Oculus Story Studio won't be making any more award-winning VR shorts. Jason Rubin, the company's VP of content, has announced in a blog post that it's shutting down the film division. It's only been a bit over a year since the studio was launched, but the Facebook-owned company has apparently "decided to shift [its] focus away from internal content creation to support more external production." Rubin says Oculus will focus on funding third-party filmmakers' VR projects instead. It will even carve out $50 million out of the $250 million funding it promised to give out to developers for non-gaming virtual reality experiences.
If we've learned anything from experiments like Twitch Plays Pokemon, it's that a large part of the streaming site's success lies on the enthusiasm of its community. Twitch viewers don't just watch streams, they participate by flooding their favorite streamers chatbox with memes, emoji and a never-ending march of inside jokes. When the company launched the Twitch Uploads beta, the company encountered a problem: there's no chatroom for pre-recorded videos. Today, Twitch is taking steps to fix that, introducing a chat mode for uploaded content that locks messages to specific moments in the video.
After years of development as a crowdfunded project and, later, a pre-alpha build on Xbox One and Steam, wilderness survival RPG The Long Dark from Hinterland Studios finally has a release date of August 1st. Better yet, the studio announced on Wednesday that the game will be be making the jump to PS4 on that date and all three platforms will gain access to the first two chapters of a new five-part story mode dubbed "Wintermute".
I'm not a big Call of Duty fan, admittedly, but I have fond memories of Black Ops 2's Zombies mode. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. The shambling undead have been a popular part of the franchise for many years. Now, Treyarch is tapping into that nostalgia with its next DLC for Black Ops 3. Zombies Chronicles will feature eight remastered versions of classic Zombies mode maps, co-studio head Jason Blundell announced today in an interview with YouTuber JCbackfire.
We've seen procedurally generated worlds and weapons in video games before, but piecing together believable animations from a pool of variables is pretty tough. Previous attempts at it have looked janky and disjointed. It's okay in something like Ubisoft's experimental and quirky Grow Home, but big-budget AAA blockbusters akin to Uncharted 4 carry a different set of expectations. New research out of the University of Edinburgh is a bit different, and might help video games get away from one-size-fits-most pre-scripted animations, though.
Late last year, PC and PS4 gamers were treated to an surreal rhythm experience when Thumper asked them to pilot a metallic scarab down a highway of intimidating, abstract set pieces. The game is as bizarre as it is intense -- but timing movements to the game's fast-paced soundtrack and be incredibly satisfying, too. Soon, you'll be able to attain that satisfaction on the go: the game's developer has announced that the Nintendo Switch version will be available on the eShop in just two weeks.
Streaming on Twitch might look easy, but it really isn't. Between the various technical hoops you have to jump through (oh hi, OBS) and the pressure of people watching your every move -- or, on the flip-side, streaming to an audience of zero people -- you also need to be entertaining. In that spirit, the next way Twitch is investing in its community is with workshops that aim to help folks get better at hosting and interviewing. It's a little like what YouTube has done before with its Creator Spaces.
After three long years, Microsoft has finally released more details about Phantom Dust HD. While the publisher announced a remaster of the 2004 cult-classic during E3 2014, it has been quiet about the up-rezzed card battler ever since. With its unique mix of addictive deck building and tactical third-person combat, the little-known game earned itself a devoted fanbase -- and they've been waiting patiently to play it in high definition.