Rage TV Spot

¬†From the creators of Doom and Quake comes a game full of mayhem and destruction a game that will make you RAGE!!! Check out this massively bloody TV spot for the game where you’ll be able to catch a sneak peak at one of the epic battles. You’ll get to go toe to toe with a Giant ogreish monster that has a serious anger problem as it rips out the bars separating you and calls you out. Fuckin propane jet-packs FTW! If this trailer seems familiar to you , you might of seen it during Saturdays college football game where Michigan went up against Notre Dame on ABC.

RAGE releases on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on Tuesday, October 4th

Much Love JT

Recap of Sony’s TGS Conference

The picture about says it all folks; the Vita was Sony’s primary focus during their TGS showing. While some people may not appreciate that, I don’t really care. The fact is that there were some major announcements. I’m now going to recap those announcements. (Editors Note: I was posting updates throughout the conference faster than every other site, that is FACT and documented via Twitter) (Another Editor’s Note: Some of these will be funny)

  • There was a pasty faced white guy speaking Japanese, I thought that was funny.
  • There were two awkward handshake photo-ops in the conference.
  • Sony bragged about their awesomeness by displaying that they have sold 51.8 million PS3s and 71.4 PSPs.
  • I’m probably late on this announcement, but fuck it; I saw red and blue PS3s! I want both!
  • There was no Kevin Butler or a Japanese substitute for Kevin Butler
  • There was, however, a Japanese Michael Buffer
  • Sony teased us with catchy UI music, an app that turns your face into a jigsaw puzzle, and of course they played the trailer for the Amazing (angsty) Spiderman (movie). Also, there was a Friends list, PS3 trophy tracking and I got so bored I ended up chewing off four of my beard hairs.
  • The Street Fighter X Tekken logo (not kidding)
  • Big news time!! ULTIMATE MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3 WILL BE A LAUNCH TITLE FOR THE VITA! Also, it will run in HD and at 60FPS.
  • Some Japanese cats (Toro & Kuro from some Japanese game) will be in Street Fighter X Tekken (possibly as Japan region exclusive)
  • Square-Enix announced two new IPs for the Vita, “Lord of Apocalypse” and “Army Corps of Hell”. (Army Corps of Hell is a launch title. I’m not sure if Lord of Apocalypse is too. But I’ll go ahead and do my genius speculating and say type that it will be a launch title.)
  • Some PS3 news!! FFXIII-2 will be available (in Japan) on December 17th.
  • MOAR PS3 news! FFX WILL BE A HD REMAKE AND AVAILABLE FOR PS3 & VITA! (You are dead inside if that didn’t make you go “eeeeeek ^_^”)
  • I laughed at a “PS2” typo and then was instantly floored when I heard that the Metal Gear HD Collection will be available for the PS3 & Vita! Oh and there was something about “transfar” for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on PSP and PS3.
  • Did I forget to mention the ZOE HD Edition for PS3?? I FUCKING SAID, ZOE HD EDITION FOR PS3!!!!
  • Masami Yamamoto talked about Everybody’s Golf 6 and its “Daily National Competition”. Oh, and there was something about “Friend network” I’m going to speculate and say that could possibly mean that we’ll be able to sync our Vita games to sites like Twitter and Facebook. (Well, in game accomplishments anyway)
  • The Vita will have over 25 titles available for launch and there are over 100 titles in development for it as we speak/type.
  • I have no idea what in the hell “NicoNicoDouga” is, but I noticed dancing anime girls and scrolling text, yup.. it was made in Japan alright.
  • Lastly, the Vita will have accessories available (I presume on launch) . I’m going to speculate on some of the things I saw. (Note: I could be wrong on these so excuse me for not knowing the Japanese language). Charger cable (duh), carrying case (possibly), USB Cable, HDMi out (that one I’m completely guessing on). And that’s it.

Oh, wait.. that’s actually NOT it.. I feel like I’m leaving one major announcement out.. hmm.. oh yeah. The Vita will be available on DECEMBER 17th of this year! (in Japan)

Well, there you have it, the best damn TGS recap ANYWHERE! It’s okay.. you’re welcome.

As per the usual, thank you for reading. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and stalk us on Twitter. (Note: I’ve since changed my Twitter “@” to @shawnmave, we hope to have my link updated as soon as possible.)

