Thursday 24 September 2015

Roblox Helps You Make Your Own Xbox One Games

Who wouldn’t want to be “The YouTube of Video Games”? User-generated games portal Roblox is doing its best to apply the model to video games as opposed to just videos, by lowering the bar for content creation enough so that anyone can build something interesting, then push it out to as many platforms as possible.
“We believe we’re the best place in the world to build and develop your first game,” says Roblox Chief Marketing Officer Rick Silvestrini. "We have created the only platform in the world where you can build a game once and have it deploy across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and now Xbox."
Just one user-made Roblox game.
Just one user-made Roblox game.
That platform boasts 15 million monthly visitors, and Rick and his Roblox team stopped by IGN to show me the Xbox One app, which launches on November 12. All the games will be free for anyone to play, with Roblox sustaining itself by selling augments to its existing community-shared asset packs and creators able to make money by incorporating in-game microtransactions (of which Roblox, like iTunes or any other service, takes a small cut).
Twenty Roblox-curated games will be available on the Xbox One app on launch day. All of them are rather simplistic, both visually and mechanically, but that’s the point. Roblox isn’t equipped to let you design your own Mass Effect. It can, however, give you fundamental, building block-level experience with creating what you need to make a game: an idea, a level(s), rules, etc. Besides, that doesn’t mean they’re not fun.
More UGC from the Roblox community.
More UGC from the Roblox community.
“We scale the platform with the talent of the developer,” Silvestrini explains, adding that their proprietary set of tools take care of a lot of basic functions. “You don't have to worry about networking, you don't have to worry about multiplayer."
While I didn’t see the actual editing tools themselves – those need a keyboard and mouse, so the mobile and Xbox One versions of Roblox only support the actual playing of the user-created games – it all seems very similar to the XNA toolset released by Microsoft back on Xbox 360.
Among the first games playable on Xbox on day one is Heroes!, a top-down dungeon-crawler with Ys-style just-run-into-your-enemies combat made by a 19-year-old Indiana teenager who’s using in-game microtransaction revenue to help pay his way through college.
I also saw Tiny Tanks, a top-down eight-player tank shooter where you control a tank inside a fort created on the floor of a child’s bedroom; and Natural Disaster Survival, a goofy romp where up to 30 players roam a map until a random catastrophic event such as a volcano eruption or blizzard occurs, leading all the players to scramble for cover and safety as the elements destroy the Lego-like world around them.
Roblox claims that it’s now been around long enough – it was founded in 2006 – that some of its longtime users are now graduating into full-fledged professional game developers. They cited indie Steam hit Unturned as the product of a former Roblox user.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your own Xbox One game, Roblox now gives you that chance – for free. The power is now in your hands if you’re curious to learn how the video game sausage gets made. IGN Logo

Microsoft Teases More Story With Halo 5 Release Trailer

Video game developer 343 Industries isn’t slowing down as it builds anticipation for next month’s Halo 5 release date. Just a day after it introduced a new season of its podcast to hype the game’s story, Microsoft is back with a new video that introduces the Blue Team and teases the game’s campaign. What’s more, it’s letting journalists talk about their experience with the game so far.
Microsoft added the trailer to its Xbox Wire news blog last night. Then this morning video game websites began publishing articles describing their time with the game’s campaign. It was only yesterday that Microsoft began releasing new episodes of its Hunt The Truth podcast setting up the Halo 5: Guardians story. The whole thing is a massive effort by Microsoft to built the game’s profile ahead of release on October 27th. Halo 5: Guardians is the crown jewel of Microsoft’s holiday 2015 line-up. With a weak line-up of exclusives on the PS4, many believe its Microsoft’s last hope of catching up to its Sony-made rival in sales.

The Halo 5: Guardians trailer that Microsoft released early this morning is ripped straight form the second mission in the game. In the video we see Blue Team, preparing for a battle in what appears to be a deep space with the Covenant, a dangerous race of aliens who’ve tried to destroy Earth and her colonies since the beginning of the series.

As the Blue Team suits up Master Chief is seen running his finger over the port in the back of his helmet. This is the same port that he used to insert the chip carrying his virtual side-kick Cortana into. According to a post accompanying the video, Blue Team is on its way to make sure that a ship carrying classified information about Earth’s military doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Besides the Chief, the team is made up of Kelly, Linda and Fredric.
All told, the trailer doesn’t reveal too much about the game, but does give the Blue Team time in the spotlight. A lot of the previous reveals showed the game’s other team of Spartans, Fireteam Osiris. We do know that at some point Osiris is sent to hunt down Master Chief John 117. Early trailers for the game say as much. With this tease officially available online, we’ve now seen cinematics from two different missions in the campaign. Fireteam Osiris was on a desert planet hunting something down in the last official clip.
To be clear, the previews that video game websites are publishing this morning aren’t small hints at what’s coming in Halo 5: Guardians. Some of them are huge breakdowns of the game. Polygon, for example, guides players through the mechanics of the first two missions. No story information is included in the breakdown, but gameplay is.
One of the things the report notes early on is how faster Halo 5: Guardians feels. 343 Industries built this game to run at 60 frames per second, something that no previous Halo game has done. Mechanics like constant running and ground pound makes moving around the maps more fluid and faster. “So far Halo 5 has a more active feel to it, with more seeming options at any given moment due in part to the new abilities at your disposal at any given moment,” says Polygon.
The biggest gambles that 343 Industries is taking with the Halo 5: Guardians are sounding a bit rough. Adding more vertical gameplay has worked out, according to writer Arthur Gies, but the computer controlled team of Spartans who are supposed to assist players are described as “kind of dumb.”

Jaguars release their own video game

The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the first NFL teams to offer their own emoji keyboard, and now they're believed to be one of the first to offer their own video game.
The team debuted Duval Dash during last Sunday's victory over the Miami Dolphins. It's an eight-bit game, so it looks a bit old school (think some of the old Atari games).
In addition, the team said the site also will have polls, social competitions, contests and other pieces of content. The Jaguars hope to launch two games per year on Jaguars Arcade, the team said.
"Jaguars Arcade was designed as a means to engage with our brand while enjoying a challenging and fun digital experience,” said Steve Ziff, Jaguars vice president of marketing and digital media. "Our goal is to reach Jags fans of all ages, and we look for this to be a key entertainment asset to grow the relationship and interact with them all year long. We will continue to create and develop more digital and mobile offerings in the future."