Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Trion Worlds Teases New Project

Trion Worlds, the studio behind the MMO Rift and the shooter Defiance, tweeted a link to mysterious web page today. We haven't heard much about its upcoming projects, so this could be our first taste of a new game from the developer.

The page doesn't reveal much beyond the image above, except the addition of the words: "In the shadows' dying light, let the devils guide our fight." The menacing figure and strange language sure have us curious about what to expect. For now, we'll just have to wait until Trion Worlds is ready to reveal more.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Mega Man X And Zero Versus Sigma In Project X Zone 2

I spent a little time with Project X Zone 2 at E3, and much like the original game, seeing disparate characters together was its immediate highlight.

I saw Tekken characters, Yakuza characters, as well as Akira from Virtua Fighter among others, but when I saw I had Mega Man X and Zero on my team and Sigma was on the other, they took all of my focus. I never encountered Sigma in the first game (you can read my review here), so I was excited to take him down in a new setting. Mega Man X and Zero wore their typical outfits, but Sigma was modeled after his Mega Man X4 model, holding a scythe with boomerang weapons in his shoulder.

The gameplay, at least in the short time I spent with the game, seems virtually unchanged form the original. I moved my characters around on a grid, attacked by entering different attacks using the d-pad, and had to cut through enemy shields before actually breaking down their hit-points. Unfortunately, I didn't build up to any super attacks – a memorable spectacle from the first game – but I did defeat Sigma, which was my only goal during my demo.

We'll have to spend more time with the game to see if it is offers any drastic departures from Project X Zone, but right now, the sequel seems like an unspectacular continuation of the mechanics established in the first game – plus Sigma.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Yu Suzuki Discusses Shenmue III And How His Dream Project Became A Reality

The gripping tale of Ryo Hazuki’s quest for vengeance captivated Dreamcast audiences when it released to widespread critical acclaim in 2000. Though Yu Suzuki’s masterpiece was beloved by fans, the astounding cost of its first two entries and poor sales of Shenmue II drove Sega to cancel the third game, leaving Suzuki’s saga without resolution.

Though the series was abandoned by Sega and written off as an impossibility for over a decade, the fan base has been unrelenting in its requests for the series to continue. Both Suzuki and Sega have been inundated by fan requests for Shenmue III, with online campaigns comprised of the most die-hard fans continuing to push forward through petitions and social media accounts. 

Those fans were vindicated this week, when Shenmue III’s Kickstarter campaign not only grabbed valuable stage time on Sony’s E3 press conference for its reveal, but also went on to attract so much traffic that Kickstarter’s site crashed. With the Kickstarter campaign reaching its goal of $ 2 million in record time and Sony providing further funding, Shenmue III is finally a reality.

The reserved nature of Yu Suzuki did little to hide his passion and excitement for this project. With each question I asked, the legendary developer spoke quickly, smiled often, and held the composure of a man whose dream was finally coming true. During our conversation, we covered a variety of topics ranging from Sega’s role in Shenmue III to how the franchise remains relevant so long after it was thought lost forever.

Game Informer: It’s been 14 years since the last game. Why is now the right time for Shenmue to return?
Yu Suzuki: To make a game like Shenmue, obviously the question is how to get the funding to make a game like that and you know, it’s been really hard – I just couldn’t find a way to get it together. But three years ago, I learned of Kickstarter and I met some people who have done Kickstarter before and with all their help, we decided to put this Kickstarter together. With what we managed to fund on that site, as well as with the other funding sources my company, Ys Net, has procured, I believe now is the time that we can make Shenmue III.

Is it frustrating to have to wait so long to finally realize this project?
Pretty much everywhere I go, it’s always “Make Shenmue III! Make Shenmue III!” The reaction is so strong from the fans that I’ve always been looking at how I can make Shenmue III. These past years, it was very stressful, because I couldn’t make it. More than that, I couldn’t give the fans what they wanted. That was probably the worst part: I couldn’t answer their calls that they were sending out for me. Now that the project has started – lots of relief there.

Now that the announcement of the game is out there, was there one moment that was the biggest relief of all?
It was probably at the Sony press conference when I was waiting in line for Shenmue III to be announced. Adam [Boyes, VP of publisher and developer relations at PlayStation] was up on stage talking about something, then I saw that the Shenmue III promotion video was on and then all of a sudden there was this big well from the audience and this big noise that came from them. That was the time that I felt most relieved. Before that, it was really big titles like Destiny – everything before that was a big title – and I was kind of worried about how Shenmue III would shape up to these guys, but once the song came on, the rouse came from the audience. I knew it was then.

Were you surprised by how fast the Kickstarter goal was reached?
The thing that really surprised me first about the Kickstarter was the crash that happened. Kickstarter broke – that was a big surprise. I couldn’t believe that! The second one was how fast it went to $ 1 million. Apparently, it is the fastest game or entertainment project on Kickstarter to reach that number.

The first two Shenmue games were published by Sega. Does Sega have any involvement with Shenmue III?
So, YS Net received the licensing rights from Sega. Of course, the original properties are still licensed with Sega. This time, they’re allowing us to use it and allowing us to use the licensing rights. They also gave us a lot of resources from [Shenmue] I and II to help us with this project. They’ve been very happy to see Shenmue III being made and we have a very good relationship.

A big part of the original Shenmue games were the Sega Easter eggs, such as the capsule toys and playing Sega games in the arcades. Is there any possibility that those will appear in this game even though those licenses belong to Sega?
There are some things I can use and there are some things I can’t use. It’s kind of depending on further talks with Sega. I think there’s going to be a lot of small details that we’re going to have to speak with them on as we go along.

