Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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King of the Hill – Tips to Become a Better Player and Dominate

king of the hill tips

This video tutorial was first published to our YouTube channel back in 2011! Its has had really positive feedback, even though the video views is not through the ceiling.

It has helped those who chose to watch it, and hopefully it will help you guys improve your game too.

If it does help please let us know as it would be awesome to get making these video tutorials again if they prove useful to others.

Gears of War Beta – Video Gameplay and Screenshots Leaked

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shallows-gears-leak

Black Tusk, Windows and various other individuals and companies have all kept very quiet about what  Gears of War projects are being worked on.

Over the past few months they have teased us with images of the Gears of War Motion Capture, clues about the technology and features we expect to see asked us to read between the lines and discover information for ourselves.

Slowly over the past few months we pieced together a jigsaw which suggested a Gears of War remake, and likely a Gears of War project that would have similar technology to the remastered Halo series, and utilise the latest techology from Microsoft such as the Orleans actor framework technology in Windows Azure.

Today, we have received some confirmation by leaked sources that shows us that an Xbox One version of a Gears of War Beta video.

This image and the videos confirms that there is currently a Gears of War Beta. Which is being played by people who were signed up to a company called VMC

The series of images from the initial Gears of War Beta leak, all seem to detail similar versions of the same home screen, with a watermark over the screen, which we assume is the unique players code given to each beta tester in-case of such a leak of information.

The code in this instance is 0x0009000000c320 scardro

What to expect in the coming hours/days

It is likely that Black Tusk / Microsoft will unveil an announcement of some kind to address the leak of information or to give fans a bit more insight into the decisions made up until this point in time with this information. As soon as there is an announcement we will aim to put that announcement below.

The only information so far is a message on the forum about leaked video content. It states

Hi all Forum rules have been updated in regards to posting of alleged or speculative leaked content. 17. Posting of unofficial “leaked” content is not allowed on these forums. Any posts containing images, videos or links to content will be removed and infractions will be given. Discussion is acceptable as long as no leaked content is linked or embedded. Thanks.

Update:


So lets take a look and see some of this leaked Gears of War content!

UPDATE: This content has now been removed from YouTube by the user, probably under instruction of Microsoft who made the users Xbox consoles unusable as punishment for making the video and placing it in the public domain.

This video below now no longer plays. We do not intend to upload the video and we highly recommend you do not either.


Magnifying glass at the ready, here we go.

First of all, to assess what we have on our hands we need to know. Have they taken the “Gears of War 3 Engine” and added a darker Gears 1 theme to it? Or have they taken the “Gears of War 1 engine” and added skins and levels and weapons to it?

From first glance, it looks like they have taken Gears 1 and added the skins to it. But lets ask that question at the end of our findings!

The YouTube link for the main Gears of War Xbox One leaked gameplay footage can be found here this clip shows a round of gameplay, (with a lot of spawn killing lol.)

First up

This is a map entitled “Shallows” it is not called Canals, like we might have thought it would be.

The screenshot does show “PLACEHOLDER”, and the font does look very different from what we might have previously seen in a Gears game.

gears-leak-shallow
original image, quite dark hard to read
shallows-gears-leak
brightness and levels adjusted reveals “Shallows”

TDM Menu leak
This menu as shown shows us that the games are likely to be 4v4! This is good news for anyone who prefers this from the original series. This also points to a case of, this is the original gears 1 engine with different textures applied to it. The menu has had a lot more care and attention put into it than the image of the map that popped up. Reverting to the style of menu we saw in Gears 3 would be a good thing i would imagine as it was better detailed.

We can also see the return of the locust, having controversially being left out of the previous game Gears of War Judgment altogether. (what were they thinking lol)

menu for tdm gears of war xbox
Gears of War Xbox One TDM Menu

The metrics used for measuring performance of a player in the game can be seen here below.

tdm xbox one

 

Funnily at 46 seconds we see the problem we always saw with the canals spawn on Gears of War where you end up rolling straight into the player in front unless they roll immediately as well.

The next part of the video simply shows someone heading towards what used to be the boomshot/torque bow on Gears of War 3, which now appears to be a torque bow.

