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E3 2014

Note: we’ll keep this at the top of the page throughout the day. Normal updates are posted below.


The stream will begin at 12:30 PM ET / 9:30 AM PT.

More: ,

Photo 1:

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, a select group of kids enjoy meeting video game luminaries Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, Takashi Tezuka, the creator of Yoshi games and Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company International. They got hands-on time with the hottest new games for the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS system, including a world-exclusive look at Fossil Fighters Frontier, an upcoming game for the Nintendo 3DS system launching in 2015.

Photo 2:

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, divulges highly-anticipated details about the new games, Pokémon Art Academy, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, launching later this year exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system. For the first time ever, Nintendo is showing the world how E3 looks through a child’s eye by welcoming a select group of kids to the Nintendo Kids Corner event at the Nintendo booth at E3.

Photo 3:

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, Oscar, age 11, and Noah, age 13, join Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, for a collaborative game play session with Mario Maker (working title), an upcoming game for the Wii U console unveiled at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles. For the first time ever, Nintendo is giving the world a glimpse of the thrill of E3 through the eyes of a child by welcoming a select group of kids to the Nintendo Kids Corner event at the Nintendo booth at E3. They enjoyed an exclusive, insider’s look at the latest games announced for the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS system.

Photo 4:

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, Alex, 9, Robbie, 10, have fun playing Mario Maker (working title) for the first time with Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda on June 11 at the Nintendo Kids Corner event at the E3 Nintendo booth. For the first time ever, Nintendo gave the world a glimpse of the thrill of E3 through the eyes of a child by welcoming a select group of kids to the Nintendo Kids Corner event at the Nintendo booth. They enjoyed an exclusive, insider’s look at the latest games announced for the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS system.

Photo 5:

In this June 11, 2014, photo provided by Nintendo of America, Evan, 8, Caleb, 11, Jonah, 12, and Noah, 13, visit Nintendo’s booth during E3 and become the first kids in the world to score exclusive hands-on time with Splatoon, a new video game for the Wii U console that Nintendo announced at the trade show in Los Angeles.

More:

Nintendo revealed a new IP for the 3DS during an E3 2014 roundtable event held tonight. The game, titled Code Name: S.T.E.A.M, is being led by the folks at Intelligent Systems. It will launch next year.

You can keep track of the details here.

Update: Over. Had a rough start due to traffic killing the site again, but you can check out a bunch of details below.



Nintendo is closing out its E3 activity for the day with a mysterious roundtable. We know that the session will be held to announce some kind of new IP, based on the tweet above.

In any case, we’ll be gathering all of the information that pops up online and covering this roundtable as it happens. Keep checking this post for news throughout the event. We’ll also make a dedicated, separate mini-post once the announcement is made.

The roundtable will begin at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT. It should last 90 minutes.

Updates below:

Details

– Note: Treehouse showing a big demo of the game tomorrow (confirmed on the stream)
– Code Name: S.T.E.A.M
– Out next year
– Set in London
– Steampunk vibe
– Stars the character Fleming
– In the video, monsters are taking over
– Airships exploding in the air
– Nintendo shows the live opening of the Steam Gate bridge
– Everything in the city is steam-powered
– Cel-shaded people
– It’s the age of Steam we’re told.
– Airships
– Monster attack knocks the character down
– Enemy has a lot of purple eyes
– Nintendo showed the opening cinematic
– Hitoshi Yamagami directing (Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles)
– Turn-based strategy game
– Borrows elements from action games
– “If Nintendo is making a strategy title, there is a long term partner we have worked with before: Intelligent Systems.”
– Intelligent Systems devs showing off the game
– Creative director: Paul Patraschcu
– Art director: Takako Sakai

“This is an entirely new title from Nintendo. A turn-based strategy game with elements taken from action games. “Players will take command of the unit steam a unique fighting force created by Abraham Lincoln to defend against a mysterious invasion from space.”

– Third-person shooter elements
– 3 save files

“Turn-based strategy, third person shooter, steam-punk … Codename Steam is a quirky little title that came to be from a collusion of all of these elements. We like to start with how we came about getting the idea for this title.”

