Български (Bulgarian) čeština (Czech) Dansk (Danish) Nederlands (Dutch) Suomi (Finnish) Français (French) Ελληνικά (Greek) Deutsch (German) Magyar (Hungarian) Italiano (Italian) 日本語 (Japanese) 한국어 (Korean) Norsk (Norwegian) Polski (Polish) Português (Portuguese) Português-Brasil (Portuguese-Brazil) Русский (Russian) Română (Romanian) 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese) Español (Spanish) Svenska (Swedish) 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese) ไทย (Thai) Türkçe (Turkish) Help us translate Steam
Posts in "PC Gamer" channel about:
Jun 18, 2013
Indie adventure Beatbuddy has brought some new talent on board in Rhianna Pratchett, writer of Mirror’s Edge and Tomb Raider. Pratchett will be polishing the script and storyline for the music-intertwined adventure game.
"No matter what you’ve written in the past, it’s the challenges and the people you work with who really matter,” said Pratchett in a press release. “I cut my teeth on smaller indie titles, so it’s great to get to do more work in that space again...”
We last saw Beatbuddy at PAX this year, and the intriguing mix of music and puzzles looked like a game to watch out for, and it’s unlike other games in the adventure genre. It utilizes music a little bit like Audiosurf, but... not really. A trailer posted earlier this year might help explain:
I think it’s a real coup for German developer Threaks to land an award-winning writer for its first game. The plot was one of the things we liked about Tomb Raider (even if the gameplay didn't always match up with the writing), so hopefully this collaboration can produce some great gaming. Beatbuddy is still in development and will be released later this summer.
Susan O’Connor, who helped pen the stories in BioShock, Far Cry 2, and the latest Tomb Raider along with Rhianna Pratchett, isn't happy with the state of game storytelling. She doesn't condemn video game stories themselves, but rather the overall process through which those stories are written. She sees storytelling in games being as dominated by teams that care more about compiling code—and she's tired of it.
In an interview with The Gameological Society, O’Connor pointed out how the creative process for video games is different from other forms of media.
“For me, I always want to focus on the entertainment side of it,” O’ Connor said. “This is supposed to make people feel something. It’s supposed to be fun, or be scary. But when I look at conversations that creatives are having, like in television or film or theater or freaking mimes, everyone else, the conversations they’re having are totally different.
“If you were to say, ‘Books are a great way to go inside a character’s mind for pages and pages, and movies are a great place to see larger-than-life movie stars and phenomenal explosions that are 40-feet tall,’ games are a really kinetic medium. The story is what the player does.”
She has a point. Books and movies rely on well-developed plots because that’s all they have. Movies might add amazing special effects to distract you from a poor script, but games are interactive. Whether you’re taking out an enemy base, scavenging an abandoned cave, or opening inter-dimensional portals, you are busy doing something. Sometimes, there’s not enough time or priority to inject enough plot to tell you why you’re doing said thing.
O’Connor went on to admit that she was tired of writing stories for video games and wanted to move on to other areas of entertainment.
“I don’t want to put up with this s$*& anymore,” she said. “I’m grateful for the success I’ve had, but I’m never going to be able to do work that can come anywhere close to the kind of emotional impact that stories in other media have, at least not in the next five to 10 years. I love stories, and I just happened to fall into games. I’ve learned who I am as a writer, and I think my talents and skills are much better used in other places."
May 28, 2013
After a disastrous financial year, in which Square Enix not only failed to make their expected profits, but were hit instead with by massive financial loss, the company's senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda has been looking at Kickstarter as a possible guide to improving "asset turnover". Which isn't to say they'll attempt to raise $100,000,000 for a Tomb Raider sequel via the crowd-funding site. ($110,000,000 stretch goal: add some proper tombs.) Instead, Matsuda wants Square Enix to interact with its customers at an earlier stage.
"One could go as far as to say that in today's times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them," Matsuda said, in an earnings call two weeks ago. "We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations."
"There is a crowdfunding website called 'Kickstarter,'" he continued, "which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development."
