Game Music Spotlight: Jason Graves’ Game Composing Career And His Score For Moss

about X hours ago from
Game Music Spotlight: Jason Graves’ Game Composing Career And His Score For Moss

With dozens of projects behind his name, Jason Graves is a composer of many talents. He won BAFTA awards for his work on Dead Space and Tomb Raider, composed the highly unconventional score for Far Cry Primal, and recorded The Order: 1886’s majestic music at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. His recent endeavors have taken him into virtual reality with his recent project composing Polyarc Games’ Moss for PlayStation VR. He happened to swing by the office to chat about his music career, using tiny instruments for Moss, and Aztec death whistles.

How did you get into composing video games?

Paul Neurath Discusses How Underworld Ascendant Builds On The Immersive Sim Legacy

about X hours ago from
Paul Neurath Discusses How Underworld Ascendant Builds On The Immersive Sim Legacy

Few game developers have a lineage as rich with innovation and quality as Paul Neurath. As a veteran whose game career extends all the way back to the 1980s, Neurath co-founded Looking Glass Studios and played a critical role in the creation of beloved franchises like Ultima Underworld, Thief, and System Shock. The studio also served as a hotbed of development talent, with great game minds like Warren Spector (Deus Ex), Harvey Smith (Dishonored), and Ken Levine (BioShock) helping bring these franchises to life before venturing out on their own. 

In 2014, Neurath formed OtherSide Entertainment with the goal of returning to the immersive simulation genre he helped pioneer. The studio's first project is Underworld Ascendant, a return to the Ultima Underworld franchise in everything but name. After raising more than $800,000 during its Kickstarter initiative, the game was picked up by 505 Games and is scheduled to launch later this year. We sat down with Neurath at GDC to discuss how the game plans to build off the legacy he helped shape while working at Looking Glass. 

Universal Wants To Bring The Fast And The Furious, Other Franchises To Console

about X hours ago from
Universal Wants To Bring The Fast And The Furious, Other Franchises To Console

News broke this week that Universal is offering a challenge for studios, with winners being rewarded with the use of IP like Back to the Future and Jaws, but there's more going on with Universal and games than just that challenge. We recently visited Universal Studios and played the upcoming park builder Jurassic Park Evolution (you can watch us play the game here). One of the attendees at that event was Universal's freshly appointed new executive vice president of worldwide games, Chris Heatherly. He eagerly explained his plan for a new beginning to Universal's approach with the game industry.

“The goal is to make a bigger push into gaming," Heatherly says. "Just cause we have so much IP that’s unexploited in games, but it’s a really great fit. We have the mega-franchises like Jurassic World and Fast and the Furious, we have stuff like the Universal monsters that goes back decades, we have the horror stuff with Blumhouse, we have the animated stuff with Illumination and Dreamworks. It’s really a broad portfolio." Even if the idea of a new Minions game doesn't get you excited, Universal owns a lot of fascinating IP like The Purge and Get Out.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 29, 2018)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 29, 2018)

Shenmue, Celeste, and Sea of Thieves all get time in the blogging community spotlight this week, along with the tricky topic of limited saves in games. Time to get reading! 

Community Blogs For March 15 – March 28:

A Gaming Life: Pt. 2 – A 3DS Localization Wishlist Dominic Cichocki writes about some games we desperately need to see localized for the American audience. All of these games sound really interesting, but I have a soft spot for the Monster Hunter title, because, well, Monster Hunter, and its cats rock.

New Gameplay Today – Jurassic World Evolution

about X hours ago from
New Gameplay Today – Jurassic World Evolution

Have you ever watched any of the Jurassic Park movies and thought to yourself that you could do a better job? The upcoming game from Frontier, Jurassic World Evolution, will let you put your money where your... thoughts... are. Dan Tack and Ben Hanson got to play the park sim recently, and they patiently sat down with Leo and me to share their experiences – as well as a killer "your mother" joke that goes over quite well.

Frontier is known for its work in sim games, including RollerCoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon, but this one is a little different. You can still zoom into the micromanagement stuff, like adjusting prices on the concession stands and carving trails in the landscape, but some of the attractions in Jurassic World Evolution want to eat the guests. Watch and see how Hanson and Tack accommodate those desires.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The Virtual Life – Far Cry 5 Pulls All Its Punches

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – Far Cry 5 Pulls All Its Punches

Since its reveal, Far Cry 5 has been billed as a game that would boldly look into the dark fears that underlie the current geopolitical climate. Creative director Dan Hay has been frank in his conversations about the paranoia and armageddon nightmares that fueled Far Cry 5's inspirations, as per his interview with The Telegraph late last year:

I felt like the global village was being pulled apart, and we're starting to hear people talk about separation, people talking about "us" and "them." It really felt like we had taken a turn. I was in downtown Toronto and there was this guy who came around the corner wearing a sandwich board, and he was kind of disheveled and basically said "the end is near." I remember I had two thoughts from that.

