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Square Enix and LucasArts Talk Next-Gen Positioning 40

A number of companies have released some small details about their plans for next generation gaming. This week, Gamespot has new information from Square Enix and Lucasarts about their upcoming plans. Square, it's reported, sees the need for dramatic change in the industry; a physical game device or something for the DS might be in the offing. Lucasarts, on the other hand, has partnered with MechAssault developer Day 1 studios for an unnamed title with signature multiplayer elements and episodic content. From that article: "However, while the Day 1/LucasArts mystery project will feature downloadable content, Thorley would not say if it would adopt an episodic model a la Half-Life 2: Episode One and its two models. 'With the way [console certification works] the challenge is the economics of [episodic content],' he said. 'While we're not prepared to say whether we'll have episodic content for this new title, under certain circumstances it makes a lot of sense.'"
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Square Enix and LucasArts Talk Next-Gen Positioning

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  • Lightsaber (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @05:39PM (#15869897) Journal
    I just want to know about the Wiisaber. :-(

    For example, how are they going to handle the hitting-air-when-lightsaber-hits-lightsaber problem? I know there are a number of ways to resolve it, I just want to know which one they're going with.
    • Re:Lightsaber (Score:2, Insightful)

      Is there a rumble feature built-in with the WiiMote? That would be one way to give tactile feedback. Obviously there will be input cutoffs.

      How many people ever actually beat the old Nintendo track & field games by running on the pad? Everyone used their hands to just slap the hell out of it.

      • Re:Lightsaber (Score:2, Informative)

        by assassingod ( 772022 )
        Yes, there is a Rumble feature in the Wiimote, as well as the Nunchaku attachment.
        • here's hoping the nunchaku is used for some sort of force push/pull, probably could take advantage of the rumble somehow. That could be so cool. Please Lucasarts, dont screw this up.
      • You know, not only did we do this, but we had just as much fun doing that as we ever did actually running on the thing. Which raises the question of just what exactly constitutes video game fun, anyway?

        Why don't developers release more minigame collections? I'm not talking about NES revival, but if they could give me 20 NES-equivalent games with decent (not even state of the art) graphics for $50, I'd do it.

        You don't have to wow me, game developers! Just start churning and burning! Let democracy declare the
    • I think my signature ponders a question similar to that... Maybe there won't be lightsaber dueling, but just lightsaber versus everything else.
    • The Geek is strong with this one...

      In all seriousness, I, too, am awaiting a lightsaber game for the Wii. Better put me in the boobie hatch, too. :)

      • Re:Lightsaber (Score:2, Interesting)

        by aichpvee ( 631243 )
        And while we're at it, how about a first person Bushido Blade from Square-Enix? I've been waiting for a proper follow up (you know, without crazy load times) for years.
  • by iota ( 527 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2006 @06:06PM (#15870089) Homepage
    That the console video game industry must change is nothing new. In order to survive in the industry, game developers must have one skill more than any other, and that is the capacity to adapt to change. Fifteen years ago it was about getting the maximum value from the minimum number of sprites. A little over ten years ago programmers and artists needed to learn to make 3D models, animations, cameras, etc. very quickly in order to get the first generation of 3D games out the door. Since that time, "game designer" has become an accepted industry position and games are no longer designed on a whiteboard by the lead programmer and producer. And of course, network programming, multi-core programming, complex materials and shaders, etc. have all changed the way games are made.

    "This is one of the reasons Square Enix will collaborate with Taito, a company that produces physical hardware," he said. "In our talks with Taito, ideas for an actual physical product have come up. In any case, we will be releasing some 'thing.' It's interesting in that it's not the sort of thing you expect from Square Enix."
    The only real suggestion that's being made here is that the interface between the gamer and the game will change. But we've seen that happen as well. From the floor pad and the light gun to the eye toy and the Wii controller, the interface is being adapted all the time.

    Certainly even integration with toys has been considered before - but it's often been rejected due to the expense and the low-profit margin for the developer (making an already niche application even more expensive.)

    The real excitement now, I think, is that there are so many options at once for console games to connect with the other things. Games can potentially connect to cellphones via SMS (or even voice!); to the player while he's away using IM or email; post updates on blogs; control local bluetooth devices; or sync with handhelds and PDAs.

    Yesterday developers needed to create the devices that changed how players interact with their games. Today these devices already exist in the hands of our players and what we need to do is find creative ways to take advange of that.
    • The real excitement now, I think, is that there are so many options at once for console games to connect with the other things. Games can potentially connect to cellphones via SMS (or even voice!); to the player while he's away using IM or email; post updates on blogs; control local bluetooth devices; or sync with handhelds and PDAs.

      Yesterday developers needed to create the devices that changed how players interact with their games. Today these devices already exist in the hands of our players and what we n

      • I see no excitement there. A game doesn't need any of those things. When I play a game, I sit down at my PC/console, start it up, play for an hour (or a few hours) then turn it off. There's no reason or advantage to it sending me emails, SMS, blogs, etc. If it needs to tell me something, it can pop up something in the HUD. And I sure as hell wouldn't want it calling or texting me and costing me money.

        I understand your sentiment and a few years ago I would have wholeheartledly shared it. But I would have

    • My first console was a coleco-vision that I had when I was about 5 years old. Since then, obviously, everything about gaming has changed. Graphics are "better" and in 3D now, the game worlds are enormous, and everything has become very complicated. Remember Super Mario 1? 8 worlds. I can beat that game in under 2 hours now, with the assistance of 20 years of practice :). Still one of the better games out there.

      What I want to see is this: I want to be able to play the same game on multiple devices. S
  • the quote from LA immediately following the write-up says they haven't even made that decision yet.
  • How about just making a remake of or sequel to TIE Fighter? It's still the best game Lucasarts have ever published. The exact same game with a few gameplay tweaks and a modern graphics engine would be an awesome experience. Add to that some good multiplayer and episodic content, and you'd have a sure seller.

    That said, Lucasarts would probably try and contaminate it with prequel stuff.
    • I liked the original X-Wing over TieFighter. In the X-Wing, you needed to balance shields, firing rate, and thrust. Every Tie Fighter except the last one had no shields which made the game play feel less complex.
      • The TIE Fighter, Bomber and Interceptor have no shields, yes. However you also spend a decent amount of time flying TIE Advanced and Assault Gunboats, and if you had the expansion, TIE Defender and Missile Boats. Those all had shields.

        Besides, I'd argue that removing the shields made the game that much more challenging. And there's nothing quite like the feeling of blowing up rebel X-Wings in a TIE.
  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2006 @04:01AM (#15872045)
    the Secret of the Robot Monkey MechaLand(TM)!

    The adventure starts with Guybrush Threepwood finding himself in a mecha robot ready to do battle with LeChuck's robot!

    What a game it would be! combining pirate adventuring with mecha warfare!
    • And the only way to control the robot is with the LOOM!!!

      Which you can only use when you have the Blue Vesper, which was eaten by the Chocobo in the attic of Dr. Fred's Mansion and guarded by Darth Vaderoth!!!! Wisecracks and apocolypse!!

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