Thursday Dec 20, 2012
This is a special guest blog written by Shirahama, a game designer at PlatinumGames for Anarchy Reigns.
Hey there. Doing all right? I’m here from PlatinumGames, the best damn action game developer in the world, to tell you some classified info about Anarchy Reigns. My name’s Shirahama, I’m a game designer.
Guess it’s been three years since we started on a new project with two guidelines: make it online, and have Jack be the main character. When you hear online gaming though, the only thing you think of is FPS, FPS, FPS, right? Were we supposed to play it safe with our own gun-crazy game? Or should we try something else? There were a lot of heated discussions with the preliminary team during the first stages of planning.
Online games were a first for Platinum. Our experience at the time was lacking, but going against the tides of the times and creating something never before seen is at the heart of Platinum’s philosophy. We all agreed with the director when he said, “I don’t want to make an inferior copy of some trendy game that’s flooding the market. If we’re going to make something, let’s do the classic brand of PG-style melee, online.” These words propelled the project with a lot of passion from the get-go.
Our first step in the process was to assemble a small team to work on playability and network capability. We used Jack, Mathilda and Eddie (Eddie was an AI boss) from MADWORLD as our test models. And they were, of course, black and white.
In the beginning, Mathilda had a Gatling gun she’d blast at Jack with from this high platform while he’d roll, dodge, then charge at her to slice her in half with his chainsaw arm. It was as intense as it sounds. We had a round test stage with moody lighting、and 20 Jacks and Mathildas all dashing towards Little Eddie to beat the living daylights out of him. Those were the days.
There was a lot of excitement to be discovered each day working on the prototype. Finally, summer arrived, and the project completed its first step. Our team fleshed out and things started formally getting underway. Yet somehow, there still wasn’t a single person planning what the world was going to look like.
It wasn’t long until we started preparing development for the PS3 and 360. I handled planning for some basic character design and ATE design. Then, like I only could have expected, I was put in charge of Campaign mode. With no scenario. And no defined worldview. Or tools, layouts of any kind to even build a story with. Getting put in charge of this was like being made to do the Cossack Dance in the middle of a mine field.
When I finally got the plot from the scenario writer, we’d already entered the new year. For the tutorial, we had Jack walking through an abandoned subway, explaining the game’s background, while teaching controls whenever a mob pops out. Little bit like Nathan Drake. Thought it wasn’t a bad idea, but… it got scrapped. I wept.
However, if you look at the boss battles in the final product, you can see the idea made it through, albeit in a different shape: the dramatic-style fights where characters would keep having an impassioned discussion right in the middle of duking it out.
The scenario had its own problems moving forward, and everyone on the programming end had to keep reworking tools to fit the game’s ever-changing design. Still, for the scenario writer to put everything together in the short time that he did, I think he has to be a genius, and you can feel our team’s passion with the way they worked it into the game. Whether you play as Jack or Leo, every cutscene really lets you understand the character in a rich way. The experience is similar to that feeling you get replaying your favorite game as a kid, once you’re an adult.
In order to not have the minor character side stories disrupting the main plot’s flow, we divided storytelling in two ways: high-end cutscenes and old school-ish window-based conversations. In the end, instead of being a Hollywood blockbuster, it feels more like an avant garde European film. Did you like it?
In closing, I’ll give a little advice about online play. Anarchy Reigns is a multiplayer online brawler: a genre never before attempted in gaming. The first time you play, you’ll probably have around 13 question marks floating above your head.
Don’t ever hesitate to sneak up behind your opponent and drive a chainsaw in their back. Don’t feel bad about massacring a whole group just when they think they’ve escaped the gas chamber. They’re not going to have any sympathy for you. So, bringing a rifle into a one-on-one endurance match? Of course that’s okay. It’s applauded! This game makes other violent video games look like they’re in preschool. Do what you need to survive. Whatever you need.
10 minutes in Anarchy Reigns is a different experience from 10 minutes in any other game. It’s an electrifying rush you can’t find anywhere else. Think you can reign through the anarchy? Good luck.
Happy holidays! And a happy new year.
From Japan with love.
Tuesday Dec 18, 2012
This is a special guest blog written by Paul, a game designer at PlatinumGames for Anarchy Reigns.
How is everyone? I’m Paul, a game designer here at PlatinumGames. Some people call me Paycut Paul. But I keep on keeping on! I’m doing well.
