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GDC 2011



Paper Mario 3DS

This morning at the GDC 2011 Keynote, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata let us in on a few new Nintendo 3DS details including a fresh 3D Mario game in development from the team that brought us Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, AT&T Wi-Fi hot spot connectivity, and the ability for the device to instantly stream 2D Netflix movies.

Iwata also announced the Nintendo eShop update, which will be available in May. The eShop will allow users to view trailers in 3D, as well as view screenshots, background information on games, and will feature links to publishers' websites. The update will also allow 3DS owners to download classic games via the portable Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console service. The service will include Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, as well as games from SEGA's Game Gear and the TurboGrafx-16 systems.

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Super Mario 3DS Coming Soon To Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo finally pulled back the curtain on Mario and revealed that a new Super Mario title is indeed coming to the Nintendo 3DS. Right now, all we were shown was a logo (which is temporary), and we'll be getting a lot more information at E3. Notice that little tail at the end? Mr. Iwata was quick to point that out. Tantalizing, eh? Looks like a Tanooki suit tail to me.

Stay tuned through the rest of GDC as we continue our coverage, and of course you'll want to pay attention during E3 in June for more hot Mario news. It'sa meeeee!

By Dennis Scimeca

Gamification

I thought I knew what gamification was before I sat down to hear the "Great Gamification Debate" panel at GDC this week. Jesse Schell of Schell Games summed it up nicely: “Taking things which aren’t games and making them feel more like games.” It’s a technique that can be applied to just about anything to get human beings interested in the activity by making it, well, a game.

Ian Bogost from The Georgia Institute of Technology preferred to define the term as “The easiest way to talk to marketers about video games,” which drew a hearty round of applause from the audience. And so the stage was set for a spirited back and forth about whether gamification has any value, or is merely a high concept pitch for marketing departments.

This debate reignites what was started at DICE earlier this year in the "Gameplay vs. Gamification" talk with our own Adam Sessler, Jesse Schell, and Brian Reynolds. Read on to see where things went this time.

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Nintendo Details Nintendo 3DS Netflix, Says 3D Video Recording Coming Soon

At Nintendo's Keynote during GDC this morning, President of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime went into more detailabout the Netflix / Nintendo partnership that is coming with the system later this year. We already knew that the 3DS would offer up Netflix 3D films, but it will also allow you to stream 2D films to the system as well.

In fact, he used the example of someone wanting to use their bigscreen television, but finding their kid watching SpongeBob SquarePants via Netflix streaming on the Wii. Simply start up streaming on the 3DS, hand that unit over to the kiddo, and then you can take over the bigger tv. Mean? Sure. Cool? Yes.

Also, Reggie explained that 3D video recording will be coming to the 3DS in a future update. Details were scant, but it looks like now the system will have the ability to record 3D video, as well as take 3D photos. Possibly nifty. Stay tuned for more.

 

Don Bluth Hopes iPhone Game Will Lead To Animation Project

At GDC this week, we sat down with animation legend Don Bluth, the genius behind features The Land Before Time, An American Tail, and video games Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair, to get the story on his newest project, Tapper World Tour, an iPhone/iPad re-imagining of classic arcade title Tapper.

According to Bluth, part of the motivation for Dragon’s Lair back in the 1980s was monetary. He had run out of funding for animated film The Secret of NIMH, and hoped that Dragon’s Lair would provide some much needed capital. The game was, of course, incredibly successful, and The Secret of NIMH was completed to nearly universal critical acclaim. Bluth said he’d love to something similar happen with Tapper World Tour.

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Independent Games Festival

There’s a big celebration about to happen. Awards will be given. Corks will be popped. People who have worked long and hard on their dreams will finally get a little recognition. Of course, I’m talking about the Oscars of hard-working indie game developers. The Independent Games Festival started this week and there are some big awards to give away. You can keep your shiny gold little men. Give me something that says I made an awesome game. With some big games hitting the stage this year, it’s going to be a tough fight just to win any award.

