Opera GX blasts off with Operius, the new arcade space shooter to play in the browser when your WiFi is gone
No WiFi? No problem! Created in GameMaker Studio 2, Operius has won the Game Jam to become the Opera GX Browser’s first offline mode game and is playable starting now
We’ve all experienced the unexplainable horror of having to deal with some flakey internet connections. In those moments where the WiFi is gone, Operius will help take your mind off your frustration with its fast-paced arcade gameplay. Created in the game creation suite GameMaker Studio 2, Operius is playable in the Opera GX browser today. The game will appear whenever your network crashes. Those with a stable connection who really want to try Operius, can simply type opera://operius in Opera GX’s address bar.
Designed by Mors, Operius is set in a world where all of the world’s computers simultaneously lose their connection to the internet, with a strange UFO that is hovering in the sky appearing to be the cause of the outage. The only way to restore the planet’s internet is to navigate through the inner workings of the UFO and take it down from the inside, a task that involves shooting hordes of alien invaders and dodging obstacles to advance to the next level.
In July, Opera GX launched its “No Internet” Game Jam to find the game that would keep its audience of more than 10 million gamers entertained whenever they lose their connection. With more than 900 entries, all created in GameMaker Studio 2, the competition was ferocious. But one game, Operius, elevated itself above the rest and emerged triumphant after topping the public polls that saw eight hand-picked games garner over 100,000 votes from the Opera GX and GameMaker communities.
Operius features razor-sharp, retro-inspired vector graphics which pay homage to the great space-based arcade shooters of the eighties with a pulsating high-adrenaline soundtrack written by Catonator. Being offline doesn’t mean you can’t play together: Operius features an offline two player mode: all you need to do is share your keyboard with another person and enter the two player mode.
‘We believe gamers deserve a better game than jumping dinosaurs or surfers. That’s why we started the Opera GX game jam and found Operius. Operius is a highly addictive ultimate offline game to rule them all,” said Maciej Kocemba, Head of Opera GX.
“With Operius, I wanted to make a fun arcade-inspired shooter to take the players’ minds off being offline and perhaps even make them forget they were supposed to get back online in the first place,” said Mors.
‘In creating the shortlist, we were looking for a game that’s fun to play, looks and sounds fun and, most importantly, that you want to play over and over again,’ added Kocemba.
Alongside becoming the new offline game in Opera GX and saving many a gamer from what is otherwise an incredibly frustrating experience, Operius developer Mors, also receives a $10k cash prize. Two runners up Aliens Stole My WiFi and Nettie & Settie Save the Internet also each receive cash prizes of $7k and $3k respectively.
Luckily, users won’t have to rip out their router to play Operius, as it is available to play when you don’t have connection issues in GXC. GXC is Opera’s upcoming self-publishing platform and will allow indie game makers to publish their GameMaker Studio creations directly to the platform and for free – for other users to enjoy and give instant feedback. Operius, as well as Aliens Stole My WiFi and Nettie & Settie Save the Internet will be available in GXC.
Virtus.pro is disbanding PUBG MOBILE roster
Virtus.pro says goodbye to the roster that represented the club in PUBG MOBILE. Players leave the club by mutual agreement and become free agents. We express our gratitude to Aleksey “Purp1e” Asanov, Monlam “OFHAZE” Tsydypov, Nelik “Folly” Prodan, Maxim “SINGLE” Starovetsky and coach Cristian-Roman “Kompot_trash” Corbu for their professionalism and dedication, and also wish them best of luck in their future careers.
In the two years since the signing of the first PUBG MOBILE roster, our club has gained significant experience in competitive mobile gaming, which should help us further develop this promising area. The club retains a slot in Europe, but we are also considering options with different squads in other regions. Stay tuned for more announcements!
REEVO and NetEnt Join Forces to Enhance Gaming Experience for Partners
REEVO, a leading provider of cutting-edge gaming solutions, is excited to announce a strategic partnership with NetEnt, a renowned provider of the Evolution Group, of premium online casino games content. This collaboration leverages the expertise and innovation of both companies to deliver an unparalleled gaming experience for REEVO’s operator partners.
Under this partnership, REEVO operator partners will gain access to NetEnt’s extensive portfolio of world-class games content. NetEnt’s exceptional range of titles, including popular slots, will be seamlessly integrated into REEVO’s platform. This integration will empower REEVO’s operator partners to captivate and engage players with a diverse and immersive gaming experience.
