Tag Archives: polygon

Google’s Stadia promises huge innovations for multiplayer gaming

Google announced a new streaming platform for gaming during its GDC keynote today. Called Stadia, the new platform is cloud-based instead of being focused on a single, local console, which will also allow Google to try new things in the world of multiplayer gaming while also reportedly wiping out the threats of cheats and hacks.

“When we designed Stadia, our goal was to solve many of the pain points that we had heard about from developers,” Google vice president Phil Harrison stated. “Particularly those related to multiplayer. In traditional platforms, the client and server are connect by the unpredictable internet, and therefore the multiplayer experience is limited by the client with the slowest or poorest internet connection.”

stadia multiplayer Google

Google can control every aspect of the online experience since the visuals are being processed on its machines and all the data is moving through its system.

“What that means is a synchronized state across a very high volume of players, where innovations like distributed physics can be built into your games,” Harrison said. “Where battle royale games can go from hundreds of players today, to thousands of players tomorrow. And yes, no cheating, and no hacking.”

This system will also allow more games to offer couch co-op; developers won’t have to worry about the graphical hit that comes with split-screen co-op since Google will be handling the computing power. Each player will be a separate, server-powered instance.

Stadia will also “embrace full cross-platform play,” according to Harrison, although what developers can offer in that area will still remain controlled by what Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will allow on their own platforms.

Source: Polygon.com

Doom Eternal will be playable on Google Stadia

Doom Eternal, the sequel to the 2016 series reboot, is coming to Google’s new Stadia platform, developer id Software announced at Google’s GDC event on Tuesday.

During the announcement, id executive producer Marty Stratton explained that the game would run on Stadia in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with HDR support — all on a single Stadia GPU. As with other Stadia games, Doom Eternal will be playable on all Stadia-compatible devices including traditional desktops and laptops, as well as smartphones, tablets, and televisions. The game will also be compatible with Google’s Stadia controller.

Stratton said during the presentation that it only took the id team a few weeks to transition Doom Eternal onto Stadia. While he didn’t show a live demo of the game during Google’s presentation, he said it will be shown live during id’s GDC presentation later in the day.

Doom Eternal is id Software’s follow-up to 2016’s Doom. It’s unclear if the Stadia version of the game will be available alongside the game’s launch on more traditional platforms, or if the version will be released later.

Source: Polygon.com

Google’s Stadia will let you jump into a game in seconds straight from YouTube

Google’s Game Developers Conference keynote today pulled the curtain back on Stadia, a service that allows anyone to play new video games by streaming them over the internet. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the ambition was to “build a gaming platform for everyone,” which means no barriers — including hardware.

The idea is wild: Google Vice President Phil Harrison took to the stage and showed how players will be able to load up a YouTube trailer. At the end of an official trailer, you might see a button that says “Play Now,” and pressing it will launch you straight into whatever game you were watching within seconds. You’ll be able to play straight from the browser itself. According to Google, the YouTube integration will also allow for real-time streaming at 4K and 60 frames-per-second, eventually allowing for 120 FPS at 8k.

To show it off, Harrison said they intentionally bought the lowest-end PC possible — meaning that as long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to play modern video games without hitches. Stadia will reportedly work on nearly anything from phones to tablets, and Chromebooks.

Source: Polygon.com

Here’s your first look at Google’s gaming controller

Google’s foray into the gaming world, Google Stadia, depends on an ambitious plan to let nearly any ordinary device stream modern video games. To go along with this Stadia announcement, Google also revealed a specialized controller at the Game Developers Conference this year that will help players direct their streaming experiences. Here’s what you can expect.

The controller, while fancy, is not actually necessary to enjoy Google’s gaming experience — players can also hook up whatever peripheral they’d like via USB or Bluetooth. However, the Google controller will let players to perform stream-specific tasks with the touch of a button, making it a smart choice of anyone picking up Stadia.

For example, you’ll be able to press a button to receive help from the developers. There’s also a button that allows for easy capture and sharing with friends. Otherwise, the controller is what you’d expect from a device of this kind: there’s a D-pad, joysticks, face buttons, and shoulder buttons. The controller will connect to the cloud via Wi-Fi.

