Author Archives: Justin Kranzl
Tue, Apr 19, 2011 | 17:00 BST
Longing for Portal 2? Justin Kranzl brings you everything you need, bar the game itself – a play-through, a Q&A with project leaders, and even a glimpse inside Gabe’s knife room.
Fri, Feb 25, 2011 | 11:47 GMT
Fri, Dec 17, 2010 | 13:19 GMT
Hollywood is a logical place for Sony Computer Entertainment and developer Naughty Dog to throw an event to unveil Uncharted 3 to games press. The series has evolved into one of gaming’s best examples of the interactive medium taking on film at their own game. In fact with Indiana Jones’ last cinematic experience verging on self-satire, there’s merit in the argument that Uncharted protagonist Nathan Drake is a figure more sympathetic to modern times; the everyman adventurer.
The goal with Uncharted is to capture the feel of the classic action adventure movies but front them with a contemporary hero, states Amy Hennig, creative director. The 17 year-old games industry veteran has won recognition not just from games press but also awards from the Writers Guild of America for Uncharted 2’s storyline, and it’s clear from Uncharted 3’s presentation that the ND team is committed to continuing down the same path that saw Uncharted 2 move over 4 million copies to date and a slew of “best of” gongs.
Tue, Oct 05, 2010 | 13:13 BST
When Treyarch ushered us into their Los Angeles studios to showcase their latest surprise – support for stereoscopic 3D in Call of Duty: Black Ops – it seemed too good to be true. Black Ops’ 3D mode will be a selectable option turned off or on at the main menu. PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will all support the feature, and it won’t be bundled as part of a limited edition or DLC package – it’s shipping with the game as a standard feature. Continuing the “all silver lining, no cloud” theme is the framerate hit the game takes, which on the levels we were shown, appeared to be negligible.
Thu, Sep 02, 2010 | 10:22 BST
Mon, Aug 16, 2010 | 14:36 BST
The funny thing about keeping a high profile game project secret nowadays is the sheer difficulty factor. Twitter, online resumes, trademarks, financial reporting, classification boards: they all conspire against would-be tight lipped developers. So Irrational Games deserve credit for somehow concealing the fact they have spent the past three years working on BioShock Infinite unbeknownst to anyone outside of the studio and what we assume was a very tight clique within 2K Games.
Thu, Jul 15, 2010 | 13:13 BST
Like many of Blizzard’s senior development team, lead World of Warcraft world designer Cory Stockton – the guy in charge of rebuilding the game for the incoming Cataclysm expansion – has been working on the IP so long he talks about the virtual world and its denizens as indistinguishable from the real one. The matter-of-fact tone in which he discusses the game’s protagonists and locales is exactly how you’d discuss the latest football result. It’s not the same as the rehearsed patter of producers pressed into media duties, but rather indicative of the time he and others have invested into this game over the past half-decade plus.
Not that Stockton has trouble differentiating reality from gaming. As the lead content designer in an expansion that focuses on ripping up parts of a game world populated by over 10 million subscribers, it’s going to be pretty hard to avoid all manner of “grounding” feedback in the coming months.
We sat down for a chat with Stockton to see where Blizzard’s content team is at with Cataclysm, and what it’s hoping to accomplish – and the one design trait Stockton attributes to the MMO’s ongoing success.
Sat, May 29, 2010 | 07:52 BST
One of the biggest questions asked when the Cold War setting for Call of Duty: Black Ops was revealed was how developer Treyarch – freshly freed from the creative shackles of World War II games – would tackle the subject matter. Would Black Ops be a continuation of the guts and glory, flag-waving bombast of previous games in the series? Or would Treyarch be permitted to stretch itself and explore the heart of darkness behind two of the USA’s most humbling Waterloos – the Vietnam conflict and the failed invasion of Cuba?
A quick look at the Call of Duty: Black Ops reveal trailer suggests it’s business as usual – crossbows with explosive quarrels, helicopter gunships and pyrotechnics galore. Subtle it’s not.
Treyarch’s studio head Mark Lamia took some time out to talk about rewriting history, why dedicated servers aren’t a big deal, and how the next Call of Duty will enable gamers to win battles despite losing the war.
The team also showed off the game in London this week, and we again spoke to Mark in the UK, this time with a ton of input of community manager Josh Olin. Get that here.
Wed, Apr 28, 2010 | 09:38 BST
It’s late in the afternoon and it’s fitting to find the developer known as the Bourbon Cowboy – Chris Metzen – on horseback. Admittedly, it’s a virtual steed; we’ve just walked in on him playing World of Warcraft in his office at Blizzard’s Irvine, CA headquarters. It turns out even the mind behind some of the most distinctive (and lucrative) worlds known in gaming – StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo – is an achievement junkie, with Metzen trying to nail in-game exploration accolades “between meetings”.
Or at least that’s his story.