Elite: Dangerous Creator Shares The Secret For Surviving Three Decades As An Indie

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Thirty-three years is a long time to stay successful in any industry, but it seems even more impressive in interactive entertainment, where giants fall by the wayside seemingly every month. When meeting with the recent Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award recipient David Braben, we asked the Elite: Dangerous and ScreamRide creator to share the keys to his success.

"We've always been writing for the future if you like," Braben says. "In the 33 years I've been in the business, every year as had a really dramatic change. If you assume things are going to stay the same, that's where the problems happen. Always trying to look for what's the next thing – where do we want to be? That was the reason we designed Elite: Dangerous to support head-mounted displays even though there weren't any around at all."

Looking at his studio's past catalog, this proves true. Frontier Developments has flexed its muscle across several different platforms since its first game on PC back in 1984, creating everything from PlayStation 2, Xbox, Wii, Kinect, and iOS. Some of its most notable games include the original open world game, Elite; a boundary pushing sim series, RollerCoaster Tycoon; the first downloadable Wii game, Lost Winds; and some of the better reviewing Kinect games, including Kinectimals and Zoo Tycoon. 

Exclusive Mad Max Screens Show Off The Brutal Wasteland

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We haven’t seen Mad Max in a game for a long while, which makes his return exciting enough.  Couple that with the fact that the new title is being developed by Just Cause creators Avalanche Studios, and you’ve got the makings of something special. We got to play the game for several hours during our studio visit, and you can read our impressions in the April cover story of Game Informer magazine. If you missed it, now’s your chance to see a few screenshots from the game, which cover some of its highlights.

Be sure to click the images to see them at full resolution.

Is Sony's First PSN Show, Powers, Worth Watching?

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In April of 2000, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming scraped together enough free time and money to release their own privately-owned comic called Powers. It was a passion project, and a small group of comic fans quickly became equally passionate about it. Powers was a smart police procedural that took place before a backdrop of corrupt superheroes. Nearly 15 years after its debut, Sony has adapted this cult classic into a full-blown web series debuting on PSN, but does Sony's first foray into serialized drama have what it takes to compete with Netflix, Amazon, or even YouTube? We offer up our impressions of the first three episodes.

Five Games You Probably Bought Because They Came With Demos For Other Games

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is coming packaged with a demo for Final Fantasy XV, and it's likely many will buy the PSP remake just to get a taste of what's coming next for Square Enix. This isn't the first time a publisher has used the incentive of a demo for a highly anticipated to help sell another title. Here are a few games that used the same tactic.

Brave Fencer Musashi for Final Fantasy VIIIAfter the incredible success of Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix knew anticipation for Final Fantasy VIII would be high. Players were excited for the next entry in the 3D RPG, so in North America it attached a demo of the game to a new IP, Brave Fencer Mushashi. It must have helped sales for the game because a sequel to the game did release in 2005. We gave the game a 7.75 when it released in 1998. We also played the game in a recent episode of Replay, which you can find here. We also, appropriately, checked out the Final Fantasy VIII demo to see how it holds up.

Super Replay – Michigan: Report From Hell Episode 2

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Super Replay – Michigan: Report From Hell Episode 2

Grasshopper Manufacture has a long history of developing oddball games. Before there was Shadows of the Damned, No More Heroes, and Killer7, the studio made a little something called Michigan: Report from Hell. It was never released in the U.S., in spite of being localized for Europe and Australia. Did players over here miss out? You'll have to watch...

Join Tim, Reiner, Joe, and me as we learn about what it's like to be a TV-news cameraman during a monster outbreak. Apparently, part of the job is to keep both hands on the camera, no matter what – you can forget about opening doors. To make matters worse, your audio guy insists on making himself (and his boom mic) part of the story. Fortunately, Tim found a wonderful way to release a little steam, which he does again and again and again and again.

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The Essentials – Final Fantasy VII

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Welcome to another installment of the Essentials, Game Informer’s weekly look at the best titles in gaming history. We curate this list to include the medium’s must-play experiences, spanning multiple genres and generations. The games might be especially innovative, groundbreaking, or significant to the author – but they’re all what we consider to be “required reading.”

This weekend’s entry focuses on Final Fantasy VII, one of the most popular and influential titles in Square Enix’s juggernaut series. After years of dominating the 16-bit RPG scene, the franchise transitioned to 3D for this entry (and finally resolved the weird numbering disparity between the U.S. and Japanese entries) and became the best-selling Final Fantasy game to date. After you’re done reading about it, check out our previous Essentials features on titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, BioShock, and Super Mario 64.

Release Year: 1997 Publisher: Square/SCEA Developer: Square
Released For: PlayStation, PC, PlayStation 4 (Coming Spring 2015)

Your Guide To PAX 2015's Amazing Indies

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Your Guide To PAX 2015's Amazing Indies

I'm not ashamed to borrow a good idea from my colleagues. If you haven't yet perused the wonderful compilation of GDC's very best indie games, Matt Bertz, Tim Turi, Jeff Cork, and Kimberley Wallace checked out a number of gems in San Francisco. Now, I'm bringing you some additions from the east coast.

I'm out at PAX East, one of the many homes of the roving Indie Megabooth. We're spending time checking in with the latest and greatest, and we'll be updating throughout PAX East.

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How And Why You Should Give Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate A Shot

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The Monster Hunter series has always been a dense and difficult nut to crack, but the latest entry in the series is a little more accessible than the series has been in the past.

Tim Turi (who reviewed the game) and Dan Tack have found themselves really enjoying 4 Ultimate for 3DS, and in this video feature the two explain why, and offer up a few tips on how best to dive into the game.

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Replay – Okami

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After watching this week's Replay you will believe wolves can be artists. We take an extensive look at Okami, an action/adventure title from Clover Studio that follows a magical wolf named Amateratsu through a world inspired by Japanese folklore. Game Informer's Kyle Hilliard has no problems sliding into Amateratsu's fur, and wastes no time showing us how deadly this wolf can be with a paint brush and black ink.

Rather than looking at the original PlayStation 2 version, which released on April 20, 2006, we dive into the Wii port developed by Ready at Dawn. This version is arguably more known, largely because of the mistake on the cover art which is discussed in Ben Hanson's amazing documentary about Ready at Dawn.

After ending the segment on a typical Replay note (think failure), Matt Miller gets nostalgic, and then we challenge Bryan Vore to play one of the hardest games of all time. We hope you enjoy the episode, gang! Leave us your thoughts on Okami and Dan Tack's thoughts about movies in the comments section below.

The Very Best Indie Games Of PAX East 2015

about X hours ago from
The Very Best Indie Games Of PAX East 2015

I'm not ashamed to borrow a good idea from my colleagues. If you haven't yet perused the wonderful compilation of GDC's very best indie games, Matt Bertz, Tim Turi, Jeff Cork, and Kimberley Wallace checked out a number of gems in San Francisco. Now, I'm bringing you some additions from the east coast.

I'm out at PAX East, one of the many homes of the roving Indie Megabooth. We're spending time checking in with the latest and greatest, and we'll be updating throughout PAX East.

(Please visit the site to view this media)