The first Destiny is arguably still not complete, relying on piecemeal content released every six months just to be worth players’ attention, and only getting anywhere near a critical mass of content with the upcoming Taken King expansion, but it looks like Bungie is, as discussed earlier, already looking ahead at Destiny 2.
This new rumor gives us more insight into just what that might be. Apparently, Destiny 2 will be called Destiny: The Shattered Suns, and it is due for a...
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A new interactive trailer for Rainbow Six: Siege was released last night and the trailer allows for even more of a look into how players are going to have to go about their missions when the game finally does launch. This is actually the same trailer we’ve seen before, technically called the Terrohunt but now there are all kinds of different things you can reveal if you are keeping a sharp eye out on the right side of the screen.
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Fallout 4 will be one of the biggest games of the year, and it will also be one of those most loaded with secrets and hidden tips and strategies- it makes sense, therefore, for it to get a guidebook all of its own, and that is indeed what has happened. Strategy guide make Prima Games has announced its own officially licensed Fallout 4 guide book called the “Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide.”
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Activision has released a new trailer for the fourth and final DLC of Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The map pack is titled Reckoning (no, not that reckoning) and like previous packs, it features four new maps for multiplayer and a new episode of Exo Zombies. Check it out below.
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Ending an excellent run of free post launch DLC, CD Projekt RED will be offering a New Game + mode, for free, for their excellent Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. According to their Facebook page, this should be coming up sometime soon- not this week, as they still need some time to polish it up. But if you’re someone who is nearing the completion of your playthrough of this massive RPG, the New Game + mode will give you an excuse to stick around.
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A bold return for the True Crime franchiseProducer Jeff O'Connell conveys the grim atmosphere reigning over the developers at United Front Games, moments after losing their publisher and months before their ambitious open-world game could stand in a lineup with other free-roaming felons. Activision wanted a bold return for its True Crime franchise, but decided to pull the plug in February 2010. The protracted effort just wasn't guaranteed to conclude at the top of the genre. Enter: Square Enix London Studios, a division of Square Enix Europe (formerly Eidos). At about 20 members it's a much smaller group than the Vancouver-based United Front, which had close to 180 employees at the peak of True Crime development. "We're a pretty small, tight group," says General Manager Lee Singleton. "I think, actually, a couple of years ago I did the math and I think the average amount of industry experience is like 15 or 16 years or something. We're all pretty seasoned guys."
United Front can whip out a similar resume, built on familial qualities. "We consider ourselves very close-knit," O'Connell says. "I'm sure a lot of these studios say they consider themselves a family, and we do, and we do things to foster that kind of feeling. We have a lot of events, and even though we're a very young studio, we're a very experienced studio." The studio began with Modnation Racers, a vibrant, approachable racing game built with Sony, but incorporates veterans from Bully, Prototype and the Need for Speed franchise.
"Meeting Square, which we did very shortly after the game was canceled -- and I'm probably going to use some corny expression -- was like a bright light," O'Connell says. "Right away, we met those guys and I think we just clicked with them. It's one thing for people to come in and love the game, which they did, and it's another thing for people to come in and just get along with them incredibly well and go out for drinks and meals with them, and just have a really fantastic time, and have them in the studio and have them ask questions or make suggestions, and have that show their depth of understanding." If that run-on sentence isn't indicative of real enthusiasm about this relationship, we don't know what is.
Of course, you don't go from True Crime to Sleeping Dogs -- a new title that refers to the protagonist's veiled prodding of Hong Kong's underworld -- just by finding people who get along with each other. Square Enix London envisions a different future for this violent homage to Hong Kong action cinema, and disagrees with Activision on how satisfied consumers and critics will be with the end product. Sure, some of it's inflated talk, necessary for games with a staccato history, but Square Enix claims it has the numbers to prove it.
"You can probably count the number of AAA developers in the world on one, possibly two hands," Singleton says. "There's not many, right? And talk is quite cheap. You meet a lot of developers and they're like, 'Yeah, we're gonna do a 90-percent Metacritic game.' It's really easy to say, but until you've actually done that, you don't know how hard it is. You know, I've done it, it's bloody hard." (Games filed under "bloody hard:" Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2.)
Square Enix London plays an academic role in development, offering access to usability labs -- "with mirrored glass and that kind of stuff" -- a database of professional testers, and a wealth of data that helps eliminate "those little points of frustration," Singleton says. "It's really tough, and if everything goes right it's still really hard. Generally, making games is about dealing with a lot of problems, it's really tough, so we just try to compliment the dev teams that we work with."
Singleton believes that intense tuning is what sets the best games apart, most of all when it's done during the climax of development. "To be honest, that bit at the end is where you take your game from an 80 to a 90, if you've got all the right ingredients." There's an adherence to numbers throughout his explanation, which almost makes game development into the product of cold science. And with science comes some measure of predictability, and more than an inkling of what Metacritic will say a few weeks after launch. "The furthest we've been out is three percent," he says.
And how much money will Square Enix be out if the error goes beyond three percent? Singleton doesn't say, but drops the diplomacy when addressing the AAA industry's money-sucking state. "Every game is a huge financial risk, if I'm honest with you. Game development is a money pit. It doesn't matter how much you throw at it, it keeps sucking it up." Quality is your only hope, Singleton says, and it must be verifiable to warrant the huge investment. "We're not making iPhone games here, right?"
Singleton is drawn to the "magic" that he feels was already in Sleeping Dogs, and perhaps just needed some more time and tuning, while Jeff O'Connell paints a picture of dedication. Even when the plug was pulled, the lights stayed on at United Front Games.
"We always kept working," he says. "I think, obviously, when you lose your publisher, there's a period of shock that sets in, and you have to make sure that you're taking care of yourself and your people at that point and you're helping people through that time." United Front kept working on the core technology and, from what I've played of the game in its latest incarnation, a set of enjoyable mechanics given emphasis over a surfeit of city run-around missions. "We always believed in the game, and always felt that it was going to somehow make it out there because we felt what we were offering was really unique and strong. So, yeah, we didn't stop."
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