Posts Tagged ‘interview’

The Flare Path: A Typical Atypical Simmer #3

Jeremy Louden’s first passengers were reluctant ones. As an eleven-year-old he’d make his younger brother and sister sit behind him while he piloted his MS Flight Simulator 4.0 Learjet 25 from Chicago to San Francisco in real time. Today, flying MD-88/90s for Delta Air Lines, he no longer has to arrange chairs prior to a flight and very seldom arrives at a destination only to discover his passengers have vanished en-route. Read the rest of this entry »

We talk to Big Robot’s Jim Rossignol about The Signal From Tölva

He’s a difficult man to pin down, but we managed to secure a world exclusive interview with the project lead behind The Signal From Tölva [official site], one Jim Rossignol. After months of negotiations he agreed to speak to us, divulging thoughts and feelings about the game that will most likely kill him and all involved. Now, some people are going to say that there’s a conflict of interests here, what with Rossignol coincidentally being a director and co-founder of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, which is an outrageous accusation that impugns our integrity, wholly accurately. Read the rest of this entry »

State of the Art: The art of creating Subnautica’s flora

If you’ve spoken to me for more than five minutes, chances are I’ve mentioned Subnautica [official site]. It’s an open world survival game set largely underwater on an alien planet. You explore biomes, collect resources and, as updates to the early access project add more content, start to piece together the story of the planet. I played huge amounts of the game before more significant story elements were added and my big project was my volcano lair’s garden. I collected all the weird and wonderful plants I could and cultivated them in little plant beds outside my underwater home. That’s why, when I had a chance to speak with art director Cory Strader, I immediately wanted to talk about the game’s flora.

Read on to find out how The Abyss, microscopy and a real fish with a transparent head and a visible brain all played their part! P.S. You can click on images to see larger version of the concept artwork or, if they’re game screenshots, to just see them in isolation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Electronic Wireless Show – IGF Special #1: Sci-fi

It’s time to use to our radio voice. The RPS Electronic Wireless Show has historically been our not-very-regular podcast where we gather to tell each other how wrong we are about videogames. But this month it has mutated into something different. In the lead-up to this year’s Independent Games Festival, we interviewed a whole bunch of developers, all of whom have been nominated for some kind of award this year. We’ll be talking to them about sex, politics, and other things we’ve never understood.

In part one, we’re talking science fiction with the makers of Duskers, Quadrilateral Cowboy and Event[0]. Click onward to listen here, or find it on Soundcloud directly.
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White Wolf and the World of Darkness revival: “Asking ‘when will you rage?’ has never been more relevant”

Last week, I sat down with Martin Ericsson, lead storyteller at White Wolf, publishers of the World of Darkness RPG systems and interwoven storylines. It’s a strange and exciting time for the company, who are about to step back into the spotlight after a decade-plus drought of digital games since 2004’s much-loved Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. For much of that time Ericsson and colleagues were locked into a licensing deal with CCP, working on the ill-fated and never released World of Darkness MMORPG, but now they’re ready to begin a new generation of stories.

We talked about the recently announced Werewolf: The Apocalypse game and how its werewolves act as nature’s remedy to mankind’s ills, as well as that MMO and the broader shape of White Wolf’s future. Along the way we discussed punching Nazis, why now is the perfect time to get angry, and how World of Darkness is about the here and now as much as its own mythology. This isn’t just one game, it’s the rebirth of a world.

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Interview: Windows 10’s new Game Mode explained

Just last week (and yet somehow an eternity ago, in terms of world events), Microsoft announced that they’d soon be adding something called ‘Game Mode’ to Windows 10 with the aim of improving games’ performance, but gave away few details about what this might involve. Are we talking real framerate gains, suppressing potentially bothersome background tasks or just freeing up a wee bit of RAM?

With the first iteration of Game Mode due to arrive as part of Windows 10’s optional early Insider builds due today, I had a chat with Kevin Gammill, Partner Group Program Manager, Xbox Platform, spokesperson for the group building Game Mode, to find out what this thing actually does, which games it will support and what kind of control users will have over it. Read the rest of this entry »

Smite Rivals: how the god-themed card game works

Smite: Rivals

Smite Rivals [official site] is the latest game from Hi-Rez Studios. It’s being championed at the Hi-Rez Expo which is the company’s annual esports-and-miscellaneous celebration of its games and community. People in baby pink, Rivals-branded tshirts wait by kiosks as curious attendees come over to play.

