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Spine Interview – Characters, Combat, Balancing, and More

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There’s no shortage of multiplayer games competing for everyone’s attention, so when a new one emerges that promises something new and unique, you can’t help but pay attention. Banzai Games’ upcoming team-based action title Spine is certainly making those promises. Combining hero shooter elements with team-based gameplay, stylish gun-fu combat, and a focus on cinematic action, it certainly seems to have the elements in place to deliver something interesting. Hoping to learn more about Spine, we recently reached out to its developers with some of our questions about it. You can read our conversation with the game’s producer Dmitry Pimenov below.

spine

“Our idea behind the camera is to use a lot of cinematic angles during action, but only when it’s comfortable for the player.”

To start off, in the universe of your game, what exactly is Spine technology, and what purposes do the characters use it for?

In our universe, which is quite dystopian, Spine is a body augmentation, an implant connected directly to the spinal cord of all playable characters. For us as developers, it allows us to give our characters supernatural reaction speeds, like parrying a bullet with a katana etc. while maintaining a holistic narrative. Spine in our world is a top-notch military technology, available mostly to highly ranking agents of the government. Of course, our character roster consists both of pro-government and rebel characters, with the latter being forced to get that valuable technology by any means, like stealing or trying to copy it.

Spine is promising a more cinematic experience than most multiplayer games are usually known for. Can you tell us about how the game achieves it, and how challenging it is to make sure that doesn’t get in the way of immediate fun and momentum, which is so crucial in multiplayer games?

Being a company focused on realistic and physics-based animations, we always were impressed by the games like Uncharted, For Honor, God of War, Devil May Cry etc. (one of the latest titles we’re looking forward to is Sifu). In games like this, the camera plays a huge role in the player experience, so we thought – why no one emphasizes camerawork in multiplayer games? Of course, it’s kind of tricky to implement “attack cutscenes with special camera position” or something like that into your action game without breaking gameplay flow, but, for example, many of the fighting games almost always have some kind of “resting” intervals, when you just relax for a few frames and stop hitting buttons – like, when you’re hit by an opponent’s combo, or an x-ray in Mortal Kombat games. So our idea behind the camera is to use a lot of cinematic angles during action, but only when it’s comfortable for the player. We’re quite inspired by our current system — let’s hope the players will like it as well!

What kind of variety should players expect from the different characters that will be available in the game? How much will they differ from each other with strengths and weaknesses?

Just as much as you would expect from modern character-based games like Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege etc. We strongly believe that players choose their “mains” based on both their looks and gameplay abilities, so our main goal, which I’m personally invested in, is to create a roster as diverse as possible, with each character having a unique skill set and narrative background. You will see both well-known archetypes of characters (like a Medic, Tank etc.), and characters unique to our gameplay as well.

spine

“We strongly believe that players choose their “mains” based on both their looks and gameplay abilities, so our main goal, which I’m personally invested in, is to create a roster as diverse as possible, with each character having a unique skill set and narrative background.”

Something that Spine seems to be emphasizing quite a bit is team-play, with different characters being able to boost each others’ abilities. Can you talk a bit more about that, and what form that will take in terms of gameplay mechanics?

I think that in games of a similar genre you can roughly divide player “learning curve” into three stages: 1) learning inputs, and how to time them correctly; 2) learning your characters and their best tactics (rushing in, sniping other players, etc.) 3) and finally, learning to win as a team, even if that means that you will sacrifice your character for that. Because we strive to create an addicting Gun-Fu/Kung-Fu experience, which is often about beautiful duels where all of your weapons and even surrounding objects are used to kick your opponent’s ass, we try to create a system of abilities that encourages players to focus one opponent while they are new to the game. As your character progresses, you will unlock more abilities that will affect your opponents and allies during the match. In terms of gameplay mechanics you can expect a lot of stuff from action movies – like shooting two opponents at once using dual pistols, helping your mates with different gadgets and so on.