The challenging part, at least in the United States, is that Shenmue came out on Sega Dreamcast, Shenmue II came out on Xbox, and Shenmue III is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC, making it difficult for many fans to experience the first two games since they’re on separate platforms. Are there any plans to bring Shenmue I and Shenmue II to modern platforms?
If you have that question, it’s better that you ask Sega because they hold the rights to those. Those are their properties and I'm not in a position to talk about that, but I’m thinking about asking them!

Shenmue was a very revolutionary and influential game when it was released on Dreamcast. A lot has changed in the games industry since then. How does the team work to make a game just as revolutionary so long after the original?
It’s all about the new challenges with me, and I definitely want to try these new things. Of course, it’s going to come down to the funding and how much we’re going to be able to spend on Shenmue III, but if we get to that point, I believe it will be just as revolutionary as the ones before.

 

As we emerged from the small room where our conversation took place, a handful of Shenmue fans eagerly greeted Suzuki. Despite spending the majority of his day in that room, fielding questions from members of the media, Suzuki stopped to greet those fans, take pictures, and sign autographs. As we left, I heard the unmistakable sound of pure joy that follows a monumental moment such as what that encounter meant to those fans. It may have been 14 years since Shenmue II launched on the Dreamcast in Japan, and 13 since its release on the Xbox in the U.S., but through the hurdles, struggles, and disappointments taking place over the past decade and a half, the enduring passion of the Shenmue fan base has kept Suzuki’s dream alive. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

New Studio Tokyo RPG Factory Announces Project Setsuna

Tokyo RPG Factory, a new studio under Square Enix, has formed to create a completely new series. While the final title hasn't yet been revealed, it is currently being referred to as Project Setsuna.

Square Enix showed off some pretty art from the upcoming title, but aside from the fact that it's a completely new console RPG series, details are scarce. Project Setsuna is under development now and is scheduled for release at some point in 2016.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

New Studio Tokyo RPG Factory Announces Project Setsuna

Tokyo RPG Factory, a new studio under Square Enix, has formed to create a completely new series. While the final title hasn't yet been revealed, it is currently being referred to as Project Setsuna.

Square Enix showed off some pretty art from the upcoming title, but aside from the fact that it's a completely new console RPG series, details are scarce. Project Setsuna is under development now and is scheduled for release at some point in 2016.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Riot donates League of Legends fines to LGBTQ charity The Trevor Project

The company has donated fines levied against teams and players who break its rules of conduct to a helpline for queer youth — saying its players demand it. …


Gamasutra News

Starbreeze Unveils Project StarVR With The Walking Dead Demo

Starbreeze and 505 Games are getting the jump on E3 with an unexpected hardware announcement. We've known since Gamescom that the developer has been working on a cooperative shooter set in The Walking Dead universe. Today we had a chance to see a parallel virtual reality project.

Project StarVR is Starbreeze's own headset with the help of InfinitEye. The difference here is that Project StarVR features a 210-degree field of view and 5K display. The effect is enhanced peripheral vision.

We were given a ten-minute a vertical slice demo that worked like a rail shooter, with the character in a wheelchair. Partway through, I was handed a pump-action shotgun (both in the game and physically). A camera tracked the headset and the markers on the gun, made by Trinity VR. That company repositioned itself in the burgeoning market after its unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign.

Tracking was quite good, with hand movement in-game interpretted by the position of the gun. Aiming worked well, and I was able to use the shotgun to remove the heads of oncoming walkers.

While the end of the demo, which featured a zombie crawling up my leg while another had lunch on my neck, was potent, the hardware has some room to grow. There was some pixelation and screendoor effect. This is a problem that Oculus solved with the Crescent Bay demo at Oculus Connect in September. With more time (Starbreeze and InfinitEye have been working on the project for just a year), these problems can be solved.

Likewise, the weight needs to be improved. The StarVR headset is currently too heavy for long-term comfort.

There's no timeframe for release at this point and, of course, no pricing. What we do know is that this won't hold up Overkill's The Walking Dead. The vertical slice we saw was made for the announcement, and may evolve into its own project.

Starbreeze is off to a good start, with a focus on improving field of view in the exploding VR arena. With a while before release, the company will need to keep an eye on competition in order to retain its uniqueness.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Nintendo Teases Cooperative Treasure Hunting With Project Treasure Trailer

Bandai Namco showed off its co-op tomb raiding game for the first time during this morning's Japanese Nintendo Direct.

Details on the game are vague (including if it will be making its way to North America), but the title appears to allow four players of varying skills and weapons to explore tombs and dungeons fighting their way through monsters to find treasure.

You can check out a teaser trailer for the game below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Get a job: Monolith is hiring an experienced Project Manager

The studio responsible for the award-winning Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor are looking to hire a senior-level project manager to work alongside the team in Kirkland, Washington. …


Gamasutra News

Mass Effect Director Casey Hudson Joins Microsoft’s HoloLens Project

Microsoft has announced that Casey Hudson has joined the publisher as Creative Director. Hudson was the director on a number of BioWare titles, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and all three core Mass Effect games.

Hudson will be leading creative direction for HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality peripheral. “I will also be working with innovative new Xbox titles, helping them to find success through clear direction and creative vision,” Hudson said in an Xbox Wire interview. “I will be involved in driving a creative focus for Xbox and Windows gaming, and I couldn’t be more excited to be involved in that.”

Microsoft unveiled the HoloLens project at a Windows 10 event in January. The company will be bringing the technology to E3 for wider demonstration.

Hudson spent 15 years at EA and BioWare before departing in August 2014. At Microsoft, he’ll report to HoloLens project lead Kudo Tsunoda.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

 

Our Take
Hudson’s work at BioWare proves him an asset, and Microsoft is smart to have hired him. I’m eager to see how he leverages his experience for HoloLens.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed