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Found 22 results

  1. Today, Chet Faliszek, formerly of Valve and Bossa Games, and Dr. Kimberly Voll, a longtime designer at Riot Games, announced that they have formed a new independent game studio called Stray Bombay. The two have given themselves a mission to create projects that simply don't work within most existing studios. They want to make games where artificial intelligence can improve not just enemies but facilitate jolly co-operation and even narrative itself. Many people haven't heard about Chet Faliszek or Dr. Kimberly Voll by name, but their work is familiar with millions of people around the world. Faliszek was responsible for the creation of Left 4 Dead's stories as well as its sequel and both Portal 1 and 2 along with Erik Wolpaw. Dr. Voll, on the other hand, brings her expertise in AI and designing systems for humans to affably interact with AI. She has spent the last three years at Riot Games as a senior technical designer helping to smooth out the gameplay experience for League of Legends, one of the most played games in the world. She was also instrumental in the creation of Fantastic Contraption, a critically acclaimed VR puzzle title released in 2016 for the HTC Vive. Both Faliszek and Dr. Voll have come together to take a risk and make gameplay experiences and narratives that aren't possible without AI, what they call "collaborative gaming experiences." Their new Seattle-based studio will carry on with the vision of what Faliszek conceived and began working on at Bossa Games before he and the studio parted amicably to pursue other their respective creative visions. Stray Bombay will also prioritize personal time off so that even when development ramps up, people will be able to step away and properly take care of themselves. It's being founded with the help of Riot Games and venture capitalists. "As Kim and I talked over the years about the kind of games we want to make, we realized we want to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment," Faliszek explained in the announcement on the studio's new website, referencing a letter he received from a soldier in Afghanistan who thanked him for saving his marriage with the game. "Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other... not a bunch of folks in each other’s way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience." According to a statement made to PC Games Insider, the project Stray Bombay will be tackling already has a working prototype running on Unity and Unreal Engine. Despite that, don't expect to see this AI-driven experience anytime soon. After they fill the several open positions at the studio, something they will likely be able to do during GDC itself, they plan to go dark and buckle down to bring this dream to life. "We know the direction we're going," Chet said as he laid out the plan going forward. "As people join the team, that'll help find the game more clearly. We're very iterative, everyone is a designer, everyone participates in the process. [...] Obviously, we have a plan, there's a framework that we can hang it all off, but everyone will be able to express themselves and have an impact." AI has the potential to improve human life in a lot of ways, but just how it could improve the narrative experience in games hasn't been explored in as much depth as one might think. What Dr. Voll and Faliszek are undertaking might change how games tell stories going forward. Imagine a roguelike adventure overseen by something akin to Left 4 Dead's AI Director, only not just enemies, but the story itself unfolds in response to player choices and actions. That could be a game changer in the industry and break down the longstanding barrier between liner and open narrative design in a way unlike anything before. We will have to wait and see. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Today, Chet Faliszek, formerly of Valve and Bossa Games, and Dr. Kimberly Voll, a longtime designer at Riot Games, announced that they have formed a new independent game studio called Stray Bombay. The two have given themselves a mission to create projects that simply don't work within most existing studios. They want to make games where artificial intelligence can improve not just enemies but facilitate jolly co-operation and even narrative itself. Many people haven't heard about Chet Faliszek or Dr. Kimberly Voll by name, but their work is familiar with millions of people around the world. Faliszek was responsible for the creation of Left 4 Dead's stories as well as its sequel and both Portal 1 and 2 along with Erik Wolpaw. Dr. Voll, on the other hand, brings her expertise in AI and designing systems for humans to affably interact with AI. She has spent the last three years at Riot Games as a senior technical designer helping to smooth out the gameplay experience for League of Legends, one of the most played games in the world. She was also instrumental in the creation of Fantastic Contraption, a critically acclaimed VR puzzle title released in 2016 for the HTC Vive. Both Faliszek and Dr. Voll have come together to take a risk and make gameplay experiences and narratives that aren't possible without AI, what they call "collaborative gaming experiences." Their new Seattle-based studio will carry on with the vision of what Faliszek conceived and began working on