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Silicon Knights could join a major publisher in the era of consolidation

In the final part of our three-part interview with Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack we discussed the one console future, specifically the topic of consolidation. With companies such as Electronic Arts purchasing developers like BioWare and Pandemic and Microsoft purchasing Lionhead, does Denis Dyack see Silicon Knights joining a major company in the future?

"I think I see that for everybody," Dyack told X3F. "I think what is really important for us, more than anything else, is that we're allowed to create great games, grown in the way we want to grow [and] maintain our culture."

While Dyack isn't adverse to the possibility he did contend that any thought on the matter now is pure speculation on his part. "Who knows, it's like trying to predict what the weather is going to be like a week from now."

Dyack: Valkyrie scene faster than load times, corpse runs

In part two of our three part exclusive interview with Denis Dyack during a studio tour of Silicon Knights the subject of much debate was pointed out in the room like a 300 ton gorilla. Whether you're on the Too Human hate train or defence camp nearly everyone agrees the unskippable Valkyrie death animation breaks the flow of the game and gets downright boring.

When asked why the animation was not skippable, Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack was quick to compare the animation with loading a save file in other titles or an MMO corpse run reiterating that the Valkyrie scene is the only real penalty for death.

"If you're getting frustrated with the Valkyrie cinema, you might be dying a little too much," Dyack joked. "The bottom line is ... If it's a sign that people love the game so much that they just want to get back in and play, could we make it skippable? Sure, it's an easy change. Is it something we ever would have anticipated since we thought it was faster than going to get your body or losing experience [which does not happen in Too Human] ... is that a change we can make in the future? Sure."

While Dyack makes a valid point, many detractors and even fans - ourselves included - agree the scene feels dated and while he told us it could change, X3F was never told that that it would.

Stay tuned for the full interview at noon today where Xav and Denis discuss Too Human.

X3F TV: Denis Dyack, "Origin of the Knights" interview

In the first part of our three part interview with Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack we discuss the origin of the studio from an Atari, Amiga and PC developer of RTS titles to the GameCube remake of the classic PS1 title, Metal Gear Solid. How did Silicon Knights get tapped to create the remake, when did the studio's relationship with Nintendo begin? Part one of the interview gets to the bottom of things from the games that Silicon Knights develops to the people and culture that make up the studio.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part two of our three part Denis Dyack interview. In part two Xav lists the top three things he likes and dislikes about his experience with Too Human - discussion ensues.

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Gallery: Silicon Knights: Studio Tour

X3F Interview: Five minutes with Denis Dyack

During the Too Human launch signing in St. Catharines, Ontario, Denis Dyack took a few minutes to answer some of our questions. While reserved, Dyack did speak fondly of the community Silicon Knights represents, the success of the demo and misunderstandings within the media.

Surrounded by fans awaiting a signature from the Silicon Knights development team, Dyack brushed off our questions regarding the recent reviews of Too Human, message board communities and the future of both the franchise and the studio's next announcement.

[MP3] Download this interview in MP3 format

Gallery: Silicon Knights Too Human Launch Signing

Gallery: E308: Too Human (Screenshots)

E308: Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Bungie's E3 teaser, absence

A few hours prior to the madness that has become of the Bungie Announcement cancellation, Joystiq had a chance to speak to newly appointed general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer. The bad news, writes Joystiq, is no one was aware of the impending "changed" announcement agenda at the time but the good news is Joystiq was wise enough to ask why Bungie was left out of the press conference and about Microsoft's publishing partnership with the famed developer.

Spencer: "Our relationship with Bungie was always about a triple-A creative studio building content for our platform, and our working relationship brought about Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3 – which I think are great games. If that's the core of the relationship, creative people building content for our platforms, I don't think the relationship has changed. We have a relationship with a very talented studio who wants to create games for Xbox.

When Joystiq inquired about Bungie's teaser site and possible E3-timed reveal Spencer had some interesting comments on the matter. Jump in for more.

