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  1. Today
  2. omarcomin71

    Two Brothers Playlist (GTA & RDR)

    Have a great day Bro!
  3. Con

    Thursday Night Thunder (GTA)

    Yeah I plan on being there too. I’m guessing the triple cash and double cash racing is over, huh.
  4. SINISTER120

    Thursday Night Thunder (GTA)

    I plan on being there.
  5. Dodge

    Thursday Night Thunder (GTA)

    Anybody wanna race tonight?
  6. Hi, PlayStation fans! We’re excited to announce that Sparklite is finally launching on PS4 today, after four difficult years. Being indie is a dream many game developers aspire to and, not taking that for granted, we want to share how our studio managed to get Sparklite over the finish line. As an indie developer, we could set our own priorities, like choosing fun over a deadline, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t have any constraints. The most pressing constraint is obviously money. Keeping Red Blue solvent for over four years has been due to a mix of support from family, frugal living, fortunate contract gigs, and, most recently, help from a publisher. Since Red Blue began we have had working spouses who are willing to live cheap and have access to healthcare benefits. Connections with former co-workers also yielded contract gigs that brought in revenue at critical points in development. Breaks like these have made us appreciate our good fortunes and relationships. But speaking of our spouses, we also knew that with kids right around the corner, this might be our best chance to commit ourselves to developing a title. If we had one shot it should be a game we have always wanted to make. A game we would regret not taking a chance on. We chose a retro-inspired action adventure as our genre but also wanted to incorporate some modern design. The original plan was to do an art style that we could achieve in-house, but once we hired a professional pixel artist to mock up the style, we knew we’d need to hire some artists. Early Mockup of Sparklite by Anders Gullmarsvik Growing the Studio Putting together the team that worked on Sparklite has been a mix of good luck and good relationships. We found all of our artists from the amazing pixel art community on Twitter. We compiled lists of artists we liked while following #pixeldailies, and found several that we really clicked with after doing some trial work together. In many ways, this was yet another stroke of luck since we really did not do a lot of vetting in terms of team compatibility. At a few points, we’ve needed to pull in some trusted programmers, particularly for porting. This was yet another time where good connections helped us out. We didn’t need to search for or interview anyone. They are also extremely talented, so the quality of work we got from them was as good as — if not better than — what we could have done on our own. At its biggest, Sparklite had a team of two designers, four programmers, and two pixel artists. At its smallest, it was just two. It’s made it hard to answer questions like “how many people work on Sparklite?” and “how long has it taken to make the game?” The Finish Line The last big stroke of luck that we need to highlight was landing a deal with our publisher, Merge Games. We ran into them while attending PAX East in 2018 as one of the Indie Megabooth participants. They offered to help bring Sparklite to all consoles, including retail, which would allow us to reach many more players than we could have on our own. Without going into a big discussion regarding what “being indie” really means, it was clear to us that the partnership would help us make Sparklite a better game and reach more players without compromising on the game’s design. Without a doubt, the greatest advantage we’ve had over these last four years is the resilience that comes from having strong professional and personal relationships. When we needed contract work, we had contacts who could help out. When we needed programming help, we had friends willing to step in. When we needed more time on the project, our spouses were willing to endure months and years more on a frugal gamedev budget. Maybe it’s not a coincidence then that one of the things we wanted to highlight in Sparklite are the friendships that the protagonist, Ada, relies on in her adventure. The townspeople who help her up when she falls give her the resilience she needs to carry on. Gamedev is also an adventure of its own and we’re so grateful to have had the support and good fortune to be able to bring Sparklite to life. View the full article
  7. There’s a reason why our studio is named “Highwire Games” and not “Beaten Path Interactive,” or “Incremental Entertainment.” We founded the studio in order to take the kind of risks that are not possible for huge teams with gigantic budgets. We are pleased to announce that Golem is finally out on PlayStation VR tomorrow. Here are just a few of the risks we took to bring this title to life. Risk #1 – An Open World VR Game The promise of virtual reality is that you will visit another world — but the current generation of tech is more suited to stationary gameplay and small environments. Streaming is difficult in VR and the technical investment was daunting, but as a result of that work Golem features an enormous city to explore. All without loading or interruption, allowing you to immerse yourself completely. And we’ve hidden weapons, treasures, artifacts and other collectibles everywhere, so exploration will be rewarded. Risk #2 – The Incline Control Scheme Good controls should not insert themselves between the game and the player, they should disappear from the process. You shouldn’t be thinking “I will press X to punch” but just “I will punch.” For us, the key to seamless controls in VR is your sense of proprioception; your awareness of your body and its position in the world. Golem’s Incline Controls allow you to move as you would naturally, by slightly leaning your body as if you were about to take a step and start walking… For Most Players: The Incline Control System is designed for maximum immersion and allows you to lose yourself in the world completely. The system is very sensitive; your movements should be subtle and not cause any strain, especially when played while seated as designed. The result