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Developer stuff

FNAF dev is a nice guy photo
FNAF dev is a nice guy

Five Nights at Freddy's dev delivers motivational speech

Five Nights and seven bears ago...
Jul 29
// Jed Whitaker
Love it or hate it, the Five Nights at Freddy's series is a roaring success, and is surely raking in even more cash after the recently released fourth game. Developer Scott Cawthon has taken to the Steam Community forums to answer the haters and inspire his fans. 
Ouya photo

Update: Razer/Ouya deal means no money for indies, devs encouraged to not talk to press

Free the Games fund goes kaput?
Jul 28
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: In a call with Polygon, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan confirmed that the company would be looking into fulfilling the contracts made by Ouya. "We are going to try and make good on this fund and give these developers an opt...
Deus Ex men united photo
Deus Ex men united

Deus Ex creators play the original 15 years later

Warren Spector on his seminal project
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
The Deus Ex YouTube took a break from giving me fodder for Mick Foley jokes to host some of creators of the original game for a "Let's Play" down memory lane. Project director Warren Spector, writer Sheldon Pacotti, and lead...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Naughty Dog devs thought The Last of Us would ruin the studio's name

It obviously didn't
Jul 14
// Brett Makedonski
The Last of Us was the game that proved to a lot of people that Naughty Dog could handle a mature narrative. Its writing explores the human condition and examines the child/guardian protective emotional bond. Upon relea...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

Jade Raymond joins EA to open new studio

Overseeing Visceral Games as well
Jul 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Jade Raymond, formerly of Ubisoft, has taken a post at Electronic Arts to open a new studio. "I’m happy to announce that I’m joining Electronic Arts and opening Motive, a new development studio in my home tow...
Smash Bros photo
Smash Bros

Sakurai uses action figures to plan attacks for Smash Bros.

Source Gaming spills the beans
Jul 12
// Jonathan Holmes
Source Gaming has quickly made a name for itself in the Smash community, thanks to its in-depth research on the development of the Smash series, its expert data miners, and its general passion for all aspects of the franchise...
Inafune photo
Also slams Ubisoft-style design
Keiji Inafune isn't one to pull punches. In recent years, the Mega Man co-creator has become one of the most outspoken critics of the Japanese video game industry, making remarks like "Japan is over." Recalling those "bold st...

Guest editorial photo
Guest editorial


So many games!
Jun 30
// thegamedesigner
[Here's a promoted community blog from Electronic Super Joy creator Michael Todd. Thanks Michael!] Wanna make a game? That’s cool! Let’s say you download Unity3D, you roll up your sleeves and you get to work. Six ...
Amazon photo

Amazon looking to develop its own PC game

Please make a Tarzan game
Jun 08
// Joe Parlock
Amazon has been trying to get a foot in the door for a while when it comes to gaming. Originally it was the move into digital distribution, then it was the the acquisition of, and now it looks like it wants to ...
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine

May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
Hotline Miami photo
Hotline Miami

The Hotline Miami Story covers the making of this trippy series

Cocaine Cowboys and Neon Lights
May 07
// Alessandro Fillari
I still remember how the original Hotline Miami suddenly came out of nowhere and left an incredible impression on those who took a chance on it. It was such an unusual title. Its bright, vivid visuals, along with the overhea...
Imageepoch photo

Imageepoch's CEO is still missing, Twitter account deleted

Ryoei Mikage has yet to be found
May 06
// Chris Carter
Imageepoch, a Japanese developer that has worked on games such as Luminous Arc and Arc Rise Fantasia, has a problem. Ryoei Mikage, the CEO of the company, has been missing for over a month, and now, his Tw...
Magnet gun photo
Magnet gun

A cancelled Half-Life episode included a magnet gun

Apr 30
// Brett Makedonski
Everyone who yearns for more Half-Life content might take solace (or find frustration) in the fact that more has been created. However, it's also been scrapped. And, at least some of it had the intent of introducing a ne...
$20 game tools photo
$20 game tools

Bored with your games? Make your own with this dev tools bundle

Put me in your game, too
Apr 30
// Steven Hansen
Me, I'm never bored with games, because I have literally dozens of them to ignore while I just replay Resident Evil 4 forever, but maybe you're feeling like getting your creative juices flowing. Well, lovely site full of cool...
Hololens photo

HoloLens development tools coming free to Unity

Now terrible games can also be holograms
Apr 30
// Laura Kate Dale
How many of you remember the Microsoft HoloLens, that piece of kit that's aiming to turn your house into a virtual holograpm filled gaming landscape? Well, if you're a Unity developer then soon you'll be able to get a bunch o...
HTC Vive photo
HTC Vive