The game itself looks very familiar if you’ve ever played the mobile game, Clash Royale. It’s a lane-pushing card game so you create a deck of eight cards to represent particular actions or units which will be available to you over the course of a few minutes and play those cards onto the three lanes of the arena as a pared-down real time strategy affair. The rate at which you can play cards is controlled by their mana cost which you pay from the mana bar on the left hand side which fills over time.

In terms of the game board, it’s actually pretty similar to Smite’s main competitive mode. There are three lanes in which you can spawn the units, each guarded by a phoenix. The ultimate objective – the titan – sits behind the phoenixes. You win by destroying more of these structures than your opponent. If you topple their titan that’s an insta-win, otherwise the score is tallied once the time runs out.

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The Flare Path: A Typical Atypical Simmer #2

The man currently sipping a Koskenkorva and consulting his cue cards in the U/S Williams X-Jet The Flare Path uses as a dais is Ilja ‘Zipuli’ Varha. Our second ‘atypical simmer‘, Ilja has very kindly agreed to talk about his journey from juvenile M1 Tank Platoon fan to 33-year-old brigade simulator officer in the Finnish Defence Forces. Whether your polygonal battle wagon of preference is a Steel Beasts Leo, a Steel Fury T-34 or a World of Tanks Tiger, the following paragraphs should prove interesting.

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The Flare Path: A Typical Atypical Simmer #1

The idea that simulations are consolation prizes – digital sops for people that lack the skill or dedication to make it as real pilots, race car drivers, tankies or whatever – is depressingly widespread. The linked notion that sims are something you abandon once you get your hands on the ‘real McCoy’, crops up almost as often in games criticism and forum exchanges, and annoys me just as much. While it’s certainly true that many of my brethren and sistren are aspirants who recreate in facsimiles because they can’t recreate in originals, the hobby is dotted with individuals who use and see simulations quite differently. Over the coming weeks I’d like to introduce you to some of these fascinating individuals. Read the rest of this entry »

Birthdays The Beginning; a new game from Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada

Birthdays

Birthdays The Beginning [official site] is a new project, releasing 7 March (that’s the NA release, EU will be 10 March), by Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada. It has been nagging at the edges of my gaming radar for a little while now, simply by dint of game images showing off adorable-looking dinosaurs and pictures of the game as a real-life miniature scene but it was only in the last few days that I learned what the game actually is. It’s an environment nurturing sim where you try to spawn and evolve different lifeforms in order to capture them.

Somewhere between Pokemon and Viva Pinata is how I’m thinking of it right now, partly for the gameplay elements, but also for the emotion and the aesthetic of the latter particularly. But to find out more I sat down with Wada-san (and an incredibly helpful translator) as well as tuning in to a Twitch broadcast showing off the main game loops. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2: A Closer Look At The Art Of Karnaca

Dishonored 2

With Dishonored 2‘s [official site] release hovering on the gaming horizon, I wanted to take a closer look at Arkane’s sequel and its distinctive aesthetic with art director, Sébastien Mitton. Our conversation touched on fashion influences, how you approach the art of a sequel, the role of tech advangements and why it’s important that Dishonored 2 went with Victorian city-building instead of a modern grid. As ever with these art-focused features, you can click on the images to see a larger version. Read the rest of this entry »

Football Manager’s Miles Jacobson On Leicester, Brexit And Building Better Artificial Intelligence

Just before the launch of Football Manager 2017 [official site], with the beta already released to the many people who preordered the game, I spoke to Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson about the changes his team have made in this latest game in the series. We talked about AI improvements, Brexit, and whether Leicester winning the Premier League was a happy day or a sad day at Sports Interactive.

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Interview: Messhof On Nidhogg 2

We recently found out that the frantic and melodramatic fencing of Nidhogg would be making a return thanks to the sequel plans of developers Messhof. Nidhogg 2 [official site] is set to include new weapons, levels and a surreal new art style. We talked to co-founders Mark Essen and Kristy Norindr about what can be expected when we roll up our sleeves for the next duel.

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State of the Art: Burly Men At Sea

Burly Men At Sea [official site] sailed onto my radar at Rezzed earlier this year. Part of the Leftfield Collection, the game offered a beautifully stylised tale about three bearded brothers going off on an adventure. The reason I was particularly excited was, more than any other game, the demo I played seemed to capture the essence of children’s story books and translate that to the screen in a way that felt natural.

To find out more I spoke to one half of the development team at Brain&Brain, Brooke Condolora and asked her to share snippets from her sketchbooks and from across the game’s development.

Take a peek after the jump, and click on any of the images to see a larger version.

