Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Pay To Play: Notch On Minecraft And Monetisation

By Adam Smith on June 23rd, 2014.

You may have heard that changes are afoot in the world of Minecraft. You may also have heard that nothing much is changing at all. The story of monetisation, community and servers has led to plenty of discussion and rhetoric from various sides, and the issues at the heart of the situation haven’t always been clear. I spent some time last week looking into the rise of for-profit Minecraft servers, a development I hadn’t followed over the months. Armed with fresh knowledge and thoughts, I spoke to Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the game’s creator and Mojang’s majority owner.

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The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 2

By Nathan Grayson on June 19th, 2014.

I very much want Torment: Tides of Numenera to be excellent, because the world needs more Torment. Not in the literal sense, of course; the world is a miserable place. But Planescape Torment was a wonderfully different sort of RPG set in a wonderfully different sort of world, and another descent into the gnarliest bowels of fuckweird would be quite grand. Numenera’s still a ways off at this point, but inXile seems to be on the right track. Yesterday we talked combat and why quality is more important than size, and today we continue on by chatting about why Planescape Torment *wasn’t* perfect, what that means for Numenera, the recent delay, and why we won’t just be able to attack any old random NPC. All that and more below. 

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The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 1

By Nathan Grayson on June 17th, 2014.

Madly anticipated Planescape Torment spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera has been delayed. We won’t be able to probe its strange, sloughing depths until late 2015, which is a shame except that if inXile released when they were originally planning to we’d probably get a stack of concept art and a mountain of design documents instead of a game. Torment’s Kickstarter wrapped up more than a year ago, though, and it has made progress. Big progress. I spoke with project lead Kevin Saunders, creative lead Colin McComb, design lead Adam Heine, and new lead area designer George Ziets about how the game has evolved. In part one, we discuss combat, how backers have influenced the game, using Pillars of Eternity tech, why Torment will be more about quality than size, skill systems, and story changes. It’s all below.

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Interview: Northern Shadow’s Plan To Rebuild RPGs

By Nathan Grayson on June 5th, 2014.

Northern Shadow has the potential to be utterly immense. The plan? Fuse a Skyrim-like open-world RPG with a Banished-like city builder. Explore, build, interact with an AI-driven sandbox, go on quests, construct cities as you please – all of it. Oh, and it’s being developed by only two people. I’d say it sounds entirely impossible if not for the fact that the fantasy I’m-not-even-sure-what-you-call-this-er’s first trailer looked rather spiffy. I wanted to know more about the game’s inner workings, though, so I got in touch with developer Arda Güneş to find out how big the world will be, whether the game will be a true sandbox ala Mount and Blade, how city building and adventuring will fit together, how combat will work, what this summer’s Early Access release will contain, and tons more. It’s all below.

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A Game And A Chat: Transistor

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2014.

Transistor has hit these mean cyberpunk streets, and I’ve beaten it up, down, and sideways. Or just, you know, the normal way. I thought it was pretty good, but I also came away ever so slightly disappointed. The world was gorgeous, the story was nuanced in surprising ways, and the combat was better than it had any right to be, but all three came so tantalizingly close to touching the sun that my heart sank when they fell. What brought us here, though? What went wrong? What went right? How do SuperGiant’s games always integrate gameplay and music so incredibly well?

Today I’m playing Transistor and chatting with creative director Greg Kasavin and audio director/music man Darren Korb. We’re getting started at 11 AM PT/7 PM RPS time. Transistor, Bastion, beards of lordly caliber – it will probably all be discussed. Tune in below!

Update: We’re done! And it turns out my camera/mic was not working through the whole thing, so it was kind of a disaster. Welp.

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Interview: Shooting The Queen With Chris Hecker

By Craig Pearson on May 22nd, 2014.

The Queen in her rightful place, holding Pimms

Excellent and terrifying human behaviour sim SpyParty is still in development. I know this because party host Chris Hecker sent an invite to the RPS inbox, asking if we wanted to see the new art for the game. It would be an exclusive soiree just for us. I dressed for the occasion, meaning I put on clothes, and prepared my notebook with all the questions I didn’t get to ask him when he interviewed himself.

In this talk: sniping royalty, hair as a game mechanic, the influence of League of Legends and Dota, and the future of Spy Party.

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Interview: Kicking The Tyres Of GRID Autosport

By Craig Lager on May 20th, 2014.

Race Driver GRID still stands as a benchmark for racing games. Way back in 2008 it drove a path between sim and arcade, offering powerful, weighted cars in a structure that was approachable and accessible.

GRID 2 skidded off that path. It pushed too far into accessibility and bundled weak handling with a tedious structure. Now GRID Autosport is out at the end of June – barely a year after GRID 2 – and it comes with a promise of going back to the magic of 2008, but leaning even further to the “sim” side. Being an avid sim racer, I caught up with Clive Moody (Senior Executive Producer) and James Nicholson (Chief Game Designer) to talk in-depth about tyre simulation, ride heights, commanding teammates in endurance races and more.

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Firaxis On How Civ: Beyond Earth Really Isn’t Alpha Centauri

By Nathan Grayson on May 20th, 2014.