So if the same rules govern the weapon spawns as we saw in previous games expect a torque bow/boomshot rotation at this location going forwards?

Also, general stuff really, but the same game format of 15 lives on each team is shown at the top of the screen.

leaked screenshot
15 lives for each team and a torque bow boomshot rotation on canals

 

Downs, Bloody Melee and X to Curb Stomp Execution.

If anyone doubted the amount of blood we might see in the new Gears of War then wait until you see the amount coming out of the guy who gets the first death of this leaked Xbox One footage.

A two hit melee with the torque bow and he is down. Have a look at the screenshot to see all that blood coming out. I dont remember any blood in previous games from a melee. In Gears of War Judgment people just seemed to flop to the floor like a fish out of water.

melee down gears of war xbox one
showing that downs have returned, melee causes a rush of blood and gore and the return of x to curb stomp

 

Team mate DBNO (Down but not out) notifications. 

Are these the same as Gears of War 1? or are they the same as this anyway in Gears of War 3? I cant remember right now. I have a feeling they are different in Gears 3 to this but i dont know for sure.

Is this evidence that it is a Gears of War 1 engine?

gow1 dbno-leak
Gears Beta Team mate DBNO notifications

 

Sniper Rifle returns and is in same position

Pretty self explanatory, but it shows more evidence that we are going to see a very original feel to the Gears of War game. TDM is a new game type to the original Gears of War, but hopefully not many big surprises like new weapons and crazy eccentric additions.

sniper gears xbox one
the sniper returns to the same spot as it always was in on canals

 

Gears of War 1 Remake Evidence – The Handrail

Quite possible the biggest clue about this being a total Gears of War 1 remake and not a Gears of War 3 engine applied to a Gears of War 1 game..

“The handrail.”

The handrail was removed in later versions of the canals level. The inclusion of the handrail on the stairs shows us that this game is being modelled on the original Gears of War level code/data/information/map

It is significant evidence that we will have a Gears of War 1 remake on our hands.

The previous posts we have created showed how Black Tusk were recovering bits of old code from previous games and a rework has been suggested in the past.

handrail-gears1-remake
the handrail is back, which means likely a Gears of War 1 Engine

You like Blood, Guts and Chunks? Then you ll like the New Gears of War on Xbox One

It appears as though we are going to have the bloodiest and gruesome deaths we have ever seen from a Gears of War 1 game. In contrast to Gears of War Judgment, the fast paced game style didnt allow much expression of blood and enemies just previously flopped to the floor in a pretty underwhelming fashion.

This game is going to be bloodier than the first. The evidence in this video clip and previous clip of the extreme amount of blood from a melee demonstrates this.

gears one remake leak blood
blood guts and chunks everywhere

 

Graphics differences between Gears of War 1 Original, and Gears of War 1 Remastered.

The differences in graphics is really quite spectacular.

I was referred to a high res clip of the Gears of War footage leak, that came from the guys Xbox One DVR, which later got removed.

original gears gnasher
the original gears of war gnasher blood splatter
Gears remastered blood
blood splatter from gnasher in the Gears of War remastered version

Update:

More screenshots found and added below.

 

gears main menu
looks like Gears 3 menus with 4v4
Black Tusk weapon skins! These will be rare in game i would imagine
Black Tusk weapon skins! These will be rare in game i would imagine

 

Conclusion

What we are seeing here is a lot of evidence pointing towards a Gears of War 1 Remastered game. There is very little in the way of anything “extra” being added into the game except for the gametype itself, and the menu structure.

Previous posts have shown that the matchmaking and the technology behind how we find games has been likely overhauled and will be similar in terms of Halo Waypoint and latest Microsoft Technology.

From the typical gamers point of view and perspective we are likely going to have people wondering what the differences are, and the fact that this beta is literally the same as Gears 1 means that a remaster is extremely likely.

The handrail in particular demonstrates that the code used is the same as the original Gears of War 1 Canals map. It seems that they have used the same interface as Gears 3, which is just graphical rather than too much of a coding overhaul.

