I am very fond of video games, which is why I chose my major of Video Game Design with focus on Narrative. The idea of being able to make people feel the way I do about games through my own game is my main goal. I want to be able to give gamers a way to connect and be brought together by an experience that could be powered by elation, sadness, or even fear. It is emotions such as those that hook people into games and make them want more. By connecting a well-thought story with mechanics, character design, level design, and even audio, a game can be unstoppable - and ridiculously fun to play. I believe that narrative design is not a static thing. For narrative to be done well, it must be fluid and dynamic - something that is able to be changed by the player. Whether that be by choices, the knowledge the player gains from exploring, or simply who the player talks to, the story must bend and change and grow. This is why I want to be a narrative designer: there is definitely more to it than meets the eye, and I love a challenge.
There hasn’t been a Nintendo game launched in July since 2007, so that tells you they are avoiding the summer for a particular reason. Nintendo’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Charlie Scibetta, explained to Nintendo World Report that school graduations is actually a key time for them to launch games.
Scibetta said, “We do the bulk of our business in the holiday season, probably about 60% in October, November, and December. You want to launch games when people are in the mood to buy.” Which, really that makes sense. Holiday shopping is on almost everyone’s mind during the fall/winter months, and people enjoy those games throughout the summer. Having too many games release at once is overwhelming, so I like Nintendo’s business strategy for launching them later. What’s your opinion on how they launch games? Share in the comments!
Nintendo has made the announcement that they are going to be doing an overhaul of Miiverse. There are plenty of new features, and a lot of tweaks that just add more convenience. There is going to be a Screenshot Album, Play Journal, and a brand new layout for the Miiverse Community.
The Screenshot Album will be easier to use then ever, and will store up to 100 images for you. This particular album’s privacy is limited to only you, so you’ll have space for personal screenshots you want to keep. As for the Play Journal, there will be a screenshot of where you are writing about next to your excerpt, so it’s easier to remember and understand where you were at exactly in your game.
The new community layout is a lot like tablets, in that everything is big and square, with nice organization between Play Journal entries, Drawings, and Discussions. The Play Journal feature is also replacing the Activity Feed, which means you won’t be able to post anything there after the redesign. Another small change involves how often you can post. It has been increased to a combined 30 posts or comments, and this doesn’t include in-game posts.
What do you think of the new Miiverse features? Tell us in the comments!
Warren Spector is from Disney International Studios, and he had a brief interview with Nintendo Life where he discussed his love for Nintendo. He likes the fact they they separate themselves from competitors from graphic, creative, and design standpoints. He also believes strongly in Nintendo’s future in the industry.
Here’s part of Spector’s interview with Nintendo Life:
NL: Speaking of games for everyone, Nintendo comes to mind as a company that doesn’t make games for kids necessarily, but for everyone. What do you think about Nintendo today, in 2015?
Spector: I’m kind of a Nintendo geek. I don’t want to get myself in trouble….you know, I’m looking around the show floor here. And let’s say there are 2500 games being shown. 2400 of them all look exactly alike. You can’t even tell which one you’re looking at, you know? And it drives me crazy.
And then you go to IndieCade, and you go to Nintendo, and all of a sudden it’s like, “Oooh, games can be different. Cool!” So I think from a creative standpoint, from a design standpoint, from an IP standpoint, from a graphics standpoint, I think Nintendo rocks.
The thing is, I mean, from a hardware standpoint it’s hard to say what Nintendo’s future looks like, let’s be honest about that. But the fact that they’re finally gonna put their IP on mobile…they’re fine. There are a billion smartphones on the planet. They’re gonna do just fine when Mario hits that.
I definitely agree with Spector when it comes to Nintendo’s designs and creativity. When you look a Nintendo game, you can say immediately that’s what it is because of its unique style. That cannot be said for all companies who develop and publish games. Do you agree with Spector’s point of view? Tell us what you think in the comment section!
Nintendo Producer Takashi Tezuka has explained a bit about the yarn theme that occurs in Yoshi’s Woolly World. While Kirby’s Epic Yarn did the same thing in 2007, Tezuka said that he was not worried about fans confusing Woolly World with an Epic Yarn sequel. In fact, they just really enjoyed the textures Epic Yarn used and asked Good-Feel to apply those textures to Woolly World.
Here’s part of Tezuka’s interview with Game Informer:
Game Informer: Is there a fear of confusion between Kirby’s Epic’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World?