To celebrate Anarchy Reigns being released outside of Japan, I’d like to take a little time to discuss what I was in charge of: the game’s online match types.
In Anarchy Reigns, we didn’t want you to be bored. That’s why we created over 10 match types with significantly different playing styles. First, let’s talk about “Team Battle,” one of the more distinct match types in the game.
Why does Team Battle get set apart? Because it has classes, distributed throughout your team, based on each member’s current match rank. The classes change at fixed intervals and come in three types, each with their own varying abilities. The player on your team currently boasting the highest rank is appointed “Squad Leader.” Team Battle is a competition of which team can get the most Squad Leader kills.
The Squad Leader receives a few bonuses, the most important among these being the ability to put the entire team in Rampage Mode. Once the leader’s gauge is full, select Rampage and the whole team will follow suit. Executing this at the right time will lead your team to victory.
When your whole team is in Rampage Mode, for a short time you’re near-invincible and free to pound the opposing team to your liking. Only, if the opposing team happens to go into Rampage Mode at around the same time, both sides will probably be equally decimated. And if the opposing team is going after you in Rampage Mode, one strategy is to sacrifice other team members to let the Squad Leader escape, limiting overall damage to a minimum. You can also try saving up your Rampage gauge until near the end of the match and tick your opponent off with a comeback victory.
What I think you can see now is, even one element of Team Battle can lead to some complex strategy. I hope you’ll be able to play Anarchy Reigns and discover the thrill of it yourself.
Now, I know the game looks uncouth on the outside, and when you look inside, you see that, well… it’s just as gritty, but not everything in the game is focused on pitting people against each other. There’s some friendly co-op play in there as well.
One example of this is “Survival”, where you’re teamed up with two other players against wave after wave of incoming AI mutants and the like.
What might come as a surprise is that the objective of Survival isn’t to get to the “final” round, but to figure out what brand of teamwork will get you through the most rounds in ten minutes with as much time remaining as possible. The reason we did this is because gameplay in Anarchy Reigns is frantic: it’s not about putting in a lot of time trying to make it to the last stage. And for people who want to play Survival over and over, 10 rounds in 10 minutes let’s you adjust your co-op strategy to see what you can improve each time. Side by side with trusted allies, squared off against a swarm of little villains or a gigantic mutant overlord, Survival is definitely worth the try.
Now to get into one of the stranger match types…. “Deathball.” In Deathball, two teams are placed on opposite sides of a sprawling field, trying to bring the ball to their opponent’s goal. Score the most points in the allotted time, and you win. Think rugby, mixed with a violent slugfest (don’t try this on the real rugby field, kids).
Deathball matches center around scrambling for possession of the ball, so the best fighter isn’t always necessarily the one in the lead. It’s more important to be able to keep the ball out of the opposing team’s reach, or pass the ball around skillfully enough to leave them standing stupid. Quick thinking and quick movement go hand-in-hand with victory here.
Also, if your team keeps the ball long enough, you get the chance for a “killer shot.” These killer shots are, by definition, only able to be blocked by players of the same element (fire/ice/poison/etc), but in reality they’re all so crazy that once they’ve been shot off, there’s pretty much no stopping them. It feels great to be the sender, and not so great to be the receiver. Either way, however, it’s a sight worth seeing.
Well, we were only able to touch on a small fraction of the match types packed into Anarchy Reigns, but I hope you’ve been able to see how deep the strategy can get in every brawl. With its release abroad, Anarchy Reigns gives the gaming world a chance at a completely new genre: multiplayer online melee. To reach a large audience abroad would let us as developers die happy. Try to get your hands on it when it comes out!
Friday Dec 07, 2012
This is a special guest blog written by Taura, a game designer at PlatinumGames for Anarchy Reigns.
Nice to meet you. My name’s Taura, I’m a game designer here at PlatinumGames.
Finally! Let the good times roll.
Anarchy Reigns, release date set! Mark it!
Phew. Very happy to finally say that.
Anarchy Reigns occupies a genre you don’t see that often: multiplayer online brawling. Put simply, it’s an online slugfest, but because of the numbers involved in the rumble, anarchy is always in the mix.
One minute you’re feeling good, landing a punch on the opponent in front of you, but the next thing you know, someone sneaks up from behind and takes the kill. That’s anarchy.
Then there are the Action Trigger Events (ATEs). These suddenly wreck havoc on the stage in a variety of ways. Be grateful for non-poisoned air while you have it. In an instant, the whole area can be contaminated with lethal gas.
