Category Archives: Develop 2009
Thu, Sep 10, 2009 | 10:18 BST
LittleBigPlanet is nothing if not unique. Media Molecule’s game-building cuteathon is headed up by company founders Mark Healy and Kareem Ettouney, and you can get a good idea as to why the game turned out the way it did by watching our interview with the developers after the break.
We filmed this at Develop earlier this year. There’s tons of good stuff in there, so be sure to watch.
Thu, Sep 10, 2009 | 10:18 BST
Media Molecule boss Mark Healy was worried the firm’s take on Metal Gear Solid for LittleBigPlanet wasn’t going to sit well with Kojima Productions, the developer’s admitted to VG247.
“We were slightly worried that our first attempts weren’t going to go down too well,” he said.
“We see Metal Gear Solid as quite serious, a hardcore, intense thing. Obviously, what we did was quite cute, almost satirical. But they loved it. They’ve got a great sense of humour and they really embraced it.”
Phew. Fellow MM mega-chief Kareem Ettouney added that the collaboration in general was glitch-free.
“It was really great,” he said. “We met Mr Kojima in America, and he was telling us how excited he was, how much he liked the results.
“We got a lot of support from the Metal Gear Solid team – beautiful assets. Everyone was really excited. It was a very smooth example of collaboration which celebrated the two brands and retained the identity of the two.”
Kareem and Mark were speaking to us at Develop in Brighton earlier this year. You can watch the full interview here.
Thu, Jul 30, 2009 | 11:03 BST
Want to see what happens when you ask Media Molecule co-founders Kareem Ettouney and Mark Healy if they’re working on a disc-based sequel to LittleBigPlanet?
Hit the link.
Tue, Jul 28, 2009 | 17:41 BST
Frontier’s David Braben, creator of Elite and the upcoming sequel to LostWinds, has defended Lionhead’s Milo & Kate and the reputed “smoke and mirrors” aspect of it.
“I think there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of with good, complex smoke and mirrors,” he told Eurogamer during Develop. “With all of these things, we’re building interesting worlds, and there are so many different ways you can do that. Milo & Kate showed some of that, and some of the things we’re working on will show some of that too.
“There are so many different dimensions to it: I often bore on about film, but it shows how much more there is out there that we haven’t touched yet in the game space.”
Braben also went on to discuss how AI in games have improved by “degrees we haven’t noticed.”
Tue, Jul 28, 2009 | 17:07 BST
The Develop conference has added a new one-day event in Liverpool for studios in the North.
Develop Liverpool will be held November 5 with Merseyside ICT’s Software City event, and will feature tracks and networking events at the Arena and Conference Center Liverpool.
“With such an active and vibrant development community north of Birmingham it just makes sense to take the Develop conference to Liverpool,” says event director Andy Lane.
“We want as many developers as possible to experience the passion and energy that we saw in Brighton.”
Speakers and details are to be announced at a later date.
Tue, Jul 21, 2009 | 20:46 BST
Dave Jones has told Videogamer that his main goal for APB, is for it to last for five to ten years.
“That’s ultimately the goal. The method I looked at, the kind of ideas I looked at was more like Counter-Strike,” he said at Develop. “There is a game which kept people playing for years and years and years, but from a very, very different perspective – just a great, great, great core combat game. I want more of what Counter-Strike did coupled with the social stuff that Counter-Strike didn’t do. You couldn’t even have a clan in Counter-Strike for heaven’s sake. People used to improvise by adding it to the end of their names.
“They had to try and organize when to meet up, try and form groups, they effectively ran their own server then and invited players to it – all that stuff Counter-Strike players were doing, they had to try and do off their own back.
“We’ve taken all that and said, ‘make it from the beginning’. You get all the social stuff you get from World of Warcraft. The difference is in the core gameplay. APB is a hell of a lot of fun to play, because I do play it day upon day upon day upon day upon day. We have progression as well – it’s visual. We have leagues and stats and achievements. But at the end of the day, after playing World of Warcraft for a night I don’t sit back and go, wow! That was an amazing fight I was just in. It’s not really about an amazing fight. It’s about tactics and just getting through stuff.
“I want people in APB to come out after a couple of hours and say, wow we had some amazing fights with that squad and that clan, and that guy was dominating tonight.”
More through the link.
Tue, Jul 21, 2009 | 14:22 BST
Epic boss Mark Rein sat down with VG247 at Develop in Brighton, England last week to chat about the firm’s Unreal Engine. Rein revealed that the engine behind APB (and many others) is due for an update and the new features “will blow people away.”
“It’s a very mature engine and we’re adding great new features every year,” said Rein.
“I just saw some incredible new stuff that we’re either later this year or next year for new engine features and I think they’re really going to blow people away.”
Rein said earlier that if they a had an engine incremental numeration system, “we’d be at about 3.8 right now.”
Get all our Develop coverage here.
