when you were a child? We hope that years from now people will also remember the first time they got to play Ori and the Blind Forest.

We also push the story angle really hard. We explored some new ways of telling stories within 2D games and we’ve been heavily influenced by Ghibli/Miyazaki as well as by great animated films of the 90s like The Lion King or The Iron Giant.

Ori is a bit of a coming-of-age story. The player is put into the role of a forest spirit, who – over the course of his journey – has to find out more about his role within the world he’s living in. We tried to create memorable characters in an atmospheric world and to craft a story that players will truly care about!

“Monument Valley”

The game Monument Valley from ustwo was officially released today for the iPad and iPhone. It is a surreal exploration through MC Escher like architecture and geometry featuring a beautiful princess that you navigate silently through the space. As you wander through the minimalist 3D world you discover hidden paths, unfolding staircases, optical illusions, and mysterious crow people. The game, has a really nice look to it, with semi flat graphic design applied to an isometric space. Described as “art” Monument Valley is a game of moving experiences that in many ways moves beyond the traditional gaming experiences.  It is immersive in the sense that you can easily get lost in the visual space and experience of playing the game itself.

“Every screen of Monument Valley has been carefully considered as graphic design, so that each one could be printed and framed. Players can enter ‘Camera Mode’ to zoom in and compose their own take on the artwork, which they can then save or share with friends.”

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“We’ve focused our attention on the design of game alongside a lot of user testing, and we really hope Monument Valley is what people are looking for right now – a premium game of the highest artistic quality offering players a satisfying journey from start to end.” Neil McFarland, director of games at ustwogames 

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I’m Addicted to “Dots”.

iconDots is a nice little gaming app that was developed by New York based, Betaworks One. The game is very simple; try and connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines in 60 seconds, in 30 moves, or you can play it in endless mode.

Dots interface is extremely clean and simple and has a social media connection allowing you to connect to your friends via Twitter or Facebook to see your friends high scores. Weekly score boards reset every Sunday, giving you a chance to make it to the top of the list and enhance the competition across your network.

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Since it’s release Dots has jumped to the number one mobile game in twenty countries, with good reason. The simple clean interface and engaging user experience makes Dots highly addictive.

Public or Private?

Here is an interesting little game from BMW Guggenheim Lab. The game Public/Private explores the way we view the world around us and asks how often we seek out private space, or look for public engagement. It takes about 60 seconds to go through and allows you to share your results with the rest of the world via your favorite social media outlet. As of five minutes ago, I was the only person in the Kansas City area that had participated.

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