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Posts with tag interview

PS3 Fanboy interviews Ratchet and Clank's Ryan Schneider

We got in touch with Ryan Schneider, our friend at Insomniac, and talked a little bit more about their upcoming Ratchet & Clank game. Ryan was able to tell us a bit about the game's massive size, potential Home integration, and more.

The search for the Lombax Secret, and Ratchet's past, is certainly driving a much stronger story in this iteration. What sparked the change for a more story-oriented game this time around?
I would say the quality of writing has been outstanding. TJ Fixman is our writer. He's a guy with his own agent, and he has movies optioned. We just have a terrific writer. It's not so much that we were taking a different tact to the story compared to the past. But the topic is more epic in general. We're exploring Ratchet's roots. Why is he the last of his kind? What is the Lombax Secret? Who are the Zoni and why is Clank the only one to see them? What kind of dynamic tension does that create? Will Ratchet trust his buddy Clank, or will he think he's got a bolt loose in his head, and he's gone haywire? These are the elements that make a good story. We've turned the lens inward. If you look at the past Ratchet games, it was about Ratchet against an enemy. Now, he's on a quest to discover something about himself. I think that alone makes the story more epic and more mysterious.

Is the writer new to the franchise?
Yes, this is TJ's first Ratchet game. TJ and Brian Hastings make for a great team. Bryan's our chief creative officer, and TJ's one of the funnier people I know. We love butt jokes -- and what's cool to us is that it does appeal to eight year olds and adults. The animators did a great job too. For example, in one scene Quark gives Ratchet and Clank a clue. It's the pirate guys and he says "check out this pirate design. It's perfect for parties and late night misadventures." Then, he leans into the screen and winks. It's not written into the script but it makes it come to life and makes it that much funnier.

Gallery: Ratchet and Clank Future

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy interviews Ratchet and Clank's Ryan Schneider

PS3 Fanboy interviews PSN producer Rusty Buchert

Ever wonder who's responsible for choosing the games on the PLAYSTATION Store? Rusty Buchert, senior producer at SCEA's Santa Monica Studio, is the man to talk to about original games on the PSN. He has a unique vision for the Store, where he wants to bring indie games, such as Everyday Shooter, to the masses. Check out our exclusive interview with the man behind the scenes.

Can you explain to our readers what your position is at SCEA?
Hi all, my name is Rusty Buchert and I am a Sr. Producer at the Santa Monica Studios. My focus is purely on PSN titles for the PS3.

The PLAYSTATION Store has differentiated its offering from that of its competitors. We've seen a lot of unique experiences, such as fl0w, that simply aren't on the other platforms. How is Sony's focus on downloadable games different than the other guys?
My focus has been to find unique, fun experiences. We started searching for games like this from the outset and we were searching through the Indie Scene right out the gate. In general the Scene thinks outside the traditional development box. All to often people get indoctrinated into one general way of thinking about games in genre, design, and execution. You are not going to get anything new thinking like that. We were betting on the fact that people wanted something new and not a rehash of a rehash of a rehash.

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy interviews PSN producer Rusty Buchert

PS3 Fanboy interviews Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak

One PSN title captivated us more than any other at E3: it's Everyday Shooter, an award-winning music-shooter game. The smooth visuals, combined with the absorbing music, and addictive gameplay, made it one of our favorite (but underrated) games of E3. We had a chance to talk to Jon Mak, after his incredible E3 showing to talk more about Everyday Shooter, and working with Sony as an indie game designer.

We've been having trouble describing Everyday Shooter to gamers. Maybe you'll have a better way with words than us: how would you describe Everyday Shooter?
Everyday Shooter is like a music album, except instead of it being a collection of songs, it's a collection of shoot-em-ups. Each track/song/level is completely different visually, musically, and in terms of gameplay. You can see the screenshots to get a feel for the diversity in levels.

Each level focuses on a different chain reaction system that is not explicitly explained to the player. So with each playthrough, the player gains a sense of wonderment as they discover the nuances of each enemy and how they relate to form the greater chain reaction system. Although this gives a slight puzzle-y aspect to the game, make no mistake, this is a SHOOT-EM-UP, and not a puzzler.

