Ok, we need to brag for a minute…
Every year GDC Prime in San Francisco makes a deck of cards featuring the top speakers from the past year. These decks of cards are given out as speaker gifts, and “making the deck’ is a big accomplishment, especially given the high quality of speakers and sessions at GDC.
We’re pleased to announce that our boss, Ted Woolsey (also known as Senior Director of First Party Publishing for Microsoft Studios) has made the deck for 2013!
Early in his career (way before Microsoft) Ted was the legendary translator of some of Square’s most famous early titles, including Secret of Mana and Chronotrigger. His translation methods revolutionized game localization — trying Binging Woolseyism – and remain widely discussed to this day.
Last year he spoke about localizing games at GDC, and he gave of the best performances at the conference. Put it this way — Tim Schafer was the top rated speaker (and the Ace of Spades) and Ted was the 3 of Spades.
Congrats Ted! He spoke this year too, so we’ll probably see him in next year’s deck as well.
Hi Everyone — just a quick Saturday note to let you know that the service issues that were affecting Happy Wars as well as some other Xbox LIVE games have been resolved and Happy Wars is up and running.
See you online!
There’s a great article today over at Gamasutra by Klei Entertainment’s Nels Anderson, talking about the design rules they used to help build Mark of the Ninja. The team basically had to break, or rewrite, a lot of the established rules of stealth game design to bring stealth gameplay in satisfying way to 2D. There’s also some very interesting insights about 2D game design and human brains (ever wonder why there’s no good open word side-scrollers? Nels has a good theory).
So, if you’re interested in knowing more about the design of one of the most fun XBLA games of 2012, head over and check it out!
And if for some reason you haven’t *played* Mark of the Ninja yet, point your browser right here, and queue up the free trial for your Xbox 360 right now!
We wanted to make a quick pre-weekend update on Happy Wars. First, thanks everyone for supporting the game. It’s been awesome to see how into the game everyone is. Second, thanks for your feedback on the latest update to Happy Wars.
One of the big things Toylogic implemented in the update was the ability to tweak things on the server side without waiting for a major update. We are still fine tuning things on the server side; you may have noticed some small changes last night. Overall, our data shows that most people are seeing better results, but we know it’s not perfect yet, and some people have not seen an improvement, which is frustrating, we know. We hope the latest tweaks last night have helped.
We’re working on improving matchmaking speed and in-game lag issues. If you are still experiencing issues either getting into a match, or with lag during a match (characters jumping around, or not taking damage, etc. are symptoms of this) and would like to help us with continued tuning in advance of the next major update, we’d welcome your feedback. We will pass this info on to Toylogic and our engineers so they can work on improving the experience for everyone.
If you want to help, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Happy Wars Tuning” and include as much of the the following info as you can:
- Your modem type, if known
- Your router type, if known (you may not have a router if your modem is also a router)
- If you have a firewall
- Your internet provider and service type (eg Comcast, DSL, etc.)
- Your internet speed if known
- Wired or wifi connection to your Xbox
- What time this happened, and what part of the world you’re in
- What happened:
[ ] kicked from lobby
[ ] long lobby wait time during matchmaking
[ ] game aborted after the match started
[ ] characters warping around the battlefield or not taking damage
[ ] kicked from a lobby after a match
[ ] other: please describe
- How many successful games you had before or after the issue (that is, does this happen every time, one out of five times, etc?)
- If it is OK for us to contact you if our engineers would like additional information
If you’re still having issues we apologize that the experience isn’t as smooth as it can be yet, and thanks again if you choose to help. Hopefully we’ll see you this weekend in the game!
We’re not quite sure which one it will be yet, but we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft Studios will be publishing one of the hundreds of games submitted to the Independent Games Festival this year, in a continuation of the Microsoft Studios Prize we inagurated last year.
We’re hoping the guys at Capy Games, who won last year for Super TIME Force will help us pick, because 589 games is a lot to play through! Have any suggestions for who should win the prize? Let us know in the comments! You can see a full list of the games here.
With all due respect to our friends in the media who like to frequent trademark sites, we thought we’d break this one ourselves. :)
Our legal eagles have authorized us to say: “We have either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions.”
That’s it! Have a good Monday!
Hey we updated our comments system to the new Disqus 2012 system. Tell us what you think in the comments below. We can always go back if we want to, but we think 2012 looks pretty good. Let us know what you think, below.
Sorry updating has been so light this week, XBLA Alex and I are at E3 doing tons of meetings with our developers and the media! If you watched the Microsoft media briefing, hopefully you saw Alex demoing Wreckateer onstage! Pretty cool! We’ll have lots more on that as well as the other titles we revealed at the briefing (including Ascend: New Gods) soon. This morning there will be a media briefing by Nexon to reveal new details and a new trailer for Dungeon Fighter LIVE! I am going to be there answering questions, so hopefully you can read about this elsewhere today! We’ll have the trailer up as soon as we can. If you dig “grindy” old-school RPG combat with an incredibly deep crafting system, you will want to check this game out. It’s been totally updated with HD graphics, LIVE co-op multiplayer, and console-focused controls. Pretty cool.
Gratz to our winners and stay tuned for your next chance to win a free XBLA game code posting soon! If you have any suggestions please feel free to post them in the comments! Winners please email PlayXBLA@microsoft.com to claim your code. Gratz to the contestant listed below and thanks to everybody who posted! Those of you who didn’t win, don’t worry you get unlimited tries everyday!
This is important, don’t freak out, but if you win you definitely will not get your code until after E3 is over. Don’t worry we won’t forget about you. This is also the last Pic of the Day contest until after E3, unless Alex discovers some source for the mythical 16 Hour Energy drink, because she is going to be hecka busy next week.
Ladies and Gents we have a four person tie! Gratz to our winners and stay tuned for your next chance to win a free XBLA game code posting soon!
Aaron-gallagher: Or I could just play Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Ed note: or Spelunky!)
Rob Hestar(★♋): You take the blue ticket- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red ticket – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes and what awesome games Xbox has coming out this year!
Andrew Ho: Pinkspring Caverns once again overshadowed by its bitter rival, Bluespring Caverns.
(Confidential to Andrew: We let you win even though you made an it’s-its error. It’s means “it is.” If you’re not trying to say “it is” don’t use an apostrophe!)
E3 is an “industry only” conference, which means you can’t get a ticket for love or money unless you’re in the game industry or the media. Even then, you have to provide like 60 forms of ID, a blood sample,a 20 page essay, etc. before you can get your coveted E3 hardcard. So, unfortunately, while Microsoft and its partners are going to be showing hella XBLA games, including some freaking awesome, exclusive new reveals (which will be revealed Monday, not today, sorry!), if you don’t have a pass, you either need to ninja your way into the LA Convention Center or wait for Pax Prime to play them. Unless you happen to be in LA this weekend…