Retro gaming fans rejoice! Secret Mode and Sumo Digital Academy are proud to announce Zool Redimensioned coming to Steam on August 18th.
Originally released by Gremlin Graphics in 1992 on the Amiga to critical acclaim, iconic gaming mascot Zool returns in Zool Redimensioned!
This brand-new reimagining of the classic action platforming adventure has been rebuilt from the ground up for modern audiences. Help Zool jump, spin, and shoot his way across eight alien worlds, taking down menacing bosses and saving the universe from the nefarious influence of Krool.
Zool Redimensioned has been brought back to life by the students of Sumo Digital Academy, a talent development programme focused on creating new pathways into the games industry. With guidance from the developers of the 1992 original at Gremlin Graphics, this team of talented young developers earned their coding wings by programming their own C++ game engine to bring Zool to a new generation of retro gamers.
Zool’s old school platforming action will challenge the most hardcore gamers, with modern enhancements that bring the game into the 21st century:
Over 28 retro platforming challenges, all enhanced for the best possible experience
Choose between two main game modes: Redimensioned for a more accessible modern experience, or Ultimate Ninja to experience a true hardcore challenge
Trade blows with the dimension’s most dangerous creatures in seven completely redesigned boss fights
Discover new secrets, challenges, and extras across your adventure, with over 25 achievements to unlock
Enhanced quality-of-life options, including a level select screen, checkpoints, accessibility options and more
Play the original Mega Drive version for a truly authentic retro adventure
Zool Redimensioned will also be coming to consoles in the near future, so stay tuned!
Commenting on the petition and newly released emojis Andy Roberts, E-Commerce Director of Ebuyer.com stated:
“With over 3,500 emojis to choose from, its hard to believe that our favorite gaming characters have yet to make the list. Hopefully, our petition will encourage change whilst our online library allows users to access their favorite emojis immediately.”
Also available today is a new episode of the Panic podcast focused around the Playdate and the many twists and turns that led to the creation of the handheld!
The podcast touches on the story of Panic’s first meeting with Teenage Engineering, interviews with the folks at Panic who made Playdate a reality, and how COVID-19 affected production and plans for Playdate.
The episode will also be the first of a brand new Podcast feed, the Playdate Podcast from Panic, that will in the future feature interviews with Playdate developers and much more interesting stories on all things Playdate.
Women In Games, the global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting equity and parity for all women and girls in games and esports, has issued a statement following the recent media reports on discriminatory and toxic behaviour within the games industry.
Women In Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman said:
“International, widespread news of the growing furore mounting around Activision Blizzard, stemming from allegations reported across the media about a Californian Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit, and the subsequent response from the company, shine a harsh spotlight on a culture that Women in Games is actively working to reform.
“All of the media coverage points to a work culture gone badly wrong – harming women through discrimination and harassment – issues that are horribly familiar.
“Perhaps what is genuinely new, is that the world, connected as it is now by global movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter, as well as the continuing global disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, is more equipped and ready to vociferously reject such a culture.
“In addition, we are seeing high level efforts from The UN through its sustainable goals, the EU with its strategy for weaving gender equality through all of its policies, and the UK’s presidency of the G7, integrating gender equality into all of its strategies – all demonstrate support for radical change.
“Women in Games brings its proactive support to both the popular demand for change and the wider political will that provide a more formal backdrop. As an organisation we are actively engaged in a range of initiatives and activities to counter discrimination, harassment and inequality for women in the workplace and in online spaces.
“The problems that confront women, whether they are players or makers of games are not history, and are not news, and Women in Games is proud to highlight our ongoing initiatives to achieve change.”
Toxicity directed at female gamers online is taking on an increasingly sexual nature: results of latest Bryter research to be presented at the Women in Games Conference Since 2018, Women in Games has worked with Jenny McBean, Director of Research at Market Research Company Bryter, to better understand the severity, and persistence of online harassment.
Toxicity directed at female gamers is taking on an increasingly sexual nature in 2021 and one in five say that such toxicity makes them not want to play again. Almost half of gamers in the US and UK feel there is a lack of female representation in streaming, but toxicity discourages them from streaming themselves.
A talk on the detailed findings of this research will be presented by Jenny McBean at the forthcoming Women in Games Conference, which takes place on September 15th & 16th as a virtual event, alongside a host of other initiatives central to tackling real world problems.