The mixture of melee, gunplay, and parkour can elevate a shooter when implemented properly, and Spine is promising the same. Can you talk about what sort of a balance the game strikes between those three things? Is fast movement and parkour in particular something that’s emphasized?

First of all, let me say again that Spine is not a shooter game, but more of a fighting/slashing game about using both melee weapons and firearms (firearms will play a huge role in gameplay as one of the main weapons used by player, not as a subsidiary projectile like in various fighting games). Most of our action happens face to face, so for the most characters you will need to get close to your opponent to be effective. That’s where fast running and movement abilities come into play. As your character is augmented with Spine boosting their reflexes, you can expect to dodge some bullets shot towards you.

What are your plans for Spine where post-launch support is concerned? I know it’s a little too early for you to talk about details, but do you have a general idea of how you want to support the game once it’s out?

Our company has been learning a lot about LiveOPs in the past years, and one of the obvious current trends that is visible to us is offering a lot of content on a periodic basis. I think we will have some kind of a “Season” system, which introduces new characters, stories and content as they reach a shippable state.

Where consoles are concerned, why did you decide to launch as a new-gen console exclusive, especially with most games right now taking the cross-gen approach?

Actually, we are considering releasing on past-gen as well, because we plan to develop mobile builds anyway, and that will help us to optimize our game for different devices. But we gathered some expertise in graphics in the last few years, and one of our main interests today is to work with modern technologies like ray-tracing etc., which are not supported on the past-gen. So our main focus is to create a game as beautiful as possible (you can’t miss a chance to create a futuristic world with physics-based lighting and reflections!) and then optimize it for other platforms.

spine

“We are considering releasing on past-gen as well, because we plan to develop mobile builds anyway, and that will help us to optimize our game for different devices.”

Do you have any plans to launch on the Switch?

Currently, no, we don’t.

Since the reveal of the PS5 and Xbox Series’ specs, a lot of comparisons have been made between the GPU speeds of the two consoles, with the PS5 at 10.28 TFLOPS and the Xbox Series X at 12 TFLOPS. How much of an impact on development do you think that difference will have?

Before we continue, I shall say that we worked only on PCs with modern GPUs at the time. We’re still in the process of receiving our dev kits, which were already shipped to us. In the meantime, we test our graphics on PCs with GPUs supporting RT, and on past-gen dev kits. But I’ll try to answer as much as I can on the matter.

Regarding this question, we think that the difference between two platforms won’t matter much, especially for the naked eye, with different performance on some few scenes. We may expect that PS5 may perform consecutive operations faster, but Xbox would handle simultaneous ones better. However, both of those platforms offer incredible asset loading times, similar technologies and a lot of GPU power. When you look at Digital Foundry comparisons of performance, you often see that the difference is very subtle, and most of the time it actually depends on the skills of the developer, but not the platform itself. As most modern games are released as cross-platform titles, we expect that differences between platforms would matter only a little. What really matters is Series S, however – I have one at home, and it’s an amazing deal for that price, but we are sure that developers will have to think about it a lot during the current generation, as most of the current games feature lesser resolution or framerates on that console.

The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. How can developers take advantage of this, and how does this compare to the Xbox Series X’s 2.4GB/s raw bandwidth?

As a user, it’s possible that you won’t notice the difference in most games, as both of these speeds are amazing. What really matters in terms of user experience – is being smart about loading process and speeds. For example, “Quick Resume” won’t always work correctly for my Xbox games (I’m sure that will be patched), but it is a deal breaker if you and your family play different games on the same console. For Spine, these SSD speeds mean a good deal – it’s a great opportunity to shorten loading times for the environments of the game. Regarding them being different – well, I play Ratchet and Clank on my PS5, and it is amazing! But it’s possible to achieve similar results with smart texture caching. So I’d say a lot of that stuff depends both on developer’s ability to use SSD and optimize loading process. We may see difference in platform exclusives, but it would be hard to compare because they are, well, exclusives. But that’s my opinion. Anyway, the ability to load a huge amount of textures in no time really makes me excited about creative game mechanics making use of that in the future.