is an intuitive control scheme that is often easier to understand for new players. For Sensitive Players: For those that are discomforted by movement in VR games, we have included as many comfort options as possible. Instant quick turns, a stationary scene in your peripheral vision, slower movement speeds — these options are all available by selecting “Comfort Mode” at the beginning of the game or can be turned on individually in the Options menu. Everyone’s reactions are different, so we encourage you to experiment and find the settings that work for you. For Power Players: On the other end of the spectrum are those of you that live in VR and want complete control. Rather than implement dozens of possible control schemes, we have chosen to include direct control over your movement via the left analog stick on your DualShock 4. It’s primarily for those that prioritize efficient and responsive input over immersion, but it is always on and available if you want to take a break from the Incline Controls as well. Risk #3 – Intense, Unforgiving Gameplay One option we did not include in Golem was a difficulty setting. There’s only one way to play, and at times it can be deceptively difficult. The one-to-one melee combat starts at a manageable speed, but by the end of the game you will face enemies that will test your reflexes and force you to perfect your skills. The weapon and artifacts you use to build a golem are lost if they are destroyed or abandoned, so each time you enter the city the stakes are high. Reaching the furthest districts takes an investment in time and equipment, all of which can be lost in a moment of inattention or over-reach. At times it may be frustrating — but exploring the gameplay space and your abilities is just as important as exploring the environment. Without the possibility of failure, there is no thrill of victory. Golem has been a challenging and rewarding project for us, and we hope you enjoy playing it as much as we have enjoyed making it! It’s available as a download, but if you purchase the physical Special Edition you will also receive a copy of “Echoes of the First Dreamer,” the musical prequel to Golem. View the full article
  8. There’s a reason why our studio is named “Highwire Games” and not “Beaten Path Interactive,” or “Incremental Entertainment.” We founded the studio in order to take the kind of risks that are not possible for huge teams with gigantic budgets. We are pleased to announce that Golem is finally out on PlayStation VR on 18th November. Here are just a few of the risks we took to bring this title to life. Risk #1 – An open-world VR game The promise of virtual reality is that you will visit another world — but the current generation of tech is more suited to stationary gameplay and small environments. Streaming is difficult in VR and the technical investment was daunting, but as a result of that work Golem features an enormous city to explore. All without loading or interruption, allowing you to immerse yourself completely. And we’ve hidden weapons, treasures, artifacts and other collectables everywhere, so exploration will be rewarded. Risk #2 – The Incline Control scheme Good controls should not insert themselves between the game and the player, they should disappear from the process. You shouldn’t be thinking “I will press X to punch” but just “I will punch.” For us, the key to seamless controls in VR is your sense of proprioception; your awareness of your body and its position in the world. Golem’s Incline Controls allow you to move as you would naturally, by slightly leaning your body as if you were about to take a step and start walking… For most players: The Incline Control System is designed for maximum immersion and allows you to lose yourself in the world completely. The system is very sensitive; your movements should be subtle and not cause any strain, especially when played while seated as designed. The result is an intuitive control scheme that is often easier to understand for new players. For sensitive players: For those that are discomforted by movement in VR games, we have included as many comfort options as possible. Instant quick turns, a stationary scene in your peripheral vision, slower movement speeds — these options are all available by selecting “Comfort Mode” at the beginning of the game or can be turned on individually in the Options menu. Everyone’s reactions are different, so we encourage you to experiment and find the settings that work for you. For power players: On the other end of the spectrum are those of you that live in VR and want complete control. Rather than implement dozens of possible control schemes, we have chosen to include direct control over your movement via the left analog stick on your Dualshock 4. It’s primarily for those that prioritise efficient and responsive input over immersion, but it is always on and available if you want to take a break from the Incline Controls as well. Risk #3 – intense, unforgiving gameplay One option we did not include in Golem was a difficulty setting. There’s only one way to play, and at times it can be deceptively difficult. The one-to-one melee combat starts at a manageable speed, but by the end of the game you will face enemies that will test your reflexes and force you to perfect your skills. The weapon and artifacts you use to build a golem are lost if they are destroyed or abandoned, so each time you enter the city the stakes are high. Reaching the furthest districts takes an investment in time and equipment, all of which can be lost in a moment of inattention or over-reach. At times it may be frustrating — but exploring the gameplay space and your abilities is just as important as exploring the environment. Without the possibility of failure, there is no thrill of victory. Golem has been a challenging and rewarding project for us, and we hope you enjoy playing it as much as we have enjoyed making it! It will be available on PlayStation Store in Europe on Monday, 18th November. But if you purchase the physical Special Edition you will also receive a copy of “Echoes of the First Dreamer,” the musical prequel to Golem. The post Long-anticipated PS VR adventure Golem launches on PS4 next week appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe. View the full article
  9. SINISTER120

