The RGM Weekly News Wrap Up – September 17th

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Having trouble keeping up with the gaming news flying off the RGM news desk? Don’t worry, so am I. To help you stay up to date with the big news stories from throughout the week we have put together a brief re-cap of the stories we know you will want to know about.

 

So to begin with, It’s time we all understood what a ‘Teraflop’ actually is & what that means for Project Scorpio & the evolution of console gaming

If you happen to frequent places like Twitter, Reddit and N4G, hell if you even go 10 foot within the vicinity of a social media outlet, chances are you have been hearing one word repeatedly lately – Teraflop (6 of them to be exact).

Depending on your social media preference and the people who you follow, subscribe to or regularly check content from, you may have a rather convoluted understanding of what a teraflop is and what the announcement that Project Scorpio’s 6 teraflops means to you as a gamer and a potential purchaser.tf

Today I’d like to take the time to explain to you a bit about what this concept means and how it can potentially affect your gaming experience in the future if you find yourself making a purchase based on a number.

So to begin with, let’s take a look at what a teraflop actually is. In technical terms a teraflop is a unit of computing that represents a trillion floating-point operations per second. Now you can see where the ‘flops’ comes into it. The ‘flops’ are a measure of computer performance, which is useful in fields of scientific calculations that make heavy use of floating-point calculations. Lost already? Don’t worry, that’s not information that we really need to bother about, how that effects gaming is explained in easy to understand terms below.

In order to create large and expanding virtual environments for us to game in, developers need to know how many of these teraflops they will have access to as that tells them how much computing power they have at their disposal. As the number of teraflops goes up, so does the number of floating-point operations per second that can be performed.

Just because you can create more floating-point operations though, which enables you to make the large and expanding virtual environments that we talked about above, does not mean that the platform itself necessarily has faster performance. Teraflops do not dictate a platforms performance, they do not make a console into a ‘beast’ simply by there being more of them, however what they do, which is important, is give developers more room to play, expand and create amazing experiences for us gamers.teraflop

Is it better to have more teraflops? Yes, and no. Depending on the accompanying core speed, frame buffer size and speed, the GPU architecture, RAM, core speed, and actually many other factors, the number of teraflops can actually result in slower or lesser performance. However, when the combination is right, more teraflops means more options, better experiences and allows for greater gaming immersion and interactivity, plus it gives developers more freedom in creativity.

What we do know for certain though is that Microsoft are putting a very strong focus on ensuring that their next console sets a benchmark in gaming, that they provide us with the option to buy a console that has 4K performance, won’t divide the current Xbox One community, and enables us to delve into VR experiences. We know that they always provide us with solid infrastructure, so the unknown element of exactly what other components will be present to compliment these 6 teraflops and see them reach their potential should really be of no major concern to console gamers.

Do you have anything to worry about when it comes to teraflops? No. It’s a technical term that has so many different variables attached to it that will decide if the number of them actually improves your gaming experience or not, that the only thing you can do for the time being is sit back and wait for more news to be revealed about the console’s accompanying architecture, and hopefully rest easy with the above statement.

Author: Bella Ryse

 

Next up, Hotel Blind – Now a VR game from Serellan LLC staring one of our very own

Hotel Blind is a little game from developer Serellan LLC, more specifically, Christian Allen – who is most noted for his contributions to the Ghost Recon series, Halo: Reach and 2015’s Epsilon. It’s a fascinating concept that is pretty unique in video games – giving you the perspective of someone who is blind.

It really is what is says it is. The image below is actually a screenshot of the game from the Steam store, and what is great about this is that the game has recently been updated (September 13th) to include support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.hotel-blind

According to an article Christian wrote for Gamasutra, there were a couple of things that lead to the development of the game, starting with another article he wrote for Gamasutra that was titled “10 Easy steps to become an indie dev” which had a lot of criticizing comments on it that he was annoyed about and wanted to respond do, when he heard an interview on the radio…

“The story was an interview on This American Life, called Invisible made Visible, where host Ira Glass talked to his guest Ryan Knighton about his experience in a hotel room. Ryan talked about how, because he was blind, he had to “grope” around the room trying to find the telephone in which to call his wife with. In mapping out the room in his mind by feeling around he failed to follow one wall all the way down which was hiding an alcove holding a table with the phone from him.

“On that drive home, I thought, “This could be a game. I am a scripter, it wouldn’t need art, and I could show people how if you have an idea and a will to execute, you can get started!” . So over the course of the next week or two, I spent a few hours a day with a fresh install of Unreal 4 (chosen because I am very comfortable with it, although it did amuse me that several reviews mention making a game with no graphics in UE4 seemed redundant); building the game from scratch and recording the whole thing.”

Christian also mentions a little something about the Voice Over work for the game…

“Then one day whist participating a podcast with Bella Ryse (now Editor in Chief at Real Game Media and my Brand Manager), she suggested that the game would be more impactful with voice over (VO) direction rather than text popups. I thought that was a great idea and she volunteered to record the VO.”