Devs can put their eyeballs inside the HTC Vive for free

Did no one see Sword Art Online? This won't end well
Apr 23
// Joe Parlock
Life is cruel sometimes. I’m almost blind in one eye and can’t see in 3D, so most 3D and virtual reality headsets don’t actually work for me. I’ve tried the Oculus Rift, and it was just like being sat ...
SteamWorld Heist photo
SteamWorld Heist

SteamWorld Heist developers offering Early Access-like 'Ambassador' program

Apr 21
// Chris Carter
The turn-based SteamWorld Heist is currently in development by way of Image & Form, and it looks a lot different compared to SteamWorld Dig. The developer wanted to give us something "completely unexpected," and I think ...
Final Fantasy XV photo
Final Fantasy XV

Ubisquare: Type-0 HD developer has been working on Final Fantasy XV

Blockbuster development ain't easy
Apr 06
// Steven Hansen
Final Fantasy XV is a huge and expensive game, probably. Since its rebranding from Versus XIII to XV with a cool trailer -- holy crap, two years ago -- we've mostly been shown the area that would go on to be the demo included...
Free GDC talks photo
Free GDC talks

Free advice from smart, funny, handsome game developers

A bunch of Game Developers Conference 2015 talks are now free
Apr 01
// Jordan Devore
The Game Developers Conference is a tremendous resource for creators. I wish I could attend every year, and not just as an excuse to hang out with Steven. GDC is insightful, energizing and, this is key, not physically and men...
Rare's next game photo
Rare's next game

Fans will be 'really happy to see' Rare's next game

Former Rare developer drops hints
Mar 23
// Jordan Devore
In recent months, there's been talk of Rare "building a uniquely Rare game," but that's as much as we've gotten -- talk. While I'm looking forward to seeing if that project comes to fruition, Playtonic has more of my attentio...

