Archive for the ‘General’ Category

PAX Prime 2014: Motiga’s Freshman Entry is a Highly Unique MOBA (Video)

9 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

GiganticScreenshot-Combat-04Lore Hound had a unique opportunity to check out Motiga’s freshman entry to gamedom. Designed by James Phinney of StarCraft, Gigantic is shaping up to reshape the multiplayer online battle arena genre. Phinney and Co. aren’t focusing on creating a niche game, slicing out a piece of the League of Legends dominated pie for themselves. Rather the company, perhaps taking a card from his former employer Blizzard Entertainment, is attempting to one-up the competition with every line item.

Complaining that all MOBAs are the same? How about we drop the standard lane-pushing minions that die to a static tower and replace them with mini bosses? Oh, that isometric view forcing you to squint? How about adopting the third-person perspective popularized by SMITE, which enables you to literally sneak up from behind? Shenanigans to those “weeds” mechanics. Art style you ask? Will a more angular, but no less timeless, interpretation of Borderlands suit your snobby requirements? Oh, really, skills shots are your next concerns? Let us assuage your fears with the ability to murder opponents from across the maps. Should you actually possess such skill.

I may have absolutely sucked at my attempt to crush our cameraman in a match of Gigantic, but that doesn’t mean the interview sucks. In fact, it goes 20-0, two Guardian – that’s what they call towers – kills and a swath of assists. That’s why you should check out the conversation with James Phinney. Oh, and we may be scoring some alpha keys for Twitch viewers. So there’s that. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: En Masse Brings Tower Defense to ZMR (Video)

9 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

ZMR_LOGO_(wTEXTURE)_RGBTower defense mechanics in a first-person shooter game? Apparently an apathetic “Why not” complete with a shrug came from Yingpei Games when it was originally suggested. Publisher En Masse Entertainment thinks it’s a perfect mix for the community of Zombies Monster Robots. Let’s be honest, we’ve seen odder features from the title. Exhibit A) ZMR already contains odd co-op shenanigans like the recent Mummy See, Mummy Doom update that was featured on a recent F2P Friday livestream. It was a quirky, unexpected and surprisingly challenging experience.

Released the day after PAX Prime, En Masse invited us into its office to discuss everything that Threshold Defense holds for players, and it’s a lot. The introduction of the TD mechanic, the dominant topic of our interview, brings the community an entirely new game mode. But it also contains five new maps, three focused on PvP, nearly 20 new weapons, new costumes and new targets to soak up those bullets.

Producer Matt Denomme provided a swath of interesting information on the monetization of ZMR, how En Masse manages and adds to the title during localization, what’s in the chute for the limitless game (hint, dinosaurs), beta details, and, perhaps most interesting to the our community, a promise to  provide some weapon codes. Gotta love free stuff! Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: Pokemon TCG Online Plays Gloriously on iPad (Video)

8 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Charizard was worth hundreds of dollars back in the day!

Pokemon has consumed far too much of my discretionary income. Ever since the launch of Red and Blue back in 1998 I’ve owned (and beaten) nearly every core game. I’ve fought my way through….photo hunts…and recaptured my pokemon in a box for long-term storage. Movies, blankets, plushies, I’ve had my hand in it all for a least a few dollars. Then there’s the physical Pokemon Trading Card Game, my first TCG addiction since the early days of Magic The Gathering.

That consumed a comparable amount of money to the available games at the time. Yet, far, far less time. Now we’ve Pokemon TCG Online for PC and Mac and an upcoming iPad version. History may very well repeat itself. To ensure history will repeat itself I checked out the upcoming iPad version to gauge whether it was up to my standards. The horrible realization is that, wallet be damned, it’s a faster, more intuitive rendition of the PC and Mac client.

In the below interview you can see me partake in your typical Pokemon TCG actions, playing a basic Pokemon, using a Trainer card, and, after a few moments, deducing how you read a card’s text. J.C. Smith, the Consumer Marketing Group for Pokemon, is along for the ride detailing the transition, the company’s expectation for the new platform, crossover possibilities and more. A surprising nugget for me was to learn that each physical booster unlocks a digital booster by way of an included code.

Another excuse for my wallet to hide.

Pokemon TCG Online is to be added to the F2P Friday lineup complete with some giveaways. Be sure to hit that Follow button on our Twitch channel to ensure you receive the maximum opportunities. Continue Reading

MOBA Monday: It’s All Heroes of the Storm Today

8 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_moba_mondayMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans inour weekly Twitch channel staple.

Our PAX Prime coverage is still rolling out of the editing room, but that’s not stopping us from returning to our regularly scheduled Twitch programming. MOBA Monday will feature its first ever double dip by remaining in Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm, which itself remains in alpha development.

Sure, I’ve been enjoying the game these last few weeks. Trying out new heroes, messing with the merged pantheons and the unique gameplay. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m simply riding the gold addiction imposed on me Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft *cough* Curse of Naxxramas *cough* into Blizzard’s very own MOBA.

