Fortnite goes Waterworld

Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 is an amazing tribute to Kevin Costner's epic Waterworld.

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Squadrons is the Star Wars game I have always wanted

Squadron based X-Wing vs TIE Interceptor combat? Count me in. I have pre-ordered via Steam. Read the rest

Grandpa gets a little too carried away with the VR headset

Man, 81, goes on rampage with HTC Vive VR headset

Watch: How to build your own Nintendo Switch

Seattle maker Brennen Johnston wanted his friends to play Animal Crossing with him but they couldn't get their hands on a Nintendo Switch, a scarce commodity amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Enraged by the prices scalpers were charging for a Switch, Brennen set out to build one himself from individual components. The Internet fell in love with the build notes he posted to Imgur and now he's released the above video documenting the project! Brennen writes:

The support I received from my original Imgur post has been overwhelming. I never imagined so many people were interested in my project or had thought of doing something similar. I with I was able to answer everyone's questions but I just couldn't keep up with all the requests.

Most of the private messages asked me to do a version for the Joy-cons so I went ahead and made you that you can find here:

https://www.unorthodoxtech.com/#/blog/5ecc7e3157d93d0017683e23

"How To Build A Nintendo Switch From Scratch - Building With Brennen" (YouTube)

• Previously: "'How to build a Nintendo Switch' for coronavirus #StayAtHome gaming" Read the rest

This AI re-created a playable version of Pac-Man just by watching 50,000 episodes of gameplay

"NVIDIA GameGAN is a powerful new AI model created by NVIDIA Research and was trained on 50,000 episodes of PAC-MAN to produce a fully functional version of the classic without an underlying game engine." Read the article about it was done here.

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Paper Mario is coming to the Switch

My kids and I loved playing Paper Mario on the Wii. Today, Nintendo announced a new Paper Mario title for the Switch, called Paper Mario: The Origami King. Release date is July 17.

The kingdom has been ravaged by an origami menace! Join Mario and his new partner, Olivia, as they team up with unlikely allies like Bowser and the Toads to battle evil Folded Soldiers. Try to free Princess Peach’s castle from the clutches of King Olly in this comedy-filled adventure, only on the Nintendo Switch system. Use the 1,000-Fold Arms ability to extend your arms to interact with the environment and solve puzzles. In battle, line up scattered enemies and plan your attack to maximize damage with the new, ring-based battle system that requires both puzzle-solving skills and a quick wit.

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Demo of new Unreal game engine is unreal

"Lumen in the Land of Nanite" is a real-time Unreal Engine 5 demonstration running live on PlayStation. The new UE5 has two technologies: "Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry, which frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see, and Lumen, a fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes." Read the rest

"Tonight We Riot" is a brutal 8-bit side scroller about worker liberation

There's a lot of overlap between the friends of mine who are fervent video game enthusiasts, and those who are the most belligerent anarcho-syndicalists / anarcho-communists / other Revolutionary Leftist sects — and they have all been singing the praises of "Tonight We Riot," the video game that even Variety calls, "an unapologetically political, socialist game about worker liberation in the face of overpowering capitalism." The official description reads:

A revolutionary crowd-based retro brawler

In a dystopia where wealthy capitalists control elections, media, and the lives of working people, we’re faced with two choices -- accept it or fight for something better.

Tonight We Riot doesn’t have just one hero. Instead, you play as a movement of people whose well-being determines the success of your revolution.

Essentially, it's a retro 8-bit throwback to games like "Streets of Rage," he game is the brainchild of Pixel Pushers Union 512, a worker-owned video game cooperative out of Texas. Except instead of controlling one character with a melee weapon and a limited life, you get a chance to control the entire rioting crowd as they work together to lob molotov cocktails at the bootlicking mechs sent by the evil capitalist overlords determined to quash their solidarity.

I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I might have some free time on my hands soon with this quarantine, and this looks pretty damn delightful to me. You can check it out on Nintendo eShop, Itch.io, Steam, or Good Old Games. Read the rest

Creator of Stardew Valley: "It’s important to me not to just entertain, but to delight"

Eric Barone is the creator and lead developer of Stardew Valley, the indie farming and life sim RPG that’s enchanted millions around the world.  He’s a 32-year old game developer based in Seattle, Washington, who grew up in a semi-rural area of the Pacific Northwest with dreams of one day being a musician.

A digital meditation on what’s truly important in life, Stardew Valley resonates with themes of joy, magic and connection.  This interview, undertaken on Friday, March 20, 2020, began with a single question on the theme of communicating, encouraging and sharing happiness.   