This demonstrates a real good exercise by Black Tusk to re develop and re ignite the franchise for the new era of modern technology of a mass scale connected world. When Gears of War 1 was originally developed the amount of gamers and the shape of the internet was VERY different to how it is today. Mobile devices, ease of access and the amount of traffic and internet speeds have all changed rapidly.

This game is likely to be the foundations upon which other games will be added. DLC will likely be additional maps, game modes and maybe introduction of weapons at some stage as alternative game modes.

These are just my personal views based on this information but we will have to wait and see 🙂

 

Gears of Halo Wars – Why Gears of War Tactics may be one of the Projects being Worked on by Black Tusk

gears-of-war-tactics-gameplay
Gears of War Tactics Gameplay

Gears of War Tactics was one of those projects which took a lot of us by suprise.

The concept of it is arguably more appealing to some than others. We saw that with Halo Wars, but those that did play the game really enjoyed it. Myself being one of those people.

Gears of War in terms of a strategic game ticks a lot of boxes. Look beyond the Gnasher battles and wall bouncing and you do encounter a very strategic game at its heart.

Players who understand this tend to be much more inclined to be on the winning team.

Simple understanding of the levels to better take down enemies, and understanding weak/strong points of specific locations on maps is key to ensuring you can outlive and outscore your opponents.

 

We already talked about the close relationship between the Halo technology and the Gears of War technology in a previous post. We all know about the release of Halo Wars. It didnt cause much fuss in terms of its release, but as time has gone on people have really enjoyed this game and it is one of the few successful RTS on a console to be released.

Now am I mistaken to make this assumption? Have a look at the screenshots of the Halo Wars vs Gears of War Tactics vs Spartan Assault.

They all look quite similar right?
Would we assume then that these are made by the same company/companies?

Is this down to the nature of RTS games and the similar genre of games that we see with Gears and Halo? maybe it is. But what we do know is that a company called Ensemble Studios has been in the past a very successful game studio that was responsible for creatign very good RTS games.

Games such as Halo Wars, Age of Empires, Age of Mythology.

halo wars
Halo Wars Gameplay
gears-of-war-tactics-gameplay
Gears of War Tactics Gameplay
halo-spartan-assault-gameplay
Halo Spartan Assault Gamepla

Notice how Ensemble Studios is the consistent player throughout these, except for Spartan Assault. But this is a game released after Microsoft closed down Ensemble Studios

age of empires

halo-wars

Now interestingly, have a look at who has been working on the latest Spartan Assault. 343 Industries.
We saw in the previous post about the close relationship between 343 Industries and the cloud based solutions that Microsoft has spent A LOT of money developing.

spartan assault

What does this all mean?

It is only guessing work, but at this stage it could well be that Microsoft gave Epic Games, who at the time owned the Gears of War franchise, a kit to play around with the Halo Wars / Age of Empires engine that had been developed by Ensemble Studios.

Epic messed around with it, changed the lighting of the hammer of dawn to a more red colour, (the artowkr is not complete and looks a bit rushed) they changed the artwork to the artwork of the Gears of War characters/levels and tried their best to see what they could do. However, not much ever happened with it as we know.

Now that Microsoft own the franchise, they can direct with all the massive resource that they have and do exactly what they want to do with the game.

I suspect that if they are in fact giving this “kit” to Epic previously as we have mentioned with visuals, then their intent is to get a Gears of War Real-time Strategy Game in the works. As the above is evidence that they tried to make it happen previously!

Now that ensemble studios is no more, and that Microsoft own this technology they can do with it as they please. They have used it to create the new Halo Spartan Assault mobile phone game.

And we have also seen in a previous job posting that Microsoft are looking for a script writer who can

“Tell its narrative over multiple screens and devices.”

Then we have the tweet from Rodd Fergusson who says the following about the Gears of War “Projects”

So with this all in mind..

Predictions.

We will see a similar Gears of War game to Halo Spartan Assault on Android and App Stores

We will see 3 Gears of War games in total?
– A classic Gears console game, going back to its roots “dark”, “gritty” etc.
– A RTS Gears of War Xbox One game for the Gears of War series.
– A RTS Gears of War Mobile/Tablet game for the Gears of War series.