That’s right, our very own Editor in Chief – Bella Ryse – is the Voice Over artiste (that’s right, Artiste. Not Artist.) for Hotel Blind, I asked her about how she got involved and this is what she had to say.

“I kind of stumbled into doing the voice over work for Hotel Blind through providing my feedback and ideas to Christian during a think tank session we were conducting.” Bella continues by saying, “From the moment I first came across Hotel Blind I could see merit in the project, not only to put focus on raising further awareness of what it is like to be differently-abled, but also from a development stand point for those who are looking to make their first game, or use the Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) for the first time, to see how easily you can take an idea and turn it into a shippable game in UE4.”

Originally the game was not VR compatible, it’s been out since April and only just gotten it’s VR Support. Bella explained how this came about:hotel-blind-logo

“As we progressed through addressing different issues with the build and implementing various upgrades and features to the game, Christian was presented with an opportunity to move Hotel Blind across to HTC Vive. This in itself presented many new and ‘fun’ issues of its own, however the community feedback from both gamers and industry professionals indicated that they wanted a VR version of this game, so off to the drawing board he went.”

Clearly, Christian Allen is a great talent in the video games, and Bella has developed a great personal and professional relationship with him, she finished her chat with me by talking about Mr Allen.

“Working with someone as talented as Christian has been an absolute privilege, there is a certain brilliance to the way his mind works when he is in his ‘scripting god’ mode that is really inspiring. Seeing the passion that Christian has for giving people a voice when they are not being heard, really pushes you to want to contribute and see projects like Hotel Blind be successful.”

Hotel Blind is a wonderful concept, and considering the Paralympics taking place in Rio at the moment it is perhaps incredibly apt that it has recently been updated to include VR Support. Yes it’s a black screen with text and VO prompts from Bella Ryse, but to get even the tiniest inkling of what it is like to be blind, the frustration, the inability to cheat (take a peak if you were blindfolded), and how you can get through the simple tasks of picking up the phone, finding your way to the sink to brush your teeth or even just finding your way out of the room. I say simple tasks – simple and taken for granted tasks for those of us who can see. You can check it out for the low-low price of $1.99 USD on Steam.

Author: Richard A

 

Not forgetting to mention that, Ubisoft giving away The Crew for free as a part of UBI30

As a part of Ubisoft’s 30th Anniversary, the French developers have been giving away some of their classic titles through their Uplay platform on PC. This has been going on since June, and they have so far given away Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Splinter Cell and Rayman Origins and now they are giving away 2014’s The Crew. Here’s the Gameplay Trailer from 2 years ago to remind you a bit about it.

Considering that there is an expansion due for The Crew due out on November 29th, this is very good game to get for the price – and you’ll have to act fast, it’s only free for a limited time until October’s free game is announced, so act now!

Author: Richard A

 

You can’t go past, Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition Announced for North America

Sega has announced confirmed that the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition will be launching in North America on May 31st 2017 and will cost 69.99 USD. Here is what’s included in the collector’s edition via Amazon:soniccollectors

  • Deluxe “SEGA Genesis” style Collector’s Box
  • 12″ Classic Sonic Statue featuring SEGA Genesis Base
  • Flip the power switch to trigger the “SEEGAA” startup audio!
  • Metallic Collector’s Card with Sonic Mania Download Code (digital game code)
  • SEGA Cartridge Cast with Golden Ring

This is a very retro collector’s set as I own the original Genesis myself that is the base for the Sonic statue. It should make for a very welcome addition to any Sega fan’s game library! The collector’s edition is up for preorder now on Amazon for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One!

What do you think of the announced collector’s edition and will you be purchasing it? Leave us your thoughts below or in the RGM forums.

Author: Tom Romanelli

 

Oh dear, South Park: The Fractured But Whole Delayed Until Next Year

There’ll be nothing to open at Christmas if delays don’t stop coming. The new South Park game was set to be released on December 6th.maxresdefault

Ubisoft have just posted on their blog to state: “The development team wants to make sure the game experience meets the high expectations of fans and the additional time will help them achieve this goal.” There isn’t any more information, other than that the publisher hopes to release the game in Q1 of 2017.

The previous game title in the franchise – The Stick of Truth – also suffered a delay in its release, but it turned out to be worth it!

The Fractured But Whole is an action RPG, set in the wonderful world of South Park, written by the show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Author: Emily

 

SO there you have it, a wrap up of some of the interesting items that landed on the RGM news desk this week. While you are here you may also enjoy:

Here are the new games available to purchase, play for free, or pre-order on the Xbox One

5 more games have been added to the backwards compatible library on Xbox One

This week’s Deals with Gold & Spotlight Sales are in – September 13th

Call of Duty has mutated into something unrecognizable…

NESBox Update for Xbox One and Windows 10

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