What We Talk About When We Talk About Battlefield: Bad Company

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Battlefield: Bad Company

Earlier today, Eurogamer published an interview with DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson in which he expressed some sense of wonderment regarding why fans hold the Bad Company games in such prestige.

“Some people say this: the Bad Company 2 multiplayer is the best you've ever done,” Troedsson said. “Okay, why is that? It's hard for people to articulate what that is, which is actually hard for us.” 

To me, that’s like saying you don’t know what makes Battlefield special. 

Streaming With D-Tack

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Streaming With D-Tack

Join PC Editor Daniel Tack on a journey of Hearthstone, WildStar, and more! We’ll kick things off with some Hearthstone Arena and switch off to other games – Feel free to discuss suggestions in chat and we’ll boot up almost anything to play! The action goes live at 2:30 CT and will go all afternoon! You can find the stream here!

Richard Garriott, Felicia Day, and Greg Kasavin Talk Ultima

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Above the South Hall of E3 2014, where legendary game designer Richard Garriott was showing off his new game Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, we arranged for a conversation between Garriott and the creative director of Supergiant Games Greg Kasavin. Kasavin credits Ultima as the reason he entered the gaming industry, which ultimately lead him to release the fantastic Bastion and Transistor. A late but welcome addition to the conversation was actress and Geek and Sundry founder Felicia Day, who has been friends with Kasavin since their interactions on early Ultima fan sites. They cover a lot of topics, including the instincts of game designers and the roots of morality in games.

Watch the video discussion below to learn more from two giant Ultima fans and one of the most influential RPG designers of all time.

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Splatoon Interview – It Couldn't Be Mario, It had To Be Squids

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Splatoon Interview – It Couldn't Be Mario, It had To Be Squids

At E3 this year, we had the opportunity to speak with some of the creative minds behind Nintendo’s new third-person shooter, Splatoon. Producer Hisashi Nogami’s history with Nintendo involves working on Yoshi’s Island on Super Nintendo, as well as games like Animal Crossing. Co-director Tsubasa Sakaguchi made character designs for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and worked most recently on Nintendo Land, before taking on his first directorial role on Splatoon.

We asked them about the development process of the game, what it’s like to build a new IP for Nintendo, and why the game’s mechanics couldn’t have worked with an established Nintendo franchise.

Note: translations for responses from Nogami and Sakaguchi came from a single translator making it difficult to attribute exactly who said what.

Hyrule Warriors Interview – Breaking Down The Dynasty Warriors And Zelda Overlap

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At E3 2014 this year, I had the chance to chat with the creative force behind the upcoming Hyrule Warriors. I spoke with general producer Hisashi Koinuma and development producer Yosuke Hayashi from Tecmo Koei, and supervisor and producer on the Zelda series in general, Eiji Aonuma of Nintendo. We discussed how a game in the Dynasty Warrior series could overlap with Zelda, what the feedback from fans has been like, and what sort of characters we can expect to see in the game.

Note: responses without attribution come from Koinuma and Hayashi, as both of their responses were translated by a single translator. Another translator handled Aonuma’s responses, and they have been attributed as such.

How long has Hyrule Warriors been in development?

Replay – 007: From Russia With Love

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In the video game world, the name "James Bond" usually leads to a discussion about GoldenEye. People rarely talk about Electronic Arts' time with Ian Fleming's famed secret agent, which is surprising since that's where most of his video game history lies.

Under Electronic Arts' watch, Bond starred in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, and From Russia With Love. Electronic Arts announced a game based on the film Casino Royale, but development delays pushed it outside of the movie's release window, and it was canceled shortly thereafter. The Bond rights were then snatched up by Activision.

Having already recorded a Replay episode for GoldenEye, we decided to dive into an Electronic Arts title next. What better place to start than with the game starring the best Bond of all: Sean Connery. We play through the opening of From Russia With Love, and geek out over Bond's time on the silver screen in the process. We also do our best to convince grumpy Jeff Cork to watch these films.

Analysis – Sony’s PlayStation Now Beta Pricing Is Overly Expensive

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Analysis – Sony’s PlayStation Now Beta Pricing Is Overly Expensive

At E3, Sony announced that PlayStation Now will be going into open beta later this summer. Since then, users in the closed beta have noticed some changes, namely that there are prices associated with content rentals now. The problem is that the cost for renting games doesn’t make much sense.

Before we get into the weeds, it’s important to note that this is a beta and, therefore, final pricing might be more realistic in relation to other purchasing options. In fact, it needs to be, because out of eight games we sampled at random (approximately half of those available), there are less expensive options for owning.

In an email to beta participants, Sony says that pricing is set by developers and publishers. Based on what we’re seeing, it’s clear that content owners are charging prices for rental that they know exceed the purchase price. (The moral is that you should do your research before starting a rental.)

Opinion – Ambition Isn't The Problem With Battlefield 4, It's The Execution

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Opinion – Ambition Isn't The Problem With Battlefield 4, It's The Execution

At E3 last week, we spoke with DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson about the problems that faced Battlefield 4 for six months following its October 2013 launch. We expected to hear about server problems (of which there certainly have been some), but according to him and EA CEO Andrew Wilson, that’s not the root of the problem.

In an interview with Eurogamer published this morning, Wilson identifies big ideas as the problem. "Think about what Battlefield 4 was: 64-player multiplayer, giant maps, 1080p, Levolution that was changing the gameplay design in an emergent way," he said "There is a chance there are things you are going to miss through the development cycle."

The problem with this assertion is that DICE has made big games before. Battlefield 1942, which launched in 2002, featured 64-player multiplayer on technology drastically inferior to the new-gen consoles. Giant maps are a hallmark of the Battlefield series. Native 1080p resolution wasn't achieved on any of the four console platforms (Battlefield 4 is 900p on PlayStation 4 and 720p on Xbox One), and "Levolution" is a marketing buzzword.

The Rise And Future Of Far Cry

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The Rise And Future Of Far Cry

While the series has been around for ten years, 2012's Far Cry 3 caught a lot of people by surprise and roped in plenty of new fans. While our cover story this month focuses on Far Cry 4, we wanted to speak with the developers about the bringing Far Cry back into the top tier of gaming releases. Executive producer Dan Hay and Far Cry 4's narrative director Mark Thompson were in the trenches together on the development of Far Cry 3 and helped the team turn it into one of the best games of the year. We spoke with them about the state of the Far Cry brand within Ubisoft and the conversations that helped steer the direction for Blood Dragon and the development of Far Cry 4.

Watch the video feature below to learn why they see themselves as the underdogs within Ubisoft and what they have in mind for the future of the Far Cry brand.

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Watch Tetris' Creators Meet The Designer Of Threes

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Watch Tetris' Creators Meet The Designer Of Threes

In honor of Ubisoft's upcoming Tetris Ultimate (which you can read a preview of here), E3 2014 was attended by the two men that made the original game happen. Also attending E3 2014 was the creator of the fantastic iOS game Threes, Asher Vollmer. Thanks to Ubisoft, we arranged for Tetris' designer, Alexey Pajitnov, and the founder of The Tetris Company, Henk Rogers, to meet up with Vollmer in a wide-ranging conversation. Keep in mind that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak considered Alexey Pajitnov too much of a genius to even speak to, so be sure to thank Asher Vollmer for participating in this video.

Watch the discussion below as the three developers discuss clones, the legacy of Tetris, and the power of randomness in game design.

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