I suspect that the technology involved will allow a user to interlink the narrative and the gameplay in some way. This will be exciting to see what they come up with.

Interestingly Microsoft are not telling us when Windows 10 will be released, which makes me think they are waiting until after e3, and an announcement.

Follow this link to see some really interesting artwork from the Halo MMO game that got pulled. Can you notice anything about the artwork that looks similar to the Gears of War Tactics gameplay?

halo mmo
look at the icons, similar to Gears of War Tactics?

Mysterious article
There was an article that has at some point been edited, entitled
“19 games you will never play”

The article used to include Gears of war Tactics, and picked up a lot of hype across the internet on forums etc.

The article is originally from this link
http://www.totalxbox.com/70246/xbox-one-boss-likes-the-idea-of-a-gears-of-war-rts/
and now redirects to this link
http://www.gamesradar.com/19-incredible-games-youll-never-play/

and there is no Gears of war Tactics mentioned on here. So its no longer on the list of games you will never play! But will we get to play it?

The title of the original article tells us that the Xbox One boss likes the idea of a Gears of War RTS. But where is this mentioned? Try and search and find this article. No where to be found!

 

Want to help write for us about Gears? Get in touch.

Gears of War: Dirty Little Secrets Issue #1 – Product Review

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gears-of-war-comics

oihnoiphoihDirty little Secrets was a six issue mini series that was a soft reboot for the Gears of War comics as well as tie in for Gears of War 3 to help fill in the gaps for people who have not had a chance to read the books or people who read the books to get more of an understanding as well as an in-depth understanding of the one year after the C.O.G collapsed and it put the books into comic forms with a little extra filling in the mystery of stuff that was hinted at in the books but never was expanded until Gears of War 3. The comic series was written by Karen Traviss who wrote all of the current Gears of War novels as well as wrote Gears of War 3.
9781401236953_p0_v2_s260x420Part One takes place seconds before the end of Gears of War 2 with Marucs blowing up the Lambent Brumak and how everyone must evacuate the sinking city of Jacinto. This story is told much like the books and does not follow a singular character but multiple from Marucs, Dom, Anya, Baird, Prescott and Hoffman. You get a chance to see what they are doing up to the evacuation leading them to Port Farralas. You also were able to get into their head and witness the secrets they hold. These comics do take the liberty of stretching out the events though this issue because the characters are fighting ground battles against the Locust as well as Dom, Baird and Marcus leaving the Raven to help some civilians leaving out important things that take place at the start of Jacinto’s Remnant so it gives people a chance to still read the books and get the whole picture. The problem though I see from this book is that to a regular comic reader or someone who knows nothing about Gears of War would not be able to pick up this issue and get an understanding of practically anything it hardly addressed characters, roles and really just goes hand in hand with people who have played Gears of War 2 and want more. Even I had to go back and reread and think about certain events again so if you are not somewhat familiar with Gears of War and Gears of War 2 you might want to plays those games and read this comic afterwards.

The artwork for this book is really amazing even for the time due to DC preparing for the New 52 reboot and there best artist working on re imaging their triple A brands. The Cover artist was Colin Wilson

Dirty_Little_Secrets_1_coverThe cover really jumps out at you for a first issue even it if it a little standard. Marcus the main character is sitting proud and center in the cover. Holding the Gears of War signature weapon the lancer. Underneath his boot is a Locust Drone’s and in the background we see Anya, Prescott and Dom. It gives the sense of grit and horror that you will be facing in this issues with the amber colors as well dark shading on all the characters.

The Artwork in total by Pop Mhan is stunning and really captures Gears of War perfectly. He keeps all of the environments, vehicles and weapons fairly blocky and big but they are really drawn accurately to the source material.

The character models all resemble the video game counterparts and Mr. Mhan does real justice to the Locust character variants and somehow making them even more gross and disgusting almost like a children’s nightmare.

The colors are much the like cover except very heavy on silver, black and of course crimson red. It was very pleasing to the eyes as well as felt dirty and gritty as if I was sucked into a war zone. The character’s and and the action and how they were drawn are simply amazing.

