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Pinball FX3 is Heading to the Switch With Unique Features

Zen Studios offered decent support for the Wii U and 3DS eShop, and it’s now stepping up with the Switch eShop – it’s confirmed that Pinball FX3 is coming to the store on 14th November; the initial download is free and includes the Sorcerer’s Lair table, and you then buy other tables separately.

Check out the trailer below.

Starting off with Switch-specific features, it’ll have HD Rumble and the option to play with a vertical orientation in portable mode, which is a neat touch. There’ll be 30 tables available to buy at launch, with more promised, and cross-platform multiplayer will also be included. As you can see in the PR excerpt below the FX series puts multiplayer and tournaments at the heart of the game.


  • Now every table is an RPG. Simply playing a table yields experience points and level
    advancements that continually unlock the potential for bigger points…and bigger blowouts of
    your friends’ scores on the leaderboards. Strategic thinking comes into play when determining
    which power-ups to equip—one table might be best suited for a Skillshot Score Increase and
    Multiball Score Bonus, while another might better benefit from Combo Time Bonus and
    Distance Bonus team-up.
  • Players level up. The more you play, the higher your own personal experience level climbs.
  • Anyone can start their own tournament. In addition to tournaments run by Zen (often involving
    fantastic prizes), Pinball FX3 allows players to create their own tournaments and set them up
    however they like, including access to several modes of play.
  • Advanced multiplayer features allow for intelligent matching against others based on skill level.
    This applies to everything from immediate friendly matches to ultracompetitive League Play.
  • Cross-play enables Nintendo Switch players to take on opponents competing on most other
    platforms where Pinball FX3 is available.
  • New modes will change the way you play even the tables you feel you’ve mastered. Playing a 1-
    Ball Challenge, a 5-Minute Challenge or Survival Mode will cause you to completely rethink your
    approach in order to top the leaderboards.

The complete list of tables at launch is below.

  • Universal Classics Pinball (Back to the Future, E.T., Jaws)
  • Aliens vs. Pinball (Aliens, Alien vs. Predator, Alien: Isolation)
  • Balls of Glory (Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, Archer, American Dad!)
  • Portal
  • The Walking Dead
  • Sorcerer’s Lair (free)
  • Carnivals & Legends (Adventure Land Pinball, Son of Zeus)
  • Zen Classics (Shaman, Tesla, El Dorado, V12)
  • Core Collection (Pasha, Rome, Biolab, Secrets of the Deep)
  • Medieval Pack (Epic Quest, Excalibur)
  • Sci-Fi Pack (Mars, Paranormal, Earth Defense)
  • Iron & Steel (Wild West Rampage, CastleStorm)

We’ve confirmed with Zen Studios that pricing on the Switch will be exactly the same as on other platforms. On PS4, for example, The Walking Dead costs £2.49 in the UK while a pack like Universal Classics costs £7.99.

Are you excited about this one coming to the Switch? Let us know in the comments.

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Video: Adorable Super Mario Odyssey Easter Egg Plays Catchy Tunes Like a Music Box

It’s no secret that we absolutely love Super Mario Odyssey, and one of the things we love most is just how many teeny-tiny details can be found throughout, whatever their form.

One of these is what could be classified as an easter egg that occurs when you jump repeatedly on the Odyssey’s globe. Doing so will play a music box version of Jump Up, Super Star, or the Fossil Falls theme depending on which Kingdom you’re in. If you want to hear it for yourself make sure you check out the video above to do just that.

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Switch Passes Two Million Sales In Japan Thanks To Super Mario Odyssey Fever

Super Mario Odyssey has given Switch the sales boost it needed to pass the two million consoles sold marker in its native Japan.

Last week, Switch sold 133,094 units, with the bulk of that figure apparently thanks to the Super Mario Odyssey Switch bundle. Last week also marked the biggest delivery of Switch stock Nintendo had issued to retailers in the last four months, meaning there were more consoles on offer than normal.

According to Famitsu, Super Mario Odyssey sold 511,625 copies during its first three days on sale in Japan. These sales include game-specific download cards and the Switch Super Mario Odyssey bundle, but not copies purchased directly from the Switch eShop. 