Takashi Tezuka: No, we’re not really worried about this being seen as like a sequel or something, because honestly, we didn’t create Woolly World as a way to create an Epic Yarn sequel – it was just an idea we had. The idea of creating a Yoshi platformer came first, and then we thought that it might be interested to see his world represented with yarn.
So, the yarn theme is just a coincidence?
No, it’s not a coincidence. We were aware of the work that Good-Feel did with Epic Yarn, and we thought it looked amazing. We weren’t trying to create a Yoshi version of that. We just thought, “They’re good at doing textures and things – what can they do for us?” So we asked Good-Feel to create a Yoshi experience.
I love that Nintendo decided to carry the yarn theme over franchises. It also ties in with Yoshi’s Story from the Nintendo 64, which had a story-book theme. Are you happy with the direction they took Yoshi’s Woolly World? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Plague of Shadows is the name of the first DLC that will be available for Shovel Knight. We already know you’ll be able to play with a new story and gameplay. Now we’ve got a bit of insight on the Alchemy mechanic and how that works with the Plague Knight you’ll control.
The Alchemy system is used to create bombs for battles and obstacles. There are three main components needed to make the bomb: the fuse, the casing, and the type of powder. Yacht Club revealed that using different fuses can change the length of time it takes to detonate, while casings change the way each bomb bounces. Powders will be used for different types of attacks, but nothing specific was mentioned.
Check out the video above to see the interview with Yacht Club and a bit of footage featuring Alchemy. What do you think of the new Shovel Knight mechanic? Tell us in the comments!
During a session of Iwata Asks, the creators of Fire Emblem Fates stepped up to talk a lot about the game. In a brief excerpt, there is mention of the story of both games, and how you are not just in an enemy/ally relationship. Shin Kabayashi and Hitoshi Yamagami go into detail about their intentions with the story. Their goal is to actually make players cry because of the emotionally conflicting decision they have to make.
Here’s what they had to say:
It’s not a simple story of justice and evil. Each side has its own reasons, and no matter which viewpoint you look at it from, there is justice there…
That’s right. All of the characters are simple and good people who have the strength of conviction. But you have to choose which to align with, so there really is a struggle there. So as the story moves forward, you’ll always have this feeling of remorse towards the side you chose to oppose.
Kibayashi-san, what did you choose to focus on when you wrote this story?
I really wanted to make sure that it would make players cry.
I think that the world of Fire Emblem really lends itself to that.
It does lend itself to that. And especially with this storyline, you start out feeling like, “On one hand I want to ally myself with both kingdoms, but on the other hand I don’t want to align myself with either.” So it was really easy to add in elements that would make people cry, or things that would be really touching. Of course, it’s all a betrayal.
I love that they wanted to make the players feel more emotionally conflicted when choosing sides. When decisions are easily made, they don’t have much of an impact on how you react to a game. What do you think of the differing storylines? Share with us in the comments!
Yoshi’s Woolly World is available for purchase today in the UK, along with those adorable yarn Yoshi Amiibo. To commemorate the occasion, a commercial has been made showing snippets of gameplay that will make your heart melt.
You can see the video above. This makes me even more pumped for Yoshi’s Woolly World. Are you excited for its release? Share your thoughts on the game in our comments!
Destiny has a huge following, and with its expansions, the game does a decent job of keeping its players interested. There is an upcoming expansion called The Taken King, and many are excited for its release. In a unique situation, Red Bull has decided to create a Destiny event. This event includes special codes received via purchasing Red Bull that can give bonus XP, and even an extra “Red Bull Quest.”
One type of code you can get is for bonus experience points. It’s called Focused Lights, and it is a one-time consumable which boosts your XP by 50% for a period of 30 minutes. You may redeem more than one of these codes, but you are only able to use one code at a time. The second code is for a quest which is said to, “test the speed and strategic abilities of Destiny players in new ways.” The plan in to use a new multi-stage quest to do this, so it should be a worth-while endeavor.
These bonuses will be available on July 1st in Red Bulls that will be distributed to 7-Eleven gas stations in July; then other retailers in August. Will you be going on a Red Bull binge? Let us know in the comments!
Yu Suzuki, creator of the Shenmue games, had an interview with Famitsu about the fruition of Shenmue III. He was asked, why create Shenmue III now? If you’re not aware, it has been 14 years since Shenmue II was released, so that was quite a large gap in the series. It’s exciting that fans are finally getting what they’ve wanted for so long. The most heart-warming part is, Suzuki pushed this project into being just because of the cries from fans that always reached his ears.
