League of Legends is scraping away all of its existing lore and rebuilding from scratch to give the storytellers greater flexibility in crafting the setting. Harmonix is moving from Rock Band to a virtual music experience aimed at the Samsung Gear VR. Epic is giving students access to Unreal Engine 4 for free, and Mortal Kombat X announced its 2015 release date with an exclusive pre-order incentive. Here is the gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for Sept. 6, 2014.
League of Legends restarting its lore
It is not too often when an established game world is completely scrapped so it can be rebuilt, but that is exactly what Riot Games is doing with its highly successful competitive multiplayer battle arena game League of Legends. Tommy Gnox explains on the official websites blog that the current lore and history of the characters made sense in the beginning when the game was very small, but over time has created many limitations. These rigid narrative structures have eventually led to “creative stagnation,” preventing the creators from exploring new ideas that they would want to. After long deliberation, Riot has decided to restart the whole story from scratch and break off from these chains, rather than keep digging themselves deeper. Given that the game’s focus has always been more on the fast-paced strategic gameplay and the numerous world tournaments, re-fleshing out the back story definitely does not seem like it will hurt it.
Music Visualization VR from Harmonix
Virtual Reality has been finding more and more interesting uses than just gaming, from virtual 3D theater experiences to teaching young medical students complex surgical procedures from the perspective of the head doctor. Harmonix, the developer behind the popular Rock Band series, has just announced they are entering the VR fray with a new “music experience”. The project takes their proprietary music analysis software in order to create a rich visualization in a “musically responsive environment.” Harmonix is working with the recently announced Samsung Gear VR. Few details have been released yet, but the idea sounds like another excellent application for the immersive capabilities of the VR headset.
Unreal Engine 4 free for educators
Independent game development has definitely been going through a bit of a renaissance in the recent several years, with new publishing platforms such as Steam opening up their doors, variety of gaming bundles offering quick income boosts, and a number of powerful cross-platform engines making it increasingly easier to create games with minimal programming knowledge. Unreal Engine 4, powering a number of Epic’s upcoming titles, has been available for a low monthly subscription of just $19 per month. However, the studio just revealed that schools and universities will be able to obtain the technology completely for free, giving an even greater incentive for students to jump in. As the company’s general manager Ray Davis explained, those who come out of school knowing Unreal Engine will have a “huge advantage when it comes to job placement.” While it does sound like a bit of a upsell, it is hard to disagree with his statement.
Mortal Kombat X coming in April 2015 with a pre-order exclusive
Fans of the fighting genre will remember the early days of almost photo realistic sprites, somewhat awkward animations, and copious amounts of relentless gore. Mortal Kombat has seen many iterations since 1992, hitting almost every console and arcade as well as the big screen of Hollywood. NetherRealm Studios has just announced that the latest version Mortal Kombat X will be released on Apr. 14, 2015. Those who choose to pre-order the title will get an exclusive in-game Goro, the four-armed humanoid fighter who has become one of the staple characters in the series. The game will be available on both the last-gen and current-gen consoles, as well as Windows PC.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski
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