at Bossa Games before he and the studio parted amicably to pursue other their respective creative visions. Stray Bombay will also prioritize personal time off so that even when development ramps up, people will be able to step away and properly take care of themselves. It's being founded with the help of Riot Games and venture capitalists. "As Kim and I talked over the years about the kind of games we want to make, we realized we want to create games that give players a place to breathe and live in the moment," Faliszek explained in the announcement on the studio's new website, referencing a letter he received from a soldier in Afghanistan who thanked him for saving his marriage with the game. "Games that tell stories knowing you are going to come back again and again, that change each time you play them without feeling completely random, and that help you feel like a real team that supports each other... not a bunch of folks in each other’s way. And where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience." According to a statement made to PC Games Insider, the project Stray Bombay will be tackling already has a working prototype running on Unity and Unreal Engine. Despite that, don't expect to see this AI-driven experience anytime soon. After they fill the several open positions at the studio, something they will likely be able to do during GDC itself, they plan to go dark and buckle down to bring this dream to life. "We know the direction we're going," Chet said as he laid out the plan going forward. "As people join the team, that'll help find the game more clearly. We're very iterative, everyone is a designer, everyone participates in the process. [...] Obviously, we have a plan, there's a framework that we can hang it all off, but everyone will be able to express themselves and have an impact." AI has the potential to improve human life in a lot of ways, but just how it could improve the narrative experience in games hasn't been explored in as much depth as one might think. What Dr. Voll and Faliszek are undertaking might change how games tell stories going forward. Imagine a roguelike adventure overseen by something akin to Left 4 Dead's AI Director, only not just enemies, but the story itself unfolds in response to player choices and actions. That could be a game changer in the industry and break down the longstanding barrier between liner and open narrative design in a way unlike anything before. We will have to wait and see. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. League of Legends was once the most played and most popular game in the world. To this day, it enjoys a colossal following that most games can't even dream of matching. Let's dive into the history of the MOBA genre and discuss some of the game's best qualities and biggest faults. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 'Sweet Dreams, Koholint' by DaMonz, Christine Giguère, Denis Bluteau (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03825) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. League of Legends was once the most played and most popular game in the world. To this day, it enjoys a colossal following that most games can't even dream of matching. Let's dive into the history of the MOBA genre and discuss some of the game's best qualities and biggest faults. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 'Sweet Dreams, Koholint' by DaMonz, Christine Giguère, Denis Bluteau (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03825) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. After spending years and years fine-tuning League of Legends into one of the most played games in the world, Riot Games has released a brand new game, only this time they're targeting the tabletop. Mechs vs. Minions takes place within the League of Legends universe and focuses on a scenario in which Rumble has assembled four diminutive Yordle heroes to teach them how to pilot their very own mechanized suits. Players can choose to take Corki, Heimerdinger, Tristana, or Ziggs into the battles against the roving army of minions that threaten the security of Runeterra. In Mechs vs. Minions, players must work together to put on the best defense they can manage against the oncoming minion threat. Up to four players can battle their way through a ten mission campaign. Each mission lasts approximately 60-90 minutes and can be accompanied by a radioplay to add more of a running narrative to the experience. Riot has brought back the League of Legends voice actors to reprise their roles for the radioplay versions of their characters. The tabletop game includes the following bits: 5 reversible game boards 4 command lines (one for each player) 4 painted mech miniatures Ability and damage decks A sand timer A bomb-like power source miniature 6 metal trackers 4 acrylic shards 4 dice 100 minion miniatures Some kind of large object, trying to break through that sealed box... The initial release of Mechs vs. Minions consists of 30,000 copies. As of this publishing, Mechs vs. Minions has not sold out. If the first wave of the co-op tabletop game sells out, future releases will be coming. Riot will update the Mech vs. Minions section of their store to indicate when those might be coming. With Game Day coming up, anyone think they might be picking up a copy of Mechs vs. Minions? Let us know what you think in the comments!
