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DayZ standalone interview: selfishness breeds success

Monday, 8 October 2012 17:11 GMT By Dave Cook

DayZ started life as an Arma 2 mod, but now it’s grown into something bigger. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with creator Dean Hall about where the game goes from here.

DayZ

Created as an Arma 2 mod by Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall.

As of August 6th 2012, DayZ reached one million players.

Hall is now working on a standalone version of DayZ that is slated for a November-December 2012 release window.

You don’t have to look very far to see why right now, as you read these words, the games industry has never been in a healthier state if you’re an independent creator.

While the triple-a market may be awash with rote design, committee-led development and cookie-cutter experiences, the indie scene is gearing up for an explosion. It’s a genuinely thrilling playing field.

If you have an idea, you must act now, before the big corporations, publishers and studios muscle in on this flourishing market and wrench control away from those trying to make it big off their own back.

Someone who knows this first hand – both by working in the big business side of the industry, and through his own work – is DayZ creator Dean Hall. He’s gearing up to launch the standalone version of his survival horror mod, and he’s got much to say during these volatile times.

VG247: You’ve gone from a modder to an icon in the eyes of many gamers, thanks to the success of DayZ. How does it feel to have shot to fame and prominence so suddenly?

Dean Hall: You only really realise it when you look back, so when I think about it, and about how you’ve changed – how you think and react differently – some of it’s not positive.

I think sometimes I’m much less inclined to accept, say, a team member submitting poor quality work, I’m probably less patient and things like that. So some of it’s quite negative, and I think it’s because of all the pressure and things like that.

Because so many eyes are on you now and people want to hear what you have to say?

Yeah, and it’s really hard to keep a sense of perspective and the vision as well. That’s why it’s been really good to talk to people like Notch, Valve or the guys from CCP.

They helped me by saying, ‘nope, you’re on the right track, keep doing this or that.’ So it’s been really useful to have that, but I haven’t really reflected on the – as you say – fame side of it.

“I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like.”

It’s because I just haven’t had time. When there’s a lull – say when we’ve done the alpha standalone release of DayZ – then maybe it will sink in a little bit more, But at the moment it’s literally like I go somewhere, I do a talk, I leave, I go back to work.

It’s just planes, planes, getting grumpy, and you really don’t think of the awesomeness of it. I’m jet-lagged, on another plane, my hotel room’s not ready yet, and all of that other stuff.

You got advice from Notch though. What was that like? Was his input useful?

Well he’s pretty busy. Basically he had wanted to play DayZ, but he had great difficulty installing it, and also I think he was a bit worried that it would soak up a lot of his time. So I think he’s waiting for the standalone.

Can you give us a status update on the standalone version’s development?

Yeah sure. It’s been a real challenge to move all the data, because it’s a mixture of Arma 2, Take On Helicopters and bits of Arma 3, so it’s a real smorgasbord of Bohemia Interactive products lumped together.

That’s awesome but it also creates a real data challenge, as there’s just vast quantities of data that has to be moved. In many ways it’s a new product, because we’ve come up with a unique way of distributing it through DayZ, and a unique way of pushing out updates very quickly thanks to working with awesome people like Valve.

I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like, and while that’s not going to affect the release date, it is going to affect how ambitious we can be with the actual content.

So it will be chopped down a bit over the existing version?

Well you know, I guess I never really thought we’d get things like construction into the standalone at launch. I’d prefer things to go faster, but that’s just game development.

Tight development cycles and such?

Yeah, and I think the most important thing is we deal with hacking, bugs, duping, new content, tidy up some of the features and expand them a bit. I think if we can get that base – by the end of November or December – then that means January and February will be really happy, fun times.

Launch day will mark the start of an iterative development process for you and your team. How will you look to expand the game from that point, and how closely will fan feedback dictate where you go next?

We have to get that initial alpha out, and whenever we want to push out a build we can pretty much push that. We’ve been talking about having three builds. First is an internal build – one that is just available for the development team.

Then a recommended build – like a beta testing build that’s available for the community, where they can try new updates before they come out. Then the final build, so that’s how we’re going to be taking things forward.

