Of all the careers available to a man, being a lumberjack must be the most masculine of them all - rivalled only with being a professional bear-puncher or U-boat captain. Unfortunately, many of us will never have the opportunity to spend our hours hanging out in a forest with a group of likeminded gentlemen, oiling our choppers, and handling thick shafts of wood (do you see?), while our nostrils are assaulted with the scent of fungal moss spores.
However, if this has long been your dream, you will now have the opportunity to breathe life into the flaccid flesh of your manly fantasy, thanks to Bandai Namco. The publisher has announced a pair of PC lumberjack simulators - Professional Lumberjack 2015 and (optimistic) Professional Lumberjack 2016, as part of a deal with developer United Independent.
A third game will also be released as part of the hook-up: Professional Farmer 2016 ("Press X to shout 'Get orf moi land'").
It doesn't get much more exciting than this trailer:
INSINCERE DAVE SAYS: "Wow!!? I'd never even considered that a lumberjack simulator might be a thing that gets made!!!!!?! But I'm glad it is!!!!?! I can't wait for Bandai Namco to bring out Professional Strawberry-Picker 2015, 2016 and 2017, and Professional Milliner 2018. Better still, you guys - how about UN-Professional Lumberjack 2019?!!!!?! I'd actually pay money to play that one!!!!??!!!"
Do you remember when Unreal was a series of games? Whatever happened to those? We really liked the first one, though we recall - with some lamentable sadness - that it was too demanding of the PC we had back then, and killed it dead like an overly ambitious contortionist who tried to settle a bet by squeezing himself into a Pez dispenser.
Nowadays, developer Epic seems content to pimp its Unreal Engine to others - and it unveiled the most recent iteration of the technology back in 2013, accompanied by a video demo that proved it's going to be real good at creating fizzy sci-fi worlds and that.
It has taken a while, but now one man - Dishonored level designer Benoît Derriere (Dereau) - has taken it upon himself to demonstrate what else Unreal Engine 4 can do. And apparently, what else it can do is recreate a convincing, ponced-up, Parisian apartment of the sort a well-to-do serial killer might live in. If you would like to see around a flat that's so realistic as to be pointless, click on the video below:
INSINCERE DAVE SAYS: "Cooolio Maximus!!!!?! I know if I had loads of time on my hands to make a demo with the Unreal Engine 4 I'd literally spend all of that time working on creating something really soulless and cold like this!?! What I want to know is why there isn't a butler walking around?!?! Forget the uncanny valley - I want to see the UNCANNY VALET!!!?!! LOL!!!!????"
Oculus VR - the company behind the seemingly perpetually-in-development Oculus Rift virtual reality headset thing - has unveiled its first in-house virtual reality movie.
Unveiled at the the Sundance Film Festival, the five minute animated short - Lost - places viewers directly in the action, allowing them to move, crouch, and explore the environment as it spreads out around them. Lost has been directed by Pixar's needlessly complicatedly-named Saschka Unseld, who previously helmed the mini-movie The Blue Umbrella.
However, don't expect to see VR movies at your local cinema anytime soon. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe (they are surely making up these names) told Techcrunch that its in-house VR movie projects will, for the time being, be made available only to "Educate, inspire and foster community" among filmmakers with an interest in creating VR projects.
Here's a video demonstrating the unbridled potential of virtual reality:
1) An episode of Loose Women.
2) Mr Tumble in the bath.
Wooo-hooo!!!!? The future's so bright I gotta wear a cumbersome headset that completely blocks out any peripheral awareness of my surroundings!!!?"