Hmm, who to pick from this week’s lineup for in today’s double dose of Heroes of the Storm…I guess the day’s quests will have a strong indication as to which characters and roles I’ll be partaking in. Come watch me play some new characters!

Today’s MOBA Monday has been bumped to 3:00 PM EST to allow for continued editing. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Don’t forget to follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: WildStar Omni-core Megadrop Drives Story, Adds End-game Content

5 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

20140820_PAX_omnicore_042 copyCarbine Studios does add to our great economy by performing work. This may be contrary to what the forums may have told you but they’ve entertained the hell out of me. The company has released numerous patches for its subscription-based MMORPG WildStar and continues driving along. Two major ones include the Strain Ultradrop and the more consumable standard drop of Sabotage.

The developer since admitted that the planned monthly releases wasn’t proving viable. Stephan Frost, a design producer, laid the change squarely on quality, admitting that the previous drops had been buggier than the company had hoped.

Now we’ve the massive end-game content patch Journey to Omni-core 1 coming. Sadly, we could only squeeze a 2014 commitment out of him. Dubbed a Mega Drop, the content patch will focus on high-level content – plus bug fixes – for all players. That means soloers, groupers, dungeon runners and raiders. Lore Hounds should pay extra close attention to the video interview to catch the tidbits of lore, including how the Strain and Omni-core 1 connect, ahead of release.

Hit the jump to see a quiet Frost chat with iTZKooPA about game development, the 1%er balancing act, z-axis platforming, community feedback, Nexus lore, the future of single-player storylines, screenshots and more!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Twitch channel for more on WildStar, including our upcoming Instance Gratification livestream with none other than Chad “Papi” Moore himself! Continue Reading

Looking At and Past Module 4 in Neverwinter (Interview)

5 September 2014 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

NW_Screenshot_ToD_PWT_080114_jpeg14_wm Cryptic Studios has had a busy summer. Not only did the developer polish of Module 4: Tyranny of Dragons for Neverwinter, which we’ve featured as part of Instance Gratification, but it is pushing the title to Xbox One, released a new content patch for Champions Online and will soon do the same for Star Trek Online. You’d think the company would be too busy for some community interviews. You’d be completely wrong!

Who are you and what are your duties in regards to Neverwinter?

I’m Chris Matz, and I’m Lead Designer on Neverwinter. This means I oversee most things on the game, working with the other Leads to create a cohesive vision and direction for the game. I also work very closely with our Content and Systems Designers to plan out what features we work on – from classes and feats and items, to zones and dungeons and story –as well as what our goals are for those features.

Module 4: Tyranny of Dragons was recently released and included a new class and a new playable race. How has the adoption been among the community?

It’s been great! We’ve got a ton of Warlocks in game – including several that have already raced to level 60 – running around Cursing all of our new dragons. The Dragonborn have also been received well, and we’ve got plenty of them using their new fire breath Artifacts to wreak some havoc. I’ve been waiting for us to get Dragonborn in since before launch, and I’ve already race-changed several of my characters over! Continue Reading

Exclusive PAX 2014: Strife Producer Talks Open Beta & Single-player Campaign

4 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_bastion_Strife_single_playerA common thread among our PAX East 2014 interviews was asking MOBA developers what sets them apart. We firmly believe that MOBAs are becoming the new MMORPGs in that numerous companies are tossing money at the genre in a (likely vain) attempt to recreate the magic of League of Legends. Few answered the question adequately, unable to detail divergent features.  At least one has, to some extent, returned to the drawing board.

S2 Games, having the hardcore Heroes of Newerth in its stable, already knew it was diversifying by developing Strife to target a more casual market. Producer Tim Shannon and his crew are taking it a step beyond in-lane game design. Announced at the start of PAX Prime 2014 was the title’s move to Open Beta, but also the first single-player campaign featuring the “Golden Child” Bastion.

Hit the jump for more on Bastion’s single-player experience, how development will continue and when you can extra the beta nomenclature to disappear. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1 and It’s Humanity, Or Lack Thereof

4 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_surrender_h1z1_interview_pax_prime_jimmy_whisenhuntYou’re dropped into a world that’s unassuming desire is to see you dead. Civilization has collapsed. Zombies are everywhere. Items needed to live are in short supply. By hook or by crook is how humanity continues to survive in this deadly, desolate world. You can craft items from trees you cut down or you can scrounge from those left behind by the less fortunate. Frankly, you’ve options.

Yet, as this video illustrates gamers, who live in a world of luxury – clean water, electricity, food in a wide range of orange – don’t always grasp those options. Jimmy Whisenhunt, a senior game designer with Sony Online Entertainment was casually chatting with us ahead of our on-camera interview (coming soon). Moving around the world, showcasing the UI, crafting system and such. He went into a nearby rundown gas station to allow us to see scavenging and that’s when he ran into someone on the showfloor. Yes, another real-life person.

Jimmy threw up his hands in a submissive gesture, which, apparently, enraged his human-controlled foe. The ensuing few moments are what follows, including axes, bow and arrows, zombies and another hand-based gesture make it worth your time. Continue Reading