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Nour: Play With Your Food Q&A: talking experimental food art with the game’s creator TJ Hughes

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What types of explosive expression can one expect from a creator who is relentlessly driven to break away from the mediocre and mundane? We decided to ask video game designer and digital artist TJ Hughes, who creates under the alias Terrifying Jellyfish, about working on the aesthetically ascendant adventure Nour: Play with Your Food.

In this profile, we speak with TJ Hughes about Nour, how he works with his team, his origin story, and advice he’d give to developers hoping to leave their mark in gaming. Hughes’ first project Feesh, which featured microscopic arcade gameplay and vibrant visuals, showcased TJ’s drive to break the mold in a work space equally microscopic, as it was conceived and completed within a 48-hour Ludum Dare game jam. With no tight time constraints he is magnifying color and playfulness with his sophomore project, Nour: Play with Your Food.

PlayStation Blog: What inspired Nour: Play with Your Food?

Nour is described as “an experimental food art game designed to make you hungry,” giving players a space to play with their food like a kid but without any mess to clean up. A further testament to the difference in working on Nour and Feesh, Nour’s development process was slow and methodical, with no one “eureka moment.”

“I was learning how to make shaders, and was brainstorming the best subject to try and emulate,” Hughes explains. “I was just starting to travel and eat more diverse foods, so I thought it was the perfect subject. I started to upload my art tests onto Twitter, where folks would tell me how the images made them hungry. Being intrigued by that response, I started to try more things like using the tech art concept of sub-surface scattering to simulate the material of noodles and using depth blending to mimic the murkiness of milk tea. I started to develop a library of tech art tricks to make something look appetizing.”

Hughes chose a physics-based experience as it “provides a sandbox to be as chaotic and ridiculous” as a player wants without the wasted food or mess.”

 

“When presented with a physics-based game, we often have one of two goals: Arrange things as neatly as possible, or make as big of a mess as we can. I think the best physics games should allow you to do both!”

The Nour team

As a leader, how do you motivate and encourage your team?

“It helps to have a team that shares so many of the same interests and fascinations,” Hughes says. “It makes relating to each other and getting on the same page about designs so easy. A lot of us are friends before coworkers as well, we bring a lot of that trust into the project. Anyone on the team can suggest anything, which creates an environment where even the most obtuse ideas are considered. We all love food as well, I noticed that before meetings, we’ll often end up telling each other what we’re eating/planning to cook, if the meeting isn’t in-person

How Dead Space taps into PS5 haptics and adaptive triggers for immersive horror

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With the PlayStation 5’s DualSense wireless controller, we at Motive are able to immerse players deeper into Isaac’s thrilling journey aboard the USG Ishimura. Across various events such as weapon shooting, asteroids impacting the ship, and Necromorphs attacking, haptic feedback lets players feel the impact as Isaac would.

Our goal with weapons was to give each a unique feel and sensation to make the experience of fighting Necromorphs even more engaging. Read on for some immersive examples of DualSense controller gameplay:

Plasma Cutter

You steady your plasma cutter and aim at the legs of a lunging Slasher. You place your finger on the DualSense controller trigger and push it past the required threshold to fire the weapon, feeling the weapon’s vibration shortly after. The DualSense controller trigger then pushes back up, re-initializing for your next shot.

The same kind of trigger effect is found on the flamethrower, but with a slight difference as you can feel a low vibration on the trigger as the ejected gas turns into flame.

Pulse Rifle

A Swollen begins lumbering towards you as you pull out your pulse rifle. To survive, you give it all you got, emptying your remaining bullets to defeat the approaching threat. While you hold down the DualSense trigger, you feel it buck with each round fired from the rifle.

Movement and ability haptics

When entering certain zero-gravity areas, the player can activate Isaac’s magnetic boots. Through haptic vibrations on the controller, the player will feel the impact of each step as the mag boots engage with the floor.

When players use Isaac’s Kinesis and Stasis modules, they’ll get similar real-time feedback through the controller through rich haptic vibrations.

Forspoken Purple Magic guide: How to get the most out of your spells

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Forspoken is finally available on PS5, and it’s time to show off your wicked cool magic-slinging combat skills to the world.  You’ll learn a lot of different magic types during Frey’s journey, but Purple Magic will be with you from the beginning and remains a great tool throughout the game. To help you get a leg up on your journey, let’s take a closer look at Frey’s combat-focused Purple Magic and what it can do.

Frey will start with the following attack magics: Burst Shot, Shield Shot, and Scatter Shot (each at level 1), along with the support magic Bind. To learn more spells, you’ll need to spend the mana points you accumulate from leveling up and by finding mana pools scattered across the massive landscapes of Athea. The order you learn spells is up to you, but if you think you made a mistake, don’t worry–you can always unlearn a spell to get a mana refund to use elsewhere. 

Now, let’s check out some Purple Magic spells and detail how to best use them:

Attack Magic

Burst Shot: A powerful and reliable way to attack, burst shot creates a huge rock explosion after you release its charge. The higher the spell’s rank and the longer the charge, the bigger the ka-boom that ensues. When enemy defenses are tough, give a charged Burst Shot a try–it can penetrate the defenses of enemies who flaunt shields at you with ease.

Shield Shot: Some enemies don’t respect Frey’s personal space. That’s where the shield shot comes in. If you’re charging Shield Shot and an enemy tries to attack you from the front, they’re in for a nasty surprise when you counter by blowing up the shield in their face. The shield grows bigger at higher levels and can also function to protect you from certain projectile attacks. Be careful, though, because you’re still vulnerable to side and back attacks and shield-breaking strikes.

Scatter Shot: Do you love powerful attacks but hate that whole “can’t attack while you’re charging” thing? Then you’ll appreciate the mechanics of Scatter Shot. Holding down the button will send out a rapid-fire spray of small magic blasts while you charge up to unleash a big finishing blow. The higher the spell level, the bigger the blast. Scatter Shot is excellent for long-range combat and especially effective on many flying enemies.