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Last week, Japanese game designer Kenji Eno passed away at the age of 42. Eno was well known for his survival horror games, D, Enemy Zero, and D2, as well as his unique and sometimes eccentric opinions and behavior, like the development of the Sega Saturn game, Real Sound, a video game that features no video.
In February of 2010, Kotaku's sister site Kotaku Japan and Jin115 of the Japanese video game website Oreteki Ge-mu Sokuhou @JIN held an interview with Eno. Afterwards, Eno agreed to a second interview that was conducted, but never published. Now, with the blessing of the CEO of From Yellow to Orange, the details of this second interview have been revealed, in which Eno talked about his thoughts on game creators and the trends of gaming itself.
Eno has always been very steadfast and often unyielding in his opinions. Once, he famously criticized Super Mario 64 straight to Shigeru Miyamoto's face. While he was later flamed by Mario fans, after the confrontation, Miyamoto thanked Eno profusely for his honesty and constructive criticism. "If all you say is positive things, people will think you're a ‘nice guy.' That's easy. But, that feels cheap and I dislike it." Eno remarked. "I trust people who say what's on their mind. Because it's harder to state your opinion in the face of complaints and opposition."
"Anything that will allow you to access what you want 10 seconds after you think of it will win." Eno said about the changing trends. "People have their individual values, but, instant gratification, quick and easy accessibility, things you can use to kill time in an instant… These sorts of things are what are winning now. I don't really like these kinds of games, but everyone makes their own choices, for better or worse."
Eno's games, Enemy Zero and D2, were definitely not games with lots of "instant gratification" in them. Especially Enemy Zero, a game he wanted to develop with all its non-user-friendly features, despite opposition. His sound-only game, Real Sound was a rather unorthodox game that, shortly after it was released, landed Eno in a serious debate with then Weekly Famitsu editor in chief Hirokazu Hamamura on the game rating system. In the interview, Eno expressed his desire to still develop another Real Sound game (A second Real Sound game was originally announced, but never released). "Yes, I'll make one. Some time, I promise." Eno said with a laugh. "I apologize if I say that and end up dying." Little did he realize the impact his words would have years later...
Eno was never one with cutting-edge tech in mind when it came to his video game development. While he did comment that he had recently gotten the urge to try his hand at making a high spec video game, when asked what sort of game he'd like to develop, Eno remarked that he thought making an adventure game would be good. "I think adventure games are 'displaced' compared to modern day games." Eno explained. "If that's the case, then I'd want to make something even more displaced. It's because people make half-baked games that users think ‘In this day and age, why do I have to sit in front of the TV for 2 hours?'… It's better to make a something that'll make people think, ‘I've got to take time this weekend to play this game!' If you keep trying to make something ‘quick and easy,' you'll never beat the mobile market."
Asked about his thoughts on game development itself, Eno answered with a laugh, "Simply put, it's hard! Game development is hard. And it's long… Even when you're done, you still have days of endless testing and adjusting… I never want to do that again."
But we wanted him to do it again. He will be sorely missed.
【未公開インタビュー】［オレ的と行く#x］飯野賢治さんの考えるゲームとTwitterの関係 [Kotaku Japan]
Kenji Eno, musician and game designer, passed away yesterday in Tokyo at the age of 42. He died of heart failure, induced by high blood pressure, reports The Asahi Shimbun.
Eno was perhaps best known for the survival horror game D, released in 1995 for the Sega Saturn, and its sequel. He was also famous for his scores, and he composed music for his own games as well as games for other designers, like Sega Rally 2. More recently, Eno worked on iOS game Newtonica and WiiWare title Kimi to Boku to Rittai.
Besides creating games and writing music, Eno also founded the game studio known as WARP, which employed a young Fumito Ueda, who would go on to design Ico.
From creating unique video games to designing digital money payment systems for vending machines, Eno was involved in a variety of activities. He will be missed.
