PAX East 2015: What Infinite Crisis Learned When it Went Dark (Interview)

Posted by on March 21, 2015 - No Comments »

Batman_PirateIn mid July of 2014 Turbine Entertainment, the developer behind super hero themed MOBA Infinite Crisis, took a mighty turn. Looking at the horizon of its upcoming title it feared that Infinite Crisis wasn’t unique enough. It wasn’t offering gamers a diverse experience. Something clever, intuitive or simply far better done than what was currently available or hitting the market soon. Rather than cancel a title far in development, like some others have done, Creative Director Cardell Kerr and Co. returned to the design board.

Previous notions, discussions and reveals went out the window.

Development wasn’t stopped but we’re sure there were an incredible amount of meetings. Meetings to have meetings about meeting goals, aspirations and community expectations. So many meetings must have been had that the room’s carpet needed to be changed. “What those meetings covered, and what was settled upon” you ask? Well, that’s the line of questioning we went with when we had the opportunity to speak with Cardell Kerr, again, at PAX East 2015.

Kerr didn’t shy away from the oft-difficult answers. See the entire interview and what to expect from next week’s Steam release of Infinite Crisis after the cut. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Brawlhalla Started as PvP for Another Title (Interview)

Posted by on March 19, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_metadev_orion_brawlhalla_pax_eastBlue Mammoth Games made its mark on the game industry with the release of Dungeon Blitz, a 2D side-scrolling MMORPG set in the fantasy worlds of Human World and Sleepy Land. Players began requesting that the story-driven quests be spiced up. Considering the 2D nature a PvP mode in the vain of a fighting game seemed to be the logical extension for the free-to-play title. The Atlanta-based developer diligently went to work.

And ended up making an entirely new game.

Yes, Brawlhalla, the frenetic hit-em-off-the-side-of-the-screen began as an extension to Dungeon Blitz. To say the former PvP mode has taken on a life of its own would be an understatement, as Zeke Sparkes details in our first hands-on and interview with the team. There’s no shame in being compared to the likes of Super Smash Bros. and Powerstone. While the later may have fallen afoul of Sega’s slow decline, the former remains on of the best-selling and highest-rated with each new installment.

Blue Mammoth isn’t recycling the format and sliding it over to the PC. No, no, weapons modify a player’s attributes, levels will continue to be developed, skins and other customizations exists. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s all powered by a network technology, Steam, that isn’t arcane, cumbersome or back asswards.

The skinny’s after the cut and stay tuned for Closed Beta keys and exclusive convention skins! Read more…

PAX East 2015: OMD Unchained is a Different Game Come Phase 2 (Interview)

Posted by on March 19, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_unchained_pax_east_interviewRobot Entertainment has been incredibly transparent while developing Orcs Must Die! Unchained, the third game set in the OMD universe. Early purchases unlocked the two previous installments in the growing tower defense universe and provided access to the TD/MOBA hybrid and access to an exclusive forum. Not to mention being the first to experience the genreific mash up. We first took a crack at Unchained nearly a year ago. Boy has it changed!

There have been numerous patches, some large, some small. They’ve done mundane background changes to massive changes to the UI, general gameplay, and the creation of an entire roster of unique heroes since entering a larger beta process last June. PAX East gave us an opportunity to catch up with producer Chris Rippy to discuss the past and, more importantly, the future of the franchise. The beta feedback has been put to use and applied to create Phase 2, the largest update to the game since that fateful launch day.

We’re talking a full retuning of the title, including one of the deepest (we’re hoping finalized) metagame experiences of any MOBA. Learn the details after the jump. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Super Evil Megacorp on the Future of MOBAs

Posted by on March 18, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_pax_east_Ardan_vainglory_moba_futureHow to sustain the run of MOBAs. That’s the question many people are asking. Be they developers in the midst of working on a new product, publishers trying to align their portfolios or gamers seeing homogeneous gameplay left and right it’s what many around the industry have, at least, in the back of their mind.

We query Super Evil Megacorp, the brains behind arguably the most successful hardcore MOBA on mobile platforms, on the topic. They address the pickle with passion, openness and excitement.

This is just a taste of a larger interview coming to the channel soon. Be sure to subscribe! Read more…

PAX East 2015: Heroes of the Storm Churning with New Map & Siege-mode Sylvanas

Posted by on March 17, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_pax_east_heroes_of_the_storm_dabiri_sylvanasWhen you envision the Banshee Queen. The leader of The Forsaken. The undead – as opposed to supposedly alive, but long presumed dead – Windrunner sister you envision an archer, right? One more than capable to hold her own against Arthas. A leader worthy being crowned the Dark Lady lead a newly-free and perpetuating people. Someone strong willed enough to stand up to Garrosh. This person in your mind is a ranger. A bow-wielding, skeleton-raising, life-draining ranger, right?

