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Treyarch is the Activision studio behind Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World at War. Infinity Ward and Activision took heat from PC gamers last year when they revealed that the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 wouldn’t include PC gaming mandatories like dedicated servers.

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The videogame Portal is required reading for some Wabash College freshmen this year.

In his appeal to the PC faithful, pcdev called support for such features “non-trivial.” The developer said Treyarch’s primary concern is shipping the game by its Nov. 9 release date. Afterward, the company will start making sure that PC gamers get the options they desire.

Lin wowed the scholarship judges with his plans to study how vision scientists can contribute to the field of game design. Prior to his win Lin was already hard at work studying visual cognition in video game players.

Usually, game developers making these comments tend to gently skirt around the issue of how they feel about people who buy used games, not really wanting to offend anyone. Ledesma has no such reservations, pulling up just short of telling people who buy used games to go eff themselves.


“Our charge from the faculty made it clear that we should apply a broad definition to “readings,” he said in a post at his excellent blog, The Brainy Gamer. “I believe my special purpose on the committee was to help identify films, music, art and other ‘non-textual’ sources to challenge our students to think hard about the questions raised in the course.”

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var dartCall = “wiredcom.dart/gamelife;”; if (typeof dartSiteModifier !== ‘undefined’ ){ dartCall = dartSiteModifier.setSite(dartCall); } document.write(‘ Wired Home Subscribe Sections Cars 2.0 Culture Entertainment Gadgets Gaming How-To Med Tech Multimedia Politics Product Reviews Science Software Tech Biz Tech Jobs Wired Biz Inspired by You Wired Insider Blogs Autopia Danger Room Epicenter Gadget Lab Game | Life GeekDad Playbook Raw File This Day in Tech Threat Level Underwire Webmonkey Wired Science All Blogs Reviews Automotive Camcorders Desktops Digital Cameras Gaming Gear Home Audio/Video Household Mobile Phones Notebooks Media Players Sports/Outdoors Televisions All Reviews Video How To Magazine iPad RSS Feeds All Wired Top Stories Magazine Wired Blogs Video GameLife Your Source for Gaming News Since 20XX Review: Metroid: Other M Sports Daring Game Design, Cinematic Ambitions By Chris Kohler August 27, 2010  |  1:00 pm  |  Categories: Console Games, Reviews > > View all

Sometime during the last generation of game consoles, everybody decided that action games had to be big cinematic to-dos stuffed with lengthy movie sequences, Hollywood actors and epic storylines.

Wheatley guides the player through GLaDOS’s murderous assembly line.

Penny Arcade Takes Applications for $10000 Videogame Scholarship …
Penny Arcade Awards $10000 Scholarship Tags: Jeffrey Lin,2Moons Dil, Penny Arcade, Penny Arcade Scholarship Post Comment  |  Comments  |  Permalink Back to top Video: Tour Portal 2’s Death Factory By Gus Mastrapa August 25, 2010  |  5:28 pm  |  Categories: Console Games, PC Gaming

The old back-and-forth over used game sales got kicked off again this week thanks to these comments from THQ creative director Cory Ledesma, per the company’s introduction of a one-time use code for online gameplay in its World Wrestling Entertainment games:

Cheng was going to stick around until The Outfit launched, but when THQ delayed the game, he split. By July 2005, he’d founded his own game development company, Klei Entertainment, in a basement he was renting from a friend.

A good part of the factory footage involves construction of a deadly new Boxed Turret (imagine the Companion Cube packing heat).

Tags: GameStop, THQ, used games Post Comment  |  Comments (23)  |  Permalink Back to top Chiptuner Makes Soundtrack For Fake, Manga-Inspired Retrogame By Gus Mastrapa August 26, 2010  |  1:50 pm  |  Categories: Culture, Retrogames

Image courtesy Electronic Arts

Image courtesy Activision

After some reflection (and another play-through of the game), Abbott pitched Portal. The rest of the committee bit, each of them trying the game themselves. “They got it,” Abbott says. “They saw how Portal could provoke thoughtful reflection and vigorous conversation on questions germane to the course.”

To the outside world, Jamie Cheng appeared to be working his dream job.

Chiptune Album Sheds New Light on Dark Side of the Moon
Nintendo Steps up to Support Super Chip Tune Samba Band Tags: chiptunes, Kazuo Umezu, MilkyTracker, Moldilox, NES, The Drifting Classroom Post Comment  |  Comments  |  Permalink Back to top var dartCall = “wiredcom.dart/gamelife;”; if (typeof dartSiteModifier !== ‘undefined’ ){ dartCall = dartSiteModifier.setSite(dartCall); } document.write(‘ Washington PhD Student Wins $10,000 Penny Arcade Scholarship By Gus Mastrapa August 25, 2010  |  5:30 pm  |  Categories: Culture, People

Earlier in the year, Abbott found himself on a committee to create the curriculum for a mandatory freshman seminar called “Enduring Questions” –a class that seeks to encourage students to engage “fundamental questions of humanity” using works old and new across mediums.