Once again, thank you very much for reading. Now go back to saving the world or something. ONE LAST THING, don’t forget that I beat all of the sites to the Twitter updates. ūüėÄ (Although I’m sure they’ve beaten me to the recap)

– Mave

Persona 2: Innocent Sin Official Launch Trailer

Atlus just released the official trailer for the only game of the Persona series to have yet seen a US release. Yep, I’m talking about Persona 2: Innocent Sin on PSP. Pre-orders are set to be available sometime later this month, not to mention Amazon and Gamestop are including a 10-song soundtrack¬†with every pre-order; with remixes by composer Shoji Meguro of¬†Persona 3¬†and¬†Catherine.

The game is set to release on September 20th, 2011.

Blorp Makes A Wish For You To Donate To Make A Wish

The bros from Blorp are hosting a live gaming marathon over at LiveStream where they will be staying up playing difficult nes/snes/PS3  games for hours on end to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Thats not all! Raising this money will help one of the awesome members from Blorp to be able to ride in Make A Wishes 48 Hour Ride For Wishes bike marathon. So help out and watch or even donate as this awesome crew of gamers fight alongside Silver Surfers, bounty hunters and other memorable 8Bit Super Heroes to save the world from mass destruction and help the kids through Make A Wish. Head over to the live stream and click on the links below. you can donate through the link below or the one from their LiveStream channel where I got the link from.

http://www.livestream.com/blorp     

  http://tinyurl.com/makeawishdonation  

                                                                                                                                                                                     Much Love JT

Corpse Party Blood Covered Announced For North America

Words! Text! Cinematic! In this up and coming PSP game you will have to make your way out of a mental institute trying not to get killed and tortured by evil man eating text.

Today XSeed games announced that Corpse Party will be coming to North America in the trailer above . Its due out this Fall. Corpse Party Is a  based on a Japanese Manga where a group of high school students get warped into a alternate dimension of the Elementary school that use to be built on the same land and spot of where their high school stands now. Now its up to you and your friends to find out what happened to the kids that disappeared and to the ones that where murdered while trying to survive yourself.

http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=33152

Much Love JT

Unexplored Realms of Game Design

Why must I live on the East Coast?? And be broke. ūüė¶

In an attempt to inspire submissions for the 2012 GDC¬†call for papers, GDC’s advisory board members for the Game Design track spoke on the biggest challenges that face game designers and outlined what they hope to see on March 2012 in San Francisco.

The creator of Canabalt and independent designer, Adam Saltsman, along with Dragon Age: Legends and Civilization IV designer, Soren Johnson, came together to discuss some of today’s often-overlooked areas of game design, along with some some notable innovations and rising trends as part of their mission to encourage all of you to submit ideas for the 2012 GDC Main Conference.

These industry veterans and¬†advisory board members¬†will be joined alongside colleagues like Clint Hocking (LucasArts) and Mark Cerny (Cerny Games) to oversee the event’s Game Design track and ensure all of its sessions stay true to the massively high bar of quality and relevance that GDC attendees, and journalists/editors/entities of awesome such as myself, have come to expect.

ACT FAST, because the deadline on “the call for papers” is September 6th; here’s a list of¬†Game Design-specific topics. Gamasutra sat down with Adam Saltsman and Soren Johnson to discuss key issues that they would like to see pointed out at next March’s show.

What are some key games from the past year or so that have impressed you with their new approaches to design – and why?

Adam Saltsman:Amnesia: Dark Descent and Bit Pilot are very interesting games. These are fairly hardcore horror and arcade games respectively, but neither game allows you to attack. Instead, your goal is to hide, avoid, and survive. For me this is a really welcome and interesting break from aiming and shooting games, but without sacrificing any of the awesomeness one might expect from a survival horror game or an arena shooter.

Soren Johnson:¬†I was very impressed by¬†Magicka‘s concept — letting players cast spells by simply combing simple elements such as fire, water, electricity, arcane energy, and so on. This system encourages a sense of discovery absent from so many games; I loved trying out certain combinations just to see what would happen. That the game often supported my assumptions and guesses made the world feel alive. Allowing play based on intuition from existing knowledge instead of memorization of invented lore is always a big advantage.

