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Article inside Dragon Age: Inquisition release date revealed; Bioware's RPG sequel out this October

By Msirae Faythung - 9 hours ago


What was looking to be a year packed full of epic RPGs has become a little more spacious thanks to The Witcher 3's delay. Fret not, though, fans of magic, monsters and mead, for Dragon Age: Inquisition is still on course to land in the back half of 2014. Bioware have now confirmed the game's release date, announcing their October 7th target alongside a new trailer for the RPG sequel.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will put the player in a much more proactive role than previous games. As the founder of the Inquisition, and the only person able to close the fade rifts of the world, you're a more immediately instrumental actor in the series' plot. You can find more on the story, and Bioware's approach to the third Dragon Age game, in Chris's interview with executive producer, Mark Darrah.
Video inside YouTube (new url)

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Video inside 20 things you need to know about watch_dogs

By calviiin - 9 hours ago

Video inside YouTube (new url)

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Xbox One Gears of War to Have “Best in Class Visuals,” “Bleeding Edge Rendering Techniques” and More

By Da Ill One - 9 hours ago

Black Tusk Studios is quite evidently gearing up for the development of the upcoming Gears of Wars game for the Xbox One, and is currently hiring 13 new employees, with twelve of those positions offered in the last two weeks.

WhatÂ’s more interesting is that the competences and requirements listed in the career opportunity ads give us some hints on what we can expect from the game, which seems to come packed with some quite lofty goals.

First of all, let’s start with the inevitable fighting words: almost all the ads include a high sounding mission statement that involves “forging the future of the IP and pushing the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms and devices” and ”delighting our fan base and shattering expectations of what is possible.”

Now that weÂ’ve paid homage to the marketing spiel, letÂ’s delve into something a bit more specific:

A post seeking a Senior Rendering Engineer, mentions that the game will utilize ”bleeding edge new rendering techniques to deliver best in class visuals for an AAA Console game.” The candidate will also be responsible for developing and optimizing “industry leading high performance real time graphics features and effects.” We also read about “major new features.”

As we already knew Unreal Engine will be used for the game, and in fact experience with Epic’s middleware is considered desirable, together with experience with DirectX 10 and 11. This doesn’t really mean that the game won’t use DirectX 12 (there simply aren’t developers out there that have experience with it), and as a matter of fact the “Strong debugging and optimization skills in a multi-threaded environment” requirement indicates that it probably will, since DirctX 11 doesn’t really use multithreading for rendering. It’s one of the major features of DX12.

Moving on to the art department, there is an ad looking for an Art Director that will work across Environments, Characters, Cinematics, Concept Art, Lighting, Animation, FX and UI. Interestingly the candidate will need to be comfortable “working with a broad spectrum of styles, from photo-realistic to highly stylized”

This could mean a variety of things: Black Tusk may simply want a versatile art director able to work on a variety of styles for future projects. On the other hand the final art style of the next Gears of War might not have been decided yet. ItÂ’s also possible that itÂ’ll involve different styles for cutscenes and gameplay (photorealistic for gameplay and comic-like for cutscenes, for instance). Finally, there could be more than one game involved.
The last option combined with the second seems to be the most probable, considering that the candidate will be “Responsible for creating the art style of the Gears of War franchise moving forward.”

The ad also mentions experience with ourtsourcing, meaning that Black Tusk will probably delegate part of the production to other studios.

A post looking for a Gameplay Designer outs the fact that the studio is seeking to implement “innovative features.” Experience with Kismet (a visual scripting tool within the Unreal Development Kit) is also desired. On the other hand an ad for a Gameplay Engineer advertises the preference for experience in a co-op gameplay development environment, strongly suggesting that cooperative features are coming back to the series.

Unsurprisingly cover mechanics are also making a comeback, as hinted by a post seeking a Multiplayer Level Designer. I seriously doubt anyone had any doubt here. Multiplayer definitely seems to be a focus for the game, as an ad for a Lead Multiplayer Level Designer involves creating an “industry-leading multiplayer experience.” Familiarity with “Gears of War gameplay and past Gears of War multiplayer map designs” is also required, probably indicating that Black Tusk intends to keep the new game true to its roots.

An ad for a Senior Level Designer mentions creating ”interesting and dynamic levels and mechanics,” and integrating ”great events and gameplay mechanics, with the goal of making every moment special and memorable.” Linear storytelling will apparently play an important role in gameplay, as the candidate will have to work on “fantastic levels with great flow and layout, to tell a story while guiding the player experience.”

A post looking for a Senior Online Services Engineer mentions the responsibility of “owning a reliable high-traffic services to support console and multi-screen end points,” which indicates that the game is probably going to involve SmartGlass in some capacity. Experience with Azure is also required, hinting to a heavy utilization of Microsoft’s cloud services.
A similar ad for a Lead Online Service Engineer involves building the “next generation of backend services to power the Gears of War Universe, on console, web and mobile,” indicating that the franchise’s online component will very possibly extend beyond the Xbox One. It also talks about “Games,” which is a clear hint to long term plans that go past a single Xbox One title. Taking advantage “of the best solutions available with cloud services running on Azure and integration of multiple new technologies.” is also part of the candidate’s responsibilities.

Interestingly enough, this last ad is very close to similar ones published for the next Halo, possibly hinting to a close collaboration or at least the intention to implement similar features between Black Tusk and 343 Industries.

Will we see the effect of any of this at E3 in about a month and a half? ThatÂ’s possible. One thing is for sure: my curiosity is piqued.


