Most Recent: Etcetera

Here’s the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of GTA

Embedded above is the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a made-for-TV movie that’s set to depict Rockstar’s rise and the development of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Sam Houser, the movie will also showcase the developer’s legal battle with the dreaded, and now disbarred, Jack Thompson (played here by Bill Paxton). Scheduled to air in the UK on BBC Two on September 15, the film’s plot description seems to play a bit fast and loose with the truth:

[T]he game’s violent gameplay leads to fierce opposition: from parents worried about its impact on children; from politicians, fearful of its influence; and, above all, from campaigners fighting to prevent the game being played by minors.

At the vanguard of this crusade is the formidable Christian lawyer Jack Thompson, a man determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of the game and its influence on children. The Gamechangers tells the story of how British game designers pushed boundaries into uncharted territory, of how those fighting GTA became consumed by a battle which overwhelmed their lives, and how the subsequent fallout threatened to bring down leading players on both sides.

While I suppose that all of that is technically accurate, it gives Thompson a much bigger role than he had in the real-life tale. However, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the film ends with Harry Potter yelling “Game over, man!” at Hudson after his courtroom defeat.

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Here’s your first look at Michael Fassbender in the Assassin’s Creed movie

assassinscreed-logoAre you ready for your first look at Michael Fassbender in costume for the Assassin’s Creed movie? Then I suggest you head over to Yahoo right now.

Fassbender will star as Callum Lynch, a man who uses the Animus to experience the life of Aguilar, an ancestor in 15th century Spain. As an Assassin, Aguilar (and Lynch) will battle the Knights Templar in the film. Neither character will be familiar to fans of the games, but Ubisoft plans to incorporate Aguilar (and the events of the film) into the franchise’s sprawling story.

Assassin’s Creed will also star Marion Cotillard, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Ariane Labed. Filming is expected to begin today and the movie should arrive on theaters on December 21, 2016.

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Pulling Back the Curtain: The Importance of the Double Fine Adventure Documentary


Recently, 2 Player Productions wrapped production on Double Fine Adventure, a documentary series that followed the development of Broken Age. It was revolutionary in the gaming scene, being the only documentary to ever follow a studio developing a game from its conceptualization through its release and aftermath. Before it, the average game player had only ever seen brief snippets of development from single-person games or small indie teams. Double Fine was the first developer to pull back that curtain on game development, a feat arguably more important than its rocketing of Kickstarter into the mainstream, and unquestionably having a bigger impact on the industry and the community than Broken Age itself. If we’re being honest, Double Fine completely mismanaged their Kickstarter funds, and Broken Age isn’t great. But by “showing how the sausage gets made,” as studio founder Tim Schafer put it, Double Fine made their campaign more than worth it, and left a long-lasting contribution to the industry.

Until DFA came out, game development was a mystical secret that no one outside the industry could begin to comprehend. So much of it was mysterious that many who wanted to be in the industry viewed it with rose-tinted glasses: a dream job where they could play all day. All we knew about game development beforehand were the two extremes. There were the developers that talked in interviews about how great it was, coming to work and hanging out with cool people, getting to create great games that everybody loves. We also read the headlines about developers losing their jobs, and studios being shut down. That or it was about developers going mad in “crunch time” having to work 80 hour weeks. In fact, Double Fine gives us a good example with the Tim Schafter episode of G4’s Icons, when he took us briefly behind the scenes of production on Psychonauts.

We never knew what it was really like, not until Double Fine showed us. (more…)

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Catch a ride to the theater… a Borderlands movie is in the works

borderlands-11Gearbox Software, Take-Two Interactive, and Lionsgate have announced they are teaming up with producers Avi and Ari Arad to create a Borderlands movie. The fivesome’s current plan is to go big with Borderlands and turn it into a “tentpole” film that’s befitting of the Borderlands name.

For a better reference point, it might be helpful to look at some of the past projects that Avi and Ari Arad have been responsible for. The executives got their start in the comic book realm, producing Blade for New Line, X-Men for Fox, and Spider-Man for Sony. They’ve also helped guide those franchises through multiple sequels and even a reboot or two (yes, they’re also responsible for X-Men: The Last Stand and The Amazing Spider-Man 2). More recently, the duo has branched out into video game adaptations, with plans to produce films based on Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid.

Lionsgate also sees the potential in a Borderlands film, with Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger quoted as saying: “The Borderlands games don’t pull any punches, and we’ll make the movie with the same in-your-face attitude that has made the series a blockbuster mega-franchise.”

That said, the adaptation is currently lacking actors, writers, and a director… so it might be a long time before we get to see it. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about the Borderlands movie during the “Inside Gearbox Software” panel, which will be held at PAX Prime later today.

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Studio 4℃ is asking for more money for the Red Ash anime

redash-logoAlthough the Kickstarter campaign for Red Ash: The Indelible Legend failed, the Red Ash anime campaign (Red Ash: Magicicada) actually succeeded, reaching its goal with a day to spare, and ultimately pulling in $162,882.

