Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique hack-and-slash brawler, a premium take on Clash of Clans, a game about some mystical and strange sport with insects and bats, and a licensed endless runner.
Today, the CEO of Unity Technology David Helgason announced a collaboration with Intel to add x86 support to the company's wildly popular Unity 3D game engine. The news was presented during the keynote speech at the Unite 2014 game developers conference alongside announcements for upcoming support of Samsung's Smart TVs and Google's Android TV.
Helgason delivered the information pretty quickly, but it's not the kind of thing that requires a long introduction.
You may have noticed that we cover a lot of games here. That means that there are lots of developers who contact us hoping for some coverage... and some are more deserving than others. I literally cannot count how many half-hearted endless runners we've been shown, and it's only gotten worse since the rise and fall of Flappy Bird. So when someone shows us a game that turns the entire genre on its head and lets you play against those annoying running jerks, we stood up and took notice.
Blizzard released Diablo seventeen years ago, and its effect on the dungeon crawler genre is still being felt. Take Archangel for example: ostensibly a technical demo for the cross-platform Unity game engine, this title could have used almost any kind of format to show off its graphical prowess. Instead it's a pretty brazen Diablo clone, including the supernatural themes and "kill everything that moves" gameplay.
Maybe that's a little harsh - the trailer does show off some special moves that can only be activated via touchscreen gestures, in a sort of mobile translation of the brush attacks from console favorite Okami.
Today, in a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced two new tools that might be of interest to quite a few of the game developers out there. Among the releases is a new open-source 2D physics library called LiquidFun and a Unity plugin for adding Google Play Games support. These releases coincide with the news of additional game categories coming to the Play Store in February, which we covered earlier today.
Some of the features found in Technogym's newly announced UNITY Android-based cardiovascular user interface are nothing we haven't seen before. Things like tracking a user's heartbeat, how many miles they've ran, and how many calories they've burned have been around for years. Other aspects, like its gesture-based Android-based interface and app support turn a treadmill into a tablet competitor. The UNITY interface is built on top of Android 4.0, and the apps will be distributed through Technogym's own App Store.
Things just got a little better for any game developer who uses the Unity3D Engine – the formerly $400-a-piece mobile add-on packs for Android iOS are now free for life. This is a massive bonus for game devs, as it allows them to easily brings their games to the mobile scene with very little effort.
Of course, there are limitations within these now-free add-ons that will require the Pro version of Unity ($1500) to circumvent, but this will at the very least give you a good idea of what's in store if you wish to port a game.
If you don't keep an obsessive eye on video game development, you might not be aware of Unity. It's a 3D game engine that makes it easy to develop games for multiple platforms and multiple rendering engines, including Direct3D, OpenGL, and (on Android and iOS) OpenGL ES. It's not the most powerful or flexible thing around, but a lot of developers rely on the tool. Now they've got an easy way to estimate game performance on different Android hardware, via the Basemark X benchmark from Rightware.
Last week, we took a look at the nominees for Ouya's 10-day developer competition, Create. Today, we have the winners! These game devs will receive some undisclosed amount of money (out of a pot of $45,000) and almost certainly end up on the launch version of the Ouya console. So, what are they? Well, let's break them down by category.
"Pop Your Eyes Out" Award: Pipnis
We covered this one in our roundup last week, though we're at a loss to explain how it didn't win the "Best Couch with Friends" Award.