The other development that stands out to me is how the best small-scale, indie games, like Frozen Synapse, Bastion, Atom Zombie Smasher, HOARD, etcetera, are creatively outpacing games from the big publishers simply because they can take risks and maintain their own vision. Many game genres and formats are simply not feasible for the big guys to make anymore, and this has surprisingly been great for the industry, because there are now so many gaps for the indies to fill.

How do you think the rise of social games will influence design in other areas of the game biz? 

Adam Saltsman:¬†One positive outcome that I am looking forward to is the expansion of our audience. PopCap helped do this, and a few years later the Wii helped do it again. Social games are having that effect right now; I think it’s really great to have people that haven’t played video games in a decade or more playing games again. Not everyone that plays¬†FarmVille¬†is going to rush out and get a PS3 next week, but there is a basic literacy thing happening that is going to have a huge long-term effect.

Soren Johnson:¬†Social games are still so young that they are difficult to judge. To date, most of them turn the social interaction into a tax that helps the game spread virally instead of a benefit that makes the game much more compelling. The social games that make this leap will be the ones that move the format forward. Right now, the primary lesson for the rest of the industry is that players¬†will¬†nag their friends for whatever in-game bonuses we hand out — I’m not sure if that is a healthy path.

A second lesson is that the size of an actual mainstream audience is far larger than we ever imagined, and their needs and interests diverge significantly from our traditional core audience. A final lesson is that a demand exists for “sporadic” games, which can be played in bite-sized chunks throughout the day, but which still have persistence and a multi-session arc. These games can appeal both to the mainstream audience as well as the traditional core users because they fit a hole in players’ schedule where persistent gaming did not previously fill.

What sort of design challenges do you feel the industry has yet to overcome? 

Adam Saltsman:¬†This is a gross generalization, but I think if you look at¬†The Sims¬†and¬†Call of Duty, the things in those games have been completely explored at this point. That leaves a lot of territory on the table. I think¬†Heavy Rain,¬†L.A. Noire, and¬†Afrika¬†are headed in some of the right directions. These games all have monumental flaws, but like¬†Amnesia: Dark Descent, the driving force behind the games is not about domination and destruction. This isn’t exactly a new thing, by any means, and maybe this is the decade that adventure games finally make their triumphant return — or maybe not.

I think chilled-out variety games like Pilot Wings and Wii Sports have secured a very healthy foothold in the space. And there will always be room for some games about exploding things with guns. But our chances at reaching this massive new audience and their budding, social-games-driven computer game literacy will be much better if we are willing to branch out and take some risks.

Soren Johnson:¬†The biggest design challenge is learning to match the fidelity of a game’s graphics with the depth of its mechanics. Many games are graphically rich but are mechanically barren, so players quickly discover that most of what they see is not real and has no consequence to their gameplay. Sometimes, the graphics even become a hindrance as players begin to understand the “real” game that lurks within and lose patience with the meaningless window dressing.

Are there particular genres of game that you think are under-utilized and stand to see a lot of design innovation, if better explored? 

Adam Saltsman:¬†Chances are if it is already a genre, then it has been mined pretty heavily. I am certain there is still gold in any genre we could name, somewhere. But at some point the effort we have to put in to find it is going to outweigh the benefit of discovering it, especially when there are so many unexplored frontiers. I’m not sure which genres have crossed that threshold and which haven’t, but I’d venture that at least some of them are getting awfully close.

Soren Johnson:¬†Real-time strategy is heavily under-utilized. Obviously, there is a glut of RTS games, but it doesn’t take long to discover that they are all essentially the same game — harvest some resources, build a barracks, rush with tanks, and so on. The design space for real-time play occurring in real-time should be much broader — think of games like¬†Railroad Tycoon,¬†Populous,SimCity, even¬†M.U.L.E.¬†Some developers have started to expand this space once more with games like¬†Swords & Soldiers,¬†Atom Zombie Smasher,¬†AI War, and even¬†Plants vs. Zombies, but it is sad that the letters “RTS” still only mean one thing.