Well, that just wasn’t good enough for Studio 4℃, who have now set up their own crowdfunding page to squeeze more money from fans secure more money to extend the run time of the anime film. The new campaign is asking for $127,118 and, unlike on Kickstarter, Studio 4℃ will be getting all the money donated whether or not they hit that goal.

This new campaign begins several weeks after the Red Ash video game had to be bailed out by Chinese publisher Fuze. Comcept’s first game, Mighty No. 9, has also suffered its own problems in recent days as it was quietly delayed.

People can spend their money on whatever they like, but I am not happy with the way Comcept and Studio 4℃ have handled Red Ash: The Indelible Legend and Red Ash: Magicicada. I’m sure many others agree with me.

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English adaptation of 1998’s Metal Gear Solid Audio Drama released

Hey everyone, I made a thing. In addition to being a multi-talented writer here at Warp Zoned, I’m also a connoisseur of the arts. Does that sound good, or is it too pretentious? Either way, I think I’ve outdone myself.

Introducing the first English adaptation of the Metal Gear Audio Drama, which I produced.

In 1998, longtime Metal Gear military adviser Motosada Mori wrote an audio drama for Japanese radio simply called Metal Gear Solid. Konami, together with Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, eventually released the 12 episodes of the show across two CDs. However, the series never left Japan, presumably because we Americans haven’t listened to a radio play after everyone thought War of the Worlds was a real alien invasion.

Actually, there’s some debate as to whether or not that happened, but you get the point.

Despite its name, the Metal Gear Solid audio drama wasn’t an adaptation of the original PSone game, but instead a series of totally original stories. You see, Mori was interested in becoming a writer, so he wrote the radio play to break into the business, and he used the Metal Gear franchise because that’s what he’d been working on and it was popular. He came up with his own plot, three loosely connected adventures actually, and all featuring new Metal Gear stories. As far as I can ascertain, Kojima himself had nothing to do with this series. In fact I can’t even find any evidence of him ever mentioning it.

A lot of care was put into translating the Metal Gear Audio Drama into English. Editing a translation provided by and mixing the episodes together took several weeks. And my voice actors, many of whom are Metal Gear fans, worked just as long to make sure they got every line right.

The series features the sterling voices of Kristyn Mass (Meryl Silverburgh), Stig Syntangen (Captain), Yui Hisiashi, Jimmy Cooper (Colonel Campbell), Terrance Nicholson, and Cliff Thompson (Solid Snake), as well as many more. Popular YouTuber and Metal Gear fanatic YongYea is also among the ranks of the performers. I even brought on composer Yui Hisaishi to create a brand new music track, which you can hear throughout the series, and briefly in the Animated Showcase Trailer.

You can listen to the series on YouTube for the subtitled version, or you can download individual episodes from Soundcloud. A new episode will be available every Friday for the next few months.

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HBO’s Westworld looks to Red Dead Redemption and BioShock for inspiration

While many people only know Jonathan Nolan as Christopher Nolan’s less-famous brother, the younger Nolan has his own rather impressive career in Hollywood. In addition to co-writing The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige, and Interstellar, he is also the creator of Person of Interest and the driving force behind HBO’s Westworld reboot. Originally released in 1973 (and parodied hilariously in the “Itchy & Scratchy Land” episode of The Simpsons), Westworld takes place within the walls of a futuristic amusement park where the life-like robots eventually run amok.

Before you ask, yes, the original movie was written and directed by Michael Crichton.

But in turning the story into a television show, Nolan wants to go beyond Crichton’s original concept and he’s looking to video games for his inspiration. Naturally, Rockstar’s classic western, Red Dead Redemption, is at the top of the list. However, Nolan told Esquire‘s Matt Patches that the underwater world of Irrational’s BioShock also informed his latest creation.

Finally, Nolan cited an “interactive play,” Sleep No More, as a third inspiration. A similar interactive theatre experience, Tamara, directly inspired Tom Zito to develop Night Trap, and other full motion video games, in the mid-90s.

HBO’s Westworld reboot will premiere sometime next year and will star Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright. The first teaser trailer, which was released yesterday, has been embedded above.

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Uncharted movie delayed to 2017; Resident Evil 6 set for January 2017 premiere


The Uncharted movie is quickly turning into a teenage procrastinator, insisting they’ll come out of their room later, but with no immediate intention of coming out. Sony recently announced (via Variety) that the film has been delayed again, this time until June 30, 2017.

This news comes weeks after it was confirmed by Heroic Hollywood that director Seth Gordon had stepped away from the project. At least two different writers have worked on the script, and with Gordon’s departure, it’s currently being reworked for a third time. A new director has yet to be announced and the film has even struggled to find a lead actor.

We probably won’t see Nathan Drake until he’s rushing out of the door on June 30, 2017 clasping his belt with a piece of toast in his mouth, running to catch the bus. They’ll probably be some jumping involved as well.

In the same announcement, Sony confirmed that Resident Evil 6, which will star Milla Jovovich and be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, will be released on January 27, 2017.

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