Monthly Archives: July 2016

Why More Games Are Pushing for eSports

In the past few years, we have seen game developers making pushes into the eSports realm. Some of these companies include Activision-Blizzard and more recently, EA. As eSports grow in popularity, more traditional sport outlets are taking notice. TBS has broadcasted a CS:GO tournament while even the sport juggernaut, ESPN, has dedicated a corner of its website to eSports and the occasional broadcast on ESPN-2. What might be some of the draws for game developers to promote their game as an eSport?

There are many reasons why a game developer would want their game as a popular eSport. To begin with the obvious, the publicity is kind of a big deal. Seeing pro gamers play is always exciting. They play at a higher level than us mere mortals, which adds an elevated level of excitement and fun. This fused for a lethal combination of “I want to try this game”. In other words, eSports is an effective way of reaching an audience that might not have played the game otherwise. Also, the company’s share of the advertising revenue does not hurt.

However, eSport popularity can be a double edged sword. An eSport game needs to hold the attention of not only the public but the eSport teams as well. If a game can attract the best eSport teams then the fans are sure to follow. With big cash tournaments, games attempting to be the next big eSport can attract the biggest players in eSports, which brings more viewers. However, if an eSport can’t afford cash prizes as big as competitors they are doomed to be overshadowed by other games. By staying in the eSport cycle, it keeps the attention of fans and players alike. Overall, eSports can seriously add to the longevity of a game.

Have a comment? Contact me at bluecowradio@gmail.com!
Want more? Check out The College Gamers Podcast!

What does Virtual Reality Need to Succeed

For the past year Virtual Reality, or VR for short, has been a very hot topic within the gaming community.  It has been an especially popular topic for PC hardware providers such as AMD and Nvidia. VR headsets have to hit a frame rate of 90 frames per second minimum or the user can suffer from motion sickness and no one wants that. Great graphics at that frame rate can require serious hardware. A year ago, a VR computer could cost around $1000, not counting the six hundred to eight hundred dollar headset. In the past 3 months AMD and Nvidia have both released VR ready graphics cards that were cheap and promised high end card performance. AMD released the RX 480 that promised performance rivalling the R9 series  but for only $200 dollars.

In the community of VR, hardware is a topic that comes up often and is one of the bigger prerequisites for VR. However, the argument of this post is that VR will stay in the realm of enthusiasts until it is embraced by major studios. Steam has a section dedicated to VR games full of games that look like tons of fun. A majority of these games are small and based around the HTC Vive, which requires the player to move around a space. For VR to elevate from enthusiasts to a serious video game platform major studio needs to make their games compatible with VR. However, HTC Vive-”move around the room” style VR will not be the VR that takes off for the masses.

tweedievr

 

At E3 this year, Bethesda showed off Fallout 4 in VR. But these open world games would shine with an Oculus Rift-sit down style VR because they have large open world environments, walking around/teleporting around would get old and can be clunky for larger environments. Now would also be a good moment to mention that, like myself, not everyone has a 15ft by 15ft room laying around for a VR experience. VR is still a new technology for gamers and the stand up and move around experience is the most exciting for us right now, but the sit down VR is what will break into the main-stream for gamers.

Have a comment? Contact me at bluecowradio@gmail.com!

Want more? Check out The College Gamers Podcast!

One Year Episode: Ep 54

One this extra awesome episode of The College Gamers Podcast: Mike and Taft celebrate on year of this show! Overwatch got a new character. Civilization is looking awesome if you preorder. Gwent will be cross platform if Sony is up to it. World of Warcraft got it’s pre-expansion patch with lots of exciting changes. Two characters were revealed for Injustice 2. And Nvidia drops an amazing new card out of no where. Mike and taft quiz each other. We announce the winner of our Facebook contest. What games are we playing? And more on this AWESOME episode of The College Gamers Podcast!

Check out this episode!

iTunes here!

Stitcher here!

Youtube here!

RSS Feed here!

The College Gamers Podcast (feat Cami) Ep 53

On this absurdly organized episode of The College Gamers Podcast: Cami joins me this week while Taft is out. We are holding our first contest ever! Mike is super excited for next week! Pokemon GO is everywhere. Oh my gosh guys. Seriously. I am catching Pokemon as I write this. World of Warcraft is getting a new silencing policy for trolls. Fallout Shelter is coming to PC and brings new quests with it. Blizzard announces a new character for Overwatch and it looks AWESOME! What are we playing? And more on this episode of The College Gamers Podcast!

