Hello NAGuhrians, and welcome back to This Week In Gaming. This week we have an interesting announcement from YouTube regarding its gaming content, some inside info on working for Nintendo and some good news for captain of the troubled ship Satoru Iwata. Then we have a lengthy interview with Titanfall dev Respawn Entertainment (divided into small, low-attention span chunks), a new record for DotA 2 tournament The International and a big studio makes an indie. Then in our videos we have a new world record, a look at a promising MOBA with a few twists and a little more Kevin Spacey. It’s the usual dose of news, videos and unsolicited opinion – dive in after the jump.
So YouTube has undergone a major change – users can now upload videos in 60fps. Usually when you watch television or other film, you’re looking at video that’s been filmed at less than 30fps, what YouTube currently has.
However, due to games mostly running at 60fps, unless you own an Xbox One (ohh ZING), whenever you watch recorded game footage on YouTube you’re not really getting the most accurate representation of what it looks like.
So, to change that, Google are introducing the option of uploading at higher framerates so all those fps comparison videos will actually make some kind of sense.
To kick things off, Battlefield Hardline managed to wangle the first ever YouTube 60fps video, check it out:
Devil’s Third has had a troubled development, with THQ shutting its doors somewhere in the middle, putting the project in serious jeopardy.
However, designer Tomonobu Itagaki found a home for the game with Nintendo, as a Wii U exclusive. In an interview with Polygon, he discusses the experience of working with them:
“There are cultural differences between the way that I’ve worked and the way Nintendo works, which is when it comes down to the basic grammar of games, the method of game creation,” he explained. “And so we certainly fought some, but I think that I saw the value in a lot of the ways that they do things and learned a great amount.
“Now this is close to a trade secret so I can’t say too much, but I feel like I learned the most fundamental meaning of what it means to push a button. When you tell someone, ‘Push the A button,’ there’s a wealth of information there. And I feel like all of us who have worked on this project, as a result, have grown a bit.”
We’ve heard before that Nintendo is not the easiest company to work with, and that talk about fighting would seem to indicate that. Perhaps Itagaki is a little more compromising than most, or maybe he’s just relieved someone actually wants to publish his game.
Speaking of Nintendo, despite a poor year the company has kept faith in CEO Satoru Iwata, re-electing him as company president.
There’s been much discussion of his departure after Nintendo suffered its third consecutive annual loss, but at a meeting of the board last Friday they decided to give him another chance.
With Mario Kart doing well and the Wii U console numbers along with it, perhaps there’s some hope after all for Iwata to redeem himself.
Whether or not you’re a DotA 2 player, you can’t help but admire the spectacle of The International, the annual tournament hosted by Valve that boasts increasingly more impressive prize pools.
This time it’s reached over 10 million dollars, thanks to the Compendium. For the uninitiated, the Compendium is an in-game purchase which gives you all kinds of goodies, such as point boosts and items, as well as daily challenges which allow you to unlock more items and level-up your Compendium.
For every $10 Compendium bought, a quarter of it goes to the prize pool. Yup, that means Valve has raked in all kinds of money with that particular microtransaction, while still managing to inflate The International’s status.
Even if you’ve never played DotA 2, watch it. It really is quite special. The tournaments starts on the 18th of July and runs till the 21st.
It seems the newest craze for big studios is to create lower-budget titles with small development teams – like Ubisoft with platformer Child of Light or Blizzard with Hearthstone.
Now Insomniac Games has announced Slow Down Bull, a game they’re calling an “experiment in open development”.
Using the Unity engine, this indie-like game has a team of just 4-5, and invites gamers to have a hand in its development process.
Here’s the game’s official description:
Slow Down Bull is a small action game about a stressed out, overachiever bull named Axel. He loves collecting beautiful things, but has to overcome his innate bull nature to accomplish his goals. Axel tries very hard to be graceful and cautious while he collects, but it’s very stressful! What if he bumps into someone? What if his bull-like nature erupts and ruins everything he’s trying to collect? What if he messes up?
The trouble is, if our bull *does* get too stressed out, he *will* succumb to his bull instincts, and tantrum and trample all over that which he loves. Can you help him achieve his goals and keep his cool at the same time?
Well, can you?
In a lengthy interview with CVG, Respawn Entertainment co-founder has discussed the future of Titanfall and what comes after.
One major criticism of the game was lack of single player campaign; opting instead for a somewhat messy integrated multiplayer story which was mostly just annoying voice-overs over an otherwise standard multiplayer experience.
However, Zampella says they’re not really interested in creating an offline, traditional single-player option.
“A single-player campaign? I don’t know. I think we want to hit whatever part of the brain it is that triggers that feeling of a single-player campaign.
“There’s nothing wrong with a single-player experience. They should exist and they do exist and I would work on one. But doing one with this feels almost like taking a step backwards.”
Zampella defended the campaign though, saying that he thinks it works well. He did, however, that it was easily ignored due to the action happening in the game.
So what’s next for the studio? Zampella says they’re not sure yet.
“We’re not ready to announce anything,” Zampella said. “Honestly, we don’t even know. We’ve been so buried in fixing and supporting Titanfall that we haven’t even moved on to, ‘what will our next game be?
“It’s tough to say whether Respawn will stay the same size until it determines the nature of its next project.”
Can’t say I’m not pleased to hear they’re focusing on improving their current releases instead of quickly moving on to the next – something we’re not exactly used to in the industry.
Speedrunner Blubbler holds the record for the fastest ever Mario Bros. speedrun – in a time of 4:58.09. The bad news is that record has been broken, the good news is that it was Blubbler that did it, in a time of 4:57.69. Yup, that’s all that’s in it – and the best part is, he did it because he found a new glitch, not because it could be done 4/10ths of a second faster normally – it couldn’t be.
New MOBA on the scene Dead Island Epidemic hope to carve a niche for itself with its zombie theme and top-down shooter controls – no more click to move action here. You can also craft weapons and have three teams of four playing at once, so it is pretty different from your standard DotA clone. The video below goes over how you play and progress in the game.
While we’re on zombies, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare finally made it to PC this week, and EA has put out this new launch trailer to mark the occasion. The title makes the jump to PS3 and PS4 on August 19th.
Finally, we have yet another Call of Duty: Kevin Spacey trailer, this one showing off all the new futuristic tech you’ll be able to shoot the eponymous villain with. It’s about what you’d expect really; energy guns, fancy grenades, exoskeletons and hovercrafts. Check it out:
Best of NAG
The final instalment of Mr Fick’s System Builder’s Guide drops this week, this time for those who feel weighed down by their cumbersome, thick wallets and just really need to offload some cash – the R20,000 to R30,000 range. If you’re looking to build a beast or just want to drool, head over here.
Next up is Rick de Klerk’s look at The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II, a quirky hack-n-slash style RPG with some nice visuals. Is it worth your time? Find out right here.
Then we have my column for the week, a discussion on the 5 signs you may be getting a little too old to be a gamer. To help gauge how far along you are, I’ve included a helpful rating system at the bottom. Go check that out, gramps.
Last, and far, far from least, we have this month’s issue of NAG Magazine. The team has another run at Evolve, and tackles MOBAs seemingly for the first time. Then there’s discussion on the big releases of the month, such as Watch Dogs and Wolfenstein, as well as the usual crop of hardware reviews and other fantabulous nonsense. For more info and a look at the babushka-doll-inspired cover , click this thing here.