Matsuda also pointed to Steam's Greenlight and Early Access initiatives as ways in which game makers are communicating with their community:
"Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs. We are also looking at what initiatives are possible from this perspective. What should we present to our customers before a game is finished, how can our customers enjoy this, and how do we connect this to profitability, is something we are thinking about implementing, and which can improve our asset turnover in the process."
Traditionally these services have been used by smaller developers, with smaller communities, making direct engagement a more manageable prospect. How Square Enix would scale these ideas out onto a much larger scale remains to be seen. But more openness and interaction from the publisher surely can't be a bad thing.
Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer for Tomb Raider, has given an extensive interview at Rock Paper Shotgun where she discusses her work in a male-dominated industry and her thoughts on the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe movements on Twitter. The result is an in-depth profile of a reluctant equality activist.
“Although I’ve not personally experienced some of the more extreme examples of industry sexism which the first hashtag highlighted, #1reasonwhy and #1reasontobe have lit a fire in me—and Pratchetts are inherently a bit fighty by nature,” Pratchett said, referring to her father, prolific novelist Sir Terry Pratchett.
“For many years I steered clear of ‘women in games’ issues,” Pratchett continued, in response to questions about her willingness to become one of the faces, for better or worse, of gender equality activism in game development. "In fact, I’ll admit to being downright uncomfortable with being asked about that side of things. Mainly because I felt that the best thing I could do for women in games was just be one and do my job to the best of my ability.”
“I’ve realised that for young girls getting into the industry, it does matter to see women out there talking about these issues—although I’d still always prefer to talk about the work.”
Head over to Rock Paper Shotgun to read the full interview.
PC Gamer - PC Gamer
In this episode we discuss the crime games of yesteryear, the team's adventures in Red Orchestra 2 and Chris' first faltering steps into Defiance. Also featuring round two of our' ongoing attempt to figure out Tomb Raider and what happens when Graham answers Twitter questions before he's had his milk.
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or download the MP3 directly. You can also listen on YouTube. To ask us questions, follow the PC Gamer Twitter account - we'll put out a call in the morning before we record, which is usually a Monday. You can also follow us individually:
Chris - @CThursten
Tom Senior - @PCGLudo
Graham - @Gonnas
Marsh - @marshdavies
Graham's Red Orchestra 2 review from a while back.
Chris' Tomb Raider review. Last time, we promise.
First footage of EA's next shooter, 'The Adventures of Captain Gets His Leg Trapped Man'.
Current descriptions of Thief 4's plot describe Garrett as returning to The City, so it sounds like the new game isn't quite a straight reboot.
Square Enix's incoming president, Yosuke Matsuda, has started sharpening the axe of financial viability after the "extraordinary loss" of this last financial year. In a Square Enix Holdings briefing session, translated by Siliconera, Matsuda announces plans to review all elements of the business, with a view to focusing its direction on "what makes us successful".
"After having succeeded the important role as the president, I plan on reviewing all Square Enix duties, business and assets on a zero-based budgeting standpoint," Matsuda says. "Due to the radical change of environment, I’d like to fundamentally review what works and what doesn't work for our company, then cast all of our resources towards extending what makes us successful and thoroughly squeezing out what doesn't.
"As far as a concrete plan on what to expect from us, I will further explain it on another briefing session in the near future, so I kindly ask for your patience. Thank you for your support."
While Matsuda isn't due to step into the role until June, Square Enix have already begun to restructure. In a statement to Polygon, senior director of PR Reilly Brennan announced, "We can confirm that Square Enix's Los Angeles office has eliminated a number of positions as part of the corporate restructuring announced last week. This is an unfortunate situation and we are offering assistance and severance packages to any employees affected by this, we want to thank them for their hard work and sincerely wish them well in the future." This is in addition to the LA office lay-offs made back in December.
How SE's development studios will be affected by Matsuda's review is unclear, but sales figures suggest a change may be due. Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs all failed to meet expectations, despite Tomb Raider experiencing a record launch week for the series.
