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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  Gaming Conferences and Conventions  |  E3 '05  |  Topic: E3 Day 2 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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StGabe
Terracotta Army
Posts: 331

Bruce without the furry.


WWW
on: May 19, 2005, 11:20:03 PM

I was wrong about SC: Ghost in that there were PS2, GC and XBox versions there but no PC version -- and no plans for it that the guy I spoke with knew about. Zerg and Protoss are definitely in the single-player but it was unknown if they would be in the multiplayer.

Hellgate: London was good fun. It is a FPS/RPG hybrid. You level up, equip your character, use skills, etc. It had a very cool London feel to it. I got to run around the city streets and then crawl into a very well done sewer area where there people that apparently I might have talked to but couldn't in the demo. The dev-type I talked to said that they were focusing on PvE. Any initial multiplayer stuff would either be cooperative or competitive PvE stuff -- either coop killing of monsters or competitions to complete a level, kill a lot of monsters, etc., the fastest. The guy stressed how hard it is to balance for both PvP and PvE when talking about this and made a humorous comment about how for Diablo 2 they basically just threw PvP on at the end and while it sort of worked it mostly wasn't very good.  Upon asking about the release I got an adamant, "not this year".

The next Rise of Nations looks very interesting too. It has heavy influende from Warcraft -- the producer I talked to stressed how much they were trying to create cool immersion. This came in the form of fully 3d units that had very interesting physics (for example a building blew up in parts and these parts all fell and landed with some semblance of real physics). I didn't play the original but it seemed that there was an addition of at least one race with a differet playstyle -- it appeared to be sort of in the line of Starcraft. They said that should be out in August.

Age of Empires III looked a lot like AoE I and II. It is colonial though and has some gameplay where you basically earn fame with your home colony. The guy I was talking to *who was actually the AoM designer) played a game against another employee and his strategy involved getting a lot of fame with the home city (which you can view in a different screen) which then allowed him to call in shipments of food and troops. He seemed initially weak but managed to get some troops sent in from his home city with good timing to cripple the enemy. Also you basically gain experience. You can do this through various events and accomplishments like exploring. Some events were things like freeing captives from bandits or rescuing or befriending local natives. Oh, and you can basically setup mutual trade and friendly relations with Native Americans that will even allow you to have access to new technologies. There were other things like a better implementation of formations and you choose a new governor, with a specific bonus, when you go up to the next age. Overall it felt a lot like the first AoE but then it does have significant new gameplay. I suspec that old AoE fans will really like it but those who only sort of liked AoE may feel that is just more of the same.

I got to see Dungeon Siege 2. It looked cool. There was, apparently, better, more interesting character creation (I didn't play the original). You get certain special gifts or powers by taking certain paths in a Diablo 2 style character creation system. The graphics definitely looked dated but the gameplay looked promising. I didn't get to actually play.

Ok, Meteos for the DS. Interesting but I'm not sure I really understood everything about it. One thing is that it is apparently trying to be a fully multiplayer puzzler. Or at least the stuff I saw was. You are always playing againd one or more opponents. Not only do your actions allow you to attack the opponent but you have to select which opponent to attack. I didn't get to play against anything but a single CPU though. The gameplay is simple but I'm not sure I got it all. You have lots of columns full of blocks ... with different styles of shapes (much like Lunines). You move blocks up and down columns. You try to get 3 or more in a row horizontally. When you do:

1) They blow up.
2) The blocks above them turn into rockets and blast off.

If the rocket goes high enough to go off the screen, any blocks that go above the top of the screen will disappear. You can try to blow up blocks as they are rising to get the thing to higher or you can blow up blocks below to send more velocity upwards. You can even throw blocks up to meet the rising blocks although that part I didn't completely understand. The pieces that become rockets turn into stone or something and cannot be detonated for some time (eventually they turn into randomly colored pieces).The interface is pretty good. You use the stylus to click and drag. You can select things on the screen to either target an opponent, send an attack or cause blocks to drop more quickly (if you just want to line them up with others). It was really hard to hear the music in the very loud hall however it seemed to be basically just generic video game music, i.e. not the cool music of Lumines. I definitely want to play more though and so I'm considering getting a DS now.  Also, it appeared that different pieces or different amounts of pieces might have different weights, or different potentials for boosting upwards, or something like that.  I may try to play some more (surprisingly not a lot of people were waiting to hog the DS for this one).

Another cool DS game was Mario Kart DS. It was very fun if not very similar to other Mario Kart games I've played (it seemed basically just like the N64 version I played years ago). The cool bit though? I've heard it is completely online -- and you get to play with at least up to 8 players (that's what the demo was). So with a connection to a wireless router you can play Mario Kart DS online with other random internet capable players. That makes me wonder what Meteos's online capabilities will be (as far as I could tell there were no demos of anything but singleplayer at E3 despite the apparent multiplayer or at least multi-opponent aspects).

Other random tidbits:

I got to see someone propose to someone else on the big screen in the Nintendo area (i.e. the couple was actually there and they flashed the proposal up on the screen).  And yes they were sucdessful.

