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17 Jun 18:06

Eight Of The Greatest WTF Moments Of E3 2016

The number one spot on this list of the 8 Greatest WTF Moments Of E3 2016, features AMD's CEO holding up two video cards for an abnormally long time. Not only is this the first "moment" on the list, it's also the one that made me laugh the most. Don't ask me why, it just did. AMD's CEO holds two graphics cards in the air for an uncomfortably long period of time. This one came our way courtesy of PC Gamer's PC Gaming Show, in which Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, took the perfectly innocent idea of a graphics card comparison to rather-too-literal extremes. Comments
25 Jun 21:51

Person of Interest Creators Reflect on the Show's Five Seasons

by Matt Fowler

Warning: Spoilers for Person of Interest, including the series finale, follow...

This past week, Person of Interest wrapped up its amazing, ambitious saga after five seasons on the air and there was plenty to talk about - hence, our two separate interviews with the creators of the show.

In addition to our recent series finale-specific conversation with POI's executive producers, IGN's Matt Fowler and Eric Goldman also sat down with series creator/EP Johnathan Nolan and EP/showrunner Greg Plageman for a discussion about the way the show coming to an end, the music, the ambitious nature of the premise, the multi-world style of storytelling and a few lingering questions about the series finale, "return 0."

Continue reading…

24 Jun 22:45

How Quake went from a medieval adventure to one of the most frenetic shooters of all time

by David Craddock

Wolfenstein 3D. Doom. Quake. While none of the three connects narratively to the others, technological and gameplay through lines chain them together to form id Software's definitive trifecta of titles. Each established itself as the premiere first-person shooter of its day, and a technological tour de force that enticed players to upgrade their hardware so they could run and gun at blistering speeds.

But according to an interview I conducted with John Romero, id co-founder and jack-of-all-trades programmer and level designer, Quake, released 20 years ago this week, didn't start out as Doom's spiritual successor.

"For Wolfenstein and Doom, there was stuff we came up with, and we put it in and then took it out because it wasn't true to the essence of the game: run and gun, basically," Romero told me. "When we were doing Quake, we actually had a totally different design for it that was more like a medieval world. It wasn't even a shooter in the beginning. It was first-person, but not a shooter, and we were going to use other weapons."

Shaping quake as a quiet adventure set in a medieval world was an idea that predated Wolfenstein 3D. After wrapping up their Commander Keen trilogy of platformers for the PC, Romero and his teammates put together a design treatment for a fantasy game called Quake: The Fight for Justice. Quake would not only be the game's title, but the name of the protagonist, inspired by a character that John Carmack played in Dungeons & Dragons when the guys took a break from cranking out code and artwork for their games.

"Your main character would have had a big hammer, kind of like Thor," Romero explained to me. "Quake was almost like Thor, but he had a thing called the Hellgate Cube which was a companion that had its own personality. It would orbit you, and whenever you were fighting it would help suck the souls out of the enemies you were beating on. If you didn't kill stuff fast enough, or kill enough enemies, it would get upset and just leave, and you'd have to find it somewhere and get it back. That would have been an experiment to see how cool it would have been, and to see what kind of world we could have made around those types of combat concepts."

Quake: The Fight for Justice went through several design iterations as the id crew grew more experienced at making games. Seeking to change the world's perception of multiplayer gaming once again, they came up with a concept where players could sneak up behind opponents and knock them off of cliffs. From there, the player knocked from his or her perch would have to control his descent as he flailed and tumbled down the mountain.

Romero also outlined id's plans for view triggers, a mechanic best describe as a predecessor to scripted events like those seen in Valve's Half-Life in 1998. "If a view trigger was in your field of view, it would trigger just because you looked at it. Let's say you're going down a path through the woods. There's a cave off to your right. You look over and see red eyes peering out of the cave. Suddenly you hear growling, and the creature starts to come out of the cave just because you looked at it. That could have happened at any point, or it could never have happened because you never looked over there, or there could have been a second view trigger and walking through it would have triggered [the first]."

An image from an early build of Quake, courtesy of John Romero's blog. Click here to read his tribute to Quake's 20th anniversary.

Ultimately, technical difficulties and internal strife caused Romero, John Carmack, and the other principals at id to abandon Quake's design and get back to doing what their team did best. "It took so long to make the engine work at a good framerate, and the company was just too tired to innovate on the design and see if it would work. No one had the stamina to try and push through this possible new gameplay, so we went with the Doom-style shooter and finished it in seven months."

Not that that's a bad thing. Far more than just another FPS, Quake and its underlying tech were the seeds that led to a bountiful harvest of genre-defining technology, new game modes like capture-the-flag and Team Fortress, and online gameplay facilitated through QuakeWorld's graphical UI and methods of reducing latency.


All quotes come from an interview conducted by David L. Craddock for publication in Making Fun: Stories of Game Development, Volume 1, due out in paperback and electronic editions later this summer.

24 Jun 14:12

Sweden debuts the world's first 'electric highway'

by Daniel Cooper
Fossil fuels are bad for the planet, and freight haulage is one of the more carbon-intensive activities that operate today. That's why Siemens and Scania have teamed up to trial what's being called the world's first "electric highway." Much like an e...
23 Jun 11:50

Xiaomi QiCycle is an affordable, foldable, smart electric bike

Xiaomi's latest gadget has a massive 5,800mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, IPX5 water resistance rating, a 1.8" screen with 160 x 128px resolution and costs CNY 3,000 ($455/€400). Did I forget to mention it's an electric bike? It is. The Xiaomi QiCycle features a patented folding design that's based around a main beam that stays in place and houses the battery. It's a 208.8Wh battery, mind you at a much higher voltage than a phone battery (so the mAh rating is misleading on its own). The battery lasts up to 45km on a full charge (which takes 3 hours). The 250W/36V motor can push...

