DICE 2010

OnLive Service Works On Cell Phones, Too

While the potentially revolutionary streaming game service OnLive remains a question mark for most (the service is still in limited beta), OnLive continues to emphasize its service will be available from pretty much every device you own. It looks like that'll include the iPad, too.

OnLive president and CEO Steve Perlman pitched OnLive to the DICE 2010 audience today. During his presentation, Perlman pointed out the devices OnLive will be hooked to. Perlman's slide included things we'd heard before -- TVs, PCs, Macs, phones -- but one new one: tablets.

I seem to remember a certain company announcing a much-hyped tablet device recently?

While Perlman didn't call out the iPad specifically, if OnLive is coming to the iPhone and OnLive is talking about tablet support, it's a safe assumption OnLive has the Apple iPad in mind.

G4's continued coverage of DICE 2010 continues. Watch this page!

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In the DICE 2010 video you see below, Disney lays out it plans for video game world domination... okay, maybe world domination is overstating the case, but the company does lay out its plans for the future. After acknowledging the company does not dominate the gaming space, Disney's Stephen Wadsworth, head of Disney Interactive Media Group,  explains how Disney plans to "become a vibrant part of the cultural landscape to come."

Click the video below for all the details. (Pro Tip: You might be most interested in the couple seconds of the Tron movie tie-in game, Split/Second and Epic Mickey in the middle of the game montage at about 12 minutes and 24 seconds in.)

DICE 2010: Disney Interactive Media Group Presentation »

For more DICE 2010 coverage, including news, interviews, photo galleries and more, check out our DICE 2010 site.

New Resident Evil Film?

Did you know the Entertainment Software Association is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the Chicago Transit Authority over a ban that, in practice, would prevent Capcom from advertising Resident Evil 5, while allowing Sony Pictures to advertise the next Resident Evil movie just fine? It's true.

In 2009, Chicago moved to single out M-rated video games. No other form of media was affected. The contradiction was brought up by Ken Doroshow, Senior VP & General Counsel Entertainment Software Association, during a fascinating presentation at DICE 2010 about games and law.

"In the very ordinance itself," said Doroshow, "it proclaimed some statistics about youth violence in the city of Chicago and cites the very same studies that courts have rejected showing some sort of connection between violent video games and real-life violence."

The ESA is currently fighting on behalf of the games industry to gain the rights of other media. Doroshow used the Resident Evil example to show the absurdity of the ordinance in action.

"Maybe I've drank the kool-aid, but that's absurd," he said.


Keep watching our coverage, live from DICE 2010, on G4's official DICE page.

Can You Hear Me Now? Apple And Verizon In

I've seen Unreal Engine 3 running on an iPhone. Epic Games has proven it's possible, albeit only on a 3GS. I've watched Epic Games VP Mark Rein play a version of Unreal Tournament on his Apple device. When Epic Games builds their engine on a platform, it usually means they're working on a game for that platform, too. With the iPhone, however, that's not actually the case.

"It's very skunkworks for us right now," said Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, during an interview with me at DICE 2010. "We don't have a game we're building on it. Generally, when we support a platform with the engine, we know the platform back and forth because we're shipping a game there. Since we don't have Unreal Tournament for iPhone in development or anything, we haven't really figured out how the product ties in."

The motivation behind developing Unreal Engine 3 on the iPhone is a response to major publishers -- publishers who are already using Epic Games' technology for other products -- embracing iPhone games. Epic Games wants them to use their iPhone technology.

"What I want," explained Capps, "is for the EAs [Electronic Arts] of the world who are licensing our tech for a ton of products anyway to say 'Gosh, I could start using my assets for you-name-Unreal-Engine-game-here, I could start making an iPhone game with the same tech instead as opposed to having to write something from the ground up.'"

Of course, I wouldn't mind an iPhone version of Unreal Tournament, either.

For more from DICE 2010, check out our official page for continued coverage.

DICE 2010

You've probably been hearing a lot about the DICE 2010 this week. It's a big deal: All the best minds in gaming getting together to talk about the hobby/profession they love is bound to be exciting. Take a look inside the show with our photo gallery of the Into the Pixel art show, and a look at some of the DICE sessions.

Sit tight: We have video coverage of some of the keynote speeches on tap, as well as breaking DICE news all day long.  You can check out all of our DICE 2010 coverage in one place,  right here.


What's Sony's upcoming motion controller called? According to Stephen Wadsworth, the president of Disney's Interactive Media Group (aka Disney's games division), it's "Gem."

Wadsworth mentioned "Gem" during his keynote presentation at DICE 2010. He was discussing the expansion of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 through Project Natal and (apparently) "Gem."

Patrick Seybold, Sony's senior director of corporate communications and social media, dismissed the mention as non-news over Twitter. "Same code name from earlier," he said.

Apparently Mr. Wadsworth is just a little behind the times in the code name world.

