Most Recent: Etcetera

4/1: Blizzard offers “Choose Your Own Adventure” version of BlizzCon on their website

If you can’t make it to BlizzCon this year, don’t worry, Blizzard is offering a backup plan that promises to be just as good.

The BlizzCon Textual Adventure is now available through the convention’s official website, giving non-attendees the chance to “Choose Their Own Adventure” and experience this year’s BlizzCon without the hassles of a long plane ride, noisy crowds, and the latest games:

Experience BlizzCon for FREE! Exercise both your reading ability AND your perceived free will. You decide exactly how epic your BlizzCon will (or won’t) be!

Blizzard definitely did their homework for this April Fool’s Day gag. The first time I went through it, I was greeted by a random pair of aliens (a common occurrence in the real Choose Your Own Adventure books), and I’d assume there’s at least one ending where you die horribly.

The actual BlizzCon will be held in Anaheim on November 3rd and 4th, though it seems unlikely that attendees will run into aliens or die a gruesome death. According to Blizzard, BlizzCon Tickets will go on sale soon.

Posted in Etcetera, News, PC |

4/1: AMC and the creators of Breaking Bad are NOT working on a Grand Theft Auto TV show

It’s April 1st, which means you shouldn’t believe everything anything you read on the Internet today. For example… AMC did not hire the creators of Breaking Bad to develop a television adaptation of Grand Theft Auto V.

The trailer making the rounds today was actually created by IGN, but the narration from Steven Ogg (he played Trevor Phillips in GTA5) gives it that extra jolt of authenticity and might help fool a few people.

While this trailer is just an April Fool’s Day prank, Take-Two Interactive might actually be working on a film adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Earlier this year, CEO Strauss Zelnick told MCV that his company has “licensed a couple of titles for motion picture production.” The executive didn’t name Grand Theft Auto as one of the titles, but prolific film director Roger Corman has repeatedly claimed that a settlement he signed with Take-Two more than a decade ago prevents the publisher from adapting Grand Theft Auto for the silver screen.

Corman produced Ron Howard’s directorial debut, 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, and he’s been trying to remake it for years. But instead of a gangland drama like The Godfather or Scarface, Howard’s film is a road comedy more closely related to something like The Blues Brothers. But if Corman is holding up the creation of a Grand Theft Auto film, it’s never been publicly acknowledged by Take-Two.

Posted in Etcetera, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

USC takes back its crown as 2017’s best Game Design program for undergraduates

After losing out to the University of Utah in last year’s ranking, the University of Southern California has once again topped the Princeton Review’s list of “Top Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design” for 2017. The Princeton Review also found a lot to recommend about USC’s Game Design program at the Graduate level. The school’s more advanced course of study came in at #5 in Princeton Review’s ranking of Graduate programs.

“Game design is an exciting field and programs are springing up in colleges all over the world,” said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s Editor-In-Chief. “We want to help students find the best program for their needs and interests. The top schools on our lists have outstanding faculties and great facilities which will give students the skills and experience they need to pursue a career in this dynamic and burgeoning field.”

While the Utes at the University of Utah aren’t the top choice anymore, their program still ranked #3 in both the Undergraduate and Graduate rankings. Other schools that broke into the top ten on both lists include the Rochester Institute of Technology (#2 in Undergraduate, #4 in Graduate), the DigiPen Institute of Technology (#4 and #7), New York University (#7 and #6), and Rexel University (#9 and #8).

The Princeton Review’s full ranking of Game Design programs is available after the break. And more information about their survey methodology and how to apply to each of these programs can be found at PrincetonReview.com. (more…)

Posted in Etcetera, News |

Learn how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came to be in a “Making of” Documentary and “Breaking Conventions” GDC Session

Nintendo is giving fans an unprecedented look at how they designed and built The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a new documentary series.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a three-part documentary that focuses on all aspects of Breath of the Wild including the initial work done in “The Beginning,” the seamless exploration provided by the game’s “Open-Air Concept,” and the epic saga of the “Story and Characters.”

This documentary sets nicely alongside “Breaking Conventions,” a Game Developers Conference session hosted by Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta. The three developers dive deep into the development process for Breath of the Wild, and provide plenty of new insight into the notoriously secretive inner workings at Nintendo.