22 Jun 02:59

Person of Interest Creators on the Final Episode's Events

by Eric Goldman

Warning: Full spoilers for the Person of Interest series finale below.

Even though there is a spoiler warning literally right above this line, I’m still putting one extra spoiler warning if you haven’t seen the Person of Interest series finale (read Matt Fowler's review of the finale here). Okay, let’s go!

After five years and 103 episodes, the story of Team Machine has come to an end, with tragedy and triumph occurring along the way. I spoke to POI executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman about the big events in the final episode, including the death of John Reese, how they decided on what would occur and more – including what we can infer the future holds for the surviving characters.

Continue reading…

22 Jun 02:59

Person of Interest: Series Finale Review

by Matt Fowler

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Chillingly scored by Ramin Djawadi - with music that not only reminded me a bit of Philip Glass' brief pieces from The Truman Show but was also great enough to cause executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman to abandon their plans to use David Bowie's "Heroes" at the end - "return 0" was achingly amazing. As it turned out, things did not get neatly wrapped up last week with the launch of the Ice-9 virus. Greer was gone, but Samaritan, while slowly crumbling, was still very much in play. Enough for it to send countless operatives, including Jeff Blackwell, after our heroes.

There was a lot of action in this series finale, but the most memorable parts were the somber, reflective moments. The Machine, itself failing, and who now spoke to Shaw in Root's voice and appeared to us viewers as Root on the rooftop, took the time to explain how it came to understand people to a dying Finch. Looking through millions and millions of deaths, it absorbed what it meant to die alone and what it meant to live on in the hearts an minds of others. And the moment when "Root" placed her hand on Reese's shoulder while he took his suicidal last stand, and then placed her hand on young John's shoulder at his father's funeral decades earlier, shattered my heart.

Continue reading…

22 Jun 19:21

Democrats use Twitter to amplify House sit-in over gun control

by Jon Fingas
Democrats are currently staging a sit-in at the House of Representatives to demand a vote on gun control legislation, and Republicans aren't happy about it -- they're declaring recesses to shut off cameras (which are controlled by the House) and down...
20 Jun 12:31

New York criminalizes the use of ticket-buying bots

by Steve Dent
If you failed to get tickets for your favorite band, even though your finger was poised on the "buy" link the instant they went on sale, don't worry -- you never stood a chance. They were probably snapped up by bots that, in one case, bought 1,012 Ma...
20 Jun 15:47

Experimental Zika vaccine approved for human trials

by Chris Velazco
The Food and Drug Administration approved an experimental Zika vaccine called GLS-5700 for a clinical trial in humans earlier today, the first such treatment to get an official nod from the agency. Initial trials will start with 40 healthy subjects g...
20 Jun 03:08

GoT: The Real-Life Battles That Inspired "Battle of the Bastards"

by Terri Schwartz

Spoilers for Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" continue below. Read on at your own risk.

Director Miguel Sapochnik pulled off something truly impressive in "Battle of the Bastards" by executing a battle sequence that was both massive in scope and incredibly personal. In fact, it was such a difficult feat that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said they couldn't find great examples of something similar in film.

Instead, they looked to history, and built up a believable medieval pitched battle from there. In "Battle of the Bastards'" Inside the Episode segment, Benioff and Weiss explained the two key moments of history that they drew inspiration from.

Continue reading…

20 Jun 23:11

Game of Thrones Director Talks "Battle of the Bastards"

by Terri Schwartz

Full spoilers for Game of Thrones continue below.

Game of Thrones delivered its most impressive episode to date in Sunday's "Battle of the Bastards," and that's largely thanks to the direction of Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochnik was also the man behind the camera for Season 5's "Hardhome," and is the person who is going to be helming Season 6's finale.

Following the airing of "Battle of the Bastards," Sapochnik took some time to answer a few of our biggest questions over e-mail about what went into pulling off Game of Thrones' most action-packed episode. For more on this week's episode, check out our interview with Ramsay Bolton himself, Iwan Rheon, read Matt Fowler's review and watch the latest episode of Dragons on the Wall.

Continue reading…

21 Jun 01:21

Google Prompt streamlines two-step verification

by Andrew Dalton
It seems like not a week goes by without news of a major password hack, and the subsequent reminders to turn on two-factor verification for all of your devices and services. So, to make the process that much simpler on your end (but not any potential...
17 Jun 14:51

“16 is the Appropriate Age to Allow Children to Be Outside by Themselves” — New Albany, Ohio, Police Chief

by lskenazy


.

The New Albany, OH, chief of police is advising parents not to let their kids go outside on their own until they are 16.

According to this piece on News10:

New Albany’s police chief wants parents to understand that kids younger than 16 simply cannot defend themselves against an attacker.

Chief Greg Jones says 16 is the appropriate age to allow children to be outside by themselves. “I think that’s the threshold where you see children getting a little bit more freedom,” he says.

Not a lot of freedom, mind you. Just a “little bit.” His stay-close-to-mommy rationale?

While the ultimate decision comes down to parents and personal preference, he says no matter how mature a child may seem, it’s what happens after a child is abducted that is the greatest concern.

Not if, but WHEN a child is abducted. That’s how he’s thinking of childhood: You go outside, you get abducted and then you have to deal.