”I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.”

Code-wise, the updates will be quite well planned – like Minecraft updates ended up being with update Fridays and all that. I think with content, the content will come out as it’s done.

I think if it’s done and it’s tested, we’ll roll it out. We have an art cell as well, and we say to them, ‘we want this done’. So they go away and they are very agile, they decide how they’re going to do it. They manage themselves and produce the content.

DayZ was a mod of Arma 2, so in turn will people be able to mod DayZ standalone?

I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.

But we’re realistic. If we don’t first control hacking, duping and bugs, than that’s a very serious issue.

So again, you have to have that solid base first?

Yes exactly. But we talk about things, like it would be lovely to have things like APIs and things like that. Arma already supports high command extensions and other things that have helped make DayZ possible.

There’s a lot of support already out there for how the engine works, but that would all be stuff that comes after we’ve got that solid base, and we can say, ‘yes we have dealt with the problems as much as we can – we will never remove it completely – but we’ve given it a killer blow.’

Let’s move to how you got to this point in the first place. I mean, when you were making the mod, did you ever envision a standalone DayZ game happening?

Well I want to see more games that I want to play. That was why I started making games, and I think that’s the case for many people. I think as people get older, and they have kids they have different desires.

The whole reason I make games is I want to play them, and that’s maybe why I don’t like single-player campaign console games, because if you make that, then you’re probably sick of it by the time it launches.

Whereas with an open world multiplayer game, well you know, I’m still exploring the world as much as the player is once it was made. Perhaps that’s selfish because there’s a selfish reason why I like that game.

It’s also probably – I think – one of the more challenging game styles to design, because if you miss, you miss big. Your success is based on the players and how they use it.

But when you have something like Mass Effect, where you have a good story, great graphics, good cinematics, you’re more likely to see that success come through. I’ve kind of gone off topic here a little.

No, that’s fine. I guess from our end looking in, we’ve seen many people playing DayZ and then writing journals as the character, telling these awesome stories of survival and betrayal. How did it feel to start seeing that?

It was fantastic. That made it in my mind. I mean just sign it, seal it and say ‘done’. I don’t think there’s any greater thing you can do than to make something that other people pick up and run with.

So yeah that’s really awesome, but it does present some problems like people making their own t-shirts, selling things and stuff like that. You almost don’t want to jump on them because it’s cool, but these days you have to protect trademark and more.

”I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us.”

In a way one of the annoying things that’s come out is that things start to get serious. It got big, people start seeing you as a target, and a whole lot of bullshit comes out.

I don’t like that, that’s why I think our next games after DayZ won’t be as widely successful. I look at projects like Kerbal Space Program which is still incredibly popular, and I think it’s hit a sweet spot of awesome community, great number of players, but it’s not swamped to the point of destruction.

When you say ‘next games’, I mean, would you ever want to run a massive triple-a studio, or do you still want to function as an indie?

I think that eventually I want to go back to New Zealand, as I think it’s a great place to start a studio. With DayZ, I think it would be awesome to see it go in the direction of something like EvE Online.

I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us. The games industry very supportive of DayZ, the community is very supportive of it, other developers are kind to it – with a few exceptions.

I think it’s such a cherished IP, basically because it’s a success story. Does that tell you that anyone can do this if they have the right idea?

I definitely think they should get into it. The most important thing – and this also applies to big projects – is that the biggest problem is a lack of single vision. You need someone like Apple.

As much as people like to rip on what Steve Jobs did, and how he could be a bit of a dick sometimes, he knew what was needed. Sometimes I’m like that. I’m sure if you talk to some of the team, they would say I’m not always a nice person to be around.

But I think that, with mods, the reason a lot of them don’t get released is because they were team efforts. I think one person has to sit down ant take the responsibility like I did. I did the art, the code, production, I paid for things, so at the end of the day the buck stopped with me.

Everybody knew that, so they would accept it if I said, ‘nope, we’re doing things that way’. I think that’s really important, and I think a lot of mods or even big games do that.

They are games by committee, and I think those games depend on marketing. You need one person going, ‘this is what we’re doing’.

