Free Releases, FFXIII-3, and ANGELICA
The Walking Dead: Episode 1
We all love free stuff, don't we? Well, The Walking Dead: Episode 1 is now free on the XBLA. Receiving mass acclaim, this episodic game scored an underdog victory at the Video Game Awards and became 2012's Game of the Year. Beating titles such as Assassin's Creed 3, Black Ops 2, and the rest of 2012's triple-A titles is quite an accomplishment. Unfortunately for PS3 owners (me included), the episode has not yet arrived on the freebie list. Hopefully that will change after another month or so.
PS3 owners do get a free release of their own. One of the biggest games of last year on iOS was a game called Jetpack Joyride. It's known for being incredibly addictive, and on the 31st, it will be free on the PSN store.
Final Fantasy XIII
This console generation, Square Enix has been focusing on the Final Fantasy XIII series. Yes, you read that right. Series. So far, there has been:
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy XIII-2
- Final Fantasy Type-0 (originally Agito XIII)
- Final Fantasy Versus XIII (announced, not yet released)
A student at the Imperial College in London has created a computer game. It involves playing as Santa and guiding yourself through a platforming maze to get all the presents. Seems simple enough, right? Here's the catch: the levels are randomly generated.
To accomplish this, the student created a program dubbed ANGELICA. The program goes through numerous calculating problems to create levels that are solvable at just the right difficulty. You might be thinking, "Big deal, it's just a random generator." Wrong. The program can actually learn from its code and create new game mechanics. In other words, its essentially a game designer. While this is a very cool invention, there will probably always be a place for a human's touch of creativity when it comes to designing, so game designers' jobs are probably safe. For now...
If you're interested in trying it out yourself, it's available here.