What subjects are you particularly excited to see covered in this year’s Game Design track?¬†

Adam Saltsman:¬†There’s something we’ve been talking about for a lot of the tracks, which is this idea of a “design walkthrough” or “design history.” The idea is that developers can select some part of their game that turned out especially good, but was very, very hard to develop. Then they’ll walk us through the different ways they tried to solve the problem, and the different obstacles they had to overcome. It’s different from a traditional postmortem, more focused, with more of a narrative. We have had a few amazing talks in the past that had this sort of structure, and I am very excited to see more developers taking this approach.

As far as specific topics go, talks about deep multiplayer system design, especially competitive games, online or otherwise, are just something I am personally interested in at the moment. This is a really rich space and it’s always great to hear people talk about what they’re doing in it.

Soren Johnson:¬†I thought the most important talk at last year’s GDC was Ben Cousins on the post-launch development of¬†Battlefield Heroes. Simply put, the team discovered there was a huge difference between what players said they were willing to buy and what they actually did buy. Much of microtransaction-based design is still shrouded in mystery, as few developers understand what actually works. I hope other successful teams come forward to share their stories.

As always, thank you very much for reading. Feel free to leave your opinions that we cherish in our comments section below. And if you really.. REALLY loved this (or us in general) then feel free to subscribe to us. ūüôā Also, don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and stalk your favorite editor/me on Twitter.

Once again, thanks for reading; now go back to saving the world or something.

-Mave

Games Will Read Emotions in 10 Years, Claims Sony

 

When do games stop being games? When do games cross that dimensional wall and become virtual reality? ¬†These were questions that Kevin over at Tomsguide asked Nvidia months ago at ECGC 2011, and was told there will always be a market for the high-end PC gamer with the rig nearly the size of a bookcase. Which didn’t even answer what the fuck he asked in the first place. But putting visual realism and my own criticism of everyone else’s comments aside, what will happen when games stop having those characters that make creepy, never breaking eye contact characters and start behaving like ultra, self-aware beings with super AI that can make the choice to sing you a gentle lullaby or bend you over your own coffee table and make you their bitch.

According to Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida, platform holders will be able to offer “almost dangerous kinds of interactivity” with the player within the next ten years. Games will know more about us, the players, on a whole, know how we could be feeling by reading more than just player movements. Titles will be so “immersive” that players will serve as a true participant within the virtual realms that these development teams craft.

“As far as I‚Äôm concerned, the motion control of today is like the 8-bit phase of video games,” Yoshida said last week at a behind-closed-doors Gamescom panel debate. “There are so many limitations. Talking about sensors, the game will eventually know more about the player. Not just movement, but where you are looking and how you could be feeling. It‚Äôs really difficult to judge this, but I‚Äôd like to think that in ten years game developers will have access to player information in real-time. We can create some really‚Ķ almost dangerous kinds of interactivity.”

Mick Hocking, a senior director at Sony Worldwide Studios, threw his genius two cents in when asked if Sony was currently testing technologies that relied on biometric data. Naturally, like every other person entrusted with the secrets of a multi-billion dollar corporation and their dog, he dodged answering the question directly by stating that Sony does lots of R&D in these areas.

“Having a camera being able to study a player‚Äôs biometrics and movements [is possible],‚ÄĚ Hocking said. “So perhaps you can play a detective game that decides whether you‚Äôre lying due to what it reads from your face.”

“In ten years‚Äô time I‚Äôd like to think we‚Äôll be able to form a map of the player, combining other sorts of sensory data together, from facial expressions to heart rate,” he continued. “You can see how, over a period of time, you can form a map of the player and their emotional state, whether they‚Äôre sad or happy. Maybe people in their social network can comment on it. The more accurate that map can become, the more we can tailor it to the experience.”

Hocking appears to hope that within ten years, games won’t feel like “still acting”, but will react more naturally and be independent of scripts and pre-determined movements.

“In Uncharted you can see games are getting closer to lifelike actor performances, but [despite] the more accurate they are becoming as an acting performance, it‚Äôs still acting. Will we have AI that allows us to talk to and truly interact with a character? Will we be able to show the character objects it can recognize?”

Do we really need or want that kind of interaction? When do games stop being games and start feeling like an all-new dimension? Personally, as long as the AI doesn’t try to kill me and make me into a cake because it felt that I haven’t spent enough time with it, then I think I can live with it. (Chipping in on the rent would be nice too.)

 

Thanks for reading.

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– Mave