The Conference, which has long been a starting point for effective action, sits at the heart of a larger event this year: For the first time, a Women in Games Festival will be a global online event, and between September 6th – 18th will encompass an ambitious array of events including the Conference, which will be broadcast and scheduled to suit all major time zones, allowing delegates around the world to tune in to inspirational speakers, fireside chats, panels, stories.
Sony Pictures and XR Games’ hit VR shooter launches with a special 10 hour live broadcast this Thursday on Steam
Following a highly successful launch on Oculus Quest, ‘Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever’ hits SteamVR on Thursday 29th July with a special 10 hour live broadcast and thousands of dollars of cash prizes to give away.
A nominee for ‘Game of the Year’ at the 2021 VR Awards, Zombieland VR is developed by Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR) and XR Games. The game is inspired by light-gun games of the 90s and the racing games of today, and lets players join Tallahassee, Wichita, Columbus, and Little Rock to take on the most lethal zombie-killing racecourse ever – the Zombieland Invitational!
Since its launch in March 2021, ‘Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever,’ has received over 350 Oculus Store ratings with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, hit the top ten Oculus sales charts in its first two weeks on sale, and won ‘Best Video / Audio’ in the VR category at the 2021 NYX Awards.
To celebrate the launch of Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever on SteamVR, XR Games will be hosting a special 10 hour live broadcast on the Zombieland VR Steam page from 6 pm BST / 1 pm PT / 10 am ET, running until 4 am BST / 11 pm PT / 8 pm ET.
Featuring popular VR content creators The Lonely Viper, GAMERTAG VR, Simply Chris, Jeaire, and GameOnScorpio, players and viewers will get a chance to win thousands of dollars of cash prizes and giveaways during the live broadcast.
Thursday’s SteamVR release brings with it a host of graphical improvements such as enhanced anti-aliasing, screen space ambient occlusion, supreme colour grading, 4 bone skinning, and the quality of real-time shadows has also been boosted.
This SteamVR version also includes two extra levels, giving SteamVR players a first look at two new levels not seen on other platforms. It also includes the three new levels recently added to the big ‘Kingpin Update’ on Oculus Quest, fixes, improvements, and more.
Here’s what else players can look forward to in Zombieland VR on Steam:
Join the crew – Get trained up by Tallahassee, Wichita, Columbus, and Little Rock to take on the undead.
Adrenaline system – Two headshots in a row makes the world slow, use it to your advantage!
Global leaderboards – Challenge your friends, beat their times, and climb the global leaderboards.
Powerful weapons – Unlock shotguns, revolvers, assault rifles, and more to find your ideal loadout.
Upgrade your arsenal – Improve your weapons with powerful upgrades and perks
The Zombieland Invitational – Take your skills, weapons, upgrades, and perks into the fastest, most dangerous zombie killing race course ever devised.
Built for VR from the ground up – Bringing light-gun shooters back from the dead, and into your home.
Today, project lead Heleor announced that his throwback browser-based MMORPG, Genfanad, will soon commence beta testing.
Genfanad sees players thrown into a fantasy world full of traditional RPG tropes turned on their head, creating a refreshingly modern setting wrapped up in the nostalgic packaging that we all remember. Embark on quests, hone your skills, gather resources and slay those lowly chickens.
“After spending so much time playing and loving oldschool MMORPG’s as a kid, but not so much enjoying the direction of modern games, I decided to do something about it.” says Heleor, “We’re a few years into the project now and we’ve grown a fantastic community. We’re trying to build and have the game grow into its own voice with the help of our players.”
In a world where Abraham Lincoln meets King Arthur’s Knights, there’s little that your imagination can’t achieve – and Genfanad is a sandbox where the sky (or rather, the open seas – there’s sailing planned for the future!) is the limit.
“Keeping our expectations realistic and ensuring that we can deliver,” Heleor says, “Is one of our primary goals. We’re aiming for small-scope, weekly content.”
With an incredible open world, dozens of quests and over twenty unique skills planned, Genfanad is sure to be a nostalgic funfair. And with the ability to engage in PvP coming, it’s time to gear-up, visit the Fae Realms – an all new location full of vicious, murderous faeries – ready your spells and prepare for battle!