  6. After spending years and years fine-tuning League of Legends into one of the most played games in the world, Riot Games has released a brand new game, only this time they're targeting the tabletop. Mechs vs. Minions takes place within the League of Legends universe and focuses on a scenario in which Rumble has assembled four diminutive Yordle heroes to teach them how to pilot their very own mechanized suits. Players can choose to take Corki, Heimerdinger, Tristana, or Ziggs into the battles against the roving army of minions that threaten the security of Runeterra. In Mechs vs. Minions, players must work together to put on the best defense they can manage against the oncoming minion threat. Up to four players can battle their way through a ten mission campaign. Each mission lasts approximately 60-90 minutes and can be accompanied by a radioplay to add more of a running narrative to the experience. Riot has brought back the League of Legends voice actors to reprise their roles for the radioplay versions of their characters. The tabletop game includes the following bits: 5 reversible game boards 4 command lines (one for each player) 4 painted mech miniatures Ability and damage decks A sand timer A bomb-like power source miniature 6 metal trackers 4 acrylic shards 4 dice 100 minion miniatures Some kind of large object, trying to break through that sealed box... The initial release of Mechs vs. Minions consists of 30,000 copies. As of this publishing, Mechs vs. Minions has not sold out. If the first wave of the co-op tabletop game sells out, future releases will be coming. Riot will update the Mech vs. Minions section of their store to indicate when those might be coming. With Game Day coming up, anyone think they might be picking up a copy of Mechs vs. Minions? Let us know what you think in the comments! View full article
  7. The developer of League of Legends has released the first album of official game music consisting of fifteen tracks both new and old. This is a real treat for people who are enamored with the login music or the music videos that Riot Games creates from time to time. The track list is as follows: Demacia Rising Tidecaller Tiny Masterpiece Of Evil The Curse Of The Sad Mummy Quinn And Valor Braum Tales Of The Rift Lulu And Shaco's Quirky Encounter Freljord Rise Of The Ascended Daylight's End Challengers Get Jinxed Super Galaxy Rumble Reborn If you are interested, Riot is currently offering the album free of charge, but will also be releasing it through Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
  8. The developer of League of Legends has released the first album of official game music consisting of fifteen tracks both new and old. This is a real treat for people who are enamored with the login music or the music videos that Riot Games creates from time to time. The track list is as follows: Demacia Rising Tidecaller Tiny Masterpiece Of Evil The Curse Of The Sad Mummy Quinn And Valor Braum Tales Of The Rift Lulu And Shaco's Quirky Encounter Freljord Rise Of The Ascended Daylight's End Challengers Get Jinxed Super Galaxy Rumble Reborn If you are interested, Riot is currently offering the album free of charge, but will also be releasing it through Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube. View full article
  9. Starting today, rascally poros take over League of Legends' Howling Abyss map for the next couple of weeks allowing players to enjoy The Legend of the Poro King game mode. From today until January 6, players can partake in the most precious battles of all time. The new game mode revolves around a new ability that allows players to throw poros at each other and summon the mighty Poro King. For a few more specifics on the game mode, check out the release page. For a look at one of the most adorable images in the world, click here. Maybe Riot will keep the Poro King as a full champion? A guy can dream, right? View full article
  10. Starting today, rascally poros take over League of Legends' Howling Abyss map for the next couple of weeks allowing players to enjoy The Legend of the Poro King game mode. From today until January 6, players can partake in the most precious battles of all time. The new game mode revolves around a new ability that allows players to throw poros at each other and summon the mighty Poro King. For a few more specifics on the game mode, check out the release page. For a look at one of the most adorable images in the world, click here. Maybe Riot will keep the Poro King as a full champion? A guy can dream, right?