But don’t get too comfortable, because just when you think you’re playing a game where every attack happens within arm’s reach, someone will hit you with heavy artillery from a distance.
There are a million different possibilities we could offer up here. With each stage full of ever changing conditions, and a mob of characters in the dogpile, every match has a different feel and outcome.
In order to actually survive amidst the chaos, you’ll need a character that fits your playing style. Let’s introduce a few here so you can start planning:
Easy-to-use for any level of player. Well-balanced, kind of high and mighty (if you can’t tell by just looking).
As one of the protagonists of Campaign Mode, you’ll probably figure out how to use him relatively early. Plenty of good throws, charged attacks and combos make Jack a solid fighter in the group.
The other protagonist from Campaign Mode.
Not as beefy as Jack, but fast. Ideal for players who want a character with easy controls.
Dash attacks and fast combos make Leo a good choice for a hit-and-run strategy.
His size will often make him the target of choice, and he’s not that skilled at running away, but his attack power and range are devastating. Taking out 3-4 characters in one swipe is nothing out of the ordinary. Still, he’s someone you have to kind of get the hang of. Probably better for intermediate to advanced players.
A female character with gorgeous proportions. Relatively weak, but she has plenty of tricky techniques at her disposal. Sasha is a good speed character that can drive your opponent insane if used correctly. Like Bull though, she’s probably better used by intermediate to advanced players.
And if you’re a little anxious to walk right into online play the minute you get the game, why not try out the practice mode first. It’ll be a good study-aid to learn the controls and your character’s ins and outs.
The game will be out soon, and we can’t wait to take our brand of Anarchy to new areas all over the world. We’ll be waiting for you.
Wednesday Nov 28, 2012
We’re excited to announce that a digital version of the Anarchy Reigns soundtrack will be released worldwide through the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3, and other music download sites (depending on your country). You’ll also get a free digital booklet for your album with your purchase. The digital album is out now! Check “Anarchy Reigns” out on your favorite music download site.
02. Over In A Flash
03. My Pride
04. Sound The Alarm
06. Laughin At U
07. Soon Enough
08. I Know U Want Me
09. My Town, My City
10. Gotta Get The Cash
11. Kill Em All
13. They Came From Underground
14. Play My Ass Off
16. Unlimited Resources
18. Play For Keeps
19. We Play
20. The Hand Of Science
21. Here We Go
23. Days Of Old
24. It’s All About Me
25. Fast Lane
26. Testin’ Me
27. Rock On
28. We All Soldiers
29. Lights Out
31. Find You
32. This Is Madness (limited track for full album consumer)
Release Dates and Countries
The Anarchy Reigns soundtrack will be released on December 19th in the following countries:
The Anarchy Reigns soundtrack is available now in:
Tuesday Nov 20, 2012
Thursday Nov 08, 2012
Today, we reveal the details of the limited Anarchy Reigns ‘Day One’ Edition version. For those gamers eager to cause as much anarchy as possible, pre-ordering the Day One Edition will net them two extra multi-player game modes, Mad Survival and Dogfight. Along with this they will unlock an extra playable character; none other than the world’s favorite witch, Bayonetta.
In Mad Survival, a team of 3 players duke it out against waves of enemies, much as in the normal survival mode. However, these enemies now take the form of the other playable characters in Anarchy Reigns, leading to a far tougher series of battles that require serious tactical thinking to outsmart your foes. In traditional PlatinumGames style, Dogfight sees players hanging from helicopters -pelting each other with bullets until their opponents fall out of the sky. As well as being a surreal new spin on this multi-player brawler this aerial-based game mode is an entertaining change of pace from land-based conflict, also offering gamers a new way to explore the locations found in-game.
The iconic star of her own self-titled adventure, Bayonetta is a formidable force on the battlefield. Wielding her four guns collectively known as Scarborough Fair, she can also use her patented ‘Wicked Weave’ attacks to deal even more damage to any poor soul that falls in her sights. Players who unlock Bayonetta won’t have an advantage over the other characters but, well…she does wear guns on her boots. We’ll leave it at that.
The Anarchy Reigns Day One Edition will be available to pre-order from your local physical, or favorite online retailer for £19.99 / €29.99 for the PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. Anarchy Reigns will be released on January 11th 2013 in Europe.
We’ll have more information soon on how fans outside of Europe can get these exclusive items.
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