Genfanad will be launching to Kickstarter in early September, putting their player-first motto into practice. Offering backers exclusive plushies, in-game titles and physical merchandise, fans both new and old will have the opportunity to bring this project to life.
MiHoYo’s Genshin Impact took home the biggest prize as it scooped Game of the Year at Steel Media’s fourth annual and industry-leading Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards, supported by Game Insight, held last week.
The ceremony saw the action role-playing title also awarded Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment, while Tencent and TiMi Studio Group secured Best Publisher and Best Developer, respectively. Innovation of the Year went to Niantic for its ingenious reworking of augmented reality hit Pokémon Go for the 2020 lockdown, Pollen VC was voted Best Service Provider, and Supercell’s Clash Royale conquered the opposition to the Best Live Ops trophy.
As ever the event, which in this pandemic-affected year took place later than its traditional January slot and adopted a hybrid live/digital format hosted by London’s Ham Yard Hotel, aimed to shine a spotlight on the work of the top mobile games companies over the previous year.
Further highlights from the night included the Rising Star award, shared – an event first – by Jana and Sham Al Bdour of Sakura Games, Unity continuing its Best Game Engine dominance with a fourth win in as many years, and Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe joining the ranks of Mobile Legend.
The coveted People’s Choice Award, nominated for and voted on by readers of Steel Media’s leading consumer site, PocketGamer.com, went to Tilting Point’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off.
“We believe the MGAs have a vital role to play in recognising the efforts and achievements of the entire ecosystem that makes mobile gaming the best industry in the world,” said Steel Media CEO, Chris James.
“This is doubly important considering the forced disconnects of the last 16 months and also the incredible role that the mobile games industry has paid not just in contributing to the economy and keeping people in jobs, but moreover in keeping billions of citizens feeling a little more connected and engaged.”
As the full winner breakdown below demonstrates, the 22 categories (including three new additions this year) represent firms spanning the whole industry, from the games developers and publishers to the tools companies, service providers, support agencies, investors and recruiters that all contribute towards this $90 billion sector being the largest and most pervasive in gaming.
After the lobbying and shortlisting phases – the biggest and most complex to date – which took place from March to May, the finalists were subsequently voted on throughout June by our panel of 100-plus mobile games experts from every corner of the industry.
Steel Media is hugely grateful to everyone who took the time to submit themselves, their colleagues, company, or contemporaries, as well as everyone who attended the ceremony itself during these tricky times – whether in person or digitally.
Additionally, we would like to thank main sponsor Game Insight, together with Admix, Huawei Ads, Jam City, Scopely and Tilting Point for coming on board as category sponsors – their support helped make the event a success in a particularly challenging year.
And last but by no means least, congratulations to all the finalists – it really was a hard-fought affair this year – and, of course, the heartiest of praise to the winners themselves.
Escape Studios has been commissioned by Epic Games to deliver the Summer of Unreal, a free pan-European Unreal Engine training course for 1,000 animators and CGI artists, in collaboration with a range of academic institutions and skills development organisations from across the Continent.
The Summer of Unreal will commence on 26th July 2021 and will run across four weeks in partnership with the following European institutions:
Mark Flanagan, Education Partner Manager, Epic Games said: “The Summer of Unreal is an incredible opportunity that is open to professionals in animation and VFX all across Europe, and we couldn’t be happier to invite the industry to participate. Escape Studios is a wonderful partner who, along with a number of Europe’s best animation schools, are running this programme, which is set to be the biggest Unreal Engine training that we’ve undertaken to date. We’re excited to help all learners find new ways to tell awesome stories and express their creativity using Unreal Engine.”
Saint Walker, Deputy Dean of Escape Studios, said: “The Summer of Unreal is a fantastic opportunity for animation and 3D CGI professionals across Europe to discover more about the cutting-edge technology on offer with Unreal Engine.
“We’ve worked with top animation companies to create a novel animation-centric way of teaching Unreal Engine, in one of the most ambitious training programmes that Escape Studios has been involved with – our vision of a pan-European festival of learning in Unreal Engine has gained us amazing academic partners in the form of some of the best animation schools in the world. We invite learners across Europe to join us. Make your summer staycation Unreal!”