It would appear that the entire shipment of physical copies sold during the first three days on sale, so the total figure could well have been even higher.

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No More Fighting On An Empty Stomach With Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Latest Free Gift

Nintendo is really on a roll with the free goodies they are handing out for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you check out the news section on your Nintendo Switch today, you will find a note from director Hidemaro Fujibayashi which gives you details about cooking dishes which boost your attacks.

If you read through all the note you will learn all the ingredients to make a mighty salt-grilled crab. This tasty dish is made up of: Razorclaw Crab, Mighty Porgy, Mighty Bananas, and Rock Salt.

There are a few disclaimers at the bottom about not being able to receive this gift without the paraglider and also it will not be available in certain areas, so it is well worth reading through the whole note to get yourself completely up to speed.

Let us know what you think about this culinary delight with a comment below.

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Unity Solution for Hitting Moving Targets

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

While developing games which involve an action element, we often need to figure out a way to collide with a moving target. Such scenarios can be typically called a ‘hitting a moving target’ problem. This is particularly prominent in tower defense games or missile command like games. We may need to create an AI or algorithm which could figure out the enemy’s motion and fire at it. 

Let’s see how we can solve this particular problem, this time in Unity.

1. The Missile Command Game

For this particular tutorial, we will consider a missile command game. In the game we have a turret on the ground which fires missiles at an incoming asteroid. We should not allow the asteroid to hit the ground. 

The game play is tap-based, where we need to tap to aim the turret. With human assistance, the game mechanics are pretty straightforward as the turret just needs to aim and fire. But imagine if the turret needs to automatically fire at incoming asteroids. 

The Challenges for Auto-Firing AI

The turret needs to find out how many asteroids are approaching the ground. Once it has a set of all approaching asteroids, it would then need to do a threat analysis to determine which one to target. A slow-moving asteroid is a lesser threat than a fast-moving one. Also, an asteroid which is closer to the ground is an imminent threat as well. 

These problems can be solved by comparing the speed and position of the incoming asteroids. Once we have determined which one to target, we reach the most complicated problem. When should the turret fire? At which angle should it fire? When should the missile set to explode after firing? The third question becomes relevant because the missile explosion can also destroy the asteroid and has a bigger radius of effect as well.

To simplify the problem, the turret can decide to fire right away. Then we need to only figure out the angle of firing and distance of detonation. Also, there may be the case where the asteroid has already passed the area where it could be hit, meaning there is no solution!

You should download the unity source provided along with this tutorial to see the solution in action. We will see how we derive that solution.

2. The Solution

We are going to do a little refresher of our high school mathematics in order to find the solution. It is very straightforward and involves solving a quadratic equation. A quadratic equation looks like axˆ2 + bx + c = 0, where x is the variable to be found and it occurs with the highest power of 2. 

Analysing the Problem

Let us try to represent our problem diagrammatically. 

diagram of the incoming asteroid and the predicted path of missile

The green line shows the predicted path to be followed by the asteroid. As we are dealing with uniform motion, the asteroid moves with constant velocity. Our turret will need to rotate and fire the missile along the blue path for it to collide with the asteroid at a future time.

For uniform motion, the distance travelled by an object is the product of time and the object’s speed, i.e. D = T x S, where D stands for the distance, T is the time taken to travel D, and S is the speed of travel. Assuming that our asteroid and the missiles would definitely collide, we can find the distance of the blue line followed by the missile in terms of time t. In the same time t, our asteroid will also reach the same position. 

Essentially, in the same time t, the asteroid will reach the collision position from its current position, and the missile will also reach the same collision position in the same time t. So at time t, both the asteroid and the missile would be at the same distance from the turret as they would be colliding with each other.

Enter Math

We can equate the distance from the turret to the asteroid and missile at this future time t in order to derive our quadratic equation with the variable t. Consider two points on a two-dimensional plane with coordinates (x1,y1) and (x2,y2). The distance D between them can be calculated using the equation below.