REEVO has on boarded 70+ top partners, offering 8000+ games, including slots, table games, and live gaming experiences. This extensive collection is sourced from esteemed third-party suppliers, with support for free rounds. Continuing their commitment to improvement, REEVO plans to add 60+ new game providers in 2023.
Petra Maria Poola, Head of Sales at REEVO, expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with NetEnt, an industry leader renowned for their exceptional gaming content. This partnership aligns perfectly with our vision to provide our operator partners with the highest quality and most diverse gaming solutions. By integrating NetEnt’s outstanding portfolio into our platform, we are confident that we will enhance player engagement, boost operator revenues, and solidify our position as a leading gaming platform provider.”
With a shared commitment to innovation and quality, REEVO and NetEnt are poised to unlock new opportunities in the ever-evolving iGaming landscape. By leveraging NetEnt’s cutting-edge technology and REEVO’s robust platform, the partnership aims to drive growth and success for operator partners worldwide.
Replica Studios introduces AI-Powered Smart NPCs for Unreal Engine
Replica Studios, developer of a leading artificial intelligence (AI) voice platform for video games, has announced Replica Studios AI Powered Smart NPCs (non-playable characters), a plugin coming to Unreal Engine later this year. Smart NPCs are powered by OpenAI or the user’s own AI language model, and Replica’s library of over 120+ ethically licensed AI voices, allowing game developers to develop games at scale and create new dynamic gaming experiences.
To showcase the revolutionary technology, Replica has released a Smart NPC demo experience utilising a modified version of Unreal Engine’s Matrix Awakens sample project to showcase some of the features that will be available with the plugin. Watch the trailer here.
“At Replica, we believe AI Voice technology has two-fold potential for furthering narrative-heavy games: eliminating critical bottlenecks in the development process, enabling studios to tell ever bigger and immersive stories, and allowing for the creation of never seen before living-world gaming experiences that shape around the player in real-time,” said Shreyas Nivas, CEO of Replica Studios. “Smart NPCs will allow smaller studios who don’t have the resources to script and vocalise on scale to dream big and scale their games 10x or 100x into the epic adventure they’ve always wanted to make.”
In Replica’s Smart NPC Experience, AI-powered NPCs will dynamically respond to the player’s in-game voice in real time. Characters will change their dialogue, emotional tone and body gestures in reaction to how the player speaks to them. Replica Studios’ NPCs now have a broader range of emotions thanks to Replica’s recent Style Morphing update.
Game designers can also alter the information provided to the AI characters to instruct them to behave differently or have certain personalities, or incorporate their own AI language models to suit their project.
“Just as live service games and battle royale have emerged as popular gaming experiences in the last decade, we see AI creating a new category of virtual experiences known for depth of narrative and dynamic storytelling with hundreds of characters, ever expanding quests and stories,” said Nivas. “When teams begin adopting AI to create these new experiences, we will see the role of writers and narrative designers evolve. Rather than writing complete narrative arcs, they’ll create and fine-tune the conditions that power these AI Smart NPCs – game lore, backstories and motivations – to add a human element that will lead to an engaging live player experience.”
When Replica’s Smart NPC plugin launches for Unreal Engine later this year, game developers will be able to integrate Smart NPCs into their own projects to begin scaling up characters in their games. The plugin integrates AI language model smarts along with Replica’s text-to-speech models and animates the characters in real-time by outputting sound phonemes and timelines to match an audio stream, while using a customised blend space for facial animations to power accurate lip sync, and custom animation blueprints to send body gesture messages for NPCs during their listening, thinking and speaking phases. The result is a natural looking and behaving NPC that can surprise and delight players with thoughtful, funny, and provocative responses, depending on their personal contexts as well as the voice input directly captured from players’ microphones.
The demo will initially run as a cloud based solution but is working towards a locally based solution to give a low latency, multi-user concurrent live experience.
“Within the next technology hop we will see AI powered Smart NPC live games and virtual experiences with hundreds of live concurrent players and NPCs all together, with no more latency than a zoom video call that has hundreds of participants,” concluded Nivas.
Access to Replica Studios’ Smart NPC playable demo is available on the official website. To sign up for the Smart NPC beta, please visit the registration page. For more information about Smart NPCs, please read the official blog post.
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