Continue reading E308: Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Bungie's E3 teaser, absence

MS considered 3D tech for Xbox 360

Think about this for a moment. Preparation for an evening long session of Halo 3 could have included snacks, beverages, console, game disc and a stereoscopic 3D display. According to a July 3 interview with, XNA's general manager, Chris Satchell, said Microsoft considered the tech for console gaming.

In an excerpt from the interview, Satchell revealed that Microsoft actually looked into using stereoscopic technology (seen in the upcoming Ubisoft game Avatar and Texas Instruments' upcoming DualView TV) for gaming. Ultimately it was determined the need for special glasses made the idea impractical. "I think it is hard to be mainstream with asking people to wear headgear to play games," he said. We'd prefer the headgear above, thank you.

While technology is being developed to overcome some original obstacles for stereoscopic displays, Satchell believes the possibility of the tech is, "very interesting." As Joystiq pointed out, we're officially one step closer to the "Holodeck," people! Awesome?

[via Joystiq]

Diablo III lead says no console version planned

Hello and welcome back to civilization from under your rock. We say this because if you haven't heard Blizzard is hard at work developing Diablo III you must have been stuck somewhere. In order to halt console version rumors Joystiq sat down in an exclusive interview with lead designer Jay Wilson. Wilson broke console gamer hearts everywhere confirming Blizzard "[doesn't] have any plans" for a console version of the upcoming, highly anticipated, sequel. While plans could change it looks like Diablo fans will have to upgrade their PC when the title releases -- which is sometime between now and the end of time.

X3F interviews Peter Molyneux about Fable 2, BC, XNA

We've already posted the audio of our interview with Peter Molyneux, but we know not everyone is down with spoken word. As such, we've transcribed the entire interview for your reading pleasure. In this massive interview, Molyneux discusses Fable 2 co-op (he thinks Live co-op is a great idea by the way), the possibility of versus multiplayer (which is also a good idea according to Molyneux), and we even manage to squeeze in questions about Microsoft's new XNA initiative and the ill-fated BC. Find the lengthy and informative interview after the break.

Continue reading X3F interviews Peter Molyneux about Fable 2, BC, XNA

X3F interviews James Silva, creator of Dishwasher: Dead Samurai

The annual Game Developer's Conference played host to something of a Cinderella story this year, plunging a once unknown game developer into the limelight. We're talking, of course, about James Silva, creator of Dishwasher: Dead Samurai and Microsoft's new poster child for XNA Community Games. We managed to catch up with James during the conference and ask him how things have changed since the last time we spoke. We also discussed just how James feels about Peter Molyneux and whether or not he's still considering the "Pulling a Peter Moore" achievement for Dishwasher's guitar segments (see 360 Fancast 044 at around 1:05:00). Find the interview after the break. The audio version of the interview is also available in our latest Fancast.

Continue reading X3F interviews James Silva, creator of Dishwasher: Dead Samurai

Shane Kim on lost studios, handhelds and the console war

At the ongoing D.I.C.E. summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Shane Kim was bombarded with every tough question you could think of by New York Times reporter Seth Scheisel. Covering a wide range of topics from Xbox to Windows, Kim kept his head on for the most part while toting the company line.

"People have speculated that we were stifling their creative freedom," Kim told Scheisel, when asked about Bungie's public split from Microsoft in 2007, "but I can tell you there's no studio that had more freedom at Microsoft Game Studios than Bungie." Kim also didn't rule out the possibility of a Microsoft branded portable gaming device, saying, "never say never."

With a year head start on their competition, one of the strongest software attachment ratios a console has ever seen and critical and commercial successes like Halo 3 and Gears of War under their belt, does Microsoft consider the console war to be won? "By no means does anyone at Microsoft think the race is over," replied Kim. "You have very powerful and formidable contenders in Nintendo and Sony ... to underestimate them and to count them out would be a foolish mistake." Read the full interview for Kim's views on Windows Vista gaming, intellectual properties and more.