The panels flow together and Mr. Mhan hardly used a whole lot of splash pages and with more panels it felt more like watching a TV show then reading a comic and that is what made it such a page turner because it felt on pace of the action parts of Gears of War as well as the actions and blood effects being top notch.

gears-comic-page-2

The Verdict of this comic is buy it & read it!!

It was very well written for people who have played the games and read the books because it makes nods to characters from the books as well as in game.

Even though it might need a small refresher. The coloring and inking is very well done and puts you in the mood and makes you think you are watching a Gears of War cutscene.

The comics are easy to find they were published in a trade paperback at a very affordable price and can easily be found on any digital comic store. If you want more Gears of War reading or world building this is the place the start.

Gears of War XB1 will have Similar Technology used in Halo Waypoint

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gears of war 4 waypoint

We have discovered and stumbled across information in the public domain about the workings of the new Gears of War Xbox One game currently being developed by Black Tusk Studios.

The information is shared as follows from the personal profile of a member of staff at Black Tusk Studios about what they are doing on the Gears of War XB1 project.

It states

For Gears of War (XB1), decoupled and refactored services discovery and client configuration technology from 343 Industries for use by Black Tusk and enabling the reuse of pioneering work on massive-scale Orleans actor framework technology in Azure.

You might be wondering.. What the hell does that mean? How does that mean anything about Halo Waypoint?

Well let me tell you that decoupling means to

separate, disengage, or dissociate (something) from something else.

and that refactored means

technique for restructuring an existing body of code, altering its internal structure without changing its external behavior

So to decouple something and put it back to together.

This could refer to seperating Gears from Xbox 360 platform for use on a Xbox One platform, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here, we are only two words into this sentance!

So back to what was said..

Decoupled and refactored services discovery and client configuration technology from 343 Industries for use by Black Tusk.

For any of you that dont know, 343 Industries is part of Microsoft, and a key platform they now use.

In July 2009, Microsoft filed for the name 343 Industries for its new Halo development studio, after the former Halo studio, Bungie, separated from Microsoft. It was named after Halo character 343 Guilty Spark. Bungie continued making Halo games until Halo: Reach in 2010.

Interestingly in 2009 the studio created Halo Waypoint, a downloadable application that tracks a user’s Halo accomplishments.

So the services discovery and client configuration technology from 343 Industries, is the same technology used in the halo series and the chances are we are going to have a similar matchmaking and online services platform that we saw with the later editions of Halo.

The later part of the sentance is a little more complicated to translate

and enabling the reuse of pioneering work on massive-scale Orleans actor framework technology in Azure.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud based technology and is a real time big data solution.
Orleans actor framework technology is complicated but it means that the way that we play video games online will change forever.

This video presentation may be the best insight into what we might expect from the new Gears of War.

I recommend that you watch it, its an hour long so it might be a good idea to download it to your phone for later watching on the train!! I will try and do this myself and write up my thoughts and predictions about what it might mean!

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NewZealand/2014/DEV314

EDIT: Watched the video, not really much to know, its really a showing of the platform for developers done by developers and has very little to do with gaming as readers of this post would be interested in. However, it does say in essence that the “Actors” in Orleans are much like a room, or a person, or any entity. So when a player enters the room it is all in real time starting events.. I think basically its an improved system for handling lots of data in real time.

The combination of the two parts of the overall sentence

For Gears of War (XB1), decoupled and refactored services discovery and client configuration technology from 343 Industries for use by Black Tusk and enabling the reuse of pioneering work on massive-scale Orleans actor framework technology in Azure.

My understanding of this would suggest that they are basically building upon what they did in the halo games to do the same in Gears of War Xbox One edition, in terms of the service and technology side of things (not graphics or anything visual, nor gameplay, just platform and technology)

In contrast to Gears 3, it will probably mean that its a more scalable solution and that dedicated servers are probably integral. The Windows Azure platform is basically one big cloud, that anyone or any business can utilise. So i would imagine that if the whole game is being built on this technology then dedicated servers will be a strong feature of this.

Further Edit:

So I have been doing some more research, it turns out that the Xbox One and this technology is really quite incredible.