Of course, we here at G4TV.com know that you have a gambling problem. You keep losing. If you kept winning, it wouldn’t be a problem. So how about some help?

We've picked out some of the best bets in each of the categories ranging from audio all the way up to the big prize: the Seumas McNally award. And just to cover all the bases, we’ve even thrown in a dark horse contender in the competition just to cover our butts. Of course, each one of these games beat out hundreds of other titles just to make it this far. When all is said and done, we are all winners to have so many great games in the competition this year. Just remember that if you happen to win any real money by betting on these titles, you’re required  to give us 10% off the top. Or else. Read on for our Best Bets for the Independent Games Festival Awards this year.

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Crysis 2 PS3 Demo Dated For PS3
 
The multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 will be available on PlayStation 3 starting March 15, Electronic Arts announced at GDC this week. The demo landed on PC yesterday, as did the re-released Xbox 360 version; it includes two maps (Pier 17 and Skyline) and two modes (Team Instant Action and Crash Site).
 
Crysis 2 will be available on 360, PS3, and PC March 22. And check back soon for our hands-on impressions of the PS3 demo.



With the Battlefield 3 demo behind us, we're already seeing an outpouring of enthusiasm from fans of the game, so we decided to group together to share our own initial reactions to the Battlefield 3 preview that took place at GDC 2011. While you're only seeing the first part of the trailer, this is the full BF3 video breakdown from what we saw...and our ensuing comments:

Nikole Zivalich, Games Editor:

Battlefield 3 has been on my radar for a long time. I've been a fan of the Battlefield series since Battlefield 2, and still regularly venture into the world of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. When I finally saw the single player demo for Battlefield 3 I was blown away. Everything about it was what I was hoping for. The graphics, the audio, the combat, all of it was I wanted for the next Battlefield game. When the lights dimmed and the audio of Johnny Cash (at least I think it was) went up I got the chills. And as someone who doesn't have the time nor the patience to excel in multiplayer I was elated that DICE took the time to make such an advanced and immersive single player in a genre where single player is often something that feels tacked on. EA needs to release the PC specs for this game, mama's getting a new machine.

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Jake Gaskill is currently playing inFamous 2 at GDC right this very second, which makes us all jealous of him. But more exciting than that is the announcement that Sucker Punch just made about their baby: players will be able to generate their own user-created missions in the game, and if they get popular enough, they will show up in the single-player game.

 

inFamous 2 "Create Your Own Missions" GDC 2011 Trailer »


 

The key fact you'll want to know to know is that the kit includes everything they used to make the actual game, plus some stuff that's exclusive to the user generated tool set. According to Jake, "There will be filters that will let you choose what types of user-generated missions you want to show up. Mission start locators will stream into the actual single-player game, so you'll see them as you run around. Filters will keep it from being too crowded.

But if you want the full story, head on over to the inFamous 2 User Generated Missions Preview. But before you do that, head on after the jump to see a couple of images explaining how user-created missions will appear in the game.

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Magicka Vietnam Announcement Trailer »


 
Paradox Interactive has thrown caution to the winds with Magicka: Vietnam expansion and decided to jump directly into one of the bloodiest and nastiest conflicts in U.S. history, namely the Vietnam War, by tossing wizards and magic into the mix. No longer will you need to rely on guns and grenades to get the job done, as now you can blast spells to initiate giant explosions, or simply fry your foes with lightning. 
 
We'll have more news on the Magicka expansion later, but for now you can entertain yourself by playing the free demo on Steam.

  • Videos
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GDC Preview -- Anomaly: Warzone Earth

Adjust your upcoming game-radar and add Anomaly: Warzone Earth. The engaging little downloadable game from 11Bit Studios is coming to PC through Steam, as well as IPod and iPad, and the little indie game manages to be original, polished and a crap-ton of fun.