ゲームクリエーター飯野賢治さん死去 「Ｄの食卓」作者 [Asahi Shimbun]
Earlier this week, EA launched an indie bundle. Not-so-coincidentally, the Internet proceeded to explode, and I’m now typing this while holding a tin can with a piece of string attached next to my PC. I even said some things about it, though admittedly, mostly to kick off a discussion about an only partially related topic. However, off the back of that, I ended up getting in touch with Klei Entertainment technical designer Nels Anderson, who directly worked on four> of the six games (both Deathspanks, both Shanks) featured in EA’s bundle of befuddlement. And while he agrees that the name itself is “a little gross,” writing off the whole thing as yet another bile-drenched belch from a money-devouring giant would be to turn a blind eye to some pretty enormous benefits for the developers involved. EA Partners is not EA proper. It seems like an insane notion, but here’s the short version: “total creative independence.” And the long version? Well, it’s quite a bit more complicated than that. And it’s after the break.
It's not a move one would expect from a monolithic publisher, but Electronic Arts has released its own "indie bundle" featuring six games from developers under its EA Partners label. The move incited mixed reactions, with some questioning if anything from EA can be considered "indie."
The bundle, available for around $21 on Steam, features Deathspank (seen above) and Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue (Hothead Games), Gatling Gears (Vanguard Games), Shank and Shank 2 (Klei Entertainment) and Warp (Trapdoor Inc.). The sale goes until May 9.
While the release is a bit unprecedented, the buzz that followed had some bashing and others defending the move. Among the bashers, Mojang's Markus "Notch" Persson accused EA of "attempting to ruin everything," following up saying that "indies are trying to save gaming ..."
However, among the defenders, Halfbrick Studios' Ryan Langley said he didn't have a problem with it: "EA's got a bunch of things to be grumpy about, but this isn't really one of them."
Dev Mike Bithell effectively summed up the "controversy" with his own tweet: "so... did twitter decide who's indie and who's not in the end? Is there a list somewhere I can get hold of?"
You may not have heard of Electronic Arts, a boutique publishing label based in Redwood City, Calif. Well, I bet you will be raving about them once you pick up the "EA Indie Bundle" on Steam, the indie-friendly digital marketplace, unlike that Origin bullshit run by that place that screwed up the end of Mass Effect 3.
The Indie Game Magazine discovered the bundle was recently registered on Steam. It contains Shank, Shank 2, Deathspank, Deathspank: Thongs Of Virtue, Warp and Gatling Gears, and is currently live, for $20.98 (a savings of $13.96).
The offer ends May 9, so please, reach into those wallets and support independent games development. Thank you.
Excuse Me? EA Indie Bundle Registered on Steam [The Indie Game Magazine]
Well this is some creative marketing. Head on over to markoftheninja.com to play through a ninja-centric text adventure game. It's called "Mark of the Ninja," and it's brought to you by Klei Entertainment, makers of Shank.
(Well, it's not really a "text adventure" game like Zork or The Lurking Horror, it's more of a "choose your own adventure." But I digress.)
You'll assume the role of a black-clad Japanese assassin, making choices about how best to hunt and kill your prey. Do you lash out from the shadows, or do you wait?
Here in the street stands another guard, bigger than the last. He's guarding the entrance to a squat hotel. He is the only man standing between you and your prey.
You wait for the guard to glance away, and then fling your grappling hook at the lightpost. It hooks the metal and pulls you through the air with a gentle whoosh, until you are perched above your enemy. Even if he looks up, he won't see you: the light is in his eyes.
As you make decisions, the prompts asking what you'd like to do melt away, replaced by a "final" version of the story you just told. It's neat! And then you finish the story and, of course, are treated to some gameplay footage of the real Mark of the Ninja, an upcoming 2D stealth video game made by Klei.
And so this choose-your-own-adventure game stealthily becomes a video game teaser... just like a ninja.
Mark of the Ninja [Klei Entertainment]
This launch trailer for Shank 2 is a spectacle of gore and cartoony style. One of the sequel's additions to the original downloadable game is Survival Mode, which you can get your bloodthirsty eyeballs on right here. Both there and in the game's single-player, rest assured that yes, you will feel like Rambo (and that's not new to the sequel).
