Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unreal Engine 4 screenshots feature fire demon and snowy landscapes

Unreal Engine 4

Epic have been showing off the next iteration of the Unreal Engine to developers for a short while. Wired got a look recently, and have posted their impressions alongside a few new shots showing a fiery demon, some busy wireframe scenes and a lovely vista.
Epic haven’t released the demo video yet, but Wired describe plenty of new tech, including an advanced particle rendering systems and a lighting program that models the way light bounces around rooms entirely in real time, bypassing the typical level design techniques that “bake” light and shadow into the textures of a scene. The days of designers hand-placing individual light shafts in a scene may well be over.

Epic demonstrated the subtlety of the new lighting system by bowling a ball of light down a dark hallway, which surely looked more impressive than that time they Epic rolled a cube of meat around Gears of War 2 to demonstrate soft body physics. Unreal Engine 4 will also include a new version of the user friendly Kismet programming system, improved liquid simulation and better scene destruction tech.
Hopefully Epic will show the video soon, their last big tech demo, codenamed Samaritan, was pretty spectacular.



Release Info

No longer a cop, Max is close to washed-up, drunk and addicted to painkillers.
Without a job on the force, Max has left the greater New York area, and he finds himself in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working in the burgeoning field of private security. Max's latest assignment sees him protecting the family of Rodrigo Branco, a wealthy real estate mogul and his two brothers: Victor, a local politician and the youngest, Marcello, a party-loving Eurotrash playboy, along with Fabiana Branco, Rodrigo's trophy wife, and Giovanna, Fabiana's sister.

Game of Thrones RELOADED

Win Big from Dark Shadows!

Dark Shadows is coming to theaters May 11th, and we're so excited about this latest collaboration between director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp, that we've lined up an awesome contest for our readers. That's right, all you Tim Burton fanatics, now you can take home a piece of this creepy, cool vampire comedy with all kinds of awesome branded swag. To celebrate the life of vampire Barnabas Collins, we're offering up a Type B blood bag flask for all you crimson sippers constantly on the go. If drinking bodily fluids isn't quite your thing, we also have a Barnabas T-shirt for the guys and an Angelbay Seafood girlie T for all you hot and bothered women out there. We've also got a 'have-to-have-it' Blue Whale trucker hat, a scary sleep mask, a 70s era mood ring, and a flight bag. But that's not all, this gift package also includes an NYX make-up kit, an ORLY nail polish collection, and a whole lot more. To find out how to enter, and to get a look at this must-have collection of needful things, keep reading.

Enter for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

  • Collapsible Blood Bag Flask
  • Sleeping Mask
  • "Barnabas" T-shirt
  • Ladies "Angelbay" T-shirt
  • Neon Note Cubes
  • Trucker hat with Patch
  • Mood Ring in Box
  • Custom Molded Wine Stopper in Velvet Pouch
  • Letter Opener in Box
  • 1970's Flight Bag
  • NYX "Crimson Amulet" Make Up Kit
  • ORLY "Dark Shadows" Color Collection Nail Polish

Men in Black 3 Building a Better Alien Featurette

Men in Black 3 is set to hit theaters on May 25th, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, and one of the coolest aspects of the movie is Rick Baker's army of retro aliens that greet Agent J (Will Smith) upon his arrival in 1969 to save Agent K (Josh Brolin/ Tommy Lee Jones) from being assassinated. Sony Pictures has released a new featurette that focuses on Rick Baker's amazingly detailed work in Men in Black 3. Watch as a bevy of Drive-In inspired extraterrestrials come to life at the hands of a true master.

Men in Black 3 comes to theaters May 25th, 2012 and stars Will Smith, Tim Burton, Alice Eve, Josh Brolin, Justin Bieber, Tommy Lee Jones, Emma Thompson, Bill Hader. 

Rift three faction PvP hits test servers today

Rift - weird toad man shows his approval for a volcano A new three-way PvP faction war mode will land on Rift’s test servers later on today. From 4pm PDT / 11pm players will have the chance to and jump into a new PvP warzone in a new version of Stillmoor to do battle for a cluster of control points (or Sourcestone Extractors, as they’re called).
As a member of one of three new factions, Ascended must seize a certain number of these areas to win. “The match ends when a single team has claimed 40% of the control points or 5,000 players are killed” explain Trion on the Rift site, “once this happens a 10 minute timer will start, this is your chance to make a last grab for control.”

