1 April 2013
| | iTZKooPA
There are independent companies and then there is Red 5 Studios. The developer behind the third-person MMO shooter FireFall has managed to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in funding while keeping to itself. After a third massive overhaul to the title, FireFall is nearly the big time. During PAX East, the company had a little more to showcase besides its freshman entry and its latest content. The new television-level production of gamer and nerd culture coming from Stage5TV.
FireFall’s Lead Designer Scott Youngblood hung around after the announcement to speak with Lore Hound and explain why now, what’s to be offered and how Red 5 Studios can benefit. The move to support independent developers and the gaming community speaks well to Red 5’s previous efforts, such as the founding of League for Gamers.
Hit the jump for the full interview. Stage 5 is live now. Continue Reading
31 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
The announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online was a disparaging one. Some fans salivated, barely containing their excitement at taking the open-world single-player adventure to the massive multiplayer realm. Others felt it was a cash in, using the name and universe to create a watered down experience. Either way, the new was huge.
ZeniMax Online has been slowly coming out of its shell revealing morsels of juicy information. Being an expert in shells, iTZKooPA corned Nick Konkle in a back alley. The Lead Combat Designer goes into his field of expertise, including discussing the relative need a “holy trinity” grouping, the rotationless combat style and dungeons.
“If you wanna do your crazy builds…we love em.”
Konkle even hangs around to answer a few community questions, including the presence of guilds, such as the Thieves Guild, the characters role in them and numerous other lore topics. Hit the jump for details covering a wide range of The Elder Scrolls Online topics.
30 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
Game designers set out to make titles that captivate an audience. These creative professional do not have a single tool to use. They’ve a toolbox. A title’s design can captivate an audience through a multitude of ways. Gameplay, story, challenge, a breadth of content or depth of an experience, immersion, voice, agenda, these are just some of the mechanisms wielded by the creative brains behind the escapisms we enjoy.
For Wildstar, the upcoming MMORPG from Carbine Studios, there are four unique pillars. Steadfast features that the title has been built upon and around. The foundation to the title. Customization, including the incredibly deep player housing system, the Path system – not to be confused with professions, the tone of the title, such as the tongue-in-cheek re-reveal trailer and Carbine’s endgame content system known as the Elder Games.
Each pillar is discussed in great length in our first interview with Chad Moore, the Lead Narrative Designer for Wildstar. Check it out after the cut.
Also discussed, the planned business model behind Wildstar.
28 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
Growing pains, they suck. For human males it tends to be the rapid elongation of bones that brings physical agony, while a changing voice brings emotional distress. Meanwhile another part of the anatomy will inevitably lose its battle with gravity. Growing pains, anything capable of maturing has the risk of such difficulty. Hi-Rez Studios, the creator of Global Agenda, SMITE and Tribes: Ascend, has hit them not once, but twice.
Initially a planned subscription game, Global Agenda didn’t live up to the company’s standards for a subscription game so it became F2P. The conversion success led to the company joining the ranks of companies focusing on the F2P model. Just recently the company announced a single-purchase option for SMITE and Tribes: Ascend based on consumer demand making it borderline retail.
Todd Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios, chalks it up to a change in focus. Delivering core PvP experiences under a multitude of gameplay options and tight-knit communities. That’s exactly what he and iTZKooPA discuss in their latest interview. Continue Reading
27 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
Basically, are you of the Lannister mentality or the steadfast honor of a Stark?
Be forewarned, the interviewer of this video is an immense nerd. An avid reader of all literature and avid player of nearly any video game, platform agnostic, the nerd reached his maximum threshold at the combination of a video game meshing MMOG and strategy elements with the deep, character driven universe of the A Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones to the HBO nuts).
To say “That escalated quickly” would be an understatement of iTZKooPA’s unbridled excitement.
Upon a less-than-professional recovery, Product Manager Scott Triola begins the arduous task of selling a Facebook game to a serial MMO player. Diving into the connected story, deep RPG components including skill trees and moral choices and city-building aspects are sure to draw in gamers. While a deep connection to the on-going HBO series, including weekly updates as Season 3 progresses, should sell those purely interested in consuming everything and anything Game of Thrones.
Hit the jump for the full interview complete with in-game screens, concept art and a camera angle that makes the talking heads appear to be giants from beyond The Wall. Continue Reading
26 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
The revamped UI.
Gazillion Entertainment Creative Director David Brevik and creator of Diablo II sits down with iTZKooPA to discuss the development progress of his latest hack-n-slash dungeon crawler Marvel Heroes. Recent beta improvements include a much cleaner heads-up display, the doubling of available powers and the addition of a new crafting feature. All are covered in the interview.
David discusses the design decision behind breaking away from the holy trinity, both for gameplay and IP reasons. The newly announced Motion Comics – lore presented before and during specific missions – were touched upon. Amazingly, there’s over an hour of these lore pieces.
Marvel Heroes will launch May 28 for Founder members and June 4 for F2P members.
Hit the cut for all the juicy details, including new gameplay of Thor and Storm.
8 March 2013
| | Pherephassa
It’s clock watching time! I am sitting here, waiting impatiently for the Neverwinter servers to open, letting myself and all the other gamers avidly waiting for a peek at Neverwinter in to play. It was smooth sailing last time, here’s to hoping it’ll remain smooth this weekend as well! I am a bit concerned, given a few changes they’ve made to the game since the last weekend – evidently you can’t move anymore while casting, which rather detracts from the ‘action’ element for me, but I’ll be seeing how that actually plays out shortly! “You are not allowed to play” “You are not allowed to play” “You are not allowed to play” I wonder just how many other people are at their computers already slamming at the login servers. :)
My attention has largely been focused on Neverwinter, although there has been other news trickling through as PAX announcements have been coming out. Several games have entered new beta phases, more purchases have been made, and iTZKooPA has delivered more lore background on the deities of SMITE.
Hit the jump to see it all!
25 January 2013
| | Pherephassa
It seems like it’s been a slow week, although I’ve been re-infected with the nasty flu plague that’s going around so that could possibly just be a reflection on how I’m feeling. Being sick isn’t such a bad thing when I can kick back and rest up by playing hours and hours of video games, but it is the complete pits when I’m so sick – as I am now – that I lack the energy to even play much of anything for long. Those of you who may have been wondering how it was that I, the masochistic Pherephassa who can never find a deadly enough game to be satisfied, was playing that cutesy hearts and rainbows fairy tale game yesterday now have your answer. There is a time and place for everything, and I am a girl so am tempted by such things now and again when I’m under the weather. Of course, it was made all worth it when my strawberry shortcake character opened her mouth during the cutscenes and revealed language fit to satisfy a harping fishwife. I think I will be laughing at that for a while.
I think the biggest news of the week was the opening of signups for closed beta of The Elder Scrolls Online, although SMITE‘s $100k launch tournament shouldn’t be forgotten. A shot at $100k or signing up for a beta… I do think I know which one I would choose if I could only go with one, so let me rephrase that – the biggest news of the week is the announcement of a $100k competition to celebrate the launch of SMITE. And in case anyone has missed it, we’re giving away a bunch of keys for a weapon pack in Absolute Force Online. To get one, you can click the link to the right, and I’ll also provide the link right here so you can go directly there.
Hit the jump for the week’s happening, all right in one easy place. Continue Reading