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Interview – Brink’s Paul Wedgwood

Saturday, 21 August 2010 08:44 GMT By Nathan Grayson

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Chatting with Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood is always a treat – even if it comes shortly after the disappointing news that Brink won’t see the light of day in 2010.

We sat down with the lord of all things multiplayer and shooty during last week’s QuakeCon, where we talked shop about why Brink held down its S.M.A.R.T. button and sprinted out of 2010, what form the game’s DLC might take, the difficulties of multiplatform development, putting the color back in shooters, how a truly cross-platform multiplayer game might work, and tons more. Seriously, if you crawled out of bed this morning and thought to yourself, “Gee, I sure want to hear Paul Wedgwood talk about everything ever today,” then you came to the right place.

Read the full interview after the break!

[Interview by Nathan Grayson]

VG247: Brink was recently delayed into 2011, which is kind of a bummer, because I want to buy it. Could you explain why you felt like the game needed a little extra time in the oven?

Paul Wedgwood: We’re not adding any additional things to it. Essentially, we’re gonna spend longer in the beta phase. Because it’s a really ambitious game, and now that people can see what we’ve done with weapons – the number of weapons, the number of weapon modifications, the number of abilities, the number of items and gadgets – they can see the interrelations between those many components sets up some very specific balancing challenges.

And for Brink, we want to make sure people enjoy playing months after they’ve started playing – or years after they’ve started playing! I think in order for us to achieve that well, we want to have the best possible period of balancing and polishing.

What kind of post-release support do you have planned for Brink? I don’t imagine you can go into specifics just yet, but can you paint us the bigger picture? Are you planning a few scattered DLC packs, or something more dedicated and long-term along the lines of Team Fortress 2’s ever-evolving update system?

Well basically, we –as developers – have a reputation for supporting the community long after release. We still manage the wiki for people who are still editing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, which was released seven years ago. We’ve released the source codes for both our previous games. You know, the SDKs to allow people to make mods and fool with the design tools and everything else.

Bethesda have a great reputation for DLC as well with Fallout 3. They’re one of the most prolific DLC developers. But we’re in alpha at the moment. We’re pre-beta. We haven’t made any final decisions on how to support the game after release.

We have loads of ideas, but our focus – as far as Brink is concerned – is just on Brink 1, and that’s it.

Brink’s got a very interesting universe, but your lead designer was telling me that he was absolutely adamant about a focus on multiplayer game design first. Would you ever consider designing a more story oriented Brink game? Maybe something that’s single-player and a bit more scripted?

Games are about interaction – first and foremost. There are plenty of other entertainment mediums if you just want to be told a story. You know, books, DVDs. If you don’t want to read the book, you can get an audio book. [Laughs].

In Brink, I think we have a great narrative with a big arcing story. I love the way it starts. I love the way it ends. We tell the story of two factions really well, and we confuse and confound the views of the two – who’s right, who’s wrong. And then you have the interaction between the squadmates, and you’re actually one of the people in that cinematic, because we even want that to be interactive. So as your character becomes cooler and cooler looking, he’s in the background of those cinematic scenes – you know, just turning into this crazy monster, or this super-slick preppy looking guy. You know, however it is you want to look.

So Brink is a true single-player game and a true multiplayer game. It just happens to be one game. And that [non-Brink] way, when you play the entire game on a mine-cart – the orchestrated, heavily scripted experience – you get to play once, and then play a completely different game when you go online. You need a different set of skills. So, for us, right down the center of the line is co-op play. And to support co-op play, you need both a cinematic, colorful narrative and you need high replayability and a high level of action and a great level of freedom. So with Brink, I think that’s a better way to think of the game.

So do you think co-op actually lends itself well to story-telling? Have you ever felt hampered by your decision to integrate competition-based multiplayer into your storyline?