    New Summer Update Thread

    Lol, nope. Making a max sale/completely filling everything once is just one of the things I do in R* games.
  10. Lann

    gta&rdr Crew Challenge: Hall of Fame

    Great update @Fido_le_muet Advancing in the field is alot easier with the opposition getting old
  11. Skorpion

    planning GTA Rocket League Tournament

    Put @Olla on the interested list as well please.
  12. Skorpion

    gta&rdr Crew Challenge: Hall of Fame

    Thanks for the update @Fido_le_muet I'm coming for you @Con
  13. Skorpion

    New Summer Update Thread

    @SINISTER120 You mentioned waiting to sell your 10 sets of collectables a few weeks ago. Do you work for R*? Lol A very interesting watch. It makes complete logical sense, but my fear is that R* will change the coding in a way that doesn't improve free-roam spawning due to crashing, but instead will reduce the in-mission spawn rate to reduce the disconnections that are happening despite the lack of spawns. I should also point out that during the last Freaky Friday I went hunting during every mission/bounty and found only one group of deer in 4 hrs. I seen nothing before or after besides 2 ducks and a rabbit.
  14. pete2581

    gta&rdr Crew Challenge: Hall of Fame

    @Banketelli about to step aside for @Lann Thanks for the update @Fido_le_muet
  15. zztop911

    New Summer Update Thread

    I sold 1 collection of all the non-tarot card collections and got almost $4K with the 25% bonus! Spend a relaxing hour in defensive mode collecting with the Collector map (https://jeanropke.github.io/RDR2CollectorsMap/)each day between now and Monday and sell on Monday. You could have way more that what I did today.
  16. The_Lady_A

    gta&rdr Crew Challenge: Hall of Fame

    I need to do more crew challenges! Thanks for the update Fido
  17. revbouncer

    planning GTA Rocket League Tournament

    Just thought I'd bump this. If we can't get enough people who are interested in some sort of tournament, those who put their names down might just like to play a regular match for fun, either every week or 2 or once a month.
  18. Yesterday
  19. Lann

    Whacked Out Wednesdays (GTA & RDR)

    Fun in the snow
  20. zztop911

    What was the most recent thing you bought?

    21 gallons of distilled water! I'm doing a coolant system and oil cooler back flush in my truck and switching over to a silicate free coolant..............not one of Ford's "Better Ideas"! LOL!
  21. Fido_le_muet

