Hermen Hulst Discusses the Transition From Killzone to Horizon Zero Dawn

Hermen Hulst is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Guerrilla Games. The company is best known for the Killzone series of first-person shooters for Sony PlayStation consoles. Those games have enjoyed a solid following and critical acclaim. In 2017, Guerrilla hit a new level with Horizon Zero Dawn. An open-world action-RPG with a lush setting, the game was a radical departure from the grim-and-gritty shooters Guerrilla was known for. Many consider it one of 2017’s best games.

At DICE Europe 2017, Hermen Hulst will be talking about Guerrilla’s evolution and the challenges he faced preparing the company for Horizon Zero Dawn. Here’s an excerpt from my chat with Heremen Hulst.

In the keynote I’ll be talking about how long this process has been. During the Killzone 3 days, we already started wondering about doing something new. “Is the time there now? Can our creatives do their best work within the same franchise? Is there enough room for wild design ideas?” We actually made the decisions to start investigating new roots towards the end of Killzone 3. That’s when we started the internal pitching processes of new ideas. So we’ve been working on this thing for six-and-a-half, seven years. That’s a very long time.

There were such a wide range of changes. For one, we had always focused on games in a particular genre — the first-person shooter genre. With that comes a certain set of expertise, which you would expect from a studio that operates within that genre. So when you move into a different genre, you’re looking for new areas of expertise. We moved from first-person shooter to open-world action-RPG, so we had to build out our narrative capability. The requirements in that new genre are much higher in narration then they are in the fps world.

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Mary DeMarle Talks Deus Ex (DICE Europe 2017)

Here’s a chat I had with the absolutely delightful Mary DeMarle, narrative director of Eidos Montreal. She’ll be speaking at DICE Europe 2017 about maintaining motivation and innovation during long game development cycles. We talked about the challenges of reviving the Deus Ex franchise — bringing one of the most lauded IPs in PC gaming to a new audience more than a decade after the original release. Aside from talking to Mary DeMarle about Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I had an excellent time enjoying her company. She was charming and fun. Yeah, yeah, I know you want to hear more about the game stuff, so here’s an excerpt from my interview with Mary DeMarle.

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Random Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily the cutest (damn you Baby Groot!) most innocent movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unless your heart is made out of coal, it’s hard not to be charmed by the film’s “Aw Shucks” attitude. The captivating innocence is created by a combination of an inexperienced hero that’s eager to please, an idyllic high-school setting, and a wonderfully wholesome actor. In many ways, Spider-Man: Homecoming is the MCU equivalent of Glee (as a Gleek, I consider this an excellent thing).

Show choir analogies aside, Spider-Man: Homecoming is flat-out good and loads of fun. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is objectively one of the best MCU movies. Many geek tastemakers consider it one of the best superhero movies ever made. While I absolutely agree with that opinion, I’ve rewatched Captain America: Civil War much, much more. Civil War isn’t as good as The Winter Soldier, but it’s way more fun. What impressed me about Spider-Man: Homecoming was that it’s a top-tier MCU movie that’s also highly rewatchable. Prior to seeing this movie, I considered Guardians of the Galaxy to have the best blend of quality and rewatchability, as far as MCU movies go. Well move over Star Lord, because Spidey just stole your throne.

Whether you’re a hardcore comics nerd or someone with a marginal interest in teenagers that have been bitten by radioactive spiders, I highly recommend Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s a great superhero movie that will enchant you with its innocence.

Now it’s time for some random thoughts on the movie, using the RPadTV battle-tested binary system. (That’s your cue to use your web shooters to craft yourself an arachnid spoiler shield.)

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Random Thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious is the latest chapter in the saga of Dominic Toretto and his vaunted family (#family). Starting with Fast Five, the franchise has transformed from a tale about street racers to a tale of international adventurers. While there’s a race early on in the movie, the rest is about fast cars, ridiculous action, massive collateral damage, vicious punches, and diatribes about family. Although there are some new characters and major changes to old ones, nothing about The Fate of the Furious feels fresh. It’s loads of fun if you’re looking for big, dumb action, but I doubt it will create any new fans.

Here are some random thoughts on The Fate of the Furious, presented in RPadTV binary style. If you don’t want to see any spoilers then it’s time to hit the NOS button and drive on outta here.

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Vaping Diaries #385: Uwell Crown 2 vs. Uwell Crown 3

The Uwell Crown 3 is the latest in the company’s line of sub-ohm tanks. The original Crown was one of the first sub-ohm tanks to use stainless steel coils and was able to handle higher wattages than its competitors. While it vaped nicely, it was a bit of an eyesore. The Crown 2 offered greatly improved looks, but the initial coils were troublesome. I still enjoy the original Crown and, after some coil revisions, the Crown 2 has become one of my favorite sub-ohm tanks. With all of that in mind, I was excited to check out the Crown 3. Uwell’s latest tank looks similar to the Crown 2, but has a number of substantial differences under the hood. Let’s check it out!

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RPadTV Homescreen For Evolv DNA and YiHi SX Mods

Do you use a mod with an Evolv DNA or YiHi SX chip? Are you tired of your plain and boring home screen? If you’ve answered yes to both of those questions then feel free to download this file for a snazzy RPadTV graphic. Whether you’re rocking a DNA 250, DNA 75, SX350, or SX450 mod, it will become exponentially cooler with an RPadTV custom home screen. This has been clinically proven…by scientists and stuff. It’s true!

New Day Rocks WrestleMania 33 With Final Fantasy

WWE faction The New Day rocked WrestleMania 33 with an assist from the legendary Final Fantasy videogame series. Serving as the hosts for WWE’s biggest event of the year, the team came out dressed as characters from Final Fantasy’s job system. Xavier Woods was dressed as a monk, Big E was decked out like a samurai, and Kofi Kingston made for a dashing red mage. The team even had a pushcart (filled with New Day ice cream, naturally) adorned with chocobos and moogles. Check out the clip below to see  New Day’s spectacular WrestleMania 33 entrance.

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Random Thoughts on Logan (Wolverine, X-Men)

Logan is easily one of the two best comic-book movies Fox has ever released. It would be difficult to argue with anyone that says it’s the best. For me, it’s not (more on that later), but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Logan is a fantastic movie that serves as a bittersweet farewell to Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine. Before I go any further, activate your X-gene’s spoiler-blocking abilities, because it’s time for some random thoughts on Logan.

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Five Reasons Why March 2017 Will Be an Awesome Nerd Month

March is going to a be a glorious month for nerds and people with nerdish tendencies. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to — potentially fantastic movies, a new videogame console, and an all-new, all-different television series from Marvel. While I’m still adjusting to life in America after a month in Asia, these things will certainly make the transition easier. Let’s take a look at all the brilliant nerd stuff coming in March 2017.

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Coffee Talk #673: Low-Hanging Fruit

Several weeks ago in the RPad.TV chat, smartguy used the term “low-hanging fruit.” He was talking about politicians and their predilection for doing the bare minimum in order to get the job (kinda) done. As usual, I agreed with his take, but I also started having flashbacks (not quite flashbacks to ‘Nam, but along those lines in a less traumatic way).

You see, last year I worked for a website that constantly used the phrase low-hanging fruit in regards to editorial strategy.  Continue reading “Coffee Talk #673: Low-Hanging Fruit”