Check out this episode!

iTunes here!

Stitcher here!

Youtube here!

RSS Feed here!

PC Gaming is hard

Recently, I was browsing the interwebs in search of a memory upgrade for my gaming rig. I have upgraded parts in the past, graphics card, CPU, even my motherboard. I would stand proudly and say none of them went as planned. When I say that PC Gaming has one hell of a learning curve I am not lying. For those of us, like myself, that do not have a friend that has already gone through the stresses of upgrading or building a rig, doing it ourselves is full of unexpected and not so pleasant surprises. As I was browsing memory for my rig, I had to check that the frequency was compatible with my motherboard. Was the voltage too high? Was it the correct type of memory? Could my motherboard overclock it if I wanted to? This is when I realized a simple truth: PC Gaming is, in fact, hard.

Now, do not get me wrong. For those of us that demand the highest performance for the very best experience, PC Gaming is the only option. It is more flexible than console gaming. You can upgrade individual parts as often as you like, and trust me, there is no cap to the amount of money one can spend on PC gaming rigs. This is because PC gaming is a black hole of money. You can always buy a graphics card that is a slightly better or a CPU that is a bit faster. Hell, you can throw money at all the storage you want. In half a year, it is all obsolete anyway. The newest, bestest, shiniest, fastest, coolest thing is always around the corner. Now, as you spend more money on the super gaming rig of your dreams, the price to performance increase slowly dwindles. Most modern video games only utilize four cores at a time so spending $2000 on a 10 core CPU really won’t get you that much of an approvement. Unless you are developing games, video processing, or password hashing, you really don’t need a super CPU. Oh, but those sweet sweet bragging rights.  

Compatibility can be a harsh mistress. Luckly for those of us that have not quite aquired the talent, there are helpful websites like pcpartpicker.com that only matches parts that are compatible. However, I always take these websites with a grain of salt. I still have a liquid CPU cooler on my dresser from half a year ago because everything told me it would fit. Unfortunately, I have a weird tower that places the power supply at the top.

Sometimes I do envy console gaming. The safety of buying a game and knowing it will work must be nice. But I demand better performance than consoles cannot deliver. Risk it for the biscuit.
I, personally, love PC gaming. After all the stress and research is done it can be fun and satisfying.

What Pokemon GO could mean for future Nintendo games

If you are not playing Pokemon GO then you have seen someone that has been playing it. It is inescapable. The app, so far, has been a huge success for Nintendo. Upon release of the Pokemon GO, Nintendo’s market value jumped $7.5 billion in just two (that’s right, TWO) days. The app has over 7.5 million downloads so far and is looking to only grow. Not to mention that it is installed on more than 5% of all Android devices in the United States. This hit for Nintendo really had me thinking about Nintendo at it’s current market strategy.

 

Nintendo, in the past, has really only developed for their own hardware. Trust me, if there was a Mario or Zelda games for Xbox or PlayStation, I would remember that. Nintendo has been struggling with the Wii U and finding that success the came with the Wii back in 2006. Anyone that has been following Nintendo should be familiar with the fact that the Wii U just has not been living up to it’s older brother. Even with the struggle of the Wii U, Nintendo has stuck with this business model but with the huge success of Pokemon GO it is possible for the company to be looking at developing for hardware outside of the Nintendo.

 

This app proves that there is a huge fan base that is outside of the Nintendo hardware ecosystem.  As of May 7th, 2016, according to VGChartz, 40.7 million PlayStation 4s have been sold as well as as 21.1 million Xbox Ones. These number symbolize a much large market that Nintendo has consistently left untapped by their games. Nintendo would be crazy not to consider other platforms in the future following the huge success of Pokemon GO.
However, it is hard to be the very best like no one ever was if the servers are always down!!

The College Gamers Podcast Ep 52

On this distractingly homework-free episode of The College Gamers Podcast: Evolve is going free to play. Witcher 3 is indeed getting a Game of the Year Edition. Overwatch is getting is first new character since its’ release! Red Dead Redemption runs better on Xbox One and Mike learns why that is news. Team Fortress 2 is getting Competitive Mode but is it too late? State of Decay is getting a retail version for it’s PC players. Fallout 4 is getting it’s last DLC and are Mike and Taft satisfied with the list? What are we playing and more on this awesome episode of The College Gamers Podcast!

Check out this episode!

iTunes here!

Stitcher here!

Youtube here!

RSS Feed here!