– Fleming dodges around what appears to be the city’s streets
– Monsters are everywhere

“As you can tell from my history I have been working with IS for a long time and became a big fan of turn-based strategy, but I’ve always wanted to share these games with more people; this has been quite a challenge for me. This is, I think, because people have a timidity about turn-based strategy.”

– Gameplay switches to John, who stealths his way around looking for enemies
– After his turn, the enemy bolts forward and attacks
– Bottom screen shows a steam meter
– It goes down as players use skills

Henry scores some coins floating in the streets as he travels around

“I have been sharing Mr. Yamagami’s worries. I wonder why strategy games don’t have more fans. The answer I came up with myself, perhaps in many strategy games, there is too much abstraction between the player and the game world. What happens is often dictated by invisible parameters and numbers you don’t understand. The interfaces are often quite abstract.”

“This creates, in my opinion, a bit of an emotional disconnect between player and world of the game, perhaps this is why so many people find it intimidating or unnatural to play a strategy game. My solution was to take the camera and bring it to the level of the fighting units.”

“I’ve been thinking about solving this problem and at that time Paul came to me with his ideas. My initial thought of bringing down the camera was, ‘Yes, this will bridge that gap.’ But my worry was without some overhead view was how would you know what was going on. We said try a mini map radar.”

“Of course Mr. Yamagami was right so we focused on what we had, this first-person POV. You have several units you can control. You can control a fire team made up of four different characters. You have this view all of the time. This type of exploration is gameplay.”

– Enemy’s turn again
– A scorpion-like monster scoots forward
– Developer thinks many strategy games are too abstract,”Invisible parameters”
– While aliens move, it looks like players can freely swap between players for different views
– John gets ready to chuck a bomb; a yellow arch shows its projection
– The scorpion-like alien-monster is called a Hound
– The field is filled with small brick ledges, crates and lamps held by floating Steam balloons
– Green-lit TV screens are propelled through the air
– Switching between the characters give you a different view
– Can switch between characters at almost any time
– Adding steam punk elements to world helped convey important details
– One example is a red pipe that goes to objective

“So I think you have this problem of not receiving this problem with strategy, but we overcame it. But I felt we still needed some sort of help so players could find their way around the battlefield. I had the idea of solving the problem with steampunk. By adding steampunk themed items in the game we could solve the problem.”

“For instance you can see a red pipe that extends all the way through the map. The pipe goes all of the way to the objective. We also have telephonoscopes that float around which give you hints.”

– Different collectibles are scattered around the field
– There’s a book with a heart stamp
– These green TVs offer hints on how to play on the map
– The first hint offers a weak point on the Hound
– Uses touch controls for interface and controlling team
– Enemies can apparently attack more than once
– Henry gets hit, makes a snappy remark, and is pelted again

“At this point we had the navigation problem solved. With the touch screen the interface was very intuitive. We were still missing the strategic element to the game play. We realized with the context, the 3d map and exploration, the classic style of move attack then select the next unit, style of game play really did not work within this format.”

“We turned again to action games, to first-person shooters. The thought process between a strategy game and a shooter are quite similar. You get some information about the environment and then you come up with a plan and then you execute a plan. You do that in a linear fashion in a game like Fire Emblem. In a shooter you have to solve problems in a nonlinear fashion.”

– Movement inspired by action games
– Turn based movement closer to shooter than Fire Emblem
– Henry nabs the heart-labelled pack. It is, in fact, a health boost

“We wanted to come up with a system that was nonlinear. So we came up with action points which quantifies how much a unit can move and the speed they can move.”

– The goal is finally in sight. It’s marked by a very clear icon helpfully reading

“The image I hit upon was a steam locomotive. That’s when I hit upon the idea of using units operating on steam to make it easier to understand. I had an ‘aha moment’ and we knew what to do.”

“I initially pitched the steampunk setting as a setting, but having heard this idea of steam-powered warriors it all made sense to me.”

“The units where steam engines on their back and this gives them steam. A gauge shows how much steam they have.”