  11. The League of Legends animation and champion creation teams must be working overtime at Riot Games. If today's teaser is any indication, we could be seeing a new champion setting foot on, or perhaps underneath, the Fields of Justice in the not so distant future. The video was posted with the following description: Traders whisper stories of a beast below Shurima’s sands. They say she stalks the caravans that dare cross her domain. They say she hunts those that run, and kills those that fight. But what if the stories aren’t simple stories? What if they’re true? From the video and the description, I think it might be safe to assume that we'll be seeing a fairly mobile, possibly sneaky, non-human joining the ranks of the League of Legends. Perhaps it is a new Void monster? Or Skarner's long lost cousin? Only time will tell. For now we can enjoy a little mystery.
  12. The League of Legends animation and champion creation teams must be working overtime at Riot Games. If today's teaser is any indication, we could be seeing a new champion setting foot on, or perhaps underneath, the Fields of Justice in the not so distant future. The video was posted with the following description: Traders whisper stories of a beast below Shurima’s sands. They say she stalks the caravans that dare cross her domain. They say she hunts those that run, and kills those that fight. But what if the stories aren’t simple stories? What if they’re true? From the video and the description, I think it might be safe to assume that we'll be seeing a fairly mobile, possibly sneaky, non-human joining the ranks of the League of Legends. Perhaps it is a new Void monster? Or Skarner's long lost cousin? Only time will tell. For now we can enjoy a little mystery. View full article
  13. Out of the Shurima Desert steps a forgotten emperor bereft of his empire. From the swirling sands of the desert, he summons an army fit to do battle in the League of Legends. While similar in appearance to both Nasus and Renekton, Azir's playstyle appears to be completely different. He is what Riot Games calls one of their "minion-mancers," able to summon Shurima sand warriors at will and use them to attack adversaries. However, his move set is different from the turret-deploying Heimerdinger. Azir's soldiers are linked with his auto-attack, meaning Azir must target what he wants attacked or else his fighters are as worthless as sand dunes. Riot has taken care to make Azir unique and powerful, while retaining weaknesses learned from their other minion-controlling champions like Yorick, Elise, and Malzahar. For a full rundown of Azir's abilities, strategies, and synergy with other champions, check out the League of Legends reveal page.
  14. Out of the Shurima Desert steps a forgotten emperor bereft of his empire. From the swirling sands of the desert, he summons an army fit to do battle in the League of Legends. While similar in appearance to both Nasus and Renekton, Azir's playstyle appears to be completely different. He is what Riot Games calls one of their "minion-mancers," able to summon Shurima sand warriors at will and use them to attack adversaries. However, his move set is different from the turret-deploying Heimerdinger. Azir's soldiers are linked with his auto-attack, meaning Azir must target what he wants attacked or else his fighters are as worthless as sand dunes. Riot has taken care to make Azir unique and powerful, while retaining weaknesses learned from their other minion-controlling champions like Yorick, Elise, and Malzahar. For a full rundown of Azir's abilities, strategies, and synergy with other champions, check out the League of Legends reveal page. View full article
  15. Riot Games has been cracking the whip on their animation team to whip up an adorable teaser for their next champion. He's got a big mustache and a love for adorable poros. No details have been released regarding the champion, but the announcement is tagged with the word Braum, which many have taken to be the champion's name. From his gigantic shield and demeanor it might be safe to assume he'll be a tanky top-laner/support. Now, here, have a poro gif. View full article
  16. Riot Games has been cracking the whip on their animation team to whip up an adorable teaser for their next champion. He's got a big mustache and a love for adorable poros. No details have been released regarding the champion, but the announcement is tagged with the word Braum, which many have taken to be the champion's name. From his gigantic shield and demeanor it might be safe to assume he'll be a tanky top-laner/support. Now, here, have a poro gif.