    gta&rdr Crew Challenge: Hall of Fame

    Ding Ding Ding ! The people have spoken and your great leader has listened. Update time ! So where do we stand after 22 weeks of fierce competition since the last update ? Miraculously, @Banketelli is still 1st ! Just a couple wins were enough to keep his crown. But beware my danish friend ! @Lann is now 2nd just 3pts behind !!! Will we have a new leader in the coming weeks ? Another miracle : I'm still on the podium despite scoring a grand total of zero point... In this age of miracles, @no_snacks remains 4th ! At 5th we find @Protocawl who sneaks past @djw180 by one tiny point ! There's a huge gap between 6th and 7th as we find @Crawford1872 60 points behind DJ. @zmurko is still top 10 at 8th despite scoring no points. @DavidCore89 remains 9th and @pete2581 enters the Top 10, ejecting his own brother in the process. Not cool ! 11th is Spud@Potato while @omarcomin71 loses 2 ranks and is now 12th. @Con jumps from 16th to 13th thanks to 4 second place. The revenant @Skorpion lost a tiny spot despite his long absence and is 14th. @kernalhogan and @JustHatched are 15th and 16th respectively and @SINISTER120 gains 2 spots and is now 17th after 2 wins these past weeks. Well done. Good progression for @Spinnaker1981 who enters Top 20 at 18th following a couple wins. @desuno1 and @RichnLin survive in the Top 20 despite being out of the crew for ages ! Quite the achievement for them both.
  22. Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Ghost Games Release: November 8, 2019 Rating: Teen Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Also on: Xbox One, PC The Need for Speed franchise is back from a brief hiatus after the failure of 2017’s Need for Speed Payback. During that time, developer Ghost Games has refocused and concentrated on the series’ core: cops, high speeds, world exploration, and customization – with a hokey story thrown in for old times’ sake. Need for Speed Heat has its flaws (its cop integration could be better), but it’s a rousing return that delivers on many of the franchise’s touchstones. While the story of street racers going up against corrupt cops is forgettable, the day/night cycle that governs your activities is appealing. You earn money during the day and reputation points at night. You need both currencies to progress. Cops are more active at night and take chunks of money and rep if you’re caught. Meanwhile, you earn progressively more rep for stringing races together and attracting police attention, so it’s fun to tempt fate with “one more race” before parking it for the night at the nearest safe house. Even with the threat of arrest, the police in NFS Heat take a slight backseat to racing other street racers (online or A.I.). The cops can be formidable, marshaling ramming trucks and more to bring you down, but they’re easy to escape when they chase you in the middle of a race event. Also, they are only a nuisance now and again because there aren’t enough set-piece moments to amp up their power and presence. Click here to watch embedded media Palm City, which has Miami-like city streets, industrial areas, and broad hills made for drifting, contains more than just race events. Finding collectibles and performing mini-challenges like smashing billboards, going through speed traps, and taking on technical time trial courses dole out rewards. Money and reputation multipliers are also passively earned when joining an online crew. The more everyone races the more everyone earns. Need for Speed’s gameplay is centered on arcade racing, but I enjoy how it still demands a racer’s touch. The plethora of events in the world are suited towards different styles of racing such as drifting and long high-speed sprints, and so are the cars’ basic driving characteristics and upgrades. I liked having to change my driving mentality and car depending on the circumstance. There were times when I could out-muscle the competition by the sheer superiority of my cars’ horsepower. However, the more satisfying moments were when I won with an underpowered car because I knew how to race the course according to my ride’s characteristics. For example, high-end speed isn’t as important in a circuit race filled with tight turns. Instead, I cornered correctly to win. Conversely, the long sprint races are about maintaining top speed over long distances with drifting required around the tighter corners. You have more time to make up lost ground, but there’s also more traffic to plow into. Overall, Heat does a great job balancing numerous factors to keep the racing flowing and exciting. Traffic density, what you can/cannot crash through alongside the road, the ability to cut corners when necessary, and even a little bit of rubberbanding, all come into play but don’t drag the game down or make it frustrating. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Car part upgrades run the gamut of standard (crankshaft, exhaust, etc.) to very useful, such as auxiliary parts that weaken the police’s radar. Upgrades like tires and suspension are also instrumental in shaping vehicle characteristics to make them more suitable for specific race types – a nice component in step with the gameplay. Cosmetic changes like editable decal layers and underglow effects are also worth spending in-game money on (there are no microtransactions), helping make your investments feel worthwhile. Overall, I liked upgrading existing cars in my garage (and therefore become more attached to them) as well as having to buy new ones occasionally to keep up with the game’s difficulty. Need for Speed has meant different things over the years, but Heat is a good all-around representation of the franchise. The police could be a little more prominent, and the world – while well stocked – isn’t as interesting as Forza Horizon’s, for instance, but NFS Heat is the best iteration since Ghost Games’ reboot in 2015. Score: 7.75 Summary: There's plenty to do in Palm City – night or day – in this solid entry in the series. Concept: Palm City hums with activities set in the day or night while corrupt cops keep a lookout. Graphics: NFS Heat pops with neon splashes and water-slicked streets. Best of all, the game is consistently smooth. Sound: Small touches, such as being able to customize your cars’ exhaust sound, and the fact that your character actually speaks during cutscenes, are very welcome. Playability: I enjoy that different kinds of cars are suited to specific types of races, which changes how you approach driving and upgrading them. Entertainment: The game’s day/night structure is part of a compelling structure that makes NFS Heat a solid entry in the franchise. Replay: Moderately High Click to Purchase View the full article
  23. djw180

