Yipikiyay Blog

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For the love of Games #4

The next of our (ir)regular game specific news and views from around the web. An exciting time as always in games, not least of which this month brings us E3, arguably the most important event in game announcement calendars, but one which has been utter chaos as it's going virtual and no-one seems to know what's happening or when. It's the time big game companies announce big games and throw lavish presentations on-stage...but not this year as it's all virtual. Anyway more to follow on that as we get the news, but in the meantime here's some cool games stuff from around the web.

Apple Design Awards 2021

Apple Design Awards 2021

Not strictly games, as they cover all types of apps on the App Store, but there's a continued focus on games from Apple given they account for a good chunk of their revenue. Some beautiful examples across each of the categories, so well worth a look. Little Orpheus is a visually stunning puzzle platformer, South of the Circle offers a new very stylish take on the classic point and click adventure format, Beyond a Steel Sky continues the story of one of the all time great adventure games "Beneath a Steel Sky" and then there's Blind Drive which is a nuts driving game where you're blindfolded and can only direct yourself using sound as a guide - very frantic. Check out the Apple Design Awards 2021 website for all apps and games that won.

Valve hand-held gaming console

Not an actual SteamPal!

Coined the SteamPal, this is Valve's latest foray into the gaming hardware market this time with a hand-held device. Nintendo have seen phenomenal success with the Switch offering mobile and TV gaming in an affordable and highly portable format, so it's no surprise that Valve expand their games dominance via the Steam platform with a new gaming device. Details are sketchy currently, but with E3 looming we expect to find out more soon. Read more on Ars Technica.

Movies of games - Cynical ploy or deep vein of inspiration?


"Scrounging for Hits, Hollywood Goes Back to the Video Game Well" is the title from the The New York Times and we think the word "scrounging" is accurate. In theory games should be a rich source of material for turning into films, but the transition from small screen to big has not always been successful (Tomb Raider anyone?). But with Sony now being a behemoth in media across the board, they want to capitalise on that status. Which totally makes sense. Games are often seen as childish wastes of time, but in reality they are part art form, part science and part entertainment, having many story and character led games, so it stands to reason they should convert well into films. Time will tell but we're excited by the prospect.

Apple opens up Apple Arcade


Slightly older Apple news, but indicates a shift in focus for Apple by opening up their popular Apple Arcade system to non-exclusive games. This is driven by evidence in a trial versus Epic on app store commissions, where it showed over 60% of their revenue is generated from games so they have a platform that is massively successful for gaming. Allied to that Apple are facing anti-trust and competition lawsuits in the US and EU, so making a show of opening up their platform to help placate naysayers. Whatever the drivers, we're pleased as it means more and higher quality games open to Mac, iPhone and iPad users, especially Mac which historically was massively under-supported for games.

Niantic and Nintendo in strategic partnership


Most well known for Pokemon Go Niantic are a games studio specialising in AR based real-world experiences. The great news is they've signed a partnership deal with Nintendo to expand their offerings to other Nintendo franchises, specifically Pikmin. What's different though with this upcoming game is it's designed to encourage people to get out and walk around, aiming to make that experience more delightful. Anything that uses gaming to encourage physical activity is a good thing in our eyes. Read more on Niantic's blog.

An absolutely wild mod has brought real-time ray tracing to the SNES

A cutting-edge graphics technology has come to a 30-year-old game console. Why? Why not we say! Raytracing in simple terms is a method to generate really awesome looking graphics in games particularly lit and reflective surfaces, with the intention of making them more realistic. So of course you'd want that in a console build in 1990! Read more over at Polygon or check out the video below.

Marine Mammal Rescue


Twitch opens up from gaming with its notorious pools, beaches and hot tubs section which has received a lot of attention, both good and bad. But who doesn't want to watch rescued and rehabilitated otters, seals, porpoises and turtles? Watch it now!

If there's anything that's caught your eye and want to see how we could help bring your ideas to life via games, apps or interactive experiences, just get in touch and we'll set up a friendly chat. Until next time. Yipikiyay!

by Rob Mason.