So let’s take a little look at New Albany’c crime record. Here it is. Last month the town of 8,829 logged, hmmm, let me get out my calculator…one plus one…TWO counts of criminal activity. One case of burglary/breaking and entering,  and one “other.”

Unless that “other” was “crimes against humanity,” I’m not sure just how many kids are being abducted right and left by strangers. But the Chief insists: “What if you were to allow them to take off at 7 or 8 and you don’t hear from them for a while, where would you begin? What would you do? How would you even know what happened to them?”

This is just a classic an example of worst-first thinking: You think of the worst-case scenario FIRST, no matter how far-fetched, and proceed as if it’s likely to happen. (And by the way, not even to a teen. To a 7-year-old.)

The article goes on to describe the over-subscribed SafetyTown lessons the police are giving kids, and quotes moms who are eager to instill stranger danger in their kids (even though more than 90% of crimes against children are committed by people they know):

“We’ve never really had the talk with him about what to do to be cautious with other people that he doesn’t know,” says Shannon Jap, who enrolled her son Oliver, who is 5-years-old. “My son loves to say hi to everybody and he just goes up to people when we’re in restaurants and we just want to make sure that he knows to be careful when he’s talking to people,” she adds.

Chief Jones says that’s the ultimate goal of safety town is to teach children than bad people can seem nice too.

“Strangers aren’t always mean,” says the Chief.

And nice people, like police chiefs, aren’t always sane.

Here’s how New Albany’s website describes the town:

[A] vibrant, pedestrian-friendly community with an unparalleled commitment to education, wellness, culture and leisure that inspires and enriches families and businesses alike.

I’m not sure that wellness and leisure correspond to keeping kids indoors, frightened, unfriendly and infantilized. I’m not even sure that anyone in a town that terrified would ever be a pedestrian. But boy are they safe…

From the boogeyman. – L

.

.

Rapunzel! I've found the perfect town for you!

Hey Rapunzel! I’ve found the perfect town for you!

17 Jun 17:35

AMC Filmed 11 Versions of Walking Dead: Season 7 Opening

by Alex Osborn

The Walking Dead: Season 6 ends with a dramatic moment that has a major bearing on how Season 7's premiere will play out, and AMC has gone to great lengths to ensure the surprise isn't spoiled.

Warning: The Walking Dead: Season 6 spoilers ahead.

At the conclusion of the Season 6 finale, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) takes a murderous swing at an unknown character. To prevent the victim's identity from being revealed ahead of time, THR reports that all 11 cast members involved in the scene have each had a death scene filmed. The show's producers and episode director are going to work with the editors to decide which character will be killed off in Season 7.

Continue reading…

16 Jun 15:41

ORPHAN BLACK Renewed for Fifth and Final Season

by Clarissa
Space has announced the renewal of ORPHAN BLACK for an upcoming fifth and final season. 10 additional one-hour episodes of ORPHAN BLACK season 5  will premiere in 2017. “The fourth season took viewers down a rabbit hole deeper into the heart of the conspiracy and explored what viewers were yearning to see – Beth’s back story. […]
15 Jun 19:30

Steven Spielberg Promises Not to Kill Harrison Ford in ‘Indiana Jones 5’

by Jacob Hall

indiana jones 5

When Steven Spielberg sits down for a full and proper interview, it is our duty as movie fans to pay attention. The greatest filmmaker in modern Hollywood history can often feel a little enigmatic (he doesn’t bother with things like DVD commentaries) and getting any kind of window into his process and life feels invaluable. So the arrival of two new profiles on Spielberg, his work, and his various companies is a cause for celebration – both stories are filled with wonderful anecdotes, insights and even a tease or two.

Oh, and Spielberg promises that he won’t be killing off Indiana Jones in the upcoming fifth movie.

Both articles come from The Hollywood Reporter and while both are tied to the upcoming release of The BFG, they find room to touch on many corners of Spielberg’s career. The first of them, a straightforward Spielberg profile that places on emphasis on his time with DreamWorks and the formation of Amblin Partners, contains this headline-friendly tidbit about Indiana Jones 5:

I think this one is straight down the pike for the fans. The one thing I will tell you is I’m not killing off Harrison [Ford] at the end of it.

That’s probably a good thing. Sure, Ford is getting up there in years, but do you really want to live in a world where both Indiana Jones and (spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers for you weirdo latecomers) Han Solo are both dead? If Indiana Jones 5 exists to make up for the disappointment of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, then the credits should roll with Indy celebrating one final triumph.

Anyway, Spielberg also spoke about working with Disney to make The BFG, which marked his first time working with the legendary studio. The way he trails off while speaking about the death of Bambi’s mother is equally sad and delightful:

I have directed films for every studio in Hollywood except for Walt Disney — until now. Disney was truly, when I was a kid, my singular inspiration and also the source of most of my nightmares. […] The separation of mother and child … I mean, the killing of Bambi’s — it was just one of the most …

He also spoke about losing his desire to make movies in the years following Schindler’s List:

I was sad and isolated, and as well-received and successful as that movie was, I think it was the trauma of telling the story and forming the Shoah Foundation. […] I started to wonder, was Schindler’s List going to be the last film I would direct?