Thought number one is "well that guy is probably right," and thought number 2 is "that's the first time I've ever looked at somebody wearing that sign while thinking he might be right." It dawned on me: we had taken a step closer.

Ten Video Games Churches That Fill Us With Awe

about X hours ago from
Ten Video Games Churches That Fill Us With Awe

Has a video game made you pause before? Whether it's one of Shadow of the Colossus' awe-inspiring giants or a sweeping vista from Horizon Zero Dawn, there's a certain power to majesties like these move us to marvel out of wonder, shock, or even fear. These reactions are similar to standing before iconic religious buildings ranging from the Great Mosque of Mecca to the Mormon Tabernacle in Utah. Regardless of what belief (or lack thereof) you may profess, people from all walks of life are drawn to these structures because they carry the weight of their architects' faith. In light of Far Cry 5's blatant approach to religion and churches spread across its world, we've toured the varying glories of digital sanctuaries and temples to bring you the most memorable ones.

Sector 5 Church – Final Fantasy VIIMegacorporations are stereotypically bent toward unhinged greed and power at the expense of all things holy, and Shinra is emblematic of that kind of greed. In Final Fantasy VII, the company absorbs the planet's Lifestream, which gives all things life. The consequences of its conquest are evident in the bleak, industrial landscapes Cloud and his friends travel through, but strangely enough, there's one place that boasts signs of verdancy in the smog: the Sector 5 Church.

Deck Nine Talks Deleted Scenes And Queer Characters In Life Is Strange Prequel

about X hours ago from
Deck Nine Talks Deleted Scenes And Queer Characters In Life Is Strange Prequel

Spoiler warning: This interview contains spoilers for the first Life us Strange, as well as Life is Strange: Before The Storm.

Deck Nine took on an ambitious project when it signed on to create a prequel to Dontnod's Life is Strange, bringing Chloe and her relationship with Rachel Amber to the forefront. What resulted was a beautiful tale of friendship, love, and grief. It fleshed out Chloe to bring a more human side to her polarizing personality, portrayed how her relationship with Rachel was a defining chapter in her life, and offered a new perspective to Arcadia Bay.

With Before the Storm's episodic story completed, we sat down with lead writer Zak Garriss to discuss the challenges of taking the reins from Dontnod, the research that went into writing queer characters, and the scenes that the team had to regretfully cut to keep up with tight production deadlines. 

An Up-Close Look At Atari's New Console, VCS

about X hours ago from
An Up-Close Look At Atari's New Console, VCS

Last week, Atari pulled the curtain back from its "Atari Box" to announce the Atari VCS. The Linux-based system was on-hand at Game Developers Conference, where I was able to learn a bit more about the project.

While working prototypes exist, the model Atari brought to GDC was a non-working unit. However, it features the current set of ports, as well as the current working external design. Two controllers were also in the private room Atari based its GDC operations out of. The first controller was slicker rendition of the classic Atari joystick form-factor (with lights that illuminated in the direction you tilt the stick). In addition, the stick rotates to work with games that originally required a paddle controller. For the more complicated games that VCS plays, Atari also has a controller that looks and feels similar to the Xbox 360 controller. The biggest difference between Atari's controller and Xbox's is the d-pad, which I wish I could have tried out. Even without using it, the controller prototype feels great to hold.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Should You Go See Ready Player One?

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Should You Go See Ready Player One?

Ready Player One is a reminder of why I love going to the movies. Steven Spielberg turns Ernest Cline's novel into a gripping visual bombardment, dazzling theatergoers for two hours with off-the-rails action sequences and a nonstop machine-gun blast of pop-culture references. Cline's book focuses primarily on the 1980s, but the film (which Cline co-wrote) opens the floodgates to incorporate all decades of geekdom, including things you may have just fallen in love with, such as Overwatch. I'm willing to bet it is the only place where you'll see Hello Kitty sharing screen time with Freddy Krueger. The film ends up being silly in the best possible way – you can't help but laugh through most sequence, even if they do carry a deeply troubling warning about the world we live in today.