One popular aspect of Everyday Shooter is the way it treats audio. All the sound effects in the game are guitar riffs harmonizing over an all guitar soundtrack. Bigger reactions causes bigger riffs to play. Thus you'll feel as if you're playing along with the music, except that your intstrument is the shoot-em-up!

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy interviews Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak

Joystiq talks about Heavenly Sword's Chatterbox and more

Rhianna Pratchett is the esteemed writer of Sony's upcoming PS3 action game, Heavenly Sword. In a revealing interview with Joystiq, she reveals her inspirations and the responsibilities of a game writer (you know you want to be one).

One of the more interesting aspects of Heavenly Sword's dialog system comes from its "Chatterbox" system. As she explains: "the Chatterbox system that the Ninja Theory guys have talked about way back when they did the cover of Heavenly Sword in Edge. You've got the soldiers talking away to each other during fights, mocking Nariko, mocking each other, reacting to the player's moves etc. The enemy will have a noticeable change depending on how many of them there are in the fight. If there are lots then they'll be more upbeat and bolshy. If there's just a few they'll be much more panicked or cowardly."

Read Joystiq's full interview to find out more about Heavenly Sword and game writing.

PS3 Fanboy interview: Zafro, the Stardust superstar

One game has caused the entire PS Fanboy team a lot of lost sleep: Super Stardust HD. This PSN downloadable title is far more addictive than any of us could have possibly guessed ... and although we're trying to beat each other's top scores, none of us can even match the incredible scores of the people at the very top of the Rankings. Zafro is one of those leaders, and we took some time to talk to him about mastering Stardust.

How did you first find out about Super Stardust HD? What made it so appealing?
My first impression of Super Stardust HD was from the trailer made available through the PlayStation Store. What stuck with me the most was the music, but the game looked great fun as well. The appeal to me is that I am a fan of shooters, such as Gradius, R-Type, Ikaruga, etc. I always keep my eyes open for games like this, so Stardust appealed to me greatly. Although not exactly the same style, a top down fast-paced shooter will almost always win me over.

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy interview: Zafro, the Stardust superstar

PS3 Fanboy interview: Udon Comics and Street Fighter

Everything old is new again. The internet has been abuzz ever since the first sprites from Capcom's upcoming HD Remix of Super Street Fighter II were publicly released. The art, created by Udon, looks absolutely spectacular. We interviewed Jim Zubkavich, Artist and Project Manager at Udon, about their collaboration with Capcom.

How did Udon and Capcom first team up?
UDON began in 2000 as a team creating illustration/design artwork for comic book or toy manufacturing clients. After a couple years getting established, we decided to publish our own comic books. One of the first ideas that came to mind was creating comics based on licenses that all of us enjoyed growing up. At the top of that list was Capcom's Street Fighter property. After some negotiation and art samples sent back and forth, Capcom allowed UDON to create a new full color comic series that debuted in the summer of 2003. When the comic series began we would just send Capcom the script and artwork for approval each month. Eventually our relationship with Capcom grew stronger and they started communicating with us more frequently about the franchise and the strength of our artists.

In 2004, after the debut of our Darkstalkers comic series and translation of the Eternal Challenge Street Fighter artbook were well received, Capcom approached us about contributing artwork to their Fighting Jam video game. In turn, that strengthened the bond between the two companies even more. At each step we've strived to show Capcom how much we respect their properties and how much we enjoy being a part of their creative process.

With the 20th anniversary of Street Fighter coming in 2008, Capcom wanted us to be a part of the festivities. The high definition re-release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo is something we're very proud to be contributing to.

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy interview: Udon Comics and Street Fighter

Excited about Rock Band? You will be after reading this interview

In an interview with IGN, Alex Rigopulos (CEO of Harmonix) revealed some details about the development process of Rock Band. Despite remaining tight lipped regarding actual specifics of controller set-ups, pricing, songs or gamplay he still managed to say enough of the right things to get us sufficiently excited for the game. Again. Sounds impossible, right? Read on.

When asked whether Rock Band would feature strong single player gameplay for each instrument Rigopulos responded, saying "I can't speak to what Activision has planned for future versions of Guitar Hero, but what I can say is that Rock Band's guitar game alone will be more substantial than any of the prior Guitar Hero releases." He then goes on to remind us that there will be a singing section, a drum section and a co-operative band section on top of the guitar portion of the game. If each of these four game modes are as big as he is indicating then Rock Band is going to be truly immense. I can already hear RedOctane quaking in their boots.

