Chat app Discord opens official game channels

about X hours ago from
Chat app Discord opens official game channels

Gaming-focused chat app Discord is partnering with developers on official chat channels. Verified Servers are places where a game's community can hang out, talk and get news straight from the teams that made the games. Think of them like official forums, but with real-time communication versus asynchronous. Just look for the checkmark badge next to a server profile and you should be good to go. Developers can even add Discord badges to their website's social links and directly to their game's main menu. As Polygon notes, so far Minecraft, Offworld, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Supercell have set up shop.

The outcome of this virtual riot depends on your emotions

about X hours ago from
The outcome of this virtual riot depends on your emotions

Consider what your first reaction would be if, during a protest turned violent, you came face-to-face with a riot cop barking at you from behind his clear shield. Not the words that come out of your mouth nor the moves you could make to escape. Before any of that, your emotions would already be fired up and broadcasting to the policeman what you might do next. In RIOT 2, an interactive film by Karen Palmer, controlling these emotions is the key to your escape.

PlayStation’s updated VR headset arrives in Japan tomorrow

about X hours ago from
PlayStation’s updated VR headset arrives in Japan tomorrow

You may want to hold off buying the current-gen PSVR, as its successor is imminent. We already knew the updated headset will come with integrated headphones and HDR passthrough support (courtesy of a new processor unit). And, now Sony is blessing us with a release date -- for Japan, anyway. The company's native home will be the first to get the refreshed VR device when it lands there on Saturday. Meanwhile, everyone else will have to wait. At 44,980 yen ($401), the new headset will match the starting price of the original (although, its older sibling now comes bundled with the PlayStation Camera at no extra charge).

An appreciation of 2017's in-game shopkeepers

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An appreciation of 2017's in-game shopkeepers

In-game shops are more than handy outlets to transform random metal scraps and tired old gear into new and useful items. Shops offer a reprieve from the action of whichever digital world you've entered, allowing you to take a moment, breathe and consider the situation from afar. Do you want to play as a gun-toting tank or a sneaky spy? Is your bow powerful enough for the battles ahead? Do you have enough health potions? Does your character look better in green or purple? Only the shop can provide the answers.

'Dragon Age' director Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare after 14 years

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'Dragon Age' director Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare after 14 years

Today Mike Laidlaw announced his departure from Bioware, where he's been involved with games including Jade Empire, Mass Effect and the entire Dragon Age series. He served as creative director on Dragon Age: Inquisition, and mentioned in a note about the team that "I have every confidence that the world we've created together is in good hands and I'm excited for the road ahead." He didn't mention a reason for leaving other than that it is time to move on, even as his exit follows DA:I lead writer David Gaider, who left the company early last year.

'Life is Strange' prequel's second episode arrives next week

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'Life is Strange' prequel's second episode arrives next week

Life Is Strange was one of our favorite games of 2015 and its prequel of sorts turned out to be pretty great, even though it was made by a different studio. Titled Before the Storm, the game's first episode came out in August of this year. On October 19th, you'll be able to jump back into Chloe and Rachel's story with the second episode, titled "Brave New World." A new trailer sets the scene for the upcoming episode, which will be available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC (via Steam).

Square Enix's Project Hikari makes a good case for VR comics

about X hours ago from
Square Enix's Project Hikari makes a good case for VR comics

Comics are big business in Japan, but here in the West, Japanese and American titles alike tend to get overshadowed by movies, television and video games. In fact, many of those programs might even be adaptations of popular comic titles. For its first big VR project, Square Enix's Advanced Technology Division is putting the spotlight back on manga. But it isn't just about taking these stories and pasting them into a headset. Due for release in 2018 on all major VR platforms, Project Hikari aims to capture the look and feel of reading a manga while taking advantage of the immersive nature of VR to let the viewer delve deeper into these worlds.

Xbox One's customizable dashboard arrives to more testers

about X hours ago from
Xbox One's customizable dashboard arrives to more testers

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is arriving early next week (October 17th), but it looks like Xbox One users will get some new software toys soon, too. Microsoft has released the Xbox One fall preview update to everyone on the Delta and Omega Insider rings, that is too say, the bulk of its beta testers. Those folks will get the much-anticipated Fluent Design for Xbox One that lets you customize the dashboard the way you want, pinning favorite games, apps and people to the home page.