    gta Ideas for crew challenge 200

    @Pb76 @Skorpion @Lann @Fido_le_muet @pete2581 @SINISTER120 Thanks for the ideas, I do think that the GTA part should be a time trial though. Any non-racing challenges we have had in the last year have always had lower numbers of players. So I think to ensure we get enough people that part needs to be a land race. Plus if we do a time trial in GTA with something combat based in RDR then there are two different aspects and someone can just do one of them if that is what they want, or both teammates can have a go at both parts. I was thinking of a long p2p race, or a long 1-lap race. Fido - we did A scouring challenge not that long ago, so I think something else for this one. I would also really like whatever we do to not involve uploading a long video. 10 minutes is the absolute maximum I think. That could take me an hour on my current ISP sometimes and I know some other people have similar problems. Ideally I would like it to be something shorter and where there is a clear on-screen message showing the "result" (whatever that is for this challenge), or it's the actual video time that is the result. Going through counting things in a video could be very difficult, there is also the issue of sometimes videos skip a few seconds, you can make a rough guess at how mich extra time a skip would add but more difficult to count up things done that were in the skipped footage. I was wondering if we can just do a couple of normal bounties, taking the average time of 3 different ones. We could use the time left for this. Most bounties give you a set amount of time to complete once you have found the target. Those time allocations vary depending on how difficult the game thinks it is and how far away you are from a Sheriff or prison wagon. So I think it could work just using time left when you deliver the bounty (alive only). We could also say certain types of mission are not allowed, e.g. no tracking missions (the main bit of those has a separate timer to the timer for actually delivering the target), no multi-target bounties (difficult to get all targets solo and I suspect the timer is longer because it's giving time to deliver more than one). Your overall time is the average of 3 (or more?) different bounties to help smooth out any differences.
  24. Blasting off into The Outer Worlds truly feels like visiting a new, quirky universe. The developers at Obsidian tapped into deep narrative roots to actualize a future where corporations rule the stars with cheesy slogans and shoddy products. Lead game directors, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, offer insights about bringing this immersive, humorous experience to life. PlayStation Blog: Why did Obsidian decide to frame society in Halcyon around all-encapsulating capitalism? Leonard Boyarsky: That came about as a reaction to Tim’s wanting to explore the inherent silliness of corporations and their desire to brand everything. Those initial sillier discussions led to us brainstorming what would happen if those same corporations were in complete control of a society. Which was decidedly not silly. PSB: From there, how did they decide on the types of schmuck companies? Did you start with Saltuna and work back from there or start from the concept of Spacer’s Choice and then decide the products? Tim Cain: The first company was Spacer’s Choice, which was a riff on Trucker’s Choice Pep Pills from The Simpsons. I imagined it as a company that made almost every type of product, but none of them were good. But they were cheap. After that, I created a rival company, which was Auntie Cleo’s, and they tried to differentiate themselves as better than everyone else. Other companies quickly followed based on the needs for certain products in the game, like C&P for food, Hammersmith for weapons (oddly enough, they sold no hammers), Brook & Olson for armor, and Rizzo’s for candy and soda. Every time I invented a company, I tried to imagine some rival companies, so Hammersmith had Aramid Ballistics, Joch, and T&L. Each company had something it was known for, like higher condition maximum or more mod slots. Something to make the player get an impression of what each brand was best at. PSB: What was the process like writing all the marketing slogans? Tim Cain: I wrote most of the slogans over a short period of time. I usually riffed on existing slogans (like “it’s near this complete breakfast” or “boarst pockets!”). Sometimes I liked to imagine how a nice-sounding slogan would end badly, such as “Tastes fresh because…” I thought of endings like “it’s full of preservatives” or “we inject it with ozone,” but I finally settled on the simple “it was.” I found that the simple slogans really made people laugh. PSB: How did you flesh out the religions of Scientism and Philosophism? Were there real world inspirations? Leonard Boyarsky: Scientism started with its name, yet another Simpsons’ reference (their official name, ‘The Order of Scientific Inquiry,’ came later). After settling on that, I began exploring what type of religion could be worthy of that name, and what type of purely materialistic religion the corporations might espouse as a way to remove everything spiritual from their workers’ lives. I’ve always been fascinated by Laplace’s demon, the idea that somehow the entirety of the