Mon, Jul 20, 2009 | 12:04 BST
Realtime Worlds boss Dave Jones told VG247 that he’d be disappointed if action MMO, APB didn’t shift over a million units.
“I’ll be disappointed if we can’t sell a million plus,” he told us at Develop in Brighton last week.
One million copices would certainly go some way to recoup the $30m dollars that APB cost to make. A figure that Jones also revealed to VG247 in our video interview with him last week.
“The next thing then is how long they [the million] remain a part of the APB community in an ongoing basis. That’s a hard one to put a number on,” he said.
“I expect a little bit of a drop off from that potentially but really I want to grow this game. As we start to look at what people want, what they’re screaming out for more of – as they start to speak to their friends and say these are the kinds of things we want in it – ideally we want to grow that userbase,” he explained.
“So it folds back a bit initially because a lot of people just want to to try it. They might say, ‘this has 70 per cent of the things that I want but these are the things that would really make it for me.’ Then we’d have to go back and address some of that and do those things and start to effectively grow the database.”
Watch the full interview through the link.
APB is out “early 2010.”
Mon, Jul 20, 2009 | 15:04 BST
Bizzare Creations associate producer Chris Pickford has revealed that the franchise has sold over seven million units to date.
“We were absolutely astounded at how well Gotham 1 sold,” said Bizarre Creations associate producer Chris Pickford at Develop last week. “I think we projected that the game would sell around 500,000 units, but we absolutely smashed it.”
As for hard numbers, Pickford had been restrained from giving out the specifics:
“I’ve been told not to mention specific sales figures by the powers that be but I can tell you that the franchise sold over seven million units since the last count.”
It has also emerged that Activision paid $67.4m when it secured Bizzare back in 2007. However, Develop-Online reveals an addition $40m is on offer if Bizarre’s Blur can hit sales targets by 2012/2013.
More through the link.
Sat, Jul 18, 2009 | 21:39 BST
Masaya Matsuura thinks Natal would be a great platform to create new styles of music games.
Creator of PaRappa The Rapper, Matsuura told attendees at Develop that NanaOn-Sha is currently thinking up ways to make use of Microsoft’s latest gadget.
“It’s very interesting. We are thinking about ideas. I think any kind of interaction with a camera will be good for music games, but the important thing will be how we can find the new breed of gameplay,” he said. “That will be a very important thing.
“Guitar Hero and Rock Band and The Beatles: Rock Band, is just taking traditional rock music. Of course there are so many rock fans on the earth, so they will have a huge impact for the market. But there is other attractive music, so please try to find another style, another interaction, another gameplay with another type of music.”
Agreed. Because we all want to use Natal to play Paganini on a virtual Theremin as soon as possible.
Fri, Jul 17, 2009 | 15:20 BST
During his talk at Develop, Denis Dyack stated that gameplay is not everything when it comes to developing a title, and the aesthetic value must be considered an integral part.
Basically, games are art.
“Gameplay is not everything,” said Dyack. “If you look at the most popular games today, they are far more narrative-focused. If games are to follow the trajectory of films, then the dominance of gameplay will diminish in place of an increased focus and importance on gaming’s stories and the ways in which they are told.
“It’s an unpopular viewpoint. But I don’t believe that gameplay is the most important aspect to games. I have a theory: that engagement is greater than or equal to art plus story plus gameplay plus audio plus technology. It’s all of these things combined, and one is not more important than another.
“While I think that narrative is going to become more and more dominant, possibly superseding gameplay, narrative is not the be all and end all. However, I think we will move towards a place where games can be a success because of more than just their gameplay, because of their music, their internal architecture and so on.
“That video games are art is quite obvious to me. The new synthesis is interactivity and gameplay. Instead of moving pictures, that which movies brought to art, we now have interactivity as the glue that brings together all the previous artistic elements.
“It’s ridiculous to claim that video games aren’t art because they speak the language of film. I would encourage us to apply filmic technique to our creations. If you can replicate these techniques extraordinarily well, then your game will resonate with people on a deep level.”
Fri, Jul 17, 2009 | 11:24 BST
SCEE R&D boss Paul Holman told Edge at Develop this week that PS3′s upcoming motion technology will cause advancement in games thanks to its precision.
“I think we can just say that it’s very, very precise,” he said. “People are going to be able to take games in this space forward because of the precision aspects.”
Kish Hirani, head of dev services, gave an example.
“The classic example I give to people is that the most precise thing you can do is write your name using a [piece of] chalk on a blackboard,” he said.
“Try doing that with a mouse and it’s bloody difficult.”
More through there. Sony showed the tech in action at the UK conference yesterday.
Fri, Jul 17, 2009 | 10:30 BST
Upcoming Realtime Worlds MMO APB has cost around $30 million so far, company boss Dave Jones told VG247 at Develop this week, and won’t be covered by a “normal” subscription model when it releases next spring.
