category_outlined / Tech & Gaming

Edge June 2016

The authority on videogame art, design and play, Edge is the must-have companion for game industry professionals, aspiring game-makers and super-committed hobbyists. Its mission is to celebrate the best in interactive entertainment today and identify the most important developments of tomorrow, providing the most trusted, in-depth editorial in the business via unparalleled access to the developers and technologies that make videogames the world’s most dynamic form of entertainment.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues


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bothering jeff minter’s sheep following a trip to mute city

We’ve heard it so many times. Some of us may have even uttered the words ourselves: “This is great, but… imagine it in VR.” Now that we’ve spent time immersed in VR with all sorts of games and other applications, and for extended periods rather than simply dabbling, the inappropriateness of the remark comes into grim focus. In compiling this issue’s Play section, for the first time in history a game caused one of our review staff to actually vomit. Videogames have long held the potential to mess with our bodies’ delicate systems. This parish’s own James Leach recalls a trip to see game designer Jeff Minter 25 years ago: “We went to his cottage in deepest Wales. We saw a variety of llama-related titles he was developing, and then he…

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the magic touch?

There’s an established ritual to being demoed a Rift game, demanding passivity and obedience. Slip on the headset, then place the hands forward and pause – polite and isolated in darkness – ready for a gamepad to be placed in your grasp. This familiar procedure is already changing, though. The tweak is subtle, but open hands are no longer befitting to the ritual. Oculus Touch may not yet be available publicly, but developers have clearly embraced it. Those waiting hands must now be held flat, fingers tightly bunched, ready for the wrist strap of Palmer Luckey’s hand controller to be slid into place. At GDC this year, it wasn’t the case that Touch controllers represented a rising trend; rather, they were close to the norm. The reasons behind the shift are…

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the toy of the beholder

Due for release later this year, the Touch hardware essentially merges the function and form of motion controllers and a traditional pad, breaking the latter in two so that each half can be used independently. Its constellation tracking reads hand movements with striking precision, using the same sensor that tracks the Rift user’s head position. Traditional fascia buttons, thumbsticks and triggers, meanwhile, let players grab, press and select. “I don’t think the question is about if there are going to be a lot more hand controller games and tools for VR,” says Colin Northway. “It’s about if there’s going to be any non-hand-controlled games and tools.”…

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survival of the quickest

The closures of two of the UK’s most highly regarded studios has raised new questions about the region’s ability to flourish in the ever-evolving videogame industry. If the Microsoft-owned Lionhead and Sony-owned Evolution can’t find success on these shores in 2016, what does it mean for British companies that don’t have the backing of multinational, platform-owning corporations? In Bossa Studios, creator of Surgeon Simulator and the forthcoming Worlds Adrift, we find an optimistic, albeit realistic, perspective. “It’s a great time here [in the UK], and then there are challenges,” says Henrique Olifiers, the company’s co-founder and ‘gamer-inchief’. “If you look at things like the tax breaks the UK industry received, there’s some advantages we have now that we asked for over many years, and we finally got some help there. At…

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a small solution

Keeping a studio small in size can make it much easier to be flexible, and it’s given people such as Aj Grand-Scrutton (above) the opportunity to take a view of the challenges facing today’s developers. As CEO of Dlala, he’s already worked in a variety of environments, on contrasting projects, while the company thrives as it approaches its fourth birthday. Dlala partnered with Team17 to release party game Overruled; before then, it had gone it alone, and experimented for a time operating within Microsoft’s Lift London. Subsequently the team has worked on government-training game projects, and it continues to work on its own titles. “I think the single biggest mistake anyone running a studio makes is basing the company’s future on projections,” Grand-Scrutton says. In three to five years, he…

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by the numbers

As the organisations that monitor the health of UK game development have changed over the past ten years, so has the shape of the data they produce. It makes consistent comparison of the UK scene over time testing for even the most devoted analysts, but there’s enough to go on to get a sense of the direction in which the region is moving. In 2005, nowdefunct trade body ELSPA reported that 22,190 people worked in games within the UK, some 6,000 of those at studios. At the time that represented a year-onyear climb overall, but a fall in numbers actually making games. Some ten years later, the trade body had become UKIE, which, working with innovation charity NESTA, found 1,902 game companies in the UK in 2014 – an increase of…