John Carmack takes reins as CTO of Oculus VR

Legendary game developer, technical wizard and creator of the games that initially inspired the FPS genre, John Carmack, has announced he is to assume a role at Oculus VR of Chief Technology Officer.

Oculus VR is developing a virtual reality headset called Oculus Rift, that was initially funded via a kickstarter campaign. It has been endorsed by and received support from a number of game developers and companies, as it could finally be an affordable and working VR headset, two qualities lacking from the Virtuality machines most of us remember from the 1990s, or the ill-fated Nintendo Virtualboy.

Carmack has recently spent time investigating quirks of head-mounted display technology. In a series of tweets he discussed the value of 120hz 1080p displays when used in a virtual-reality environment. In a recent presentation at Quakecon, Carmack spent a long time discussing display technology, among other topics. Those videos can be viewed on Youtube and are highly recommended viewing.

Commenters have questioned what this means for iD software, and while Carmack has confirmed he is to remain at the company he made world famous, he announced via twitter his efforts at Oculus Rift will take priority over either iD software or Armadillo Aerospace (his own venture).

Next LAN Party is in November

We are having another LAN party in November the full details of which can be found on the LAN Party page which is linked above.

Please get in touch with suggestions and ideas of games you want to play.

If you want to host a game server or particular mod or organise a tourney play off please let us know, its a great way for you to get involved.

LAN Party

Gaming at 4K resolution – tested

Hardware-enthusiast site Anandtech has gotten its mitts on a new Sharp 4K30 monitor, which has allowed them to test  and benchmark some modern games at max detail and 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution.

4K is precisely four times as many pixels as 1080p (see image). Considering a combination of max detail settings and 1080p resolution can stretch some graphics cards, 4K is a truly demanding rendering task.

With a Core i7 4770K, 16GB of DDR3 memory and Windows 7 64-bit, seven graphics cards, including Nvidia’s Geforce Titan, AMD’s dual-GPU Radeon 7990 and single cards such as the GTX 680, were tested at 4K with Metro 2033, Sleeping Dogs and Dirt 3.

The results are a sign that 4K gaming won’t be a reality for quite some time. Only with four GTX Titans could Metro 2033 be persuaded to run at 60fps. That’s £3,600 worth of graphics cards.

Along with the current cost of super-high-definition monitors, it looks like 4K resolution will only be a toy for the kids of investment bankers, for a while at least.

While GPU power will increase over time, so will the demands of top-end games, so it remains to be seen whether a single GPU will be able to power 4K resolutions, even in the future.

Although both Sony and Microsoft have said that both next-generation consoles will be capable of outputting a 4K-resolution image, Sony has ruled out 4K gaming for the PS4, but Microsoft has not ruled it out for the Xbox One. It’s hard to see how either console will be able to offer such a thing based on their specifications.

Mumble Client Update

Mumble png

The mumble client has been updated.

The 1.2.4 client is painless to install and is recommended for windows 8 and mac osx users. For non windows 8 and mac users then the quality is a bit better and a couple of new features, but nothing mandatory.

The mumble 1.2.3 server should be updated soon tm to mumble 1.2.4 server.

For information on joining the server refer to the fragland mumble server webpage.

To access the channels that require a password then contact myself for help on entering a channel password, which is referred to as a “token” in mumble.

Development update from rFactor 2

Image Space Incorporated have released some development updates which include ongoing work on another core build, some lovely screen shots of in-game work in progress of Silverstone and hints at some major high profile car releases soon to be announced in full detail.

The dev forum update can be seen here with links to the Silverstone screen shot.

rFactor is without a doubt the choice of driving sim for gaming fans who want to play at any level of expertise and realism.

Dedicated game servers means that qualifying, practice and race events can be held with just about any mix of simulation or arcade mode depending on your experience.

A try before you buy is downloadable with content added at your own discretion which is a nice way to experience features of the game without having to buy it.

EA signs deal to produce future Star Wars titles

EA has inked a multi-year exclusive agreement to create Star Wars games with Disney, the new owners of all things Star Wars, targeted across ‘multiple (undisclosed) platforms and genres.’ According to Gamasutra, Disney will retain rights to some online and mobile titles, but EA will be responsible for titles targeted at a ‘core gaming audience’.

To some, this might sound like the marriage of two of the world’s most evil entertainment corporations. But the consoling news is that talented development studios Dice, Bioware and Dead Space creators Visceral Games have been named as the teams that will initially be tasked with working with the license, using the powerful Frostbite 3 engine as seen in Battlefield 3.

Ok, I’ll say it now. Battlefield gameplay, but with Stormtroopers versus Rebels. AT-STs, AT-ATs, land speeders, etc, done to perfection, on the next-gen consoles, and the PC of tomorrow. Yup.

Sale of THQ IP safeguards beloved PC licenses

Back in January, game publisher THQ filed for bankruptcy, casting doubt on the future of some of the most popular PC game franchises, including Red Faction, Homeworld and Supreme Commander, amongst others.

According to a post on Bluesnews the rights to these games have now been sold on to new owners, with Gearbox Software buying Homeworld for $1.35m and Swedish publisher Nordic Games Licensing AB in control of Supreme Commander and Red Faction.

This may mean we could see an official Homeworld sequel, and another Supreme Commander game in the future.

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

German-based publisher UIG has revealed it is working with Al Lowe, the original creator of Leisure Suit Larry and source of much of the series’ humour. Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is a planned remake of the first game that introduced the world to perpetual loser, and the original 40-year-old virgin, Larry Laffer.

Word of a new Leisure Suit Larry game is likely to be with blank faces from gamers below a certain age, with muffled grumbles from those whose fond memories of the early titles are muddied by the downward spiral the series took later on.

First published by Sierra Online, Leisure Suit Larry was a series of point-and-click adventure games that predates Lucasarts’ creations such as Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. The original game relied on text input rather than icons for interaction, which were used exclusively in the SCUMM system found in Lucasarts titles. The subject is a slightly balding, middle-aged man with no fashion sense, attempting to get laid. The game’s tasks include chatting up women in an attempt to ‘get lucky’, bargaining with a pimp and avoiding flushing the chain in the local bar.

As with other Sierra titles of the day, and in contrast to Lucasarts adventure games, the puzzles were unforgiving to players’ errors, where most simple mistakes meant the death of your character and the player reaching for the Load Game option.

MUNICH, Germany – 22nd April 2013: UIG Entertainment, a leading German publisher, and original designer Al Lowe are excited/nervous/deeply concerned (delete as appropriate!) to reveal that video gaming’s king of innuendo, the digital Lothario himself Larry Laffer, is set to return this June in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded on PC, Mac and Linux priced at £14.99.

Re-made, expanded and enhanced in every detail with original creator Al Lowe and original writer Josh Mandel at the helm, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded sees Larry Laffer’s first and greatest adventure, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, re-made for a brand new audience 26 years after its original release. Behind all-new hi-res, hand-drawn art and animation replacing the blocky pixelated graphics of the 1987 original, come expanded puzzles, locations, humour and gameplay. And rounding off the package (no pun intended!) is a re-written musical score from Grammy-nominated and BAFTA-winning composer Austin Wintory featuring Al Lowe on saxophone!”