For much, much more, make sure you read the whole thing. It’s not a brisk read, but it’s worth it. The second article is shorter but just as interesting, transcribing an interview with Spielberg and frequent collaborators Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy. Although there are scattered tidbits about Jurassic World and its sequel, the most interesting moment involves Spielberg helping convince J.J. Abrams to take the helm of Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

I brought J.J.’s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode 7 and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’ He said, ‘I would but my wife won’t let me ’cause she doesn’t want me to restart any more franchises.’ But I went to Kathy and asked if I could get J.J. to say yes to this would you consider it? Kathy said ‘Are you kidding? Of course I would. But why would J.J. do Star Wars; he’s already done Mission Impossible and Star Trek.’ So I take Katie Abrams and J.J. to dinner that night to Giorgio with my wife, Kate, and right in front of Katie Abrams I popped the question. I said to Katie, ‘I think there’s a chance that J.J. could direct Star Wars. What do you think of that?’ And Katie turned to J.J. and said, ‘That would be amazing. Really?’ And I went outside the restaurant, picked up my phone, called Kathy and said, “When can we meet with J.J.?” And that’s how the whole thing began.

The BFG opens on July 1, 2016. It’s a Spielberg movie, so you should probably go see it.

The post Steven Spielberg Promises Not to Kill Harrison Ford in ‘Indiana Jones 5’ appeared first on /Film.

15 Jun 14:06

Alibaba's Jack Ma Says Fakes Are Better Than Originals

Roumen.ganeff

Of course he would say that

Unless we are talking about boobs, I can't really think of a product where fakes are better than the original. It sounds like this guy is just trying to justify knock offs. "The problem is the fake products today are of better quality and better price than the real names," he said during a speech on Tuesday at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou. "They are exactly the [same] factories, exactly the same raw materials but they do not use the names." The remarks were an apparent riposte to longstanding criticism that Alibaba has tolerated the sale of counterfeit goods on platforms such as Taobao. Comments
15 Jun 03:02

Person of Interest Explored a World Without the Machine

by Matt Fowler

At the Austin ATX Television Festival over this past weekend, Person of Interest showrunner Greg Plageman screened tonight's penultimate episode, ".exe," for fans and then sat for a Q&A panel moderated by IGN's Eric Goldman, answering a few questions about the episode which he co-wrote (with Erik Mountain) and directed (as a first time director).

Warning: Spoilers for ".exe" follow...

"This was an episode we talked about doing about doing a long time ago," Plageman said of the concept to explore an alternate world where the Machine was never created, "and Jonah

had been on me to direct two seasons ago. By the way, the big lesson I learned is if you ever get that feeling that you're completely terrified by doing something because you're not sure how it'll work out, then you should definitely do that thing. Because that was this episode for me. It certainly arrived at the perfect time for me since it was the second to last episode and it was something we'd talked about doing and it hadn't come up, so I thought 'Well, if I'm going to direct, I'm going to do that and I'm going to get Michael Emerson to be in, like, every scene.'"

Continue reading…

15 Jun 13:57

The Witcher 3 patch 1.22 now available on PC; full patch notes released

by Daniel Perez
Roumen.ganeff

Unbelievable bug:
Fixes issue whereby a noblewoman in red would sometimes follow Geralt everywhere he goes.

CD Projekt Red may have announced a standalone version of Gwent at E3 this week, but the studio is still hard at work on improving The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Today, the company has announced it has released patch 1.22 for the PC version of the game with a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version coming soon.

Patch 1.22 doesn’t offer any vast improvements to The Witcher 3, but instead offers several fixes to the open-world RPG. The patch introduces a number of fixes to Roach, such as his tail no longer randomly vanishing and being unresponsive during The Warble of the Smitten Knight quest, tweaks and improvements to the inventory system, and additional tweaks to various quests.

Here’s the full list of patch notes:

