Posts by John Gaudiosi

  • LawBreakers: Inside the new shooter from Cliff Bleszinski

    John Gaudiosi at Plugged In 3 days ago

    In development for just over a year, Cliff Bleszinski’s new five vs. five, free-to-play multiplayer PC shooter now has an official name: LawBreakers . It’s being published by Nexon, which partnered with Bleszinski’s development company Boss Key Productions just a few years after he left Epic Games, where he masterminded shooters like Gears of War and Bulletstorm . Bleszinski said LawBreakers takes place about a hundred years in the future, after some shady government testing on a lunar base caused the moon to shatter. This event — called, fittingly enough, “The Shattering”— triggered a massive, planet-wide earthquake. During Earth’s rebuilding period, supplemental drug use became so advanced that people began clamoring for drugs granting superhuman abilities. And along with the rise of these pharmaceuticals came the rise of superhuman gangs. “The idea behind this game is what would have happened in the movie, The Warriors , if Cyrus was never killed at the beginning and the gangs stayed unified,” Bleszinski told Yahoo during a chat at Boss Key headquarters in Raleigh, NC. “So on one side you have the organized law enforcement TASC, which is the Transnational Authority of Supplement Control, essentially what the DEA is in the future, versus the bad guys, who are essentially the unified gangs known as the ‘Breakers.’” That explains the title — partly. LawBreakers revels in its sci-fi backdrop by letting players explore the environment in interesting ways. “The catch is they are all breaking the law of gravity through jet packs, through grappling hooks, through increasing gravity grenades, through inverting gravity, through maps that halve lunar gravity, through creating ‘Zero G’ pockets, through double jumps, through dodges...all of what I like to refer to as ‘crunchy verbs’ that interact and create all sorts of awesome moments within the game.” Boss Key is currently showing off the Grand View level of the game. Set in the Grand Canyon after it’s been rebuilt in the wake of The Shattering, the canyon is rife with floating rocks, including some that are tethered to compensate for the insane gravity effects. LawBreakers aims to mix up game modes. Overcharge, the first mode the company is revealing, is a sort of mash-up of a classic Capture the Flag and Control Point modes. It features a giant battery located in the middle of the map. Each team is trying to control energy and power for their super-powered abilities (for the breakers) and weapons (for the law). The battery has a default proximity-based shield players have to lower by standing next to it. Once a team has the battery, they can haul it back to their base and power it up. But Bleszinski said the twist is that once it hits 100 percent power, there’s a 20-second countdown during which either side can steal the battery away and win the match. “It's designed to create those last-second saves and drama like you saw in the Super Bowl last year,” Bleszinski said. “That’s the kind of drama we have every day in our test lab. And these guys have playing this game for a year and they are still hooting and hollering. The action is all focused, and since it's five vs. five you get some intense conflicts around the one objective. Sometimes it's utter madness, but it's still fun and entertaining.” There are four different roles available for this first look demo, and each has a unique play style. Bleszinski points out that LawBreakers is not a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) like League of Legends or DOTA 2, and there are technically no heroes in the game. “We're kind of halfway between a class-based game like Team Fortress and the hero-based games that are so popular these days,” Bleszinski said.

  • Smaug from 'The Hobbit' is a VR nightmare

    John Gaudiosi at Plugged In 6 mths ago

    Tolkien fans already watched the dragon Smaug wreak havoc in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy on both the big screen and Blu-ray. But the digital creation from Jackson’s Weta Digital special effects studio, which features the voice and performance capture of actor Benedict Cumberbatch, has never been scarier than he is in virtual reality.

    At the annual Game Developers Conference this week in San Francisco, Weta and Epic Games unleashed the first VR experience recreated from the fantasy universe. The real-time sequence, which blends the original digital assets from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Epic’s own Unreal Engine 4, uses the latest version of the Oculus Rift headset to drop viewers into the quaking boots of Bilbo Baggins as he confronts the giant lizard.

    And it’s terrifying.

    But then the floor begins to move, as the red and gold-scaled monster slithers beneath the treasures he’s been hoarding for years.

    And you can’t wait to try it again.

    Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, is a believer in VR, and thinks Unreal Engine 4, which is now free for anyone to use, could help make it happen.

  • The secret to Teddy Bridgewater’s success? Lots of 'Madden'

    John Gaudiosi at Plugged In 7 mths ago

    SCOTTSDALE, AZ. - Newly crowned NFL Pespi Rookie of the Year winner Teddy Bridgewater became the starter for the Minnesota Vikings this season, going 6-6 after taking over for injured QB Matt Cassel. While that record might seem average, Bridgewater became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to complete over 70% of his passes in four consecutive games. He also shattered a number of Vikings records, including most wins by a rookie quarterback, highest single-season passer rating, most completions in a season and most passing yards.

    And he can thank Madden for some of that.

    Over the past 26 years, EA has sold over $4 billion worth of Madden games. The video game annually kicks off the Super Bowl with the Madden Bowl video game tournament, which Bridgewater competed in last year in New York City. He was back in Scottsdale for Madden Bowl XXI, but this time as a spectator.

    “Technology is so advanced nowadays that you’re seeing similar defenses that you’re going to see in real life in the video game, it helps you as a young player -- whether you’re in Pop Warner, high school or college – it helps you understand the defenses and the game better,” he told Yahoo.