There is a difference in Zen 2 CPUs of both consoles. The Xbox Series X features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz, whereas the PS5 features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz. Your thoughts on this difference?

For the top-notch games using all of the CPU power, this may mean that Xbox will fare slightly better in scenarios with lots of animated objects involved (like crowded cities etc.). We don’t have scenes like that in our games, so we doubt there will be much difference for us in terms of CPUs. We’ll see about that.

spine

“A lot of our fighting scenes happen in close quarters and locations, so we expect it won’t be very hard for us to achieve RT + 60 fps on PS5 and Series X.”

The Xbox Series S features lesser hardware compared to Xbox Series and Microsoft is pushing it as a 1440p/60fps console. Do you think it will be able to hold up for the graphically intensive next-gen games?

It will, but it will take some patience of the developers to take this console into consideration during development. I expect to see most of the games released on it with lesser frame rate or resolution, as it’s one of the cheapest methods to optimize rendering, and maybe with smaller textures. As you’ve said before, most developers at the moment make their games cross-gen, so it shouldn’t be a problem during the coming few years. But if you have a 4K display and want to embrace next-gen in all its glory, with ray-tracing and 60fps at the same time, better get an Xbox Series X or PS5, obviously.

Super Resolution is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. How do you think this will help game developers?

That is an amazing feature we’re really looking forward to. It should work wonders on games with Ray Tracing, like ours, because it’s really hard to achieve a stable 60 fps for resolutions higher than Full HD using current generation consoles (your development team should be very high-skilled for that). I expect this technology would help smaller teams, even indies, to achieve much more stunning visuals, as they won’t have to optimize their games as much as without the Super Resolution feature.

What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?

A lot of our fighting scenes happen in close quarters and locations, so we expect it won’t be very hard for us to achieve RT + 60 fps on PS5 and Series X (this frame rate is really necessary for action games). Super Resolution would help us with that, as we hope. Regarding resolution itself – we don’t know it yet. A lot of modern games use dynamic resolutions nowadays, and our team plans to achieve at least Full HD. This will depend on how good the Super Resolution would work on consoles.

What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck?

It’s a good device that should run a lot of modern games with good-looking graphics. It’s also great that it’s kind of a small PC, as we expect it won’t be much trouble to optimize for the Steam Deck release. However, Valve appears to have some kind of experimental approach to their ideas (do you remember Steam Machines? Steam Controllers? I do) – so I’m not 100% sure it would lift off. The device may prove to be too heavy/big for portable use (as it’s bigger than Nintendo Switch), there may be issues with marketing or support of the device, etc. I hope for it to be successful, though, as it may really freshen the portables market, and I would be able to play an infinite amount of future remasters of Skyrim with mods installed while on a couch!


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Source: https://gamingbolt.com/spine-interview-characters-combat-balancing-and-more

Gaming

BetSofa Review – Online Casino Real Money

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The online casino called BetSofa is a popular company with a good reputation, a great selection of casino games and a well thought out bonus policy. This gaming website is operated on the basis of an official license monitored by a reliable regulator and its user interface is convenient and easy to use. Each game can be called up directly in the browser and does not require the installation of a client program. Users from any country can join the platform to win real money at this online casino.

 

Available games in the BetSofa online casino

This casino started operations in 2020. The website offers hundreds of licensed games from world-famous software manufacturers – Pragmatic Play, Blueprint Gaming, Endorphina, BTG, Netent, Microgaming and many others. On this game website you can try out various sports betting live casino and enjoy the best games for free thanks to advantageous demo offers without the risk of loss!

If you want to play online at this casino, look out for the following types of games that are available there:
● slots;
● table games;
● scratch cards;
● jackpot games;
● live gambling;
● online sports betting;
● Video poker!
The Live Games section contains games of chance made by Evolution Gaming and BetGames. There are more than 50 tables available on the website. When you visit this casino section you can try roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker and other fun and new casino games, although not all of them are available for online no deposit casino free trial, which is something to watch out for . Live games help to reproduce the precious atmosphere of a real game operation.