Google has been gearing up to reveal its gaming plans for a while now. Beyond poaching top video game talent from various studios, the tech company has also been testing out Project Stream, a browser-based service that allowed players enjoy titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey without needing high-end hardware.

Google Stadia Controller in white, black, and sky blue Google

Source: Polygon.com

Apex Legends’ season 1 patch adjusts the game’s biggest hitboxes

Apex Legends’ first season has begun, and alongside the battle pass and a new character, there’s also a patch that fixes a few bugs.

The main goal of this patch, according to developer Respawn Entertainment, was to better balance the Legends, specifically to make up for the characters’ various hitbox sizes. Pathfinder, Gibraltar, and Caustic all got smaller hitboxes in the patch which should help them compete with other Legends a little easier.

The other changes coming with the first season one patch are mostly focused on quality of life changes and bug fixes. Some of these changes including updates to the UI and sound systems in the game. Another important change is the addition of the “Report a Player” feature that can help players identify players cheating or using hateful speech in game.

The patch also made a few changes to Apex Legends’ weapons as well.

For a look at everything that changed in this patch you can look at the full Apex Legends 1.0 patch notes below.


INTRODUCING BATTLE PASS SEASON 1

  • Added Battle Pass tab to Lobby.
  • Cost: 950 Apex Coins
  • Earn over 100 unique items throughout the season – everything you snag before the season is over is yours to keep.
  • Updated dashboard images for Season 1 on PC and Xbox [PS4 is on the way!]
  • Updated Main Menu with new Season 1 art.
  • Updated the Lobby visuals for Season 1.
  • Updated Apex Legends site FAQ with info on Battle Pass.

INTRODUCING THE BATTLE PASS BUNDLE

  • Get the Battle Pass, plus unlock your next 25 levels for Season 1 instantly.
  • Cost: 2,800 Apex Coins.

FREE REWARDS

Everyone that plays Apex Legends during Season 1 can earn the following rewards:

  • 1 Wild Frontier Legend Skin
  • 5 Apex Packs
  • 18 Wild Frontier themed Stat Trackers

Passive: Swift Mend

  • While not taking damage, Octane restores 1 health every 2 seconds.

Tactical: Stim

  • Move 30% faster for 6 seconds. Costs health to use. While active, Octane is affected less by attacks that cause slowdown. 2 second recharge.

Ultimate: Launch Pad

  • Deployable jump pad that catapults players through the air. Takes 90 seconds to recharge.

Cost:

  • 12,000 Legend Tokens
  • 750 Apex Coins

Improved stability for various GPU configurations.

Capped PC FPS to 300 to balance improving stability but still letting you folks enjoy those sweet frames.

Addressed issue with PS4 crashes due to running out of memory.

Introducing better reporting when Apex crashes on PC without error message.

We really want to fix any crashes people happen to get on PC. We also respect our player’s privacy. So, if the PC game crashes, it will write “apex_crash.txt” to your “Documents” folder. This tiny file is plain text, so you can easily see for yourself that it has no personal information. If you choose to share this file with us, it will tell us whether the crash was in Apex or in third party software. If the crash was in Apex, our programmers can use the information to find and fix it. If you experience a crash, please include this file when you report.

We protect your personal information.

You can easily see everything in the file yourself; we have no secrets.

You’re in control of whether we ever see the file.

Added Report a Player feature for cheating and abuse on PC.

  • Players can now report cheaters they encounter in-game and it’ll be sent directly to Easy Anti-Cheat. You can do this from either the spectate view after dying or when looking at your team’s Banner Cards in the Squad tab.
  • We have lots of other work going on behind the scenes and this remains high priority for us. We won’t be able to share many specifics of what we’re doing but we’ll strive to provide updates on progress for the things we can talk about.
  • As I’m finishing the notes this morning, 499,937 accounts and counting have been banned for cheating.
  • Speed hacking: We do currently have anti-speed hacking in Apex Legends, but it’s not being as effective as intended due to a bug that we believe we’ve identified and will be addressing in our next server update. Will provide ETA for it when I have it. Working to get it out ASAP.

