Friday, June 21, 2013

TUG too

Here is another group who licensed the Voxel Farm engine. This actually was the very first license to go out, back in October 2012.

They are Nerd Kingdom and the game is called TUG, which stands for The Unknown Game. This may strike you as the most unimaginative name ever, but once you understand where this project comes from and what are their goals, it actually makes perfect sense.

I am not sure at this point how much of the original source code engine remains in this project. It is quickly getting into shape and looking good.

This project is coming from a different angle. This baby is spawn by behavioral scientists. By collecting data on how people play, they believe they can reshape the game as it unfolds.

One example they give is: Imagine they have an algorithm that detects when a player is griefing other players. Eventually they would know who are the trolls in the community and maybe they could do something about it, like placing all trolls together in an island and see what happens. In the future this may give ideas to other game designers on how to deal with griefing and trolling in games.

A game that watches you play all the time may seem a bit big-brotherish. They do come from a science background. Behavioral scientists have been creating these mad experiments for a long time now, I'm not sure this ever came at the expense of someone's privacy.

These experiments in the past were small scale compared to what you can achieve in this era of big data. I  hope NK will remain transparent on what data is collected about you and how it is linked to your real identity, or simply make it so you are out of the experiment by default and you have to actually opt-in.

You may invoke a nightmarish scenario where a government denies you boarding a plane due to your psychotic behavior in a game. If you worry about this kind of thing and still want to play TUG you should probably take it with Nerd Kingdom.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

StarForge avec Voxel Farm

Here are some very exciting news at least for me. A few months ago CodeHatch, the company behind Starforge, licensed the VoxelFarm engine. They are using it from Unity in this latest video showing their new game terrain:

These guys are crazy-talented. Moreover, they are the nicest, most positive people I have ever encountered and worked with. Maybe it is because they are Canadians, who knows.

My heart is with Starforge, I really hope great things come to this project. If you have not checked this game out, it is on Steam.