I guess the worst example of that is when you can tell a game has been focus-tested, and pandering to current trends. We’re now looking at things like open platforms. Should triple-a studios be worried of that emergent space?

I think they should definitely be worried, particularly publishers. History does repeat itself, and if you look at the music industry – you know, the way publishers reacted to iTunes – there’s a different thing going on in games.

If you look at something like DayZ or Minecraft – the cost of them is tiny compared to the amount of money they make. Then you look at something big – pretty much anything out there – they are very expensive propositions.

”Big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.”

They’re very risky, and you can fail very easily. I think free-to-play could spell some very serious problems for the big developers.

So I like to think that it’s a sunrise on an era of gaming that goes back to the David Brabens, to the type of games that are the ideas of a couple of people who stuck to it, who did what was right, and were pushed out to be reached by a lot of people.

Because big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.

On top of that these developers also have the pressure of next-gen hardware being right around the corner.

Yes, and how they approach it. Because the next-gen – and I think it might – go and say, ‘we want in on this innovation market’, because innovation is all the rage at the moment.

That’s why DayZ is successful, that’s why Minecraft as successful. People pick it up, and they talk about it on Twitter, even if it’s a bit crappy. If I were Sony or Microsoft, I would be sitting there saying, ‘OK, we want this’, because we’ve got all these console players bleating on YouTube comment threads asking, ‘why aren’t these games on consoles?’

They’re going out and buying pretty reasonably priced PCs to play them, so I think there’s a good chance we could see consoles manufacturers getting in on that.

They’re going for innovation, and they’ll have to re-think the way publishers work, and they’ll have to re-think everything. I think if I was a publishers I’d be thinking, ‘well, where am I going to be?’

It feels like we’re truly on the cusp of a market that will allow new IP to thrive like never before. You can see it already starting to begin. Do you agree that this is a great time for new games to shine?

My only experience with that was, I was making the PS2 version of Speed Racer – you know the movie license game?

Yeah.

At the time Sony was saying, ‘right, we’re not going to do any more PS2 games, PS2 is gone.’ But then what happened was, there was a big resurgence in PS2 sales because there was all these emerging markets picking up the console -Latin America and stuff like that.

”We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant.”

It was still selling. I mean, it may have been selling out of a bargain bin, but it was still selling, and I guess that changes your direction. Massive gaming publishers like EA have to take the safe ground, because they’re investing tens – many more times – millions of dollars.

They have to take the safe ground, and that’s not what people want. They want innovation. They’re tired of FIFA 13, and they don’t care that there’s one or two new features because they want to see cool new stuff, because people have short attention spans as well.

You mentioned iTunes a few questions back. What’s interesting is this notion that after the next console cycle, physical hardware will cease and the consoles as we know them will be less about a box you buy, but a service that you subscribe to. What’s your take on that?

I don’t really know enough about the technology behind it, but I look at it occasionally. All I know is that there will be more rapid, huge change. I think that everyone – developers, publishers and manufacturers – need to take a good hard look and say, ‘we want that process’.

When we had a lot of publishers come to us with the DayZ project and say, ‘we want to be involved’, I had to say to them, ‘well, what will you provide?’ They said money, marketing, retail placement and all of that.

We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant, but at the same time they can provide a lot of specialist assistance, or technology assistance.

But I think everyone in the development side of it needs to take a good hard look, especially if Sony and Microsoft say, ‘we want to focus on innovation’. If I were them I’d be looking at Steam going, ‘woah’. Steam makes it oh-so-easy for developers.

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6 Comments

  1. GwynbleiddiuM

    Thank you Dave, a very nice interview.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    Not a problem, glad you liked it :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    I’m more excited for ArMA 3 than dayz to be honest.

    Bohemia devs are excellent devs.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    When DayZ first released it had a strange community, those that saw the potential of the title and a chance to forge a new way of playing. Groups, pairs, random strangers suddenly meeting face to face and having to make the choice over killing or helping, sticking togethor or separating. So many emergent stories were forged within the first month of the mod being released. I remember myself and my friend forcing someone we came across to drop a can of beans, then rewarding his trust and co-operation with a new weapon and playing with him for a couple of hours.

