Maximum PC - Gaming en Amazon Acquires Twitch, Rumors Say Acquisition Was up to $1.1 Billion <!--paging_filter--><h3>Who saw that coming?</h3> <p><img src="/files/u166440/twitch_logo.jpg" alt="Twitch Logo" title="Twitch Logo" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />Up until now, everyone was expecting <a title="MPC Google to bu Twitch" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google to purchase Twitch</span></a>. Rumors had been passed around that Google was going to purchase the video game streaming service for $1 billion. Instead of Google being the one to buy it, <strong>Twitch ceo Emmett Shear announced today that Amazon has acquired Twitch</strong>. However, Shear didn’t disclose how much Amazon had spent, though speculation is that the price was $1.1 billion.</p> <p>“Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon,” <a title="Twitch Announcement" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">said Shear</span></a>. “We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”</p> <p>The acquisition of Twitch appears to be a great deal for Amazon. Back in 2013, the streaming service had reported that there were 45 million users who had viewed around 12 billion minutes of video. Aside from primarily being used to stream games on PC, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One also feature Twitch, increasing the services reach and consumer base.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite Twitch’s popularity, it has been receiving quite a bit of criticism for some recent policy changes. Earlier this month, it <a title="MPC Twitch changes policy" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">announced</span></a> that it would no longer save VODs for an indefinite amount of time. In addition, it has started to scan VODs for copyrighted music in 30-minute increments. If copyright music is detected, then that 30-minute block of video is muted.&nbsp;</p> <p>But how do you feel about Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch? Is it a better alternative to Google? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> $1.1 billion amazon Amazon buys Twitch Emmett Shear Google twitch Gaming News Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:21:25 +0000 Sean D Knight 28417 at Microsoft Uses PCs to Showcase Xbox Game at Gamescom <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/xboxonelogo.jpg" alt="Xbox Logo" title="Xbox Logo" width="200" height="194" style="float: right;" />Caught again</h3> <p>Over the past few years it seems that both Sony and Microsoft have, at one point or another, demonstrated console games on PCs instead of on consoles at gaming events. This time, <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a title="Centrumher" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">CentrumHer</span></a>&nbsp;</span><strong>caught</strong><strong> Microsoft using PCs to showcase an Xbox game at Gamescom</strong>.</p> <p>CentrumHer was able to take a couple of&nbsp;<a title="CentrumHer XB1 pic" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">pictures</span></a> that showed a demonstration of the game Ori and the Blind Forest crashing to a Windows 7 desktop rather than the company’s current operating system Windows 8. But that isn’t all. The pictures taken also showed that the PCs were most likely using Nvidia GPUs rather than AMD GPUs. An interesting thing to note, considering that the current generation of consoles are all equipped with AMD GPUs. In <a title="CentrumHer XB1 picture" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">one of the pictures</span></a>, you'll see a notification at the bottom right corner of the screen informing the user that “An updated version of GeForce Experience is available.”</p> <p>Showing games on PCs at events such as Gamescom and E3 are common practice when it comes to developers like Ubisoft. Developers and publishers want to show off a product in the best possible way and that is on the PC. To be fair, though, Ori and the Blind Forest is expected to be released on the PC platform as well as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Follow Sean on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, and </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></p> microsoft Microsoft XB1 PC Ori and the Blind Forest XB1 PC Xbox On Xbox One PC Gaming News Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:26:00 +0000 Sean D Knight 28351 at Twitch Enables Copyright Scans and Limits Archiving of VODs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/twitch_logo.jpg" alt="Twitch Logo" title="Twitch Logo" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />Copyright infringements results in VODs being muted</h3> <p>Back in May it was rumored that Google was looking to purchase <a title="MPC Google Twitch" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitch for $1 billion</span></a>. While we wait for confirmation on this rumor from either side, Twitch is making some big changes. According to its official blog, <strong>Twitch has enabled copyright sweeps and has limited archiving of video content</strong>.