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GDC: amBX chief talks consoles, GDC and why PC gaming is “the testbed”

Monday, 25 February 2008 12:47 GMT By Patrick Garratt

jocooke.jpg

While catching up with the entire games community at GDC ’08, we took some time out to talk about where Philips have now got to with their amBX lighting and multimedia feedback technologies, first revealed to the public in April 2005. The amBX stand dominated the main show floor at GDC ’08, and was showing off a number of the games now enabled with the tech, each one providing a contrasting visual and tactile experience.

We spent some time playing Quake 4, which was backed up with four ambient lighting units (one of which doubled up as speakers) four fans for “blast” type feedback, and a rumbling keyboard wrist pad. Looking at all this from a distance, it’s easy to dismiss until you have a play with the tech itself. After a few minutes the ambient effects do seem to tune you into the game, and the various feedback pulses seem quite natural. Philips are doing something quite unusual with this project, and it soon becomes clear that this testbed of technologies for PC gamers is actually part of a much bigger picture for what the tech giant want to achieve. We talked to Philips amBX’s chief marketing officer Jo Cooke, and asked her what the company that invented the lightbulb was up to in the gaming space.

Full interview after the link.

videogaming247: Let’s start with a bit of background and context for all this. You’re spearheading something much larger with amBX aren’t you?

Jo Cooke: Well, yes. When this was at the research and development stage we hadn’t decided which market we were going to introduce it into. As a technology it can be applied in so many places; think about lighting, for example. It can be used to control many different applications to do with LED lighting and solid-state lighting. You can do so much more with this kind of technology than just lighting your room, and the minute you can do more with your light you’ll also need a way of being able to control it. That can get really complex, and that’s where amBX can be applied.

But you also need a context for this, so let’s put it in the context of the technology you use to entertain yourself, or even the context of a business where you want to use lighting to highlight a different product by the hour – with amBX you can easily rotate lighting around as you require, you can shine a light on particular products. This can be set up in one store and then distributed via a PC to others. There are huge possibilities.

The most important thing, however, was how consumers would experience this right now, rather than in some theoretical “home of the future”. The one market in which they were already using controllers and output devices to enhance their experience was the games market.

One of themes at this conference seems to be a focus on output within games – both in technology and design, with developers concerned about how to allow gamers to feel the effects of their actions and “own” the output…

Yes, and for years the focus has been on input. It’s been about how you can control what is going on in the game. I think that’s part of the drive towards realism, which has resulted in some complex games, but not necessarily in a more immersive experience. Realism does mean immersion – think about how music creates environment, mood, feeling or atmosphere, how you can change everything with a soundtrack. AmBX is more than a soundtrack, it’s an ambient soundtrack. It’s a…

Visiontrack?

Cooke: Well there’s more than that. We could call it Sensory Surround, rather than Surround Sound. It’s an experience track. It can be light, but it can be rumble. It can be anything else really, all delivered through the script. Whatever can deliver an experience can be scripted.

How did you go about introducing this technology to the game developers who now support it?

Initially it was it just a case of getting hold of developers and putting them in front of it, like here at GDC. The first session was here a few years ago, when we had the first demos behind closed doors. (We were still working on how to protect the the technology at that stage, and we didn’t want everyone to know what we were doing.) But every time we show developers what we do, their brain goes into overdrive. They’re often unsure about how the technology applies to them, or whether they or their audience is ready for it, but the interest is there. Now that we have end consumer product it’s much easier to demonstrate.

We also found that people have always asked, “When can I get this in my living room?” That’s out long term vision too, for the system in your living room or your kitchen to integrate. We want you to walk into a room with your PSP and have the lighting join in with the experience of the game – that idea is so compelling.

We truly believe that gamers are the people looking for this kind of immersion. When we come to the point where we can do this stuff then we know the audience is there. It hasn’t been hard to convince developers about the long term.

