Posts Tagged ‘interview’

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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Brawl Talk: Treachery In Beatdown City Interview

By Adam Smith on April 30th, 2014.

Shawn Alexander Allen is a fascinating developer creating a game that’s a complex mash-up of turn-based tactics and oldschool brawler. Drawing inspiration from influences ranging from Bad Dudes to FTL and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Treachery In Beatdown City is currently seeking a final push on Kickstarter. I contacted Shawn to discuss the game and the influence of a life in ever-changing NYC, as well as his time working at Rockstar, the finer points of GTA and the representation and cultural impact of previously marginalised groups on the development scene.

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Dark Souls II Vs PC: On Cheaters, Lack Of Mod Support

By Nathan Grayson on April 24th, 2014.

I’ve fiddled around a bit with the PC port of Dark Souls II, and I must say, I’m decently pleased. It’s far from a bastion of portly perfection, but it’s a stomping step up from the first Dark Souls‘ wibbly wobbly mess. Ever the malcontent, however, I decided to dig into what’s not there – namely, things like full-blown mod support (the first Dark Souls was basically saved by mods on PC) and a concrete plan for dealing with cheaters. I asked global producer Tak Miyazoe about both those omissions and more.

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The New Curiosity Shop: Itch.io Interview

By Adam Smith on April 23rd, 2014.

I visit some strange places during my daily trawls across the vastness of the internet. The search for obscure and eclectic games demands a willingness to look beyond the convenience store of Steam and the archive of Good Old Games, and in recent months I’ve found myself visiting itch.io on a regular basis. I didn’t intend to visit on such a regular basis but interesting games increasingly linked to the site as a download portal. In a reversal of the common high street trend, itch.io is a rapidly expanding independent store, with plenty of freebies alongside the paid goods.

Designed as an open platform, it aims to give developers control over the sale or distribution of their games. I contacted creator Leaf Corcoran to learn more.

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Interview: Gnah! A Windosill-Inspired Game About Heads

By Graham Smith on April 22nd, 2014.

I was in love with Gnah! the second I saw it. Each of this puzzle game’s levels is a hollow head drawn and modelled in a crisp, graphic style. When you sit down to play it, your objective isn’t explicitly stated, and so you just start to spin it around and poke at it. Twirl this cog to make its eyes open, angle this search light to make screens light up inside, twist this nodule to let the water in. By experimenting with each level-headed toy, you discover its logic and unlock progress to the next. There was some non-euclidean trickery in the build I played, but otherwise it’s a gentle experience, more interested in the delight and discovery of playing with heads than in making you scratch your own.

To find out more about the game I spoke to Samuel Boucher, Saleem Dabbous and Nick Rudzicz from developers KO-OP MODE about how each level begins as a 2D concept, the tragedy of each Gnah head, and the inspiration they’ve drawn from Windosill and Polly Pockets.

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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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