Notice About This Site

Since I joined Polygon as senior reporter in June, I haven’t had a chance to update this site. It was an extremely useful exercise while I was between jobs, enabling me to really keep tabs on goings on in the games biz. And I’d hoped to maintain it through my new job, as part of my overall note-taking and research duties. But my job is my 100% focus right now, so I’m going to sign off from this. Thanks to all of you who visited here, and I hope you enjoyed the exercise. – Colin Campbell (colin at polygon etc.) / @colincampbellx

Panic Button

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“I was in my office when they arrived and saw them coming up our stairs, guns drawn. They yelled for me to put my hands up and walk towards them slowly, then took me into custody and out of the studio until they cleared the rest of the rooms and floors.”

Robotoki’s Robert Bowling on a police raid, following a ‘panic button’ incident and a life-size model of a combat game character. (Polygon)

Relate to Female Characters

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“I’m glad that in 2013 things have changed, and things are changing. People more and more, in the games industry, relate to female characters and that’s very important to me because movies and books have been portraying female characters for hundreds if not thousands of years, and I think it’s time our media grew up.”

Remember Me’s creative director Jean-Maxime Moris. (Capcom Unity via Polygon)

Suits Around a Table

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“This was just a bunch of businessmen, like suits around a table. It was very hard for me to listen to their opinions of what gamers might actually like. It’s a very weird thing, taking your ideas to a small group of businessmen and having them tell you whether they think it’s going to sell or not. I don’t think they always know best. That’s the cool thing about this idea. This idea is brand-new. We haven’t taken this idea to anyone. We developed it and took it straight to the backers.”

Double Fine’s Brad Muir on Massive Chalice and KickStarter. (GamesIndustry)

Naughty Dog’s Engine Decision

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“We learned our lesson in saying, as we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is and say, ‘Okay, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system’. We have all these things that already work. Only when we hit a wall will we say, ‘When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it?” 

Naughty Dog’s Bruce Straley on why the company is retaining is engine for this console transition. (Digital Spy)

 

Bringing XCOM to iOS

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“The first is that we feel like turn-based strategy games are a natural fit for mobile devices because you can always pause the game and pick it right back up where you left off.  In addition, the turn-based play allows you the time to be reminded of what you were doing and make decisions on next steps. Secondly, and this is the part that amazes me, technically and design wise it turned out to be for a good fit for the iOS. Playing a game that came out for console and PC last year on your phone? That still blows my mind, seriously.”

Firaxis’ Jake Solomon on bringing XCOM: Enemy Unknown to iOS. (Shacknews)

The Move to Call of Duty: Ghosts

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“The easy thing would have been–as we had finished the arc of Modern Warfare 1, 2, and 3–to start a new arc within that same universe. That was the first step. But due to a lot of the changes we wanted to make with this new world, it really dictated out that we needed to make something that wasn’t Modern Warfare.”

Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin. (MCV)

Atari ET Landfill Excavation

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“It was the game systems, actually the game systems themselves it was actual cartridges and games, ET and so on.”

Joe Lewandowski ran a garbage company in the early-1980s and is helping excavate the fabled ‘ET-on-Atari dumpsite’ for a documentary. (KRQE)

 

 

Microsoft Praises Sony

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“I think Sony’s done a nice job of this. If you look over the last two years or so in that digital space. Journey was a fantastic game. I thought they did a really nice job.”

Microsoft Studios corporate vice-president Phil Spencer throws some rare praise Sony’s way. (OXM)

Xbox One is a Games Console

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“Microsoft has said that it wants to make the Xbox One an entertainment center. If it was dubbed the ultimate gaming machine at this point, Microsoft would lose the attention of general media. This way, they are grabbing mainstream attention first and can focus entirely on gamers at E3. After that they’ll have both in their grasp. The Xbox is and has always been a gaming platform, and I don’t see that changing with the Xbox One.”

Avalanche’s Christofer Sundberg defends Microsoft’s reveal strategy. (Edge)

Andrew Scott Reisse

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“Andrew was a brilliant computer graphics engineer, an avid photographer and hiker who loved nature, a true loyal friend, and a founding member of our close-knit Oculus family. Andrew’s contributions span far and wide in the video game industry. His code is embedded in thousands of games played by millions of people around the world. Words can not express how sorely he will be missed or how deeply our sympathy runs for his family.”

Oculus Rift statement following the tragic death of co-founder Andrew Scott Reisse, 33. (GamesBeat)

Troubles After Journey

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“The company was at the most dangerous time when we finished Journey…We didn’t know where the money was coming from, and we couldn’t afford everybody from that point on until we found the money – we basically went into hibernate mode. We had vacation for everybody for a couple of weeks and then we just let go of most of the people, because we couldn’t pay salary.”

Jenova Chen on the days following the completion of Journey. (Edge)

Downloadable Console Games = Small Sales

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“During this console generation, there were only a handful of million-selling downloadable games, which is surprising to me as the console installed base for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade games is well over 150 million today. There are probably between 300 and 400 retail titles that sold over 1 million units, if not more.”

Housemarque CEO and Super Stardust developer Ilari Kuittinen, (GamesIndustry)

Rein Calls BS on Next-Gen Claims

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“I call bullshit on this one. The article said ‘highest-end PCs currently available’ which isn’t even close to true, it’s miles away from true. They are ‘architecturally’ more advanced but performance levels aren’t as good. Maybe that’s what he meant?”

Epic’s Mark Rein calls out EA’s tech chief Rajat Taneja on recent claims about next-gen hardware. (Twitter via CVG)

Project Titan Reboot

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“We’ve come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We’re using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes.”

Blizzard’s Shon Damron explains the Project Titan reboot, with significant job losses. (GamesBeat)

Can Games Fight Dyslexia?

“I was the first to develop the idea that you can use video game technologies to build specific neuroprocessing exercises that capitalise on the brain’s remarkable ability to change with experience – which is called neuroplasticity. We’ve been able to work out what variables drive neuroplasticity most efficiently. They have to do with intensely focusing on information that individually adapts to your own abilities, that gets harder and harder, requires sustained attention, and offers timely rewards and immediate feedback. Video games are the perfect vehicle.”

Dr Paula Tallal, Co-director of The Centre of Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience at Rutgers University, studying the positive effect of videogames n children with Dyslexia. (IGN)