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An Exclusive Roundtable With Destiny: Rise Of Iron’s Story Team

Visiting Bungie for our cover stories on the original Destiny and Destiny: The Taken King, there's always been one aspect of Bungie's universe that has eluded the spotlight: The writing team. This time, with our cover story on Destiny: Rise of Iron, we finally got the opportunity to meet and speak with some of the key figures responsible for continuing the story of Destiny.

Game Informer's senior previews editor (and Destiny lore fanatic) Matt Miller is honored to sit down with lead writer Chris Schlerf, senior writer Christine Thompson, writer Jill Scharr, and cinematic lead Matthew Ward to talk about the evolution of characters and storytelling in Destiny. The video discussion starts out on broader topics including the challenges of writing the Grimoire and adding humor to the game, but continues on into an intricate discussion covering the history of the Iron Lords, the importance of flavor text for equipment, and the potential future of key Destiny characters, including some choice tidbits about the mysterious Efrideet. Also, we should note, in the video the team occasionally refers to Destiny: Rise of Iron by its internal Bungie name "DLC 3".

Watch the video discussion below to learn from the team what it takes to write Destiny: Rise of Iron, how they think the game compares to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the ways they're inspired by Arthurian legend, and whether Cayde is ever going to get out of the Tower.

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No Man’s Sky Patch Incoming, Hello Games Hires Large QA Team

No Man’s Sky has captured the minds and gaming time of a huge swath of the gaming public. It isn’t a bug-free experience though, with crashes and strange incident occurring for many players.

In order to get things fixed up, Hello Games has hired a new QA team that is larger than the entirety of the current studio staff. Additionally, the developer is moving to a ticketed support system, with a dedicated manager starting on Monday, August 15.

Hello Games has also offered workarounds for some of the bigger issues facing players on PS4 right now. For those that find themselves at the bottom of a chasm, the studio says that you can use infinite jetpack when pushed against a surface. You can also revert to one of two previous saves if you find yourself in a bind.

There has also been chatter about a bug related to the pre-order bonus ship. That vessel comes with a hyperdrive installed (something other players need to discover and craft). 

However, if you purchase a new ship, the craft likely won’t have one, and you’ve not been directed to complete the steps required to secure the blueprint and build one. Provided you don’t buy a new ship too early in the game, you’ll be directed to an NPC that will provide you with what you need to get one. 

According to Hello Games, of the 135 emails it has received about this, 107 people (79.3 percent) were able to continue on. If you find yourself in that situation, try to reboot your console and re-enter the game, as that might trigger the NPC alert.

This will be fixed in a patch so that all players who have the pre-order ship can continue on. The update will also include repairs for the frequent crashes.

“The number of people players, and length of average play session, has been far more than our small team could have anticipated,” writes company founder Sean Murray. “That said, we’re working quickly to adapt. We sincerely apologise to anyone affected in the meantime.”

Timing for the patch has not been announced. Murray says it should be along in the "near future."

[Source: Hello Games]

 

Our Take
While it’s great that Hello Games has brought on a new, large QA team, I have to wonder why that didn’t happen before launch. Especially as the studio is trying to the PC version out today, having a separate team to make sure that everything is working as intended seems like it would have been a good idea before August 9.

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More New Pokémon And Team Skull Revealed For Sun And Moon

The Alola region is home to strange and wonderful new Pokémon. It’s also the territory of a new band of villains: Team Skull.

The new Pokémon include Wishiwashi, what can turn into a school of Wishiwashi fish at later levels. There’s also Pyukumuku, the puking fish, that smacks you with its innards.

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This trailer also introduces the “Straight Outta Hot Topic” Team Skull. So edgy!

There are also new Alola variants for Meowth, Marowak, and Raichu. The evolved form of Pikachu now surfs on its own tail. 

Pokémon Sun and Moon will be out on November 18 for 3DS.

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Trailer For The King of Fighters XIV Welcomes Team Another World

Another weekly team trailer for The King of Fighters XIV has been released, this time highlighting the dangerous trio of Team Another World.

Nakoruru, Mui Mui, and Love Heart have traveled across dimensions to join the roster of The King of Fighters XIV and bring their unique fighting abilities to the table. A new trailer (seen below) highlights some of their moves.

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Love Heart is the main character from an SNK Pachinko game series titled Sky Love. As the Captain of the Peace Sky Pirates she sports a pirate hat and excels in hand to hand combat, but can whip out her illuminating sword to deal serious damage.

