Alternate Reality Games and Augmented Reality Games both fall under the acronym of ARG, but are actually quite different. Extra Credit takes a quick look at the Alternate Reality Game half of that genre of games—and yes you can argue that they are games. Perhaps it is because they are unfamiliar to the public and save for a few great examples like Microsoft/Bungie's I Love Bees or Electronic Arts' Majestic, they have been largely untouched by many in the games industry.
Well, E3 is upon us again. While a tsunami of new game info is pouring out of LA, I'm not sure that anyone will have time for this little old blog, but it's still business as usual for me until PAX later this year. The convention always falls on the first week of my son's summer visit, so I haven't gone to the last few. Family > E3, but I will be watching all the press briefings!
Extra Credit looks at the latest gaming trend: crowdfunding. It's not quite a household term but going by Twitter, press releases and gaming news coverage in general, it's getting there. Crowdfunding takes money from ordinary people in exchange for, say, a copy of the game or seeing a digital version of that person somewhere in the game. Right now Kickstarter is the company on everyone's lips but it isn't the only game in town. IndieGoGo, RocketHub, ulule and the newly formed Gambitious are all out there trying to help someone create that sequel to TIE Fighter or Star Tropics.
On this episode we examine the state of Portable Games. Brad also brings Dragon's Dogma to the table, and Mike and Chi weigh in on Max Payne 3. This episode also features what is surely the greatest Thumbs up, thumbs down of all time! With Dylan Collins, Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Bromance" Gallaway, Mike Bracken and special guest Michael Cunningham.
Microsoft's press conference began with a bang thanks to none other than Halo 4. Gears of War got a prequel called Gears of War: Judgment and Forza fans can look forward to Forza: Horizon, confirmed as an open-world racing title. Microsoft seemed to have most of the big AAA titles on display or mentioned in its press conference and it wasn't shy about announcing that it locked up with DLC as well.
What was also on display was the shift for Xbox 360. This E3, Microsoft was also all about entertainment. It introduced Xbox SmartGlass which allows control of the Xbox and Xbox content through other devices. And there was also lots of talk about Netflix, Hulu and the Xbox Music. It's debatable how much of this Xbox 360 owners actually but it is where Microsoft has always wanted to take the 360.
The simple truth is that if you spend your time at PAX waiting around in line for a demo you'll play on Xbox Live in a few months anyway, you are a chump. There are so many awesome games from smaller publishers and indies on the floor that you might not get exposed to anywhere else. So, if you were being a linefool, here's some of what you missed.
The convention's stealthy aspect kicked off with a great panel on the subject featuring Nels Anderson, Andy Schatz, and Dan Silvers, chaired by Matthew Weise, also featuring the con's largest single-room concentration of guys in suits.
The guys at Extra Credits take a quick look at an idea that has been on the minds of game developers and publishers for years now. It's dubbed "transgaming" and it lets fans of different genres all play and exist within the same game world. There is a lot of potential there, so have a listen.
I knew very little about XCOM before the show, but now it's one of my most anticipated titles. A re-imagining of the classic PC strategy series, Enemy Unknown gave me a very distinct Frozen Synapse vibe, which makes sense since it was itself heavily influenced by the XCOM games. There was no playable demo at the show and the presentation consisted of a pre-beta build, but I liked what I saw and will likely be picking it up when it releases.
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