Here’s an excerpt of his interview:
—The impact of the name of “Shenmue 3” is so great and it surprised me when I first heard it. Well, it’s been 14 years since Shenmue 2 was released. Why make Shenmue 3 now? Would you give us the accounts on how it started?
Suzuki: I have been always looking for the way to launch Shenmue 3, so it is not like we just started this project. Although it’s been more than a decade since Shenmue 2, there are many enthusiastic fans still existing and when I attend autograph sessions abroad, they always come ask me “When is Shenmue 3 coming?” For example in France, 80% of people who come to my autograph sessions are the Shenmue fans. The rest of 10% are Virtua Fighter fans and the other 10% are Hang-on fans or so. There are fans who still manage fan communities. Every year around March and April, the rumor “They say that they are making Shenmue 3” comes out and it reaches me.. haha.
—The eagerly waiting voices turn to rumors.
Suzuki: Yes that’s right. But slowly the fan’s voices have changed to something wistful. They say “It can be just a novel, so please give us the sequel story at least” or “Just manga is fine. We want to see a new “Shenmue”.” Those voices made me think that I should push the project forward somehow for the fans, no matter if I couldn’t make a full-spec game.
Suzuki is awesome for finally listening to the fans and delivering what they’ve eagerly awaited. With the explosive Kickstarter after its initial announcement, let’s hope that Shenmue III is going to be the game everyone wanted. Are you looking forward to its release? Share your thoughts in the comments!
During an interview with Famitsu, Yu Suzuki explained why he decided to use Kickstarter for pushing Shenmue III to the masses. He originally didn’t even know what Kickstarter was. A fan drew him to the website as a suggestion, and Suzuki researched it from there. It was not his immediate decision to utilize Kickstarter, though.
Below is a portion of Suzuki’s interview:
— And for the means to make it happen, you chose Kickstarter. Why?
Suzuki: About three years ago, one of the fans who has experience using Kickstarter suggested me using it for the Shenmue project. That is when I first learned about Kickstarter, and started researching it. If it comes to really making the game, I have to make sure it satisfies my fans. So I couldn’t go like “OK I’m doing this with Kickstarter!” I seeked other ways,— for instance finding a partner, but I couldn’t find one that meets my requirements. After careful consideration, we decided that Kickstarter is the best way to set off, and we were able to announce it finally in 2015.
—So you were just saying that you wanted to make the sequel, but really you have been working on it already for a long time.
Suzuki: Yes. Strong feedback after the Shenmue lecture at GDC 2014 also pushed me into coming this far. Sega agreeably licenced it to me and SCE also supported us by saying “We will support you if you are making Shenmue.” I knew that announcing the Kickstarter project at SCE’s conference is a very remarkable thing and am so happy that many people still support Shenmue this much.
Kickstarter seems as good an option as any when you’re wanting fans to be able to contribute. Do you think it was wise for Suzuki to utilize the website for Shenmue III? Tell us in the comments!
With the coming and going of E3, many of us have been staring at nothing but Amiibo when watching Nintendo. While watching their functionality is exciting, just watching is not something that we want to do forever. To experience our favorite characters in a real, tactile way is something that we have hungered for since we started playing Nintendo games. There’s only one thing standing in our way: scalpers.
With all the less morally inclined folks out there, it seems that Amiibo have been having a hard time find their way into deserving people’s hands. What the real question is now seems to be: what’s the point in restocking, if only the scalpers will get to them anyway? I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford a figurine that’s might cost upwards of $80-$100 or more on eBay because my local Best Buys/GameStops/Walmarts/Targets have all ran out! Should Nintendo keep attempting to restock Amiibo for us, or is this a fruitless war never to be won? Speak out for what you believe in the comments!
Animal Crossing Amiibo are going to be hitting the shelves this year, this we know. NFC cards for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer have also been announced, and that comes as no surprise. What has recently been revealed, is the fact that the traditional Animal Crossing Amiibo will have functionality in Happy Home Designer as well!
There’s been no information as to whether or no the Amiibo will bring more/different functionality than the NFC cards, but it’s nice to be able to utilize the actual figures. I’m sure this was expected by many people though, as Nintendo has had enormous success with the Amiibo so far. At this point, it would’ve been a terrible idea to release a game like Happy Home Designer without Amiibo capabilities. Will you be purchasing an Amiibo if you get Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer? Tell us in the comments!