  • Fixes issue whereby Corvo Bianco upgrades would not complete if players left Toussaint while an upgrade was in progress.
  • Fixes issue whereby Roach would not move during the quest "The Warble of a Smitten Knight."
  • Fixes an issue whereby camera hard lock could not be enabled following completion of the quest "The Warble of a Smitten Knight."
  • Fixes issue involving incorrect progression of the "Wine Wars: Vermentino" quest if player had completed all "Wine Wars: Belgaard" tasks previously.
  • Fixes issue whereby the "Envoys, Wineboys" quest would not progress correction under certain circumstances.
  • Fixes issue whereby mutagen icons were not updated on Steam and Origin.
  • Fixes additional instances of issue whereby interaction was sometimes missing from chests containing loot in the quest "Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear" in Kaer Morhen.
  • Fixes issue whereby some NPCs could not spawn after the completion of Blood and Wine.
  • Adds Dark Iron Plate diagram to the crafting list.
  • Fixes issue whereby upscaled levels of selected enemies would not be calculated correctly.
  • Fixes issue whereby negative experience points were sometimes displayed if progress had been initially started in version 1.0.
  • Fixes issue whereby a golem guarding treasure located between Bowdon and Brunwich could prove invulnerable.
  • Fixes issue whereby Bandit Camp near Kilkerinn Ruins could not be marked as cleared.
  • Fixes issue whereby Roach's tail could vanish.
  • Fixes issue whereby some enemies' upscaled level would be improperly displayed as too high.
  • Fixes issue whereby it was possible to permanently lose swords in Gravity Cave.
  • Fixes issue whereby an improperly high amount of experience could be required to level up above level 96.
  • Corrects Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone credits.
  • Fixes issue whereby it was impossible to obtain the gwent leader card "Francesca Findabair: The Beautiful" after finishing the main story.
  • Fixes the issue whereby the corpse of Golyat had corrupted visuals.
  • Introduces tweaks and improvements to the inventory system.
  • Fixes issue whereby picking up only one piece of dirty cloth at a time during the "Burlap is the New Stripe" quest could block progress.
  • Fixes issue whereby borders established during the "Night of Long Fangs" quest would sometimes exist after completing the quest, preventing users from exploring Toussaint.
  • Fixes issue whereby sword sound effects when Eredin was hit could be muted.
  • Fixes issue whereby some streamed audio assets could not be played.
  • Fixes issue whereby The Wicked Witch could be rendered invincible.
  • Fixes issue whereby Majordomo could refuse to move in to Corvo Bianco.
  • Fixes issue whereby the "Contract: Bovine Blues" quest did not progress correctly if the "Big Feet to Fill" quest had not been completed.
  • Fixes rare issue whereby the "Be it Ever So Humble" quest did not progress correctly.
  • Fixes issue whereby the "empress" ending would not trigger under certain circumstances.
  • Fixes issue whereby Legendary Feline Silver Sword was one one of the ingredients required to craft Grandmaster Legendary Griffin Steel Sword.
  • Fixes issue whereby diagrams required to progress in the "From Ofier's Distant Shores" quest could not be looted from a chest.
  • Fixes issue whereby Aerondight acquired in New Game Plus mode would not scale to Geralt's level.
  • Fixes issue whereby extra ability slots would not unlock correctly while researching mutations.
  • Fixes issue whereby pressing 'O' would add an unlimited number of Decoy gwent cards.
  • Fixes interaction with noticeboard near the Little Flint Girl.
  • Fixes possible exploit enabling unwarranted gains in experience points during "The Path of Warriors" quest.
  • Fixes issue whereby the player was sometimes unable to progress in the "Gwent: Never Fear, Skellige's Here" quest.
  • Fixes issue causing infinite loading screen after leaving portal in the "Turn and Face the Strange" quest.
  • Fixes issue whereby one of Geralt's hairdos could be more visible than it should when using Feline Grandmaster chest armor.
  • Fixes issue whereby Viper Armor could change color to red when displayed on armor stand in Corvo Bianco
  • Fixes issue whereby the collar of one of the armors was red.
  • Fixes issue whereby Marlene would be unable to engage in conversation.
  • Fixes issue whereby Oriana's guard could become translucent during the "Night of Long Fangs" quest.
  • Adds display of food or drink vitality regeneration amount.
  • An art dealer sets up shop near Lazare Lafargue’s Workshop in Beauclair.
  • Fixes issue whereby access to the Alchemy Table could be blocked.
  • Fixes issue whereby stamina would regenerate at a larger rate than it should after starting a new game.
  • Fixes issue whereby players could knock down horses.
  • Fixes issue whereby dogs and wolves would not die immediately after being knocked down and frozen at the same time.
  • Fixes issue whereby the "Wine Wars: Consortium" quest did not progress correctly.
  • Fixes issue whereby the "A Lady, Her Knight and True Love" quest could be restarted even if Jacob was already dead.
  • Fixes issue whereby courtesans at Belles of Beauclair could reappear in the room after a sex scene.
  • Fixes exploit whereby Aarding a beehive towards the dwarven blacksmith in White Orchard was possible.
  • Fixes issue whereby an infinite loading screen could occur after fist fight with Baron in the "Family Matters" quest.
  • Fixes exploit whereby Aarding a beehive towards the dwarven blacksmith in White Orchard was possible.
  • Fixes issue whereby the game could crash after meeting the knights from the "Envoys, Wineboys" quest.
  • It is now possible to acquire the "Emhyr var Emreis: Emperor of Nilfgaard" gwent card from the innkeeper at the Inn at the Crossroads in cases where this formerly was not possible.
  • Fixes issue whereby music/sound effects would sometimes not play.
  • Fixes issue whereby day value was missing from displayed total played time.
  • Fixes issue whereby Marlene could disappear from Corvo Bianco after a few hours.
  • Fixes a rare issue whereby players could lose earned levels.
  • Fixes issue whereby witcher gear and diagrams could go missing.
  • Fixes issue whereby Geralt could die after a loading screen in the "Turn and Face the Strange" quest.
  • Fixes issue whereby a noblewoman in red would sometimes follow Geralt everywhere he goes.
  • Fixes issue whereby body parts would sometimes remain suspended in mid-air after an enemy exploded.
14 Jun 22:06

Mark Zuckerberg Denies Being a Secret Lizard Person

Roumen.ganeff

That's what the lizard people would say, no?

Although Mark Zuckerberg denies being a shape-shifting reptilian humanoid, I'm not so sure. I mean, look at him, he does kind of fit the profile. Raise your hand if you think he's an alien. There have long been conspiracy theorists who believe that the world's most powerful people are actually lizards disguised in giant human-shaped costumes. David Icke, the British conspiracy theorist, is perhaps the most famous person who contends that almost all powerful people are actually shape-shifting reptilian humanoids. Comments
14 Jun 14:00

Watch the First Footage From ‘Piper’, Pixar’s Best Animated Short Film in a Decade

by Peter Sciretta

pixar short film Piper

If you’re like me, you enjoy Pixar’s animated short films almost as much as you do their features. The latest short from the Emeryville-based animation studio is Alan Barillaro‘s directing debut Piper, which in my opinion might be the best theatrical short film from Pixar in a decade.

