Posts tagged PS4

Miegakure – A 4D Game In A 3D World

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3D video games are a fairly new concept, only really appearing in good 3D for the past 5 years or so. For most of video game history, games have been 2D, most likely a side-scrolling platformer or a top-down RPG such as the old Zelda game. But with recent indie game developers stretching the bounds of what we think of as a video game, such as thatgamecompany and No Man’s Sky, the now popular 3D aspect of video games have been broken. Miegakure, an in-development game for PS4, tries to twist and break your mind by bringing a fourth dimensional aspect into a three dimensional game, just as you would bring a three dimensional aspect into a two-dimensional game. Confused? Let me explain.

When you think about it, you can’t really bring four dimensions into our current three. It’s simple enough, just try it. First, stretch your left arm out at a 90-degree angle from your body and under your arm. Two right angles. Then do the exact same with your left arm, and also have it be 90 degrees from your arm already out. In effect, you’ll now have something like this:

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Keeping in mind that X, Y and Z continue on forever, try to add one more line (or just do it with your leg) to is 90 degrees from all other lines. You can’t? No surprise here, since it’s not possible in our three spatial dimensions.  And Miegakure doesn’t break that seemingly obvious rule. But what it does is get as close to 4D as you can in a 3D world. In the novel Flatland, written by Edwin Abbot Abbot in 1884, a 2D square is living his normal life, only seeing a thin sliver of a line to tell where everything around him is. A side-view of his paper-thin world. But when he gets pulled out of Flatland by a sphere, he sees all that he was missing in his 2D world. Miegakure uses that logic, but instead of a 2D slice of a 3D world, it’s a 3D slide of a 4D world!

Mind boggling. I know. Just watch the video below to understand it even in a slightly comprehensible way.

What’s amazing about this game is that even though it reaches into a real that humans can’t even begin to understand, it runs just as smoothly and easily as any old 2D platformer. The inspiration for the creation of Miegakure came from the developers wanting to create a game that not only logs an object in two points, for two 2D, or even three points, for 3D; they wanted to create a game that logged an objects points with 4 different variables. Just the idea is insane, but the fact that they are pulling it off it even more astounding.

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We have already reached a point where computer’s understanding, at least from a purely mathematical and logical standpoint, is ahead of ours, which is both scary and exciting to see what will come next.

Brady Haran did an interesting interview with the creator of Miegakure for his channel Computerphile, which you can watch below:

TOTW: There’s No Words To Describe The Game Journey

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Over the past couple articles for the thatgamecompany Developer Showcase, I have genuinely praised thatgamecompany in many aspects, but their most recent game Journey leaves me pretty much speechless. Everything that the company tried to implement in their other game such as Flower and flOw lead up to this game. The beauty of the graphics, the seamlessness of the gameplay, the feeling of wonder you get when exploring and discovering everything the game has to offer on your own is all packed in this short masterpiece of a game.

Originally released for PS3, now PS4 in 2012, Journey has already won over the hearts of many reviewers, a large group of them putting the game in as one of the best of the decade. This claim is hard to refute, because although the game is short, and only may take you 2-3 hours to complete, the whole experience is one that is found in no other game.

The game, sticking with thatgamecompany’s prime qualities, has pretty much no direction, either at the start or during the game. You are humanoid-type thing, covered in a middle eastern/southeast asian cloth outfit. On your head there is a little cap covering all of your face, and under that is a long, flowing maroon cloak. A scarf is wrapped around your neck, which is actually a very important part of the game. A big part of the game is anonymity. So potentially, when you meet another person as a multiplayer option during the game, although you have no clue who that person is and have no way of finding out as all the “speaking” does is release a musical note. This part of the game is remind us that we’re all human, so we can all work with each other to a common goal no matter what gender, race, anything.

Journey

At the start of the game, you are in a desert. Stretching out as far as you can see, the desert is stunning, completely seamless with your character as you walk through the sandy void. When you walk, sand flies up around your feet just as it does in real life. For a game to be an immersive experience, when you get lost in the storyline and graphics, every element need to be believable. The sky, the sand, the walk animation, the jump animation. Everything. And Journey did exactly that.

The controls are very simple, as in many other thatgamecompany games. Just the main left, right, forward and backwards. There are only two other abilities that you can perform: jump and speak. Jump is pretty self-explanatory, and speak is really just “saying” a musical note, which can unlock certain element in the game when used at the right time.