There are a couple of resources I have found that talk about what this means in plain english from people who understand this technology in great detail, and their interpretation of it is fantastic and has helped me understand more and in turn hopefully it means you guys can understand it better too and be able to appreciate it!

It turns out that gamers dont really care nor understand about what is going on inside the console and exactly what data goes where and why. But this technology will revolutionise online gameplay, because we are all able to tap into the super computers in the massive data centres at Microsoft.

If you look at all of the tasks that the machine does, it’s clear there isn’t enough silicon in the box, said Nick Baker, a distinguished engineer of console architecture and one of the head silicon engineers at Microsoft…. But the cool thing about the box — which has chips with 5 billion transistors in them — is that it can tap supercomputers in web-connected data centers to do processing.

So as time goes on, our Xbox consoles will get more powerful as those data centres grow and become faster. We are directly gaining processing power that enables our consoles to do more without actually having to process anything.

That means the hardware inside the box isn’t fixed. Over time, the hardware can get better as Microsoft upgrades the technology in the data centers. For now, Microsoft has more than 300,000 servers in its data centers to support Xbox One and the Xbox Live online entertainment service.

“This is a radically different way of thinking about a game console,”

Also, this paragraph really sums up the direction of Microsoft and the direction of the cloud based research and development programmes.

Basically if you want to buy shares in Microsoft in the near future, then do it before e3! This Gears game is going to be better than we imagined.

For the last 40+ years we have incrementally improved graphics through better local hardware. We have been adding cores, increasing clock speed, upping RAM etc.

We can easily understand this upgrade. The Xbox one’s cloud capabilities are difficult to explain and, as you could imagine, had Microsoft spent any time at E3 explaining the above things the damage would have been even worse.

Orleans, free Azure resources and deep integration into the Xbox one will assuredly create new experiences. I am positive, after we experience and witness the benefits of the cloud, we will spend less time worrying about a few cores.

This cloud will become stronger and more efficiently used. Microsoft dumps over $9 billion worth of money just to research cloud capabilities. If you read their whitepapers, they put a heavy emphasis on cloud technologies that are going to benefit the Xbox one. It’s truly an exciting time we live in, where we get to say billions of dollars are being spent every year by one company to improve their console.

Microsoft spends more R&D, just on the cloud, than their competitors (console and PC) spend on their entire R&D projects across all offerings(I don’t have more recent figures than this). We could be angry about DRM, digital, the removal, etc.

That’s OK – just don’t fall into the trap of “Microsoft doesn’t care about us” and that any money you give them hurts gamers. Microsoft spends 17% of their profits on research and development, more than any of their direct competitors in any marketspace. Know the extra $100 is not simply for the Kinect. When Microsoft says they are over-delivering value for the price, this is why.

It’s worth noting, that Microsoft pulled over their top visionaries and engineers to solely focus on Xbox development. This includes pioneers of the cloud industry and they even dedicated the chief architect or “father” of Windows NT/2000/2003 to Xbox.

This guy was given the distinction of “Technical Fellow” which only 22 employees in all of Microsoft’s history have achieved. They gave him to us. They then moved over the Azure hypervisor director to the Xbox group. Gamers are being taken seriously both for the PS4 and Xbox one. It’s a marvelous time to be a gamer.
Source

Gears of War: Tactics the RTS that never was.

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With Rod Ferguson recently reaching out on Twitter talking about the” exciting new projects we will be seeing at E3 this year”. We get a chance to look back at a canned Gears of War game that could see the light of day or be sealed in the E- Hole it came from.

gowt1-211

Gears of War: Tactics was a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game much like Halo Wars that took place in the Gears of War universe at an unknown time on the Gears of War time line because it was canned by EPIC Games and was being worked on till February of 2013. The game utilized the Kinect sensor as a main game feature. An Alpha was shown with some screen shots and even some leaked gameplay of the early game.

