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5:00 PM on 03.24.2015

Escalator Pitch: Nina Freeman argues for perpetual Sailor Moon cosplay

Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrible, ho...

Steven Hansen



John Romero's about to make you his pitch for Gunman Taco Truck  photo
John Romero's about to make you his pitch for Gunman Taco Truck
by Steven Hansen

Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrible, horrible GDC elevators that get gummed up with folks who don't know you're supposed to walk on the left, stand on the right.

Welcome to another Escalator Pitch. We've gone from pitching classics to meta escalator pitches to, hey, an actual game in development. One from storied id co-founder John Romero (Doom, Quake, Daikatana), who is working on Gunman Taco Truck with Brenda Romero and their sons Michael Romero and Donovan Romero-Brathwaite. The latter thought up the idea.

Headline courtesy of Jonathan Holmes, that lovely man.

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Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is a dark reinvention of classic fairytale fiction photo
Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is a dark reinvention of classic fairytale fiction
by Alessandro Fillari

Over the last three years, Kickstarter has totally changed the game for many developers. With the option to crowdfund projects, cut out the middle-man (publishers), and communicate directly with fans to help create the game, we've seen a number of projects find audiences well before their release. And many of these projects seek to offer something a bit different than what you'd expect from retail releases.

That's what the developers at GRIN Game Studio (no relation to former developer GRIN of Bionic Commando: Rearmed fame) are planning with their uniquely macabre journey through fairy-tale fiction in Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries. In this re-imagining of the classic tale, Red must exact revenge against an army of clockwork soldiers while traveling through a dark and twisted world filled with monsters and other foes from fairytale fiction.

During our chat with the CEO of GRIN at the Game Developers Conference, we learned about their vision for this two-part adventure, and how crowdfunding breathed new life into the project.

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4:30 PM on 03.13.2015

Escalator Pitch: Funktronic Labs sells me on some all-time classics

It may not be as enthralling (or wacky) as a cat cafe timeshare, but Funktronic Labs has something it wants to sell me.  You see, these two guys heard I was wandering around GDC last week with a satchel full of money, j...

Brett Makedonski




Let Ashes of the Singularity change your notion of large-scale RTS photo
Let Ashes of the Singularity change your notion of large-scale RTS
by Brett Makedonski

Real-time strategy titles often feel large-scale by design. There are a whole bunch of units on the battlefield, and the player's tasked with directing them all simultaneously. Even if there aren't that many actual parts in the faction, controlling an entire army is powerful by nature.

Ashes of the Singularity laughs in the face of that model. The upcoming RTS from Oxide Games operates under an ambitious mindset: If you're billing these combat scenarios as epic, let's actually make them epic. Sheer quantity is Ashes' greatest strength, and it's certainly nothing to laugh at.

This is all possible because of Nitrous, an engine that Oxide put years into building from the ground up. It was created with the real-time strategy genre in mind, specifically to forge battlegrounds where there are more than 10,000 units on-screen all performing individual and unique actions.

Let's slow this down and dwell on that for a second: More than 10,000 units on-screen.

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5:30 PM on 03.12.2015

Terraria: Otherworld's GDC trailer drops more hints about its alternate universe

When Terraria: Otherworld was announced, it was difficult to tell from the trailer what makes it stand apart from its big brother Terraria or futuristic half-cousin Starbound. Developer Re-Logic's description gave some insig...

Darren Nakamura



Mortal Kombat X brings back some familiar faces for Story Mode photo
Mortal Kombat X brings back some familiar faces for Story Mode
by Alessandro Fillari

It's been less than a year since its reveal, and we're already rapidly approaching the release of Mortal Kombat X. After its predecessor essentially rebooted the franchise with a return to 2D-style combat, many fans got a newfound love for the series. And though Mortal Kombat (2011) took some liberties with the lore, as it was both a reboot and sequel simultaneously, it left off in a place that had fans anxious to see what could happen next. Lucky for you, Destructoid just got a taste of what's in store.

During GDC week, Warner Bros. Interactive held a special hands-on session with the first chapter of Story Mode, along with a sampling of the versus mode and upcoming mobile game app. Though I've played quite a bit of this series in my time, I knew I could use some help discussing the franchise's lore and history. So I decided to bring along Dtoid's resident Mortal Kombat expert Abel Girmay, who's already played quite a bit of MKX, for a back-and-forth discussion about the game and how Johnny Cage has still got the stuff.

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

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. Some will likely take full advantage; others will be more reserved. But, the option's there, nevertheless.

Following Xbox boss Phil Spencer's talk, I sat down with ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla to discuss what this new ecosystem meant for independent developers. There was a lot of ebb and flow to the conversation, but the main takeaway was "There's a place for [indie devs] -- no matter what size or scale the game is -- on Windows 10."

Charla was the man that was brought aboard by Microsoft almost two years ago to try to keep Xbox in the never-ending arms race to court independent developers. The Xbox 360 generation saw Microsoft use up a lot of goodwill in that department, and it needed to re-establish its name. That's what ID@Xbox was built for: to recruit developers that bring a different flair to the Xbox stable of games.