The still "officially" unnamed motion controller has also been called Arc. It's rumored Arc is the most recent codename, while Gem was an earlier name attached to the controller.

Keep tabs on G4's continued coverage from DICE 2010 on our official page.

Gears of War 2: Dark Corners Screenshot

Independent game development is a complex idea. Depending on who you're talking about, it means something different. Technically, Epic Games is "independent," even if they are working on some of the biggest releases in games. They are not, however, what you would typically consider "indie." Gas Powered Games founder Chris Taylor and Epic Games CEO Mike Capps discussed the difficulties of independence during Adam Sessler's "Hot Topics" panel at DICE 2010.

"It's not so much a fine line," said Taylor," [but there is] a big line between indie development, where there's the iPhone and this and that, and then what we do -- and then there's tiers of what we do. Mike [Capps is] doing big time independence stuff...To survive right now as an independent when you're in that category is especially challenging when the guys across the team are putting dudes in their basement and saying 'we're an independent developer.'"

Despite Capps' ability to oversee an independent studio that produces huge franchises like Gears of War, he said Epic Games can't do everything. Independents need help, too.

"It's getting harder and harder to be independent at our size," he said. "We're waiting for someone to buy Valve. [laughs] We've really enjoyed being independent. For us, it's about partnerships. That partnership is so crucial to being independent because we have to know what we don't know. Someone has to buy ads on Hong Kong subways. Knowing what you know well is key to being independent."

For our complete and continuing coverage of DICE 2010, check out G4's official page!

British Classification Board Gives Heavy Rain 15 Rating

Mass Effect 2. BioShock 2. Heavy Rain. The biggest games so far in 2010 have featured very deep storytelling hooks. But if you look at the top-selling games of all time, whether it's the past (Tetris) or the present (Wii Play), storytelling isn't the focus, if present at all. Ultima game designer Richard Garriott had a theory about that during Adam Sessler's "Hot Topics" session at DICE 2010.

"As I review my 30 year career," said Garriott, reflecting on his history developing story games, "I don't think the market has tended to specifically reward that. I think the reasons why that is true has been the changing technology bases that we [use to] build all of our games. Every time there's a new CD drive, 3D hardware or the Internet ... gameplay tastes tend to reset to quite simple forms of gameplay."

"As long as we're in the Moore's Law era," he continued, "I think those of us who have a passion for storytelling are going to regularly be trumped by gameplay."

Do you think Garriott's onto something?

Keep checking back all week (and next!) for continuing coverage of DICE 2010.

David Jaffe Jokes About Calling All Cars Being

God of War and Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe is known for being a man with opinions, even about his own projects. Adam Sessler asked Jaffe whether he considered Calling All Cars a casual game during the Sessler-hosted "Hot Topics" session at DICE 2010, to which Jaffe joked (to much laughter) that creating Calling All Cars was not a casual game but "a mistake."

He seemed to be mostly joking, but Jaffe outlined some clear lessons learned from the game. Jaffe said his team at Eat Sleep Play ended up designing a casual looking game ("e-rated" graphics) for a hardcore audience. Calling All Cars had a cartoonish look but a hardcore feel.

If he were to design Calling All Cars again, he'd have matched the hardcore gameplay with a hardcore visual look, too. Jaffe said Calling All Cars was created with old school arcades in mind.

"Our gameplay was sort of designed to be more akin to the old NBA Jam games," he said.

Jaffe also said the price caused an issue. Calling All Cars was launched at $10, a price point Jaffe thought seemed reasonable given the interest in downloadable games at the time. But Jaffe didn't anticipate that people would end up judging a $10 game just like a $60 game.

"The reality is you buy $599 system and you still bring that same kind of consumer mentality to a $5 game or a $60 game," he said. "It was just kind of wrong for us to assume there'd be a different kind of mentality."

For more coverage live from DICE 2010, keep watching our official DICE page.

Blizzard Wants Battle.Net To Become Gaming's Facebook

There are many gamers happy about the StarCraft II beta going live today. Integral to the StarCraft II experience, however, is the revamped Battle.Net, Blizzard's proprietary equivalent to Xbox Live, to be incorporated in all Blizzard games. While talking with Blizzard co-founder and senior VP Frank Pearce at DICE 2010 right around the time the StarCraft II beta was going live (it happened while we were talking), I asked him what Blizzard's ambitions are for the future. Where is Blizzard in five, 10 years?

Pearce is an ambitious man.

"For me, I think about the web 2.0 experience and all the people that are connecting with each other around the world on sites like Facebook," he said, "and I would like Blizzard's Battle.Net to be the equivalent in the gaming space. But that's pretty ambitious."

If Battle.Net doesn't make it that far, he does have a backup plan he'd be happy with, though.

"I would be very, very satisfied if Battle.Net was that just for Blizzard games and the Blizzard community," he said. "The Blizzard community is really what's most important to us, anyway."

