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GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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Archive For May, 2010

Sega Sends Sonic Colours To Save Aliens On Wii, DS

May 26, 2010 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Sonic 4 isn't the only game starring the blue hedgehog that Sega has planned for the near future; this trailer for a new Nintendo DS and Wii project titled Sonic Colours popped up in Europe, offering very few details on the title other than a planned release date of late 2010 and that the company's internal Sonic Team is working on it.

I was a bit disheartened when I saw all the strange alien creatures flying alongside Sonic and Tails, thinking to myself, "Great. More of Sonic's, uh, stupid friends," but someone pointed out to me that this could be a puzzle game, and those weird looking creatures could be the blocks that make up the puzzle. With a title like Sonic Colours, it makes sense!

Siliconera points out that Sega has already registered Sonic Colors with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, so expect to hear an announcement for North America soon, too.

[Update: Annnddd Sega of America/Europe just sent out an official press release for the game, and it isn't a puzzler at all! Apparently, you're trying to save an imprisoned alien race called wisps from Dr. Eggman, and different colored wisps will give you "Color Powers", like the ability to create new roads by drilling into the ground, or dash through stages at "supersonic speed".]

[Via @Rlan2]

TGS' Main Visual Heads To A New Chapter

May 26, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Taking a completely new direction from last year's branding for the event, organizers for Tokyo Game Show 2010 have unveiled a new slogan and "main visual" to promote the September show. This striking image replaces the generic silhouettes that served as the centerpiece visual for TGS 2009.

The bottom text reads, "Gaming heads to a new chapter." Ippei Gyoubu, a Japanese illustrator who's previously worked with clients like Sega, Konami, Nike, and many others, created the art. His piece is meant to show a six-armed gaming idol arriving at a futuristic city.

TGS organizer CESA explains that the expo is like an idol, drawing the attention and admiration of gamers, according to a report from Andriasang. You can see the full image and the previous TGS 2009 artwork after the break.

Gods at Play: Wide Angle Lens

May 26, 2010 12:00 AM |

gap1.JPG[Gods at Play is a regular GameSetWatch column from Troy Goodfellow about design issues and gamer experiences in strategy games. How can strategy games help us understand the nature of play and the minds of players? This week, Troy examines what an RTS viewing angle says about design priorities.]

When I began playing Blizzard's Starcraft 2 beta, my first instinct was to grab the mousewheel and start scrolling. I like to get a good view of any battlefield before I use it to my advantage, and the mousewheel scroll is the default real time strategy interface for zooming the camera out, giving you a bird's eye look at the world.

Alas, the mousewheel did nothing. Following in the footsteps of its classic parent, Blizzard's Starcraft 2 will not let you zoom out, preferring to give you an intimate look at a tiny corner of the map. The minimap in the lower left is the only strategic view you have, so you must rely on your own memory of how far it is to the next ridge and your knowledge of how quickly your assault team can get to the enemy base.

Supreme Commander 2 was the other end of the zooming spectrum. Gas Powered Games designed the ultimate strategic zoom. All of your monstrous war machines would become no more than NATO symbols as you took a satellite view of the map. The sounds would fade away and the combat was reduced to boxes and diamonds and triangles shooting yellow dots at each other. In the first Supreme Commander, once a mission was completed, the map would get even bigger, letting you zoom even further out.

Heavy Rain's Cage, APB, Split/Second Lectures Announced For GDC Europe

May 25, 2010 11:00 PM | Simon Carless

[Some more announcements for GDC Europe, then, which is really shaping up for its second iteration in Cologne this year - and you get to check out the massive GamesCom consumer/trade event as well if you go, which is neat.]

GDC Europe organizers have revealed major new speakers for its August event in Cologne, including a Heavy Rain postmortem from David Cage, plus detailed talks from the creators of Crysis 2, APB and Split/Second.

The latest announcements follow details of a keynote from Bigpoint and initial lectures from notables from Playdom, Sony, and Playfish. These begin to flesh out the schedule for the major three-day European game development event, taking place for the second year on August 16th-18th in Cologne, Germany.

The notable new speakers for the conference (which is created by the UBM Techweb Game Network, as is this website) include the following major new talks from leading video game creators:

- In 'Heavy Rain: How Far Are You Prepared to Go to Develop an Original Project?', David Cage "will be driving the audience through a detailed postmortem on the hurdles Quantic Dream had to overcome to produce a game such as Heavy Rain", looking at making the "babylonian production while trying to keep creative control."

- InstantAction's Lou Castle is debuting a notable Business Track lecture called 'Baggies, DVDs and Bitstreams: How to Reinvent Yourself in a Dynamic Market', and the Westwood co-founder (Command & Conquer) will showcase thought-provoking opinions, "offering several specific methods of retaining and refocusing your personal outlook and, therefore, your professional career in games."

- 'The Art and Visual Styling of Crysis 2' is the title of a lecture by Crytek senior art director Frank Kitson, discussing the process of defining and shaping the visual styling the much-awaited action title. It will "offer practical techniques of defining color space and getting to the core of building a compelling visual image, as well as how to define key visual requirements and build a unique visual language that is consistent across an entire game."

Two More Gaming Documentaries: Infinite Lives, Video Craze

May 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

It seems like video game-themed documentaries are popping up everywhere recently, like Pixel Kombat, Indie Game: The Movie, and Pixels: A Pixel Art Documentary, just to name a few. And here are two more to keep an eye out for!

