Sunday, 30 September 2012

Borderlands 2 released, one of the most impressive non-photorealistic games around?

Borderlands 2 is now released and, as with the first game in the series (released in 2009), this also carries the torch of cel-shaded graphics in a major way. You can see the game in the pic below, the results look great of course (much better than the first game but then again this was released a number of years ago now) and the visual style lends itself incredibly well once more to the dark comic mood vibe the title is going for.
Borderlands 2 (built on Epic Game's Unreal engine it should be mentioned) is another example of a mainstream gaming title eschewing photorealism with truly great results.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

iPhone 5 announcement and real-time graphics capabilities

After many months of rumours the new iPhone 5 is launched and I am including below an excerpt of the video from Apple's recent event. The vid focuses on the graphics capabilities of the new device by showcasing EA's Real Racing 3 on the iPhone 5. The results are indeed impressive, approximating console quality visuals.

iPhone 5 is to have a four-inch screen which will be capable of handling resolution of 1136x640 and 326 pixels per inch plus a new A6 processor equipped with a CPU and GPU twice as fast as the A5 (on the current devices). Many of us are eagerly awaiting what developers can achieve on the new device and if the results above are any indication of what we can expect then mobile gaming will be inching, slowly, closer to graphics quality similar to your typical AAA current generation console game.

Experiment participants needed

One of the PhD students I am co-supervising is currently running an experiment in Bournemouth (see invite below) using mobile phone technology. You do need to be located nearby (or visiting over the next couple of weeks) as the experiment will be taking place in the centre of the town.

If you are interested in participating and please read the invite and email Zory.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wellcome Trust Gamify your PhD competition, BU DEC student involved with winning entry

Wellcome Trust recently ran a Gamify Your PhD competition, which focused on the gamification of research thesis ideas from biomedical sciences or medical humanities. The winning entry is a game called Dysbiosis which according to Wellcome Trust "places the gamer within the gastrointestinal tract, shooting down harmful bacteria in an addictive immunological battle for digestive health."
One of the developers involved in producing this game is Ashley Gwinnell (as part of the Force of Habit team), a student who I taught here at Bournemouth University (and also subject of another recent blogpost as he finished fourth in a recent Ardvark Swift competition called Search for a Star which was a UK games programming contest for all intents and purposes).

You can check out the game in the vid above (plus it can be also downloaded in full from here).

Beneath A Steel Sky sequel?

I have blogged already about Revolution Software's Broken Sword Kickstarter campaign; it appears now that they are throwing another enticing bit of information in the mix, should the amount of support reach $1m they are then prepared to use the extra funds for the preparation of a Beneath A Steel Sky sequel.
Beneath A Steel Sky is of course one of the seminal adventure games (with excellent hand-painted graphics and a very intriguing futuristic back story) first released by Revolution Software in 1994. A sequel for this has been long awaited and it would be fantastic if this was achieved on top of a new Broken Sword game (which is now a certainty looking at the Kickstarter page, there are 6 days to go, around $563K has been raised with the original goal being $400K).

More information on the official Broken Sword Kickstarter page here.