Jackbox Games talks You Donít Know Jack, Twitch, and the future

Mar 17 // Chris Carter
Destructoid: Tell us a bit about how you started Jackbox Games, and how you ended up here from Jellyvision so many years back. Mike Bilder: Jellyvision Games was originally Jellyvision Inc. which was originally Learn Television. Harry Gottlieb, creator of You Don't Know Jack, founded the company in early '90s and is still very much a part of both Jackbox Games and its sister company The Jellyvision Lab. Like you, I was a big fan of YDKJ and left Midway Games in 2008 to join Harry and others in rebooting the games company. How successful has the recent You Don't Know Jack series been? Would you say it's still your flagship franchise? You Don't Know Jack is certainly our flagship franchise. The franchise has sold over 5.5 million units since the first release and our recently retired social and mobile versions had over 5 million installs. The 2011 console reboot was a huge hit critically and with fans, and the latest version, You Don't Know Jack 2015, can be found in our most recent game release: The Jackbox Party Pack. We’ve been very pleased with the reception to our new party bundle. Longtime fans seem to love the new YDKJ and new players that have discovered The Jackbox Party Pack through Fibbage and Drawful can enjoy YDKJ for the first time. I noticed that the newer titles have toned down some of the graphic content from the older series -- did you want to bring the franchise to a broader audience, and do you have any plans to bring back an adult-oriented Jack at some point? If you asked our editors they’d tell you they’re pushing the boundary of a T rating now more than ever. I guess if you looked at the old CD-Rom versions there may have been a few more over-the-top questions, but in these ESRB days we have to be a little careful not to attract an M rating. And at least for now, we’re going to try to avoid that M rating. Overall, we think the tone is on par with the older games, but updated for today’s comedic sensibilities, of course. For example, some of our most recent fake commercials and prizes have been for The STD Superstore (“parking in the rear”), Peeping Todd’s Pervert Supplies, Fat-Mouth Fascist Fish, Ted’s Drop-Dead Gorgeous Body Bags, and a dating show where women vie to mate with a horse. I could go on. So let's talk about Quiplash, heading into its Kickstarter this week. How did you come up with the idea? After Fibbage came online last year, we began rapidly prototyping other game ideas that worked with our mobiles-as-controllers technology. Many prototypes later and we had our first Jackbox Party Pack. After the content for that game was locked and production was well underway, the idea of Quiplash came about. The more we played the Quiplash prototype in the office this year, the more fun we had. Unfortunately our production plans for 2015 are full, and yet this prototype kept bubbling to the top. We want to finish Quiplash as a full game and bring it out by summer 2015 which is why we’ve turned to Kickstarter. With help from backers, we can bring on the resources we need to finish the game. What moved you towards supporting Twitch play directly? Do you see this new type of gameplay catching on? Our recent games have been developed with parties in mind. Our expectation was 2-20+ players in the same room laughing and enjoying party games – much like you might do with board games, Rock Band, or Cards Against Humanity. After we launched Fibbage we realized that despite the stream delay, people were streaming their games and viewers could join and play along anywhere in the world. By the time we realized this we were pretty far along with development of The Jackbox Party Pack, but we took some extra steps to further embrace the streaming mode of play by extending timers in Drawful and making some tweaks to Lie Swatter. With Quiplash, and our future games (if it makes sense for the game mechanic), we’re going to fully embrace this streaming mode of play. We’ve seen many large streamers play our games and get 100 or more people joining their game and playing along with their live stream. We want to let thousands of viewers participate. We think it’s an amazing way to use Twitch and other streaming services. Instead of viewers only being able to comment or perhaps affect gameplay through comments (as has been done in some games), we’re giving viewers a way to actively participate with their favorite streamers by playing the game with them. And, we’re giving streamers everywhere a multiplayer experience they can share with their audience. In terms of the mobile functionality, I have to say, it's pretty genius. How long did it take you to develop the tech, how does it work, and how long do you plan on supporting it? Thanks! We think it’s great too. We spent a few months prototyping the technology and then proving it would work and the experience would be fun…and then we spent about a year perfecting it. Although it seems simple on the surface, it’s a very complex system. Besides the game itself and all of the platforms it runs on, there’s a large scalable server architecture that hosts and manages the “rooms” for each game as well as the customized controller systems that display the real-time game interfaces on your mobile/tablet/browser. We worked hard to eliminate any friction with getting people into our games. There isn’t any app to download or install nor is there a need to sync devices or ensure they’re on the same Wi-Fi. As long as your device has an internet connection and a browser, you can participate in our games. We fully believe in this method of play and we’re planning to support it with all of our future party games, at least until VR and telepathy interfaces take hold. What platform have you had the most success with from a programming perspective? The Jackbox Party Pack is on a ton of platforms. While we’ve had different financial success on different platforms, I’m not sure any programming successes stand out in one platform vs. any other. Each platform has its own quirks. Thankfully, we have a very talented team that’s built a robust cross-platform engine that can run our games from the most powerful current-generation consoles down to the simplest set-top box. Honestly, the biggest success was getting the console manufactures to allow us to use mobile phones as controllers. What a challenge that was – but they all supported us! I see that you haven't focused on the Wii U yet. Is there a reason for that? In that same vein, what is your experience working with Amazon's platforms, Ouya, and the Roku? We’re a small team and we’ve done the development for all of our platforms in-house and we’ve self-published all of our recent games. We like the Wii U and may support it in the future but our recent lack of support is really a function of production resources, as well as market size. Amazon, Ouya, and others have been easy platforms to get to because of our technology. We really feel the type of games we make – party games – are uniquely suited for this recent generation of set-top-boxes that feature games. Consumers of those boxes aren’t looking for AAA console quality games. If they are, they likely already have a console. But, some awesome, affordable party games (our games) that you can easily fire up on your TV seem like a perfect fit for that audience. Finally, if you can share them, what are some ideas you have that are on the cutting room floor? We have hundreds of ideas and dozens and dozens of prototypes. I feel very fortunate to work with such a creative, talented, and funny group of people. One day we may release Willy Pee, Everybody Help Grandma, or Space Farts, but until then, you’ll have to put up with our recent games in The Jackbox Party Pack… and hopefully Quiplash!
JackBox Games photo
Quiplash is on Kickstarter this week
Jackbox Games has been busy. In addition to reviving the You Don't Know Jack franchise for modern consoles, it's also built an intriguing online infrastructure from the ground up. As an innovative way to solve the "contr...

Xbox to indie devs: There's a place for your game on Windows 10, no matter the size