universe could be divined if only we had enough information, so I worked that in as well in the guise of their ‘Universal Equation,’ their version of their ‘divine right’ to rule. The name Philosophism came from Theosophy, a turn of the century mystical philosophy/religion, which, except for their shared belief in a personal experience of God, is about where the similarities end. It was designed as a specific answer to Scientism’s ordered, deterministic ideology. We took aspects of various eastern religions and mashed them together to come up with something that was vague enough to be misinterpreted by many people in the colony and was also easy for the Board to turn into something to scare their workers with. It was also designed in such a way that there’d be an interesting gap between it and Scientism that could be filled in by Vicar Max’s spiritual quest. PSB: Describe how the team went about creating the game’s various companions. Leonard Boyarsky: With the exception of Ellie and Felix, we started with basic archetypes – the big game hunter, the disgruntled truth seeker, the naïve innocent, etc., and then we put our own spin on them. For Ellie and Felix, we just needed two temp companions who could talk to each other as they followed the player around for our vertical slice, but we liked them so much we decided to keep them. PSB: What’s the process for writing various companion interaction dialogues? Is there, say, a matrix of the different pairings and how they’ll interact or what topics will come up between them? Leonard Boyarsky: When we were establishing the companions’ personalities it became pretty obvious which NPCs they’d have issues with and which they’d agree with, including the other companions. Some of their interjections (like Nyoka’s Information Broker interactions) were planned out from the beginning, but many of them were second pass, with the writers running through conversations in-game and picking spots where their companions would naturally interject. PSB: What are your favorite companion combinations? Leonard Boyarsky: It’s hard to pick, I like them all for different reasons. Having been the main writer on Max, I’m partial to his pairings with the other companions. I love how they all shut him down whenever they get the chance. PSB: Which companion / NPC confrontations are your favorite? Leonard Boyarsky: Again, it’s hard to pick just one. In general, I really like the ones where the companions’ personalities and beliefs are revealed in a quick back and forth, like Felix with Anton, or Max with Graham. Or Ellie and her parents. Or Nyoka and everyone in Monarch. Or… PSB: Parvati is asexual. Tell us about writing romance for her character and why she was written in that direction. Leonard Boyarsky: That aspect of Parvati came from her original writer, Chris L’Etoile. After he left the project, she was taken over by Kate Dollarhyde, who continued to expand on those themes. There was no specific directive they were fulfilling; it all came from the characterization they wanted to explore for her. PSB: Who writes the emails and all the documents found throughout the world? Leonard Boyarsky: All the writers contributed to those. PSB: Was there a reason for keeping the Board faceless and mysterious for as long as possible? Leonard Boyarsky: It was partially by design, partially due to time constraints. The original idea was to limit exposure to them to make them feel more monolithic and impersonal, but a lot of the advertisements and news stories featuring the Chairman we did have planned throughout the game ended up getting cut. So they became even more faceless and mysterious. PSB: Which joke are you most proud of? Leonard Boyarsky: There are so many I love it’s hard to pick one. What I’m most proud of, however, is the positive reactions we’ve gotten for our humor overall. It’s impossible to guess how humor is (or isn’t) going to land, but it does feel like a lot of players are enjoying it. PSB: What is one hard-to-find, narrative-rich side quest that you really hope players find? Leonard Boyarsky: We’re not telling. The Outer Worlds is available on PS4 now. View the full article
  25. Blasting off into The Outer Worlds truly feels like visiting a new, quirky universe. The developers at Obsidian tapped into deep narrative roots to actualise a future where corporations rule the stars with cheesy slogans and shoddy products. Lead game directors, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, offer insights about bringing this immersive, humourous experience to life. PlayStation Blog: Why did Obsidian decide to frame society in Halcyon around all-encapsulating capitalism? Leonard Boyarsky: That came about as a reaction to Tim’s wanting to explore the inherent silliness of corporations and their desire to brand everything. Those initial sillier discussions led to us brainstorming what would happen if those same corporations were in complete control of a society. Which was decidedly not silly. From there, how did they decide on the types of schmuck companies? Did you start with Saltuna and work back from there or start from the concept of Spacer’s Choice and then decide the products? Tim Cain: The first company was Spacer’s Choice, which was a riff on Trucker’s Choice Pep Pills from The Simpsons. I imagined it as a company that made