I understand that not everyone has two hours to devote to behind-the-scenes stories from Breath of the Wild’s development (that’s time you could be playing the game, after all). But if nothing else, stick around long enough to see the 8-bit prototype the team created, as well as footage of an early game concept that included an alien invasion of Hyrule straight out of Independence Day.

All four videos can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in Etcetera, News, Switch, Wii U | Tagged ,


Advertisement

Nintendo reveals Super Mario Pez Dispensers for MAR10 Day

“World Plumbing Day” is March 11th, but Nintendo has always preferred to celebrate the exploits of their mustachioed pipeslinger a day early.

A few years ago, the consolemaker declared March 10th to be “MAR10 Day,” and the 2017 edition of this special day began with the announcement (via Twitter) of a Super Mario series of Pez Dispensers. Set to be released this May, fans will soon be able to add Mario, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, and Yoshi to their Pez Dispenser collection.

Sadly, the Super Mario Pez Dispensers won’t be ready in time for “National Hug A Plumber Day,” which takes place on April 25th.

Posted in Etcetera, News |

Sleeping Dogs lives on with a film adaptation starring Donnie Yen

Remember Sleeping Dogs?  Sure you do… it’s that game that spent years in development hell. You know, the one that initially started off as the third installment in the short-lived True Crime franchise. It was that game that eventually got picked up by Square Enix and turned out to be one of the most amazing games of 2012. Well, apparently I’m not the only one who loved Sleeping Dogs, because Neil Mortiz of Fast and the Furious fame has opted to produce a movie based on the game.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or have simply, for whatever reason, chosen to avoid playing Sleeping Dogs, here’s the rundown. Sleeping Dogs was a game released in August 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. And it was later ported to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as one of the first Definitive Editions for the current generation of consoles.

The game centers around protagonist Wei Shen (played by Will Yun Lee), a Chinese-American cop who goes undercover for the Hong Kong Police Department to take down the local Triad organization. Shen finds his loyalties tested as he’s reunited with old friends and finds himself deeper drawn into the Triad underworld.

A free-to-play spinoff known as Triad Wars was scheduled to be release in 2015, however, it was canceled by developer United Front Games, which has since closed down. Square Enix retains the rights to Sleeping Dogs, but as far as the future of the franchise is concerned, the publisher has kept silent since the release of the Definitive Edition.

According to Deadline, the Sleeping Dogs movie will star Donnie Yen, a rather famous actor and martial artist in his native China. If you’re not familiar with Yen’s name, you certainly know some of his recent roles. The actor began to break into Hollywood features this year, and had memorable appearances in both Rogue One: Star Wars Story and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.

Yen is an excellent choice for the lead, especially given the heavy use of hand-to-hand and martial arts combat featured throughout the game. And here’s hoping that an international interest in the upcoming Sleeping Dogs movie will generate a renewed enthusiasm for the game, perhaps compelling Square Enix to start working on a much-desired sequel.

Posted in Etcetera, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Video Game History Foundation wants to create a digital record of the industry’s past

Frank Cifaldi is a developer who has worked on Mega Man Legacy Collection and IDARB, but he is also the founder of the Video Game History Foundation, a new non-profit that seeks to preserve and digitize the history of video games.

The Video Game History Foundation launched their first “Digital Collection” yesterday, focusing on The NES Launch in 1985. Cifaldi is also seeking donations to expand the scope of the Foundation, as detailed on their “What We’re Doing” page:

The heart of the Foundation is its digital library, an online repository of artifacts related to the history of video games and video game culture. The ultimate goal is to create a searchable, organized, always-online archive of verified, high-quality material that is accessible to researchers and historians as a public education resource.

All donations to the Video Game History Foundation are tax deductible, and I can’t wait to see what collections they come up with next.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Etcetera, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Switch, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

First poster from Netflix’s Castlevania series revealed by Producer Adi Shankar

A Castlevania television series will make its way to Netflix this year, and Producer Adi Shankar recently revealed the first poster for the animated adaptation on his Facebook page. We still don’t know when the series will debut, but the gothic vibe that Shankar is going for is certainly evident in this image.

According to Netflix, the first season will be comprised of four half-hour episodes:

Inspired by the classic video game series, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself.

Based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, the Castlevania series will be written by Warren Ellis, and a second season is said to be in production for release in 2018.

Posted in Etcetera, News, Retro |