</p> <p><a title="Twitch audio scans" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitch announced</span></a> that it has partnered with <a title="Audible Magic webpage" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Audible Magic</span></a> to help scan past and future VODs for any copyright music that might have been used during live streams. While scans will look for music owned by Audible Magic, or controlled by its clients, Twitch also revealed that the scans will look for in-game and ambient music.&nbsp;</p> <p>30-minute blocks of VODs will be scanned and, if any copyrighted music is detected, the audio for that block of time will be muted and the volume controls disabled. However, Twitch stated that such scans will not happen during live broadcasts only for past broadcasts and highlights.</p> <p>In addition, the company has also <a title="Twitch archive VODs" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">made changes</span></a> to how long it will archive past broadcasts and highlights. The most immediate change was the removal of the “Save Forever” button. For regular streamers, VODs will now be saved for only 14 days while Turbo Subscribers and Partners will have their past broadcasts and highlights stored for 60 days.</p> <p>Providing a reason for why past VODs would no longer be stored indefinitely, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said, “We found that the vast majority of past broadcast views happen within the first two weeks after they’re created. On the days following, viewership reduces exponentially. We also discovered that 80 percent of our storage capacity is filled with past broadcasts that are never watched.”</p> <p>With these changes, will you continue to use Twitch to stream your gaming sessions?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> Audible Magic copyright music twitch Twitch Audible Magic Twitch VODs VODs Gaming News Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:34:18 +0000 Sean D Knight 28312 at Graphics Analysis: Wolfenstein: The New Order <!--paging_filter--><h3>We compare Wolfenstein: The New Order's low, medium, high, and ultra settings with pics and video</h3> <p>For this graphical analysis feature, we examine the graphical capabilities of Bethesda's Wolfenstein: The New Order. When the first-person shooter was released on PC, it had tons of graphical glitches, which included long load times and massive texture pop-in issues. Luckily, most of these problems have been sorted out with a few patches.</p> <p>Now the new Wolfenstein title is known for being a beautiful-looking game, so we wanted to take this graphical behemoth for a test run to see how it looks across its different graphics presets. Is this game going to show off your graphics card in all of its glory? Read on to find out!<iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Testing Methodology:</strong></p> <p>We wanted our tests to be easily replicated, so we ran the game in 1080p, using Wolfenstein’s preset graphics options, which include "Low," "Medium," "High”, and “Ultra”. We should mention that the point of this test is to analyze image quality and visual fidelity. This is not a frame rate performance test.</p> <p>We captured our screenshots and video with a fairly beefy gaming rig, which sports an Intel Core i7 4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 780 video card.</p> <p><strong>The settings we used for each test are shown in the screenshots below:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00001.jpg" alt="Low settings" title="Low settings" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Low Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00002.jpg" alt="Medium settings" title="Medium settings" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Medium Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00003.jpg" alt="High settings" title="High settings" width="600" height="338" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00004.jpg" alt="Ultra settings" title="Ultra settings" width="600" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Ultra Settings</strong></p> <p><strong>Video Scene Analysis:</strong></p> <p>Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across low, medium, high, and ultra settings.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Mech scene" href="/files/u154280/output_f9fq3a.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/mech_scene.png" alt="Mech scene" title="Mech scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Mech Scene:</strong></p> <p>The first scene has the main character, William Blazkowicz, inside of a mech suit. When the game is rendering in Low settings we see very little detail in our character's clothing. His sleeves gain more texture and color as we go from Low to Ultra settings. The mech suit also has some differences going from Low to Ultra settings, but they’re very minimal. For example, the gauges on the left-hand side gain more texture and lighting as we ramp up graphical fidelity. The rest of the scene looks almost the same across all four presets. Yes, there are a few extra textures sprinkled into the landscape in High and Ultra settings, which Low and Medium don’t have, but again, this a very small difference and you really have to pixel peep to notice them. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Soldier scene" href="/files/u154280/output_qzb5rg.