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Edge July 2018

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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.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
been a long time since i looked you in the eye

In the videogame industry, longevity is as often a blessing as a curse. You don’t get to stick around unless you achieve success, but as the acclaim and awards roll in, the pressure ratchets up. When Cliff Bleszinski quit Epic Games after 20 years to set up on his own, he was not the head of a promising young start-up; he was the cocky Gears Of War guy. He still is, but now also carries the burden of the failure of his studio’s debut game, Lawbreakers. This issue we run the rule over Boss Key’s new game, Radical Heights, the next chapter in Bleszinski’s future legacy. The man who will inevitably still be known as CliffyB when they wheel him into the nursing home may, in his more humble moments, regret…

10 min.
tuning 4k

Games are currently facing one of the sternest technical challenges they’ve ever had to grapple with. As TV and monitor makers have brought down the price of of 4K displays, games have rushed to meet them pixel for pixel. Both Sony and Microsoft have launched upgraded consoles, Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, which are specifically marketed to cater to the demands that 4K imposes, but the maths is tricky. 4K is the biggest leap in pixel density that game hardware has ever had to accomplish, because with the way modern graphics processes work, pixels really matter. “The majority of work done in a frame is roughly proportional to the number of shaded pixels,” says graphics engineer Timothy Lottes, a member of GPU maker AMD’s Game Engineering team. “To oversimplify it,”…

4 min.
face to face

Seven years on and, arguably, no videogame has surpassed LA Noire in recreating the subtlety of an actor’s facial performances. Developed by Depthanalysis, a now-defunct sister company to the game’s now-defunct developer Team Bondi, the 3D scanning technology used in the game, MotionScan, was unwieldy (actors reported being unable to move their bodies while being recorded) and almost prohibitively expensive. Its technological approach of creating, in effect, 3D sprite sheets for every frame of animation also produced, in LA Noire, a game of notorious heft; the recent re-release is too substantial to fit on Switch’s standard memory. But while players still needed to leap the uncanny valley, when it comes to seeing is believing, the chasm has rarely been narrower than in Rockstar’s gumshoe drama, even after all these years. A…

1 min.
walking spread

The Walking Dead: Our World is just one of a slew of augmented-reality games styled after popular film and TV properties due for release in 2018. Jurassic World Alive will also use Google Maps to geolocate gameplay, superimposing dinosaurs onto real-world locations, while Pokémon Go developer Niantic is finishing work on its next major AR game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Perhaps the popular fiction best-suited to AR game treatment, however, is Ghostbusters, for the grimly practical reason that spectres don’t look strange when they glitch through walls or the floor. Ghostbusters World will be a forthcoming collaboration between Sony Pictures Entertainment Consumer Products, Ghost Corps and publisher FourThirtyThree.…

4 min.
rune at the top

As service games become increasingly prevalent, developers across the industry are obsessed with finding ways to not just attract players, but retain their attention; to not just build a fanbase, but to foster a community. Cambridge-based Jagex seems to have mastered the art: on average, players of its evergreen MMO RuneScape stay with it for seven years. Then again, it’s had plenty of practice – RuneScape has, after all, been around since 2001. “We like to use the slightly euphemistic phrase ‘It’s been 17 years in the making’,” CEO Phil Mansell laughs. Naturally, the game has evolved significantly during that time, but so too has the way Jagex has communicated with its players. During the game’s infancy, creators Andrew and Paul Gower were able to talk directly to a small group…

1 min.
highly evolved

Now in its 13th year, Develop: Brighton is hoping to build upon the success of last year’s record-breaking event with a number of key changes. Traditional curtain-raiser Evolve, which centres on cutting-edge developments across the industry, is now a full track within the main conference programme, which has expanded to run for the full three days. Elsewhere, a brand new track, Discoverability, is designed to help advise developers on gaining player attention. The Develop Game Jam and Indie Showcase competition, meanwhile, will both return. For further information or to book tickets, visit developconference.com.…