Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Halo Wars 2 and the challenge of bringing new players into the RTS genre

343 and Creative Assembly think they’ve figured out how to attract new players to the strategy genre with their latest entry in the Halo Wars series. …


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Activision Bringing Animated Skylanders Academy TV Show To Netflix

Activision launched a studio last year to start creating original content for its assorted franchises and Skylanders Academy is the first production out of the gate.

The show will air on Netflix this fall and boasts an impressive cast. The show is being run Eric Rogers, who is credited as an assistant to writers for Futurama. The cast includes Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks, of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, as Eruptor, and Norm MacDonald as Glumshanks. Other talent announced for the show includes Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O’Hara, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Harland Williams among others.

The show folows Skylanders characters going on a series of adventures as they show, "the next wave of Academy cadets how to do things the 'Skylander way.'"

For more on Skylanders and what's next for the franchise, head here.

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Bringing developers into into game education

“I’ve worked as a programmer for a couple of high profile companies … So when I shifted career and started teaching at Staffordshire University I set to getting the games industry itself involved.” …


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Nintendo Is Only Bringing One Playable Game To E3, NX A No-Show

Nintendo announced early this morning that its next console, the NX, won’t be coming until March 2017. The company seems to have its eyes firmly set on that launch leaving 3DS and Wii U games coming before then in the background.

To that end, it will only be bringing one game to E3. The Legend of Zelda, which has been delayed to launch simultaneously on the NX and Wii U, will be playable on the show floor.

Nintendo says that it is the only title that the Wii U version will be playable for the first time, and it is the sole focus of the company’s presence at the show. The NX will not be making an appearance, with a formal reveal planned for later in the year.

 

Our Take
Nintendo still has a few big games coming out between now and the NX launch. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will be out in late June. Paper Mario Color Splash is coming to Wii U later in the year. On 3DS, Nintendo has Pokémon Sun and Moon and two Dragon Quest remakes (VII and VIII), which it lists as first-party published games.

I understand the focused approach Nintendo is taking. A lot is riding on both the new Zelda and the NX launch. But with nearly a full year before that console hits, the company is gambling with nearly an entire fiscal year.

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Nintendo bringing Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem to mobile

“Both of these are pure game applications. Compared to Miitomo, they have more prominent game elements, and the game content will tie closely into Nintendo’s dedicated games business.” …


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Tackling 3 big challenges with bringing a high-powered 3D iOS game to Android

“We had to address challenges such as how to bring a AAA mobile game to lower-end Android devices and how to build best mobile performance tools and infrastructure.” …


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Nicalis Is Bringing Retro-Infused Sidescrolling RPG Creepy Castle To PC, Mac & Linux

Publisher Nicalis, best known for its gruelingly difficult 2D platformers 1001 Spikes and Cave Story, is bringing another retro-inspired sidescroller to the table. Creepy Castle is a cutesy sidescrolling RPG that hides a deep conspiracy under its surface.

Developer Dopterra funded Creepy Castle with a successful Kickstarter in 2014, and has announced that the pixelated title will be making its way to PC, Mac, and Linux this summer. Creepy Castle follows Moth (who, unsurprisingly, is a moth) as he uncovers mysteries traversing a spooky, stonewalled castle. You'll find tomes that give insight to the world's lore in between duels with a variety of enemies and bosses.  

The pixel-art is colored with a limited palette that meets somewhere in between the visual styles of the NES and MSX computer system. Battles unfold through numerous turn-based mini-games in a similar way to 2015's hit indie-RPG Undertale. According to a video posted on the developer's YouTube account, characters from Five Nights at Freddy's, Shovel Knight, and Super Meat Boy will make cameo appearances in Creepy Castle.

Keep an eye out for Creepy Castle this summer, and make sure to check out our Kickstarter Compendium to track notable games that have gone through the crowdfunding service. You can also follow Creepy Castle's updates on development at Dopterra's blog here. To see what other plans Nicalis has in store for the near future, click here

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Koei Tecmo Bringing Atelier Sophie To North America, Offers Limited Edition

Koei Tecmo announced that it's bringing Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book to North America this June. In addition to the regular version of the game, super fans can splurge on a limited edition that includes, appropriately enough, a hardcover art book.

This entry is the first in the series to appear on PlayStation 4. It takes place in a European town, and stars a young alchemist named Sophie. She gains possession of the titular book, which kicks off an epic adventure. Kim spent some time with the game during September's Tokyo Game Show, and it left enough of an impression to make her wish list of games that she wanted localized. Dreams do come true, apparently. 

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The game is coming to PlayStation 4 and as a downloadable game on Vita on June 7. The PlayStation 4 version of the game is also available in a limited edition from the NISA store for $ 99.99. It includes the game, two-disc soundtrack featuring 38 songs from the game, a hardcover 48-page art book, five 5-by-7" art prints, and a 40-by-26.8" cloth poster.  

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Sega Bringing Over 7th Dragon III Code: VFD On 3DS

Sega is bringing the popular 3DS RPG series 7th Dragon to the U.S. with the localization of its fourth entry – 7th Dragon III Code: VFD for the handheld this summer.

The game may be the fourth entry, but Sega says that story of this dungeon crawler stands by itself. Code: VFD takes place in 2100 when dragons have invaded the earth. You play as a dragon hunter working for Nodens Enterprises – a video game company – who must travel through time before facing off against the 7th dragon.

Players will build parties of three members, with up to three parties usable in a dungeon. Your options are further increased by the game's eight classes (like Samurai, God Hand, and Rune Knight), and players will have a wealth of character customization at their fingertips, from 40 character voices to 96 appearance options. You can also build up your Nodens HQ, complete with a lounge and cat cafe.

Kim was impressed enough with the title to tab it as one of the games she wanted to see localized from TGS 2015.

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Atari Bringing More Than 100 Classics To Steam In New Vault Collection

A new Atari compilation is coming to Steam this spring, featuring more than 100 retro games – including Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, and Warlords.

The compilation, Atari Vault, features local and online multiplayer support, Steam leaderboards, and support for the Steam controller. 

Atari Vault is being developed by Code Mystics, which worked on several Atari Greatest Hits compilations on the Nintendo DS, and the mobile compilation Atari's Greatest Hits. The latter had 100 old-school Atari games, 18 of which were arcade ports, with the remaining 82 coming from the Atari 2600 console.

If you're interested in seeing the game before it comes to Steam this spring, it's going to be shown at Pax South next week in San Antonio. That event runs from January 29-31.

 

Our Take
Atari is promising that this compilation features "an upgraded user interface," and I hope that includes robust filtering options. Sorting through more than 100 games can be a daunting task, and hopefully it's easy to tag your favorite games so they aren't lost in a list. Better yet, I'm hoping there's a way to hide games. If this draws from the 2600 age, as past comps have, there are more than a few irredeemable duds among the roster.

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