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/soldier_scene_3.png" alt="Soldier scene" title="Soldier scene" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p><strong>Soldier scene:</strong></p> <p>In the Soldier scene above, we see there’s less texture and definition in the soldier who’s standing in the left corner of the screen. His clothing gets more texture as we go up in graphical quality. The same can be said for the soldier in the middle of the screen too. The texture quality of his clothing is better in Ultra than in Low settings, but the rest of the scene looks almost the same across the other presets. The dark colors and low lighting in this scene's background make it hard for us to discern any other meaningful differences.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Airplane scene" href="/files/u154280/output_ile9i3.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/airplane_scene.png" alt="Airplane scene" title="Airplane scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Airplane scene:</strong></p> <p>The hardest scene to tell any difference between the three presets is the Airplane scene. We couldn’t see anything inside the aircraft which looked noticeably different. The ocean in the game's Ultra preset looks the best of the four scenes, but that’s the only noticeable difference we could effectively draw here. The interior of the cabin looks very similar across all four presets.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong></p> <p>Analyzing Wolfenstein's different visual settings, we were surprised by how hard it was for us to tell the difference between any of the game’s four presets. At times, we really had to dig to bring out the nitty gritty details. In general, we found that characters look more fully realized the higher you crank up the settings. If you’re not looking at soldiers on screen, the game looks very similar across all the settings. The similar look and feel in all four presets is in part due to Wolfenstein's dark color palette. When Wolfenstein adds in more textures onto gray, black, and brown surfaces, it can be hard to notice much of a visual improvement. If the game was brighter and offered a wider color palette, it may be easier to pick up on the differences. Regardless, as it stands, it doesn't look like Wolfenstein: The New Order is going to shock and awe anyone at the highest settings, at least not compared to the game's lower presets.</p> <p>Which game would you like us to do a deep dive graphical analysis on next? Let us know in the comments below!</p> <p><span style="font-style: normal;">Follow Chris on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="" target="_blank">Google</a><span style="font-style: normal;">+&nbsp;or&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> graphics analysis graphics card maximum pc pc version settings wolfenstein the new order Gaming News Features Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:03:09 +0000 Chris Zele 28164 at Latest Update Lets Raptr Users Record and Stream Games <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/raptr_logo.jpg" alt="Raptr Logo" title="Raptr Logo" width="200" height="201" style="float: right;" />Record gameplay and your own reactions simultaneously</h3> <p>Last month AMD introduced the <a title="MPC Game DVR" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Game DVR beta</span></a> to its <a title="Raptr website" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Raptr</span></a> service. Today, a new update has been released so <strong>Raptr users can record or stream gameplay videos now</strong>. The update also adds a solution that facilitates seamless uploading and sharing of videos.&nbsp;</p> <p>The new video capture solution is called the Game Video Recorder and provides users with the ability to stream or record gameplay videos. Instead of recording just 10 minutes of footage, like the Game DVR beta, GVR will let users record 20 minutes of gameplay even after events have transpired. Users will also be able to automatically upload and share recorded gameplay with an online destination that is shared amongst the Raptr community.&nbsp;</p> <p>Both AMD and Nvidia GPU users will be able to take advantage of the service that, according to Raptr, will have virtually no affect on system performance.</p> <p>“Watching recorded and live-streamed PC gameplay footage has quietly become a massive trend involving tens of millions of viewers and billions of hours spent watching,” said Raptr co-founder and CEO Dennis Fong. “But to date, only a modest fraction of gamers actually record and stream some of their gaming exploits, because the tools haven’t been easy, accessible or resource-efficient enough. We’re excited to be improving the process and experience in all of those areas, and at the same time offering nearly universal support for all the latest GPUs regardless of manufacturer. This marks another big step forward in our ongoing effort to help make PC gaming consistently awesome.”</p> <p>Raptr is claiming that both GVR and live-streaming features are supported by over 5,000 games. A significant amount compared to the 169 titles, according to Raptr, that Nvidia’s GeForce Experience supports. In addition, users will also have the option to include their own real-time reactions in the recording sessions through the use of a webcam and microphone to create a picture-in-picture effect.