We watched a very cool techno'ish duo called 8 bit weapon. They performed the first song they did completely with 8 bit devices -- an Atari, a C64 and there was also a gameboy somehow involved. Then they did a game with someone plugging away at a C64 keyboard and the other gal drumming. They were really into it and the music was surprisingly good. I didn't catch one of the CD's they through (in and out of hand) so I'm gonna check their website (www.8bitweapon.com).

I may be on G4 TV on Friday. I was filmed .... while drinking a beer at the sports bar. Hope my boss doesn't see that.

I believe I walked right by Chris Feguson the poker player. If I'd had anything to write on I would have asked for an autograph.

Gabe.

StGabe
Terracotta Army
Posts: 331

Bruce without the furry.


WWW
Reply #1 on: May 21, 2005, 08:13:15 PM

And here's my last day if anyone cares.  :mrgreen:

I saw Imperator, Mythic's upcoming title. Got to talk to one of the DAoC devs. I was disappointed that it has a pretty much linear progression. Pick a class, get the skills for that class and you don't get to make any real choices. A disappointment after DAoC's very interesting specialization system which mostly worked and allowed a lot of complexities to character design. There are ways to powerup your character though. Basically it seems that you pick different powerups to put in your items. I forgot to ask about crafting, silly me. I got to see a biomedic in action (she said she was playing that because it was currently overpowered). Gunner was another class she mentioned and I forget the others. The Mythic employee was pretty cute and smiley and gave me an imperator pin.

I saw the new Conan MMORPG although it was rough. Talked to the AI programmer. He had setup a quicky demo of about 100 guys fighting each other. The AI didn't work perfectly but the graphics engine seemed to be handling it no problem. The game has a singleplayer mode that you start with and play through level 20 -- and you go multiplayer after 20. You have no class through that period basically. You pick one up at level 20. Then you specialize further along the way. He said there would be something like 40 possible paths to follow. It sounds sort of like EQ2 except that he stressed that the progression was spread out more. The intent seemed to be to "train" players, especially those newer to the genre. The 20 or so hours of singleplayer play to get to level 20 and pick your first specialization would be the first sort of training set and it's only once you hit the multiplayer game that you start playing as a specific class. He called it a Massive Online Action game. Or something like that. Stressing the action elements. Mostly the action bits seemed to consist of not directly targetting things and playing out a pseudo turn-based game. Instead you have to aim your shots and stuff. It's still a long way way off -- he said at least a year -- but they seemingly had a lot of stuff working already.

I played enough Meteos to really *get* how the gameplay works. It's a lot of fun. I think it'll probably push me over the edge to getting a DS. I won't fill in all the gameplay details because I realized that there are evenflash demos already (http://netfiles.freespaces.com/flash.htm).  A friend of mine got to talk to the guy who made it and Lumines.  He said he was really proud of the Fusion mode (which is basically a collection mode that allows you to unlock new planets, sounds and items), that he preferred doing stuff more like Rez but was happy with both Lumines and Meteos and a few other interesting things that elude me at the moment.

Got more details out of a different dev on Hellgate: London (and I also picked up a cool NVidia T-Shirt with Hellgate on the back). He indicated that there would definitely be a secure mode of play like Diablo 2. The class that was working for the demo was Templar -- a sort of heavy-duty character. Templars gain vengeance from having creatures within an aura that they have and they can then spend that vengeance on certain special abilities. Every level you gain 5 points to spend on stats. I don't remember what the stats were except concentration. Concentration determines how many special abilities you can equip. Special abilities are basically looted. You might loot a level 5 Leap of Faith, for example. It would be tradable. To equip it would require a certain amount of Concentration. So the number of equipped abilities will be fundamentally limited by that stat. Different levels of abilities will of course have different concentration costs. Some abilities will be passive, others active (you can use f1-f12 to do abilities and you can map one to each mouse button). The weapons were very interesting. I was playing around with a grenade launcher where you actually had to aim up to arc the grenade over things or to send it far enough to hit a distant target. Also, you can add powerups to your guns. So you might add poisonous ammo to your grenade launcher that would augment your damage to be poison damage. It looks quite interesting.

Something I missed about yesterday was that MSN just unveiled a subscription-based Settler's of Catan game. It's only like $4.99/month or $20-something for a year's subscription. Settler's is my favorite boardgame of all time and I may have to give it a try.

I braved my one and only big line to pick up a signed Penny Arcade booklet. Very cool. I've always been a fan but I'd never seen them in person. My first reaction was that Tycho looked surprisingly like Gordon, the former SWG head fellah.

I'll have pictures eventually. I got a pic with the EQ2 booth babe type along with a few others. For the most part my feeling was, why be a dork and waste time taking pictures when I know that there will be thousands of pictures of every booth babe, demo, movie, etc., on the net by next week.

Gabe.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2005, 08:25:32 PM by StGabe »

Hoax
Terracotta Army
Posts: 7363

l33t kiddie


Reply #2 on: May 22, 2005, 04:42:03 PM

I dont know why nobody has replied but I will go on record as saying thanks...   :mrgreen:

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
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