As we’ve seen with the likes of Thrall and Jaina – ow, I paired them together! – the designer’s behind Heroes of the Storm aren’t taking the most obvious, or, perhaps more poignantly, the most current form of heroes and adding them to the multiverse MOBA. Nope, the team is designing each character to fit a particular role. To fill a niche in gameplay while remaining interesting. Perhaps most importantly, remaining unique. And that’s why at PAX East 2015 it may have come as a surprise that the former Ranger-General is a specialist siege hero.

Technical Director Alan Dibiri details the decision during the Blizzard Entertainment PAX East after party before updating us on the latest details for Tomb of the Spider Queen and oh so much more. Check it all out after the cut! Read more…

PAX East 2015: World of Tanks: Generals Returns, Heading To Beta Soon

Posted by on March 16, 2015 - 3 Comments » has held a high percentage of my harddrive for years. It’s various titles have rested somewhere within my file structure for well over a decade at this point. More recently, the company made a play for Xbox and continues to push its break-out hit World of Tanks to every conceivable gaming platform. But the developer and its growing list of internal studios have focused on porting the Tanks experience to these other platforms, not a new world such as World of Warplanes, or World of Warships, which entered Closed Beta testing last week.

That was supposed to change with World of Tanks: Generals, a collectible card game set in the heavy metal universe that’s captivated eSports audiences with 15v15 gameplay. We got the details and our hands on the title at Gamescom2012. Then Generals went dark. Rarely mentioned. Perhaps only in whispers. In dreams. That didn’t stop us from salivating. Anticipating taking the universe on the game in a manner that opened up a deep meta experience and was entirely capable of consuming when under the stresses of only one usable appendage. Because cats.

PAX East 2015 saw the return. The re-unveiling of Generals. It’s more polished. The gameplay’s deeper, more strategic. The art is crisp. The board is complete (and ripe for easy additions and expansion, balance pending). Lines in the sand have been drawn and nations have entered the fray with their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Learn all about it from the a Wargaming producer and marketer duo after the cut. That’s two side of development! Be sure to stay tuned as we’ve beta keys incoming! Read more…

MOBA Monday: MOBAs Certainly Show Well at Cons

Posted by on March 16, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_moba_monday_heroes_of_the_storm_sylvanasMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a multiplayer 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 in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

Conventions are infectious. It’s their very nature. A giant marketing show attempting to get everyone pumped for the next big thing or to adopt the just-released big thing. I’ve repeatedly stated that cons, at least how they’re currently designed and consumed, don’t do MMOGs justice. No one has designed a booth that enables them to shine and simultaneously not have lines that are ungodly long. MMOGs simply don’t show well at conventions.

But it’s MOBA Monday, and oh boy does that genre show very well at conventions. Heck, the explosion of eSports is a testament to how well these 20-45 minute sessions can hook and pull you in. Mash PAX East with some on-the-floor Heroes of the Storm and new details around Tomb of the Spider Queen, the basement to Sky Temple, and a siege-mode Sylvanas – bwhaaa? – and you’ve got another HotS MOBA Monday on your hands.

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. We still have the same great line up, the same shenanigans and the same daily dose of awesome. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Our First Hands on with Star Trek Timelines

Posted by on March 15, 2015 - No Comments »

BorgKlingon-fullwebDisruptor Beam announced its intentions to develop a Star Trek video game for mobile devices at PAX East 2014. After managing to secure the rights to A Song of Ice and Fire, grabbing the go ahead for the Star Trek universe didn’t stun us. It certainly did excite our nerd core though. Unfortunately, CEO Jon Radoff couldn’t go into detail. What with it being brand spanking new and all. Effectively, the details included a mobile title that could span any and all of Star Trek, past, present and the expanded universe.

Let’s fast forward a year and throw in some Google Ventures money. This places Jon Radoff back at PAX East with a playable iPad demo in hand. The demo unleashes the full brunt of space thanks to the power of Unity. Pretty wormholes and planets aside, Radoff moves on from technical achievements and spends much of the interview detailing the current philosophies behind the story and quest design before shifting to what makes most gamers stick with an RPG, the loot. Loot being loot, and rewards being rewards, the most interesting aspect is truly the way we’ll be deploying our crew to take on missions and activities of our own development.

For that you’ll have to hit the jump to get the scoop on Star Trek Timelines. We can’t bring Leonard Nimoy back in real life, but Disruptor Beam certainly will be doing so as THE Vulcan Spock. Read more…