Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner have the latest on the Fortnite drama that's rocking the world. There aren't meny new releases because games companies are waiting until Christmas, but we check out Fall Guys. Ring Fit Adventure is the "fitness simulator", and Alex Rhodes plays Super Mario Run, and thinks it's far too easy (it is). Plus, can games be used to help with scientific research?
In this episode
03:03 - Gaming News for August 2020
Gaming News for August 2020
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast
Leigh Milner and Chris Berrow look at the latest gaming news for August 2020...
Leigh - The League of Legends European Championship has cancelled a sponsorship deal with the city of Neom in Saudi Arabia... after backlash from fans. The game’s developer Riot was criticised for taking money from a country that has a poor record on human rights. Now the company says it realises the deal had "caused rifts in the very community we seek to grow".
If you want to look at a house that you’re thinking of buying, but you can’t get there, or you’re worried about visiting because of coronavirus, then don’t worry… you can look round with your very own virtual reality headset. You can choose a circle to stand in, and see what the room looks like. 8% of Zoopla listings have a virtual tour option - you need an expensive headset to take advantage, but it might become more popular in the future.
Earlier this year we spoke to Sims 4 fan, Ebonix, who told us about the different accessories she was making for fellow “Simmers”
Now… EA has responded to critics who say the number of skin tone options in The Sims 4 is too limited. They promised that more diverse choices will be a "priority", and issues around existing tones are also set to be addressed. Well done Ebonix.
And finally in controller news, my favourite kind of news, Sony has confirmed that its existing PS4 controller will not work with PS5 games. They say “We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we're bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller”. Bye bye money, looks like it’s going to be an expensive Christmas.
07:30 - The Fortnite Drama
The Fortnite Drama
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow & Alex Rhodes, Naked Gaming Podcast
Chris Berrow uses his extensive scripting skills and knowledge as a legendary writer to dramatise the Fortnite drama that's been going on for a few weeks. Starring Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner and Alex Rhodes...
CB - Hello, I’m Apple, I’m really happy that I’m taking a 30% cut of all the in-game currency of Fortnite, it makes me happy and I like money
LM - Hang on that’s not fair, I want to keep some of that money for myself, it’s not fair
AR - I like Google Play, it’s nice
CB - Thanks Alex… sorry Google
LM - I’m going to let gamers buy in-game currency for cheaper than they can get it on the App store and on Google Play
AR - Hang on, that’s not very nice
CB - Um if you do that I’m gonna ban you from the store… and you won’t have access to all of our gamers
LM - Yeah not bothered, hey everyone… discounts on Fortnite V bucks if you buy them directly from me! Get your V bucks...
CB - Ok you’re banned
AR - Activate the banhammer
LM - Aw, that’s not very nice...
10:00 - Modelling ecosystems with EcoBuilder
Modelling ecosystems with EcoBuilder
Jonathan Zheng, Imperial College London
Chris Berrow talks to Jonathan Zheng, who developed EcoBuilder. Can it be used to help model ecosystems?
Jonathan - In Yellowstone Park in the U S in 1926, the wolves were hunted by humans who didn't realize, you know, the ramifications of their, of their actions. Because they went extinct, it meant that the elk in the ecosystem didn't have a predator anymore. They started eating all the plants and then there weren't enough plants for the small animals. So the entire health of the ecosystem started deteriorating. And so my PhD supervisor, he watched a documentary on this and he thought, tthis is a cool story, but it would also make a cool game, because you could have your own simulation and then you could add your, you could decide to add the wolves to yourself.
Chris - More people that play and come up with different strategies. I guess you can assess which ones are successful and they could contribute to some genuine discoveries here?
Jonathan - Yeah, I actually, it already has. I just finished up my PhD thesis a few days ago and, um, the top three players and each of the last few levels of the game, uh, they, they got, I mentioned in my PhD thesis,
Chris - It's like the ultimate leaderboard. You know, when you played the arcade machine and you'd write your three letters, this is a different way of cementing your status!
Jonathan - And you actually get to help science as well.
Chris - So you took some of the real life models that people are using to create predictions. How accurate are they though? Because if they are slightly out, then the game will be slightly.
Jonathan - That is a good question, actually. So they've been successfully used to model aquatic ecosystems actually. But you are right that they are the models of really complex. So they're difficult to kind of get, get the parameters right. And that's actually one of the tasks that we're asking the player to do. We're asking them, how many of these heavy animals can you add before the ecosystem collapses.
Chris - Is it better to introduce the wolves or is it better to not touch anything? And just to let it, you know, nature correct itself in a way?