</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> amd Game Video Recorder GVR Raptr Raptr Game Video Recorder Raptr GVR video game streaming Gaming News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:08:34 +0000 Sean D Knight 28256 at Aorus Launches the Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/aorus_thunder_m7_06.png" alt="Thunder M7" title="Thunder M7" width="200" height="177" style="float: right;" />Looking to satisfy your MMO macro needs</h3> <p>As the MMO genre continues to expand, so does the options for a suitable gaming mouse designed for MMOs. The newest addition to the roster of MMO gaming peripherals comes from <strong>Aorus that has announced its Aorus Thunder M7 gaming mouse</strong> that features 16 programmable buttons.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Aorus, "The <a title="Aorus Thunder M7" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Aorus Thunder M7</span></a> is specifically designed for MMO gamers, who emphasize on emitting accurate and fast attack commends at the battlefield; therefore, Aorus developed the best allocation of the MMO hot-keys with great effort and time to bring the most ergonomically mouse for the gamers."</p> <p>Of the 16 programmable buttons, 11 of them are located on the sides. Eight of those buttons are located on the left side of the mouse. For those wishing to change the device’s DPI on the go there are two buttons assigned to change it from 800 DPI to 8200 DPI.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are worried about the durability of the buttons then you should know that, according to Aorus, the Thunder M7 is equipped with Omron switches that are expected to last up to 20 million clicks. It also has the Aorus Macro Engine built-in that allows users to switch between five different gaming profiles.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Aorus Thunder M7 mouse is currently available at participating retailers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Will the Thunder M7 suit your MMO needs?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> aorus Aorus Thunder M7 gaming mouse Thunder M7 Thunder M7 gaming mouse Gaming News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:48:22 +0000 Sean D Knight 28244 at Game Developer’s Average Salary Down From 2012, According to Gamasutra Survey <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/gamasutra_logo.jpg" alt="Gamasutra Logo" title="Gamasutra Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Results cover indie and salaried game developers</h3> <p>If you have been wondering whether or not becoming a game developer is a career path worth pursuing, you might want to take a look at what the average pay is like. <strong>Gamasutra has posted the results of its annual Game Developer Salary Survey,</strong> with some interesting statistics based on the response from 4,000 developers worldwide. The survey was conducted in May 2014 and covers game developers over various disciplines that include audio and design for 2013.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Gamasutra’s findings, the average yearly pay for a salaried game developer, across all disciplines in the U.S., was around $83,060 in 2013, which is down 2 percent from 2012. Meanwhile, Canadians were up 9 percent, with an average of $71,445 USD, whereas European developers remained flat at $46,232 USD. Breaking it down to the various jobs in the U.S. saw people in business and management earn an average salary of $101,572, audio professionals earned $95,682, programmers $93,251, producers $82,286, artists and animators $74,349, and quality assurance testers were paid an average of $54,833.</p> <p>The survey also covered the indie side of things, on a worldwide basis, which revealed that non-salaried, solo indie game developers earned an average of $11,812, which is down 49 percent from 2012. On the other hand, individual members that were part of an indie team averaged $50,833, which is up 161 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are interested in reading all the results from the survey, then you can view it over at <a title="Gamasutra Survey" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Gamasutra (PDF)</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> average game developer salary game developer game developer salary indie gamer salary Gaming News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:16:23 +0000 Sean D Knight 28217 at Nvidia Supposedly Working on New PC-Streaming Device <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/nvidia_geforce_logo.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce logo" title="Nvidia GeForce logo" width="200" height="193" style="float: right;" />Another contender for the living room</h3> <p>Looks like Nvidia isn’t done trying to get into the living room. According to the <a title="BBC News" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">BBC</span></a>, <strong>Nvidia is developing a new device that will play PC games</strong> on televisions, making use of the developer’s GeForce Experience software. It will also run Android software and, BBC reports, will have a “budget-priced separate controller.”</p> <p>Purported to be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chip, the unnamed device boasts a 192-core GPU and was shown last month running a demo of the Unreal Engine 4 on the Android L mobile operating system. While it will run Android games natively, it is also rumored to have the ability to stream PC games via Nvidia’s GeForce Experience. However, if the device makes use of the software, then it would be restricted to the company’s more recent cards.