Yosuke Hayashi, Hyrule Warriors Legends‘ Producer, has given us a little hint that there will be more Winder Waker characters (most likely available as DLC). Currently, only Tetra and the King of Hyrule are confirmed, but Hayashi is excited to keep us guessing at the new characters we might see in the future.
“I can’t go into details yet, but we plan to add new character(s) [can mean one or several] other than Tetra and King of Hyrule. There are fan favorites and surprising characters in the game, so I’d be happy if you kept guessing who will join the fight while waiting for follow-up information.” — Yosuke Hayashi
It’s great to see Nintendo embracing DLC, and I think they’ve done a great job with Hyrule Warriors in particular. Who are you hoping to be able to play as on the 3DS, and who are they actually going to add? Tell us what you think in the comments!
The producer of Hyrule Warriors Legends, Yosuke Hayashi, has shared why he brought Wind Waker to 3DS exclusively. In an interview with Famitsu, he explained how the 3DS Hyrule Warriors got started and what they’d like to do with the story.
“That was after the release of the Wii U version. The Wii U version got a positive reception from people who played it, but as there are already many Zelda titles on the Nintendo 3DS, many Zelda fans said ‘I’d like to play this on 3DS’. The development of the Nintendo 3DS version took off from there.” — Yosuke Hayashi
Koei Tecmo, the game’s developer, said, “as [Wind Waker] differs so drastically from the other titles with its visuals and the world, it was hard to bring those games together.” Other Zelda titles featured in the Wii U version – Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess – were much more dark and serious than what Wind Waker is, so it makes sense that they’re separating it from the rest. What they’re going to be using the more whimsical game for is to create an epilogue narrative in Hyrule Warriors Legends that will take place not long after the Wii U story ended.
What’s your opinion of Koei Tecmo using Wind Waker characters exclusively for the 3DS Hyrule Warriors? Tell us in the comments!
Microsoft made no mention of the Kinect during E3 this year, which was rather surprising. The lack of attention to this particular technology made fans wonder whether Xbox was even going to continue supporting Kinect, as it hasn’t gotten much love lately.
In an interview with GameSpot, Xbox Executive, Aaron Greenberg said:
“We are absolutely continuing to support Kinect. [We are] innovating with Kinect in a different way. So we’re continuing to support Kinect where it makes sense. We really want Kinect to be a choice for customers. For me, I love it; I turn my Xbox One with Kinect; I use it for entertainment; I use it to do screenshots and all that,” he said. “I like to be able to have my hands on the controller and use voice commands. But, frankly, a lot of people also want a better value and don’t want to have to pay for it. So we’re not going to force people to do that. We give people the choice.”
In the interview, Greenberg also mentions Cortana being a feature for the Kinect in the future, which would be a phenomenal add-on for a lot of fans. Personally, I’m not into the Kinect. It freaks me out a little bit; I don’t like a camera in my house just being on all the time. What’s your opinion on the Kinect? Tell us in the comments!
In an effort to make the player think for themselves and actually learn the different ways each robot should be handled, Guerrilla Games decided against putting tutorials in its newest franchise Horizon Zero Dawn. Because of that, each player must figure out for themselves how best to kill each enemy and even how each enemy works with each other.
Jan-Bart van Beek, the game’s Creative Director, explains about not having tutorials:
“[There is] a lot of interplay between the different weapons and ammo types, and there is a sort of creative aspect there where you need to find the right way to use weapons for particular robos. And that counts for a lot of the game. We don’t tutorialise the game, we don’t go and tell you how to hunt these robos or how they interact. You really have to go out there and explore these things by trial and error.
“And it’s the same case for learning about how the robos interact between themselves; who’s protecting who and how they are all interconnected. You’re always a little bit like David Attenborough where he’s sitting in the bushes and studying these creatures trying to learn their behaviour, seeing how you can exploit that behaviour from them.” — Jan-Bart van Beek
Van Beek goes on to say that no interviews from the team will yield results if you’re trying to figure out the story. They have no intention of letting anything out; the player must explore the world and watch the story unfold as they do so. He did explain a bit about how your character can level, though:
“There is a skill tree. There are two basic character development systems. First of all you’re getting XP and you can use that XP to gain new perks. So that’s the big one. One of the perks that you saw being used [in the demo] is the Precision Shot where you slow down time and that allows you to [aim] the arrows a little more precisely. Without that it’s actually really hard to hit certain weak spots. [The character in the demo] is already an advanced character about level 12, I think.