The game was used with the Kinect and you took the role of four COG soldiers most notably Damon Baird as the player you control of squad of COG soldiersbeing attacked by a squad of Locust Drones as you control your squad you could unleash deadly Hammer of Dawn attacks as well as deadly Raven airdrops at the same time you needed to  get your squad into cover.

gowt1 Gears_Of_War__Tactics_13609486144737eholeUnknown

 

Not much is known about this game besides this leaked footage but it came a long way into development before it was canned and it is possible to have been a good RTS game that could compete with such RTS games like Command and Conquer, XCOM and even Halo Wars. It is possible the game was scrapped due to the acquisitions of Gears of War from EPIC Games to Black Tusk Studios that was acquired by Microsoft in early 2014. It is possible some form of this game might see the light of day with Xbox One arcade as a game even supported with Smart Glass as Halo: Spartan Assault has been doing or a mode in the up incoming Gears of War game (s). We will have to wait for E3 for news that will be taking place on June 16th to 18th.

Which Platform(s) will the Gears of War “projects” be Launched on?

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Gears-of-war-windows-10

On every single job application that Black Tusk posts on their job noticeboard we can see the following statement.

Black Tusk Studios are a Microsoft 1st party development studio located in downtown Vancouver, Canada. We are the official home of the Gears of War franchise and our objective is to forge the future of the IP and push the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms and devices. Our team is comprised of deep creative and technical expertise from our industry’s top shooter and action titles, working cohesively to delight our fan base and shatter expectations of what is possible.

This particluar section of this statement about Black Tusk says;
“our objective is to forge the future of the IP and push the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms and devices”

So lets have a look at Google For “Microsoft Entertainment Platform”

The results that come up are quite interesting.

“Microsoft: The Xbox is an entertainment platform”

“Microsoft building “Cloud TV” platform for Xbox”

One of the key findings for the Microsoft Entertainment Platform is the kind of technologies they are currently developing. Because these technologies are probably going to be utilised into the Gears of War franchise.

The list of current Microsoft Entertainment Platform technologies include;

There is also a “Microsoft Entertainment Strategy”, which uncovers a few more indicators about the direction of Gears of War and other games from Microsoft Studios.

…Microsoft’s entertainment strategy, working closely with critical partners including both internal and external premier game developers
Develop new online services and integrate services into multiple platforms
Have the opportunity to solve complex problems that allow for innovative features across multiple devices and services
Work on premier, innovative 1st party game and entertainment titles developed and published by Microsoft Studios
Be a key contributor in driving a culture of hosted services that delivers dynamic, highly personalized and social entertainment experiences..

source

So it is clear in my mind, when talking about platform for Gears of War that you also talk about the device too.

My vision of this is that there will be a minimum of an app that you can add in addition to your game that allows you to maybe communicate with your team mates or something special that allows a social experience with your squad.

A highly personalised and social experience could mean that you are paired with people very local to you. An Android app or iTunes app that connects your Xbox Live Account to you at all times wouldnt be a bad move by Microsoft, but then having to share this information across these competitors may be a bad move. They simply dont have enough coverage of Microsoft phones in order to compete, but maybe it could be a unique selling point to a Microsoft product.

The Microsoft Mobile Phone strategy is losing its way, but I suspect that Windows 10, may indeed be the revivial of the company as it incorporates all devices across multiple platforms.

“Microsoft officials say the company is playing the long game,” the Journal reports. “It’s pinning its hopes for mobile revival on Windows 10, the next version of its operating system, which is expected to debut later this year.”

sourece: http://bgr.com/2015/03/03/microsoft-windows-phone-strategy/

You will have to trust me on the following as the job listing has now finished as it was some time ago now. But there was a pharse on a job posting that said “telling a story across multiple platforms” for the senior story and plot line writer.

It also stated in this job posting as an “emotive experience” and the challenge being to overcome the differences in devices in order to tell a story uniquely.

We did see a Gears of War exile project that soon got taken down. This game was what appeared to be a Halo Wars / Age of Empires style game but with a Gears of War style thrown in. It was an interesting concept, and I expect that this could infact make it as a mobile phone game and would suit touch style based interaction. The fact that Rod Ferguson stated that they are working on Gears of War “projects” suggests more than one game to me, and an app or a game on a phone would make sense to me.