Well, no. I think the thing is we’re not precious about the story. As far as we’re concerned, if you play, say, racing games just to race cars – you don’t do the career mode or story modes or any of that stuff – that’s fine. And it’s the same with Brink. If you’re not interested in the story, you can skip all the cinematics. Or you can use that time that the cinematic’s playing. We let you bring the deployment menu over the cinematic. It’s kind of crazy, but we let you do it so you can re-configure your weapons loadout. If you like the ambience of the cinematic stuff, but you want to be configuring your character before he starts, we let you do that.  

We have closing cinematics for all outcomes – failure and success. Which is different from a single-player game, because a single-player game doesn’t have mission failure as a potential outcome. They don’t have to do a big ending cinematic for things going wrong.

So, you know, for us, if a player is interested in the story, there’s a ton there for them to discover. We’ve long thought that the environment is one of the main characters of the story. Even in the city you just played through, you probably didn’t notice that the whole center of the map is a huge medical ship called “Hope.” And there’s a big story about why that ship’s there in the center of Container City. And there are lots of things we do with the environment for people who are interested. They can find out a lot more about the history of the Ark and how it came to be. We’ve written a 40-year backstory for the Ark to support all of the work that’s gone into creating the environments that reflect that approach.

It’s a design approach that we call “Instant Deep Contact” – this idea that you can look at something, and from that thing you’re looking at, you can tell a lot about its history. Its past usage, its current usage, its state, and everything else.

During his keynote, John Carmack gave a spiel about how PC and console technologies have diverged quite a bit lately – versus how they’d reached parity for a bit at the beginning of this console cycle. Coming from a PC background, what do you think is the best approach to PC development these days?

We certainly found the transition from PC to console development to be a challenge, because when you’re developing for something like a PlayStation 3, it’s almost an alien language that you’re trying to decipher as a PC developer. So we hired a lot of very talented console developers to join our team to help us make that transition.

But I think, really, the most interesting thing about the three different lead platforms for our type of games – the Xbox 360, the PC, the PlayStation 3 – are the design challenges in achieving gameplay parity and visual parity. Because with the PC being further ahead now in visuals, getting a PC to look as good as a console or better is a particularly tough challenge anymore. The challenge is how do you get a good framerate, a really good rate of physics processing, and efficiently use the network bandwith you have for each player to develop a presentation that supports excellent gameplay no matter what platform you’re playing on. How do you make sure that the S.M.A.R.T. movement system – with its intricacies and people jumping and sliding and turning and shooting and sliding into cover – how do you make sure that works just as effectively on an analog controller when you can’t rebind every key on the keyboard for all of those functions.

So there’s a really interesting challenge to create a control schematic and an interface that works effectively for everything, so that nothing is a port. Nothing is a compromise to make it almost as good as the other platforms. That’s one of the things I’ve found most enjoyable about Brink, and I think we’ve largely succeeded. Now the way we achieved it as an approach was to be truly platform agnostic from the start. So even though the very first prototype was brought in on the PC because it was the quickest thing for us to do, we played on console controllers connected to the PC. So, you know, at E3, we played on PS3s. This time, we’re using PC boxes, but we’ve got the 360 interface and 360 controllers. Sometimes, we have a mouse-and-keyboard. And we’re not really dictatorial about it in the office. We just like people to switch around and play with different controllers and see how they feel.

And I think you can see in some games that the interface isn’t as effective on one platform as it is on another platform. And that’s something that’s a real goal for us: visual parity and gameplay parity.

A rumor circulated recently that Microsoft was developing an extremely comprehensive cross-platform setup for PC and Xbox 360, but then scrapped it because mouse-and-keyboard users were making even the best console players look like amateurs. Is that disappointing to you? Given the opportunity, is that something you would have been gung-ho about since your game is all about parity between platforms?

You know, Kevin Cloud from id Software, who mentored me in design for pretty much the first six years of my career because he was the executive producer on Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, he and I used to talk a lot about cross-platform and how you would do it. You know, should it be people controlling vehicles on analog controllers, and people shooting and running around in first-person on keyboard-and-mouse, and them working together cooperatively to complete a series of complex sections and stuff?

