Posts Tagged ‘interview’

SOMA’s Grip On YouTube Screamers, The Future Of Horror

By Nathan Grayson on April 14th, 2014.

I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent spiritual/ghooooostual successor SOMA, and it didn’t really do it for me. That said, Frictional creative director Thomas Grip’s plans for the wetter-is-deader stroll into the maw of madness are quite interesting, though whether he can pull it all off remains to be seen. Today we continue on from our previous discussion, pushing doggedly forward into Grip’s plan for possibly the longest build-up (five hours!) in horror gaming history, YouTube culture’s effect on horror, procedurally generated scares and why they both aid and mortally wound true terror, modern horror’s over-reliance on samey settings and tropes, and where Grip sees the genre heading in the future.

Agree or disagree, the man has some extremely illuminating perspectives, and you can’t fault him for wanting to break away from the played-out influence of his own previous game. It’s all below.

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Introducing Last Life, Aka ‘Kentucky Route Zero In Space’

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014.

You might remember that we liked sleepy-as-the-night, sharp-as-a-knife adventure Kentucky Route Zero quite a lot. We even gave it game of the year, doncha know. So when Last Life creator Sam Farmer told me his game was best described as “Kentucky Route Zero in space,” I nearly warbled with glee. The noir-themed tale of a detective trying to solve the mystery of his own murder has Double Fine‘s blessing and backing, and it’s taking to Kickstarter for one more boost. I sat down with Farmer for what turned out to be his first interview ever, and we discussed Last Life’s universe and story, Sherlock-style inspection mechanics, Double Fine’s involvement, what it means to be “noir,” and transhumanism. It’s all below.

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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014.

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Taking AIM: Jagged Alliance – Flashback Interview Pt Two

By Adam Smith on April 3rd, 2014.

The first part of my conversation with Full Control CEO Thomas Hentschel Lund covered the main mechanical and interface changes that have been implemented in Jagged Alliance: Flashback. Taking Jagged Alliance 2 as its base, the game’s alpha has now been released to backers, giving a first insight into the combat mechanics. In this second part of our extensive interview, I spoke to Lund about the pressure of working with a license and living up to expectations, as well as the vital importance of modding in the future and past of Jagged Alliance.

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Taking AIM: Jagged Alliance – Flashback Interview

By Adam Smith on April 2nd, 2014.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback’s first alpha slice releases to backers tomorrow. It’s the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone outside of Full Control will have played the game and CEO Thomas Hentschel Lund is excited and, it’s fair to say, a little anxious. Since I last spoke to Lund, the company has released its Space Hulk adaptation and the Jagged Alliance Kickstarter crept over the finish line with moments to spare.

In a long and exhaustive conversation, we discussed the huge changes to the game’s story and setting since the Kickstarter launched, and the mechanical and interface changes that differentiate Full Control’s game from Jagged Alliance 2. I also found time to ask if Full Control had tracked down the original merc voice actors and to begin a discussion of the extensive modding capabilities that will be in the game from day one of Early Access.

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Interview: Dave Gilbert On Adventures, Blackwell & Pixels

By John Walker on March 31st, 2014.

Dave Gilbert is, I like to argue, the unsung hero of the resurgence of the adventure game. When things were quiet, he was industriously creating interesting, professional projects in the then-low-key world of Adventure Game Studio. With the likes of Gemini Rue and Resonance he and Wadjet Eye Games have become more prominent, and soon his long-running Blackwell series comes to an end with Epiphany. At GDC this year I caught up with the developer for an impromptu chat about growing up, pixel art, and saying goodbye to loved characters.

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What A Relief: Talking To UKIE About UK Tax Breaks

By Adam Smith on March 29th, 2014.

On Thursday, a tax relief scheme for British game development finally passed into law. The scheme had been passed back and forth between various bodies, and finally landed on the desk of the European Commission in April of 2013. Behind the scenes, cog were still turning and the new tax rules will come into effect from April 1st. That’s good news for the British games industry, right? We’ve covered the cultural question before, as well as looking at the benefits (or lack of) for smaller developers. Now that almost all of the paperwork is in place, I contacted UKIE CEO Jo Twist to find out more about the letter of the law.

