Posts Tagged ‘interview’

No Bullshit: The Culture & Creativity Of Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions

When we received an invite to visit the studios of Boss Key Productions, Cliff Bleszinski’s new studio, we asked Rob Zacny to represent us. He was there to play Lawbreakers [official site], a game that he approached with some trepidation but the tense multiplayer action won him over. Given that Boss Key is an entire new creative venture for Bleszinski and his team, we wanted to know more. How does the studio work? What is it like to work with the man behind Gears of War, Unreal and Jazz Jackrabbit? And how do you make a salmon with legs?

Right at the front of the Boss Key Production employee handbook is the instruction: no bullshit.

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A Living World: Mount & Blade II – Bannerlord Interview

Mount & Blade: Warband is one of my favourite games but I haven’t played it for a long time. In part, that’s because I’ve been waiting for the sequel, Bannerlord [official site], since it was announced four years ago. After over half a decade of development, details about the game have started to emerge and I spoke to Armagan Yavuz, CEO and Founder of developers TaleWorlds, to find out how the team are aiming to improve on the dynamic world of the original. We talked combat, historical influence, settlement management, co-operative possibilities, modding and AI.

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League Of Legends’ Greg ‘Ghostcrawler’ Street Talks Balance – Is It Even Possible?

League Of Legends boasts a huge roster of playable characters which bring the potential for vast numbers of potential compositions, ability interactions. It also has a player base quick to seek out what’s strong at any given time in the game’s ongoing development. So how do you approach that as a designer? Is the idea of perfect balance even possible or do you tweak characters so that batches rise and fall in relative popularity? Michael got in touch with Riot Games’ design director Greg ‘Ghostcrawler’ Street to get a clearer feel for the studio’s philosophy when it come to their champions:

One of the criticisms often levelled at League of Legends is that it’s not a balanced game, that the design team and the Champion creation team seem focused on creating a rotating meta instead of working towards an end-game of perfect equilibrium. This opinion largely stems from Riot’s new policy of patches that focus on a specific set of champions, adding new mechanics and giving them targeted buffs that can upset or heavily impact the meta of the game.

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Prison Architect’s Chris Delay On Introversion’s TWO New Prototypes

While at Rezzed the Prison Architect devs Introversion casually plonked not one but TWO new game prototypes onto the show floor – one a bomb defusal idea with echoes of the studio’s erstwhile project, Subversion, and the other an exploratory mood piece where scanning a pitch black cave system gradually picks out shapes with a speckled spectrum.

Scanner Sombre is the latter and the weird and wonderful aesthetic is what drew me into the room in the first place. Introversion’s lead designer, Chris Delay, was there, helping man the room and listening to reactions from the steady stream of players. We headed to one side to discuss the new projects and how they came into being – it turns out they were a kind of busman’s holiday…

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Mirage: Arcane Warfare Devs On Magic – “We Want It To Feel Like You’re Throwing Bricks At People’s Heads”

While over at GDC a preview opportunity for Mirage: Arcane Warfare [official site] gave me a chance to check out Chivalry’s spiritual successor while ALSO enjoying respite from the Californian warmth (I’m ginger and pale and British – we wilt). The game offers up a very different colour palette and setting than Chivalry’s keep-n-countryside but once Torn Banner’s president, Steven Piggott, and senior brand manager, Alex Hayter, start showing me what’s happening in a pre-recorded match, Mirage’s Chivalric roots are obvious.

I didn’t get a hands-on with the game so I can’t tell you how it *feels* and whether the thunk and the heft of Chiv are maintained BUT I can tell you how it looks, how the modes work and where the team are aiming with the project:

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After The Rapture: The Chinese Room’s Next Game, Total Dark, Is An Isometric RPG

screenshot of Dear Esther in which it is quite dark

The next game from the creators of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Dear Esther will be a systems-driven isometric adventure, inspired by tabletop RPGs and wargames. I spoke to The Chinese Room’s studio director Dan Pinchbeck about the game, Total Dark, and he explained that he’s wanted to make a game driven by RPG-style mechanics for a long time.

As well as providing us with some of the first details about Total Dark, he discussed the continuing influence of Esther, and the ways in which ‘walking simulators’ are returning to their first-person adventure roots.

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The Flare Path: Hoods

If your favourite hood is sim developer Steve Hood or Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Hood, today’s Flare Path should engage (Over yonder html horizon is an interview with the man tasked with ensuring Dovetail Games Flight School and Dovetail Games Flight Simulator soar like demoiselles on release, and early analysis of the easy-to-recommend Atlantic Fleet, a wargame that feels like a segmented, overhead Silent Hunter III at times). If you prefer hoods of the Robin, Admiral or clitoral variety, brace yourself for disappointment.

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