Mar 11 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]288897:57724:0[/embed] According to Charla, that's the program's ultimate goal. "The most important thing to us is to make sure that when someone turns on their Xbox One or their Windows 10 device, they have access to a really broad array of videogames," he said. "The nice thing about that is that for us at ID@Xbox, it creates a really easy, kind of north-star central goal that we align ourselves to every day which is 'Let’s make life really easy for developers.' The easier we make life for developers, the more we reduce friction to get onto our platforms, the more we make Xbox and Windows 10 a great sustainable ecosystem." That's where Windows 10 comes in, at least in the gaming space. If Microsoft wants consumers playing games on any Windows 10 device, it starts with convincing developers to put their titles on those platforms. But, Charla deals solely with indies -- a demographic that's not known for their extensive resources. Would this mean that some independent developers might be averse to the idea of over-extending themselves to too many platforms at once? Charla doesn't think so. He commented "We’re not about trying to put requirements on developers; we’re about providing options for developers. The thing with Windows 10 is that it has a huge, broad reach. That doesn’t mean you have to make your game work on phone on Windows 10, and on PC on Windows 10, and on HoloLens on Windows 10. You should make your games for the platforms, endpoints, or devices that you think it’ll succeed on. We think that including Xbox Live needs to be pretty straight-forward, and for the developers who have done it so far, it’s been pretty straight-forward. And, they’re not the biggest developers in the world, right? We think it enables developers to offer their players an interesting addition to the game." It will make for an interesting option for developers, but it's also Microsoft's vision of the future (at least for now). It's reasonable to assume that Xbox and Microsoft have a vested interest in getting as many developers as possible to philosophically buy into the program. Given that ID@Xbox helps indies publish their games, maybe Xbox will offer extra incentive to developers that release across multiple platforms. It's easy to see a scenario where these studios are offered some sort of preferential treatment, whether it be in the form of extra support or funding. However, Charla denies that this is the case. He insisted that while ID@Xbox is dedicated to decreasing the burden on developers, it's not sweetening the pot for some that are willing to help this new ecosystem thrive. Instead, that assistance is being distributed unilaterally in the form of services such as speeding up the certification process or holding showcases for the games in the program. And, now it's about giving developers options. But, one option that still won't be available is XNA. XNA is a free toolset that's aimed at developing games across several Microsoft platforms. Some notable examples of titles created with it are Dust: An Elysian Tail, Bastion, Fez, and Charlie Murder. There's talk within the development community that it'll make a return, and this new emphasis on unifying games on Windows 10 seems like the perfect time. When asked point-blank if XNA is coming back, Charla responded with a definitive "No." He elaborated "But, I think that when you think about what XNA was for, a lot of that spirit is still at Microsoft in the desire to make sure that anyone can create games for Microsoft devices, whether they’re a 150 team at a major publisher or a teenager who’s just learning how to code. We want to make sure that the Microsoft ecosystem is a place where you can make games and learn. In that spirit, XNA was a solution design for the technology that was available at the time. It was a program that was created to foster the creative spirit. We’ve always said that we want Xbox One – and by extension, Windows 10 – to be a place that isn’t just a place to enjoy great content; it's a place to create great content." Really, that's step one when it comes to creating a platform for games: make sure people want to create there. That's what ID@Xbox is dedicated to doing. Charla wrapped up the interview by saying "But, it’s important to us to support developers and to make their lives easy, and to support the spirit that anyone can make a game." By most accounts, ID@Xbox has been doing that all along. Now, Windows 10 just makes it so developers have a few more options.
Xbox interview photo
'We're about providing options for developers'
Microsoft announced last week at GDC in San Francisco that it was introducing cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. That opens a world of possibility in ways for developers to deliver games to their audience. So...

Xbox org shuffle photo
Xbox org shuffle

Remember Kudo? He's now looking after a bunch of studios at Microsoft

Yes, yes, I've included the 'WELL BAM!' video
Mar 09
// Jordan Devore
Kudo Tsunoda, the guy who demonstrated Project Natal (now Kinect) at E3 2009, has been off working on Microsoft's crazy holographic headset HoloLens. He's going to keep at that but will also now lead a bunch of Xbox teams, i...
The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

There was almost ice skating in The Witcher 3

The concept was prototyped
Mar 09
// Jordan Devore
Let's take a moment to imagine Geralt ice skating in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Ahh, sweet bliss. Over the weekend, senior game designer Damien Monnier told a crowd at PAX East about CD Projekt RED's canceled feature. "It was ...

