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Bleszinski Tells All: GoW 3, The Movie, Design Tips, PS3 & More!

50°
308w ago - This man wants you to know his name. He is the face of Gears of War and its creator Epic Games and is clearly the most gregarious of the new breed of developers that are taking video gaming to the masses.

Call him Cliffy B, call him Dude Huge, or call him Mr. Bleszinski, he has something to say and he want you to hear it. So read on as we discuss everything from the secrets of great game design to the Gears of War movie, chat about the Xbox 720, the PS3, Gears of War 3, Marcus Fenix starring in a platform game and even discover what weapon he uses to pick up chicks!

Chris Stead: We've played the first Act of Gears of War 2 - everything is bigger, meaner and prettier. Does it all come down to the middleware?

Cliff Bleszinski: I think it comes down to having an extraordinary team. It is a combination of that and having the best tools in the business that enable our designers to rapidly prototype. Lee Perry, our senior gameplay designer, had a rough of the shield mauler boomer in like a day and he had the shield swinging around and he just passed that concept straight to the programmers and they just code it up.

So it is a combination of that and thinking quick on our feet and being well managed, as well as having what I believe are the best artists in entertainment....
 

Seven More XBox 360 Secrets Microsoft doesn't Tell You!

50°
311w ago - We whetted your appetite with 10 Xbox 360 tricks Microsoft won't tell you, now here are seven more handy tips to help you get the best out of your console.

1. System updates by disc

Not got your console online yet, or having trouble downloading the latest dashboard update? Try downloading it from a web-connected PC or Mac instead and burning it to a CD. Grab the latest (well, latest-ish - hopefully Microsoft will update the page soon) update from the XBox 360 System Updates page, burn it to disc, then pop that disc into the 360 and turn it on. You'll be prompted automatically as to whether you want to run the update.

2. The towel trick

Bit of a controversial one this, at least as long as you count "possibly burning your house down" as controversial. What it is is a short-term fix for the infamous red rings of death, the mournful LEDs that announce your 360 is deaded. There are various theories about why it works, but the important thing is that, for some people, it does. The way to do it is to wrap the console in a towel or two - ensuring all sides of it are covered - then turn it on and leave it running for 10 minutes or so. Then turn it off, remove the towels, turn it on again and pray. If it's worked, it'll only stay alive for a few hours, but doing this a couple...
 

New XBox 360 Dashboard is Going to be Stellar

50°
311w ago - The new Xbox 360 Dashboard OS update is coming soon and it is going to be one of the biggest changes to the Xbox 360 since the system hit the market.

It is going to include the first complete redesign of the Xbox interface called the NXE by all the cool kids. The New Xbox Experience (NXE) is going to be the best thing to hit the Xbox and it is going to completely redefine how we use it.

One of the niftiest things at Penny Arcade Expo 08 was seeing the new Xbox dashboard. Xbox Live's own Major Nelson showed it off. He made sure to stress that it is still a work in progress and that there was an army of programmers over in Redmond that were cranking out code and testing it as he gave the demo.

As a side note if you ever go to a game expo or press event and Major Nelson asks you not to film something in the presentation and you do it anyway and then go on and keep on filming after he notices you and calls you out and you don't stop it then you are a total schmuck.

I've always thought that Microsoft's biggest advantage in their fight with Sony and Nintendo was software innovation. Let me tell you why:

New Interface
So far the new user interface design looks well designed, clean and very efficient. It sort of resembles Windows Media Center and the Zune...
 

10 XBox 360 Tricks Microsoft Won't Tell You

200°
314w ago - As the title states, here is a list of 10 XBox 360 tricks that you won't hear from Microsoft:

1. Connect your Xbox 360 to two screens at once

If you've got one of the component/composite dual video cables - the one that comes in the box with most 360s - you can have your console display its gamey goodness on two TVs simultaneously. The trick is to flick the cable's switch to Standard Definition but hook up the composite (yellow) cable to one screen and the component (the red, green, blue) cables to another. It won't be high-def, but it could be handy if you're staging a mini LAN party and want to set up a display for bored spectators to point their eyes at.

2. Play your own music in original Xbox games

That you can fire up your own MP3s during a 360 game is common knowledge (and re-soundtracking moody horror games with the Benny Hill theme tune never stops being funny), but it doesn't work if you're playing a title from the original Xbox. There's a way around it - start playing your album or playlist before you load the game, and it'll keep on playing once you do fire the title up. The game's own music won't be muted, however, so if you can't do that in its settings you'll go mad from the weird cacophony.

3. It can write its own blog
 

The Getaway for PS2 Analyizes 'Satellite Navigation' in our Brains

50°
314w ago - Researchers believe that our brains contain navigation systems much like satellite navigation with grids, compasses and in-built maps.

Recently, two researchers used the PS2 game 'The Getaway' to analyse how taxi drivers use their brain areas to navigate.

To quote: In a follow-up study, Dr Spiers and Professor Maguire used the PlayStation 2 video game "The Getaway" to examine how taxi drivers use their hippocampus and other brain areas when they navigate. Taxi drivers used the virtual reality simulation to navigate the streets of London whilst lying in an fMRI brain scanner.

The researchers found that the hippocampus is most active when the drivers first think about their route and plan ahead. By contrast, activity in a diverse network of other brain areas increases as they encounter road blocks, spot expected landmarks, look at the view and worry about the thoughts of their customers and other drivers.
 
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