Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany (flOw, Flower) is our guest this week, and his journey from Shanghai child to superstar developer was a perfect storm of determination, skill, and a whole lot of luck. You'll hear that story and many more in our jam-packed interview. And yes, he explains his Final Fantastic first name. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.
This week, a candid conversation with Bryan Jury of Epicenter Studios, the team behind the new Wii release Real Heroes: Firefighter. How did a tiny development team with an even tinier budget create one of the summer’s most original games? Why was the Wii their platform of choice? And does Bryan REALLY admit the graphics aren’t very good? I told you – he’s VERY candid. Our thanks to Bryan Jury for a fantastic interview. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Tim Spaeth.
If you've been reading this blog then you will know that I was quite impressed with the recent Bionic Commando game, updated and re-imagined by Swedish developer GRIN. So impressed, in fact, that I felt motivated to track down someone on the development team and ask them a few questions about their superb effort.
Thankfully, Bionic Commando producer Dan Eriksson was quite willing to chat with me for a bit about the work involved in reinventing such a classic game.
First off, allow me to introduce myself as this is my first "official" blog post. The name is Richard, and I've been here about two months and it's been fantastic so far. I think that's enough about me for now, so let's talk about something that's actually cool.
Aquaria is currently available only on the PC and Mac, through both their website and Steam download. The minds behind the game, Alec Holowka and Derek Yu, were kind enough to speak with me about their work and their company.
A few weeks ago, a Twitter acquaintance hipped me to a small indie game called Don't Look Back. Although I am a big fan of small titles, I’m also console to the core… this has historically been a bit of conflict, although less so now that we've got so many download services available. However, Don't Look Back came highly recommended, so I put up with using the arrow keys and space bar for a little while, and walked away quite impressed. Thankfully, the game's creator was willing to speak with me for a bit about himself and his work.
If you've been reading this blog or following me on Twitter, you've probably picked up on the fact that Solar has been my latest Xbox Live Community addiction. An original, refreshing title that shows a great deal of creativity and craftsmanship, I wanted to know more. After doing a little clicking, I was able to convince Solar’s developer, Australian Jay Watts, to take a few minutes and speak with me.
Many mainstream games are inaccessible to players who use a single button or switch. Game developers can have a hard time adapting their four-, eight-, twelve-button twitch masterpiece to a one-button interface. AIBICOM (asynchronous interpreter of binary commands) is a one-switch interface different from most others; instead of pushing a button to make an application dosomething, users only push a button when the program does something they don’t want it to do. With the speed and complex controls AIBICOM makes available to one-switch users, it could be very useful in making games accessible. I’ve written a bit about AIBICOM before; now let’s talk with Jorge Silva, the man who designed AIBICOM’s algorithm.
Although the Community Games area on Xbox Live was slow to start, there's no doubt that the content is heating up. More and more titles of notable quality have been surfacing, one of which is the fully 3D Adventure title, Mithra: Episode 1 – The Calling. If you haven't heard of it, don't be surprised… Microsoft's been lacking when it comes to promoting the better selections. However, that's what I'm here for.
Freezepop, a synth-pop group most commonly known for their fan-favorite contributions to several music-genre games such as Rock Band, Guitar Hero, FreQuency, Dance Dance Revolution (and others) were kind enough to take a few minutes out of their day to talk with me in support of their most recent full-length CD release, Future Future Future Perfect.
For those not familiar with the band, Freezepop consists of Jussi Gamache (aka Liz Enthusiasm, vocals), Kasson Crooker (aka the Duke of Pannekoeken, vocals, synths) and Sean Drinkwater (aka The Other Sean T. Drinkwater, vocals, synths).
For those of you who've been paying attention, a great little game called Weapon of Choice hit the Xbox 360’s Community area, and it's been on fire ever since. After spending time with it and doing the research on where it came from, I was a little surprised to discover that this title was essentially the work of one man—Nathan Fouts, formerly of dev studios Running with Scissors and Insomniac. Having worked on games such as Postal, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and Resistance: Fall of Man, I had to know more.
What's the story behind being a part of Running With Scissors and Insomniac, and then going solo with Mommy's Best Games?
Downloadable games seemed like they could sustain a small company. I started Mommy’s Best Games to make the weirdest, funnerest games that I could squeeze past the censors. The best part is that on Community Games, while they do have ratings, there is no overbearing, money-hoarding publisher trying to rain on your game design parade. Consequently, no one stopped me when I started adding udders to the Teat Walker or various strands of drool to Pitcher Mouth.
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