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Video inside Frozen X GTA

By latin_linx - 9 hours ago

Video inside
Video inside

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PS4 Games Could See Increased Visual Fidelity, Lesser Load Times, Granite’s Texture Streaming Detail

By Da Ill One - 9 hours ago

PlayStation 4 features PSSL [PlayStation Shader Language], a custom shader language which is a mix of DX11 and OpenGL 4.4. Many of you must not be aware that the PlayStation 4 is capable of supporting Partially Resident Textures, which is roughly equivalent to tiled streaming using DirectX on the Xbox One.

So what are Partially Resident Textures? As the name suggests, Partially Resident Textures are the only texture portions that needs to be placed in the GPU at one time. John Carmack’s famous ‘Megatexture’ technology in RAGE is an excellent example of Partially Resident Textures. In short this method improves the cache and memory bandwidth. So if the developer does not want to render an entire texture, he/she can load only the relevant bits resulting into better texture streaming and cutting down the amount of redundant texture processing.

This is where Graphine Software comes in. Graphine focuses on delivering texture streaming and texture compression middleware for the games and visualization industries. Using Graphine SoftwareÂ’s Granite SDK, even more better looking games with reduced load times can be made possible on the PlayStation 4.

Aljosha Demeulemeester, Graphine CEO confirmed to GamingBolt that Partial Resident Textures for the PlayStation 4 is aimed at doing the same thing as the Tiled Resources feature of DX 11.1+ using Granite SDK.

“Sony has announced that Partially Resident Textures (PRT) is available for PS4. This is aimed at doing the same thing as the Tiled Resources feature of DX 11.1+. We sometime refer to both using the term ‘hardware virtual texturing’,” he said to GamingBolt.
So how does Granite SDK actually works with ‘hardware virtual texturing’ and how it can improve graphical fidelity and cut down load times? Aljosha gave a very in-depth explanation for the same.

“We call Granite SDK a fine-grained streaming system because we load very small tiles of texture data. This is happening in the background while playing the game. The size of the tiles is configurable but a commonly used setting is 128×128 pixels. When using virtual texturing, you will only load the texture tiles into memory that are actually viewed by the virtual camera. The main benefit is that you can save on the amount of video memory that you need for you texture data, but there are a bunch of side benefits. Loading times are reduced and disk access is more constant and predictable. The bottom-line is that you can really increase the graphical fidelity of games, while staying within the limited of the current hardware,” Aljosha stated to GamingBolt.

But due to slightly different architectures of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One [the former has unified and the latter has embedded memory architecture], is the process of texture streaming different across the two consoles? This question could easily come up for a developer who is working on a multiplatform game using the Granite SDK.

That is actually not a problem, according to Aljosha. “Granite SDK indeed takes care of all the platform specific stuff and makes sure that you’re up and running quickly on both platforms. Granite exposes a set of configuration parameters like the size of the texture cache in main memory, the amount of threads used for decoding, the maximum allowed throughput of texture data per frame, etc.”

However a game developer will still need to tweak the parameters according to the gameÂ’s needs.

“A game developer will want to tweak these parameters depending on the behaviour of his/her own game, and based on the capabilities of the hardware of a specific platform. We provide fast implementations of the Granite runtime for both platforms so that only the values of these configuration parameters might change on the different platforms(from the game developer’s perspective that is),” Aljosha added.

Granite SDK currently supports PC, Mac, Linux, PS4 and Xbox One.

This is just a snippet of our interview with Graphine Software and we will have the complete interview this Friday.


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Walking Dead Season 1 GOTY coming to PS4

By Jesszman - 9 hours ago

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Image inside Walking Dead Season 1 GOTY coming to Xbox One

By Krazie - 9 hours ago

Since Jesszman failed to mention it. :arnoldcigar:

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Video inside Bad ass graphics on Trials Fusion

By Da Ill One - 9 hours ago

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Article inside PS4 Uncharted “Gameplay” Is Going to Be Shown at E3 According to Insider

By Pleasure Boy - 9 hours ago

There have been a lot of conspiracy theories about
the state of development of the upcoming
Uncharted title for PS4, with many (led by a few
media outlets) stressing heavily on changes in the
staff behind the game, the last of which being the
recasting of the voice of the teaser trailer Todd
Stashwick (that in the meanwhile moved on to work
as a co-writer on Visceral GamesÂ’ upcoming Star
Wars title), to cast doubt on whether the game is
coming along nicely or not.

Industry insider Tidux, that already proved in the
past to be well positioned to know whatÂ’s
happening at Sony by leaking several elements
about the PS4 UI and operating system before they
were disclosed, took it upon himself to check on
whether the game is going to be shown at E3, and
came back with good news:


Uncharted 4 gameplay at E3. Game has been
in the works for almost 3 years.
When he was asked if he was sure that thereÂ’s
going to be gameplay on show or it was just
wishful thinking, he confirmed that itÂ’s going to be

On the other hand Tidux also mentioned that heÂ’s
hearing ”a lot of mixed signals when it comes to
DriveClub right now,” so we’ll have to wait and see
what will happen with that one.

Of course we should always take what insiders
share with a pinch of salt, but personally I seriously
doubt that Sony is going to let Uncharted skip the
biggest show of the year. In the end, we have less
than two months to wait and see for ourselves what
is going to happen at E3, and IÂ’m pretty sure itÂ’s
going to be good.


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Image inside New Call of Duty info

By Eckogreen - 9 hours ago

Call of Duty 2014: First Image Revealed

Sledgehammer's Call of Duty, which will release this fall, has been in development for nearly three years as part the new development cycle for the series.

The unannounced title will be "next-gen first," according to publisher Activision.

Read 38 comments »

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