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DICE: Mass Effect, Bioshock, Rock Band Devs On Developing Narrative

50°
345w ago - BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka, BioShock's Ken Levine and Harmonix VP Greg LoPiccolo gathered at the DICE Summit to discuss the development and implementation of narrative in the context of their games, all of which are reputed for their strong story element.

Ken Levine began by contrasting the narrative style of his BioShock with the past works of Muzyka's BioWare team, known for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate and, most recently, Mass Effect. "Personally, I'm way too lazy to write that many words," Levine said.

He explained, "Our goal was to tell the story in the world, visually, and make it optional for the player, so the gamer could experience the game on very different levels... I think it's great that the industry is starting to figure out how to tell narratives in very different ways."

Muzyka agreed that the increasing importance of narrative is exciting. More than that, he said, "The definition of narrative is continually evolving, and that's the most exciting part for me. There's many different ways to slice it."

Many Methods Of Storytelling

Muzyka says that many of the modern gaming narratives lead players, but still allow them the freedom to diverge from the story. "It flows, but it's still directed. Two of my favorite games...
 

Manhunt 2 release saga continues

50°
346w ago - The developer of controversial video game Manhunt 2 has failed in its latest attempt to release the game in the UK.

A high court judge ruled that the Rockstar Games' title must be re-evaluated by an appeals committee.

The violent game was first banned in June 2007 and has since been subject to numerous reviews and court cases.

Developer Rockstar Games said it did not understand the decision to spend public money repeating a certification process it had already passed.

The latest court case is the result of a ruling in December 2007 that allowed British censors to fight a decision by the Video Appeals Committee (VAC), which said the game could be classified and released.

The British Board of Film Classification's successfully argued that the game had been approved for release on a misinterpretation of the law.

The latest ruling means that the VAC must now re-evaluate the game under new guidelines.

But the game's developers believe the move is expensive and unnecessary.

"We believe the Video Appeals Committee decision was correct and do not understand the court's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the British Board of Film Classification's 18-plus...
 

PS3 Rocket Launch Riot Gameplay video available!

50°
353w ago - Bring out the big guns for this online shootout!

Video below, courtesy of GameTrailers:




 

Rock Band PS3 Guitar Compatibility Patch Delay Reason Confirmed

50°
353w ago - It turns out that the reason for the delay of the PS3 guitar compatibility patch for Rock Band (to allow use of the GH3 guitar in Rock Band I assume), is actually continued objections from Activision, as previous rumors had suggested.

Many angered gamers are now sending hate mail to Activision, as well as boycotting their products.
 

Manhunt 2 title wins ban appeal

50°
353w ago - The developer of Manhunt 2 has won its appeal to force the British Board of Film Classification to look again at its ban on the game's release.

The game has twice been rejected by the BBFC for certification, effectively banning the game for sale in the UK.

Developers Rockstar contested the ban at the Video Appeals Committee, which ruled in the firm's favour.

The game could now go on sale, if the BBFC, which is "considering the judgement", takes no further action.

In a statement, Rockstar said: "We are committed to making great interactive entertainment, while also marketing our products responsibly and supporting an effective rating system.

"We are pleased that the decision of the VAC has recognised that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment."

David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said the body "exercised great vigilance and care in ensuring that all violent games which are submitted to us are correctly classified".

He said the body had twice rejected the game "for its focus on varied and cumulative killings".

'Serious step'

He added: "We recognse that rejection is a very serious step, in which the desire of publishers to market their games, and that of gamers to buy them, must...
 
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