If we denote the turret position as (Tx,Ty), the missile speed as s and the unknown collision position as (X,Y), then the above equation can be rewritten as:

where t is the time taken for the missile to travel the distance D. Equating both, we get our first equation for unknowns X and Y with another unknown t.

We know that the asteroid also reaches the same collision spot (X,Y) in the same time t, and we have the following equations using the horizontal and vertical components of the asteroid’s velocity vector. If the velocity of the asteroid can be denoted by (Vx,Vy) and the current position as (Ax,Ay), then the unknown X and Y can be found as below.

Substituting these in the earlier equation gives us a quadratic equation with a single unknown t

Expanding and combining similar terms:

Representing the power of two as ˆ2 and the multiplication symbol as * may have made the above look like hieroglyphics, but it essentially boils down to the final quadratic equation axˆ2 + bx + c = 0, where x is the variable t, a is Vxˆ2 +Vyˆ2 - sˆ2, b is 2* (Vx*(Ax - Tx) + Vy*(Ay - Ty)), and c is (Ay - Ty)ˆ2 + (Ax - Tx)ˆ2. We used the equations below in the derivation.

Solving the Quadratic Equation

To solve a quadratic equation, we need to calculate the discriminant D using the formula:

If the discriminant is less than 0 then there is no solution, if it is 0 then there is a single solution, and if it is a positive number then there are two solutions. Solutions are calculated using the formulas given below.

Using these formulas, we can find values for the future time t when the collision will happen. A negative value for t means we have missed the opportunity to fire. The unknowns X and Y can be found by substituting the value of t in their respective equations.

Once we know the collision point, we can rotate our turret to fire the missile, which would definitely hit the moving asteroid after t secs.

3. Implementing in Unity

For the sample Unity project, I have used the sprite creation feature of the latest Unity version to create the necessary placeholder assets. This can be accessed with Create > Sprites > as shown below.

Implementing in Unity

We have a game script named MissileCmdAI which is attached to the scene camera. It holds the reference to the turret sprite, missile prefab, and asteroid prefab. I am using SimplePool by quill18 to maintain the object pools for missiles and asteroids. It can be found on GitHub. There are component scripts for missile and asteroid which are attached to their prefabs and handle their motion once released.

The Asteroids

Asteroids are randomly spawned at fixed height but random horizontal position and are hurled at a random horizontal position on the ground with a random speed. The frequency of asteroid spawning is controlled using an AnimationCurve. The SpawnAsteroid method in the MissileCmdAI script looks as below:

The Launch method in the Asteroid class is shown below.

As seen in the Update method, once the asteroid has traveled the predetermined distance to ground, deployDistance, it would return to its object pool. Essentially this means it has collided with the ground. It would do the same on the event of collision with the missile.

The Targeting

In order for the auto-targeting to work, we need to call the corresponding method frequently to find and target the incoming asteroid. This is done in the MissileCmdAI script in its Start method.

The FindTarget method loops through all the asteroids present in the scene to find the closest and fastest asteroids. Once found, it then calls the AcquireTargetLock method to apply our calculations.

AcquireTargetLock is where the magic happens as we apply our quadratic equation solving skills to find the time of collision t.

Once we find the point of impact, we can easily calculate the distance for the missile to travel in order to hit the asteroid, which is passed on through the deployDist variable onto the LockOn method of the missile. The missile uses this value to return to its object pool once it has travelled this distance the same way as the asteroid. Before this happens, it would have definitely hit the asteroid, and the collision events would have been triggered.

Conclusion

Once we implement it, the result looks almost magical. By reducing the aiPollTime value, we can make it an invincible AI turret which would shoot down any asteroid unless the asteroid speed becomes close to or higher than our missile speed. The derivation we followed can be used to solve a variety of similar problems which could be represented in the form of a quadratic equation. 

I would like you to experiment further by adding the effect of gravity to the motion of the asteroid and missile. This would change the motion to projectile motion, and the corresponding equations would change. Good luck.