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7:00 PM on 03.10.2015

The Homestuck videogame isn't as dense as the comic

You know where you stand when it comes to Homestuck. Even if you don’t know what Homestuck is, you’ve already taken a side. The infamously dense webcomic has more than its fair share of rabid fans, avid haters, an...

Mike Cosimano



Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC photo
Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC
by Mike Cosimano

Gunpoint ultimately had very little to do with guns. It was a smartly designed puzzler with an immensely satisfying core set of mechanics and witty dialogue. But the title never came into play; pointing guns at people always went poorly for me. Tom Francis, the writer-turned-designer behind game, promises his new project will have a relevant name. From what I played at GDC, that seems to be the case.

It’s called Heat Signature, it’s Hotline Miami meets FTL, and it’s easily the best thing I saw all show.

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3:00 PM on 03.10.2015

Final GDC DLC launches with massive bugs, Mountain Dew shotgunning

Destructoid has launched its fifth and final GDC Daily Lunch Chronicles and interim cameraman Mike Cosimano again screwed up the sound. Instead of letting him get cute with ragtime music and title cards like last time, we're...

Steven Hansen





1:45 PM on 03.10.2015

Escalator Pitch: Armello dev goes all in on escalator etiquette

Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrib...

Steven Hansen



3D Realms: Bombshell is the only one who could kick Duke Nukem's ass photo
3D Realms: Bombshell is the only one who could kick Duke Nukem's ass
by Brett Makedonski

3D Realms is keenly aware of what players know it for. Sure, there are plenty of titles in the publisher's history that should stand out, but for all intents and purposes, the company might as well re-name itself The Duke Nukem Guys.

In the case of its next project, Bombshell, 3D Realms is absolutely looking to distance itself from the Duke tropes -- at least as far as this game is concerned. Despite a lot of thematic similarities (oh hey, aliens took over again), Interceptor and 3D Realms have created a hero in Bombshell (Shelly Harrison is her proper name) who is a polar opposite from Duke in a lot of ways. Interceptor CEO and 3D Realms vice president Frederik Schreiber said that the two probably wouldn't get along too well. Then, Schreiber went so far as to say "Bombshell is the only one who could kick Duke's ass."

She's come a long way since our introduction to her last year. 3D Realms fully fesses up that the first take was premature. There was pressure to reveal Bombshell before it was ready. 3D Realms was trying to do something -- anything -- to take eyes off the lawsuit with Gearbox and to prove it was more than just The Duke Nukem Guys. The result was a trailer that was almost universally poorly received. That was more than enough of a cue to go back to the drawing board.

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6:00 PM on 03.09.2015

Escalator Pitch: Ska Studios talked me into a cat cafe timeshare

I have proven time and time again that when I have money, I do dumb things. I think that Ska Studios knew that this, combined with my strong affection for kittens, made me an easy target. Looking back, they probably couldn't...

Brett Makedonski



Windows 10 makes it even easier for gameplay videos to go viral photo
Windows 10 makes it even easier for gameplay videos to go viral
by Brett Makedonski

The latest generation in gaming has brought with it an emphasis on sharing. Screenshots and gameplay videos can be relatively easily captured and uploaded for anyone's audience to see. It's a smart way to drive interaction -- whether it's to share an unbelievable kill streak in Halo, or something as irreverent as a lunatic stabbing goats in the butt.

With the announcement that Windows 10 will, in part, contribute to the "Xbox ecosystem," it really opens the door to the accessibility and possibility of sharing content. In what was called a "platform demo" at GDC in San Francisco last week, we got a first-hand look at how simple Windows 10 will make this process.

Available for any game played on Windows 10 (even non-native Xbox titles) is a Game DVR that operates similarly to the "Xbox, record that" function of the Xbox One. Mapped to the Windows + G command, the DVR captures the past 30 seconds of gameplay, regardless of what's playing.

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Firewatch has topless teens, meaty hands, and mystery photo
Firewatch has topless teens, meaty hands, and mystery
by Steven Hansen

I've been firewatching out for Campo Santo's new 'exploration mystery' since hearing about the talent behind it. Artist Olly Moss, Mark of the Ninja designer Nels Anderson, and season one The Walking Dead writers and designers Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin. It's an exciting crew.

And then I saw the dang thing in its trailer and had to wonder why more games don't make use of a distinct tonal color palette, instead defaulting to an obfuscating attempt at photorealism that just drowns everything out. Compare BioShock to a "realistic" shooter; the Arkham series to Shadow of Mordor. It's just nice to see someone use color, and purposefully.

Because while Firewatch is gorgeous, it is also grounded. It is a story about people -- Henry and his supervisor Delilah -- and I felt that the moment I started controlling Henry. Not a blank player analogue or a camera on wheels. I saw Henry's inelegant, meaty paws stretched out in front of the screen still wearing his wedding ring despite divorce. Telling details are important.

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