Dominion, the Oathsworn and Nightfall are the three factions in question. Their differences are philosophical, which means any Ascended can be a member of any team as long as they’re up for a fight. “Are you a Ram, guarding the flock under your iron grip? Do you protect your pride, your virtue gold as the Lion’s mane, keeping the helpless from harm? Or do you soar like a Raven into the twilight – cleansing all corruption in your wake across the universe, whatever the cost?” RAVEN FTW.
The three-way PvP is the latest in a long series of updates that Trion have been providing over the last year. The Infernal Dawn 1.8 patch is coming up next. That’ll add a new 20 man raid, instant adventures, improved ‘looking for group’ tools and fishing. Find out more in our look at the recent Infernal Dawn Rift developer roundtable.

General Motors Un-Friending of Facebook Ads Spells Trouble for Users

Brace yourselves Facebook fans for more paid status updates, sponsored stories, App Center, and mobile ads, as the social network tries to prove its worth after getting a black eye from General Motors, one of the largest advertisers in the U.S.

If you haven't heard the news, GM will stop advertising on Facebook after discovering that people don't shop for cars between status updates, pokes, likes, and virtual crop harvests. Given that Facebook's initial public offering is set to take place Friday, the timing for this news couldn't get much worse.
GM will still have a presence on the social network through its Facebook pages, but that activity doesn't contribute to Facebook's bottom line, according to The Wall Street Journal. “We remain committed to an aggressive Facebook content strategy through all of our products and brands moving forward,” GM said on its Facebook page.

But Facebook ads? No más. At least for now.

Facebook's direct financial hit from GM's ad break-up doesn't appear to be that big. The car company contributed about $10 million to Facebook's $3.7 billion in revenue for 2011, according to the Journal. But GM is more than just a blank check for advertising dollars; it's the company responsible for the Corvette, Camaro, Pontiac GTO, and Trans Am. It's an iconic company that makes iconic products and some critics are wondering whether GM's decision might inspire other companies to reassess their Facebook ad spending.

Facebook is closing in on one billion active users (about 14 percent of the world's population), but it seems no one's really sure if those all those eyeballs convert into value for advertisers. Common sense says they should. Budweiser tries to sell you beer during Monday Night Football, so why not try to sell you beer while you talk about Monday Night Football on Facebook?

And yet, as NPR recently reported, few studies have looked at whether Facebook ads work, so nobody knows how effective social advertising really is. That's a problem, since the majority of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising.

With so much at stake for the social network, it's a good bet the company will look to reassure investors that Facebook is the advertising giant many businesses hope it will be. For Facebook users that means we can expect more advertising experiments coming our way through the desktop and mobile versions of Facebook, and maybe even on third-party sites.

Let's just hope the advertising madness doesn't get too far out of control.

Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 is the third installment in Rockstar Games Max Payne series and is set eight years after the events of the last installment.

