Posts Tagged ‘Rare’

High Stakes for the Medium: Rare

By Kieron Gillen on May 13th, 2008.

I like the Romancing

Powering up the Electric Internet in my new place in the Smoke – yes, I’m now RPS’ official Man In London – I see that Wired has published the results of my recent trip off to see Rare. While neither the new Banjo Kazooie or Viva Pinata have been confirmed for PC, I do interview Justin Cook, who’s lead designer on the latter and had worked on the former. And since that’s on the PC, and we mainly talk about the original and the importance of games-for-kids and games-as-education, it fits under RPS’ mandate. Go read. He’s a lovely guy.

If you’re wondering about the title, it’s what I tried to slip past the Wired editors as the title of my main article. Sadly – but unsurprisingly – cut, but I had to use it somewhere. I’ve been annoying everyone on my IM list by saying it repeatedly at them.

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Evolution Of Viva Piñata

By Jim Rossignol on December 17th, 2007.

With delightful gardening/breeding game Viva Piñata having recently turned up on PC, I thought it appropriate to link to this rather interesting design article over at Gamasutra. In it developers Rare discuss the unique visual design of the game from initial conceptual art to commercial product. They discuss things such as the problems of stuff a game with quite so much cuteness:

In the original plan, non-resident Piñatas would retain their colors and markings while being indistinguishable by shape, only morphing into full form in the garden. All Piñata subsections, e.g. birds, quadrupeds, small things, slimy things etc. would have their own non-resident shape. On this slide you can see it next to their final form. The Mallowolf and Macaraccoon were almost just jellybeans on stilts; the Parrybo and Crowla retain some distinctive bird features. The cut duo of rattlesnake and cane toad both look like baby salamanders, while the Whilrm and Taffly appear to have grown ears. Pleasingly, the Whirlm has gained an eye. Although he still looks sinister.

One of the main reasons this feature never made it to the final game was because it would require yet another model for every Piñata. Given the overheads we had already, trying to free up the space would have been very stressful.

Aww.

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The Naked (War) Developer

By Kieron Gillen on December 4th, 2007.

Ste Pickford, one half of indie-devs the Pickford Brothers, dropped me a line recently. Their most recent was…
We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time. We can always fly-fuck.
Which is another major piece of evidence in the “Indie games=Best names” argument. In passing, Naked War was one of my favourite underground games of last year and a really cute tactical PBEM game: The Gollops’ Laser Squad Nemesis possessed by the spirit of Sensible Software. I gave it 80% for PCG, and Dave Taurus concurred over at Eurogamer. Despite me being better than him at it.

But that’s not what this is about – Ste has entered the blogosphere. Since the Pickfords have been doing this for longer than a good chunk of our readers will have been alive, they’ve seen games change enormously. In the most recent post, Ste’s talking about talking to Rare about developing on the NES and the strange demands that they insisted upon…
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