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Proposed presidential budget cuts could hurt game development and education

The proposed budget put forth by President Trump yesterday could hurt educational game development programs that rely on funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. …

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Report: Switch cartridges to blame for higher development costs

Some games will cost more on the Switch than on the PS4 or Xbox One, and, according to Eurogamer, both Switch cartridge manufacturing costs and Nintendo’s own policies might be to blame. …

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Warren Spector traces Deus Ex’s development back to a game of D& D

“Let me tell you where it began — this is going to get a little embarrassing,” said Spector. “It all began with Dungeons and Dragons.” …

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Sleeping Dogs Movie In Development; Will Star Hong Kong Action Star Donnie Yen

The 2012 open world game Sleeping Dogs earned strong reviews (including a solid 7.75 from Game Informer) and was met with decent sales. However, a sequel failed to materialize, and the ill-advised online multiplayer spin-off, Triad Wars, was quietly canceled with the unfortunate shuttering of developer United Front Games.

However, Sleeping Dogs may live on as a feature film. Hollywood producer Neal H. Moritz (Fast & Furious, I Am Legend, 21 Jump Street) and his studio, Original Films, are working on an adaptation of the game, which is set to star Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage).

It is unclear if Yen will play the game's protagonist, Wei Shen, or if the film will follow the storyline of the original. The game featured the Hollywood talents of Tom Wilkinson, Emma Stone, Lucy Liu, Tzi Ma, and James Hong, so it will be interesting to see if any of those actors find their way into the movie.

[Source: Deadline]


Our Take
The track record for film adaptations of popular video games is spotty. Even recent high-profile efforts like Assassin's Creed and Warcraft left critics cold. Will Sleeping Dogs buck this trend? Hundreds of would-be Hollywood blockbusters are "in development," but these kinds of projects fall through all the time. – The Feed

Director Hajime Tabata Compares Final Fantasy XV Development To Climbing Mt. Denali

Today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco,
Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata took the stage to discuss some of the hardships and what he's learned while developing the game.

The stakes were always high for Final Fantasy XV, as the
team had to prove it could compete in this new generation of games. Tabata said
from the start of the project, the famed father of Final Fantasy Hironobu Sakaguchi
said, "This [is] our last chance." The series was in trouble,
and if Final Fantasy XV failed, the series couldn't live on. 

Tabata said since the stakes were so high, he also raised
his own bar. Original projections had the game selling under 5 million copies
worldwide; Tabata set a goal for his team to reach 6 million copies. Tabata
knew playing it safe wouldn't do. The team had to take risks if they wanted to
make a memorable game. This meant switching away from the turn-based combat the
series was known for and creating a more open world, something the team had
never done before. "The greatest goals can only be reached by taking chances,"
Tabata said in his talk.

Tabata, a skier, compared his evolution as a developer to
climbing mountains. His previous work was
on handheld and mobile games. He compared his previous games to different
mountain sizes, saying Crisis Core was like climbing Mt. Kitadake and Type-0
was akin to Mt. Fuji, but to really drive home the scope of ambition of Final
Fantasy XV, he used Mt. Denali, which has an elevation of 20,310 feet and is the highest mountain peak in North America, to illustrate the challenges in front of him. The elevation is close to double his other games. 

Tabata brought up many times the importance of his team at
Business Division 2, which was built for Final Fantasy XV. He said it was
integral that they work together, but he noticed after launching Episode Duscae
that his team's passion diminished. The demo was a proof of concept, but it
also showed the team how much work still needed to be done. To motivate his
team, Tabata decided to have a Family Day, after his six-year-old daughter one
morning asked him, "How much longer do you have to go?" When Tabata told her it
was still a long time, she held back tears and told him to "keep up the good
work." The Family Day allowed the team to show their family what they were
working so hard on. They set up stations for the kids to play the game all
around the office. This gave the team a new appreciation for what they were
creating and restored morale to get them to the end of the road.

Tabata ended his talk on a positive note, showing the team
had surpassed the 6 million mark in sales, which was initially seen as a high
goal when he set it. He said he's learned to turn challenges into
opportunities, even when unpredictable problems occur, such as people leaking
spoilers of the game before release.  He
then fired back at those who were leaking things by integrating that into the
marketing. He said when all is said and done, he considers Final Fantasy XV a
success and "the series will probably live on."

He ended his talk saying the team is looking to improve even
more on Final Fantasy XV, improving destruction, A.I. and procedural elements.
He then discussed having more monster battles where the A.I. analyze players'
patterns and adapting to it better as a new goal. – The Feed

Here’s A Quick Overview Of For Honor’s Development

Did you know that designer Jason VandenBerghe first got the idea for For Honor more than 15 years ago during a class on German longsword fighting? This quick video on Ubisoft's new action game is the perfect overview of how long it can take to develop a game.

If you haven't played it yet, For Honor is actually a pretty cool game. Check out our review here, and listen to our interview with Jason VandenBerghe on the GI Show.

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Lore in a Minute! focuses on giving context for several different video game backstories and histories. It has previously covered games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Killzone, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Read our feature to find out what the big deal is with Overwatch, and take a look at our review here. – The Feed

How to make game development meetings more productive

Meetings don’t have to feel like a black hole of productivity. Riot Games’ Juliet Nuzzo shared with us how to be frank and honest about meetings that hurt more than they help. …

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Conan Exiles Sells 320,000 In First Week Of Early Access, Development Costs Recouped

Funcom's Conan Exiles has taken the number-one 1 spot on Steam's global top-sellers list in its first week in the wild, selling more than 320,000 copies. The survival title is still in early access, but players are flocking in droves to experience the gritty world of Conan in one of PC's most popular, community-oriented genres.

“We are deeply humbled and very grateful for the
initial success of Conan Exiles,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Funcom has gone
through some challenging times in recent years and seeing the game we have
poured so much time and effort into gain this amount of traction so quickly is
very invigorating for everyone who works here." 

Funcom released a Conan Exiles mod kit today that allows players and creators to craft mods and upload them to the Steam Workshop.

Conan Exiles will be featured at GDC and PAX East this year.


Our Take
Conan Exile's early success can likely be attributed to not only being a solid survival experience, but also the sheer spectacle of the "dong slider" making waves on streaming communities like Twitch. The game has been prominently featured on major channels as players experience the game and show off the whole package. Whether or not the game will have legs after the giggles wear off and the title moves from early access into a full-fledged survival game with many competitors on Steam remains to be seen, but for now, fending off crocodiles in the nude is making a significant splash. – The Feed

Blog: Two years of roguelike development FAQs

An introduction to two full years of an ongoing discussion series aimed at sharing a multifaceted look at the numerous topics behind traditional roguelike code, design, and more. …

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Funcom recoups Conan Exiles development costs in first week

Funcom’s open-world survival effort Conan Exiles has shifted 320,000 copies in its first week, allowing the developer to recoup all of its development costs.  …

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