Jonathana - One thing that is clear from these mathematical equations is that nature does fix itself, but it can't fix itself. If changes happen too quickly, if humans hunted all the wolves to extinction within a number of years, then the ecosystem can't really react that quickly because evolution happens on timescales that are too large
Chris - Games, usually... usually have to be fun to play. So how did you also make sure that this was actually a fun game to play, that people would want to come back and try and beat the final levels in the end?
Jonathan - Ah, yeah. So that was actually a problem that took a lot of thinking because the game studio, when they design a game, they design the simulation to be fun, whereas we were stuck with our simulation. Um, so it's a weird like reversal of the order in which you'd usually do things. Um, on the way we did, it was. People want to collect stars and it took a while to design all the levels that are in the game to be kind of puzzles that aren't too difficult, but are still kind of that they still have this light bulb moment where once you solve that, you realize, oh, I understand something now. That was especially difficult with our simulation because you know, you have to work around the mathematics. And obviously me and my team, me and the team had to understand the mathematics as well before we could, um, make the levels kind of the right balance between difficulty and challenging.
14:59 - Review: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Review: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Jack Surfleet, Naked Gaming Podcast
Jack Surfleet has been playing Fall Guys a bit too much. See what he thinks of the latest game that's taking the battle royale scene by storm!
Jack - A new Battle Royale game has joined the market and well it's slightly crazy. Full Guys has been out on PC and PlayStation four for only a few weeks, and has already built up a consistent player base. It's not hard to see why. Let me tell you how it works. It's a combination of a Battle Royale and a set of mini matches with a few co-op challenges thrown in for your added frustration at your once enemies... now teammates. You'll be playing as one of 60 bean shaped contestants in each round. Your waddle, stumble, fall, and roll your way to the finish through slime and hoops, across fans and pathways... and over rotating barrels. A small number of players will be eliminated each round until a few of you remain for a mad dash to get your hands on the crown.
The thing that sets this game apart from others is the sheer madness of a small playing area and lots of competition. It's near impossible early on to play with a tactic in mind, it's both frustrating and hilarious. The short load times and fast response will leave you trying again and again, you won't get bored though. As there were around two dozen different mini games in rotation, it's a game of frustration, luck and downright hilarity as only one stray piece of flying fruit and annoying tick tack size contestant, or a huge set of swinging balls... stick with me, can derail your chances of qualifying. That said, you'll be coming back and playing again and again.
17:39 - Retro Revival: Super Mario Run
Retro Revival: Super Mario Run
Alex Rhodes, Naked Gaming Podcast
Alex "let's a go" Rhodes is pleased that he's playing a proper mobile game - Super Mario Run...
Alex - Interestingly, if you've not played this game before, I thought, first of all, you would have to play it horizontally. You know, he'd want you to turn the phone sideways to maximize that big screen. And when you think about the, you know, the platforming games, you think, well, yeah, you're gonna want to see as much as the screen as possible, but actually it's in vertical. Let me just jump over there. Uh, and Mario runs automatically. You don't have to press, you know, sideways on the, uh, on the right hand side of the D pad or anything like that.
Mario runs forward, basically you're in charge of jumping. So it feels sometimes a little bit like it's a little bit easy.
So I've already built like a little toad house that lets you play a bonus game. So here we go. Oh, okay. Basically you pick up all down. There's four doors and uh, one will lead to riches the other to nothing, but the game's free to download. It's relying on microtransactions. Obviously.
It's pretty good. So far, the graphics are great. It looks like a proper Mario game. It sounds like a proper Mario game.
21:04 - Simulator of the Month: Ring Fit Adventure
Simulator of the Month: Ring Fit Adventure
Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast
Fitness enthusiast Leigh Milner takes Ring Fit Adventure for a spin...
Leigh - I was quite skeptical to begin with because I always think with these things, they don't actually calculate your calorie burn. But actually I was quite surprised. It gets your heart rate up. It gets you to do different movements. So one minute you're jogging, one minute you're squatting one minute, you're doing something else like, like raises and all the while you're being distracted by playing a video game and trying to beat baddies and trying to get through obstacles. So it is a fun way of getting fit.
However, there are a few flaws to it. So the first, it was only the first kind of workout as such, but you only had a choice of four kind of movements. So you can either do a squat or a yoga chair move. I'd like a more, you know, a wider range of movements. It's quite repetitive.
Also, it's quite interesting because I have a smartwatch and I was I'm comparing it to how many calories it said on there. And actually it said I burned fewer calories on the game compared to my smartwatch. So I don't know how accurate it actually is.
If you, if you really take your fitness extremely seriously, I don't think it's for you. I'd stick with your PT sessions or the gym.
But if you just want a fun way of getting fit, then this is definitely for you and it is extremely fun and it gets you going.