Remember way back in 2010 when the Xbox 360 team came up with a great new idea of running a live gameshow through the Xbox Live experience? It was called 1 vs 100 and it picked up speed rapidly and at one point had over 40 000 concurrent users, which is quite some feat for a brand new gametype.
While at the Call of Duty Championship last week, I got the chance to have a quick one on one with Black Ops 2 Game Design Director, David Vonderhaar. Maniacally enthusiastic about the game that Treyarch has worked on, here’s what Vonderhaar had to say about design, evolution, co-operation and next-gen ideas.
Glaring at you across the box of Far Cry 3’s cover, he sits in sand as if born from it. A human head – dead? Alive? Between? – is submerged next to him, as if he’s bored playing with it. The gaming world was in awe and fear of Vaas from the first time he narrated the definition of insanity. This madness and darkness and all-round Conradian horror pulsates out of every moment Vaas is on-screen. Delivered to us through the brilliance of Michael Mando, Vaas as a whole came into existence through Mando’s brilliance – not through original planning. As if he’d tapped into and did his summoning from some dark realm, Michael told me of his own journey into Far Cry 3’s background “insanity”, with the incredible clarity of focus that makes his performance in Far Cry 3 the best performance in any medium of 2012.
I get you guys. I understand why you were upset when we named Claptrap the voice of gaming in 2012, instead of Michael Mando’s superb turn as the antagonistic Vaas in Far Cry 3. But here’s the thing: Michael Mando was far more than a mere voice behind a microphone. The man brought skill, talent and believability to a role that stretched beyond the audio, and into physical acting as well. So to address that injustice, our favourite contrarion Tauriq Moosa has gone and spoken to Mr Mando - and he revealed something interesting.
After Friday’s discussion on what it takes to be a competitive gamer, it got me thinking. Are we not all competitive to some point or another? I know I often check my peers’ GamerScore, making sure I am on track or seeing how large my digital phallus is. While I may not be into competitive console gaming (mostly because my gaming time tends to involve long single player grinds in RPGs) I find myself becoming more and more competitive in Magic: the Gathering. I spend more money on cards than games now, researching decks and checking on rules for interesting card combinations. The thrill of coming in the top three on Friday night, with the reward of shiny cards and boosters, is rather addictive.
So how competitive is the local Magic scene - and can we South Africans compete on an international level?
If there’s one thing Peter Molyneux is known for, other than being enigmatic and charismatic of course - is broken promises and unfulfilled hype. We’ve seen it with Fable (I’m still waiting for my acorn to become an oak tree, Peter!), I’ve not really felt like a god playing Black & White - and what in the hell happened to Milo?
When Molyneux speaks, he promises a world of magic where everything is possible - but when you play any of his games they’re decidedly average. Molyneux realises this - and wants it to change. In a frank, candid and emotional interview with develop, the Fabled developer says he has just once chance left to create something truly magical - and it’s one of the reason’s he’s left the comfort of Microsoft.
Gears of War is one of the biggest franchises of this generation and has made Epic and Cliff Bleszinski millions in profit but Cliff has now shocked the world by announcing that he is actually disappointed in how Gears of War turned out.
Apparently when he was first creating the game he had plans for it to be quite cerebral and more heartfelt. Granted the third game in the series had a ton of emotion and was very well rounded indeed but the first two and specifically the second one failed miserably in their attempts at portraying emotion.
While I was down in Cape Town last week, skipping work investigulating, er, stuff, I met up with everybody’s favourite TV gaming-guy, Grant Hinds, for a look back at some of the worst games to ever appear on this generation of consoles.
Tea, crumpets, cake and fake accents followed in a meeting that would most likely convince our respective bosses to want to institutionalise us, Still, our lack of pants and passion for moustaches didn’t distract us from the topic at hand, which you can see below for yourself.
Cuppa tea, old chap?
FROM Software’s sleeper hit Dark Souls wasn’t made to be a pain in your ass. The game’s creator says he tailored the game to his own needs - because he’s a masochist.
So while I was down in Cape Town for the SA Blog Awards I caught up with Grant Hinds as he said he wanted to do a quick interview. Before the interview started I told him to make sure I didn’t look fat or like an idiot and he agreed on both fronts.
He lied… on both.. and now I’m trying to find something mean to say about him.
The official PlayStation blog caught up with 2 of the guys from Naughty Dog right after the VGA’s and had a quick chat with them about The Last of Us and how they managed to keep it a secret for so long.
Amazingly they’ve had a full second team working on The Last of Us now for a while and no one had picked up that they were creating a full new IP inside the Uncharted studios.
With the release of X-Men Destiny last week we were given the chance to virtually meet up with Julian Spillane, assistant project manager at Silicon Knight, and put forward some of our questions around the title and development process.
Here’s what he had to say
I had the chance to sit down with Starcraft 2â€™s Senior Designer, Jonny Ebbert, for an interview at GamesCom, and what a pleasure it was. A genuinely nice guy who is always looking out for gamers, we started chatting about what to expect with the next StarCraft 2 expansion, Heart of the Swarm.
If you havenâ€™t yet read our hands on write up off the Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge then go do that now, weâ€™ll wait.
After that little hands on I was given the chance to sit down with a couple of other journalists and rabid fans and to ask the publisher a couple of questions, here are the results as far as I could tell, all questions and answers are paraphrased and are not quoted directly.
X-men Destiny is a new RPG set in the expansive X-Men comic book world. In it, you play as one of three new mutants. created for the game, forging and creating your own unique super-hero. Itâ€™s being developed by Silicon Knights, who brought you Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, The excellent Eternal Darkness, and another game weâ€™d rather not mention. We got to ask a few question of Senior producer Brian Pass and comic book writer Mike Carey about the game, which you can find after the jump.