Anomaly takes the tower defense genre and turns it upside down, putting the players in charge of a squad of vehicles infiltrating territory and destroying the armaments of malevolent occupying army of aliens. What else does the game hold in store? Read on for more.

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Independent Games Festival

There’s a big celebration about to happen. Awards will be given. Corks will be popped. People who have worked long and hard on their dreams will finally get a little recognition. Of course, I’m talking about the Oscars of hard-working indie game developers. The Independent Games Festival starts next week and there are some big awards to give away. You can keep your shiny gold little men. Give me something that says I made an awesome game. With some big games hitting the stage this year, it’s going to be a tough fight just to win any award.

Of course, we here at G4TV.com know that you have a gambling problem. You keep losing. If you kept winning, it wouldn’t be a problem. So how about some help?

We've picked out some of the best bets in each of the categories ranging from audio all the way up to the big prize: the Seumas McNally award. And just to cover all the bases, we’ve even thrown in a dark horse contender in the competition just to cover our butts. Of course, each one of these games beat out hundreds of other titles just to make it this far. When all is said and done, we are all winners to have so many great games in the competition this year. Just remember that if you happen to win any real money by betting on these titles, you’re required  to give us 10% off the top. Or else. Read on for our Best Bets for the Independent Games Festival Awards this year.

Read More »

 

Angry Birds at GDC

Peter Vesterbacka, the "Mighty Eagle" at Rovio just announced during their GDC panel that Angry Birds St. Patricks Day is coming soon as part of Angry Birds Seasons. Does that mean we can expect drunken birds? They're already angry, after all. Little flingable leprechaun birds would as happy as well. Expect it sometime "Well before St. Patrick's Day."

They also spoke briefly about the Angry Birds Rio game, meant to tie-in with the upcoming animated film. "We could make it work nicely with Angry Birds and the backstory. It could be the first time the birds leave the island, and are kidnapped by smugglers. This is not one of these lame movie games, but a separate game that works nicely with teh movie."

Angry Birds Rio is due out on March 22, and will retail for $.99 on Apple's App Store.

 




Steam Expanding To Television Sets, Plans To Dominate Entertainment
 
Valve is opening up the gaming arena past the monitors attached to your Macs and PCs, and will now be offering a "big picture" mode that "will offer controller support and navigation designed for television interaction." If you consider this against other options like OnLive, it sounds like the opening salvo in a battle for future control of the living room. Couple that with the fact that Steamworks is coming to the PlayStation 3 with Portal 2, and this is a very significant development that you'll want to pay attention to in the future.
 
VP of marketing Doug Lombardi said, "Our partners and customers have asked us to make Steam available in more places. With the introduction of Steam on the Mac, and soon in Portal 2 on the PS3, we've done just that. With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house." More details on this mode and future plans for Valve will be revealed during the Game Developer's Conference this week. Keep reading G4 throughout the week as GDC continues to unfold.






G4 Is Heading To GDC 2011!

Hey, Feed faithful! This year’s Game Developers Conference is just around the corner, and we here at G4 are in the final planning stages as we prepare to bring you all of the breaking news, interviews, previews, panel discussions, rumors and videos your precious game-loving brains can handle straight from one of the year's biggest gatherings in the games industry.

GDC 2011 officially kicks off Monday, February 28 and lasts through March 4, and G4tv.com will be all over it like some kind of incurable developer conference fungus, only…you know…not as gross. We’re expecting to see plenty of big name titles at the show, from Battlefield 3 to The Darkness 2 to, perhaps, the new game from Epic Games that was previously rumored to be announced at the show. In other words, lots of good stuff.

In addition to the countless number of fascinating panels and roundtables, another big highlight will obviously be the keynote presentation from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, in which he may or may not announce that Wii Points have become the official currency of the universe. It’s more likely that he’ll stick to the keynote topic, “Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future,” but we’ll see.

So keep your eyes and ears glued to G4tv.com starting next week for all of the latest updates from this year’s big show.

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