Next is Mui Mui. Like Love Heart, she is the main character of her own Pachinko game, Dragon Gal. Her dragon blood gives her immense strength while using Kung Fu fighting tactics. 

Finally there is Nakoruru, the Maiden of Light from the Samurai Shodown series. Utilizing the Shikanna-Kamui
style she uses her sword to cut through enemies, but has an even more dangerous weapon perched on her shoulder. Her pet hawk 
Mamahaha can not only dive bomb enemies, but carry Nakoruru up in the air to confuse them as well. 

Along with the new trailer comes news that on August 19, four popular fighting game players Justin
Wong, OGAWA, GO1, and sako will be competing in a The King of Fighters XIV exhibition. You can tune in on Twitch here on that day at 5 AM CT to watch the ensuing battles. Previous team trailers for The King of Fighters XIV include Team Japan, Team Yagami, Team Fatal Fury, Team Art of Fighting, Team Kim, Team Psycho Soldier, and more. The King of Fighters XIV comes exclusively to PlayStation 4 on August 23.      

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Get A Look At The Latest Team Coming To The King Of Fighters XIV

Atlas has revealed the latest team coming to The King Of Fighters XIV. A new trailer introduces Team Ikari Warriors and its members, Ralf Jones, Clark
Still, and Leona Heidern.

The team, a mercenary group, is tasked with collecting intel on the character Antonov and other "undesirables" in the game. Ralf "The One Man Army" Jones leads this trio and focuses on deadly mercenary fighting techniques. His support, Still and Heidern, have different fighting styles, with the former focusing on grappling moves and the latter on mixing martial arts with Heidern-style assassination techniques. Get a look at all three in the trailer below.

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Team Ikari joins a large list of other teams, such as Team Fatal Fury and Team Kim. The King Of Fighters XIV is coming to the PlayStation 4 on  August 23. 

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Meet Team Psycho Soldier In Latest Trailer For King Of Fighters XIV

The King of Fighters XIV boasts a solid roster of 50 characters, including some brand new additions to the series. Our latest look at the game introduces us to Team Psycho Solider, who aren't psychos or soldiers.

Team Psycho Soldier joins the tournament of King of Fighters XIV looking like some of the less-experienced characters, but each bring their own unique style and threats. You can get familiar with each character and their moves in the new trailer below.

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Athena is a famous pop star who uses psionic abilities to attack opponents. Kensou is a high school student obsessed with dragons who uses a mix of Kung Fu and psychic abilities. The third member and mentor of the team, Chin, gets drunk to fool his enemies into letting their guard down and unleashes a flurry of Kung Fu.

Team Psycho Soldier joins a growing roster that includes Team Kim and Team Fatal Fury. The King of Fighters XIV hits the PlayStation 4 on August 23, but you can download a demo now.

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Iron Galaxy’s New Leadership Team Talks Life Beyond Killer Instinct

Earlier this week, Iron Galaxy announced that Adam Boyes, the longtime head of developer relations and third-party publishing at Sony's U.S. games division, was coming on as the new CEO. Boyes had previously worked with Iron Galaxy founder Dave Lang at Midway in the early 2000s. Along with Boyes' addition, director of product development Chelsea Blasko was promoted to chief product officer. With a new-look leadership team, Iron Galaxy is hoping to expand on what the team has already done, as well as explore new areas of expansion and growth.

Iron Galaxy is perhaps best known for its work on fighting titles like Killer Instinct, Divekick, and Wreckateer, but the studio's catalog extends beyond those games. In addition to original development like those titles, Iron Galaxy has become one of the go-to studios for ports, working on releases including PS3/Xbox 360 ports of Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, and Darkstalkers Resurrection. The studio also worked on the Vita port of Borderlands 2 and the PC ports of the two most recent Batman: Arkham titles, Origins and Knight – the latter being widely criticized and eventually pulled from storefronts until it could be fixed.

Most recently, Iron Galaxy published Videoball, a sports game from indie developer Action Button Entertainment that has received strong pre-release reception.

We had a chance to chat with Boyes, Blasko, and Lang about how this move came about, what Boyes' addition means for Iron Galaxy, and their visions for the future.

Game Informer: What were the discussions like leading up to both Adam and Chelsea’s new roles?

