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Double Fine: adventures into the unknown

Monday, 17 September 2012 10:08 GMT By Dave Cook

Double Fine has ditched the need for big publishers and the $60 boxed game model. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks to the team to learn more about its grandest adventure yet.

“Ah yes, the accidental launch. Well, the feedback has been mixed, as you can imagine from a premature release. I think some people were very confused and saw an unfinished product.”

From the outside looking in, Double Fine looks like a studio reborn, freed from the shackles that come with big name publishers and evil corporates that serve little purpose but to hoover up your money, stamp on creativity and slam doors in the faces of eager indie devs.

Except the San Francisco studio doesn’t view the industry that way. Sure Double Fine is making success for itself by favouring digital content streams and Kickstarter, but it is absolutely open to the idea of working with big publishers again.

Double Fine is quick to stress that these big corporate entities are not evil, they’re just larger and need more money to pay their staff. It’s plain, old fashioned economics.

VG247 caught up with Double Fine Adventure producer Greg Rice and Middle Manager of Justice project lead Kee Chi to discuss where a studio with near-limitless freedom goes next, and why its Kickstarter project is going to be epic.

VG247: Double Fine accidentally launched its latest game Middle Manager of Justice on iOS recently, and in turn you decided to make it a beta. As you’ve had a chance to get feedback before the proper launch, could you consider this a ‘happy accident’.

Kee Chi: Ah yes, the accidental launch. Well, the feedback has been mixed, as you can imagine from a premature release. I think some people were very confused and saw an unfinished product. Once we clarified that it’s not the final product, people started sending me very constructive feedback and suggestions.

We hope to keep doing this after the game is out there, and evolve the product with the community. Last Wednesday we couldn’t quite call it a happy accident, but it’s definitely been incredibly helpful getting the early feedback from players.

It’s a neat concept for a game. Where did it come from?

I’ve always loved superheroes and comic growing up. I still get really excited when any superhero games of movies come out. I also really enjoy playing simulation games, from the Kairosoft titles, to older stuff like The Movies, Theme Park, Harvest Moon and even Princess Maker.

In thinking of the title, I first thought of ‘Superhero Manager – ala Football Manager – but that didn’t have enough charm behind it, which eventually led to Middle Manager of Justice, and it was surprising how easily mundane office themes fit with classic superhero tropes.

It’s like controlling the justice League, but in an office, and instead of the Martian Manhunter sending heroes off on missions, it’s a balding middle-aged office manager.

It’s also free-to-play, which is a first for Double Fine. Can you give us a run down of the monetisation model, and is this something you might do more of at the studio?

Well, it’s definitely something we are trying out with the game. This doesn’t mean that every game that we make from now on will be F2P, but we like to try out a lot of different things here at Double Fine.

In Middle Manager of Justice, we’ve been especially careful in making sure that the game is fun for the free player as well as the player that pays for in-app purchases. You can pay to speed up training and research time, or pay to get stronger heroes at earlier points in the game.

We’re excited about reaching more players with the game being free, and being able to keep working on it by adding content and depth to the game.

The F2P model and the simulation genre are getting really big now, especially on PC. Why then did you decide to release Middle Manager solely on iOS?

We all play games on our iPhones and and iPads here at Double Fine. There are some incredibly fun games out there on mobile devices and we are excited to be developing games for them/ Personally, I think that a game like Middle Manager of Justice works great on a phone.

Having your superheroes training in your pocket as you wait for a bus is awesome. As you’ve seen, we’ve been expanding the platforms that we put our games on, and mobile is definitely one of the.

Thanks Kee. Can we have a chat about Double Fine Adventure Greg, as this is something that has also blown the studio’s scope wide open. The amount of money you raised was incredible, but at what point did you decide you wanted to crowd-fund the game?

Greg Rice: Well we were looking at Kickstarter for about a year before we launched the project. I had a bunch of friends who had launched on Kickstarter before, and they had a lot of success there. But at the time they were doing smaller numbers – around about the kind of video game budget we would have needed to make a game.

But it wasn’t until the 2 Player guys – that are doing the documentary for our Kickstarter – came to us after they had done their Minecraft documentary, and we saw that they had done over $300,000 for that, and that was something along the lines of the budget we were looking at.

So that was the catalyst that got us talking about it, and after we launched we started to see more money coming in – more than we needed to make something the scale of a Double Fine game.

What was the reaction around the office when you saw that the money was flooding in?

Yeah that was very surprising, I mean we had no idea that it would pick up that quickly. When we set up the project we looked at when it would finish – which would have been around the time of GDC – we thought we’d be using that time to really push towards our initial goal. But the fact that we had reached out target in the first day was very surprising and very exciting.

You had one target, but you ended up with so much more funding than you had anticipated. How has the extra budget changed your plans for the game’s development?

When we set our goal originally it was $400,000 and we ended up getting over $3.3 million, and that definitely changed what the project was, and we had to scramble as the project was being funded, to come up for a new plan of what we could do with that amount of money.

Just because, when we were choosing the budget of $400,000, we tried to find a number that seemed reasonable on Kickstarter, that we could make something with and be proud of. – something we could happily put the Double Fine name on.

I had a lot of friends come to me when we launched, saying that they thought it was a large number and that we were crazy for asking for that much. We definitely hoped we would get more, and when we did we were very excited, but it caused a total shift in our minds of what the project was.

It went from being a project that was a small team of around three people for six months, to now being a project that would span an entire year, and with 11 people on the team.

But it also meant adding a lot of new features like new platforms, adding actual recorded dialogue for the voice-over, so we were definitely able to use that money to expand the project into something even bigger and better.

How far has the project come long since that focus shifted?

We really hadn’t started before the Kickstarter launched, as we really wanted to save all that for the documentary crew, plus we didn’t know what size of a game we were making, and obviously it wouldn’t have done us any good to start planning up front, because our smaller game would have been a lot different to our $3 million game.

So we started in March, as soon as our Kickstarter ended, and we started brainstorming with four months of pre-production, which took us up to July.

We’ve been in full production now for only a few month, but we’re starting to see actual levels and characters from the game, and some puzzles that you can now solve in the game. We’re making progress but we’re still definitely a long way off.

Middle Manager of Justice. It looks suitably stupid.

Tim Schafer is currently writing the script. How is that coming along?

Yeah, that has been one of the most amazing parts so far. Tim is writing the script currently and he is a brilliant writer. The script is one of the least things I’m worried about as I’m sure it will be brilliant, and full of amazing characters.

But yes it has been an amazing process because we have been very open with it and we’ve shown concept art of the main characters, gotten feedback from our backers on Kickstarter and yeah, it’s been great.

Double Fine Adventure and your approach to Kickstarter really does underline the studio’s new direction. At what point did the team decide that it would focus predominantly on digital, and take the almost-indie approach that you’re taking now?

The first two games that Double Fine put out were large disc-based games for consoles, and the plan after Brutal Legend was to do Brutal Legend 2. When that got cancelled we had to shift and sort of figure out what we were going to do next.

So the decision was made to split the team down into smaller teams and work on these smaller games. We started what we call the ‘Amnesia Fortnight’, where we split the entire company up into four teams and have everybody who wanted to pitch a game, pitch a game to Tim – basically anything they wanted to work on.

This process ended up producing Costume quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade and Once Upon a Monster. So we spent two weeks thrashing those ideas out, and then pitched to publishers and all of them got signed. Ever since then we’ve been split into smaller teams that work on multiple projects at once, and that’s been a really exciting process for us.

Are you able to tell us more about what stage Brutal Legend 2 was at when it was canned?

It was just at the brainstorming phase. That happened shortly after Brutal Legend was launched, and we then split the team up and started the Amnesia Fortnight method.

Brutal Legend was the last Double Fine game that fit the big budget, ‘$60 boxed game’ stereotype. Is that a format you might return to in future?

Yeah, we definitely haven’t shunned the $60 boxed game, and it’s something that we could totally come back to in the future. But what I think is exciting with what we’ve been doing recently is that, we’ve been able to try a lot of different things.

We’ve done Kinect game, we’ve done mobile games, PC, and we’re now doing iOS. We’re looking at free-to-play stuff, so it’s been cool to experiment with our business models, just as much as we’ve experimented with our games. So yeah, we definitely could – one day – do a boxed game.

It’s neat that you guys are trying so many different things considering that many of the team have roots back in classic adventure games. We actually saw a recent quote from Ron Gilbert – who I know has worked with Tim a lot – saying that Doom is responsible for a dip in the adventure genre during the mid ’90s.

“The plan after Brutal Legend was to do Brutal Legend 2. When that got cancelled we had to shift and sort of figure out what we were going to do next.”

That was because it brought the notion of faster-paced action games to the table. Is that fair to say do you think?

I think that the console market has totally shifted towards larger, triple-a, polished experiences and definitely has more of an emphasis on action-based gameplay. But those games have started adopting things from the adventure genre over the last few years.