This project was thus doomed to failure from the outset, so of course Metroid: Other M turned out to be pretty darned good. Nintendo will release the Wii game Tuesday. As you might imagine, its cinematic scenes aren’t at all up-to-par with what the rest of the game industry is creating, but they’re passable.

Review: DeathSpank Gleefully Tramples RPG Clichés
DeathSpank Launch Trailer – Video – Wired Tags: DeathSpank, Diablo, Electronic Arts, Hothead Games,Mabinogi Gold, Ron Gilbert Post Comment  |  Comments  |  Permalink Back to top « OLDER POSTS See more GameLife var dartCall = “wiredcom.dart/gamelife;”; if (typeof dartSiteModifier !== ‘undefined’ ){ dartCall = dartSiteModifier.setSite(dartCall); } document.write(‘ Subscribe to Wired Magazine

Continue Reading “Video: Tour Portal 2’s Death Factory” »

If the video is any indication Portal 2 appears to stray much further from the Aperture Science test labs than the original game. Much of the video above takes place in Aperture Science’s automated weapons factory, where we see death-dealing bots like the familiar Aperture Science Sentry Gun.

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In his spare time, Cheng was working on a small game called Eets, a colorful puzzle game with charming characters, and submitting it to the Independent Games Festival. He’d worked on some big-time games, but doing his own thing felt more creatively fulfilling, even if a million people had played against his AI routines in Warhammer.

Penny Arcade awarded a $10,000 scholarship to Jeffrey Lin, a PhD student from the University of Washington on Tuesday.

Screengrab: Wired.com

It was 2005, and Cheng was an AI programmer at Relic, a game design studio based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that had just been acquired by superpublisher THQ. Cheng had designed the artificial intelligence for strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, which had become a critical smash. Now he was working on a military action game called The Outfit, which — as one of the first Xbox 360 games — would be Relic’s first console title.

The Penny Arcade Scholarship was founded four years ago by the creators of the Penny Arcade comic strip. Applicants are judged on their potential to make a positive impact on the games industry. Other factors such as leadership and financial need are also taken into account.

“Vision scientists have the tools and skills to help developers tackle problems from how to reduce motion sickness some experience in FPS titles to how to make games more accessible to the color blind,” Lin said in a press release. “My goal is to eventually prove to game developers that vision scientists would be a valuable member of any developer’s team.”

Tags: Hello Games, Joe Danger, Klei Entertainment, Shank, Skulls of the Shogun Post Comment  |  Comments (6)  |  Permalink Back to top Portal Game Makes Wabash College Reading List By Gus Mastrapa August 24, 2010  |  4:57 pm  |  Categories: Culture, PC Gaming

Deathspank: Thongs of Virture will follow the titular hero’s continuing adventures as he combs the countryside for six mythical pairs of underwear. The game will cost $15 and support local co-op, allowing a second player to take the reins of sidekicks like Sparkles the Wizard or a martial arts expert named Steve.

Continue Reading “Review: Metroid: Other M Sports Daring Game Design, Cinematic Ambitions” »

Enter Metroid producer Yoshio Sakamoto, who cites Italian filmmaker Dario Argento as his strongest influence. Taking back the reins of the classic space-adventure game series that he co-created at Nintendo in the eight-bit days,wow power leveling, Sakamoto decided to develop a Metroid game for Wii that bucked the trend, using bold movielike sequences to tell the story of the game’s iconic but mostly two-dimensional main character, interstellar bounty-hunter Samus Aran.

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The PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops will support user-generated content and gameplay tweaks. Eventually.

Valve released new footage from Portal 2 yesterday.

Tags: Aperture Science, GLaDOS, Portal, Portal 2, Stephen Merchant, Valve, Wheatley Post Comment  |  Comments (3)  |  Permalink Back to top When Game Developers Go Indie, Everybody Wins By Chris Kohler August 24, 2010  |  5:04 pm  |  Categories: Indie Games, People

Screengrab: Gus Mastrapa

Continue Reading “When Game Developers Go Indie, Everybody Wins” »

Hat tip to Marc Weidenbaum of the Disquiet blog for pointing this weirdness out.

No,Rappelz Rupees, no, I said; that’s not right, for a variety of reasons.

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Next month brings us the continuing adventures of DeathSpank.

But Cheng just wasn’t feeling it. “The Outfit was definitely less fulfilling” than Warhammer, he says. “People didn’t believe in the game as much as I wanted to. I wanted to work on a product that people really believed in.”

Tags: Halo, Halo: Reach, Microsoft, Xbox 360 Post Comment  |  Comments (4)  |  Permalink Back to top Underpants Abound in September DeathSpank Sequel By Gus Mastrapa August 23, 2010  |  4:30 pm  |  Categories: Console Games, Downloadable Content

Metroid: Other M is the exact kind of game Nintendo said it wasn’t making anymore.

Chiptune artist Moldilox released a pair of songs last month for a videogame that never existed.

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Continue Reading “GameStop the ScapeGoat: Why Used Games Debate Isn’t So Simple” »

The two tunes, composed with the program MilkyTracker, are meant to be lost songs from the soundtrack to a NES game called Fourteen — a cart based on a bizarre manga of the same name by Kazuo Umezu.