Elite: Dangerous has bold plans for the future

Mar 05 // Alessandro Fillari
"It's always brilliant to see how many people were supportive of the game," said lead designer David Braben as he reflected on the initial debut of Elite. "So many people helped us do that, and one of the great things about Kickstarter is that it brings together a crowd of people who all have very similar goal. So it's worked overall very, very well for us -- I'm actually very proud of what we've done. And another thing, we've not only shipped the game, but we've continued support of the game." As one of the early Kickstarter success stories, Elite: Dangerous grabbed a lot of attention for its vision as a space-exploration title across a massive and ever-growing universe. As a sequel to the '90s space sim Frontier, many fans of the genre yearned for a return, which they got in Frontier Developments' crowdfunded title. Despite its scope and breadth of content so far, the creators already have much of the development mapped out for the next few years. [embed]288572:57606:0[/embed] "I see [the vision] for a very, very long time growing, and it'll keep us occupied. We said there would be paid updates, and some of the things we said you could do in those is going down to planet surfaces, get up out of your chair and explore the cockpit, boarding other ships, big-game hunting, driving other types of vehicles on the surface to explore cities; but designing each one is like a whole new type of game. We have to be careful, but to me those are the perfect types of game experiences." With the success of previous updates and expansions, such as patch 1.1, the developers fully plan continue support with new patches and paid content packs in the future. With the Wings update, which seeks to add more PvP content, co-op play, and other enhancements to matchmaking, there is a sizeable amount of content on the horizon. "We've had amazing dedication from a lot of players, many players have played a significant amount of time -- more than a thousand hours. We're listening to a lot of players and quite a few of the people who've played that length of time are saying 'oh, I've seen everything now,' and they actually haven't. The great thing with this model is that we can add content continually, such as the Wings update and the community events. We've only been out for around three months, and people are already sinking so much time into it." The most surprising announcement from this week was that Elite would be making its way to consoles. Though the space sim genre is somewhat notorious for its complexity and dense gameplay, the developers were adamant that the title would not only feature all the content released thus far, but also that it would not be watered down for consoles. "I don't want to dumb it down," said Braben rather bluntly. "I'm an Xbox gamer, and I love games on my Xbox, but there are some games I feel that have been dumbed down a bit [for console port]. I get sick of tutorials, that are giving you very obvious instructions. So overall, I'm very excited about the console. It'll offer a different feel for players where you're sitting back on a comfortable chair or siting up close to a desk." Of course, with the recent trends seeing virtual reality as the future of games, the developers wanted to get ahead of that by being among the first to officially support the device. Which certainly plaid off, as it's one of the most used games for the Oculus Rift headset. As more companies are announcing devices, Braben is optimistic about the potential VR has for gaming. "[Working with VR] has been a good experience," he said. "The great thing about being independent is when we first released [a beta] in 2013, there was Oculus Rift support five or six days later, which we added. We were always excited abut it, and we thought our game would make great use of it. What's good to see now is that the number of new head-mounted displays coming out, and I think that's exciting -- what's interesting is that I think there aren't any other triple-A titles like Elite: Dangerous that are officially supporting it right out of the box. We see lots of demos, but it's surprising to see there isn't a consumer release VR headset." It's great to see that a hardcore space sim has been so widely accepted by fans. And as the game grows every few months with its updates, players will have plenty of content to dive into. The future looks bright for Elite: Dangerous, and with the console releases on the horizon, the barrier for entry is much lower now for those looking to dive into interstellar exploration.
Elite: Dangerous photo
The developers talk content updates and VR
Things have been going well for Frontier Developments. With the success of Elite: Dangerous, which features a sizeable and passionate community of space explorers, and having won the prestigious Audience Award from the 2015 G...

Maxis closure photo
Maxis closure

EA closes SimCity maker Maxis Emeryville

First SimCity (2013), now this
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
Another studio with a storied legacy has fallen under Electronic Arts. The Emeryville offices of Maxis, the force behind simulation games like The Sims, SimCity, and Spore, shut down today. EA says it's "consolidating Maxis I...
GDC photo

Creative Assembly reveals inital pitch video for Alien: Isolation

See the never before shown video that started development
Mar 04
// Alessandro Fillari
Alien: Isolation was one of my biggest surprises of last year. As huge fan of the film series, I always wanted to play a title that emulated the original movie's tone and style. Though the action of the James Cameron-he...
GDC photo

Never seen Alien: Isolation third-person footage shown at GDC

Gameplay showing abandoned alternate camera set-up shown during panel
Mar 04
// Alessandro Fillari
One of the great joys of attending GDC is going to panels conducted by developers talking about your favorite games. Not only will you learn new and exciting details about the development, but you might even see somethi...
Documentary photo

The wonderful Double Fine Adventure documentary is going free

Look for episodes on YouTube every Tuesday and Thursday
Mar 03
// Jordan Devore
Folks who helped crowdfund Broken Age have gotten an up-close look at how Double Fine operates thanks to episodic videos chronicling development of the adventure game. With 18 episodes down, 2 Player Productions has produced...
Unity 5 photo
Unity 5

Unity 5 shows how to properly sell a game engine

This image is the best
Mar 03
// Jordan Devore
Epic unveiled its new free-to-use (with eventual royalties) pricing model for Unreal Engine 4 this week during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, while Unity launched the new iteration of its engine, Unity 5, wi...

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