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Interview with Mike McCartney on Skate It for NDS and Wii

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337w ago - After the sublime experience that was Skate on 360 and PS3, it's great to see EA hitting other platforms with a skating experience tailored to their strengths - namely, the Wii's motion controls and the DS' touch screen. We got in touch with Mike McCartney, the Line Producer on Skate It to get a few more details. While the interview is primarily about the Wii version, there are a few tidbits for Nintendo DS owners in there too.

IGN AU: What has become of San Vanelona? How different is the city than it was in Skate?

Mike McCartney: Skate It's story begins shortly after the events of the original Skate game. A series of comical and somewhat tragic disasters have hit the city and all of your favourite locations from San Van have been re-invented giving them an all new feel, with new lines and areas to discover.

IGN AU: Have you had to reduce its size or introduce load times between areas now that you're on Wii?

Mike McCartney: Developing for the Wii is definitely different than developing for other HD consoles (X360 and PS3). Skate It is a new game designed specifically for the Wii and NDS, maximizing on the unique engine and controls of each platform. We're very excited about what we've accomplished with the hardware. The gameplay design is different from the original Skate,...
 

Interview with Alex Amancio: Far Cry 2's Art Director

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341w ago - An interview with the art director for Far Cry 2, Alex Amancio. He talks about making the plant life look real, while using very little memory. Plus how the foliage reacts to wind, every piece of grass blows with the wind.

They also compare the art to Crysis, and talk about making it for both PC and consoles. All the trees and grass are dynamic, simulating the wind.

Can you give us a bit of background on how you came onto Far Cry 2?

Amancio: The team that's working on this Far Cry has been at it for over three years. A year after the original Far Cry we started working on this game. We came from different projects. Some of the core members came from Splinter Cell and other games, but we're basically a brand new team for this franchise.

We started working on Far Cry 2 before Instincts had even decided if it was going to have mutant powers. We started fresh and our key was to have a realistic game, we didn't want any mutant powers in the game.

We obviously changed the setting to Africa; we wanted to keep the very iconic setting of Far Cry but we got rid of the desert island scene.

Frankly the desert island scene was becoming very crowded with Lost and stuff like that, so we tried to go with a setting that was really fresh and new and Africa came...
 

Gears of War 2 Interview - New Map Announced!

100°
341w ago - Game Rumor recently had the chance to talk with Mark Thompson, an engine programmer over at Epic Games. The full interview will be posted later but for now here are some new interesting multiplayer details we learned from our time over at Epic.

-COG and Locust will each have 12 character models (7 each in Gears 1)

-A new map announced, "Dusk" puts players in a smaller, Raven Down style map with locust/cog battles in the distance scenery.

- New flamethrower has a "fuel meter" instead of ammo clips like in other guns, and will jam if continually fired for an extended amount of time.

- Hammer of Dawn will have only 3 charges until it "burns out". A 4th charge is possible, but it will cause the weapon to explode killing the character and hopefully enemies close by.

- Subway's trains movement can be turned on / off with a switch. Described as being "the hardest aspect to program yet!"

- A new gametype "Wanted" pits 9 Locusts on 1 COG or 9 COG on 1 Locust. This modified version of Juggernaut has a clock for each player counting how long each player is the wanted. The wanted can only be killed with execution style rules.

- Boomshot has been modified to hold 3 ammo. Each individual rocket has been weakened, however, if...
 

BioWare's Matt Atwood Interview, Talks Mass Effect and More!

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343w ago - Some of the more 'hardcore' gamers out there were a little concerned when EA acquired BioWare, fearing that their beloved game maker might start churning out yearly sports franchises.

However, the studio appear to be thriving under a rejuvenated EA, and with the PC version of Mass Effect now hitting shelves, times are good for the Canadian developer. We sat down with PR big wig Matt Atwood to learn more.

Mass Effect looks like it has been polished-up nicely for the PC. How important is this release for BioWare, and what feedback have you taken on-board from the Xbox 360 release?

Whenever we create a game we always look at fan feedback, since delivering a game that our fans want to play is our top priority.

For Mass Effect on the PC, some of the changes we made based on feedback was making the inventory system and Mako controls more intuitive, and we've added things like the new Tactical HUD which wasn't based on feedback, but really lends itself to the platform.

How challenging was converting the controls from the 360 to the PC?

Our focus in converting Mass Effect to the PC is to make it very natural for the platform. Any time you focus on making the experience very natural to a different platform, it takes both creativity and hard work. One thing...
 

Far Cry 2 Development Team Interview

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344w ago - With the original Far Cry developers departed and Far Cry 2's development in new hands, you'd have been forgiven for expecting the sequel to be nothing more than a prettier version of its predecessor - playable and enjoyable but hardly special.

Imagine our shock then, when Far Cry 2 was revealed to not only be one of the most graphically impressive games we've seen on PC, but also a title attempting to push current boundaries of AI, characters and player freedom.

To find out what the development team aimed to achieve with the epic quest, we dropped Ubisoft a line and spoke to the chaps working on bringing Africa to your British bedsit.

A number of previous games have boasted of having independent AI, but usually they follow predictable routines regardless of whether they're scripted or not. What's different in Far Cry 2?

Dominic Guay, Technology Director: You are right to point out that having an autonomous AI does not make it automatically unpredictable.

It all depends on the array of possible actions and behaviours you provide the autonomous AI to work with. It's a bit scary to give an AI a lot of actions because it means it will not be as predictable for us developers and that makes our job harder.

I saw in some games "autonomous AIs" that would basically...
 
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