Note also that Unity has an active economy. There are many other products that help you build out your project. The nature of the platform also makes it a great option from which you can better your skills. Whatever the case, you can see what we have available in the Envato Marketplace.

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Style Savvy: Styling Star launches for Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 25

Style Savvy: Styling Star launches for Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 25

The newest game in the Style Savvy series is coming exclusively to Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems this holiday season. In the Style Savvy: Styling Star game, you can manage a boutique, plan makeovers and help your clients become singing superstars.

The much-loved Style Savvy series puts you in the role of a budding fashion mogul. By running your own fashion boutique, you can select the clothes you sell, recommend outfits for your customers and even create some high-class looks that are both fashionable and trendy. You can even customize the look of the boutique itself. If you have an eye for fashion, your styles will be the talk of the town!

In Style Savvy: Styling Star, you can also set your customers up for stardom. For the first time in the series, become a personal stylist for a production studio and make sure your stars-in-the-making look good. The outfits you select for your talented sensations will actually shape their stories, and you can even view the custom outfits you design during some musical performances!

Style Savvy: Styling Star has more than 20,000 in-game items of clothing and accessories to unlock as you play, many of which are new to the series. In addition to the huge number of in-game items you can use to style customers, players can also use compatible amiibo during gameplay to add even more options. All currently available amiibo are compatible with Style Savvy: Styling Star. Some amiibo, including Animal Crossing, Splatoon and Kirby series amiibo, will unlock Nintendo-themed design elements and emblems. Other amiibo will unlock a special design element and emblem.

By increasing your Style Rank through picking out the perfect look that matches your clients’ requests, you can unlock new events and serve as a consultant in other areas of fashion, like makeup, hair and men’s fashion.

A free demo version of Style Savvy: Styling Star is now available in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Download it and give it a try!

Style Savvy: Styling Star will launch exclusively in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 25. It will also be available for purchase and direct download at Nintendo.com. For more information about the game, visithttps://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/style-savvy-styling-star-3ds.

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Nintendo turns Black Friday into Legendary Friday

Nintendo turns Black Friday into Legendary Friday

With Black Friday quickly approaching, Nintendo is offering a variety of products to make holiday shopping a little bit easier and a lot more fun for everyone. These deals include two items that will make it easier for people of all ages and interests to get in on the fun and adventure of The Legend of Zelda series this holiday season.

The first is a Link green Nintendo 2DS system with bright orange buttons that comes pre-installed with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D game at a suggested retail price of only $79.99. This is ideal for young people who want to be introduced to one of the best games in The Legend of Zelda series on a durable and accessible portable system. The second is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Explorer’s Edition, a bundle that includes the critically acclaimed and award-winning Nintendo Switch game, a 100-page explorer’s guide and a two-sided map at a suggested retail price of $59.99.* The included guide and map are great for people new to the series, as well as people who haven’t yet had the opportunity to dive into the massive adventure.

But this isn’t all Nintendo is offering on Black Friday. In addition to these legendary deals, many other systems and bundles are currently in stores. These include a Nintendo Switch bundle that comes with the system, a download code for the Super Mario Odyssey game, Mario-themed red Joy-Con controllers and a special carrying case at a suggested retail price of $379.99.

“Between Nintendo Switch, Super NES Classic Edition, all the systems in the Nintendo 3DS family and all of the fun games available for these systems, shoppers will have multiple options for their wish lists this year,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Our Black Friday deals are a great value for people looking to pick up gifts for the Nintendo fans in their lives.”

Other systems and bundles that will be available in stores this holiday include:

  • For fans of Mario: A white-and-red Nintendo 2DS system pre-loaded with the New Super Mario Bros. 2 game at a suggested retail price of $79.99 (now available).
  • For fans of cool hardware: A white-and-orange New Nintendo 2DS XL system at a suggested retail price of $149.99 (now available).
  • For fans of Pokémon: A Poké Ball Edition New Nintendo 2DS XL system at a suggested retail price of $159.99 (launches Nov. 3).
  • For fans of exploration: A special edition of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that includes a sound selection CD, a special metal game case and a 220-page hard-bound art book at a suggested retail price of $99.99. A Nintendo Switch Pro Controller themed around Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be available at a suggested retail price of $99.99 (both launch Dec. 1).

