Newsbrief: Lockwood Publishing, the developer behind the long-running mobile game Avakin Life, has opened up its third studio in the UK. Based out of Newcastle, the new branch is led by longtime developer Joe Stevens and has already employed six additional team members, including some former Ubisoft devs. Lockwood Publishing’s flagship game, the iOS and Android title Avakin Life, first launched in 2013. By the developer’s count, the digital avatar-based social RPG has surpassed 3.5 million monthly active users at some point in the years since its initial launch. According to Pocket Gamer, the new Newcastle studio looks to offer ongoing support to Avakin Life under Stevens’ leadership through the development of a “next generation avatar system” and continued improvements to the 3D mobile experience. … [Read more...] about UK-based Lockwood Publishing opens new studio in Newcastle
This interview is part of our Road to the IGF series. You can find the rest by clicking here. Luna is a soothing VR fairytale, one where players will play in gardens, solve puzzles among the stars, and help a bird make its way home. Through exploration, curiosity, and creativity, players will follow this bird on its journey, bringing whole worlds to life through their actions. Gamasutra spoke with Robin Hunicke and Glenn Hernandez of Funomena, developers to Luna, to talk about the striking, almost touchable visuals that draw the player in, how music gives them an even greater power to affect, and how it all ties to a theme of growing as a person even through horrible times and events. How did you come up with the concept? Hunicke: Luna is a fairytale about recovering from a mistake... which was inspired in part by my own experiences as a young woman. As a survivor of sexual violence and sexual harassment, I wanted to confront the feeling that there was "something I … [Read more...] about Road to the IGF: Funomena’s Luna
[With GDC 2018 kicking off next week, GDC general manager Katie Stern is here to highlight the official code of conduct for GDC and all of its related events!] The Game Developers Conference is next week. I know – I’m just as shocked as you are that this small, intimate gathering of game & AR/VR industry professionals is at our front door already. We’ve begun painting the town ‘GDC’, devs are making their way to San Francisco, and I’m surrounded by enough cardboard boxes to build a small kingdom (Queendom?). As we near the event, it is time for our annual “Be a Good Human” PSA and remind you of GDC’s Code of Conduct. Read it, know it, be it – because while there may be a new sheriff in town (“Hi!”), the rules remain the same. To recap – It is my intention that GDC remains a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or … [Read more...] about Reminder: Know and abide by your GDC Code of Conduct!
Newsbrief: Popular endless runner Subway Surfers has become the first game to surpass 1 billion downloads on the Google Play store. The evergreen mobile title, co-developed by Sybo Games and Kiloo, launched all the way back in 2012, but has managed to stay relevant in the years since. Last year, the free-to-play effort broke its all-time annual download record by racking up more than 400 million "mostly organic" downloads across Google Play and iOS, becoming the most downloaded title of 2017 across the globe. … [Read more...] about Subway Surfers becomes first game to surpass 1B downloads on Google Play
EA is preparing to completely overhaul Star Wars Battlefront II's controversial progression system. As it stands, players can unlock gameplay-affecting items like Star Cards by purchasing loot boxes with real-world money, allowing those willing to spend extra cash to get a leg up on the competition. The publisher's use of the gambling-like mechanic has caused a stir, with politicians and officials around the world calling for a clampdown on the "predatory" monetization method. With the debate still raging, EA has decided to take action by making in-game progression entirely linear with the release of a new update on March 21. After the 'progression update' has been implemented, players will only be able to obtain Star Cards and other items that impact gameplay by playing the game and racking up experience points. Players will earn experiences points for any of the classes, characters, and ships they use in multiplayer. If they amass enough points … [Read more...] about Gamasutra