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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Interview: Jennifer Hale is Amazing!

Posted by deckard47 on January 20, 2010

As if you didn’t know. You had better know. Really, if you don’t know, you might want to mosey on out of here. Head over to Simon’s blog, he might take your kind over there, what with loose standards and his ludic bent. Bah!

Here we have an interview with Hale (at Destructoid, strangely), in which she is funny and smart, and says things about acting in games that we all wish more people knew. It’s a cool interview, so I’ve linked to it, in my generosity, right here. Just to give you an idea of what’s being discussed, here are a few excerpts. The first is Hale explaining how she gets all of her characters to sound different from each other, and the second is her discussing working on Metal Gear Solid 4. Enjoy (or else)!

It’s nice that that has gotten across. It’s specificity. It’s all about specificity. If you’re general in your approach to playing characters, and you’re playing “a commander,” frankly that’s uninteresting. I think you’re cheating [the people] who play the games or the audiences who watch or listen. I think it’s lame. I don’t think it’s doing your job.

I think you have to be incredibly specific about who this person is, why they say what they say, why they say it how they say it, and what they want. When you get into those specifics, the writing will take care of you.

And here’s the second bit:

I did have the good fortune on Metal Gear [Solid] 4. We were brought in together. Dave [Hayter] and I worked together a lot; we had known each other for a long time…over ten years. So, it was fun working together on that. And Christopher [Randolph] and a couple of other groups of us got to work together on that in the same room at the same time, which was awesome.

Reading this, you realize A) how much Jennifer Hale rocks, and B) how great the characters in games could be if companies had both the will (apparently quite lacking, from the way companies write their characters) and the money (obviously an issue) to get actors and writers and directors together and make awesome stuff. And I still have to wait a week for Mass Effect 2!

[PS: That’s Torry Shepard up there, about to make her Paragonly way to the end of the game. She’ll be my first character in ME 2.]


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Interview: Runic Games and Torchlight

Posted by deckard47 on July 2, 2009

So I recently did an interview with the people making the awesome looking (and playing, I went to their booth a lot at E3) action-RPG. Here’s a bit from the interview, you can hit up the link at the bottom to see the whole thing at Gametopius.

TC: Runic’s development team has some impressive credentials: you have people who worked on Diablo and people who worked at Flagship Studios on Mythos. You have a lot of experience with action-RPGs. What do you all bring with you from those various backgrounds that really makes Torchlight something interesting and different?

The entire Runic team was developing Mythos, and our leads created Fate and Diablo, so we are really lucky to have that background and be able to apply that expertise towards Torchlight. The more we play and work on games, the more features stand out to us that we love – like any fan, it’s easy to pinpoint exactly what makes a game really fun to play – interesting lore, satisfying combat, great loot, charming mini-games. Our history has really streamlined what we would list as ‘the best of the best’ when it comes to RPG,’s so that’s what we’re doing with Torchlight – making the game that we ourselves would buy and play!

TC: In the same vein, what was your goal in making Torchlight? What were you shooting for when you started out?

Probably one of the biggest goals in making Torchlight was to start fresh and do it right. Mythos was made using the Hellgate London engine, which was always a challenge just because the games were so different. This time, we get to make the game we want, from scratch. That means writing our own tools, designing brand new characters with art styles we all really enjoy, drawing on everything that we love and find addictive about RPG’s to make one kickass game.

Check out the whole thing right here.

In case you weren’t sure what exactly Torchlight is (you read my blog, right?), here’s some sweet screens, and a link to the amazingly in-depth fansite.

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Interviews/Hype: Ruffian Games Does it Right

Posted by deckard47 on June 25, 2009

From a recent interview on Edge about Crackdown 2:

Not everyone connected with the freeform nature of the original. Will the sequel feature more visible characters and interactions?

BT One thing we’re not getting caught up in is dialogue-driven cutscenes. It’s not what we do and we’ve no business going towards that kind of thing. If we got dragged into the fight that’s going on between other games in this genre, I think that’d be a bad move. We’ll definitely have variation with the objectives and push forward with the freeform structure; we don’t just want ‘find-the-boss, kill-the-boss’. We made the first game and we know what was lacking. We’ve listened a lot to the community and the reviews. Obviously, we can’t take every comment on board, but we’re doing our best to address the biggest issues.

Now ,it’s not like I loved how transparent the last game was in its gaminess, but I was definitely glad I didn’t have to listen to my agent talk to a “sexy” companion who helped him, or a “trusted friend.” We know where that kind of thing leads, don’t we?