BetSofa online casino bonus and promotions

The German casino online BetSofa offers its customers great bonuses and promotions. To encourage new players to sign up on the platform, BetSofa is offering a welcome bonus to every new player. A welcome package for new customers includes an amount of 111% added to the gamer’s account for registration and the first deposit. Once you play the bonus prize, you can cash out your winnings.

 

The regular customers can also receive BetSofa online casino bonus for certain promotions on the platform. In addition, there are daily as well as regular bonuses, an advantageous sports betting bonus and much more on this gambling website!
Why is it worth playing without a deposit at this online casino?

 

BetSofa is a reliable company that offers secure online services where you can win real money. The platform offers a wide range of casino games, lucrative bonuses (such as the online casino bonus without deposit), as well as responsive, competent customer service. To start playing, you need to register and create your account. You will then have access to all the games that this advantageous virtual platform offers. The casino software is licensed from well-known providers and provided by brand producers. The down payments are protected by the latest encryption technology so that you will not have any problems with your transactions. This guarantees you a lot of fun and a high level of security when betting.

 

Source: Plato Data Intelligrence

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Gaming

How do casinos without an account work?

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You may have heard of casinos without an account or instant casinos, but you haven’t played them yourself yet. Maybe you’re not sure how to deal with them or how to create an account for them if they don’t even sign up?

Equally, if you understand how casinos operate without an account, you will also more easily understand how to deal with them in an orthodox way. This way, you can be sure that gaming is guaranteed to be safe and reliable and that you will not encounter anything strange during your customer experience.
Trustly has become known for casinos without an account

Founded in 2008, Trustly has been used as a means of payment in casinos for several years. Only casinos without an account brought it up among others and at the moment it is almost monopolistic among them.

It’s also because the Pay N Play service developed by Trustly was once the innovation that led to the emergence of instant casinos. Without Trustly, this type of casino would not have even been born. As can be seen from the name of the service, it tells everything essential about what it is all about, i.e. depositing and then immediately playing.

Trustly’s service does not require prior registration and does not require a previous deposit to a separate online account. You will act in the same way as you would when paying for any of your online purchases: you will confirm the transfer to the casino with your online banking credentials.
Identity will also be confirmed during the deposit
Online banking transfer also acts as a money transfer to the casino as well as a confirmation of identity. Namely, casinos require certain personal information in order to create an account, and in addition, that personal information must also be verified. It is part of the KYC (Know your Customer) protocol.

Online banking IDs contain some personal information that Trustly transmits to the casino. These include, for example, name, gender, and address. You can provide other information voluntarily later. The casino creates a digital casino account based on the information received and its keys are online banking IDs. When you want to log in to the casino again, you just re-enter your online banking ID.

A brief introduction to starting to play in casinos without an account
Once you’ve found yourself a casino without an account, the next most challenging point is guaranteed to be how to get started. How do I create an account and how does money move in one direction and another? The guide below will clarify the matter.

First, click the Save and Play button
A screen will pop up where you need to select the amount to deposit at the casino.
After selecting the amount of the deposit, you move on and next you choose your own bank from the Trustly partner banks.
By clicking on the bank icon, you will be taken to the view of your own bank, where you will confirm the transfer with online banking IDs.
After a successful transfer, you will return to the casino and immediately see your account and the money you transferred.

The money is always transferred in real time to both the casino and back to the bank account. Account creation and money transfers take place in a secure connection at the bank level, ie in complete security. At no point will your information fall into the hands of outsiders.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence

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Gaming

New Steam Games You Might Have Missed In August 2021

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On a daily basis, on average, dozens of games are released on Steam which is a good thing for gamers, but it can be a bit hard to keep up with, and potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam.

There have been some good game releases this month on Steam, the likes of New World where players buy New World Coins, the games that are worth playing and can be purchased for cheap when you buy cd key, so here is a list of games that you can play right now that have been recently launched in August.

