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11:00 AM on 03.25.2014

Obsidian's Armored Warfare takes a spin at the tank genre

Obsidian is probably the last company you'd expect to make anything like Armored Warfare, a free-to-play MMO tank shooter. It's certainly different than anything the company has brought us in the past, that's for sure. I got ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved photo
Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved
by Dale North

Harmonix revealed a multiplayer mode for Fantasia: Music Evolved at GDC last week alongside some new songs and levels. I jumped in front of a Kinect sensor to try out the new mode, and it wasn't long before I was flapping my arms to the beat. 

Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass?

 

 

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10:00 PM on 03.24.2014

HAWP makes an indie game, teaches couch co-op etiquette

In between Lucas Pope (Papers, Please) acceptance speeches at the 2014 IGF awards, we were treated to two lovely HAWP shorts. And then, right after, Mega64's amazing Kutaragi's Way during the Game Developers' Choice awards.  Make the sandwich game or I'm going to lick your face.

Steven Hansen

7:00 PM on 03.24.2014

Volition was making a post-apocalyptic Western

It's games like Zeus that have me not writing off entire concepts, no matter how tired they may appear on the surface. As described during senior producer Greg Donovan's Game Developers Conference talk "Volition's Challenge: ...

Jordan Devore

5:30 PM on 03.24.2014

Kutaragi's Way is some of Mega64's best work

I was only able to catch bits and pieces of the Independent Games Festival awards and the Game Developers Choice awards last week, but I did manage to see what must have been one of the evening's best moments: Kutaragi's Way...

Jordan Devore

2:00 PM on 03.24.2014

GDC 2014 had a record 24,000 attendees, GDC 2015 dated

This year's Game Developers Conference was another record-breaker: 24,000 attendees from the game industry descended on San Fransico's Moscone Center, up from 23,000 last year. GDC 2015 is set for March 2 - 6, which is going ...

Jordan Devore



Video: Devolver Digital's Nigel Lowrie talks Hotline Miami 2, Luftrausers, & Bro Force photo
Video: Devolver Digital's Nigel Lowrie talks Hotline Miami 2, Luftrausers, & Bro Force
by Max Scoville

At GDC this week, I sat down with Devolver Digital's Nigel Lowrie, and we discussed what they're up to in 2014, between Hotline Miami, Luftrausers, and Bro Force, they're keeping busy.

We also got the world exclusive that the original Hotline Miami is coming to the PlayStation 4 with cross-buy support. 

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DTOID News: GDC wrap-up, Morpheus Vs. Oculus, Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 photo
DTOID News: GDC wrap-up, Morpheus Vs. Oculus, Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4
by Max Scoville



GDC has come to a close, and it's certainly been a busy week for news. Sony announced Project Morpheus, their entry into the virtual reality race, as well as some crazy eye-tracking tech. The second Oculus Rift development kit is up for pre-order, Ubisoft announced their Frenchest game yet, Assassin's Creed: Unity, which might be accompanied by another AC title, "Comet." There's a rumor about Far Cry 4 involving yetis and elephants, and we got our first look at Borderlands 2 on Vita.

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Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing photo
Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing
by Brett Makedonski

With all the cool tech demos and innovative ideas on display at GDC Play, it's a bit surprising that a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is one of the most worthwhile things to check out. But hey, good games are good games, and that's exactly what Monochroma look like it is.

At first glance, Monochroma invites comparisons to Limbo. Hell, executive producer Burak Tezateser said as much as soon as the demo started. For good reason too: the color scheme made up of hues of black and grey, the small boy protagonist, the unsettling environments -- it all positively smacks of the style popularized by Playdead. However, Monochroma has enough going on that it doesn't need to use these comparisons as a crutch.

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Symphony of the Night came together by ignoring past Castlevania games photo
Symphony of the Night came together by ignoring past Castlevania games
by Steven Hansen

Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji Igarashi just left Konami to become an independent developer. When Igarashi and the rest of his team began working on Symphony of the Night, they had a similar mentality. "[W]e figured we could do whatever we wanted so long as we treated it as a separate series."

"With action games, especially if it's a franchise, the more you cater to requests and the feedback of the experienced players, the difficulty is set higher," Igarashi explained. "As a result, even if they're players that enjoy action games, it gets increasingly challenging to attract new users."