As for those potentially bank-breaking controllers, Rigopulos says that making a game like Rock Band requires good quality peripherals to enhance the gameplay experience. As a development team full of musicians, Harmonix is determined to make the controllers for Rock Band feel more authentic than any instrument peripheral we've seen before. As a drummer himself, Rigopulos has seen to it that the new drum controller is "a real piece of hardware."

Read the rest of the interview for more info. Also, don't forget to suggest which songs you'd like to see in the game on the official website. Our excitement for Rock Band is peaked (until Harmonix throws some gameplay info our way, at least), how about you?

Final Fantasy XIII interview makes us want it ASAP - as if we didn't before

Fed up of interviews? Then I have some bad news for you because a user over on the NeoGAF forums has put together a collection of quotes from interviews with Square Enix developers from the latest issue of LEVEL magazine. The excerpts include discussion by the interviewees, Motomu Toriyama, Tetsuya Nomura and Hajime Tabata, of Crisis Core, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Whilst generally an exciting collection of quotes from some of the top names at Square Enix it is hard not to be disappointed by Toriyama's statement that the games in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series will be kept largely separate. We had harboured hopes of cross-game cameos. Imagine two Final Fantasies where the main characters from each game meet up and help each other get through a problem before going on their separate ways again. Sadly this doesn't look likely, though the games will link with each other through a "vague crystal theme," as Nomura puts it. Same as all the previous FF games then?

Nomura's thoughts on the tone and style of Final Fantasy Versus is a particularly interesting read. For those of you who suffer from fears that the series will be moving over to other consoles, then let me put them to rest. Both Nomura and Toriyama make it clear that they couldn't do the things they're doing without the power of the PlayStation 3. Make sure you check out all of the quotes over at the NeoGAF forums for more info.

The fog is lifted from Haze in a new interview

"And on those days when there be no news, let there instead be a full bounty of interviews", so spoke the god of Games Journalism (who sounds suspiciously like a pirate ... ). This Haze interview makes the third one so far today. It differs from the others, however, insofar as Game Informer have laid the piece out as a summary of the new information they've gleaned from Creative Director David Doak, rather than the normal question-and-answer format. To be honest, this makes for a more interesting read for us.

The summary includes information on the story and philosophy behind the game. It appears that Free Radical will be making both an anti-war and an anti-drug statement with Haze, as you fight in a corporate military team which relies on a drug called Nectar to provide enhanced abilities to its troops. Nectar will feature heavily within the game, reducing combat damage and improving aim while obscuring your vision (hence the title, 'Haze', we suppose) and causing you to attack your allies if you happen to overdose. Sounds really interesting, if only because it's so different from Free Radical's most famous series, Timesplitters. Stylistically it's completely different but we're hoping its storyline is just as entertaining.

Other details harvested from the interview include information on multiplayer gameplay. Haze will have four player co-operative play online and, presumably, offline too. There will also be 24 person online deathmatch and assault modes. Though levels for these will be limited at first, due to Free Radical's belief in the cliche 'quality over quantity', there is every chance that there will be downloadable map packs available after the game's release. Read the full article for more information and check out the screenshots. Haze is going to be a big seller when it comes out this christmas and we can't wait to get our hands on it.

[Via PS3Forums]

The Wall screenwriter interview over at PSU

The guys over at PSU have an exclusive interview with Vladimir Mamontov, screenwriter for Burut's upcoming game The Wall. If you haven't heard of it before, The Wall is a post-apocalyptic FPS being developed in Russia using the GameBryo engine (of Oblivion fame).

The interview contains some interesting details regarding the game, despite most of the latter questions being answered with, essentially, 'no comment'. There's no word on details like the final resolution of the game, disc space requirements or release date. Apparently it's too early to say, despite being in production for almost a year. In fact, judging from all the things that are still in consideration for the game we wouldn't expect to see a release before the end of 2008.

Interesting points which are discussed include Sixaxis support, weapon customisation and an intriguing story outline. The environment screens are fairly pretty, too. This game looks like it could potentially be something quite special. A second chance in case Bethesda end up ruining Fallout 3, perhaps? Nah. That'll never happen.