Joystiq chats it up with Bungie's Frankie

During the Halo 3 beta preview in New York, the guys over at Joystiq cornered Bungie's very own media man Frankie to discuss everything Halo. And even though he was tight lipped about Halo 3's story and future projects, he did talk about the Halo movie, what Bungie wants from the beta, and what kind of input they'll be taking from fans. Frankie also throws a hard left hook at Nintendo's Miyamoto for his remarks about Halo ... and let's just say we're looking forward to Bungie's new 2D side-scroller. Read the full interview after the jump.

Frankie talks Halo 3 dev process

One thing we know for sure is that Halo 3 will be coming out this year, it will be huge, and it'll be put under one giant microscope. So, how does the Bungie team deal with all the internal pressures, development process, and stay on track? In a Next Generation interview, Bungie's own Frankie says that compared to Halo 2 the whole project is" well managed, it's well scheduled, and it's a pretty happy environment". Frankie also talks about what the main focus is right now and how they are polishing, refining, and adding layers and layers of goods onto Halo 3's framework. He also mentions that they do indeed have a hard date when they have to push the Halo 3 beta out the door (which is soon), but doesn't know when it'll make it into the public's hands other than a rough "this Spring". Halo 3 downloadable content talk and insightful interview banter can be read after the jump.

[Thanks, Eric]

The who, what, when and how of XNA

Michael Klucher, XNA project manager, was interviewed by the adults over at Adult Gaming Enthusiasts to learn more about Microsoft's XNA ambitions. In the interview, Michael talks about why they wanted to create XNA Studio Express and how they are confident in what will come from the program. On a side note, it's interesting to know that XNA SE took roughly a year to complete from idea to implementation. Anyway, Mr. Klucher also mentions that in the future we'll be seeing more and more games come from XNA SE and the possibility of "mom and pop" developers coming forth. It's an interesting interview if you are at all interested in XNA development or where it is headed. We're optimistic in the Xbox 360 community's creativity and coding skills to create the next Geometry Wars or Assault Hero ... but we still worry about the ::shiver:: Microsoft certification process. Oh the pain!

Japan's inward game development woes [update 1]

In an interview over at the Lost Planet Community blog, Lost Planet's very own producer Jun Takeuchi talks about how game development in Japan has changed ... for the worse. He's referring to how Japan's video game developers have isolated themselves, refusing to cater to the western audience, and ultimately using once big franchises as a crutch. Takeuchi goes on to say "western developers borrowed and learned from Japanese developers all those years when Japan was ahead" and that now "Japanese developers need to learn from western developers". He goes on to say that Capcom is already trying to adapt to a more worldly view, looking at games as an all encompassing form of entertainment. Do you think Japanese developers need to cater more to a western audience, change up their formula, and now learn from the student (aka, western developers)? We'd like to see both Japanese gamers and western gamers find a happy medium when it comes to eachother's content, but we wonder how different each group really is ...

Update 1: Fixed our source information, sorry Brian Dunn.

[Via GamePro]
[Thanks, Jonah]

Bill Gates on the 360, IPTV, convergence

Chris Grant of Joystiq (he's the handsome lad pictured above), along with Engadget's Ryan Block as well as folks from Kotaku, Gizmodo, and ScobleShow, sat down with Bill Gates at CES yesterday to talk about, well, everything. The group covers issues like net neutrality, vertical integration, and of course, the Xbox 360. On the 360 side of things, Bill evokes memories of the 1990s as he declares the 360 as controlling people's living rooms. With the introduction of IPTV, it would seem that the 360 has finally become the "set top box" holy grail that was sought after in the last decade of the 20th century. Gates also reveals that the majority of Microsoft's often touted 5 million Xbox Live subscribers are of the Gold variety. Other topics discussed include digital distribution, Microsoft's future, and why the 360 will have a larger downloadable library than the PC. It's a good read and 360 fanboys would do well to check it out. For those averse to the printed word, check out a video of the conversation at ScobleShow.

[Via Joystiq]

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