To check out all the offerings from Nintendo this holiday season, visit Nintendo’s holiday gift guide at https://happyholidays.nintendo.com/.

Remember that Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch/ or http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.

* The Expansion Pass, which is composed of The Master Trials and The Champion’s Ballad DLC, is not included as part of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Explorer’s Edition.

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Now Available on Steam – Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection, 10% off!

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection is Now Available on Steam and is 10% off!*

In a world where magic and technology exist side by side, vampire princess Alwen must reclaim her ancestral castle and her magic alongside her unlikely ally, treasure hunter Ragna Valentine. They may make for an odd pair, but when they combine their talents, the sky’s the limit!

*Offer ends November 7 at 10AM Pacific Time

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Ittle Dew 2+ Begins Its Switch Adventure Very Soon

Some of you may recall Ittle Dew by Ludosity, which saw release on the Wii U eShop and a range of platforms. It was once pitched as a Legend of Zelda game to Nintendo, but eventually forged its own identity and arrived as a rather good game.

The re-jigged version of its successor, Ittle Dew 2+, is pleasingly very close to release. As previously confirmed Nicalis is stepping in to publish this one, and it’s now got a final release date of 14th November.

Pleasingly that date is for both North America and Europe on the eShop, with the price set at $29.99 or €29,99. North America will also get the physical edition that includes “a full-color instruction booklet and a limited-edition map of the island”. If you fancy picking that up here’s the Amazon US pre-order link.

Do you like the look of Ittle Dew 2+?

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Get a job: Sucker Punch is hiring a Level Designer

The Gamasutra Job Board is the most diverse, active and established board of its kind for the video game industry!

Here is just one of the many, many positions being advertised right now.

Location: Bellevue, Washington

Sucker Punch is looking for a Level Designer who shares our passion for pushing creative limits and redefining expectations about what games can be. A successful candidate will have a passion for creating compelling layouts and working with a team of creative individuals. Team leadership experience is expected, with a proven track record of high-quality results.

Working closely with Environment Artists and Content Designers, you will shape environments and gameplay to create deep and meaningful player experiences.

Responsibilities

  • Design and build both open world and directed layouts, from concept to polish, that are grounded and unique, delivering a compelling game experience.
  • Create and iterate encounter layouts to support the navigational and combat goals for the game.
  • Work closely with Designers and Environment Artists to develop, implement, and maintain building standard metrics throughout the world.
  • Work with the Content Designers to develop encounter locations specific to narrative and gameplay needs.
  • Integrate research and concept art into playable game spaces.
  • Work closely with the Project Directors and other Leads to ensure quality across the game.
  • Continuously strive to push the quality bar higher.

Qualifications

  • Proven track record of developing engaging open world content.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in the games industry working as a Level Designer or similar content creation experience.
  • Proficient at identifying and supporting gameplay needs and constraints within an encounter layout.
  • Experience developing and shipping at least one AAA console or PC game.
  • Strong understanding and experience with 3D Modeling Software (preferably Maya).
  • Experience building large open worlds with a focus on 3rd person action encounters a plus.
  • Basic scripting ability (XML, LUA, PYTHON, etc) or competency in a programming language a plus.
  • Outstanding communication and collaboration skills.
  • An aptitude for learning new technology, level editors, scripting languages, engines, and systems; especially industry-standard content creation tools.
  • Must be a self-motivated and energetic team player with a very strong work ethic and cooperative attitude.
  • Position is currently open to those eligible to work in the States, and willing to relocate to Bellevue, WA.

Interested? Apply now.

Whether you’re just starting out, looking for something new, or just seeing what’s out there, the Gamasutra Job Board is the place where game developers move ahead in their careers.

Gamasutra’s Job Board is the most diverse, most active, and most established board of its kind in the video game industry, serving companies of all sizes, from indie to triple-A.

Looking for a new job? Get started here. Are you a recruiter looking for talent? Post jobs here.