Added Report a Player for abuse on Consoles

  • You can report players from the spectate view after dying or when looking at your team’s Banner Cards in the Squad tab.

Optimized skydiving to improve overall server performance.

Fixed bug where sometimes the client could crash when opening Apex Packs one right after the other.


Added “Swap LT/RT & LB/RB” / “Swap L1/R1 & L2/R2”) toggle in the Controller Button Layout settings.

  • Lets you quickly swap what your bumpers & triggers are set to, with any controller preset.

Added “Sprint View Shake” setting under the Video tab.

  • Setting this to “Minimal” can be especially helpful for players susceptible to motion sickness.

Added “Trigger Deadzones” setting under the Controller tab.

  • Customize how far you want to pull the triggers before they register.

Added “Advanced Look Controls” settings submenu under the Controller tab.

  • Fine-tune specific aspects of the look controls for a custom feel; such as Deadzone, Response Curve, Target Compensation (aim assist), and more.

When you relinquish the Jumpmaster position to another player you will now hear your Legend’s VO line in addition to the new Jumpmaster. The third player won’t hear it though.

Pathfinder grapple: updated icon

Pathfinder grapple: added indicator near crosshair to show when player is in range of grapple-able geo

Improved mantling from a grapple point.

Pathfinder can now grapple ziplines.

We’ve added D-pad navigation as a convenience in most of the menus. Our hope is this will speed up browsing and improve accessibility.

UI improvements to the KO Shield

  • Shield bar drains to indicate the remaining health of the shield.
  • When you have a Gold KO Shield and are down, we’ve added an effect to the label that reminds you that you can self revive.

We saw that the Ring indicator that appears when players are viewing the whole map wasn’t accurately showing the player’s position so we fixed that.

Character animations while taking damage now accurately reflect the direction the damage is coming from.

Fixed a bug where occluded sounds would sometimes sound unoccluded.

Patched up some issues with missing geo on Kings Canyon and fixed a few spots where players were getting stuck.

Fixed a script error that could happen when removing attachments on holstered weapons.

General polish to game UI fixing some grammar issues, improved navigation, and composition of elements.

Fixed PC users constantly switching weapons while scrolling through items in a Death Box.

Fixed issue where we were seeing server stability issues sometimes caused by purchasing items while matchmaking.

Fixed script errors that could occur during the skydive.

Reduced skybox fog.

Adjusted the code for Supply Bins so they are less likely to kill players. If you do still get killed by one please let us know!

Made it so push-to-talk is no longer on when a chat box is active.

LT/RT no longer switches between players in spectator mode while the map is open.

Updated the minimap to more accurately reflect the geo and points of interest on the main map.

Adding sound FX to the UI for the key binding menu.

Fixed issue where a player’s name would not show up when they send a message that reached the character limit.

Fixed bug where sometimes the Champion screen resolution would be stretched in widescreen resolutions.

Fixed audio bug where sometimes the zipline sounds FX would keep playing after disembarking.

Added accessibility option to modify the subtitle size.

Improvements / fixes for color blind players:

  • Added better color blind support for Blood Hound’s Threat Vision.
  • Colorblind colors per setting are now displayed in the settings menu.
  • Colorblind settings moved from Video Settings to Gameplay->Accessibility. They are now applied on the fly.
  • Enemy pings now use proper enemy color instead of only using red.

Audio:

  • Turned down volume when Wraith activates a portal.
  • Turned down the end sounds on the Peacekeeper charged shot.
  • Turned down the draw/holster sound slightly for thermite grenades.

  • Adjusted hitboxes for Gibraltar, Caustic, and Pathfinder to better align with their shapes.

  • Fixed players being able to shortcut weapon swap by changing stance
  • Fixed players being able to shortcut Peacekeeper rechamber sequence
  • Fixed inaccurate auto ranging fullscreen (sniper) optics when base FOV is not set to default
  • Spitfire: fixed ADS view on Legendaries partially obscured by custom geo. (The Continuum, The Heavy Construct)
  • Fixed ADS view being blocked when using Caustic legendary skins with certain weapon/ optic combos
  • Digital threat optics: threat highlights are now more visible (slightly brighter; no longer affected by TSAA)
  • Fixed bug where Devotion audio sometimes wouldn’t accurately reflect rate of fire.