The importance of playing games with your kids

MarcoPollosTomb We constantly hear about the “perils” of gaming and the “corrupting” influence our favorite hobby has on young generations, but the positive side of gaming rarely gets its time in the spotlight. I recently had a quick chat with Tom Purdue, the new community manager for KingsIsle–the dev team behind Wizard101 and Pirate101–where we chatted about the positive influence that parents playing videogames with their kids can have.
Tom Purdue has been blogging about Wizard101 for several years and was just picked up by KingsIsle last week to manage their community, mostly consisting of kids, grandparents and parents who play the game together. He has three kids that he plays games with regularly.
PC Gamer: I very fondly remember playing Kings Quest IV with my dad and brother when I was growing up. We drew maps, we planned routes and had a great time together. I know you play videogames with your three kids as well. Obviously we like it, but do you think it’s actually important to play games with your children?
Tom Purdue: If you come from the philosophy that the computer has never been a very good babysitter and your children are far smarter than you give them credit for, you’ll fully understand why it’s important to play the same online games your kids do. There’s so much you can discover about your children by watching the choices they make, laughing at the same jokes on the screen and immersing yourself in something they find highly important. It gives you an opportunity to both learn from them and guide them in a way that’s fun. The ultimate hope of a gaming dad is that it’s no longer a game about pirates and swashbuckling, but it becomes a game about history, math, and social studies.
My father once bought me a game of Atari Pac-man and he played it all day while I was at school before he gave it to me. He wanted to beat me at my own game. I came home from school and was overjoyed. My dad and I played, and I smoked him on the first try. He never played a video game with me again. I wish games like Wizard101 and Pirate101 would have been around when I was a kid because I think they balance the playing field a bit. They aren’t about twitch accuracy and reflex speed. I wish I had more memories of my dad playing the games I liked with me.
Will you be my father?
PCG: So you’re about to go from managing three kids in a game to managing millions as the community manager at KingsIsle. Is the role of a community manager different in a family-focused online game?
TP: Yes, it’s highly important. I’m just starting out here in this job, but from my interactions with fans of Wizard101 through my blog, I can tell you that you’re talking to both grandma and her grandkids. All generations of players are equally important, but there are legal rules and company policies that govern our social interactions. I can tell you this though: as a really cool side benefit, you get to receive fridge-worthy fan art from kids all over the globe!
PCG: Kids can be a handful. Can you talk a bit about why you pursued this career so long?
TP: I didn’t start out wanting a job at KingsIsle, but it grew in that direction when I saw that there was an enormous amount of creativity and opportunity there. I love the people that love their games. They’re a genuinely fun bunch of people that tend to not take themselves too seriously while simultaneously taking their pastime of choice to new heights. If I can tap into an ounce of that magic, I think I’ll be a completely satisfied community manager.
Go on adventures together.
PCG: So why did you want to work at KingsIsle in particular?
TP: It’s funny because I’ve had a few long time readers of my blog ask me, “Why hasn’t KingsIsle scooped you up yet?” Working at KingsIsle was as natural a fit for me as playing Wizard101. The moment I started playing the game, I couldn’t stop myself from writing about it. I’m a father who loves to game alongside his kids, and Wizard101 solved so many of the issues I had with MMO gaming and kids in general.
To me personally, KingsIsle has always appeared to be a game company with a huge heart. They respect loyalty, they avoid crunch when they can and they’re both young at heart and wise at the same time. On top of that, they make games I can support and feel proud of. Seriously, I could gush about KingsIsle all day long.

Crysis 3 screenshots break out the flamethrower

Crysis 3 flamethrower
Man, it’s tough being Prophet. Today I fought an alien with a flamethrower built into his face. He was trying to kill a tree. It’s weird, ever since we built a giant dome over New York and accelerated the plant growth the alien population have gotten really serious about gardening. I took a picture of myself using the remote nano cam and waited for them to pass. You’re my only friend now, nano cam.

As a supersoldier fused into a nanosuit that gives me superpowers, I have few regrets, especially since that day I found out how to go to the toilet in this thing. There is one thing I’d do differently though. When the brass asked me if I wanted to “enter the nano dome to destroy the alien menace with this bow” I shouldn’t have said “hell yes.” Man, I really hate domes.
I remember how things used to be five years ago, roaming sunny beaches punching sheds to death. It was the best time. Now I’m forced to roam this broken city posing on logs, fighting aliens and taking pictures of myself. That way, maybe the people outside the dome will see, and finally understand. Being an invisible, super strong, super fast, well muscled, bro-tastic, robo-tastic supersoldier simply isn’t that awesome.
Apart from the parts where I get to shoot the bow. Those are pretty great.

Diablo 3 livestream starts in five minutes (11 PDT) — come win prizes!

The PCG Action News team will be live on the scene in Diablo 3 in just 10 short minutes! Head on over to our livestream page to follow our exploits in the world of Sanctuary and join the chatroom. We have four of each Diablo-branded SteelSeries headsets, mice and mousepads. We’ll be giving away one every 15 minutes for 3 hours to a random person in the chatroom (U.S. residents only, sorry). So stay tuned for your chance to win!