GDC 2010

More Than One Alan Wake

The comically long wait for Remedy’s action-horror title Alan Wake will hopefully be justified when the game finally releases in two months. I say hopefully because Remedy has all sorts of plans for rolling out "episodes” for the game following its release, but if the game doesn’t do well, those episodes might not see the light of day.

"If we’re successful…we want to do a large ‘Season 2,’ if you will, at some point,” Remedy managing director Matias Myllyrinne told Joystiq during GDC 2010.

Success aside though, Myllyrinne went on to say that Remedy still plans to “have more than one episode come out this year."

Seeing Alan Wake go episodic would be fantastic, especially given the Lost/Stephen King vibe and style the game is going for, but all I’m really concerned about at this point is the game that’s on the retail disc. There will be plenty of time to binge on Wake episodes after a few have been released. Right?

Source: Joystiq

One of the games Sony used to show off its PlayStation Move motion controller during this year’s Game Developers Conference was XDev Studios’ B-movie-inspired The Shoot. At first glance, it’s easy to assume you know what the game is all about, but as senior producer James Hawkins told G4’s Adam Sessler during the event, there are plenty of reasons why The Shoot goes beyond your typical on-rails shooter.

"Your usual rail-shooter recipe is: shoot five shots, reload, shoot five shots, reload. And we’re very different to that. With the Move controller, moving in the game is a big part of the experience. So it’s much more than shooting. So when enemies are shooting at you, you have to dodge out of the way of the enemies’ projectiles, for example."

GDC 2010: The Shoot Interview »

The Shoot is expected to launch around the time the PlayStation Move is released later this year.

Epic Games Isn't Releasing Any Games In 2010

We know that Epic Games is working on something, but whatever that something is, it won't be released in 2010. While discussing the company's near-term focus at the Game Developers Conference last week in San Francisco, Epic Games VP Mark Rein clarified what 2010 means for his studio.

"We don't have any games coming out in 2010," said Rein, "so from a games standpoint, it's more about our customers' games, right? Already this year we've seen some pretty great games this year -- Mass Effect 2, BioShock 2...and Arkham Aslym's coming out in 3D, the GOTY [game of the year] version, so that'll be kinda cool."

Epic Games subsidiary People Can Fly is developing a currently mysterious shooter for Electronic Arts (rumored to be named Bulletstorm), which EA recently revealed as being targeted for a release sometime early next year. Rein's statement does seem to rule out a surprise release date for Gears of War 3, Shadow Complex 2, or whatever else Epic Games might be cooking out in North Carolina.

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

I have been infatuated with Disney Interactive’s ridiculously over-the-top action racing title Split/Second since last year’s E3, and as a fan of Criterion Games’ Burnout franchise, there is little wonder why. But Black Rock Studio is looking to deliver something spectacular and unique with their racer, and a lot of the credit can be traced back to the longevity of the project.

“It’s been kicking around the studio for a few years now; from back in the PlayStation 2 and Xbox days,” Black Rock studio ambassador Jay Green told G4 during GDC 2010. “We thought it’d be good to start mixing up a kind of action racing game where the track was dynamic and the player could control the track and change the track. We never got the opportunity to put the idea into practice, and then when Disney acquired our studio, and we rebranded as Black Rock, the first thing we wanted to do was Pure. And we got a concept team together busy looking at making Split/Second a reality."

Over three years of development later, and Split/Second is nearly here. And that’s a very good thing. Green offers plenty more insights into the game’s development in the following video interview:

GDC 2010: Split/Second Interview »

And if you feel like catching up on all things GDC 2010, head over to our event headquarters.

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Sony showed off a grip of motion-controlled games at GDC last week; among them TV Superstars!

According to James Shepard, director, Sony Cambridge Studios, with TV Superstars, Sony wanted to "Show in the first generation of Playstation Move titles the total breadth and depth of functionality you can get with this device [The PlayStation Move]" 

"The overall theme of the game is you're starring in a number of reality TV shows, trying to become a TV superstar. So we've got a cooking game, a Wipeout style Japanese game show, an America's Top Model fashion game where you compete to be the ultimate model, we've got an advert-making game where you actually star in your own advert, and we've got a game called 'DIY Raw' where you smash up celebrities' house."

GDC 2010: TV SuperStars Interview »

Huh. Personally, I've never for one second wanted to be a TV superstar. Don't get me wrong, I'd love the money that comes with TV stardom, but other than that, it's just not my scene. What about you? Do you want to be a star? Do you want to play a game where you're a star?


Hunted: The Demon Forge

Betheda just announced an upcoming game, Hunted: The Demon Forge, and our own Eric Eckstein has already played it and written a preview for you. You're pretty lucky. Here's what Eric said:

"Don't let the pedigree of [game creator and RPG legend Brian] Fargo fool you. Hunted: The Demon's Forge, is NOT a RPG. Instead, think of it as a fantasy version of Gears of War, subbing in crossbows for Lancer rifles and half-naked elf chicks for armor-bound meatheads. The emphasis is on action, as its two lead characters, E'lara the aforementioned elven huntress, and the fighter Caddoc, must take the fight to the enemy hordes. In the demo I witnessed, the game opened with both heroes entering a desolate town, when suddenly some demonic humanoid pounces upon a local, ripping the still-beating heart from the poor bastard's own chest. Yup, strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

Check out the entire preview here.

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Just how much influence did your actions in Mass Effect have on Mass Effect 2? There were 700 plot hooks brought over from the original game, BioWare lead cinematic designer Armando Troisi revealed during a presentation at the Game Developers Conference this afternoon.

Troisi revealed that it's not feasible to let players change the major narrative direction of the game's story (whatever you do, the story's headed in the same direction), but that BioWare is always looking at the smaller details and how they can carry forward the player's choices.

