Ever wonder what The Blackrock Sword would look like in D&D?
Well…someone crafted a spec sheet for it, for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. So now you can say that you know.
Just how did BioWare write The Old Republic?
each story line gets passed back and forth between the writers, artists and animators. A line like “and then a the annoying Gungan is hurled face first into an exploding sun” is easy to write, but technically almost impossible to realise. It’s initially up to the world designers to help decide what is and isn’t going to work.
“They go through with a fine-toothed comb and look at everything that’s required,” Erickson explains. “They look at the pacing, and look at how it would feel in the world, and they’re gonna give us feedback and say, “this whole scene here where you have 700 people here, and they’re all going to fly in the air and then get juggled and then turn into tarantulas? We don’t have a way to do any of that.”
“Then it’s gonna go to the cinematic team, it’s gonna go to the art team – they’re gonna look at all the requirements, everybody gives their thumbs up, and then the writers start writing.”
Then all that’s left to is write hundreds of hours of dialogue. This is not straightforward.
The more I play SWTOR and the deeper I get into its plot, the more I appreciate just what a massive undertaking creating a MMORPG with such a strong single-player narrative component must have been. Even something like making sure that key quest landmarks reset in a timely manner after being interacted with must have been mind-bogglingly difficult. On one hand, you don’t want a queue of players standing around in the desert, each waiting for his turn to click on the rock under which the information cache is buried. And on the other hand, you don’t want it to reset too quickly either, lest someone figure out an exploit. SWTOR seems to have found a good balance, but I am not sure I want to know how many people went insane trying to figure that out.
Related: SWTOR won the Guiness World Record for voice acting. Over 200,000 lines of dialogue and more than 200 voice actors attached to the project. Yeah…that’s a pretty solid win.
And: If you’ve ever wondered how a Hutt might actually fight, BioWare has the answer: giant freakin’ mechs.
Age of Booty actually looks like it might be very fun to play!
It also, of course, wins in either the “Most Unfortunate Game Title” or “Most Amusing Double Entendre in a Game Title” category. I can’t decide which.
I am quite intrigued by the Lytro camera concept.
The idea behind the Lytro concept is that, instead of capturing a single image, the entire “light field” entering the camera is recorded. Lytro’s software then performs the “next steps” in the image processing chain (stuff that most digital cameras would normally perform before saving an image), allowing the user to adjust even the focal point in the image.
You have to really see it in action to understand just how powerful an idea that is, so I would direct all of you to visit the Lytro website. With the right software, you could even use these cameras to create 3D reproductions of scenes from just a handful of images…to say nothing of the fact that you’d never have to worry about an out-of-focus snapshot ever again!
Finally! A Swiss Army Knife with a 1 TB drive included!
Because we all needed one of those, right?
Bethesda owns all rights to the Fallout name.
So much for Interplay, it seems.
On Dragon Age’s cinematics.
The BioWare blog has an interview with Jonathan Perry, the cinematic lead for the Dragon Age series. It sounds like he has a pretty fun job.
On the new XCOM game (the strategy title, not the FPS).
Rock, Paper, Shotgun links to a set of screenshots from Firaxis’ newly-announced remake of Enemy Unknown, and offers up some commentary on the good and the worrisome from the set.
Related: Why should you care about this XCOM remake from Firaxis? GameInformer tells you why..
See also: A more recent article/summary of thoughts from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, with at least 50% less worry!
Seven things to know about HTML5!
Including some stuff that aspiring browser game developers might want to take note of!
Steam just topped 40 million users.
Does Valve even need to make games anymore?
Whatever social ills may be plaguing it, the UK does seem to have an awesome education system.
And they are in the process of overhauling it a bit, so as to enhance the technical side of its curriculum, aiming to make it more “open source” and to give it greater focus on computer science.
There could be as many as 100 billion alien worlds in the Milky Way.
Related: Should we re-think the definition of “life”? With so many potential worlds, some of which will no doubt fall inside the habitable zones of their stars, we may need to. Assuming alien life does in fact exist, would we recognize it as life if we encountered it? Is the sort of life we see all around us on Earth the only kind of life that exists in the Universe?
Hell…is the notion of the “habitable zones” around stars even valid for anything other than evaluating whether it might be possible, in some dim and distant future, that human beings might be able to set foot on and/or inhabit an extrasolar world one day?
EA had an amazing year, especially on the digital distribution front.
So much so, it seems to have caught them slightly by surprise, prompting a bit of a re-org:
Moving into 2012, Electronic Arts has made some key organizational changes to its internal structure in hopes of better executing its digital initiatives. Following the launch of the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, the online service FIFA Ultimate Team, and the company’s Origin distribution platform, EA says it hopes to make digital goods a larger part of its overall strategy.
Related: Zynga just poached Barry Cottle from EA. He had previously headed up their mobile/social/casual gaming division. Cottle’s division would have been at or near the forefront of EA’s digital successes.
Syndicate is coming to Good Old Games on Thursday!
And GOG is having a bit of a contest to celebrate:
Assemble your team of cyborgs, give us your Team Name, Method of Operation, and any other relevant information you’d like.
Go on, spread your influence across the globe and tell us how.
1 free copy of Syndicate for the 10 posters who have the best Syndicate team. We’ll be reading through all of your posts (Hello, discordiac, our new marketing manager who “volunteered” for this job!) and picking the ones that we like best.
1. Only one entry post per user. Feel free to comment & edit until the contest closes.
2. You may enter into similar contests that we are running on Twitter and Facebook, but only once via each different channel.
3. We will be picking 10 of our favorite teams from this thread to win their free copies of Syndicate.
4. The contest will end on Thursday the 19th of January 2012 at 7:00 AM EST.
I guess submissions can be left in the comments of the above-linked news post, or submitted via Facebook and Twitter.
Also: judging by the latest tweet from Paul Barnett, the timing of this release all still part of a grander plan. Actually, the release is rather timely, since a co-op-enabled demo version of the upcoming Syndicate FPS will, it has just been announced, be released later this month. (The full game is slated for release in February.)
How ScummVM survived…and kept adventure gaming alive.
LucasArts isn’t exactly known for being particularly tolerant of fan projects involving its games or works derived from its projects. So how, exactly, did the fan-made, open-source multi-engine-supporting framework ScummVM managed to survive and grow beyond its original developers’ wildest expectations?
Ars Technica’s historical piece on ScummVM is a grand read. Do check it out.
Forget Angry Birds plush toys…now you can have soft, cuddly, heavily armed Worms plushies!
IGS’ Worms key ring plush line launches with four characters – Original Worm, Army Worm, Pirate Worm and the Super Sheep.
In addition to the collectable-sized key rings, the Worms will also be available in a variety of regular plush sizes.
And hey, whaddya know? Worms United was just released on Good Old Games! Convenient!
The origin of Stonehenge’s inner stones has been found!
Apparently, they came from a quarry about 160 miles away. How they were transported over that staggering distance is still a mystery, however.
More Skyrim moddy goodness!
If, you know, summoning zombie dragons and dual-wielding greatswords is your thing.
Tonight’s post brought to you by too much starch:
Thin mattress, too.