  17. Tired of calling positions and arguing about pick order? Team Builder is here to solve your League of Legends team composition woes. Team Builder allows players to select what champion, map position, and role they are interested in playing on a team. The system then attempts to match players with like-minded teammates. The system was briefly tested in beta and proved to be so popular that it has now taken up permanent residence on the Fields of Justice. Team Builder is an entirely separate queue from normal Blind Pick and Draft Pick to preserve balance in the other game modes. However, Riot Games has decided that Team Builder will not be available in ranked until they can figure out how champion banning could be effectively implemented. Wait times for queues are estimated to be relatively stable regardless of champion or role selection. However, since Team Builder is just being implemented, the estimated wait times will frequently be inaccurate. As the mode is used more and collects more data, it will be able to give more accurate predictions. For more detailed information, you can check out this FAQ section. View full article
  18. Tired of calling positions and arguing about pick order? Team Builder is here to solve your League of Legends team composition woes. Team Builder allows players to select what champion, map position, and role they are interested in playing on a team. The system then attempts to match players with like-minded teammates. The system was briefly tested in beta and proved to be so popular that it has now taken up permanent residence on the Fields of Justice. Team Builder is an entirely separate queue from normal Blind Pick and Draft Pick to preserve balance in the other game modes. However, Riot Games has decided that Team Builder will not be available in ranked until they can figure out how champion banning could be effectively implemented. Wait times for queues are estimated to be relatively stable regardless of champion or role selection. However, since Team Builder is just being implemented, the estimated wait times will frequently be inaccurate. As the mode is used more and collects more data, it will be able to give more accurate predictions. For more detailed information, you can check out this FAQ section.
  19. The folks over at HBO seem to think that there might just be significant overlap between the audience of Game of Thrones and the people who play League of Legends. They probably aren't wrong. HBO has apparently approached Riot Games to do some sort of advertising deal. By itself, that wouldn't be terribly interesting. All that it means for us common folk is that we'll be seeing some Game of Thrones advertisements on the League of Legends website. Of more immediate interest, Riot Games is also now working with the HBO team to produce a mash-up trailer of League of Legends and Game of Thrones. What will that look like? We haven't the faintest idea, but we, much like beloved characters in a George R.R. Martin novel, are dying to find out. View full article
  20. The folks over at HBO seem to think that there might just be significant overlap between the audience of Game of Thrones and the people who play League of Legends. They probably aren't wrong. HBO has apparently approached Riot Games to do some sort of advertising deal. By itself, that wouldn't be terribly interesting. All that it means for us common folk is that we'll be seeing some Game of Thrones advertisements on the League of Legends website. Of more immediate interest, Riot Games is also now working with the HBO team to produce a mash-up trailer of League of Legends and Game of Thrones. What will that look like? We haven't the faintest idea, but we, much like beloved characters in a George R.R. Martin novel, are dying to find out.
  21. This year's Game Developers Choice Awards will take place on March 19 in San Francisco. Most nominees will have to wait until the ceremony to see if they have received a coveted GDC Award, however a handful of special recognition award winners have been announced ahead of time. The Ambassador Award is given out each year to people who have helped games "advance to a better place." Anita Sarkeesian was selected for her work on Feminist Frequency and Tropes vs. Women in Video Games which turns a critical eye on how women are portrayed in video games. Most people will recall Sarkeesian's work after the harassment-wrought Kickstarter campaign for the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games YouTube series. Riot Games' co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill have received the Pioneer Award for helping to create League of Legends, the most commercially successful free-to-play game, and the most played game, in the world. They are being honored for growing the eSports community and making great strides in large-scale community management. Who do you think deserves recognition for their work during 2013? View full article
  22. This year's Game Developers Choice Awards will take place on March 19 in San Francisco. Most nominees will have to wait until the ceremony to see if they have received a coveted GDC Award, however a handful of special recognition award winners have been announced ahead of time. The Ambassador Award is given out each year to people who have helped games "advance to a better place." Anita Sarkeesian was selected for her work on Feminist Frequency and Tropes vs. Women in Video Games which turns a critical eye on how women are portrayed in video games. Most people will recall Sarkeesian's work after the harassment-wrought Kickstarter campaign for the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games YouTube series. Riot Games' co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill have received the Pioneer Award for helping to create League of Legends, the most commercially successful free-to-play game, and the most played game, in the world. They are being honored for growing the eSports community and making great strides in large-scale community management. Who do you think deserves recognition for their work during 2013?
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