Tuesday Sep 06, 2011
Rise of Nightmares has launched in North America, and will be available in Europe soon! Hear straight from Ito-san (Producer) and Ueda-san (Director) themselves on why they developed this game for the Kinect, why there are no firearms in the game, and if they are afraid of the dark after working on the game.
Many titles for the Kinect are family friendly offerings, why did you decide to create a Kinect game for the mature audience?
Ito: When I first saw Kinect, I immediately thought it would match up well with horror games, because it doesn’t require a controller when playing in front of the TV screen which gives players a sense of insecurity. So, I never thought it would be the first mature title for Kinect.
Ueda: Also, this title is not solely targeting for core gamers. We believe that casual gamers who watch horror movies on weekends could very well enjoy the game as well.
Rise of Nightmares is being created by the team behind House of the Dead, what similarities can we expect?
Ito: Actually, I’m the only one in the Rise of Nightmares team who used to be a member of the House of the Dead team, and I worked for the first original House of the Dead title. As for “similarities” with House of the Dead, there are lots they have in common; such as: having the player stand while gameplay, first-person view, and life-size zombies are coming closer, but the major similarity is that developing a Kinect title is much alike with developing an arcade game (AC), which is one of SEGA ‘s greatest talent. When developing a new title for AC, we usually think about what to carry (or to ride on), where to place the buttons, and how to play the game. At the first phase of House of the Dead development, we have tested various things like implementing a mechanic where the player can kick by pedaling. House of the Dead has ultimately turned out to be a simple game, but we have made use of those trial-and-error experiences for this title.
Are you afraid of the dark? If yes: has this changed a lot since you started working on Rise of Nightmares?
Ueda: No. Not much has changed since working on this project, except that I became interested in alchemy, tarots, and histories of supernatural science, as a result of all the researches we’ve done for the game.
Ito: I’m OK with the dark too, but I’m not a very big fan of haunted houses. I especially can’t stand the ones with actual people walking around acting as ghosts, because you never know what they’re up to. But I came up with the idea to reproduce this insecurity by allowing players to freely explore the Rise of Nightmares map. But even after developing Rise of Nightmares, I still have difficulties enjoying haunted houses.
Ito: The purpose of this game is “experience.” The protagonist of this game is an ordinary man, who becomes embroiled in an incident knowing nothing, forced to move forward in a situation where a mystery is followed by another. Our purpose is to have the players “experience” this bizarre and terrifying adventure.
Why did you decide not to include firearms?
Ito: Like I mentioned earlier, the story is about an ordinary people, and by our senses, firing around a gun is not very common. Guns don’t simply grow on trees, and we’re sure it requires lots of work to obtain one in an unfamiliar foreign country.
Ueda: And we can say that it’s more “challenging” and “terrifying” to directly fight with bare hands or using weapons rather than playing by firearms equipped. You might start off by thinking “Wish I had a gun…,” but there’s a chance you can end up obtaining something much better as you proceed through.
What’s your favorite horror movie? And why that particular one?
Ueda: I have way too many favorites to answer this question. Well, if I must choose, I’ll go with the classic ones like ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead.’ The film isn’t simply about the monsters being scary, but it also depicts the human drama and culture.
Ito: I’m not a horror movie fan very much, but I do love zombie films. The ordinary life suddenly comes to an end, and the zombies keep multiplying, having your family turning into zombies one by one, and at the end, you join them…I just get thrilled with this inescapable despair.
What’s part of RoN are you especially proud of? Why’s that?
Ito: There’s quite a lot, but I’d say “immersion.” This game requires no controllers while allowing players to explore the level freely, which should be a whole new experience that players find uncomfortable for the first few minutes. But I’m sure they will start walking around the world soon enough. Another aspect we’re proud of is that the game will gradually pull you into the world of ‘Rise of Nightmares’ by playing in the dark all alone.
How long does it take to develop a game like Rise of Nightmares?
Ueda: As of Rise of Nightmares, it took about a year and a half to two years. It’s always better to have longer development period, of course. But in practice, it varies depending on the team organization, skills, and engines, so it’s hard to give a specific number for this.
Ito: Much of the first phase of the development will be spent struggling with Kinect. It’d be excellent if I could lose weight while I keep playing this game.
How important is the audio / soundtrack for a game like Rise of Nightmares? Tell us something about creating/composing the score and the sound effects. Did you break real arms?
Ueda: We give substantial weight to it. Audio factors are great significance when it comes to horror. If you play the game on mute, there’s not much to be scared about. For this title, we had Ron Fish compose the game music. We had to communicate with the overseas co-workers, and I remember struggling to get across the image when the visual arts were incomplete, and retaking the scenes over and over, which was quite tough. But when the music perfectly fits with the game, the overall quality undoubtedly improves, and this is the part where our efforts are rewarded. I’m sure Ron had a tough time too, but he was always working positively, and we greatly appreciate him for that.
Ito: Plus, the game is set in Eastern Europe, so the essence of the Eastern European music is an exquisite accent. The characters of this title consist of various races such as German, Romanian, and Russian. The recording session was sure tough, but was also fun.
What’s the best thing about designing a game that’s dedicated for Kinect?