&nbsp;</p> <p>Aside from the additional cost of purchasing a new GPU to take full advantage of the device, it would also be in contention with Valve’s own in-home streaming service. Not to mention that it would go up against Valve's Steam Machine which has been pushed <a title="Steam Machine delay" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">back to 2015</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>For now, Nvidia has declined to confirm the existence of the new device.&nbsp;</p> <p>Could this device be a sequel to the Nvidia Shield, which hasn’t been very successful, or will this be a brand new product?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> geforce experience Hardware nvidia Nvidia gaming device shield Gaming News Tue, 15 Jul 2014 23:59:58 +0000 Sean D Knight 28172 at Watch Dogs Graphical Analysis: Stock vs Mod <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154280/featured_image_0.png" width="250" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>We mod Watch Dogs and compare its visuals against the vanilla stock version!</h3> <p><em><strong>UPDATE:</strong> Due to some criticism for our mod choices in this article, we have done a take two on the story. You can read that feature <a title="watch dogs take 2" href="" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>While our <a title="graphics analysis" href="" target="_blank">Graphics Analysis</a> feature normally compares a game's various graphical settings, with the recent <a href="">controversy</a> surrounding the hidden "E3 2012" files that supposedly make the PC version of Watch Dogs look better without much of a performance hit, we thought we would dedicate this particular graphics analysis around comparing the "modded" version of Watch Dogs vs. it's vanilla stock incarnation.&nbsp;</p> <p>To do this, we’ve enabled The Worse Mod 0.7 and SweetFX to showcase what the game looks like with mods enabled. Below you'll find a smattering of comparison pictures and video. Which version do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><span style="text-align: center;"><strong>W</strong></span><span style="font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">atchdogs running in 1080p comparing the stock game against the modded version with SweetFX and The Worse Mod 0.7.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>Testing Methodology:</strong></p> <p>We used The Worse Mod 0.7 and SweetFX to mod Watchdogs. We then captured our video in 1080p using Nvidia’s Shadow Play software suite.</p> <p>Click <a href="">here</a> to find out how to enable SweetFX and <a href="">The Worse Mod 0.7</a>. We used a SweetFX mod made by Piterrrxd, but there are many other fan-made SweetFX mods, which are also good.&nbsp;</p> <p>We captured our screenshots and video with a modest gaming rig, sporting an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 780 video card.</p> <p><strong>The settings we used for each test are shown in the screenshots below:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-18h09m51s150.png" width="600" height="338" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p><strong>Note: We set Anti-Aliasing to FXAA, as many modders on forums say that this type of AA works best with a modded Watch Dogs game.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-18h10m10s91.png" alt="Settings Photo #2" title="Settings Photo #2" width="600" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p><strong>Video Scene Analysis:</strong></p> <p>Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running stock vs modded.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Indoor apartment scene" href=";file=output_ppyicm.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-17h46m56s161_0.png" alt="Indoor apartment scene" title="Indoor apartment scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click on the image above to get an animated GIF comparison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Indoor apartment scene</strong></p> <p>Our first scene features Aiden Pearce, the main character in Watchdogs, inside his rundown inner-city apartment. Here on the left side of the screen we have the stock version of the game. As you can see, it looks quite yellow and bright compared to the modded version on the right. The modded version, on the other hand, looks much more brown. In this scene, we also noticed the stock game has tons of light flooding the room, while the modded game features less lighting and more shadows to give the game a more realistic, brooding aesthetic.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Parking lot scene" href=";file=output_mCU9jV.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-17h48m13s182_0.png" alt="Parking lot scene" title="Parking lot scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click on the image above to get an animated GIF comparison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Parking lot scene</strong></p> <p>In this parking lot outside Aiden’s apartment, we see the mod features more pronounced textures and shadows on the asphalt. The colors again look much more realistic when you compare the stock game to the modded version. The planter box in the modded version features bricks which are more noticeable and pronounced than its stock counterpart.