Someone’s finally making an Alpha Centauri successor! Kinda. Civilization: Beyond Earth takes Sid Meier’s famed turn-based strategy series (that Sid Meier only kinda works on these days) and flings it into the stars like a colonial frisbee. I got to play a little at a recent 2K preview event, but not enough to render much of a verdict other than, “I really want to see more than just the first 50 turns,” “The affinity system is neat,” “Roaming alien creatures that may or may not attack add great tension,” and “Discovering this universe will be really cool the first few times, but I doubt that part will hold up 5 or 10 games in.” It also kinda feels a lot like Civilization V at the moment, but again, I only got to play the early parts of a match.  

Afterward, I stuck around and had a nice chat with co-lead (yes, co-lead) designers Will Miller and David McDonough, and we talked about why Beyond Earth really isn’t Alpha Centauri II at all, why Firaxis decided against making a direct successor to Alpha Centauri, striking a balance between old-school Civ and more “dramatic” games like Civilization Revolution, games shaping history/culture, mod support, and massive man-made brain monsters that look like jello molds. 

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Interview: How Will Unreal Tournament 2014 Work? Can It?

By Nathan Grayson on May 16th, 2014.

A new Unreal Tournament is happening. Fiiiiiiinally! It feels like it’s been eons since the decent-ish Unreal Tournament III brought hoverboards to a shock rifle fight, but Unreal Tournament 2014 is coming to the rescue. This one, though, stands to be a massive departure from previous entries in the arena shooter pioneer series. Epic is keeping its team lean and developing the entire game – from day one – alongside fans. Meanwhile, the whole thing will be free, with Epic making precious pennies off cuts from a user-driven mod/map store.

Sounds pretty neat, right? But it’s also a logistical can of worms that could fit 100 of the things from Tremors. How will Epic stop its audience from fragmenting, especially if maps aren’t free? Do creators *have* to charge for maps? With source code out in the open, won’t it be especially easy for cheaters to meander their mucky fingers into this game’s DNA? Will the basic game even have much meat on its bones? I asked Unreal Tournament 2014 project lead Steve Polge all of that and more. 

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Why PC Will Make Below A Better Game

By Nathan Grayson on May 12th, 2014.

Below, the gorgeous, mystery-dripping roguelike explorer from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery collaborator Capy, is looking tremendous. It’s got a uniquely dreamy vibe about it and atmosphere that hits like an 18-wheeler driven by a throng of stampeding rhinos. It was set to be an Xbox exclusive, but Capy managed to wriggle loose from Microsoft’s iron grasp and set about working on its first ever day-and-date PC launch. That lack of experience might make you wary of a slipshod port, but the developer is dedicated to getting things right on PC. Shortly after citing Ultima VII as a (rather surprising) influence, Capy creative director Kris Piotrowski told me why excluding full-blown mod support from a game – indie, triple-A, or otherwise – simply doesn’t make sense in this day and age. On top of that, he added, Below is now being designed with a PC crowd in mind, and that stands to change the game entirely.

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First Look – EVE: Project Legion

By Rich Stanton on May 3rd, 2014.

Rich Stanton is in Iceland attending EVE Fanfest, CCP’s celebration of internet spaceships and those who love them. He was there when the company revealed Project Legion, and he tracked down CCP staff to get details of the new sandbox shooter set in the EVE universe.

Finally. Among CCP’s odd decisions over the years, surely one of the strangest was in making Dust-514 a Playstation 3 exclusive – and compounding this by releasing it at the end of the console’s lifecycle. One could speculate that this was all down to a giant cheque from Mr Sony, but at Eve Fanfest’s Dust-514 keynote the inevitable was announced. EVE’s Project Legion, a free-to-play PC shooter, aims to make Dust-514 look like a dry run.

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Former Civilization IV Lead On Mars Game, Revitalizing RTS

By Nathan Grayson on May 2nd, 2014.

Mohawk Games is an excellent name for a company. And so it is that former Civilization IV lead designer and Spore man Soren Johnson approaches me sporting the company haircut. It’s a recent trim job for the old headshrub, he tells me, but he wears it well. However, the brain beneath the mohawk – the mind behind some of strategy gaming’s greatest greats – is the real main attraction here. Johnson’s goal is to design “core strategy games” in conjunction with Civ V art director Dorian Newcomb and in partnership with Galactic Civilizations (no relation) developer Stardock.

First on the docket? A still unnamed Mars economy RTS with no units and 13 different resource types. Is it madness? Probably, but it’s the good kind, the kind that drives a man to shave off most of his hair before a business conference, the kind that sounds wicked fun when people exchange fireside tales of their favorite matches.

Go below for a discussion with both men about how the game works, boardgame influences, how videogames might be able to replicate boardgaming’s face-to-face appeal, designing strategy that’s extremely complex but also accessible, release plans, and heaps more.

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Hellraid Re-Emerges With New Engine, Real Swordfighting

By Nathan Grayson on April 30th, 2014.

Once not so long ago, I wrote a ’90s Saturday morning cartoon theme song for Techland’s Hellraid. Name aside, however, the first-person Diablo-esque RPG never struck me as particularly inspired, and apparently Techland agreed. The Dead Island developer has spent the past year rebuilding many elements of its demon-bopping opus, with melee combat and magic apparently gaining double the complexity. A transition into the “next-gen” Chrome Engine 6, meanwhile, is imminent, and that’ll bring better graphics, adaptive AI, and a slew of other upgrades. It’s all coming to Steam Early Access this fall, but for now I met up with producer Marcin Kruczkiewicz to discuss changes, delays, developing for PC first and foremost, the possibility of mod support, and why training with real swords is something every game developer should do.

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