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League Of Legends: Riot Kades Talks Mechs Vs Minions

Earlier this week Riot announced its first foray into boardgames with Mechs vs Minions – a co-op tabletop experience set in the League of Legends [official site] universe. If you’re a boardgamer you’ll get the basic concept from “Robo Rally meets Descent” with a Legacy-esque campaign component. If you’re not, probably the easiest way to put this is that you’re working together to program little characters in mech suits so they can be victorious in their missions, although taking damage can make them go haywire (as can, for example, misreading cards and forgetting your mech will turn 90 degrees and thus you end up accidentally on the other side of the board throwing a ripsaw into thin air. FOR EXAMPLE.) It’s also heavier than most newborns, coming in at 12.8 lb on my bathroom scales.

I played snippets of the game during development (I guess kind of like videogame previews) so I was pleased to talk with Mechs Vs Minions lead Chris ‘Kades’ Cantrell to see how the idea had developed over time, how Riot had made the ridiculously huge game remotely affordable, and how RPS alumnus Quinns had managed to make more work for everyone (in a good way):

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The Flare Path: The Man Who Listens To Trains

In the light industrial districts that have sprung up around FSX, X-Plane, and DCS World, genuine craftsmen aren’t all that hard to find. The machine tools that whirr and thump and whine in the workshops of add-on makers like A2A Simulations and PMDG are operated by passionate perfectionists – driven micrometer wielders whose scrap bins brim with components that look, on first, second and third inspection, absolutely flawless. Elsewhere in Simulatia, it’s a different story. Just about the only sim that can boast a third-party add-on as lovingly fashioned as this Texan or this Fishbed, is Train Simulator. I enthused about that add-on – a delightful Class 205 DEMU – a few weeks ago, and in today’s Flare Path I talk to the outfit behind it, Armstrong Powerhouse.

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We Spoke To Developers About Steam User Reviews

Recent changes to Steam reviews, which filter out reviews from keys that weren’t purchased directly through Valve’s digital store, have caused all sorts of worry and concern. The intent is to remove false positives in the form of reviews exchanged for keys and the like, but legitimate reviews are also affected. Games that were Kickstarted no longer have their backers’ assessment contributing toward the rating Steam displays at the top of the page, and people buying through Humble Bundles or elsewhere are similarly excluded by default.

We contacted a variety of developers and publishers, including Larian, Stardock and Mode 7, to hear if they thought the move might stamp down on unfair practices, or whether it would end up hurting rather than helping.

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Interview: Endless Space 2’s Devs On Why They Traded Independence For Sega

Amplitude Studios has grown significantly since the Parisian developer, as a small team that you could count on one hand, first conceived Endless Space. Now they work out of two floors in a high-rise near the centre of the metropolis and are busy working on their fourth game, Endless Space 2. Recently, they announced a partnership with publisher Sega.

It’s an evolution and escalation that’s echoed in their games. Endless Space 2, then, is an opportunity to show everyone just how much they’ve grown, combining the ideas that birthed their first game with the lessons they’ve learned through the much lauded Endless Legend. I spoke to the company’s two founders to discuss why they’re making the game now, what the partnership with Sega means for the studio, and more.

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League Of Legends: Statikk Explains Yorick’s Rework

Yorick, perhaps League of Legends most awkward character, is almost at the end of an in-depth makeover. He’ll emerge from his champion update cocoon after a stint on the Public Beta Environment as the Shepherd of Souls to [hopefully] acclaim and popularity, much as Tai emerged from her fashion makeover at the hands of Cher and Dion in Clueless to become part of the elite high school clique. Lead Game Designer James “Statikk” Bach talked me through the gravedigger’s revamp including how he almost became evil royalty (Yorick, not Statikk)!

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Interview: Brian Fargo On Torment, Crowdfunding, The Future Of InXile And The Emotional Appeal Of RPGs

At Gamescom, after a whirlwind tour of just a few of Torment: Tides of Numenera’s [official site] many worlds, I sat down with inXile CEO Brian Fargo to talk about the past, present and future of his company, and of RPGs. As well as discussing Torment, I wanted to talk about Fargo’s career as a whole, which spans 34 years, and covers the creation of the original Wasteland and Fallout, along with many other games, as well as three enormously successful crowdfunding campaigns in recent times.

He told me that the crowdfunding of Wasteland 2 had felt like “a referendum on [his] history” and that he’d like to explore original ideas once he has rebuilt trust with new versions of Wasteland, Torment and The Bard’s Tale. Mostly, though, we talked about why making RPGs has retained its appeal over all these years, and how the business has changed since the early days of Interplay.

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