Shank 2 is available now on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
This week, there's a good amount of solid stuff new at the PlayStation store; it ain't the horn of plenty that we've seen in the past, but it's certainly better than the cursed wasteland that was last week's PlayStation Store update.
We've got Shank 2, which is new this week, as well as Gotham City Impostors, and a full-game download of the super-cool Catherine. Rocksmith gets some Pearl Jam music, and there's even some free Amy wallpaper, since I know you've all been jonesing for that.
Read the full list below:
PSN Games: The Simpsons Arcade Game
minis: Hungry Giraffe
PS one Classics: Final Fantasy V
Early Access Demo: The House Of The Dead III Exclusive Playstation Plus Demo
Media: Qore Episode 45 – February
Full Game Trial: Catherine
Jak 3 ($14.99)
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy ($14.99)
Jak II ($14.99)
Shank 2 ($9.99)
The Simpsons Arcade Game ($9.99) Free for PlayStation Plus Subscribers
Gotham City Impostors ($14.99)
Jak and Daxter Collection ($39.99)
Top Spin 4 ($29.99)
LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean ($39.99)
Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine Demo Cubixx HD DemoGotham City Impostors Demo
UNCHARTED 3: Drake's Deception Add ons (x23) ($0.49 – $5.99 each) Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 - Weapon Expert Pack ($3.99) Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning - Finesse Bonus Pack ($2.99) Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning - Might Bonus Pack ($2.99) Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning - Sorcery Bonus Pack ($2.99) Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning House Of Valor (Online Pass Paid) ($9.99) The King Of Fighters XIII Unlock Gallery ($2.99) Final Fantasy XIII-‐2 – Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire ($2.99) Final Fantasy XIII-‐2 - Opponent: Lightning & Amodar ($2.99) UFC Undisputed 3 -‐ Ultimate Fights Rivals Pack (Free) UFC Undisputed 3 -‐ Ultimate Fights: Submission Pack (Free) UFC Undisputed 3 Alistair Overeem ($0.99) UFC Undisputed 3 Season Pass ($16.99) Rocksmith – Black By Pearl Jam ($2.99) Rocksmith – Jeremy By Pearl Jam ($2.99) Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-‐7 - 5 Spell Pack ($1.99)
Blacklight: Tango Down (Price Change) (PS3) (now $4.99, original price $14.99) Swarm (Price Change) (PS3) (now $4.99, original price $14.99) Bloodrayne: Betrayal (Price Change) Sale (PS3) (now $9.99, original price $14.99) Ys: I & II Chronicles (Price Change) (PSP) (now $14.99, original price $24.99) The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Price Change) (PSP) (now $19.99, original price $29.99)
Carnival Island Avatar Bundle 2 ($1.49)
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning Avatars Bundle ($2.99)
Kingdoms Of Amalur Avatars (x10) ($0.49)
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Game Video
The Tester Season 3 Episode 1
Starhawk Press Reactions Trailer
Starhawk Public Beta Welcome Trailer
ModNation Racers: Road Trip Features Video
Journey Music Trailer
Warlords: How To Play Trailer Part 1
Warlords: How To Play Trailer Part 2
Need For Speed: The Run Italian Pack Trailer
SSX: This Is SSX Trailer
SSX: It'S Tricky Trailer
SSX: Survive It Trailer
Binary Domain Bigger Than You Think Trailer
Yakuza Dead Souls: Npc Trailer
UFC Undisputed 3 Career Trailer
UFC Undisputed 3 Contenders Pack Gameplay Trailer
Rayman Origins Meet The New Crazy Trailer
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Game Video
ModNation Racers: Road Trip Features Video
Wipeout 2048 Game Trailer
Hitman Absolution - Crossed – Hand Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning Premium Theme ($2.99)
Silent Hill 3 Premium Theme ($1.99)
Silent Hill 2 Premium Theme ($1.99)
Amazing Earth: Starry Night Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Abstract Color Swirls Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
In The Ring With Candice Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Theme (Free)
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie ($9.99)
The Tester Season 3 Episode 1