Dread Templar

This is a retro-styled first-person shooter with a strong quake engine vibe and also has a great backstory that’ll get you excited to play the game. In this, you are entering hell in order to get revenge on the demons, which sounds awesome, but It’s not just a shoot and circle strafe affair because there are ninja weapons in Dread Templar, as well as some skill customization and light puzzle solving. The game looks pretty good, too; however, this one is an early access version of the game and gives only a fraction of the experience of what the final game will be like, which is expected to have 25 levels.

Fire Tonight

This game was released on August 13, and it’s about a couple separated by a fire that’s ravaging their city, and they want to reunite, but the problem is that it’s the 90s, so they’ll have to use their legs and eyes rather than a smartphone, and this is not a horror game but is more of a visual novel which is mixed with an isometric puzzle game with the dioramic city looking like a joy to navigate, and you can go through it in a car, train and roller skates while avoiding police barricades and fire.

Garden Story

The game garden story has been in development for quite some time, but now it is finally here and has been released on August 12 by the developer Picogram. This top-down action-adventure game looks pretty to the eye where you play as a grape named Concord, who must help revitalize their declining island, and yes, there is gardening in the game, but it does not appear to me too much of a focus here. You can explore a whimsical pastel-hued world and interact with other vegetables and fruits and also go into dungeons to slay some cute baddies.

Mech Armada

Launched into Early Access last week, Mech Armada is a turn-based tactics game with mechs. With most of the civilization living underground due to a hectic alien invasion, these extremely well-armed robotic vehicles are used to slay the aggressive wildlife that thrives upon the surface. All mechs are fully customizable with over 70 parts, so you could spend a lot of time optimizing your build, and with procedurally generated maps, there’s a lot of game here to bite into. The current Early Access build has a full roguelike campaign with five biomes and more than 30 enemies to face, but you can expect a lot more content between now and its 1.0 launch in about a year.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence

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Gaming

Norway will crack down on the unlicensed iGaming market with a new gaming law

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Norway already has several laws restricting betting, casino games and iGaming in the country. The government is now presenting a new bill that will crack down on the unlicensed online gaming market with a new gaming law.

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The aim of the new legislation
The new legislation replaces the current law on gambling by uniting the country’s current laws, which include the Lottery Act, the Gambling Act and the Totalizator Act. At the same time, it has been made clear that the market monopoly for online games that Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto share will be maintained by strengthening the model for exclusive rights.

The government will achieve this by, among other things, imposing fines on other operators who try to offer gambling in Norway.

The new law was first proposed in June 2020, and a few months later the government notified the EU Commission of the proposal in August of the same year.
The changes to be made
Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Raja has been responsible for notifying the law to the Norwegian people and has explained that the law will specifically affect those operators who are not allowed to offer gambling in Norway. This means that the online casinos that follow Norwegian law and operate with a legal license are not in danger of being penalized.

Abid Raja further says that he is happy to finally be able to present the new law on gambling, which is a milestone in the government’s work to prevent gambling problems and ensure responsible gambling.

The Norwegian government has grown tired of foreign gaming companies that choose not to respect the current Norwegian law, and therefore do not operate with proper liability measures. Raja therefore hopes that the new law can help to give the Norwegian Lotteries Authority new important tools for detecting, reacting to and sanctioning offenses related to gambling.
What will the new law have to say in practice?
Violation of the ban that will be imposed could lead to punishment, the government reports.

Other things we can notice in the future is that all marketing of gambling aimed at children will be punishable. A general ban on the use of credit cards on gaming sites to promote responsible gaming habits also applies.

Every operator is also obliged and has the responsibility to introduce accountability measures. All marketing to players who have chosen to unsubscribe or block themselves from the sites due to gambling addiction will be punishable. Marketing must also not step over any boundaries and go beyond what is “necessary” to attract players to their legal gaming offerings.

Finally, Raja adds that the gaming area in Norway is constantly evolving. The government has deliberately worked for many years with gambling, and they are seeing results.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence

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