Square Enix have announced the resignation of their CEO, Yoichi Wada, following an earnings forecast that predicts the company will experience "extraordinary loss" this financial year. According to their consolidated results report, the company had expected to make profits of 3.5 billion yen (approx. £24.5 million) before the end of the financial year, this March 31st. That didn't happen. Instead, Square Enix is now expected to report a loss of 13 billion yen (approx. £91 million).
According to the report, "The Company forecasts that actual business results from its Digital Entertainment Segment substantially fall below its plan primarily due to slow sales of major console game titles in North American and European markets." Detailed sales breakdowns aren't available, but while some of the low earnings will be from the Japanese console-only side of the business, no doubt their Western studios, recently responsible for Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider, have also underperformed.
In addition to Wada's resignation, to be replaced by former company president Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix are also planning a major restructure in "development policy, organizational structure, some business models, and others." What the means in real terms - especially for upcoming projects like Eidos Montreal's Thief - remains to be seen.
As it typically does for a major game launch, Nvidia has updated its GeForce card drivers to 314.22 for boosts in performance and stability. It claims recent titans BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider both get a significant bump in frames-per-second, with the former increasing by 41 percent and the latter by an astonishing 71 percent.
Nvidia's article provides benchmark results and pretty green graph bars to scrutinize. Though the company's test hardware was an Intel i7-3960X and a GTX 680—a beefy setup most definitely on the high-end of priciness—Nvidia says the improvements apply to most other cards in the GTX family.
Other frame gains include an extra 30 percent for Civilization 5, 22 percent for Sniper Elite V2, and 12 percent for Sleeping Dogs. Smaller boosts are given to Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Black Ops 2, and Skyrim. Really, if you're playing nearly any graphics-heavy game from the past few years, and you're a GeForce user, pick up the drivers on the official website or through the useful GeForce Experience tool. It's green across the board.
If you've shot all the men, hunted all the animals, and plundered all the tombs in Tomb Raider, you may well have been hoping for a little more. A few extra sepulchres perhaps, or maybe even the odd mausoleum. Your hopes die now, I'm afraid, with the news that all future downloadable content will be focused on the game's multiplayer mode - you know, that multiplayer mode you probably haven't even tried yet. The game's global brand director Karl Stewart revealed as much in a recent Reddit AMA, stating that "All of our DLC is based around the Multiplayer experience for now."
We're still waiting for Tomb Raider's Caves & Cliffs map pack to arrive on PC - OK, so we're not waiting particularly hard - but it's a little disappointing that it won't be joined by additional single-player tombs. It's always a good thing when a game arrives complete, of course, but the tombs we did get were a bit on the small size.
It will also be disappointing - to some of us, I expect - that we won't get to see new Lara in her old outfit. Creative director Noah Hughes explained why in that AMA. "We did try to have a lot of nods to the classics in this reboot, and even her outfit itself is intended to evoke her classic outfit in a way, but is more practical for her situation." They could at least give her a downloadable coat.
Here's a trailer for Caves & Cliffs, featuring caves and cliffs.
Thanks to Videogamer.
Games go through countless changes before the developers settle on a particular style, setting and feature-set - for instance, BioShock was initially a game about a cult deprogrammer, while Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 was originally a knockabout karting game starring Jack Nicklaus and Rory McIlroy and Donkey Kong. The recent Tomb Raider reboot is no exception. In an alternate universe, we're playing a game featuring horse-riding, a child companion, oh and giant colossi that burst out of the Earth. Yep - Tomb Raider was originally Shadow of the Colossus 2, as revealed in the game's Making Of thing.
Other titbits: the game was originally subtitled Tomb Raider: Ascension, before Kratos from God of War sent Crystal Dynamics a very angry cease-and-desist letter attached to a wriggling Gorgon head. Maybe. There were also flamethrowers, more open environments, and a giant untextured carrot lurking menacingly behind a little girl. Here is proof of that awful thing:
You'll find all this and more in the video below, and in this thread over on NeoGAF. As for the Tomb Raider we eventually got, be sure to check out our review.