Plastic Piranha Jason Brice Interview

Here’s a short interview with Plastic Piranha president and CEO Jason Brice. For those of you not familiar with the company, it’s the developer of the upcoming first-person shooter Rekoil. Going from movie marketing to creating a hardcore first-person shooter sounds like an odd career path, but that’s the one Jason Brice has followed. Listen to him talk about his coworkers recreating a Call of Duty level in the office to creating CoD maps to creating Battlefield 2142 maps to starting his own development studio. Due to his atypical and unique background, Jason Brice is particularly passionate about giving gamers powerful and robust mod tools for Rekoil.

Jason Brice Plastic Piranha Rekoil

And Now, A Message From Gabe Newell (Half-Life 3)

Dorkly posted an immensely entertaining (satirical) article called “A Message From Gabe Newell.” Valve recently made several announcements on products with enormous potential to disrupt the gaming business (Steam OS, Steam Machines, Steam Controller). While many gamers and pundits have reacted to these announcements with excitement, there are many longtime PC gamers that have can’t get Half-Life 3 out of their heads. The (satirical) message from Gabe Newell addresses all of that and more. Here’s an excerpt from the end of the letter Continue reading “And Now, A Message From Gabe Newell (Half-Life 3)”

Watch the Evil Game Design Challenge

Here’s a long, but terribly fascinating, video featuring three veteran game developers participating in the “The Evil Game Design Challenge.” The panel is hosted by Scott Foe, known for his work on the Sega Dreamcast, the Nokia N-Gage, and, most recently, Douche Defender. The participants have been in the gaming business for a long time, but have recently been focused on free-to-play games. You’ll watch Greg Costikyan, Dan Rubenfield, and Ethan Levy — dressed as evil villains — compete to come up with the best monetization, retention, and virality plans for Super Mario Bros. 3. Yes, imposing modern monetization, retention, and virality methods on an all-time classic is evil.

Check out the clip below and let me know what you think of “The Evil Game Design Challenge” (I usually say please, but since the subject matter is evil, I’m leaving it out). Lastly, help me get over my hangup that “virality” is becoming a word.


Beyond: Two Souls Gameplay Video

Here’s a sweet behind-the-scenes video of Beyond: Two Souls by Quantic Dream for PlayStation 3. In the video, the developers explain the features of the gameplay and the thought process behind it. Yes, it’s chockfull of quick-time events (as you’d expect in a Quantic Dream game), but the developers are trying to make things as transparent as possible. There are times when you’ll see the traditional cues for input (square, circle, etc.) but there are also times when you’ll see a simple white dot that indicates that an action has to be made. The goal is to make “the player forget that he has a controller in his hand.”

Also, the video explains why the Quantic Dream crew had to research “fishes swimming underwater.”

As a mark for the developer, I’m completely psyched for this game and really enjoyed this “making of” video. Check out the clip and let me know what you think (please!).

Noah Falstein Appointed Google Chief Game Designer

Between Android and Chrome OS, gaming has been a small but growing part of Google’s business. With Noah Falstein’s recent appointment as chief game designer, it looks like Google’s gaming ambitions are growing. However, there’s a lot of speculation as to what exactly those plans are and which products they’ll cover. Many have surmised that the company will up its Android gaming efforts, while others believe that Google Glass will be getting games.

For some background info on Falstein, here’s a clip from TechCrunch:

According to his bio Falstein’s been in the computer games industry since 1980, spanning companies such as LucasArts, 3DO, and Dreamworks Interactive, and is the designer behind a number of hit titles. He most recently ran his own consultancy, The Inspiracy, which offered companies help on game design, development and business, as well as being a regular on the lecture and speaking circuit.

A major interest of Falstein is the field of “Serious Games,” which he defines as “Using Games, Game Technology, or Game Industry Techniques for a purpose other than pure entertainment.” The list of Serious Games projects Falstein has been involved in spans anything from using game techniques to improve health and education, to financial projections.

The Google I/O developer conference is a few weeks away, so the company’s plans for gaming and Falstein’s role should be clarified then. For now, let’s play the speculation game! What do you think Google’s gaming plans are for the near future?


Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Postmortem

Overhaul Games president Trent Oster posted a long and excellent postmortem on Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition on Gamasutra. Oster goes over several things that went right and several things that went wrong during the remake of this BioWare classic. As a fan of the original game, the new game, and BioWare, I really enjoyed all five pages of the postmortem. In addition to the behind-the-scenes factoids you’d expect, the article covers a lot of BioWare history. It was one of the most enjoyable videogame postmortems I’ve read in years and I highly recommend checking it out.


Kellee Santiago (thatgamecompany) Joins Ouya

Ouya has announced that Kellee Santiago has joined the company as DBF (Developer’s Best Friend). She’ll be heading up the company’s developer outreach. Santiago is best known as cofounder of thatgamecompany, the creators of Flower and Journey. In the official announcement, she said:

Oouya gets it. This is the first console company that really understands how important it is to remove the barriers to development. By freeing up the development process, Ouya is opening up new doors in console gaming.

This is a big score for Ouya. Santiago has a great reputation within the gaming business. Ouya will be leaning on independent and small developers to make games optimized for the system. Those kinds of companies will feel like they have a sympathetic ally in Santiago. Journalists view her as an “indie darling,” so it’s additional press for the company too.

What do you think of Ouya hiring Kellee Santiago? Will she help differentiate the company from others that are trying to console-ify Android?