almost every type of product, but none of them were good. But they were cheap. After that, I created a rival company, which was Auntie Cleo’s, and they tried to differentiate themselves as better than everyone else. Other companies quickly followed based on the needs for certain products in the game, like C&P for food, Hammersmith for weapons (oddly enough, they sold no hammers), Brook & Olson for armour, and Rizzo’s for candy and soda. Every time I invented a company, I tried to imagine some rival companies, so Hammersmith had Aramid Ballistics, Joch, and T&L. Each company had something it was known for, like higher condition maximum or more mod slots. Something to make the player get an impression of what each brand was best at. What was the process like writing all the marketing slogans? Tim Cain: I wrote most of the slogans over a short period of time. I usually riffed on existing slogans (like “it’s near this complete breakfast” or “boarst pockets!”). Sometimes I liked to imagine how a nice-sounding slogan would end badly, such as “Tastes fresh because…” I thought of endings like “it’s full of preservatives” or “we inject it with ozone,” but I finally settled on the simple “it was.” I found that the simple slogans really made people laugh. How did you flesh out the religions of Scientism and Philosophism? Were there real world inspirations? Leonard Boyarsky: Scientism started with its name, yet another Simpsons’ reference (their official name, ‘The Order of Scientific Inquiry,’ came later). After settling on that, I began exploring what type of religion could be worthy of that name, and what type of purely materialistic religion the corporations might espouse as a way to remove everything spiritual from their workers’ lives. I’ve always been fascinated by Laplace’s demon, the idea that somehow the entirety of the universe could be divined if only we had enough information, so I worked that in as well in the guise of their ‘Universal Equation,’ their version of their ‘divine right’ to rule. The name Philosophism came from Theosophy, a turn of the century mystical philosophy/religion, which, except for their shared belief in a personal experience of God, is about where the similarities end. It was designed as a specific answer to Scientism’s ordered, deterministic ideology. We took aspects of various eastern religions and mashed them together to come up with something that was vague enough to be misinterpreted by many people in the colony and was also easy for the Board to turn into something to scare their workers with. It was also designed in such a way that there’d be an interesting gap between it and Scientism that could be filled in by Vicar Max’s spiritual quest. Describe how the team went about creating the game’s various companions. Leonard Boyarsky: With the exception of Ellie and Felix, we started with basic archetypes – the big game hunter, the disgruntled truth seeker, the naïve innocent, etc., and then we put our own spin on them. For Ellie and Felix, we just needed two temp companions who could talk to each other as they followed the player around for our vertical slice, but we liked them so much we decided to keep them. What’s the process for writing various companion interaction dialogues? Is there, say, a matrix of the different pairings and how they’ll interact or what topics will come up between them? Leonard Boyarsky: When we were establishing the companions’ personalities it became pretty obvious which NPCs they’d have issues with and which they’d agree with, including the other companions. Some of their interjections (like Nyoka’s Information Broker interactions) were planned out from the beginning, but many of them were second pass, with the writers running through conversations in-game and picking spots where their companions would naturally interject. What are your favourite companion combinations? Leonard Boyarsky: It’s hard to pick, I like them all for different reasons. Having been the main writer on Max, I’m partial to his pairings with the other companions. I love how they all shut him down whenever they get the chance. Which companion / NPC confrontations are your favourite? Leonard Boyarsky: Again, it’s hard to pick just one. In general, I really like the ones where the companions’ personalities and beliefs are revealed in a quick back and forth, like Felix with Anton, or Max with Graham. Or Ellie and her parents. Or Nyoka and everyone in Monarch. Or… Parvati is asexual. Tell us about writing romance for her character and why she was written in that direction. Leonard Boyarsky: That aspect of Parvati came from her original writer, Chris L’Etoile. After he left the project, she was taken over by Kate Dollarhyde, who continued to expand on those themes. There was no specific directive they were fulfilling; it all came from the characterization they wanted to explore for her. Who writes the emails and all the documents found throughout the world? Leonard Boyarsky: All the writers contributed to those. Was there a reason for keeping the Board faceless and mysterious for as long as possible? Leonard Boyarsky: It was partially by design, partially due to time constraints. The original idea was to limit exposure to them to make them feel more monolithic and impersonal, but a lot of the advertisements and news stories featuring the Chairman we did have planned throughout the game ended up getting cut. So they became even more faceless and mysterious. Which joke are you most proud of? Leonard Boyarsky: There are so many I love it’s hard to pick one. What I’m most proud of, however, is the positive reactions we’ve gotten for our humour overall. It’s impossible to guess how humour is (or isn’t) going to land, but it does feel like a lot of players are enjoying it. What is one hard-to-find, narrative-rich side quest that you really hope players find? Leonard Boyarsky: We’re not telling. The Outer Worlds is out now on PS4. The post How Obsidian brought its new sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds to life appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe. View the full article