Read the full interview over at PSU and let us know what you think of the game. Had you even heard of it before? We hadn't.

[Thanks Justin!]

IGN interviews The Darkness writer Paul Jenkins

With the release of The Darkness less than a month away IGN have seen fit to interview a certain Mr. Paul Jenkins about his role in the development of the game. British-born (and therefore automatically cool) Jenkins worked on the comic of The Darkness for Top Cow and is now working on the script for the game. Other game credentials include the God of War series and the Legacy of Kain series, the latter of which happens to be a particular favourite of mine. With games like these under his belt we can be sure to get something great out of the story of The Darkness.

The interview discusses his experiences in the industry -- both comics and video games -- as well as what it has been like writing for The Darkness and developing the game with Starbreeze. It's an interesting read, by all accounts, though there's little information on the game itself except a wee bit of regarding implementation of 'invisible' loading screens. Be sure to check it out, regardless. If you find yourself hungry for more The Darkness goodies then keep in mind that we should be seeing a demo on the PSN within the next few weeks. We can't wait, can you?

Raiden unplayable in Metal Gear Solid 4

You probably read that headline with a smile on your face. Even so, Kojima-san has revealed the infamous Raiden will not be a playable character in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. But he is going to be pretty integral to the overall narrative.He also goes into detail about the story. Nanotechnology, military strength, Senior Citizen Snake... it's all there.

Older characters will be making an appearance as well.
Naomi Hunter, Campbell and even Meryl Silverburgh will be along for the ride. One of the best quotes is from when Kojima stated why he's even bothering with this new game when MGS3 was supposed to be his (and Snake's) last title: "I decided to make MGS4 because so many mysteries still remained, and I couldn't ignore all the people who had requested a new game." So keep the requests coming and he won't be able to refuse! Check out the Show Maybe? publication to see the original.

PS3 wanted in CA, NJ, but not Colorado?

That's the vibe we're getting from this interesting write-up from GameDaily. They polled some gamers in each of those places only to find that California and New Jersey seem to be looking forward to the Sony system, but no love for it in Colorado?

In fact, here's one quote that has a pretty good point: "With a price like $600, people might just come back to the arcade for affordable gaming. Well, either that or get a PS2." To those of you too poor not attracted to the PS3, think you may pick up your grassroots in the arcade for some gaming action? Seems like a viable alternative if you already own an Xbox 360 and don't plan on picking up Sony's console. Of course other gamers just spoke their mind like "They're out of their f***ing heads."

Yeah, we've heard that one before too. Possibly the most valuable quote to take away from the whole affair pretty much sums it all up perfectly: "It's just the hardcore people that have a problem with it. Core gamers are little bitches. They complain about everything because they're used to a certain standard of living, and whenever anyone dares to change it they complain. You don't see people stressing out about the prices of new cars, computers, or appliances nearly as much. The cost of living is going up. If you don't want a PS3, then don't buy one."

[Thanks boots]

EGM sits down with FFXIII developers

It's a fantasy of the final kind that just keeps on chuggin'. Shane Bettenhausen of EGM fame got to talk it up with Shinji Hashimoto, Yoshinori Kitase, Tetsuya Nomura and Toriyama about Square Enix and their Final Fantasy XIII project.

While the interview will be appearing in this month's magazine, the whole unabridged version can be seen on 1UP. Mr. Kitase starts it up by conceding that they had originally thought about doing FFXIII on PS2 before deciding that both it and FFVersusXIII would ship on PlayStation 3. On the subject of narrative crossovers, Nomura says that each world is separate and will not allow for other characters meet each other.

Of course he follows that up stating that there is the "possibility in the future" of that happening, but obviously they haven't gotten to that bridge yet. Check out the full interview to see what else they had to say (motion-sensing anyone?).

Next-gen Rez could happen in the future

Tetsuya Mizuguchi sat down for an interview with Eurogamer, and out came the skinny concerning a new generation of sound and visuals. I'm talking about Rez, of course. When specifically asked about a new iteration, he said, "I'm currently seriously considering it. It's always there."

The unique original for PlayStation 2 was well received, so it only makes sense that an even better sequel for PS3 would garner even more acclaim. And let's not forget all the cool applications we could see with the new controller for a game like Rez. Just remember not to swallow your tongue or anything if you're susceptible to seizures.

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