Gotta wonder how many will end up carrying into Mass Effect 3...

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

Adam Sessler caught up with Sega's Matthew Hickman from Sega to talk about Alpha Protocol. The espionage-based RPG differs from its genre-mates in many ways. There are no elves, or swords, and AP also promises a more interactive plot structure.

"Unlike some games that only emphasize endings, we also have a branching middle," said Hickman. "Everything you do causes change within the game. You have different interactions with people, events and places depending on how you choose to go through your missions."

"It's how you choose to do dialog, and also if you choose to kill someone or be non-lethal with people, it's everything culminating together. It's very gray, like the real world. They're real world scenarios, so it's not clear who the bad guy and the good guy, it all depends on you," Hickman told us.

It's also up to you whether you click the video below, but you really, really should.

GDC 2010: Alpha Protocol Interview »

Quantic Dream’s thriller Heavy Rain has been selling surprisingly (and encouragingly) well, and the critical response has been quite positive as well. This is great news for video games in general as it could inspire more developers to take chances where they might otherwise have played it safe. It is also welcomed news for Heavy Rain’s creator David Cage for many reasons. Cage shared a number of these reasons with G4's Adam Sessler during this year's Game Developers Conference, and here is one of them:

“Describing the experience that is Heavy Rain has been my nightmare for the past two years, because I had to evangelize it; I had to talk about this game for two years just to make people aware of what we were going...And I really got the feeling that no matter how hard I tried, people could not get what kind of experience it would be. And now it’s really funny to see players...try to explain it to their friends and facing the same issues…Because if I ask you what you do in any shooter, you would say, 'Oh, I shoot and it was exciting because of this or that.' But if I ask you what did you do in Heavy Rain, it’s a difficult question to answer.”

Check out the full interview below for plenty more on Heavy Rain's creation, success and impact on the medium going forward:

GDC 2010: Quantic Dream's David Cage Interview »



No Mandatory Installation For Uncharted 2

It's not uncommon to find praise for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves that cites its impressive melding of cinema and gameplay. You truly feel like you're playing an Indiana Jones movie, albeit swapping Harrison Ford for Nathan Drake. Paramount to executing that are the game's detailed cut-scenes. Ironically, however, Naughty Dog creative director Bruce Straley told an audience at the Game Developers Conference this afternoon that cut-scenes are "counter to our medium [games]."

"There is a cost for taking away a player's control," cautioned Straley. "In other words, removing control is counter to our medium. If we all wanted to watch a movie, we'd be in a theater."

That's not to say developers shouldn't be incorporating cut-scenes into their game. It's actually a necessity to drive a cinematic narrative, he argued. What's needed is careful balance between cut-scenes, gameplay and finding ways to have the two seamlessly transition from one another.

"If we have a cut-scene," he continued, "we have to weigh whether the moment is dramatic enough to justify a cut-scene, consider how long the cut-scene's going to go on for and how frequently we're going to cut into the gameplay."

Straley was critical of Naughty Dog's execution of his own proposal, walking through instances where the team struggled to meld cut-scenes and gameplay (i.e. Chloe blowing up the truck).

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

Ones of the cool things about a show like GDC is the chance to discover games that had previously been under the radar. For X-Play host Adam Sessler, one of the most impressive was Vindictus.

This free-to-play Korean-developed MMO is scheduled to launch in The States later this year, and, as you can see from the below trailer, is a bloody, mature and dark ride... plus, the trailer features tantalizing glimpses of an epic battle between humans and a building-sized evil polar bear.

Repeat: Giant, evil polar bear!

What do you think?

Vindictus GDC 2010 Trailer »


Sports Champions is Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Wii Sports/Wii Sports Resort, in that it’s a compilation title that includes a variety of sports mini-games designed to take full advantage of the PlayStation Move motion controls. G4’s Patrick Klepek spoke with Zindagi Games product manager Colin O'Hara during the Game Developers Conference to find out more about Sony’s Move-powered title. Here’s a snippet of what O’Hara had to say about how the game will appeal to various types of gamers:

“We try to layer it. It’s really easy to jump in and use the basic motions, but for gamers who like a little bit more complexity, we also offer that. And the best way to do that is to use the [Move controller’s] buttons.”

You can see me but I’m furiously motioning you to click on the video below:

GDC 2010: Sports Champions Interview »


Someone's Trying To Protect GDC Attendees From A Zombie Outbreak

In what most are guessing is part of a viral marketing campaign for Capcom's Dead Rising 2, there's a booth at the Game Developers Conference that's handing out "shots" for "zombrex" and a suggestion that "prevention is always better than a cure," and encouraging people to help protect their loved ones from becoming infected. Likely not coincidentally, just around the corner from the "zombrex" booth is the recruiting area for Blue Castle Games, who's currently developing Dead Rising 2.

Read More »

Would You Like A Side Order Of Las Vegas, GDC?

The Game Developers Conference isn't just a chance for game developers to hold panel discussions to talk about game development lessons, it's also a huge recruiting effort by the industry to pick up new talent. You might not think of the slot machines squirreled away in Las Vegas casinos to be traditional "video games," but slot machine creator WMS, who had the above GDC booth, certainly does.

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

Seven45 Studios announced their upcoming, “real guitar powered” music game PowerGig: Rise of the SixString earlier this week during GDC (You can find full details right here). But basically, it’s Rock Band/Guitar Hero with an actual guitar instead of a plastic mock one.

Additional, more official details will undoubtedly be coming over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, we’ll have to settle for some dude rocking out to the game at the game’s awesome, parent's basement-esque booth at GDC:

GDC 2010: Power Gig Demonstration »


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