“But there’s also basically a secondary way of upgrading your character, and that is through the harvesting and crafting system. By going into nature and defeating bigger and stronger robos you’ll get better armour-plating, better weaponry and slowly but surely you’ll develop your character in a more naturalistic way.” — Jan-Bart van Beek
The more I hear about Horizon Zero Dawn, the more I want to play it. I like the idea of having to figure everything out, as it speaks a bit more to real life in that way. As for the story, it will be interesting to see how it unfolds as you play. How do you feel about Horizon so far? Let us know in the comments!
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Reggie Fils-Aime explains Nintendo’s strategy to come out ahead when it comes to comparing sales of consoles between them, Sony, and Microsoft. He does mention Nintendo’s dominant presence in Europe and Japan, as well as the fact that they are currently “hard at work” on their next home console system.
WSJ: Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles have far outsold the Wii U. What’s your strategy to come out ahead?
Fils-Aime: The time frame that these systems are sold is quite long, and right now we’re still at the very early stages of the current generation. The other piece I would highlight is this is a global business. Don’t just look at what’s happening here in the U.S. Look at what’s happening globally.
From a Nintendo perspective, we clearly have strength here in the Americas, we have strength in Europe and we have strength in Japan. That isn’t necessarily true of some of our more direct competitors. We’ve also said publicly that we are already hard at work on our next home console and that’s another element we’ll be talking about much later.
There’s still been no outright verification as to whether or not said home console is going to be the NX, but NX is the only hardware they’ve talked about publicly. Are you wanting a new console from Nintendo? Share your thoughts in the comments!
You are the main protagonist: a small person made from letters that comprise the word “hero”. Typoman is your hero’s journey through a typography-themed world in which you must always be on your toes. These levels will keep you thinking and create challenges for your brain to overcome. You play a hero that is a symbol for writers who write for truth and freedom; there are even elements that symbolize censorship, as well.
Text is integrated into the gorgeous 2D game world. While most of your hero is intact, he is still missing an arm, which you are on a quest to find. Eventually, a mysterious “guardian angel” gives you back you arm, but only after completing a few puzzles along your way. Solving a puzzle involves thinking of the word that solves your problem and creating it with the letters you are given. Some of the puzzles can even be deadly, but there are foes as well. The Hate monster is a being much like yourself, made of letters to comprise a word which reflects its actions towards you.
Brainseed Factory, the developer, is hoping to have the game out within three or four months, but we don’t have an official release date. The game will be Wii U exclusive. What do you think of Typoman? Tell us in the comments!
Mutant Mudds was a well-loved game when it came out for 3DS in 2012. Renegade Kid, the game’s developer, didn’t think it had enough platforming though, cause they’re back—with gameplay so hard, even the creator had at least one death before finishing the first level. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge was made with the hardcore platformers in mind. Some of the levels are even inspired by Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
In Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, you are able to collect CDs, keep track of your death count, unlock 20 secret characters, and unlock secret Game Boy-themed levels to play in. Powerups from Mutant Mudds are available when you start playing, so no worries about repeating too much if you’ve played the original game already. Another interesting feature included is the presence of ghost levels. Every third level in the game will be a ghost level, and there are five new boss fights as well.
Are you into ridiculously hard games? Let us know in the comments!
The slew of gameplay videos continue, as Nintendo Treehouse Live chugs on, eager to showcase all of the new Nintendo games and ideas. This most recent demo footage showcases Donkey Kong and his abilities within Skylanders SuperChargers. There’s also some concept are that we’ve gotten from GoNintendo.
Both DK and Bowser Amiibo are being created for the new Skylanders SuperChargers game. Both characters were chosen for their likeness to in-game characters, and their character designs led to better movesets. The video above shows off Turbo Charge DK and his vehicle: Barrel Blaster. He may attack enemies by slamming them with barrels, and his upgraded attack (a reference to Donkey Konga) drops a bongo, which stuns enemies. Once SuperCharged, his Barrel Blaster gains a sidecar with Diddy Kong to ride along. Some of DK’s upgrades include: making all barrels TNT, spiked barrels, and laser barrels.
Originally, DK’s barrels spawned bananas, but that was scrapped for some of the other ideas currently implemented. There was also a lot of concept art revealed to show the different iterations DK has gone through until now. What do you think of Donkey Kong being in a Skylanders game? Let us know in the comments!