Dave Lang: So, Chelsea’s been here the last six years – the company is almost eight years old now – and we’ve been growing steadily over that time doing just work-for-hire stuff. And it’s been really good, but it got to the point where we were so big that all of our focus was just keeping the existing business running and getting games out and we couldn’t focus on future planning and stuff like that. And so, we just kind of needed more firepower at the top of the company and when I started thinking about who that should be and who makes sense to bring into what me and Chelsea kind of established here, Adam was really the only person on the list. Obviously we’re really good friends, but above and beyond that, and more relevant to this discussion, and we worked together at Midway, we kind of came up through the ranks there. I know exactly what kind of person he is and seeing what he’s done at Sony and the kind of things we suck at and the things he’s awesome at just seem to go hand-in-hand. So, it also just fits. Adam as CEO is going to plot out the future stuff, and Chelsea and I can focus on the present and executing on what’s here. So, it all just kind of fits in my perspective.

Adam Boyes: Obviously I have my own reasons for coming on board. Dave and I have known each other; we came up at Midway together in 2003, we joined the same year within a couple weeks of each other. So, we’ve always kept in touch and worked across all of the different companies that I’ve been working with. But, for me it was just getting back to game development and, not necessarily getting my hands on the keyboard and programming, but working with creative teams and being able to build stuff was a huge, huge draw for me, and this is an incredible team of super-talented people that it just started making sense the more Dave and I were jamming on it.

GI: Adam, you said you were excited to get back into the game development side. What was so attractive about that?

AB: Well, you know, it’s funny, Brian. Because, I mean, when I was at Midway, when Dave and I were there together, we worked on SlugFest: Loaded and on Blitz: The League. There was this sort of… and it actually dawned on me from [working at Sony] – I loved my job there and I loved working with publishers and developers from around the world, and nothing made me happier than seeing a game like Firewatch come out and be super successful or The Witness and all these different studios that put their blood, sweat, and tears. And what I started to realize was giving birth to a product and putting it out into the marketplace [comes with a] roller coaster of emotions.

So as I traveled around the different studios and over the past year, I started just missing that feeling of being part of a family that focuses on one thing, which is putting out a game and pouring their heart and soul into it. I started sort of looking at my background of all the different, you know, from working in very complicated scenarios of like, doing this Star Wars deal with LucasArts, Disney, EA and PlayStation sort of collaborating on all that stuff together. And I started thinking about how could I apply that to the gaming industry, and what’s happened in the gaming industry. Because, right now, I think it’s absolutely the most exciting time to be an independent developer in the history of the industry. And when I look at Iron Galaxy, it’s so well positioned for what’s happening, you know they’ve been so involved in all emerging platforms.

Every time a new platform is coming out, they’re doing work on it, from Kinect with Wreckateer to mobile stuff with Scribblenauts. We’re on the cusp of VR and AR stuff which is super, super exciting. Then obviously all the new console platforms as well and when we look at the fighting game world and eSports and what’s happening in that place. So, you start to stack all these things up and the work that they were doing in publishing, and then really leaned in a lot of things that I fully believe in for the future. And also stuff that I can get super passionate about and bring my strengths to the table with all my relationships with publishers. And also collaborations, right? These collaborations I’ve had on a larger scale with big IP holders and stuff like that.

You know, right now Iron Galaxy is sort of spread out between Chicago and Orlando and that’s a huge strength. They’re able to collaborate with partners and work very closely together, even if they are apart. How can we take that to the next level? How can we sort of make more collaborative partnerships and stuff like that. So, when you tie all these things up together, and I look at the landscape of where the future’s going next, you know, five, ten years, to me in was kind of a no-brainer. And then knowing Dave for the last 13 years and it was, you know, meeting the teams and going to the studios, it was just like, ‘This is what I want to do with this crew.’

Iron Galaxy CEO Adam Boyes

GI: Your experience at PlayStation got you a lot of relationships with other publishers and developers, so how does that carry into this role beyond what you just said? Obviously you bring a ridiculously strong rolodex with you, but beyond that, what does all that experience you had at PlayStation, both being the guy who works on these deals and being a face of that company, mean for this role?

AB: I think it means that obviously all that publisher experience can now be applied. Dave and his team have worked closely with publishing Capsule Force and Divekick and Videoball and stuff like that. So how do we take that aspect of the business to the next level? How do we really understand how publishing works? Because publishing is super complex, and a lot of time that we spent at PlayStation was working with studios to help them understand the relationships of platforms and low-line media and support and stuff like that. I've got a little bit of an inside track on how that stuff works and how to bring basically best-in-class publishing methodology to the company. And then when we look at those relationships with publishers, obviously they have a face that they know and trust and they can basically talk to. obviously Dave, the Iron Galaxy team, and Chelsea have done a phenomenal job with many, many publishers out there. This adds that extra sort of layer of certainty to publishers.