The chances are that a lot of the old Gears of War generation have grown up since 2007, myself included. I do not have the time to play Gears of War like i used to nowadays, so to appeal to their existing user base they are going to need to reach these people differently. I think Windows 10 may be the answer, and certainly it means that Gears of War 4 is going to be playable on a PC if we see Windows 10 launched before Gears of War 4

Gears of War Motion Capture – What does it mean?

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There was a bit of a wow, “Gears of War 4 is coming” moment when a guy called Jack Felling a social media friendly Black Tusk employee decided to post up the image of one of the actors holding the lancer

This shows us clearly that Black Tusk, have decided on the direction of the plot and have began filming cut scenes. It does not mean they have finished the whole project of filming as described in this reply later on

They have decided that the lancer, in its former style would be used for filming the scene.

However, this does not mean that the lancer in its old style will be used and it does not mean that it is evidence of a prequel. We can tell this because of how motion capture works, they would add skins or the design of the weapon after the motion capture has taken place.

This can be seen also with the job opening for a Senior Gameplay Animator job posting from Black Tusk that has recently been posted.
This role focus is described as;

The ideal candidate has a focus on creature experience,

The fact they are recruiting for such a specialist to do a very specific job shows in my view how they plan to develop the creatures/enemies of the game. Would you call a locust a creature? My interpretation of a creature is something like the lambent enemies in Gears 3. So does this mean that the Gears franchise is heading to the future past Gears of War 3 and the aftermath of the quite underwhelming end to Gears of War 3?

By reading in between the lines you can paint a picture of what they are trying to build at Black Tusk Studios.

However you do not have to read between the lines to see that this statement below provides enough evidence to show that the next Gears is going to be simply awesome.

Our team is comprised of deep creative and technical expertise from our industry’s top shooter and action titles, working cohesively to delight our fan base and shatter expectations of what is possible.

Gears of War Judgment Featured in Games for Gold in April on Xbox 360!

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You can right now, on Xbox 360 marketplace download Gears of War Judgment for free. Thats a saving of $20.

Gears of War Judgment was a game that did not inspire the existing fans of the Gears of War series and was seen as a step in the wrong direction of Epic games. Who seemingly wanted to create a game that was more inline with Call of Duty than Gears of War.

Who remembers when the game first released and this was the norm?

Now that the game has been released for free for April, is this an effort to try and revive the series by Microsoft who now own the rights to the game?
Maybe it might be a way to obtain a few new fans, and some people may have a good time with the game.

The game wasnt the worst game ever, dont get me wrong, the campaign was nicely polished if not short. But the multiplayer is really the pull for a lot of the fans out there and is the key to obtaining new fans.

The facts dont fail to show exactly how bad the numbers for Gears Judgment have been lately. Barely over a thousand players playing TDM on Gears Judgment. In comparison Gears of War 3 had 5,500 people playing TDM, so you get a fairly good measure of the popularity of a newer game vs the older game just from this one statistic.

So what went wrong?
They wanted to make the game grow and become a more popular choice for all gamers? Taking out downs, respawn gametypes, fast paced game. Controls changed to help new gamers.

Unfortunately, i dont think these features or changes really had the effect of inspiring a new kind of Gears of War fan very well. They were really an irritant to people who had mastered the game and its controls.

Interestingly, one of the reasons that I got into Gears was because of how difficult is was and how amazed I was to see people flying around and being able to fully control something with ease that was very difficult for a new player to do.

What this means is, the game had a steep initial learning curve. But this was the addiction and the reason why games were so good. Because pure skill came into play most of the times, and it was only once you had mastered the skills and the technique that you could move on to master the game in a team based way with strategic with decision making being at the forefront of this.

If a game is so easy to play, then there is no reason to keep playing. Chess for example is a very complicated game, almost impossible to master. It attracts a LOT of people to play it competitively. However Tic Tac Toe is very easy to master and everyone after an hour or so is pretty much of the same ability so competition is very poor in comparison.

But dont despair, because the game is now free on Xbox Live for 360!

Come back for more from GoWPortal each day! We are trying to cover all things Gears of War news and feature big Gears players from the community.

[Video] Aftermath Promo Trailer

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Are you ready?!   Trailer by: GloryD and Stupendous

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