Category: Video

Games Video

Itagaki: I’m not going anywhere

It appears that some Playstation 3 fans have been spreading rumors that Team Ninja’s producer Tomonobu Itagaki, one of the Xbox’s most loyal developers, is leaving the console. One can only wonder how this rumor started, but it probably has something to do with Ninja Gaiden Sigma.

But don’t let that PlayStation 3 version of Ninja Gaiden trouble you. Tomonobu Itagaki is not going anywhere. In fact, he isn’t even working on it. He’s left that up to Yousuke Hayashi, who requested that he be allowed to bring the Ninja Gaiden franchise to a broader audience. Hayashi worked on Ninja Gaiden Black for the original Xbox, so it seems that Sigma is in capable hands.

Check out this interview for more on Itagaki’s love of Sega and Microsoft hardware, as well as a clue as to what he’ll be focusing on after Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 ships (hint: it’s Ninja Gaiden 2)

Games Video

GarageGames Update 2

Microsoft announced plans to make entry-level development with XNA available on the PC for free, and on the Xbox 360 for a yearly fee of $99. As many of you probably know, GarageGames is involved with Microsofts new XNA Game Studio Express. They announced that they will be releasing an XNA-compliant version of its Torque game development environment, which consists of the Torque Shader Engine for 3D development and the Torque Game Builder for 2D development. The Microsoft hosted Gamefest 2006 kicked off yesterday, and with that, a few new videos from Garage Games. They both look pretty cool (but are boring due to lack of sound). One video featured two character models doing some familiar animations. The second video shows off more of the Atlas terrain engine, skiing and a new weapon model we have not seen before.

Shacknews also got an interview with GarageGames’ CEO/CTO Joshua Williams and President Mark Frohnmayer:

Shack: On that end user side of things, does GarageGames have any new games in the works, or are you guys pretty full up with work on your development tools right now?

Mark Frohnmayer: For games? We do have a couple things that we can’t talk about just yet. [laughs]

Joshua Williams: We got a couple things brewing.

Mark Frohnmayer: We’re about to release our first actual legimitate casual game that we developed in house. It just went into beta last week. We’re about to release a new set of levels for Marble Blast Ultra on Xbox 360. We did a whole new set of multiplayer maps that are actually a lot of fun. Then we have another game that’s in the early stages of development that’s going to totally rock. We will give you much more information on that as we get closer.

Shack: Anything related to Tribes? I’m sure you guys get asked that every day.

Mark Frohnmayer: It actually is in a lot of ways a gameplay homage to Tribes, but it’s a very different genre.

Joshua Williams: It’s going to be cool.

Mark Frohnmayer: It will be cool.

The full interview can be read here.

Games Video 1

When Politicians Talk About Games

After doing a research project where I wrote a 20 page paper on video game violence and its effect on children, it really bugs me how people constantly misrepresent the truth of the issue. I am getting pretty tired of people claiming that the issue has been settled and that there is enough research to prove that video game violence harms children. From my research on the subject I have learned that those studies are far from conclusive. The fact of the matter is that for every study that says there is some sort of relationship, there is another that says there isn’t. Even those studies that say there is some sort of link never claim that it is a cause and effect relationship. For the most part those studies could just mean that violent children prefer violent entertainment. There are even some good studies that show violent video games could be beneficial to children. Surely these politicians must know this, but they ignore all of the evidence to the contrary. I think a main part of the problem is that it is a generational issue. The simple fact is that those in office are for the most part ignorant when it comes to video games. The whole idea of playing a video game is alien to them. They have no idea what it is like and they can’t be bothered to try it out. I am willing to bet that once that generation is out of power, the whole issue about video game violence will pretty much disappear as it has before with comic books and rock music. But until then, feel free to laugh at how absurd they are:

If you are looking for some well written information on the subject, I suggest you check out these books. I found them to be extremely useful and persuasive.

Games Video 4

More Live Arcade

There are so many Xbox Live Arcade games coming out that I want to get. But instead talking about them, how about I just show you:

Small Arms
Jump around on platforms and fight off furry creatures in this four-player fighting game for Xbox Live Arcade.

RoboBlitz is a robot combat game that mimics robotic movements and design.

Heavy Weapon
Popcap’s Heavy Weapon action shooter, previously available as a web-based game, now comes to Xbox Live Arcade.

Lumines Live
Lumines makes its way onto the Xbox Live Arcade, complete with full multiplayer play over Xbox Live, an exclusive Duel mode and an all-new Puzzle mode, downloadable puzzles, and music and skins from Xbox Live Marketplace.

HoopWorld is a 3-on-3 basketballesque game featuring a variety of cast members and unique environments.

Mutant Storm Empire
Mutant Storm Empire follows up on Mutant Storm Reloaded, an 80’s style arcade shooter for the Xbox Live Arcade.

Stainless Games is bringing Novadrome to the Xbox Live Arcade.

And thats not including some of the classics like Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Sonic, ect.

Music Video 1

This Binary Universe

Its almost here…


What is it going to be like? No one knows actually. But expect something different. For example, the track “everything that makes us human, continues” is written completely in csound. Here is a piece of the code:

amod2 = ahilR * asin
aupshift = (amod1 + amod2) * 0.71
adownshift = (amod1 – amod2) * 0.7
aoutL = aupshift +ar*.1
aoutR = adownshift +acomb*.3
khpline line 440, p3, 180
kpanL line 1, p3, 0
kpanR line 0, p3, 1
aoutLhp butterhp aoutL* ileveloscs, khpline
aoutRhp butterhp aoutR* ileveloscs, khpline

The entire song was written like that. You can see more of it here. But yeah, this album is going to be pretty cool. A few have already heard some and have great things to say:

It’s hard to think of anything more fitting than one innovator creating art from inside the artwork of another — though “innovator” only begins to describe BT. From his work with Tori Amos almost ten years ago on “Blue Skies” and producing *NSync’s “Pop,” to Emotional Technology’s juxtaposition of trancefloor soundscapes and pop songcraft and his acclaimed score for the Oscar-winning film Monster, BT has become the face of electronic music virtuosity, a techno-mage with formal training to match his DJ and synthesis chops, a massively overclocked brain, and the childlike enthusiasm of Shaggy from Scooby Doo. “Like, wow, man, you gotta hear this,” he’ll say. “You’ll totally freak out!”

Listen we did, thanks to the opportunity to be first to hear tracks from his fifth studio project.

Labels such as “ambient” or “modern classical” fit for a few seconds, then the next passage in the song blows away the last, taking any attempt to classify along with it. We can’t restrain our editorial opinion: This as-yet-untitled magnum opus is fine art that works on many levels, mind-bendingly deep but a pleasure to kick back and just listen to. In a hundred years, it could well be studied as the first major electronic work of the new millennium. It’s that good. – Stephen Fortner in Keyboard Magazine

And he’s also been working on a dance-oriented album. So if it turns out that this isn’t as cool as people are expecting, at least we know he will deliver a solid dance album.

Update: They have relased a trailer. The CD is packaged with a DVD featuring all the compositions of the new release in DTS 5.1 Surround and illustrated by a distinguished collection of the finest computer artists and animators in the world today. I assume that the visuals in the trailer are from that DVD.