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Davey Wreden & William Pugh: Life After The Stanley Parable

By John Walker on March 28th, 2014.

Struggling with success is always a hard sell for empathy. It’s all too easy to dismiss such expressions with an easy, “Oh, you poor rich thing.” But it is, of course, far more complicated than that.

Davey Wreden, co-creator of The Stanley Parable, has already written in detail about how phenomenon of his game has personally affected him, in an eloquent blog post last month. Since the release of The Stanley Parable, and its remarkable success, the lives of both of its creators have been turned upside down. At 25 and 20 years old, Davey Wreden and William Pugh, haven’t had an easy time. I spoke with them about their last six months, how the reaction to the game has affected them and their partnership, and how they’re dealing with it all. And Pugh’s desire to create a rivalry with Steve Gaynor.

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BioWare’s Heir On Sexism, Racism, Homophobia In Games

By Nathan Grayson on March 27th, 2014.

GDC was jam-packed with brilliant talks, and I missed far too many of them because infinity appointments beckoned. One of the absolute best I *did* see, however, was Mass Effect 4 designer Manveer Heir making an impassioned plea to developers for more diversity in games. He gave a talk equal parts well-reasoned and resolute, arguing not that all games should change their icky ways, but that our industry’s predominate pattern needs to shift away from generic leads and hurtful stereotypes. ”I sincerely hope that you are ready for that challenge, because I sure as hell am!” he bellowed before being mobbed by fellow designers. I caught up with Heir afterward to discuss some of his talk’s finer points and how BioWare’s become more sensitive to these issues as time has progressed.

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Interview: Oculus’ Luckey Promises Big Pre-Facebook

By Nathan Grayson on March 26th, 2014.

Now here’s a weird thing: when the news broke that Facebook had suddenly made Oculus VR’s reality much, much greener, you want to know what I was doing? Transcribing a last-day-of-GDC interview with… Oculus Rift’s resident wonderchild, Palmer Luckey. In retrospect, he almost certainly knew his company would be under Facebook’s globe-spanning blue umbrella come Tuesday, but that obviously never came up. Instead, Luckey spoke enthusiastically about Oculus’ future in gaming, his company’s research into interfaces that can simulate arms and legs in VR, all the while batting away assertions that Sony’s PlayStation VR mega-mask Morpheus is any sort of threat. So here you have it: one of the final Oculus interviews ever pre-Facebook. Let’s see how it all holds up. 

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Double Fine’s Hack ‘N’ Slash Is Not What It Seems

By Nathan Grayson on March 25th, 2014.

Double Fine can’t stop announcing games. They refuse. Tim Schafer and co have so many dollops of digital glee in the oven, in fact, that you might have entirely forgotten about Hack ‘N’ Slash. It is not, as you might expect, a game about hacking and slashing or even gently bopping on the head in a way that implies mild disapproval. Rather, the entire world – the entire game – is hackable. It might look like The Legend of Zelda (that’s intentional), but it plays like… well, pretty much nothing I’ve ever seen. You wield a giant USB stick that lets you dig around in the code of enemies and objects in the game world. And it’s *real* code. You can and probably will crash the entire game, though save state trickery keeps that from ruining the whole experience. Honestly, it’s a bit tough to wrap your mind around at times. Go below for an explanation and demo from lead designer Brandon Dillon.

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IGF Factor 2014: Don’t Starve

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2014.

The 2014 IGF Awards have finished and the winners have been announced, but we still have insights to share. Before reading on, you should relive John’s liveblogging of the IGF Awards ceremony so that you can see if Klei’s Jamie Cheng left the event happy. Don’t Starve received a nomination for the Grand Prize but Cheng was backing a different game – a game that he describes as ‘a masterpiece.

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IGF Factor 2014: Michael Brough’s 868-HACK and Corrypt

By Alec Meer on March 19th, 2014.

Next in our series of firesideless chats with the developers of PC games nominated for an award at this year’s Independent Games Festival, it’s Michael ‘Smestorp’ Brough talking about his signature, haunting ‘glitch’ style, why he will continue to resist convention, his mixed feelings about the nomination and which of his two nominated games, Corrypt and 868-HACK, he’s most interested in.
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