After approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this past Thursday, Atari is preparing to enter the world of business again after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in January of 2013. The company (Atari Inc.) will get $3.4 million from its parent company (Atari S.A.) to get it out of bankruptcy, and then another $1.75 million to restart operations and try to turn a profit. No specific plans have been revealed for what they might do differently this time around, but we’ll likely hear news soon enough.
Nintendo Everything: General Gaming
This is a survey that requires no signing up, accounts, clicking through ads, or anything. Just answer a required question, answer a non-required question (if you want) and make your voice heard in yet another NintendoEverything reader survey poll thing! Results will be read on the next podcast! Thanks very much.
Thanks very much. As stated above the topic for you guys this week is “How much does dying affect the experience of a game?” Check out two small questions in there.
By Austin (@NE_Austin)
In the latest issue of EDGE magazine there lays a feature about the inclusion of permanent death in a game– that is, when a character dies, they’re gone for good and you can’t do anything about it. Two notable examples of games that utilize permanent death (perma-death) have come within the last year or deux: ZombiU from Ubisoft on the Wii U and Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS from Nintendo. A designer from both games sat down with EDGE to discuss their experience with perma-death:
I think that all of the Fire Emblem games are fun, but a lot of beginner players stay clear of them because they think they are difficult. I think this is a real shame. A big reason for wanting to include this mode was so that those kinds of people could play Fire Emblem too…Since your characters come back when they die, one advantage is that you can play more aggressively or take more risks.
- Fire Emblem: Awakening director Kohei Maeda
[Writing ZombiU] was the toughest challenge I’ve faced in over ten years of writing for games. It took… the whole production team to find solutions for all the ‘But what happens if you die here?’ issues, which were sometimes mind-bendingly complicated.
I created the Prepper character and the survivors’ notes to establish a link and reinforce between the survivors who all fall under this mysterious character’s influence. Without a main player character, you need to embrace your main NPCs. Our character assemblage system produced avatars that were less gorgeous than a single player character would’ve been.
- ZombiU design director Gabrielle Shrager
The following details are from a study conducted in the United Kingdom of 11,000 kids as young as five years old by the University of Glasgow:
- Exposure to video games had no effect on behavior, attention or emotional issues.
- Watching 3 or more hours of television at age 5 did lead to a small increase in behavioral problems in youngsters between 5 and 7.
- Neither television nor video games lead to attentional or emotional problems.
- There was no difference between boys and girls in the survey results.
Ubisoft says they have Watch_Dogs on the way to Wii U in response to question about future support for the console
“Ubisoft has a long-standing relationship with Nintendo. Most recently this has been reinforced by our varied and high-quality line-up for Wii U, with big titles including Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Just Dance 2014, Rayman Legends, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist already released and Watch Dogs on the way.”
- Ubisoft representative
The above doesn’t seem indicative of either a lack of support or a plethora of it coming forward– it’s just a standard PR response with very little going on under the hood.
[Feature] Stop with the cat-suits and spin moves: The dramatic presentation of non-difficulty and how it relates to modern Mario
Austin note: This thing is not meant to be viewed as a criticism of a game that is not out yet (SM3DW) that I have only played twice before. It is also not meant to be a criticism solely of the Mario franchise. It is, as I hope is clear, a discussion and analysis of gameplay motifs and design philosophies for many kinds of games.
Kenta Motokura is co-director of the upcoming game-that-you’ve-all-heard-of, Super Mario 3D World. In a recent IGN article he said the following regarding the development of the game:
“Going off of our monitor tests, we wanted to see what beginners thought was difficult about the game, and also what was fun about the game. We learned from those tests is that if you were a beginning player, when you come to a cliff, you might stop, think about jumping, then jump and maybe not make it and drop. But what if we added this element of sticking to the wall so you could prevent yourself from dropping down?”
So he brings up this simple question: What if you added an element that prevented less experienced players from falling down?
Earlier this year, an image with the branding “Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix” was found online (probably via a leak), and people began speculating that perhaps Ubisoft had accidentally let out a secret Vita project– or even a movie. To peoples’ dismay, Ubisoft promptly denied that they had any involvement with that logo, but today someone found a similar image– with the same logo– hidden within their latest game, Assassin’s Creed IV.
Maybe it was some sort of internal joke, but now that the image is directly tied with the company, it’ll be hard for them to deny some involvement! We’ll see what comes of it.
The following comes from an interview with Japanese gaming weekly ‘Famitsu’:
“To be honest, I don’t feel the current Japanese game market has a lot of energy to it, and I want to get that energy back. I think the only way to do that is to keep making fun games and keep energizing and exciting the gamers.
“Lately I’ve been running into overseas gamers at MH4 events and stuff, people with these MH t-shirts who go all the way to Japan for these things. I love seeing that, and I wonder if we can expand on that. It’s hard enough to launch a game in Japan alone, but for games like Pokemon that become worldwide hits, that energizes Japanese games across the board. I think there are qualities to Japanese games that only Japanese people can come up with, and I think it’d be great if we could expand on how we bring those strengths to the international arena.”
- Director of the Monster Hunter series, Kaname Fujioka
Fujioka talked about much more in the interview, as transcribed by Polygon. Check it out here.
The following comes from Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg:
However, I think there’s something to do with allowing different media to do what each media does well. When I think of games as an art form, they start with being transportive. Because they’re interactive, because you are more involved in the experience than in any other form of entertainment, it all starts with being transported. And obviously a natural place to want to transport people is into an experience they can’t have in their everyday lives. Sometimes that’s driving a fast car, sometimes that’s being a professional athlete, sometimes that’s being a rock star, sometimes that’s being a hero or going into a fantastical future
“I think this is inherently what games do best and so I’d expect that to be the basis of games for a long time to come. I don’t know if romantic comedy fits that model. I think that’s something that movies and TV do well. There’s this strange desire to morph games into movies or have them behave more like movies; I don’t share that desire. Games are wonderful as they are and do different things better than other forms of media.”
Revealed during an AMA on reddit earlier this week, actor Mark Rolston– who played roles in films like The Shawshank Redemption, and games like Halo 4 and Injustice: Gods Among Us– will be voicing the antagonist ‘Deathstroke’ the Terminator’. “”Wow, there have been so many people chasing that one,” mused the game’s creative director Eric Holmes during the chat with fans.