Critical Distance We’re back. We never exactly went away, but now we’re here, fully, renewed breath in our lungs. It’s time to sound the bells. It’s Sunday afternoon. It’s time for This Week in Videogame Blogging. Dev Tools
Try to imagine an alternate universe where, instead of playing through a rollicking action-adventure with affable treasure hunter Nathan Drake, Uncharted took the form of a post-apocalyptic survival horror game. Or that instead of playing "Uncharted" -- which was about finding El Dorado, the mythical city of gold -- you instead played a game called "Zero Point," focused on the concept of dark energy. Those were some of the ideas that the developers at Naughty Dog threw around at the conclusion of Jak 2's production. Yes, Naughty Dog had already started prototyping ideas for their first "next-generation" console title way back in 2003; though, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells elaborates, "When Jak 2 closed, that's when we started thinking about it. Mapping The Development of Uncharted 3
"It was probably all a terrible mistake..." In 2009, Sean Murray and the rest of the Hello Games team flew to the US to pitch their first title, Joe Danger, to a publisher. It didn't go smoothly. "Everything had been going great," Murray recalls. "We gave probably the best pitch and demo of Joe Danger we've ever done. Creative Tension
Throughout the nineteen eighties and into the nineties, Sierra was world famous for producing Adventure Games. Many of the most popular games series' ever made were produced in this time. Kings Quest, Police Quest, and Space Quest all appear regularly on top-ten lists. But perhaps the most notorious of all is the Leisure Suit Larry series. Controversial and beloved in sometimes equal measures, creator Al Lowe - the self-professed World's Oldest Games Designer, took some time out to speak with me about his creation and to go behind the scenes at the pioneering games studio. Meet Al Lowe, Creator of Leisure Suit Larry
The term 'genre' eventually becomes pejorative because you're referring to something that's so codified and ritualized it ceases to have the power and meaning it had when it first started. --Christopher Nolan Here's what we think we know about genre: it limits creativity. Brainy Gamer
Kill Screen - Intern Affairs Publishers release 1,000 videogames every year, nearly three a day, and you are free to ignore all but the best five of them. One of the 995 games that you ignored in 2008 was MX vs. ATV: Untamed. In October of 2007, I was doing just this—ignoring MX vs. ATV: Untamed—when I was told by the executive editor of the website GamesRadar, where I was in my second day as an intern, that a team from the publisher THQ had arrived at the office and I would be previewing a racing game for the Nintendo Wii. The editor, a friendly man who owned a pet pig, hustled me down a carpeted hallway into a conference room, where we were met by six professionals in NorCal dudewear.
Beyond Angry Birds A few months ago, a producer at a major video-game company startled me by admitting that the economic viability of the triple-A video-game production cycle — the expensive development process, in other words, by which games like Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, and BioShock are unleashed upon the world — is in all likelihood doomed. Shortly after that, a developer told me he has a hard time imagining how single-player narrative video games are going to survive in the long run; such games, he believes, will eventually be seen as a historical anomaly. Neither man was particularly thrilled to imagine a future largely absent of the kinds of games he makes and most cares about, but current trends could not be ignored.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun By Adam Smith on April 4th, 2014 at 9:00 pm. Currently in alpha, Gang Beasts is free to download and you should grab it right now. It’s a surprisingly nuanced multiplayer beat ‘em up that combines playgrounds packed with perilous physics and a control scheme that makes combat a sequence of shoving, grappling and tripping over your own fists. Rounds often come to a halt as the last Beasts standing collapse into a meat grinder together, unsure who is pushing toward and who is pulling away. It’s already a wonderful game, both hilarious and intelligently designed, but rather than simply praising its silliness, I’ve been thinking about how the whole thing works and why it’s satisfying, while also looking at the possibilities that the future of jelly-combat holds. Read the rest of this entry »
GameSpy Technology is shutting down. The service that provides multiplayer matchmaking and back-end server functionality will cease operating as of May 31st according to a post on the company website. Effective May 31, 2014, GameSpy will cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy. If you have any questions about how this impacts your favorite title please contact the game’s publisher for more information. Quarter to Three
#AltDevBlogADay I want to share a little discovery, a trick easing the creation and development of games. First a short motivational and historical introduction. I don’t know if you have it too, but when I’m creating a game, I often add to it a lot of keyboard shortcuts – even a few dozens.
Gamasutra Features Diversity, communication, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf by Christian Nutt [04.02.14] Aya Kyogoku, co-director, and Katsuya Eguchi, producer, sit down and discuss the development of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and how fostering a diverse, communicative team leads to the best results. Design, Production, Console/PC, Social/Online What's next for Puzzle & Dragons and GungHo? by Christian Nutt [03.28.14] The president and CEO of GungHo, the studio behind the massive success Puzzle & Dragons, explains his philosophy toward game development, his studio's relationship with Supercell, free-to-play, and more.