  • Fixed rare issue where a player could get stuck on the drop ship and be invulnerable.
  • Patched up the hole we found in Gibraltar’s shield.
  • Fixed issue where Lifeline’s revive shield wouldn’t stay put while on a moving platform.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes players would get stuck in map geometry while skydiving from the dropship or Jump Towers.
  • Fixed bug where players could still shoot even after being downed.
  • Fixed bug where occasionally Lifeline’s D.O.C. drone would stay connected to a player but not heal them.
  • Limited the amount of Lifeline’s D.O.C. drones that can connect to a player to 2.
  • Fixed Pathfinder’s zipline not deploying when jumping.
  • Fixed a bug with the HUD where sometimes the Heal Bar would stay up if the heal was cancelled right after it was started.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the audio would continue to play sound FX for the Knockdown Shield even after it’s been destroyed.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes players could get disconnected when unplugging their controller during a game.
  • Fixed the exploit where you could do infinite wallclimb using Pathfinder’s Grapple.
  • Fixed bug where sometimes you couldn’t fire the Peacekeeper after riding a zip line.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes the skybox fog would not appear while spectating after you died.
  • Fixed bug where Banner Cards would show through walls occasionally when viewed through a very high FOV.
  • Fixed some odd light flickering that was happening on the ballon flags attached to Jump Towers.
  • Fixed bug where sometimes a player’s Banner Card would not show up after character select.

  • Red lights during banner transitions.
  • While skydiving colors will tune to the color of your smoke trail.
  • Picking up loot.
  • Opening Apex Packs
  • Firing and taking damage.
  • Colors that flash when your Ultimate is ready.
  • And more!

Source: Polygon.com

Google Stadia is the new streaming gaming platform from Google

Google announced Stadia, a new cloud-based gaming platform, at its GDC 2019 keynote Tuesday morning. It’s a major move for Google into the video game business, which is increasingly building toward streaming as a solution.

Stadia is not a dedicated console or set-top box. The platform will be accessible over the internet on a variety of platforms: browsers, computers, TVs, and mobile devices. In an onstage demonstration of Stadia, Google showed someone playing a game on a Chromebook, then playing it on a phone, then immediately playing it on PC, picking up where the game left off in real time.

Stadia can stream games in 60 fps, with HDR and 4K resolution, said Google’s Majd Bakar. In the future, Bakar said, Stadia will achieve resolutions up to 8K and frame rates up to 120 fps. Google showed AAA games like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and id Software Doom Eternal running on Stadia.

Google will have a hardware component, however: the Stadia Controller. It’s a traditional looking gamepad, with dual analog joysticks, four face buttons, and shoulder buttons. The controller will connect to the cloud via wi-fi, and includes a “share” button to connect to YouTube and a Google Assistant button.

Stadia will be powered by Google’s worldwide data centers, which live in more than 200 countries and territories, streamed over hundreds of millions of miles of fiber optic cable, Pichai said. Executive Phil Harrison, previously at PlayStation and Xbox, now at Google, said the company will give developers access to its data centers to bring games to Stadia.

Harrison said that players will be able to access and play Stadia games, like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, within seconds. Harrison showed a YouTube video of Odyssey featuring a “Play” button that would offer near-instant access to the game.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new platform at the Game Developers Conference, saying that Google want to build a gaming platform for everyone, and break down barriers to access for high-end games.

Google offered a glimpse of its new gaming initiative in 2018 with the public test of Project Stream, a technology that made it possible to stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through its Chrome web browser.

Source: Polygon.com

Google’s gaming service and hardware announcement, keynote, and details

Everything you need to know about Google’s new gaming-related announcement

Today at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Google will announce a brand new gaming-related project. Details from the keynote are incoming; we’ll update this storystream as Google reveals more information.

Today’s keynote will offer what Google calls its “vision for the future of gaming.” While more details are still to be seen, we do know that Google unveiled Project Stream last year, a tech demo that made it possible to stream Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through a Google Chrome browser.

We also know that Google is reportedly working on a “a subscription-based game streaming service that could work either on Google’s Chromecast or possibly a Google-made console,” according to a report from The Information. That project is reportedly codenamed “Yeti.”

Source: Polygon.com

Stadia: Google’s gaming service and hardware announcement, keynote, and details

Everything you need to know about Google’s new gaming-related announcement

Today at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Google will announce a brand new gaming-related project. Details from the keynote are incoming; we’ll update this storystream as Google reveals more information.

Today’s keynote will offer what Google calls its “vision for the future of gaming.” While more details are still to be seen, we do know that Google unveiled Project Stream last year, a tech demo that made it possible to stream Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through a Google Chrome browser.

We also know that Google is reportedly working on a “a subscription-based game streaming service that could work either on Google’s Chromecast or possibly a Google-made console,” according to a report from The Information. That project is reportedly codenamed “Yeti.”

Source: Polygon.com

Google GDC keynote: watch it here

Google is making a big splash at the annual Game Developers Conference today. The company plans to make a major gaming-related announcement at its GDC 2019 keynote on Tuesday, March 19. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on YouTube.

Today’s keynote will offer what Google calls its “vision for the future of gaming.” Whatever it’s working on, it’s clear that streaming — specifically cloud-based gaming — will be a big part of it. Google unveiled Project Stream last year, a tech demo that made it possible to stream Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through a Google Chrome browser. That demo was an impressive proof of concept, and showed that Google can realistically stream AAA video games over the internet, without the need for a dedicated console or high-end consumer hardware.

But Google is also reportedly working on some sort of hardware component for its gaming initiative. The Information reported last year that Google was developing “a subscription-based game streaming service that could work either on Google’s Chromecast or possibly a Google-made console.”

At GDC, Google is signaling that some sort of console-like hardware will be on hand. Outside of the convention center, the company set up a mini outdoor museum with a handful of consoles (Sega Dreamcast, Atari Pong) and gaming peripherals (NES Power Glove, Game Boy) next to a display featuring what appears to be a logo for the new gaming initiative. Google has also filed a patent for its own video game controller, albeit a rather basic looking gamepad.

Google has recently made some big hiring moves to bolster in-house game development. Over the past few years, the company has hired former Xbox and PlayStation executive Phil Harrison; former Ubisoft and EA studio head Jade Raymond; former PlayStation hardware research fellow Richard Marks; and former PlayStation Home and PlayStation Now director Jack Buser.

Whatever Google has planned, it’s entering an increasingly crowded streaming gaming market: Microsoft plans to give consumers a taste of its cloud gaming platform, dubbed Project xCloud, later this year; Valve recently upgraded its Steam Link platform to allow streaming of Steam games over the internet; and Amazon is also reportedly trying to get into the cloud gaming space.

Source: Polygon.com

They’re making a Die Hard board game

The classic action film Die Hard is being turned into a board game. Titled Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game, publishers at OP Games (aka USAopoly) tell Polygon that it will be a one-versus-many asymmetric experience. More information will be released prior to the launch this spring.

Die Hard’s influence over the action-thriller genre is staggering, so we were beyond excited for the opportunity to harness the movie’s expert blend of action, intelligence and drama into a unique tabletop experience,” said Pat Marino, lead game designer for OP, today in a press release. “We are developing a game that will deeply resonate with Die Hard enthusiasts, incorporating even the slightest details to create a rich and entertaining experience that properly pays tribute to arguably the greatest action movie of all time.”

A mockup of the box art for Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game.
A mockup of the box art for Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game.
OP Games

OP, which is best known for creating licensed versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue, and Risk, has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. The publisher has found success by diving deep into the hobby games space to bring obscure titles out at big box chains. Its catalogue includes Telestrations, the 2009 party game that combines the folk game of telephone with Pictionary, and licensed versions of Codenames, the hit card-based deduction game by Vlaada Chvátil.

OP also recently picked up rights to create games based on the classic Talisman franchise, created by Games Workshop. The first title in that line is called Talisman: Kingdom Hearts Edition, and will retell the story of the original video game on the tabletop.

Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game appears to be an entirely new tabletop game, developed internally at OP. It will be available this spring at select retailers. No price point was announced.

Source: Polygon.com