An Interview With Blizzard President J. Allen Brack

about X hours ago from
An Interview With Blizzard President J. Allen Brack

When Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime announced his retirement last year, the mantle passed to new president J. Allen Brack. After years over overseeing World of Warcraft, Brack now brings his years of experience to lead Blizzard into a new era. I sat down with him to hear his thoughts and Blizzard's process and we can expect in the future.

Previously, your main focus was World of Warcraft. Now you have a new focus: watching over all of Blizzard's games. How has the job transition gone?

I mean I’m a fan of all the things that Blizzard’s done. I’ve put thousands and thousands of hours into Diablo. Lots of time into StarCraft, both StarCraft when it first came out and StarCraft II. I’ve been a fan of all the games that Blizzard has made even before I worked at Blizzard. It’s not easy to love all my children equally, I guess as it were. In terms of the job, I think it’s been pretty hard honestly. But one of the things we’ve said is that we have more games we’re working on now than in any other point in the company’s history. And that’s very exciting. Being able to see those products, see those games, see those things that the team’s really excited about – that’s what gets me up in the morning.

Returning To The World... Of Warcraft

about X hours ago from
Returning To The World... Of Warcraft

The year is 2004. Or maybe 2005. I get a call on my corded dorm room phone. “Dan, we’ve got a problem. It’s the warlocks again. They’re colluding in secret chat to abuse the DKP system so that they get all the items for cheap and then can bid on items that are applicable to other classes and specs…”

This was a typical evening call during those early World of Warcraft years as a “raid officer”. Each four-to-six-hour evening dive into dungeons like Blackwing Lair or Ahn’Qiraj had a lot more going on than just killing monsters and taking loot. Keeping tabs on 40+ other players, their real lives, and their availability in game was a hefty task before even getting to the mechanics and the gear checks. For certain, managing the social aspects of the game was harder than keeping a working aggro rotation on Vaelastrasz.

Returning To The World... Of Warcraft

about X hours ago from
Returning To The World... Of Warcraft

The year is 2004. Or maybe 2005. I get a call on my corded dorm room phone. “Dan, we’ve got a problem. It’s the warlocks again. They’re colluding in secret chat to abuse the DKP system so that they get all the items for cheap and then can bid on items that are applicable to other classes and specs…”

This was a typical evening call during those early World of Warcraft years as a “raid officer”. Each four-to-six-hour evening dive into dungeons like Blackwing Lair or Ahn’Qiraj had a lot more going on than just killing monsters and taking loot. Keeping tabs on 40+ other players, their real lives, and their availability in game was a hefty task before even getting to the mechanics and the gear checks. For certain, managing the social aspects of the game was harder than keeping a working aggro rotation on Vaelastrasz.

The FIFA 20 Wishlist

about X hours ago from
The FIFA 20 Wishlist

FIFA 20 faces a pivotal year as the community voices concerns over gameplay, the predominance of Ultimate Team, the stagnation of modes like Career and Pro Clubs, and more. That's a lot to tackle in one or even two years, and the developers at EA Canada have their work cut out for them if they want to put the series on an upward trajectory.

Here are some ideas we have for the series (as well as the normal bug fixes of course). What are yours? Add them in the comments section below.

New Grid Title From Codemasters Announced

The FIFA 20 Wishlist

about X hours ago from
The FIFA 20 Wishlist

FIFA 20 faces a pivotal year as the community voices concerns over gameplay, the predominance of Ultimate Team, the stagnation of modes like Career and Pro Clubs, and more. That's a lot to tackle in one or even two years, and the developers at EA Canada have their work cut out for them if they want to put the series on an upward trajectory.

Here are some ideas we have for the series (as well as the normal bug fixes of course). What are yours? Add them in the comments section below.

New Grid Title From Codemasters Announced

How Blizzard’s Canceled Adventure Game Shaped The Future Of Warcraft

about X hours ago from
How Blizzard’s Canceled Adventure Game Shaped The Future Of Warcraft

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness was one of the biggest PC releases of the mid-’90s. Blizzard’s second real-time strategy game won several awards and elevated Blizzard as a developer that cared about polish and game mechanics. However, even though fans had enthusiastically warred their way across the land of Azeroth, Blizzard’s fantasy world felt largely devoid of personality. Players loved Warcraft’s action-packed skirmishes, but its world was irrelevant.

Then, in late 1996, Blizzard's sister company, Capitol Multimedia, suggested Blizzard adapt the Warcraft franchise into another genre. In the early ’90s, adventure games like Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Myst ate up a significant portion of the PC market, and Blizzard felt developing an adventure game set within the world of Warcraft was a smart move. Blizzard prototyped what would become Warcraft Adventures: Lord of The Clans.

How Blizzard’s Canceled Adventure Game Shaped The Future Of Warcraft

about X hours ago from
How Blizzard’s Canceled Adventure Game Shaped The Future Of Warcraft

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness was one of the biggest PC releases of the mid-’90s. Blizzard’s second real-time strategy game won several awards and elevated Blizzard as a developer that cared about polish and game mechanics. However, even though fans had enthusiastically warred their way across the land of Azeroth, Blizzard’s fantasy world felt largely devoid of personality. Players loved Warcraft’s action-packed skirmishes, but its world was irrelevant.

Then, in late 1996, Blizzard's sister company, Capitol Multimedia, suggested Blizzard adapt the Warcraft franchise into another genre. In the early ’90s, adventure games like Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Myst ate up a significant portion of the PC market, and Blizzard felt developing an adventure game set within the world of Warcraft was a smart move. Blizzard prototyped what would become Warcraft Adventures: Lord of The Clans.

The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon – Unbroken Bonds Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

about X hours ago from
The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon – Unbroken Bonds Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

The latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion released earlier this month, bringing with it more than 210 new cards, seven Tag Team pairings, and seven new Pokémon-GX cards. This massive new expansion focuses heavily on Gen 1, but it also pays plenty of love to the other generations. In addition, Meltan, the mysterious Pokémon that first popped up in Pokémon Go and then Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Eevee, gets thrown into the mix with its very own card.

We were sent a ton of booster packs, as well as the two theme decks: Lightning Loop and Battle Mind. I cracked open the cards to see what I could pull. Below you can see a gallery of nearly 30 of my favorite cards I pulled from the booster packs and the deck.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon – Unbroken Bonds Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

about X hours ago from
The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon – Unbroken Bonds Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

The latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion released earlier this month, bringing with it more than 210 new cards, seven Tag Team pairings, and seven new Pokémon-GX cards. This massive new expansion focuses heavily on Gen 1, but it also pays plenty of love to the other generations. In addition, Meltan, the mysterious Pokémon that first popped up in Pokémon Go and then Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Eevee, gets thrown into the mix with its very own card.

We were sent a ton of booster packs, as well as the two theme decks: Lightning Loop and Battle Mind. I cracked open the cards to see what I could pull. Below you can see a gallery of nearly 30 of my favorite cards I pulled from the booster packs and the deck.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

The Best Alien Games

about X hours ago from
The Best Alien Games

Alien turn 40 today! Ridley Scott’s horrifying sci-fi masterpiece has inspired a number of well-loved video games – everything from Doom to System Shock to the recently released (and fantastic) Observation. However, actual games based on the Alien franchise has been, uh, well a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality. To be frank, reader, most of them are bad. Real bad. However, among that sea of terrible licensed titles are several fantastic games set in the Alien universe.

If you’re looking to celebrate the release by digitally eviscerating (or getting eaten by) xenomorphs, here are the best Alien games to play.

Platforms: Sega Genesis, Super NintendoRelease: 1993