– Steam gauge shown at bottom of top screen and shows cost of actions, like firing weapons
– When you’re spotted, exclamation points pop up above the enemy’s head, Metal Gear Solid style
– Until you perform some sort of action your steam isn’t completely used up
– Within the limits of your steam you can move around the battlefield
– This allows the player to explore and that adds to the exploration element
– Patraschcu said originally they wanted to have an undo button, but people were pushing on the undo button all of the time
– Each map has its objective
– In this case, it was reach the goal
– The game is structured as a campaign and divided into missions
– Each mission has several maps
– You’ll add new members throughout games
– Each have unique powers
– Art style conveys each characters powers instantly
– The bottom screen displays your team, abilities, end turn options and more
– All the action stays on the top screen of the 3DS
– No grinding for XP; focused more on expanding team
– Character design is based on American comic books
– The developers were inspired by artists like Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm
– Spoken dialogue happens during gameplay
– Can enable a grid overlay on the battlefield
– Main characters’ weapon design is based on the weapon’s abilities and an animal motif based on the character’s personality
– The terrain has a lot of depth and reflects the variety of strategic choices in the game
– Pixel art used for terrain to ensure it looks good at all distances
– Each map made to look unique
– The developers came up with some original aliens that riff on creatures from the Lovecraft mythos
– Another enemy type called “Prowler”–intelligent and work together in teams
– Can use machines and weapons, like humans
– The aliens resemble insects
– Overwatch attacks can stun & interrupt enemy movement
– Save steam at the end of a turn to attack enemies when in range
– Overwatch can now stun enemy
– Costs 1-attack to stun them, negating enemies next turn
– Ex: high stun ratio character, followed by second character attack for heavy damage
– Overwatch attacks equated to ambushes. “Feels really good”
– Strategic elements based on 3 things: movement, attacks, and planning overwatch attacks
– Spinning pillars on map are checkpoints
– More to them than just saving game
– Can use collected metals from aliens to restore health and steam at checkpoints
– Tradeoff is that spent metals can’t be used to buy weapons down the line
– So if you risk not cashing them in for HP you’ll be rewarded by being able to buy better weapons
– 1 difficulty mode in the game
– Newer strategy players will benefit by using metals at checkpoints

Q&A

– Question: Does the game take place in London? But there is Abraham Lincoln?

Answer: London is the starting point of the game. At that time Britain was the greatest Empire and thus the alien’s first target.

Steampunk also fits with London. Sounds like the game will have other locales.

– Question: this and Splatoon are shooters; is this a conscious shift in Nintendo’s strategy / portfolio?

Answer: “Not really”. They prototyped an idea, and it felt good. NOA notes that the shooter style of game is very approachable with constant player feedback

– Question: Japan has a history of making Japanese historical figures larger than life. Why pull from western history?

Answer: There were several settings pitched. One was “steam punk civil war”. Everyone had lots of ideas to riff on within the team. Felt it was a rich context choice.

– Question: Q on the rock music. Can you talk about the composer/style?

Answer: Advance wars composer Hirano is working on this. Similar to days of ruin in style. Music has both 19th century string-type instruments and rock music for the steam punk. Music is dynamic, to reflect enemy awareness of danger, etc.

– Question: How is death treated? Is there permadeath?

Answer: There is not permadeath. It is not a game that relies on individuals–it relies on teams of chars. Would not work if you could lose characters. You can revive them on the map by using medals

– Question: will there be online play?

Answer: yes there will be multiplayer and there will be online supported, but details ate pending

– Question: how large is the cast?

Answer: not talking now. Stay tuned.

– Question: will there be amiibo integration, since this is a 2015 game?

Answer: not a bad idea. We’ll think about it.

– Question: similarities to Valkyrie Chronicles. Was the team influenced by that game?

Answer: yes, the lead developer likes that game. But it wasn’t an inspiration. That game is a traditional strategy game, and players rely on the overhead map/view. Not really a shooter. Nintendo & IS wanted the shooter like gameplay to be integral and not a facade.

– Question: Is code name steam why we haven’t gotten a new advance wars?

Answer: nonononono. We are always thinking about the next iteration of AW and FE. Teasing they will reveal info on those later when they are ready

– Question: Q: Has this impacted development on the FExSMT game.

Answer: nonononono. They are on schedule.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3