“It’s not just a game any more,” said Jones. “We’ve got data centres, we’ve got all the hardware. But if you wrap it all up, it’s probably a good $30 million investment.”
The boss added that consumers will pay up front for a disc or download, but that the game’s subs model will be something not seen before in MMOs.
“Basically, you have to buy the client. It’s a traditional game that you buy,” he said.
“We’re not going the normal ‘you have to subscribe to play the game every month’ route. What we haven’t said is which route we are going, and in some respects we’re still looking.”
Jones said the eventually model will be “flexible,” “unique” and interesting, and will allow the player to “get” why they have to spend money to cover Realtime Worlds’ investment.
Watch the full interview with Dave here.
Fri, Jul 17, 2009 | 08:57 BST
In case you missed it in the PS motion tech keynote liveblog from Develop yesterday, Sony confirmed that PS Eye can already recognise faces.
The SCEE research and development guys said the peripheral is capable of detecting the “position and direction” of your head, the “gender and age of face” and smiles.
It can also detect different parts of the face, such as nose, mouth and eyes.
The camera was shown being used with the company’s motion tech in the Brighton session yesterday, although the demo was the same stuff shown at E3.
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 | 15:52 BST
Crackdown may have been a huge hit with gamers, but apparently the game only broke even money-wise for the developers and Microsoft.
“With Crackdown we sold about 1.5 million copies, but even at that we pretty much only managed to break even,” Dave Jones told Gamasutra. “It was due to the amount of factors that were out of our control as the developer, influences such as GameStop’s amazing used-game sales.
“We know 1.5 million new copies were sold, but it’s likely there were 2.5 – 3 million sold when you include used.”
Wow. Sorry ’bout that.
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 | 14:03 BST
Speaking at Develop today, Silicon Knights’ Denis Dyack reiterated his claim that a single-format future is the way forward for the games industry.
Questioned if a sole platform industry could ever become a reality, Dyack said it is “inevitable”.
“The value of technology is becoming less and less significant compared to the games that are on it. It’s costing hardware manufacturers more and more to do research and development. Video game publishers are having a harder and harder time making money,” he said.
Lots more on VG.
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 | 09:01 BST
SCEE will show its Sony motion tech at Develop in Brighton this morning, and we’re liveblogging the session after the link.
The firm promises to show “a lot more about the new PS3 controller shown at E3,” giving “several real-world examples of such techniques as used in recent and soon to be released PS3 and PSP titles from both Sony Computer Entertainment first party and external developers.”
Missable? Not really. We’ll be filming it as well, so we’ll aim to get video live as soon as we can after it’s over.
The session runs from 11.00am-12.00pm BST.
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 | 07:50 BST
We were lucky enough to get nearly 20 minutes with Realtime Worlds boss and original GTA creator Dave Jones at Develop yesterday, the result of which you can see after the break.
We talked almost exclusively about APB, Jones telling us when the game will release, how much it’s cost to make and going into good detail on the mechanics of the MMO itself.
Jones also gave opinion on the state of the GTA franchise, calling Vice City the “pinnacle” of the IP.
There’s tons more stuff in there. Enjoy.
Wed, Jul 15, 2009 | 17:22 BST
Dave Jones revealed during Develop that Realtime World’s was ‘keen’ to work on Crackdown 2, but Microsoft wanted to see how the first one turned out before letting the firm loose.
Unfortunately, the development team was busy with APB by the time Microsoft decided to move forward with the franchise, thus Ruffian Games got the job.
At least fans can be placated knowing it’s being made, we reckon.
More through CVG.
Wed, Jul 15, 2009 | 16:34 BST
While speaking at develop regarding thatgamecompany’s flOw and Flower, Jenova Chen told attendees that games need more mature content by way of emotional engagement, not necessarily violence. Otherwise titles become nothing more than “toys”.
“I never see that sense of thrill any more in today’s games,” he said. “Yes, today’s games are more real and satisfying but the underlining mechanics are no different from toys. But the human brain likes information – it’s like a sponge that sucks up information and wants more all the time.
“Other pursuits are enjoyed by adults and not viewed as toys. As grown up gamer I don’t want to see the games I have been playing with love turn into toys. I think games need to have more mature content – but not like [Dead of Alive] or [Manhunt], but more sophisticated works.
“Games should make the player think and touch the gamer’s emotion. Gameplay needs to be like any other medium – it has to evoke all kinds of responses. Otherwise our industry will flatline.
“It shouldn’t be about one feeling – like excitement or happiness. Humans have a range of emotions, and life is stressful. Games should reflect that.”
Chen said developers could accomplish this by incorporating contemporary themes and approaching games as one would approach the creation of art.
“Most people in the games industry are jaded with this argument about games being art,” he admitted. “But it is important. I’m not an artist, I’m a computer science guy, and as game designer I think art is a component that is necessary.
“Look at the greatest artists and their works [Van Gogh, Tolkien and Alan Moore], they reflect the time and the world around them at the time.”
More over on Develop.