In an interview with IGN, DICE LA’s studio manager Fredrick Loving discusses the studio’s work on this fall’s Battlefield 4 and keeps a solid poker face when on the topic of DICE’s connection to EA’s new Star Wars license.
DICE have sailed across the Atlantic, and planted a studio shaped flag in a patch of Los Angeles. The newly opened DICE LA has already taken on veterans from Medal of Honor devs Danger Close and plans to have around 60 staff members by the end of the year, taking their orders from DICE's current HQ in Stockholm. As yet, we're unsure what the studio will be working on, although there's been some speculation that they've been appropriated to push EA's further expansion into the Star Wars license.
It's been a tough journey for Star Wars: The Old Republic, with its popularity seemingly pingponging all over the place through its transition from subscription to free-to-play. But is free-to-play really a sustainable thing? Just how well has the MMO been doing? In an earnings call this week, EA president Frank Gibeau says that things are just dandy, thank you very much. Why, things are more than double the dandy, because that's how much revenue's gone up since the conversion.
Following yesterday's news that studios like DICE and Visceral would be working on new Star Wars games under EA's new exclusive deal with Disney, we've been wondering just what those games might look like. A cinematic shooter of nonstop action set in the parched, gritty landscape of Tatooine, maybe? Or how about the series reinterpreted as a survival horror? Apparently, one very real possibility was an open-world Star Wars game, as revealed today in an exchange by former Just Cause developers from Avalanche.
Things got a little scary after Disney bought out LucasFilm last year, acquiring the rights to all of LucasArts' games before shutting down the studio for good. What would become of classics like Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and Knights of the Old Republic? Well, we've got our first development—the House of Mouse has signed a deal with EA to develop and publish games based on the Star Wars licence.
It's sad to see LucasArts officially shuttered, but here's something very positive to come out of it: Raven Software has released the source code for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy as a tribute. That means modders keen to bend those old Star Wars games to their whim now have all the tools they need.
The big buzz around, and apparent main focus of, Obsidian, lately, has been the wildly-successfully-crowd-funded Project Eternity. That's not all they're up to, however, with the delayed South Park: The Stick of Truth still brewing somewhere in the studio. And, as CEO Feargus Urquhart revealed in an interview with RPS, they've had at least one more project of similar size contracted since late last year.
“I would say it’s within the top three pitches we’ve ever come up with,” Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart told RPS, describing Obsidian's pitch for a new game set between the end of the recent trilogy and the start of A New Hope.
"We think that timeframe is super interesting," he added. "It’s the fall of the Republic, the extermination of the Jedi, it’s Obi-Wan going off and making sure Luke is OK. You have the Sith, but you have the extermination of all Force users except for very, very few. So it was an interesting time to set a game, and you know, Chris Avellone came up with a really cool story.”
Our resident droid's cursory glimpse at the Freeworlds: Tides of War Star Wars conversion mod for open-space roamer Freelancer elicited an approving "beep-boop." Translated into English: "OH GOD, YES." A free demo has been around for the majority of the year, but as PCGamesN reports, a new gameplay video released today showcases the mod's progression via a carrier launch and brief sortie against Imperial fighters.
Spaceship management roguelike FTL is one of this year's standout games, and also one of the first Kickstarted projects to result in a playable product. Its modding scene centers around new ships, tweaked mechanics, and updated graphics. We've picked out three ship replacement mods by hellcatv, with art in the case of Serenity and the Enterprise provided by MattsterT. Each of these mods swaps out one of the default ships with a new model complete with new equipment and a custom load-out.
Today's most adorable internet thing may well prove to be the storm trooper skins featured in this new video from Paradise Decay, which recreates the Battle of Hoth in Minecraft. Creator Grahame hasn't used any additional mods to support to film, it's all in-game camerawork. The video's helped along by a terrific map, featuring towering AT-ATs, that famous power generator and a warren of rebel tranches.