I think that if anyone ever does achieve that level of inter-operation between different platforms, it would be because they found a way to play to the strengths of the different interfaces and have them work together in ways that the other people can’t do. A keyboard is not analog, and so you don’t have degrees of input. And so, the analog controller in many, many ways is better than the PC controller, the mouse-and-keyboard, but at different things. Racing games are a perfect example. You’ve got analog acceleration and analog brakes.

I used to be a really PC-centric gamer. And I’ve changed my own character over the past few years to play a lot more console games. But one of the things we wanted to achieve with Brink was that feeling that you could run, jump, turn, shoot. We looked at vertical combat – which is normally avoided in console shooters – and added fluidity to the way you move and shoot that works just as effectively on an analog controller as it does on a mouse-and-keyboard. I think that aiming in a shooter will always be – because of the size and surface you can use with a mouse – the accuracy that you’re able to achieve can’t be matched by a console controller. But your left hand on a keyboard can’t give you degrees of acceleration or reverse or levels of strafing.

So do you think that – if a true cross-platform game were ever designed – it would essentially have to be two separate games for the two different platforms?

Like I said, despite the fact that Kevin and I talked about the design challenges, I don’t think we ever talked about seriously doing anything cross-platform. There’s just no real need. The communities for our games are always big enough to support the single platforms.

Brink has a really interesting architecture and style to it. In a shooter landscape that essentially looks like a bowl of mud and gravel soup, do you think developers are underestimating what good a unique style can do? How much of a role do you think it plays in attracting players?

When we started, Olivier and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on that stuff. When I showed the first concept for Brink, I imagined a photo-realistic environment. When we hired Olivier Leonardi, he was the art director behind Prince of Persia. And when he came on board, he wanted hyper-realism; he wanted exaggerated characters and proportions. He wanted to put the color back in shooters. It’s what he said: “I’m going to put the color back in shooters.”

And, you know, we disagreed about that stuff. And then, recently, Bethesda posted a blog of mine, and I had to admit I was wrong all along. Olivier had always been right. Our studio director printed out my quote – “I was wrong all along” – and stuck it on the back of Olivier’s [computer] screen. So now, Olivier’s got this thing on the back of his screen saying that I was wrong. [Laughs].

But, you know, Olivier’s just a genius about stuff. And I think what he’s done is – like a good music studio or something – it’s not truly pop. But because of that, you can listen to it for years and years, and there’s always a greater level of depth and interest you can discover when you look at something. You know, “Oh, I didn’t notice that! I didn’t notice that! Wow, look at that!” I get that when I look at great pieces of art, look at beautiful architecture, listen to a great CD, or watch a movie I love for the sixth time.

And having a unique exaggerated type of realism with this colorful art style gives us that. And then, of course, it has the added benefit for marketing of meaning that every screenshot, every piece of gameplay footage, every video for a website, everything – you just know it’s Brink from a distance. It’s very easy to tell.

Your lead designer was talking about how you’ve taken a lot of inspiration from World of Warcraft. Sounds like you’ve got something similar going on here, since WoW’s art style is also very stylized, and – as a result – long-lasting.

Right. But when you get up close in the character customization interface, it’s actually all photo-realistic texturing. But, from a distance, it looks almost like a cartoon character.

We’ve done the same thing with the accents. You can choose an accent – I think we’ve got, like, eight or ten – and they represent ethnicities from all around the world. But we don’t take any of them seriously. We have 22 nationalities at Splash Damage, so we have complete irreverence for everyone. [Laughs]. So whether it’s the most stereotypical British guy, or American, or Arabic, Asian, or African, none of the actors took themselves seriously during the reads. So it’s really great, because it adds an amazing level of comedy. And so you’ll be leaving the store in your new outfit where you just look like a nutter, and one of your squadmates will say, “Do you know what you look like?” And there’s just that sense of having a little bit of fun.