You see these big shooters that are relying a lot more on story, and action games that have more character-based stories. I think that the adventure genre has definitely primed the audience for narrative based games, and thanks to the variety of tablet and touch devices today, it makes sense to have new adventure games on those things.

But yeah I think that while action-based games have been more popular in recent years, the rise of the indie scene has shown that people are looking for new and unique experiences, and are willing to give anything a shot, even if it’s a unique idea they haven’t seen before.

Indies are a bigger part of the industry now than they were perhaps five or ten years ago, and there’s a very simple, obvious – but very applicable – quote on your Kickstarter page that states, “Big games cost big money.”

If the industry is trying to nurture indie talent, why are so many platforms essentially slamming doors in the faces of eager studios by making routes to market so expensive?

For any developers, things like Steam and iOS are much more open platforms, and they’re such a huge deal because they are places for indies to launch their games easily, and to give them a wide reach.

Platforms have – typically in the past – been difficult to get on, and have a lot of hoops to jump through in order to publish your game. That can be tough for indies for sure, but I think times are definitely changed and that I’d imagine that the industry is looking at iOS or Steam, and seeing the succes that people are having on there, then re-evaluating their practices.

What’s your opinion on OUYA and Android as easier routes to market for indies?

I think they definitely fall in line with the spirit of what we’ve done with Double Fine Adventure and we’re always looking to be very open and offering our product in a way that fans can can get better access.

But yeah, with Double Fine Adventure, our engine I called Moai, and it’s an open source engine that will allow us to launch on multiple platforms at the same time. The engine is available to anyone who wants to use it and ultimately we’re building a lot of tools for our game that will then be open sourced back into the Moai engine.

Should more developers consider removing the ‘red rope’ like that and give the public and other budding devs access to the studio – be it through tech or just a general insight into their inner workings?

Yeah I mean it’s different for everyone but we here at Double Fine like to be very open and to speak honestly and openly with our fans. It’s been good for us.

One thing that comes up a lot when people talk about Double Fine is sequels to games like Psychonauts, and it’s clear that people really want to see some of your old titles brought back. Is that demand from the gaming public validation that you’ve done something right?

Yeah that’s definitely flattering, and Tim has ideas for sequels to every game we’ve ever made. I think it always comes down to what kind of studio resources are available, and who’s available to make games.

But yes, Psychonauts 2 is something that comes up a lot and it’s something that we’d definitely be interested in doing. It’d just be a large game, and that’d mean pretty much the entire studio working on it for multiple years, so it’s just a matter of finding funding and finding out how to take it forward.

There is this weird view from many gamers that developers shouldn’t release games just to make money – and that the desire to make a profit is seen as greed – when in reality, making money is a necessity because, well, you are a business at the end of the day.

It’s not so much that we’d make games to make money, the real issue is having the money to make the game. It’s not like, ‘oh yeah, we want to make Psychonauts 2.

Well, someone has to pay us a ton of money to make us rich first’. We need that money to pay our employees so that we can have them around and have their salaries paid while we ake the game.

The same is true of sequels. Like, if a developer announces a sequel, some gamers approach that with caution and might say, ‘oh, this is a cash cow, they’re only doing this for money.’ At the end of the say it’s an entertainment business and you’re right, you do need to pay people’s wages.

I think there are definitely more Psychonauts stories to be told, and Tim has them in mind. Obviously fans like the game and we’d love to revisit the franchise too, and…we love it as well.

So in Double Fine Adventure, what does the word ‘Adventure’ mean to you? What defines a strong and memorable adventure game today?

We talked about this a lot, and a few of those discussions have been released in our Kickstarter documentary. But I think it’s different to everybody, but pretty much everyone we’ve talked with agrees that adventure games have a focus on narrative, story and character development.

One of the most important things in the game is that you’re telling a story and letting a player get absorbed into a world. We then have everything else like your inventory, puzzles, dialogue trees – but these aren’t necessarily what defines an adventure game.

Some adventure games have them, some don’t, but with Double Fine Adventure specifically, I think ‘Adventure’ references the adventure in the game itself, but also because it’s going to be an adventure for our fans in that we’re allowing our backers to take part in development of the game, and to give them access behind the scenes.

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1 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    That was some fine-ass interview, I’m glad i took the time to read it. Still Dave, in the future, i recommend that you split interviews like that in two parts. The size of that thing is intimidating.

    #1 3 years ago

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  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]