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Downtown street scene" href=";file=output_IVRMkX.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-17h49m24s79_0.png" alt="Downtown street scene" title="Downtown street scene" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click on the image above to get an animated GIF comparison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Downtown street scene</strong></p> <p>The stock game’s road in this scene looks a lot less gritty and realistic. We prefer the modded version of the game when roaming around the city, as the concrete and asphalt look more realistic compared to the comparitively bright and washed-out stock version of the game.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Baseball stadium scene" href=";file=output_f6xQOo.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/vlcsnap-2014-06-22-17h50m31s225_0.png" alt="Baseball stadium scene" title="Baseball stadium scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click on the image above to get an animated GIF comparison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Baseball stadium scene</strong></p> <p>This was the only scene where we thought the modded version performed poorly. The stock version is brighter and that's a good thing in this case. The modded version dims the lamp lighting a little too much. In the modded version we only see Aiden’s silhouette, and it hides the textures on his nice, brown leather coat.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Night time scene" href=";file=output_wuGiAq.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/night_scene_watchdogs.png" alt="Night time scene" title="Night time scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click on the image above to get an animated GIF comparison.</strong></p> <p><strong>Night time scene</strong></p> <p>In this scene we see Aiden Pearce outside of the baseball stadium. The light reflections of the billboard advertisement are more intense in the modded version of the game. The colors and textures look darker making it look later in the evening. We see again that the color accuracy is improved in the version of the game over its stock counterpart.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong></p> <p>After doing our graphical analysis, we have to say we prefer the modded version of Watch Dogs over stock. It's not perfect by any means, and tends to make dark areas too dark, but it makes the textures pop out more and gives the game a more realistic, gritty feel. Still, it is a matter of preference and we're not sure we'd declare one is definitively better than the other.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now perhaps the bigger question is, does the game run any worse with the tweaks? In our experience, performance with the mod ran on par with the stock version on our gaming rig. We'll tell you this much, the game runs like crap on Ultra settings, regardless of whether you've got the mod running or not.&nbsp;</p> <p>Regardless, which graphical setting do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.&nbsp;</p> graphics analysis mod pc version stock watch dogs Gaming Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:38:26 +0000 Chris Zele 28132 at Sign-Ups for Evolve PC Alpha Being Accepted Now <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/evolve_alpha_001.jpg" alt="Evolve Alpha" title="Evolve Alpha" width="200" height="132" style="float: right;" />Steam account required</h3> <p>If you have been curious about Evolve, a co-op shooter that pits four players against a player-controlled monster, then you might get your chance. Developer <strong>Turtle Rock Studios has announced that sign-ups are being accepted for the Evolve alpha test</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The alpha will be limited to players living in the continental United States and Canada with a Windows PC and working Steam account and will last from July 11-13. The developer, who was responsible for creating Left 4 Dead, also requires that participants refrain from disclosing details of the alpha.</p> <p>In order to take <a title="Evolve Alpha Sign-up" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">the survey</span></a>, users will need to provide a password (happyhunting) and referral code (JoinTheHunt) which was provided on the game’s <a title="Evolve Twitter Account" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">official Twitter account</span></a>. Once done, potential participants will need to take a brief survey about their PC hardware specs, their experience with shooters, and what game platforms they own.&nbsp;</p> <p>Turtle Rock Studios says that it expects to have the Evolve alpha participant list completed by July 5.&nbsp;</p> <p>Evolve, one of our <a title="MPC anticipated games for 2014" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">20 most anticipated games of 2014</span></a>, will be released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms on October 21.&nbsp;</p> <p>Are you looking forward to Evolve and will you sign up for the Alpha? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> evolve Evolve Alpha Evolve Alpha Test Turtle Rock Studios Gaming News Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:04:36 +0000 Sean D Knight 28116 at