Stay tuned for much more from Pearce and other gaming luminaries from DICE this week and next. For a comprehensive look at G4's DICE 2010 coverage, make sure to check this page.  And for more on the Starcraft II beta and Battle.Net launch, check out our exclusive videos.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

DICE Summit 2010: Speakers, Panels, And Games

DICE Summit 2010 is going on this week in Las Vegas, and thanks to our stellar G4 staffers on the ground (and here at homebase), we’ll be bringing you tons of event coverage over the coming days. One of the big draws of events like DICE is the illustrious lineup of speakers that show up (of which X-Play’s own Adam Sessler is one). This year’s gathering definitely keeps this tradition alive, as evidenced by the following complete list of games industry types attending the event.

Check out the full list after the break.

Read More »


G4 Has Arrived In Las Vegas For DICE 2010

If you squint really hard (from my iPhone), you can spot the Las Vegas strip in the distance.

DICE 2010 is being held at the Red Rock Casino, a good 20 minutes outside of the Las Vegas you're currently imagining in your mind. Red Rock is a little secluded -- but it does have a Best Buy around the corner, in case we need more batteries. Andrew Pfister and myself have arrived to cover DICE 2010. Adam Sessler should be here soon. He might already be at the pool. I already spotted BioWare's Greg Zeschuk. Regardless, we've arrived in Las Vegas for one reason: covering DICE 2010 for you.

Our coverage begins soon. Watch our official DICE 2010 page for the latest updates!

DICE 2010

If you're interested in hearing, seeing and reading what's happening at DICE next week, G4 is the place to be. Several of us from G4 -- including myself, Andrew Pfister and Adam Sessler - are making the trek to Las Vegas for several days to cover the event. I've never been to DICE before, but while it's a low-key event compared to E3 or Tokyo Game Show (or even today's X10), it's the perfect event to meet up with gaming's top professionals and get a sense of where the industry's going.

Take a look at the schedule for DICE over here. What do you want us to check out?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

DICE 2010

You may have heard people in the gaming world mentioning the DICE Summit, and you may have asked yourself, "What, exactly, is DICE and why should I care?" Below, my friend, are the answers you seek.

What DICE is:  DICE is a once yearly conference where the brightest minds in video gaming and digital entertainment gather to explore the creative process and artistic expression as they apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The letters stand for "Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain," and the event is sponsored by the Academy for Interactive Arts and Sciences. To sum up: It is a gathering of smart, gaming professionals thinking and talking about games.

Why you should care: When the gaming elite meet to speak, it's sure to be interesting. DICE 2010's summits include a keynote delivered by Activision head Bobby Kotick, and that is worth the price of admission by itself, but there's more: John Schappert, chief operating officer Electronic Arts, Joe Madureira & David Adams, co-founders of Vigil Games, and many other luminaries are scheduled to speak.

X-Play's own Adam Sessler will be hosting a series of Pre-DICE discussions called "Hot Topics" in which David Jaffe will discuss casual games, Dan Connors will discuss Action Vs. Story and Greg Short & Geoffrey Zatkin will preside over a talk entitled: “Forces at Play: Examining What Has Really Been Impacting the Videogame Industry, and What It Means Going Forward."

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will be there, as will reps of many major publishing and development companies. The AIAS also gives out its annual awards during D.I.C.E., where the best video games are judged by gaming's elite.

When and where is DICE: This year, the event is being held at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada between February 17th and 19th.

What will G4 be doing for DICE?: We'll have our crack team of gaming journalists on the floor, bringing you up-to-the minute coverage of panels, exclusive interviews, news and more. Our cameras will capture the major DICE summits, and we'll present them to you -- that's right: exclusive video of developer panels right here on G4tv.com. Just keep your browser tuned to our DICE page.

Is there an official website? Of course.

Indie Game Challenge Finalists Announced, Prices To Be Awarded At DICE With GDC on the horizon, it can be difficult to keep a handle on all of the independent gaming competitions going on. The latest, however, involves G4 itself -- specifically, Mr. Adam Sessler. The Indie Game Challenge finalists were announced today and Adam will be on-hand at this month's DICE Summit on Feb. 19 to hand out the awards.

In total, more than $350,000 is up for grabs.

The Indie Game Challenge is co-sponsored by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, GameStop, and The Guildhall department at Southern Methodist University.

The finalists are divided into two categories: professional and non-professional. All finalists will have a chance to meet with a publisher while at DICE, including Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, THQ, Ubisoft and others.

And the winners are...

Non-Professional Category (Game/Team)

  • Climb to the Top of the Castle – Two Bros. Games
  • Dreamside Maroon – Terraced
  • Galactic Arms Race – Galactic Arms Race
  • Gear – Joshua Maiche
  • Waker – Poof Productions
  • Zeit2 – Brightside Games

Read More »

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