287w 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...
288w 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...
290w ago - An interview with Mirror's Edge devs, DICE, has swept onto the Internet and we're collecting the information to relay back to you. The title is multiplatform, but was showcased only at the PlayStation Day event.
DICE's general manager, Sean Decker, explained it was because Sony has been a great partner and developing on the PS3 gives them a lot of little quirks to work with (Sixaxis balances Faith, Cell helps push higher texture resolutions).
This is interesting because Decker goes on to explain how each version of the game (PS3, 360, PC) will be different -- imagine, a developer taking the time to tweak a game to perform optimally on each platform.
The developers are aiming for a 720p experience across all platforms, to keep a super-smooth frame rate at all times. There's not going to be any user interface in the game whatsoever other than a dot in the middle of the screen, a "focus point" for players, which will minimize motion sickness for those susceptible to such an ailment.
The game isn't about combat, Decker explains, but about movement. Even when you get a weapon, it's more of a tool to get through an obstacle than to take out other people. Any online elements are being kept secret until summer (E3, we presume), along with information on any sort of demo.