The Nuance of Uncharted Character Design

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

Uncharted had about a three-year development cycle; a year of pre-production, followed by two years of active production. Early on they began to research all manner of pulp adventure fiction, from Tintin to Doc Savage, to seminal movies like Gunga Din and more recent stews like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Mummy.

Beyond the hair-raising, larger-than life quality of these stories, the team wanted, wherever possible and appropriate, to capture the “certain lightness of tone” in the source material, to contrast with the current standard for Western games, which Lemarchand described as “overwrought and all a bit emo.”

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GDC: The Top Ten Peter Molyneux Quotes

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

Although the concept got an enthusiastic approval, the officially published article was toned down a bit. Fair enough. But there’s no holding back Peter Molyneux. So here this is.

On Friday, the syrupy and gracious Mr. Molyneux held a session to show off his half-complete mega-opus, Fable 2. There are, however, a few problems in covering the session, in that a valiant effort in spin control has stifled what Molyneux can actually discuss. Most of what he was left to reveal, therefore, had already been revealed at an earlier keynote. The rest of the material was generally familiar from a much smaller press gathering a year ago, at which Molyneux personally served cookies to all interested parties. Which was… mostly this writer.

Nevertheless, in lieu of actual information, one can always rely on Molyneux himself as a topic of interest. Let us, then, revisit the session and stroke our chins to the form, if not the content, of Molyneux’s message. Since most of these quotes are more fun out-of-context, the explanations have all been spoiler-tagged. Highlight to reveal. Continue reading “GDC: The Top Ten Peter Molyneux Quotes”

The Future of Animation is Games (No, Really!)

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

Bill Kroyer of Blockade Entertainment and Mark DeAngelis, VP of programming and development for Voom Networks HD, sat around on Thursday and talked about their vision for the future of machinima: namely, mainstream broadcast animation.

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Nintendo Reveals Wii Pay-For-Online Play, WiiWare Compression

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

In a curiously confidential session, Nintendo Network Administration Group Group Manager Takashi Aoyama spoke at length on the thought process behind the Wii’s online offerings.

Amongst his anecdotes were a story of how WiiConnect24 came out of early dial-up concerns, during planning stages around 2000 for a GameCube network. (Maybe if users could download content overnight, that would alleviate some of the cost and delay — except, wait! This is dialup!)

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Emotiv Knows What You’re Thinking

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

The svelte Emotiv headset uses an array of sixteen EEG sensors to detect electrical impulses in the scalp. These signals are then interpreted by a suite of tools, each with its own range of applications.

The “Expressiv” application identifies and interprets facial expressions; one of Wixson’s associates demonstrated winking, blinking, and an unnerving grin, each of which was replicated on a rough facial model. Another application, called “Affectiv”, recognizes emotional states.

The most substantial and interesting application is the most active one, “Cognitiv”, which “classifies conscious active intent”. That is to say, it interprets what the wearer wants to do, allowing a player to execute specific commands and actions through thought alone.

( Continue reading at GamaSutra )