I first saw this short film at a Finding Dory early press day a few months back, where minutes before the screening not one person outside of Pixar even knew of this short film’s existence. I was gobsmacked by this adorable yet beautiful piece of cinema. I have since seen it two more times and it doesn’t get old. You’ll see the whole short film playing in front of Finding Dory, in theaters later this week. But for now take in this short 24-second preview to get you excited.

Pixar Short Film Piper Preview

In Piper, “a hungry sandpiper hatchling discovers that finding food without mom’s help isn’t so easy.” What I love about this short film is that it takes the best of Pixar’s character-based animation and blends it with the narrow depth of field, with the almost photo-real cinematography emulating macro photography.

Barillaro has been with Pixar for some time, acting as a supervising animator on Wall-E, Brave and The Incredibles. Piper is his directorial debut, and I hope we see more from him. I also hope that Disney Consumer Products Group doesn’t drop the ball again and not make some cute plushes based on this animated short, as I’m sure they’d sell well in Disney stores worldwide. Pixar and Disney’s animated shorts always seem to get the shaft from the merchandising departments.

The score for the short was composed by Adrian Belew, who is best known for his work as a guitarist and vocalist of the progressive rock group King Crimson. His songs have appeared in a bunch of movies and television shows, but this is his first attempt at composing an original score. This came about as Barillaro used Belew’s compositions as temp music while he was developing the short film. Finding Dory director/Pixar brain trust member Andrew Stanton knew the musician and made the introduction.

The post Watch the First Footage From ‘Piper’, Pixar’s Best Animated Short Film in a Decade appeared first on /Film.

14 Jun 02:10

Hideo Kojima Announces New Game

by Chloi Rad

Hideo Kojima, best known for the Metal Gear Solid series, took the stage at Sony's E3 2016 conference to reveal his new studio's debut game: Death Stranding.

The game stars Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead actor who was set to play a role in the now-canceled Silent Hills project.

In the trailer, we see a nude man on a beach (played by Reedus), surrounded by dead crab, fish, whales, and other sea creatures. A crying baby lies beside him, with what appears to be a mechanical umbilical cord attaching the two.

Platform and release date details for Death Stranding were not revealed.

Kojima Productions and Sony officially announced a partnership last year, after which Kojima spoke with IGN about the decision to partner with Sony and more about his upcoming work.

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14 Jun 02:09

New Detroit: Become Human trailer debuts at E3 2016

by David Cage

After our announcement at Paris Games Week last summer, we are very excited to be at E3 to show you more about our next title Detroit: Become Human! Today, we debuted a new trailer based on in-game footage, and we wanted to tell you a little bit more about the story of Detroit and an update on the game.

The world of Detroit

Inspired by our short called “Kara” back in 2012, Detroit is a neo-noir thriller set in the near-future city of Detroit. Androids, who look exactly like human beings, have replaced humans in most tasks: they are workers, babysitters, gardeners, nurses, teachers, clerks.

The story of Detroit starts with an unexplained incident that begins to affect the Androids. Some disappear without any explanation, others have unexpected behaviors and strangely show signs of emotions. The rumours of “deviant” androids start spreading, but no one seems to know what’s really happening…

Detroit

Connor, the deviant hunter

After Kara, Connor is the second playable character we’re introducing. Connor is an advanced prototype assigned to police forces to help them investigate cases involving deviants. He is cold and analytical; he thinks fast and benefits from some surprising advanced features. He is very determined and nothing matters more to him than accomplishing the mission he was programmed for.

In this new trailer, Connor is confronted with a tense hostage situation involving a deviant android holding a little girl and threatening to jump from a rooftop. Depending on your decisions and strategy, Connor will succeed or fail in saving the girl; survive or die. Your actions will lead to different outcomes and will have consequences far beyond this scene.

Detroit

Play your own story

Detroit is based on concepts we created in our past games, but taken to another level – well, that’s the plan 😉

Detroit is about playing the story. Through your actions and decisions you drive the story and face the consequences of your choices. You are in charge of the fate of these characters. You will become a “co-writer” who will have to make critical decisions that will impact the entire story and its world.

As you play as all of the characters, you’ll see the story from different perspectives. You will need to weigh each decision, as actions made by one character may have consequences on others. You will also need to avoid putting the characters at risk, because they can all die, and like in Heavy Rain, the story will continue without them.

Detroit

A new engine

A game is not a matter of technology, and emotions don’t need the latest shader to be felt, but we really wanted the best for Detroit (okay, and we also like developing tech). We have developed a brand-new engine with many advanced features (new renderers, a new dynamic lighting engine, physically-based shaders, physical cameras, and much more cool stuff). If you are like me and these terms sound foreign to you, check out the video for yourself.

Become human

Detroit is about emotions, about dilemmas and making difficult decisions. Detroit is not just the story of androids becoming aware of themselves and their fight to be free, it is about a story that resonates at many levels in our world, about being free, about becoming who you are.

As always, we have put all our love and passion into this project, and we truly hope that you will enjoy seeing it as much as we enjoy working on it.

We still have a lot to work to do in order to make Detroit the truly unique experience we want to create, but we hope that you like this first look at gameplay.

The post New Detroit: Become Human trailer debuts at E3 2016 appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

14 Jun 02:24

New Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay footage debuts at E3

by Dominic Wai

At last night’s PlayStation’s E3 Press Conference, Guerrilla Games was excited to share more gameplay from Horizon Zero Dawn. In this demo, we follow Aloy as she journeys beyond the walls of her village to defeat a ‘demon’ which is terrorising locals and breeding fear throughout the valley. Aloy will have to use every ounce of her knowledge, intelligence and agility to survive this encounter.