Tags: Metroid, Metroid: Other M,Lotro Gold, Nintendo, Wii Post Comment  |  Comments (3)  |  Permalink Back to top GameStop the ScapeGoat: Why Used Games Debate Isn’t So Simple By Chris Kohler August 27, 2010  |  8:00 am  |  Categories: Business Matters

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This isn’t Moldilox’s first foray into faux game soundtracks with real anime influence. Last year Moldilox (that bio can’t possibly be true) released an entire chiptune soundtrack to a non-existent game based on Umezu’s freaky manga The Drifting Classroom.

DeathSpank is a Diablo-like role-playing game from Hothead Games, created by Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island). In my review of the first episode of DeathSpank, I praised the game for its smart writing and engaging gameplay.

Sega, EA Server Shutdowns Gimp Your Games
Dedicated Modern Warfare Servers Aren’t a Bad Idea Tags: Activision, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward, Treyarch Post Comment  |  Comments (2)  |  Permalink Back to top Plot Your Point of Light on ‘Remember Reach’ Now By Chris Kohler August 23, 2010  |  6:49 pm  |  Categories: Console Games, Marketing

Electronic Arts will release DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue on September 22 via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, the publisher said Monday.

Debates over used games aren’t entirely about used games, just an uncertain industry looking for an easy villain.

Everybody except Nintendo, that is, who said “No thanks, we’ll just make Wii Sports forever” and then made sure that its flagship action games remained untouched by anything that might be construed as cinematic grandeur. Shigeru Miyamoto’s teams cut story sequences from Mario and deliberately avoided putting voice work into Legend of Zelda.

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The manga does indeed exist. Sadly, we are not fortunate enough to live in a universe where there was an 8-bit videogame that told the story of a vat-grown chicken man that becomes self-aware, frees himself from the futuristic biolab where he was born and helps the mutated animals of the world wreak their revenge on mankind.

Image courtesy Valve

Michael Abbott, a teacher at the liberal arts college in Indiana, explained Friday how Valve’s first-person puzzler wound up on a reading list alongside work by Aristotle and Shakespeare.

Wired.com © 2010 Condé Nast Digital. All rights reserved.

Used games stacked deep at an Xtra-Vision store in Ireland. Photo: Cian Ginty/Flickr

“My goal is that people who work here love it here and talk about it,” says Klei Entertainment’s Jamie Cheng.
Photo courtesy Jamie Cheng

In case you want to plot your own point of light and remember Noble Team’s heroic sacrifice, the Remember Reach site is up and running now.

“We plan to open up the game for modding sometime post-launch,” a Treyarch developer nicknamed pcdev told readers of the Call of Duty forums last Thursday.

Most notably, the game design is innovative and daring, straddling a precarious line between 2-D and 3-D gameplay to make a game that feels contemporary while retaining the classic Metroid appeal.

Portal 2 Gets a Release Date, Stephen Merchant’s Voice
In Portal, Violating Physics Proves Weirdly Satisfying Tags: Michael Abbott, Portal, Valve, Wabash College Post Comment  |  Comments (1)  |  Permalink Back to top Call of Duty: Black Ops Will Support PC Modding Post-Launch By Gus Mastrapa August 24, 2010  |  4:06 pm  |  Categories: Online Gaming, PC Gaming

We are lucky enough, though, to live in a universe where people are crazy enough to pretend that it happened and want to share with us how such a game would sound.

Details regarding the forthcoming 2011 Penny Arcade scholarship will be available in the spring of next year.

By visiting the site, you can plot a point of light in a massive glowing monument, created in real time by a huge robot arm somewhere in San Francisco. Check out Wired.com’s video feature from last week to learn all about how this Halo viral campaign works.

Five years later, Klei is 16 people working in a proper office in downtown Vancouver. Klei released its biggest game yet Tuesday: Shank, a gory hard-core action game that looks like a Saturday morning cartoon on steroids. Its fluid, fun gameplay and appealing visuals got it picked up by Electronic Arts. And at Klei, Cheng gets to make the games he imagines in his head, not the ones dictated by marketing weenies.

Only problem: Nintendo didn’t actually have anybody on staff who knew how to do that. So Sakamoto recruited Team Ninja, the development group at the Japanese publisher Tecmo that had just finished up Ninja Gaiden II for Xbox 360. This was a game that had excellent ninja combat … and bad everything else.

Image courtesy Moldilox

Ledesma’s remarks reminded me of a conversation I had at a party a couple of years ago with another rather outspoken game director, who asserted much the same sentiments regarding anyone who purchased used games. In fact, he went a bit further — he didn’t see any difference between a used-game purchaser and a pirate, he said, and quite frankly he’d almost rather people just pirate the games versus buying them used.

I don’t think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don’t get the online feature set I don’t really have much sympathy for them… when the game’s bought used we get cheated.

The clip (embedded below) features the debut of actor Stephen Merchant as Wheatley — a quirky A.I. that aids the player in their return to the Aperture Science complex. Wheatley was unveiled at E3 this June and was temporarily voiced by Valve animator Richard Lord.

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