You asked a question about being the face of it. That definitely helps too. And that’s not just with publishers and developers, but also with the IP holders. So that really expands our abilities, so now in my opinion, there’s nothing stopping us from doing anything that we want because we can have these [...] different relationships, walk into the room and some of them have seen me pulling off some bad dad jokes from the E3 stage. But that experience and knowledge of having been involved in many of the biggest deals at PlayStation is going to bring a lot of information and guidance to the company that we can apply.

GI: Do you think we’ll see more publishing deals like what Iron Galaxy recently did with Videoball with you on board?

AB: I think it’s definitely a place where a lot of my strengths lie, but right now we are looking at all the different opportunities out there. There has been a lot of work for hire work done in the past, there’s some IP ideas that the teams have, and then there’s also the [publishing deals]. So Dave, Chelsea and I are basically meeting very regularly to sort of hash out what does the next 2-to-5 year strategy look like as we build that up together. So, we’re not going to talk about it yet, but we’re definitely working on it right now.

DL: I think going forward we have to have the ability to be consistently successful publishing things, just to kind of have more freedom to do what we want to do. Now does that mean we’re publishing other people’s stuff? Does that mean we’re publishing little indie things? Does that mean we’re doing fundraising and publishing of bigger opportunities at Iron Galaxy maybe? We don’t know those answers yet, but I think one thing we all agree on is that we need to be able to publish stuff consistently and successfully, to go forward.

 

On the next page, we talk with Chelsea Blasko to find out what her new role means for her. 


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Niantic Reveals Pokémon Go’s Team Leaders

Niantic revealed at San Diego Comic-Con today the three team leaders in Pokémon Go, who up until now were only shown as silhouettes in-game.

The panel, which was led by Niantic chief executive John Hanke, showed the audience the designs of these characters. He confirmed that Team Valor is headed by Candela, Blanche is in charge of Team Mystic, and Spark leads Team Instinct.

The panel also discussed some additions Niantic has under consideration, but none of these are confirmed just yet. Niantic brought up the possiblity of Pokémon Centers, along with the inclusion of trading, though the team mentioned that stabilizing the servers would be a priority beforehand.

Pokémon Go released about three weeks ago, and its since taken the world by storm, though it's also had plenty of server issues. As of last week, it released in Japan.

 

Our Take
Pokémon Go players are already incredibly attached to their teams, and having a face behind each now will only add to that enthusiasm. I can't wait to see fans cosplay as these leaders.

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Meet The Team Behind Civilization VI

Developer Firaxis Games has released a new video giving an inside look at some of the team working on the upcoming Civilization VI.

The video, hosted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller, takes a look at what's new in the game, what's being tweaked, and what is staying the same. The video also explores the new inclusion of districts within cities, something developer Dennis Shirk refers to as the "core tenet of the game." Check out the video below.

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Civilization VI is expected to launch for PC on October 21. For more on the game, read our recent hands-on preview

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EA Sports To Patch FIFA Ultimate Team Glitch

FIFA publisher and creator EA Sports has acknowledged the problems with chemistry and fitness in some FIFA Ultimate Team players, and is working on a forthcoming patch to hopefully clear it up once and for all.

As detailed earlier this week, the glitches involved how the chemistry and fitness attributes were applied inconsistently to FUT cards that shipped with the game and those that were released by EA post-launch.

EA Sports says the patch will be released "as soon as possible" via a title update.

Here's the statement in full from the company:

Our development teams have continued to investigate the reports of potential chemistry and fitness inconsistencies within FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 16, and we want to provide you with an update.

Our work has shown that there appear to be some differences in how fitness and chemistry apply to some FUT items. The differences appear to be the same for all FUT fans, but only applying to some FUT items, so we're making some changes to ensure the attributes are being applied consistently across all items in the game.

To do that, we're working on a title update for FIFA 16 on PC, Xbox and PlayStation platforms, and will be deploying it as soon as possible. We'll continue to keep you updated on timing.

We appreciate the help from the FUT community and ongoing dialogue across channels like YouTube, the forums, and r/FIFA. We hear you and your interest in better understanding how FUT works, and as we move towards the launch of FIFA 17, we will be sharing more about the deeper mechanics of Ultimate Team.

We'll be in touch again when we know the target date for the upcoming FIFA 16 update. Thank you.

[Source: FIFA Official Forums]

 

Our Take
Given that these glitches involved the cards that players spent game time and real-life money acquiring, it's good to see that EA is trying to address the situation promptly. It will be interesting to see how the patch performs once it goes under the assured heavy scrutiny of the community.

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