If you missed the show, don’t worry, we’ve included the segment again below:

Horizon Zero Dawn will offer a deep and satisfying action RPG experience with a narrative to match when it launches on 1st March 2017. And we’re pulling out all the stops for the Collector’s Edition of Horizon Zero Dawn, collaborating with Gentle Giant Studios and Dark Horse Comics to produce a set of unique and exclusive physical extras on top of our in-game bonus content.

Pre-order bonuses

We’ll elaborate on the different editions of Horizon Zero Dawn in a little bit, but first we’d like to talk about pre-order bonuses. We’ve put together a pre-order bonus package that consists of:

  • Nora Lookout outfit – a unique outfit with enhanced camouflage and an extra modification slot.
  • Nora Longshot bow – a hunting weapon with improved accuracy and an extra modification slot.

Note that selected retailers in your country may also offer additional pre-order bonuses such as:

  • Nora Machine Trapper Pack – a resource pack that includes modifications for your weapon and outfit, and resources for crafting ammo and traps
  • Steelbook case – with exclusive cover artwork
  • Exclusive art prints

Special editions

In addition to the regular physical and digital versions of Horizon Zero Dawn, these are the special editions available for pre-order from selected retailers. Choose the edition that’s right for you:

Horizon Zero Dawn Limited Edition (€79.99 RRP)

If you want to enjoy the world of Horizon Zero Dawn even when you’re not playing the game, the physical Limited Edition is for you. It includes:

  • 48-page artbook by Dark Horse – featuring Horizon Zero Dawn concept art
  • Steelbook case – with exclusive cover artwork
  • Two resource packs – Carja Trader Pack and Banuk Traveler pack
  • Two outfits – Carja Storm Ranger Outfit and Banuk Trailblazer Outfit
  • Two weapons – Carja Mighty Bow and Banuk Culling Bow

Horizon: Zero Dawn Limited Edition

Horizon Zero Dawn Collector’s Edition (€129.99 RRP)

This is the big one! The Collector’s Edition offers a terrific bundle of physical and digital items to enhance your Horizon Zero Dawn experience. It includes:

  • 9″ statue by Gentle Giant – featuring heroine Aloy in amazing detail
  • 48-page artbook by Dark Horse – featuring Horizon Zero Dawn concept art
  • Steelbook case – with exclusive cover artwork
  • Three resource Packs – the Carja Trader Pack, the Banuk Traveler Pack and the Nora Keeper Pack
  • Two outfits – the Carja Storm Ranger Outfit and the Banuk Trailblazer Outfit
  • Two weapons – the Carja Mighty Bow and the Banuk Culling Bow

Horizon: Zero Dawn Collector's Edition

Please check with your retailer of choice for available pre-order editions and bonuses. Horizon Zero Dawn’s release date is still a ways off, but I hope you’re as excited for the official launch as we are here at Guerrilla. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Horizon Zero Dawn news and information!

The post New Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay footage debuts at E3 appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

13 Jun 12:41

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

by Jon Fingas
You probably didn't expect your week to start this way: Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The company plans to integrate the career-oriented social network into many of its apps and services, including Office, Skype and Cortana. Yo...
10 Jun 15:00

Interview: ‘Warcraft’ Actor Toby Kebbell on the Beauty of Durotan and Motion-Capture

by Jack Giroux

Warcraft TV Spot

Warcraft isn’t actor Toby Kebbell’s first rodeo with motion-capture. Following up his performance in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in which he played Koba, Kebbell stars in director Duncan Jones‘ fantasy film as Durotan, a noble orc more interested in peace than war. The Blizzard adaptation shows both sides of a war — and Durotan is unquestionably the moral compass on the orcs’ side.

It’s this nobility and thoughtfulness, as Kebbell explained to us, that informed the physicality of his performance. Below, read our Toby Kebbell interview.

You worked with [movement choreographer] Terry Notary on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and you worked with him again on Warcraft. Where do the two of you start when it comes to building a character? 

Terry is a unique individual, as in his ability to teach you your basics: how you would stand, how you would sit, how you would crouch, how you would begin to run. His ability to figure out what you need to change in your foot, or your knee, or your shoulder. That’s what we call “selling out” in the motion-capture craft. If you give a half-performance, you basically … The computer tells you out, you know, it sells you out. There’s just no way for the computer to comprehend you’re having a bad day, or you’ve hurt your knee. You’ve got to give it 100% every time. He’s great for that.

On top of that, then you just build your character. He gives you such a nice arena to do that in. He takes away all the questions about the small details. How would I do that? How would I stand? How would that happen? Once you’ve been doing that consistently for a week, then you take it home. You start to take your produce out of the fridge and do it in the manner of the orc or sit on the lavatory in the same way. It just becomes something you inhabit, and then you can build your character. It’s just such a nice process to have Terry around. I could happily say he’s a lifesaver.

What sort of physicality did you want to create for Durotan? 

I constantly from the beginning was saying he’s a very, very noble person in the sense of… Having the heart to be a hero is really all that will make it in the end, you know. Beyond the glory of what was heroic in the film, and in the script, and what we were going to end up doing; really it was about how he came into being. The nice thing about working on a project that’s created by Blizzard and has this massive following is, people have done details, fans have made films. It was very clear who Durotan was. A lot of things that you would usually do to conjure the character had been done, so you could just research them.

With Terry, we just wanted to make sure that he had… He had a lumber that was easy. He didn’t have to stand proud. He didn’t have to stand big. He didn’t have to make himself large. If anything, he would make himself somewhat smaller you know. Just a smooth walk, nothing with great massive presence until it was required. He was a big thinker, and that was really what I wanted Durotan to be. It was a deep, deep thinker.

Mentioning the wealth of information at your disposal, in your research, did any piece of information, in particular, inform your performance? 

You know, none of the facts out there informed anything more than a short film made about where Durotan came from, and how he became the chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan. It’s animated, but it’s partial animation; it’s a picture where the camera moves across the image. It’s a lovely little story about the final time he saw his mother and his elder brother. That was very informative because it gave the understanding that there’s a wrath and a rage inside of Durotan that he can keep at bay. He has control of his tiger, if you like. He has control of the temper that’s within. That was very informative.

Furthermore to that, I watched a documentary called Happy People: A Year in the Taiga. It’s a great documentary. The main guy had a great manner about him. I showed the film to Terry, and he loved it. That’s really what we worked on, is that calm, the thoughtfulness that we really wanted for Durotan, that I really wanted for Durotan.

Continue Reading ‘Warcraft’ Toby Kebbell Interview >>

The post Interview: ‘Warcraft’ Actor Toby Kebbell on the Beauty of Durotan and Motion-Capture appeared first on /Film.

10 Jun 16:00

‘Finding Dory’ Spoiler-Free Review: This Is Why We Should Never Underestimate Pixar

by Peter Sciretta

Finding Dory review

Note: We originally ran Peter’s Finding Dory review on June 10. We’re re-running it now that the film is in theaters.

Finding Dory is an example of why we should never underestimate Pixar. Did we need a sequel to Finding Nemo? No. This film is unnecessary… yet somehow Finding Dory is a fun, rewarding emotional journey. Join me after the jump for a virtually spoiler-free reaction to Pixar’s latest film.

While the film may be titled Finding Dory, the story is centered around Dory’s adventure to return to her long lost home and reconnect with her parents who she got separated from as a child.  Yes, Marlin and Nemo are on the search for Dory, but its Dory’s story which serves as the main narrative.

Writer/director Andrew Stanton and co-director Angus MacLane smartly tapped into an aspect of Dory’s character that may have been invisible to most of us. Afraid that people will get annoyed or aggravated by her inherent flaw (her short term memory), Dory’s cheerful and helpful personality is partially a mask, to help keep from being abandoned (again).  And through this adventure across the ocean, Dory must find and accept herself. Like any great Pixar film, Finding Dory will physically jerk tears out of your eyes, seconds later making you laugh out loud while in admiration of its cleverness.

They’ve found ways to organically include appearances from a lot of the major characters from the first film (although some just didn’t fit story-wise) but kids (and adults alike) will leave the movie infatuated with the newest characters introduced in this adventure. And I’m sure that was part of the plan as I can only imagine the merchandising sales that will result from this film. My favorite new characters are definitely the trio of sea lions, played by Idris Elba, Dominic West and Torbin Xan Bullock, who had me laughing out loud more than a few times. Ed O’Neill’s octopus character Hank is also a great addition to the crew.

So how does it compare against its predecessor? In its best moments, Dory is more emotional and funnier than its predecessor. The movie feels more of a result of Pixar 2.0, somehow a more complex and layered adventure.

But overall, I believe Finding Nemo is the better film, for a couple reasons: the thrust of Marlin’s journey to find his lost son is something most people can relate to, while Dory’s journey to discover her lost parents is not as powerful narratively. While the cartoonish design of the characters remain true to the original, the ocean looks to be more beautiful and complex (there is a sequence in the kelp forest which is particularly stunning), making me wish we had more time under the sea. A surprising amount of this movie takes place on land. But my biggest issue with this film is that once the story reaches its logical and emotional conclusion, it doesn’t end. The story continues for another twenty or so minutes and the tone of the film changes drastically from dramatic and heartwarming to wacky.

If you’re looking for a reason to return to the multiplex since Captain America: Civil War, this is it. Finding Dory is a great sequel to a beloved classic in a Summer of sequels that have mostly disappointed. It should also be mentioned that Alan Barillaro’s short film Piper plays before this film in theaters and is the best Pixar animated film in a decade: adorable, almost-photo real, and almost impossible not to love.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10

P.S. Stay through the end credits for a fun surprise. Remember, Marvel didn’t invent the after credits scene. It’s something that even the original Finding Nemo had.

The post ‘Finding Dory’ Spoiler-Free Review: This Is Why We Should Never Underestimate Pixar appeared first on /Film.

13 Jun 04:14

Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" Looks Absolutely Insane

by Terri Schwartz

HBO has released the first promotional video for "Battle of the Bastards," the ninth episode of Game of Thrones: Season 6, and oh man. It. Is. So. Good.

Here's your proof (and don't worry, there aren't any spoilers for "No One" if you haven't seen it yet):

In early seasons of Game of Thrones, certain corners had to be cut in the production due to budget. Tyrion got knocked out in Season 1 instead of fighting in a battle he participated in in George R.R. Martin's books. A massive portion of Season 2's budget went to the Battle of Blackwater. Even Season 4's Children of the Forest aren't quite as impressive as they are in Season 6.

Continue reading…

09 Jun 20:30

Lenovo Teases Folding Screens

by G. Clay Whittaker
Lenovo Flexible Phone and Tablet Screens

Phone and tablet screens fold while still working.

In a spot that was far too short, Lenovo put cameras on a bendable smartphone design that wraps around the wrist for storage. Immediately after they demonstrated a…