Jeffery Klaehn: La dolce vita.  How is “the sweet life” or “the good life” represented within Stardew Valley, and what does it mean for you?  Is it the same as success, or different?

Eric Barone: For me, a good life involves self-actualization (finding my own purpose and fulfilling it), contributing positively to others (family, friends, community), and feeling like I’m part of something important that is bigger than myself. I guess I’d call achieving those things “success”!

 JK: Stardew Valley released to universal critical acclaim in 2016 and since then you’ve continuously given players free content updates, providing new content and features, improvements and experiences.  Why has this been important for you?

Eric Barone: I am very grateful that I’m able to make a career of this, but I’d say the most meaningful thing to me is that people love the game and are finding happiness, peace and magic in it. I've always wanted to capture a special magic with Stardew Valley.  Read the rest

'I painted Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal at the same time'

“I painted a happy little scene from Animal Crossing. Doomguy is there too!”

This video is from Two Ruru Paints, IMGURian @tworuru's YouTube show in which he paints landscapes and scenes from video games and pop culture. Read the rest

A third party Nintendo Switch controller my daughter likes

My kid enjoys this controller with the Nintendo Switch she has confiscated.

With the advent of Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch became sole property of my 13-year-old daughter. She immediately complained about the JoyCons and asked for this controller.

The BebonCool has dual shock and 6-axis gyro support, so it can be used in place of the Nintendo Pro controller. It also comes with a built in rechargeable battery that should out-last the battery in the Nintendo several times over.

She went with black and blue.

BEBONCOOL Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch/Switch Lite, Switch Controller for Nintendo with Dual Shock, Motion Control for Nintendo Switch Controller via Amazon Read the rest

This VR Mosh Pit Simulator game is fascinating and horrifying

Video game designer Sos Sosowski has been working on his Mosh Pit Simulator game since 2016. Here's the official game description:

Mosh Pit Simulator is a VR game about a world that is overrun by brainless boneless humanoid creatures due to a terrible accident. They're like zombies but less gross and pretty harmless and just want to live normal lives. So even tho they don't have brains or bones, they still try to go shopping, drive cars, or go to dates, not necessarily doing a good job at that. But there's one person who is not OK with that. YOU! So you decide to save the world from these weird creatures. But there's nobody else left in the world but them so you end up just getting in their way for giggles.... or do you?

Basically, the premise is: "What if you moshed by yourself using Oculus Rift?" And the earliest 3D model testing clips are like a glorious car crash that you just can't look away from:

Sosowski explains the background of this weird experiment:

This game was created by accident. The development began in April 2016, when I got my hands on the Vive Development Kit. After playing some games, I decided to give it a shot and create something.

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Nintendo announces April 23 update of Animal Crossing: New Horizons with lots of new goodies

Nintendo released a video this morning highlighting some of the new content that will be available in a free update being released on April 23. The new content includes a Nature Day, May Day, two new merchants, and a new fine arts wing for the museum.

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Husband builds 'accessible' Nintendo Switch battle station for wife with aggressive MS

All for the love of Animal Crossing in the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest

Play Borderlands 3 and help map the foreign microbes found in human poop

The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine, McGill University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, Gearbox, and 2K have teamed up to create a clever way for players of Borderlands 3 to help map the human gut microbiome.

Players do this creative gut-mapping by accessing the special Borderlands Science game-within-the-game. The mini-game works as follows:

Borderlands Science encodes the DNA of each gut microbe as a string of bricks of four different shapes and colors. Players connect those colored shapes to help scientists estimate the similarity between each microbe. The more puzzles players solve, the more they help decode the human gut microbiome, all while earning rewards that can be used within Borderlands 3.

Basically what players are actually doing is helping to find errors in the computer analysis of gut biome DNA that's been extracted from human poop. Doing this by playing a simple puzzle game can save scientists hundreds of thousands of hours trying to get computers to do this work.

Here's Dr. Mayim Bialik breaking it down:

Learn more at the Borderlands Science site.

[H/t Tino Dai]

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'How to build a Nintendo Switch' for coronavirus #StayAtHome gaming

Wow, man. Some of us take on more extreme projects during the Great Coronavirus Quarantine than others. Read the rest

How Animal Crossing is modeled on 18th century debt-based Japanese villages

Naomi Clark is on the faculty of New York University's game Center. In this video she talks about how Tom Nook, the leader of the island communities in Animal Crossing, is much like the leader of an 18th-century Japanese village, who is task with managing communal debt.

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