Then there’s this reassuring tidbit:

JC One thing we’re pretty proud of is that people don’t look at it for the technology; they look at it for the game. It’s very easy to get lost in technical achievement. We have to make technical leaps to benefit the gameplay, but we only think in terms of the player.

Assuming these guys are on the level, this is a strangely practical, sensible approach to game design. Now, if they can just make the people you fight a bit less problematic, make the strongholds less insta-death at high levels, and make the game just a bit longer (I loved it, but it was over too soon), I’ll be happy. Oh, and they better bring back the Voice of the Agency.

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Mass Effect 2 Intrerview and Pre-E3 Trailer!

Posted by deckard47 on May 15, 2009


New Mass Effect 2 trailer! Sorry, but you had to know! The ending of this trailer is so amazing. I should just shut up now, before I lose the half of you who aren’t mindless Mass Effect fans. But I can’t. In case you needed more reasons to watch this video, it features a man with an absolutely amazing mustache.

Actual Post About ME 2 Interview:

Shit go read it. Now come back. I’m excited, depsite the fact that this is going to be “Mass Effect‘s dark, brutal second act.” I’ll keep on telling myself they’re going the Empire route, and not the  Condemned 2 route. Pray with me. Then read this, and be happy (oh, I basically quote most of the article in my post, so sorry… I had to!):

One of the places we mentioned in the [second] book, we talked about a place called Omega, which is basically the opposite of the Citadel. Where the Citadel is the elite and the best of the galaxy, Omega is a huge space station that is really rough and tough, the ultimate representation of crime, and a dangerous place to be in. But there’s that, and many different places you go to.

You know what that sounds like? A wretched hive of scum and villainy! It had better be. Also, this next bit means something mysterious, but I don’t know what. What could it mean!? Read on! Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview: Uncharted 2

Posted by deckard47 on March 18, 2009

Now, normally, I’d not by the one to link to an IGN article, but this interview is about Uncharted 2, so I really couldn’t resist. There’s some interesting stuff in there (and new screens, as you can see), but I liked this bit especially:

We’ve also made sure not to separate out the times when you use these new abilities from the combat sequences. We wanted to create a seamless experience of “traversal combat,” flowing freely in and out of combat as you travel through the world. That means that you’ll definitely find yourself in the middle of a firefight while running, jumping and climbing around the environment. Again, to keep things realistic, we’ve made sure that Drake can fire his gun during all of these actions. So if you’re trying to get to higher ground and an enemy is already up there shooting down at you, you can fire at him and take him out as you’re climbing your way up. This has opened up the design possibilities available to us in a massive way, since we can now throw combat into the game anywhere it looks like it will be interesting.

This is great, because I can’t honestly think of a game that mixes gunplay and platforming in a convincing, fun way. Maybe the latest Ratchet and Clank? I love the idea of swinging from a rope across a chasm shooting enemies as you swing (I’m hoping for this, they haven’t yet described a scene like this). I would really recommend reading the article, there’s some interesting stuff in there where the interviewee talks about designing a more open-world (compared to Uncharted) space in which to play. Ooooh, and check this out:

“On top of that, we’re planning on adding several features to the game that will increase replayability and extend the gameplay experience for everyone. We’ll be revealing those features at a later date, so hold tight for more info!”

The original game encouraged me to play it over again at least once (to unlock unlimited ammo, slowdown, and other cool things), so I’m sure whatever they’re adding will be cool. I’m still curious about everything else though, like the game’s story, supporting characters and basically everything they haven’t shown us yet. Also, hopefully the characters in the game won’t be quite so stereotypical as last time (except Drake, who I liked just fine the way he was). Now, pictures!:

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Back to My Dragon Age

Posted by deckard47 on August 22, 2008

There’s a new Dragon Age interview up at Eurogamer, I suggest you check it out as it’s interesting and varied. Things you might want to know (if you’re too lazy to read it): Dragon Age will be coming out for consoles, at some undetermined time after the PC version comes out. For all of you like me who have a next-gen console but don’t have a fancy PC, this is great news. It might not be as hardcore as the PC version, but I’ll still get to play my favorite company’s new game in all of its almost glory. Nice.

Next, it turns out that the “Origins” in the title is for reals. The first two hours of the game will be spent telling your character’s “Origins” story. This means each character will start in different cities, have different friends and enemies, and complete different quests. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. I was just playing through Mass Effect again, with a Sole Survivor Colonist. I found new quest, where I had to convince a woman not to kill herself (she had been enslaved by the Batarians). If Bioware can take that kind of personal touch and make it apply to two whole hours of gameplay, I may never nead another RPG.

Those are the two things that really stuck out for me, but I’d still go take a look at it. It’s interesting (as always) how actual game info is combined with meaningless PR speak. Rockin.

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