Do you have a vision for how this tech is going to turn up in things we’re going to buy? I mean, this isn’t just going to be confined to Philips’ own kits, is it?

When we were first making the devices, these Heath Robinson devices we created to demonstrate it, the R&D guys have a vision of how to demonstrate the concept with actually having the hardware – the were painting lightbulbs and hooking up fans. They knew it was a good direction to move in within our industry. The original devices have to be sold internally to our other groups within Philips – the lighting group within Philips is looking at this now. There’s no reason why those beautiful lights you buy for your home can’t communicated with your PS3 or your PSP. It’s not much of a leap to have this stuff join in with entertainment. It’ll be an absolute lighting solution, either as something built into the fabric of a new home, or something installed in an older home. We have an agnostic view about connectivity too – it could just be a USB plugin device on your PC, it could even be found in any number of wireless devices.

We have found other applications for the scripts too, like the force feedback vest and helmet that is being demonstrated here, or even other rumble apps. There are some hi-tech theatrical applications that can be installed in the home and controlled by amBX, like big, rumbling subwoofers. We use all this in our demos.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with David Soul [Starsky and Hutch - Ed] a few years ago, where he was telling me that theatre had to change and embrace lighting and audio tech to compete with cinema and videogames…

Exactly! We’ve been talking to planetarium companies, because we can solve so many of their problems. They can just write amBX scripts to make the planetarium lighting entirely dynamic. We could even do that in the home – we’re not dictating the physical set up or environment. What amBX does is recreate what is scripted based on what you’ve got hooked up to it. If you’ve got the fans hooked up to have an explosion come from behind you, then it can recreate that, if you haven’t got that installed it won’t do it. We’re not saying “you must put this here and that there”. We’re expecting game developers might say “this might work best with x and y” but we’re not going to dictate what people buy for amBX setups.

We think there will be a time when more and more devices have amBX technology installed – TVs and so on.

So all this works on PC now, but what’s going to happen with console set ups?

We’re working with developers at the moment to see how amBX can integrate into games on the next gen consoles, but we’re also talking to the hardware manufacturers to see exactly what kind of devices they’re thinking of producing for these gamers. Setting up on a PC is one thing, but on a console it’s quite different – you’re not sat at a desk.

Also, PC gamers spend more on these kind of products. They’re already buying 5.1 speakers and graphics cards. They’re the kind of consumers who take on these technologies quite readily. Console gamers spend less.

But they’ll spend on a great big TV?

Cooke: Yes, they’ll buy an expensive TV and that’s a natural progression. They may well spend it if they think there’s an additional use – not just gaming, but movies and music. It’s a bigger picture – the ambi-lights allow you to look at a bigger picture. We’ll be creating a product that allows ambi-light presentations alongside your photo slideshows, for example. It won’t just be about gaming on PC.

And there’s more than just fans and lights here, isn’t there? I’ve heard tell of smellovision, or dry ice machines?

We’ve employed a lot of technology that already exists in the market place – misters, for example – and simply used our drivers to control them. We have used dry-ice machine in big demos, and if a dry-ice machine manufacturers wanted to create a device that used amBX devices alongside the dry-ice all they would have to do is license the technology from us.

So amBX is really just a way of centralising control over loads of different output devices?

Absolutely. We call it an “enabling technology”. Hardware companies who want to exploit the connection between games, movies and music won’t have to do this extra work each time, because there’s this connective layer of our middleware. We do all the work for them, all they have to do is create good products. If something is amBX enabled, it’ll work with any amBX content. It has opened a whole new realm of possibility for peripheral manufacturers.

How useful is GDC to you?

Cooke: It’s one of the best places for us to demonstrate amBX. It’s quite an intimate environment to be able to get to show what we can do to developers and publishers, and much more useful that some of the bigger shows. We do a lot of business, and each year at GDC we find ourselves making progress. It’s really fruitful to be able to work with those companies, like Ubisoft with Far Cry 2, who really take pride in being at the forefront of technology. You can see the results in the reactions of the people coming off the stand.

