I've learned a few things after reading about what's happened during the DICE Summit and Awards event that's taken place this past week. The industry seems to be crying out desperately for maturity. David Cage (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) says that games need to grow up. Warren Spector (Epic Mickey) says that games like Lollipop Chainsaw shouldn't be made. The industry wants more Journey and The Walking Dead experiences, as evidenced by these games winning 99.5% of the awards given out. The definition of "fun" is changing.
Just like Handel, the digital craftsman Hidetaka Suehiro seems equally excited, baffled, and reluctant to continue work on his most successful game yet, Deadly Premonition—a game that, dare I say it, could be a similarly-praised work hundreds of years from now. The game is being re-released this March as a PlayStation 3-exclusive entitled Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with the man and his producer, Tomio Kanazawa, last week to discuss the details. It was an event that was sometimes as intentionally mysterious as the goings-on in the game's fictional hamlet of Greenvale, but thrilling nonetheless.
British publisher Titan Books has decided to celebrate the gorgeous artwork that provides the basis for our favorite digital adventures in two new books: The Art of Assassin's Creed III and Awakening: The Art of Halo 4. If you've got a finicky game-lover on your holiday shopping list, both of these books could make fantastic presents.
We're still playing catch-up on the latest videos from our friends at Extra Credits, but thanks to their fondness for two-parters we'll be caught up in no time. This two-part presentation is about the often maligned and often underappreciated Spec Ops: The Line. It's an interesting listen given how much the Extra Credits crew seems to have really bought in to what Yager was selling.
The guys at Extra Credits discuss mechanics as a metaphor or "mechanics with meaning" and for a visual aid, they use an interesting game or non-game called Loneliness. A description wouldn't really do the game justice, but it is well worth your time to try it for yourself considering the game is free.
One of the more interesting things brought up in this two-part series though is the lack of trust game creators show the player. Modern game creators simply do not trust the player to fail, experiment or uncover any meaning (assuming the creators intend for there to be any) while playing. After playing Loneliness you might understand why. It is a pretty gutsy thing to attempt in a free game, imagine how it would be received should you require payment for a similar experience.
Here's the full interview with Greg Rice, producer at the great indie studio, Double Fine Productions! If you're not already aware, Double Fine is the home of gaming legends Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. Their past console successes include Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Their more recent games include the downloadable wonders Costume Quest, Iron Brigade, Happy Action Theater, and Stacking!
....Oh yeah, and they raised millions on Kickstarter in mere days to fund their upcoming adventure game; and don't you know that Greg had a huge part in this!?
Here's our interview with Derek Yu and Andy Hull of Mossmouth Games, creators of this Summer's fantastic adventure game, Spelunky!
In this interview we learn all about Spelunky's march from freeware lark to Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) powerhouse. We also hear all about Derek and Andy's history in the indie scene, as well as Derek's award-winning Aquaria!
So, Journey. My review schedule was quite full when this much-anticipated project from thatgamecompany was released on PlayStation Network, and the other night was the first chance I had to get to it. I was a huge fan of Flow, I lovedFlower, and I've been looking forward to Journey ever since I knew about it. While I was playing, several people asked what my opinion was, and I knew that there was absolutely no way I could even begin to address the topic over Twitter. Hence, this entry.
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