  26. Hey PlayStation, we’re excited to announce that our top-down action adventure Sparklite is finally launching on PS4 tomorrow, after four difficult years. Being indie is a dream many game developers aspire to and, not taking that for granted, we want to share how our studio managed to get Sparklite over the finish line. Staying afloat in the beginning “It doesn’t have to be fun, it just needs to ship.” This was the notorious line that got Edward thinking about going indie. Being indie means we can set our own priorities like choosing fun over a deadline, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t have any constraints. The most pressing constraint is obviously money. Keeping Red Blue solvent for over four years has been due to a mix of support from family, frugal living, fortunate contract gigs, and, most recently, help from a publisher. Since Red Blue began we have had working spouses who are willing to live cheap and have access to healthcare benefits. Connections with former coworkers also yielded contract gigs that brought in revenue at critical points in development. Breaks like these have made us appreciate our good fortunes and relationships. But speaking of our spouses, we also knew that with kids right around the corner, this might be our best chance to commit ourselves to developing a title. If we had one shot it should be a game we have always wanted to make. A game we would regret not taking a chance on. We chose a retro-inspired action adventure as our genre but also wanted to incorporate some modern design. The original plan was to do an art style that we could achieve in-house, but once we hired a professional pixel artist to mock up the style we knew we’d need to hire some artists. Above is an early mockup of Sparklite by Anders Gullmarsvik. Growing the studio Putting together the team that worked on Sparklite has been a mix of good luck and good relationships. We found all of our artists from the amazing pixel art community on Twitter. We compiled lists of artists we liked while following #pixeldailies and found several that we really clicked with after doing some trial work together. In many ways this was yet another stroke of luck since we really did not do a lot of vetting in terms of team compatibility. At a few points we’ve needed to pull in some trusted programmers, particularly for porting. This was yet another time where good connections helped us out. We didn’t need to search for or interview anyone. They are also extremely talented so the quality of work we got from them was as good as, if not better than what we could have done on our own. At its biggest, Sparklite had a team of two designers, four programmers, and two pixel artists. At its smallest it was just two. It’s made it hard to answer questions like “how many people work on Sparklite?” and “how long has it taken to make the game?”. The finish line The last big stroke of luck that we need to highlight was landing a deal with our publisher Merge Games. We ran into them while attending PAX East in 2018 as one of the Indie MEGABOOTH participants. They offered to help bring Sparklite to all consoles, including retail, which would allow us to reach many more players than we could have on our own. Without going into a big discussion regarding what “being indie” really means, it was clear to us that the partnership would help us make Sparklite a better game and reach more players without compromising on the game’s design. Without a doubt, over these last four years, the greatest advantage we have had is the resilience that comes from having strong relationships, professionally and personally. When we needed contract work, we had contacts who could help out. When we needed programming help, we had friends willing to step in. When we needed more time on the project, our spouses were willing to endure months and years more on a frugal gamedev budget. Maybe it’s not a coincidence then that one of the things we wanted to highlight in Sparklite are the friendships that the protagonist, Ada, relies on in her adventure. The townspeople who help her up when she falls give her the resilience she needs to carry on. Gamedev is also an adventure of its own and we’re so grateful to have had the support and good fortune to be able to bring Sparklite to life. The post How industry connections and a desire to go indie helped shape retro-inspired adventure Sparklite, out today appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe. View the full article
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