    Then it exploded. Went all over youtube and the news sites, the user base kept of climbing higher and higher. That increase in numbers has had a direct effect on the quality of the experience. Now there are people waiting at the beach to kill new defenseless players because its “less competition” right? Even though they can just respawn randomly elsewhere so its not about that at all. Theres no trust what so ever, just alot of players with alot of supplies and next to no trust.

    I uninstalled DayZ last week and I have no intention of playing it ever again. It was a brave experiment but it was killed dead in the water by popularity and an awful user base.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. jacobvandy

    Yup, just take your ball and go home, baby… ;)

    Day Z is an amazing game, despite the masses of fucktards that have jumped on the bandwagon. Rocket is right about the main issues being the bugs and hacking; both have led to an over-abundance of high-level loot floating around, not to mention trolling and frustration caused by power-hungry dipshits or glitches in the game itself. I’ve not been playing near as much as I used to, but I know it’ll just take some time to iron things out and for the unsavory folks to get bored and leave (or be banned).

    I do believe the “kill everyone” mentality is partially due to boredom — once you spend some time gearing up and exploring the map, there gets to be a point where all you can do is try to survive as long as possible or go and find people to kill. Well, there’s really no challenge left from the environment or zombies once you know what you’re doing, so all that’s left is player interaction.

    I admit to doing my own share of indiscriminate killing, ’cause what else are you going to do with that shiny new AS50? Gotta use it before you lose it! Nowadays, though, we have a policy of not killing anybody who doesn’t have a weapon. Might let them slip if they have a hatchet out, but then there’s no way to know if they’re just messing around and have a rifle in their bag, so it’s usually better to be safe than sorry if they’ve seen you. The best is finding a server with global chat enabled, though, and hunting down the sniper(s) that everyone is complaining about. There’s always at least one around the coastal cities.

    However, there are still some nice guys out there who like to cooperate. My buddy likes to answer those rescue calls on Reddit, even though he always has to be wary of it being an ambush, and usually stashes his valuable stuff somewhere before going. And almost surprisingly, I’ve still seen plenty of newbies around very recently. Gotta help them out and get them to experience and like the game before they’re jaded and get trigger-happy or just plain quit!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. UuBuU

    @4 Agreed ~ I can’t recall any other game where my interest has turned so dramatically.

    There were a few weeks where it was hands down one of the best gaming experiences i’ve ever had. Then as the masses started swarming in [people without the capacity to even appreciate arma 2 by itself - as evidenced by constant whinings on the DayZ forums about some of the more hardcore elements]. The whole experience declined after that. It went from being an open-world zombie survival game with tense player encounters to an open-world PvP deathmatch experience with loot.

    Great concept ~ but a victim of it’s own success.

    #6 2 years ago

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    Rock Band 4 has been a long time coming, and Harmonix is as excited as we are. Or it would be, if that were possible. Harmonix announced Rock Band 4 overnight to massive excitement, especially in the vicinity of me. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, but no less has Harmonix been waiting for […]

  • Destiny Weekly Update – what’s coming in the pre-House of Wolves patch?

    Destiny guru Arekkz Gaming runs down what Bungie’s mysterious update means – and could mean. This week’s Destiny Weekly Update was kind of light on information, but sometimes even saying nothing is really saying something. What are your theories for what’s coming soon to Destiny?

  • Ashes of the Singularity is “the most advanced RTS ever”, says Stardock

    Stardock has revealed Ashes of the Singularity, a new take on sci-fi RTS. Ashes of the Singularity is described as “not an RTS battle, an RTS war” which sounds pretty exciting. Built on Oxide Games’ Nitrous Engine, Ashes of the Singularity boasts of thousands of units on screen at a time, each with multiple targeted […]

  • Disgaea 5: meet Zeroken and Christo

    Disgaea 5 developer Nippon Ichi has dropped a ton of new information regarding its next RPG. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to PS4 in Japan this month ahead of its western launch in northern autumn. Gematsu has gathered all the latest intel on the RPG from a recent Nippon Ichi press release. Head […]

  • 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 […]