Do you really think the PC hardware market is big enough to showcase what you want to talk about with amBX? We seem to have covered a lot of ground outside just PC gaming…

I do, yes. It is enough for the moment. For us as a business it won’t be enough, we need the living room, the home cinemas, but right now we have to focus ourselves on one thing. We can’t run around saying “oh look at all the possibilities”, we just have to get this one thing right. The PC gaming industry is small enough that we can get around and talk to everyone, and big enough that we know we’re making a difference. Long term we’ll expand much more.

PC gaming is just the testbed…

Yes, PC gaming is the testbed. We can get results right away because it’s an open platform. The consoles are closed off, so it’s quite difficult for us to have any control on putting new software on them until we’ve demonstrated what we can do. On the PC we can constantly produce new technology and give it straight to the consumers. PC gamers will play with this stuff and tell us what they think.

Go and look at our forums and you’ll see this hardcore PC gaming base who are active with the amBX technologies. They’re telling us what they want, they’re modding the technologies and testing the drivers. They’re brilliant as opinion formers and in telling us what people want. Ultimately though, we will need to access a much bigger audience.

PC gaming isn’t going to go away, and for us it’s the audience we approached by default, rather than by design. They’re a forgiving audience, because they’re used to software and hardware that doesn’t quite work, basically. They’re tolerant because even the biggest names in software to PC that doesn’t quite work. Imagine if you released a TV that didn’t quite work properly and you have to work around the glitches – you just wouldn’t accept that.

The PC is the format for the tinkerers, it’s true.

And there’s lots of tinkering potential with amBX. We’ve had pictures turn up on the forums where people have bolted in their own huge fans in places of our ones, great big things that will blast them out of their seat! PC users are looking at what we’ve done, finding uses for it, and then coming back with suggestions for other applications.

We’ve just installed some tech to allow people to use the PC with media players and applications like Google Earth. We want to release this to web developers, so that there can be scripts for the website. Bright sunshine on your weather reports, or a breeze from the fans if it’s going to be windy. You simply can’t do that on the consoles yet. We have a hardcore, educated customer base that will pioneer how amBX is used.

Our money man said he was looking forward to the day when he could be sitting at his amBX-enabled PC and he could tell when our share price went up just from the reaction of the lighting units. The guys said, “well if he wants that we’ll write the script for him”, so now he has his amBX connected to the Philips share-price reader – only he has it – and now when the shares go up it gets all bright and beautiful, and when it goes down the lights dim, the fans kick in, all to make it a little more miserable. That’s such a simple application, and it’s the kind of thing that we want to end consumers to write themselves.

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3 Comments

  1. lightsaber

    We sure are at the beginning of the road for game peripherals.

    Ambient light for PC was first pioneered in 2001, much before Philips, and have since grown to incorporate advanced AI to recognize in game events for translation into real world effects (works with any game or movie).

    You can find a lower cost and more open and flexible system at http://www.a-r-e.nl

    It also comes with free SDK, ambient light alerts for events, dynamic color show for static images, virtual color landscapes for mouse movements, empathic text to color translation, and even documentation on how to connecting it to any DC device of your choice.

    Worth checking out; I have their system driving my living room HDTV, gaming station, and MAME arcade cabinet.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. patlike

    I can honestly say I’ve been impressed by amBX, and I genuinely do think it’ll work. There have been a lot of doubters, but spending time with the team’s a real eye-opener. They’re really not messing about, the it does have a very positive effect on play. I think we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of it as we go along.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. smokewithoutfire

    The one thing I’ll say about AMBX is that they’re still here! It was easy to laugh and scoff at the beginning but ppl are actually buying this kit so there’s def a market out there. And I’ve heard a rumour about Rock Band releasing some Xbox lighting and smoke kit. Unless the big corporates have gone mad, Philips, EA and Microsoft must know something we don’t.

    #3 7 years ago

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  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]