Aloha once again NAGaaians, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around doomed studio 22Cans is attempting to pull back with a new, blunt and crass CEO, Rust gets something it should have had ages ago, and the developer of Wii U exclusive Devil’s Third has some troubling advice for those planning on purchasing the game. Then we have a double dose of Randy Pitchford – first talking a brand new Duke Nukem, and then talking utter, in-denial nonsense about Colonial Marines. Followed up with Shenmue 3‘s record-breaking Kickstarter and a horror game that does something I guarantee you haven’t seen before. All that, more videos, news and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Let’s kick this week off with 22Cans, Peter Molyneux’s somewhat disastrous studio.
Just to recap – Curiosity was the cube-hacking game, money and being the “god” of next game Godus was the prize. Godus was a disaster that never really came to fruition, and Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson got screwed out of his prize as a result. Much bad press for Molyneux, horrible work environment at Cans with staff dropping left and right.
But that might be turning around – Simon Phillips has stepped in as CEO. Eurogamer interviewed him this week, a foul-mouthed Brit who answered questions at the pub, you can’t help but admire his brutal honesty.
It’s an incredibly long interview and an interesting read, but the basic gist of it is that Phillips thinks Molyneux has great ideas, but is crap on the business end. So the plan is for Phillips to handle business, and Molyneux handles game design. He also is trying to make things right with Henderson, but admits Godus is not going to be anywhere anytime soon, and he is in talks with Henderson to make reparations elsewhere.
His brutal honesty is breath of fresh air from Molyneux’s smoke and mirrors – when talking about Curiosity’s prize idea (which he describes as brilliant), he states matter-of-factly “What a simple thing to f*** up.” You can’t help but like him, to be honest. Check out the full interview here.
So here’s something – Rust is planning on adding female models soon.
It’s testament to the current gaming climate that this is news. With publishers like Ubisoft getting slammed for saying adding women to games requires too much effort, stuff like this is newsworthy.
Still, it has to be pointed out that this is pretty late in the game’s development to do this. Can we not just have this as standard, basic functionality from the beginning?
I do think the GamerGate/feminism movement can at times be criticised for being nitpicky or overly critical, but stuff like this shows we still have some way to go to changing the current gaming environment away from its current boys’ club status.
Here’s something you don’t hear often – Devil’s Third dev Tomonobu Itagaki has advised players not to use the Wii U’s official GamePad – oops.
The console’s standard controller? Yeah, that one. Don’t use that. For a console exclusive.
“Distance of two analog sticks are too far apart, so it’s quite difficult for you to feel/grasp the battlefield. Devil’s Third is a game you play a long time, the standard [GamePad] is too heavy for such use.”
It’s a pretty good case study in why the Wii U was a flop. Perhaps Nintendo needs to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and just go with tried and trusted.
Gearbox big cheese Randy Pitchford apparently wants to make a new Duke Nukem game – using an outside developer.
“I did not acquire the franchise merely so people could experience Duke Nukem Forever. That was, sort of, the toll to pay to give Duke Nukem a chance at a future.
“So yes. In fact, we’ve done some concept development. The challenge is that Gearbox is very busy. A faster way would be if the correct developer would become interested and we’d work with them.”
Forever was a colossal cock-up, but I almost feel like that wasn’t Gearbox’s fault. Playing it, I felt like they’d ticked most of the Duke boxes, but the world had moved on. The original Duke tapped an audience that had grown and matured in a particular way, it felt like an anachronistic relic that wasn’t amusing or taking risks, just kind of offensive and trite. It’ll be interesting to see how Gearbox/unknown developer can update the next one.
Shenmue 3 has broken a Kickstarter record, racking in close to six mil (in dollars), a decent chunk above the original ask of two.
Of course, it still has nothing on games like Star Citizen, which has managed to generate more than seventy million since its Kickstarter ended. But, Shenmue gets the record for pledges nonetheless.
The game faced a bit of controversy not long ago when it was revealed that Sony would be helping out with funding – fans felt shortchanged to be pouring money into what they though was somewhat of an independent project. That doesn’t seem to have deterred backers though, and in the game’s defense the developer did clarify that Sony money wasn’t going to development, but marketing and publishing. Anyone excited for this?
Well here’s something completely different: multiplayer online title The Flock was already a pretty interesting concept – an asymmetrical stealth/horror title that has players hunt down one of their own. The hunted player has only a light for a weapon, which he can shine on the hunters and, should they move in the light, they’ll promptly die.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well it gets way more interesting. This week developer Vogelsap revealed that the game will have an expiry date.
“With each death in the game,” explained Vogelsap, “one life will be taken from the Flock’s population. When the Flock’s population reaches zero, the game will never be purchasable again.”
Woah. When this extinction finally happens, a climactic finale will trigger that can only be played by those who already have the game in their Steam library – remember, you won’t ever be able to purchase it again.
Cynics believe this is to save on server costs or long-term support, but I find it to be a unique and innovative concept. Vogelsap’s own argument is that people get slowly bored and disinterested in multiplayer titles, and they hope this will keep players interested till the end.
I like it. What say you, NAG collective?
Here’s an amusing one, Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford has said this week that he has “no regrets” about steaming turd Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Despite losing over $10 million in personal investment, he insists he “wouldn’t trade that experience for anything”. I’m guessing in his spare time Pitchford likes to moan through a ball-gag while getting whipped with chains.
“Some people invented this myth that if we tried it would have been good, so we must not have tried,” he said. “So there’s this rumor we’d embezzled money from Aliens and spent it on Borderlands. Firstly, that’s absurd, and secondly, the actual truth is the opposite, which is a lot more embarrassing.
“We took a huge amount of the money that we’d made off the first Borderlands, invested it into Aliens trying to make it as good as we could, and still ended up disappointing a huge number of people,” he added. “That’s a whole other kind of failure. But it’s all from this fundamental truth, which is we tried to do a good job and entertain people and some people didn’t like it.”
Saying “some people didn’t like it” is a bit like saying some people considered the Challenger launch to be a success.
Bethesda have officially released the Fallout 4 E3 trailer, which is essentially a tour through the game’s highlights.
Then Greenlight darling The Town of Light gets a new trailer, which looks perhaps a little too generic.
Then the RTS mash-up Total War: Warhammer gets it’s first “in-engine” trailer – which usually provides a better feel for the game.
Games that have included “hacking” are generally terrible (Watch Dogs). It has to be accessible, and yet somehow realistic – not an easy task. Indie Hacknet thinks they’ve pulled it off, however.
Best of NAG
Start your day off right with Miklós Szecsei’s passionate discussion of the Comic Con Star Wars reel. This is a real fan, folks.
After that, why not check out this Matthew Vice’s review of Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition. Don’t you want to know why it’s special?
It’s back-to-back reviews and back-to-back Matthew Vice with the controversial Arkham Knight.
Finally, have a look at my discussion on the culture of South African gaming, and the importance of being “known”.