The Summer of Unreal will be taught online in English and is free-of-charge to professionals working in the animation, motion graphics and VFX industry who want an informal group experience of learning Unreal Engine over the holiday period. The course will feature daily workshops covering all the major aspects of using Unreal Engine interspersed with practice time, teamwork, as well as demonstrations and masterclasses from some of Europe’s premiere companies and artists showing how they use the platform in their work.
Mark Spevick, Escape Studios’ Head of 3D VFX will be the main ‘showrunner’ for the Summer of Unreal. The unique role used in Escapes’ larger courses ensures that tutors get to hear and address the most important questions from the online shop floor through Mark’s advocacy. Mark combines teaching and programme design with senior industry experience, having worked at Peerless Camera, the production house co-owned by Terry Gilliam.
By logging in to the game no later than July 28th, 11:59 PM CEST, Android and iOS users will find the Kaer Morhen Steel Sword in their inventory. This weapon increases the number of Experience Points gained from killing monsters by 10%, and will surely aid new witchers beginning their journey on the Path.
The judges have deliberated. Over 33,000 votes have been cast. And we can now reveal that Colt Canyon has been crowned ‘Best Game’ and LUNARK ‘Most Anticipated’ game of the year, at the GameMaker Awards 2021.
Created by German-based developer Retrific, Colt Canyon is a stylish western-themed pixel art shooter combining roguelike elements with real-time combat. The judges were impressed with Colt Canyon’s highly-engaging gameplay and heavily pixelated artist style. While in the popular vote, members of the GameMaker and Opera GX communities voted Colt Canyon the clear winner.
The winner of ‘Most Anticipated’ game is LUNARK, from Canari Games. LUNARK is a 2D cinematic platformer, designed in the vein of ’80s and ’90s classics. The game challenges players to run, jump, hang, climb, roll, and shoot their way through a kaleidoscope of different environments. These include mysterious alien ruins, a flying penitentiary, a high-tech megalopolis, and a majestic forest.
The judges were blown away with how the Canari Games team have pushed the creative limits of cutscenes and pixel art in GameMaker, to create a game that is both visually stunning and great to play. Set for release later this year, LUNARK also made a big impression with the voters – who overwhelmingly crowned it the ‘Most Anticipated’ game of 2021.
The GameMaker Awards, in partnership with SpecialEffect, a charity that uses video games to enhance the lives of those people with physical disabilities, celebrate creativity and innovation in Indie game development, honouring the best games created using GameMaker Studio 2 as well as the Indies and Studios that designed them.
From over 200 entries, only 5 games for each category were selected by an expert panel of industry peers, including GameMaker Studio CTO Russell Kay, Opera GX Product Director Maciej Kocemba, and Into Indie Games Editor Harry Cole.
Russell Kay, CTO, GameMaker Studio, said: “This year’s GameMaker Awards has redefined what we’ve come to expect from the indies and studios that choose GameMaker as their creative engine of choice. Each of the finalists have demonstrated both amazing creativity, plus the technical ability to harness GameMaker’s powerful functionality to design a game that really pushes the boundaries. Given the incredible standard of this year’s entries, I am only glad that the final decision was left in the hands of our loyal GameMaker and Opera GX communities.”
Jonathan Mannshoven of Retrific, said: “Colt Canyon wasn’t a bestseller when it launched last year. It wasn’t free from criticism either. But by working closely with the community, I’ve been able to make many improvements to the game which have helped turn a lot of criticism into positive feedback. Having all that hard work now paying off with Colt Canyon winning ‘Best Game’ at the GameMaker Awards 2021 is an overwhelming and surreal feeling – just incredible!
“GameMaker has always been my engine of choice as it is just so easy to use yet also powerful, enabling me to reach maximum productivity. Which as a solo developer is extremely valuable. Put simply – I wouldn’t be a game developer now if it wasn’t for GameMaker.”
Johan Vinet of Canari Games, added: “LUNARK started as a passion project to create a game in the genre I loved in my youth. Making it a reality became so clear that I decided to quit my job, start my own studio and launch a Kickstarter campaign. Winning the “Most Anticipated Game” award is an incredible recognition from the players and the GameMaker Community, which brings some welcome legitimacy and a massive confidence boost to actually finish the game! Thank you!”