The story of the game is serious. It’s a serious consideration about sustainability and a green vision, and this kind of unavoidable conflict – that people just need an excuse to fight, and that becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy endless cycle [type of thing]. And man’s inhumanity to man and so on. And that’s all a very interesting concept, but the fact is that three soldiers running about will just take the piss out of each other, because comedy relieves the stress of a combat situation. So I think, in that way, it’s quite believable. The banter between squadmates is really quite silly at times, but the story – the reason everyone is fighting – is quite profound.

Are there any plans for a pre-release demo or open beta test of Brink?

You know, at the moment – because we’re pre-beta – we’re just focused on polishing the final feature set. Once we finish this period of mulling, the final feature set is going to be stable. Because we’ll cut things that aren’t fun. If we have 100 things and 20 of them aren’t fun, we won’t leave 100 in for the number. We’ll ship with 80.

With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, we had ten maps in production. We cut four before we released. One of them was full-scale replica of the [inaudible] prison of war camp. All of the art was done. We’d put months and months and months of work into it. But it just wasn’t fun. It didn’t end up being fun. So rather than just include it for its own sake, we just cut it. We didn’t release it. As a result, those six maps have been played to death for the past six or seven years, because every one of them is good. Every one of them is different, unique, and presents a different experience.

With Brink, it’s the same. Every map is a unique district with a unique series of gameplay elements and geography to fight within. Although we have consistent objective types; you don’t have to re-learn how to do stuff. You always feel like you’re somewhere completely different and the gameplay is always refreshing.

What’s Splash Damage’s take on 3D? It’s The Next Big Thing right now, but do you think it’s here to stay?

It’s difficult for a developer, because the investment that you need to make in supporting different types of technology is really [inaudible] once you have a large enough audience to benefit from that focus. In the past, we’ve worked with Nvidia to include high-end support for specific graphics cards – to make the best use of the feature set for those. And, you know, we’ll continue to do our best to work with vendors to get support for things into the game.

But at the moment, the 3D thing isn’t something that’s on the table – not during pre-beta.

What about in the future? Is 3D something you might focus on for Splash Damage’s next game?

I don’t know. I think with 3D, the best examples of its use are those that are designed with it in mind – particularly movies where they knew it was going to be a 3D movie. And in that sense, it’s like designing a rollercoaster ride or any other form of entertainment that’s all about shock and stuff. You’d probably want to design a game that was focused on that.  

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6 Comments

  1. Robo_1

    Lots of interesting information there. I was pleased to read that they have a massive single player campaign to go along with all of this multiplayer goodness.

    Also, kudos to VG247, the Gamescom coverage has been top, with lots of interesting exclusive interviews.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Quiiick

    Interesting interview indeed!

    But I’m not too happy that Brink has been pushed into early 2011.
    Amazon UK lists Brink to be released on March 26, 2011. That’s quite a crowded period for FPSs. Killzone 3, Crysis 2 and Gears 3 are scheduled for the very same timeframe. It will be really tough for Brink to stand against these well known franchises.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. LOLshock94

    i dont know how to put this but is this the chubby guy with black hair and glasses or someone else at splash damage?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. DSB

    I can’t remember having expectations as high as this towards any game in a long time. I really hope they bring it home.

    And I certainly hope they’re on the BRINK of going into beta (Oh boy, epic pun there). This game can’t get here soon enough.

    @2 All of those games are very familiar to people, that’s just not as exciting. If Brink really turns out to be something different, the people who are buying those games, are still quite likely to see what it’s about.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. LOLshock94

    they could get away with a feb release

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Quiiick

    @ LOLshock94
    An early february release would be absolutely perfect, marketing-wise.

    #6 5 years ago

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  • Skyworld VR strategy game looks kind of like playing with toys

    Skyworld is a new turn based strategy designed for use with VR headsets. Skyworld comes to us from Vertigo Games, and will be compatible with Valve’s Vive headset. IGN reports Vertigo has worked in close collaboration with the SteamVR project, so Skyworld will support both seated VR and full-room features. Think about that while you […]

  • Link and Ganon battle in new Legend of Zelda fan film

    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]