Paradise Decay is responsible for the awesome Rise of the Rebellion map, a mega build that uses custom textures to deliver a cubist Star Wars adventure for intrepid Minecraft adventure pack connoisseurs. It looks like the Hoth video is set in Grahame's new map, Rise of the Empire, which he's hoping to release later this year. It'll let you play as the Empire, "hunting down the rebels who have stolen crucial Death Star Schematics." Get a closer look in the time lapse build footage and Battle for Hoth video below.
A new development diary has been released for Star Wars 1313, revealing more of the bleak underworld players will inhabit in this intriguing expansion of the Star Wars universe.
The trailer contains a generous helping of concept art and game footage, while the developers explain that Star Wars 1313's characters will inhabit a moral grey area that contrasts with the clearer black and white morality we're used to seeing from Star Wars. Based on what's been shown of Star Wars 1313 so far, that grey area is full of lasers. Catch a glimpse of those action sequences in the latest footage below.
LucasArts has released a new trailer for the "adult-focused," bounty-hunter-centric Star Wars 1313. Set in the depths of the ecumenopolis (look it up, kids!) of Coruscant, we get a look at the eponymous level 1313. And explosions. Lots of explosions. Watch the trailer inside.
Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is full of secrets -- content that was cut from the final release, some due to time constraints. In 2009, as if it were a Renaissance painting obscured by soot, a team of modders began to carefully restore the unfinished content. Yesterday, that team released the final version of The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM), which restores plot elements, decisions, and dialog (even filling in voice acting where it's missing), and fixes hundreds of bugs since the last version.
Read on for my chat with the project's co-lead, Zbigniew "zbyl2" Staniewicz, about what the mod took to complete, and what's next for the team...
Just a touch over six months after launch, Star Wars: the Old Republic has rolled out its third “major” content patch. Notably absent from 1.3 are a lot of the big things players would expect from a .1 update, such as new endgame Flashpoint or Operation content, a new Warzone, or even new story missions. 1.3 instead seems to focus on broad quality of life and systems changes, of which there are plenty. The long sought Group Finder is in, as well as a Ranked Warzones system and an overhaul to how Augmentation works. Read on for more details!
Stand by Echo Group, possibly best Star Wars themed case mod ever is targeting the power generators. Courtesy of hardware hacker Asphiax, it's a fully functioning battlestation built inside an AT-AT.
Pop open the side of this magnificent mod and there's a fully water cooled mini-ITX PC, with a Core i7 2600K CPU and a Radeon HD6870 inside. Which means it's more than capable of playing SW:TOR, for example and far more interesting than almost anything else to have featured in the Star Wars canon lately.
It even has remote controlled ion cannons on the front.
Leading a guild can be one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges in any MMO, but rarely is the ability to discuss the state-of-the-game with the developers one of those rewards. In The Old Republic it is. BioWare wants to know exactly how these community leaders feel about Star Wars: The Old Republic, so they're inviting guild leaders from all over the world to join them in Austin, Texas for a chance to go over the MMO's progress and its future. Finally, you could have an opportunity to tell the game makers why your Sith Empire needs tea-bagging emotes in PvP.
Yesterday's look at the comparison between Star Wars: The Old Republic's specializations and World of Warcraft's classes began with the resolute Republic. Now, part 2 deals with the power-hungry Empire. As before, each listed class specialization gets a brief description and an approximate comparison to their WoW counterpart(s).
Star Wars: The Old Republic's (SWTOR) is in full swing, and for many of you, that means a chance to hop into BioWare's sprawling massively multiplayer masterpiece alongside fellow defenders of freedom and chokers of Imperial subordinates. However, for the ambivalent World of Warcraft (WoW) hero, taking the leap into a galaxy far, far away can be a daunting task.
Christmas is canceled: there will be no podcast this week as we're busy decking the halls of our magazine to get the latest issue to Santa's printers in time. Daniel Erickson, Lead Writer for Star Wars: the Old Republic, swung by the office to cheer us on and chat about TOR on its launch day. We chat about his favorite light and dark side moments, which classes are just plain evil, and why faction changes just don't make sense in the Star Wars universe.
We hope you'll have a fantastic holiday season full of wonder-frags and epic loots. Look for podcast #300 in the new year. It'll be the cat's meow.
PC Gamer Interview with Daniel Erickson