Ito: The idea of “How will we involve people to play Kinect?” is an subject shared globally, and we are now standing on the starting line. This is something very special for us, developers.
Is there something you wouldn’t want to do in terms of violence in your game, any line you don’t want to cross?
Ueda: “A line we don’t want to cross” can be something sensory, and it can also vary depending on the theme and/or story. We’re not very conscious about the matter. Though, attacking or killing citizens indiscriminately without any reason is unenjoyable for me.
Do you see Rise of Nightmares as the first of many adult experiences on Kinect?
Ito: Sure do. The characters are each burdened with their own problems, and they become complicated by intertwining with one another. This is definitely an adult issue children are incapable to work out, and such factors are contained everywhere in the story. We have designed the game so that players can discover a new aspect every time they play. Because this is a first mature SEGA title, we were especially particular on this issue.
Tweeting about Rise of Nightmares? Use the hashtag #riseofnightmares!
Tuesday Sep 06, 2011
New this week for Spiral Knights – a slew of updates!
The Clockworks are shrouded in mystery – not least because as Knights use the crystals they find to power the machinery of Haven, new & unexplored levels of the Clockworks turn and shape into being. A turn of the Clockworks leads to a turn of the screw, then: a haunted ruin of a once great castle, Candlestick Keep was originally the home of the advanced Owlites. Owlites delved too greedily, though – and too deep – and their research attracted the attention of the savage Kat Tribe, who promptly laid waste to the Keep … and then themselves by abusing the powerful magics the Owlites had discovered.
Only they did not stay dead – the magics loosed within the keep held the spirits, now trapped forever as Spookats, within the ruins of Candlestick Keep. Immune to all known weapons, the only ward against them is light itself – magical candles scattered around the keep need to be lit to allow Knights safe passage as they negotiate the treacherous halls of this new series of levels in the Clockworks!
The Return of the Rose Regalia
As you search for new weapons and armor to allow you to quest ever-further into the depths of the Clockworks, never forget – first and foremost, you are Knights! That means you represent a legacy of honor and derring-do. Well, you can make sure you look the part as well: Welcome, a new set of Rose Regalia!
Between September 6th 10am PDT and September 19th 10am PDT, purchase energy packages of $9.95 USD or more and receive a special bonus item from the new Rose Regalia Redux costume set.
New Danger Rooms, Revamped Crash Site
Recently, an advanced training hall was added to the town of Haven – a place for Knights to hone their skills and train for the traps of the Clockworks. Although the ‘Danger Room’, as it came to be known, was indeed a room, it was lacking distinctly in the danger department. Perturbed, perhaps, by the Knights complaining over the lack of sufficiently dangerous rooms, whoever it was who built the Danger Rooms scrapped the old ones – and have now introduced a set of far more sinister traps for Spiral Knights to navigate.
Enter at your own risk, and beware!
Meanwhile, those who are new to the game will encounter a revamped starting area – consider it Three Rings effort to make sure the introduction to the game is as smooth as possible for new players, immersing all who enter into the mystery and challenge of the Clockworks!
Tuesday Sep 06, 2011
Discounts are great, especially when you can scratch that ‘get it now’ itch and pick something up on the cheap! If you’ve not had a chance to play Vanquish, Sonic & SEGA’s All Stars Racing, Virtua Tennis 4, or Aliens vs Predator – you can now pick them up directly through your Xbox 360 at a discounted rate!
PlatinumGames redefined yet another genre, this time taking on the cover to cover 3rd person shooter and cranking it up a notch. Well, make that a few notches to be fair – Vanquish takes the slow moving shooter into new territory with an arcade twist. Faster and more intense than anything you’ve played thus far, backed with tight controls and expert pacing!
Originally price: $39.99/£29.99
Sonic and SEGA’s All Stars Racing
A game that’s perfectly crafted for a Sonic or SEGA fan, with tons of characters and environments ripped from SEGA’s history. Hey, our friend Ryo Hazuki even makes an appearance, forklift and all! Let’s not forget the game is also an incredible cart racer and well worth the pickup!
Original price: $29.99
Virtua Tennis 2009
A classic SEGA franchise returns with new players, new courts, and new modes of play. Perfect for any fan looking for a bit of tennis action at a reasonable price!
Original price: $29.99
Aliens vs Predator
Craving some carnage? Fan of Alien, Predator, or the unstoppable Colonial Marines? Aliens Vs Predator can fill this need and give you a chance to play as your favorite death dealer! A perfect game to pick up while you wait for the incoming Aliens: Colonial Marines and Aliens: Infestation games!
Original price: $29.99
Tuesday Sep 06, 2011
Guardian Heroes, Treasure’s classic Action-RPG brawler for the SEGA Saturn, arrives on Xbox LIVE Arcade on October 12th . Players will be able to experience all of the original title’s side-scrolling action in fully re-mastered HD, both alone and with up to 12 friends online, for 800 Microsoft Points.
Guardian Heroes isn’t just about beating up bad guys, with a storyline full of twists and turns players will enjoy one of five completely unique boss fights, as well as more than half a dozen possible endings. To showcase the potential ways players can punch, kick, chop and stab and their way through Guardian Heroes, SEGA and Treasure have released a new gameplay trailer.
Look for Guardian Heroes this October!
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