The first independent film I've included a trailer for above is Infinite Lives: The Road to E3, which seems appropriate to feature considering we're just a few weeks away from this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The movie follows "four friends from the American Midwest in their 2300-mile, week-long road trip to the mecca of all things gaming" .

Infinite Lives (no relation to GameSetWatch guest editor Jenn Frank's site) has actually been available to buy for some time now, but this new trailer released just last week. You can buy the movie's two-disc DVD and watch its eight first minutes here.

The second documentary I'm featuring here is Video Craze, a short film about the "yesterday, today, and tomorrow of the arcade scene". Director David Danzara admits this is still a work in progress, and it looks a bit incomplete and unpolished, but I'm embedding it here anyway because the opening credits' use of Flock of Seagulls' "Space Age Love Song" is excellent.

Lemon, Com2uS Reveal iPhone/PC MMO Fantasia

May 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Developer Lemon and publisher Com2uS (IMO: The World of Magic), both mobile gaming firms based in Korea, announced a publishing agreement to release Fantasia, a cross-platform massively multiplayer online roleplaying game for smartphones and PC -- and notable because it'll have an iPhone version in the West.

The deal includes an English version of Fantasia for iPhone/iPod Touch, and amounts to $3 million with a minimum guarantee. Lemon claims this is "the first attempt in Korea to build a developer-publisher relationship around the open market" for the App Store. You can watch a trailer for the 2D online game after the break.

Built on Lemon's proprietary Aseria game engine, Fantasia features many features common in PC and browser-based MMORPGs, such as player-versus-player battles, parties, guilds, and quests. The studio plans to begin a closed beta test for the online title in the second half of 2010, and release the game early next year.

"It took 4 years and $4.5 million to develop Fantasia," says Lemon CEO Hyo-Sung Yoon. "I am positive that Fantasia will become a killer game content for smartphone with its profound storyline and quality gameplay." Yoon also says he's happy to partner with Com2uS and highly values publisher's knowledge and marketing resources.

Best of FingerGaming: From Kometen to Split-Second

May 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless

[Every week, we sum up sister iPhone site FingerGaming's top news and reviews for Apple's nascent -- and increasingly exciting -- portable games platform, as written by editor in chief Danny Cowan and authors Tucker Dean, Jason Johnson, Ryan Hibbeler, and Mike Rose.]

This week, FingerGaming covers Disney's Split/Second and the space exploration title Kometen.

Also within are the lists for top-grossing, most-downloaded free and paid Apps from Apple's store, as well as reviews for Skate It and The Iron Horse.

Here are the top stories from the last seven days:

- Top-Grossing Game Apps: Skate It, Zombie Infection Enter iPhone Charts
"Clickgamer’s Angry Birds continues its month-long reign as the App Store’s highest-grossing game app, as PopCap’s Bejeweled 2 and Gameloft’s Iron Man 2 finish at second and third place."

- Review: Skate It
"Skate It embodies everything that made the Skate series popular -- the open-world exploring, the simple interface, the self-creation tools -- everything but the control scheme which has gathered it such a following."

- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Coming to iPhone
"Sega's back-to-basics platformer Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will arrive in the App Store later this year alongside previously announced versions for Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and the PlayStation Network."

Chibi Stickers For Bioshock, Left 4 Dead, And More

May 25, 2010 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Artist couple's Shy Custis and Coey Kuhn have produced an awfully adorable set of 3" stickers for a variety of video games: Bioshock (above), Left 4 Dead, The Legend of Zelda, Silent Hill, Odin Sphere, Final Fantasy XII, and Elebits. You're bound to like at least one series in that list enough to consider snatching up one of these cute packs.

While the packs are priced at around $4-$10 (depending on how many characters are in each pack), individual stickers are priced at $1 apiece, with a two sticker minimum order. I've included all of Custis and Kuhn's video game-related sets below. You can purchase one of the stickers on the couple's online shop.

Musical Shooter: Shadegrown's Planck v.1 Trailer

May 25, 2010 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Shadegrown Games founder and Game Developer columnist Matthew "Wasteland" Burns posted this new trailer and first video look for musical shooter Planck v.1, which looks like it's evolved much since Planck v.0's top-down prototype build submitted for last March's Independent Games Festival.

According to Shadegrown, Planck v.1 offers a new perspective and visual design, and has "shaken off much of what made Planck Version Zero what it was, retaining only the essential concept and the pillars of its experience."

In the game, you create your own original song, and play the way you want to hear that song. Planck v.1's music is determined by the enemies you shoot, the weapons you use, and other elements you control, potentially offering a different soundtrack each time you play.

Planck v.1 doesn't have an announced release date or platform yet, but you can see more screenshots for the game and follow its development on Shadegrown's site.

[Via Nobuooo]

Hello, Michael: Knight Rider Drives Into iPhone

May 25, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

I'm not sure why the company pursued the license, but Hudson has released an iPhone/iPod Touch game for Knight Rider, in which you take on the role of Michael Knight and drive around in his talking car Kitt. Hudson is advertising the game on its English site with these words, "Complete world of classic TV serious, KNIGHT RIDER!!"

Unfortunately, this isn't the port of PC-Engine's Japan-only, Chase H.Q.-esque Knight Rider Special I was hoping for. In Hudson's release, you control the sentient Pontiac Trans Am from a top-down perspective, touching the screen to direct its movements.

This game includes 15 missions, familiar KITT abilities like Oil Slick and Turbo Boost, video clips from the 80s show (and not the recent flop of a remake), and the iconic Knight Rider theme song. You can download Knight Rider from the App Store for $4.99 right now.

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