The team wanted to improve on the controls, which meant eliminating medium staple cheap fall deaths. "I thought it was okay to penalize the player when they fell," he explained, but, "We hated, hate, hated falling to your death." They wanted to focus to be on bosses, enemies, and action rather than staged pitfalls.

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6:00 PM on 03.21.2014

Microsoft has a 'renewed focus' on PC gaming

Microsoft hasn't given up on PC gaming -- that's what Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer believes, anyway. "A renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming inside Microsoft is definitely happening," he said thi...

Jordan Devore







Xbox investing in 'name-brand franchises' as ID@Xbox facilitates indie development photo
Xbox investing in 'name-brand franchises' as ID@Xbox facilitates indie development
by Steven Hansen

One of the neatest touted functionality with the Xbox One is the ability to turn retail consoles into development units, but it's still not something you can with the One now. In a GDC talk, Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer explained that the company still wants to do it, but with its indie outreach program ID@Xbox, it's not top priority.

Thousands have apparently reached out to sign on with ID@Xbox. "We want to make sure the people that are signed up are getting the most support from us," Spencer explained. "Seeing all the games in development and trying to give the teams feedback on the games as they come through," is the focus, while "further down the road" we'll see a shift towards working on discoverability and the dev kit retail conversion.

"What we're trying to do is facilitate the games coming to the platform as quickly as possible and right now there's been focus on the people that can build today." 

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Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun photo
Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun
by Brett Makedonski

You know those games where you're responsible for creating your own entertainment -- the sort that drop you into a world and hope that you're creative enough to craft your own experience? They're usually pretty hit or miss. That's more or less what Gaslamp Games is doing with Clockwork Empires, but the developers are taking away this element of chance by ensuring that whatever scenario arises will be entertaining as all hell.

Clockwork Empires is a sandbox colony builder in a Victorian England setting. But, just because you have the theoretical ability to build an empire, doesn't mean it'll actually happen. Rather than assign tasks to the citizens of your township, you can only sort of suggest jobs for them to do. Most of the time they'll go and harvest resources or whatnot, but if they're feeling particularly uppity, they may just mope about.

That's why it's paramount that you keep those little buggers happy. You're responsible for keeping them fed, giving them shelter, and (most interestingly) balancing any social issues that come about. For instance, if two members from different social classes marry, it'll anger some of the townspeople. It may seem backwards now, but it was very much a real issue in the period the game takes place in.

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What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program? photo
What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program?
by Brett Makedonski

There's no two ways about it -- Microsoft had a terrible reputation with independent developers during the last console generation. Not that indie's games didn't sell well on the platform, because many of them certainly did. However, the culture and attitude at Xbox was one that didn't mesh with a lot of small teams and many of them documented their experiences in a negative light.

That's not a good position for Microsoft to be in. With the audience for independent games growing at a tremendous rate, the "triple A" development process makes less and less sense from a business standpoint. After all, an indie game needs to move far fewer units to be considered a "success." Nothing needs to sell at an astronomically high rate to be worthwhile.

Microsoft's attempt at repairing this somewhat burned bridge within the indie community was to launch the ID@Xbox -- a program designed to be more accommodating to independent developers and make it as painless and attractive as possible to publish on the Xbox platform. Microsoft held an event at GDC to showcase 25 studios' games that are part of ID@Xbox and we got a chance to talk to some developers about their feelings about the program thus far.

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Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing photo
Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing
by Dale North

Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the lines at their GDC floor booth yesterday, every one of those developers had someone in line to try it out. 

We finally got our faces in the headset late last night to try out the new demos that Sony prepared for the show. We were surprised to find that Project Morpheus is already on a level playing field with Oculus Rift, and even shows it up in some places.  

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2:15 PM on 03.20.2014

More alpha footage of Mega Ma--I Mean Mighty No. 9: It's great

I've kept up cold indifference towards Mega Man 9 -- I mean Mighty No. 9 -- since its announcement and Kickstarter success. With the recent alpha footage coming out, though, I'm sold. Look how gorgeous those animations are. Look how smooth. Mega Man is dead. Long live Mighty No. 9. Capcom, you need to get right. The last six years have not been good compared to the six prior.

Steven Hansen