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Of course, the game has more of a point than just walking around in the admittedly super cool desert. As you walk to the top of a hill at the start of the game, you will see a big mountain in the distance, with a big beacon of light at the top. That is your goal. To get to the top of the mountain, you will go through lots of challenges and puzzles, you will find out that you can slide down sand dunes, and that you can jump incredibly high depending on how long your scarf is and if there are these odd flying cloth creatures nearby. The whole game is full of surprises, little cool abilities or places you can explore.

All the way through, Journey has the same artistic feel that has astounded many people around the globe. The style isn’t quite minimalistic, which has been very popular in video games recently, nor is it realistic, but something in between. thatgamecompany really got it right when they did the aesthetics for the game. The middle eastern feel, the sort of minimal design, and the beautiful soundtrack all mash perfectly together to make one great artistic piece. If you haven’t already heard the soundtrack, I highly recommend checking it out below.

Artistically, Journey is beautiful. The gameplay is seamless and fun. The story is captivating. Journey is a perfect example of where modern video games are headed. The diversity of how you play games will broaden, with new gameplay alternatives coming from young, inspired developer teams I might cover in the future, such as thatgamecompany. I highly rate Journey as one of the best games of the year, maybe even decade, and thatgamecompany is producing some amazing games, and I hope to play some more of their games in the future.

To go back and read all the other articles in this week’s Developer Showcase – thatgamecompany, here’s a list of all the articles and a link to them:

Developer Showcase Introduction Article: thatgamecompany

Evolve And Grow Your Micro-Organism In flOw

The Relaxing World Of The Game Flower

TOTW: XBOX One Hopes To Be Your Only Entertainment System

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Finally! After the release of the PS4, we were all waiting for the release of the next generation of the XBOX 360. Yesterday, Microsoft did just that. There was a lot of speculation of what it would be called, what it’s features would be and what it would look like. What it turns out to be is the multi-functional XBOX One.

The XBOX One Along With The Mandatory Kinect

There are many new and updated things about the XBOX One. One thing is the voice control. Yes, everything is going to be hands-free very soon. For the XBOX One, your voice is your remote. You can even boot up your system by saying “XBOX, on”. Or you can open apps using your voice. For example, you can open fantasy basketball or football by saying “XBOX, show fantasy”. Microsoft is
doing everything to make the XBOX One the easiest console to use on the market.

The Console Itself

Even though the voice search is very cool, remember, this is Microsoft. Some things will be a bit weird. For instance, the XBOX One comes with a new Kinect. That’s not what weird, though. When the XBOX is running, the Kinect HAS to be plugged in, or it won’t work. Also, the Kinect is ALWAYS ON. Watching your every move. That is how you can say “XBOX, on” to turn it on. Still, it is a good thing. The Kinect has been enhanced since the XBOX 360, and it can recognize head features, individual skeletons, hand movments and more.

The XBOX one is not only a video game console. It is also a TV. Microsoft are even launching a series based on the game Halo. While you are watching TV, you can open apps like Skype or Fantasy Baseball and efficiently multitask. But if you aren’t happy with what Microsoft can give you, you can also hook up your own TV and still use the voice controls. Now you don’t have to slouch around ONLY playing video games, you can slouch around while watching TV too!!!!

The Controller

There are many video game consoles; Wii, WiiU, Playstation 3 (PS4 coming out), Ouya, PC games and Nintendo DS. Microsoft is trying to get the edge by (1) making their console newest and most futuristic design and technology and (2) making to easy and seamless to use. They may have gone overboard, but it will probably end up being like most console: fine. What really matters is the games. Speaking of games, Call Of Duty will have a dog in it. What? It seemed important.

FastNews: Sony Playstation 4

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Last night, February 20th, Sony held a big event announcing their new game console, Playstation 4.

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Unfortunately, Sony left some questions unanswered. The biggest question is WHAT DOES THE CONSOLE LOOK LIKE?!?! Yes, Sony reportedly did not once in the whole event show off their new console. Also, they did not announce the release date or price of the PS4.

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Their new remote, the DualShock 4, has some special features. One feature is that when you are playing, and you are having a great game or destroying your opponent, you can hit the share button on your controller and it will automatically share footage of your game with your friends. If you let them, your friends can even take control of a remote and play from wherever they are.  Still, a lot hasn’t been announced and if Sony gets anything wrong like the width of the console, the motion sensors or anything else, it may keep people from buying it. We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

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