Category Archives: Interviews

Microsoft to Enhance PC Gaming

At this year’s ECTS, I caught up with Dean Lester, General Manager, Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies for Microsoft Corporation to talk about the future of PC gaming. Dean joined Microsoft in 1996 after more than a decade in the entertainment software industry. He has a wealth of expertise gained during positions with companies including Disney and Sega and is now the driving force behind the Windows gaming experience. GiN: So what is the future of PC gaming as far as Microsoft is concerned? Lester: Valve is currently showcasing Direct X 9.0, Microsoft’s latest version of DirectX with Half Life 2, which … Continue reading Microsoft to Enhance PC Gaming

Middle Earth Music

Very few modern things have captured our collective imaginations as J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". The world of Middle Earth is so cram-packed with depth and atmosphere that The Professor himself generated background information, whole languages, and geo-political history that filled about twenty times as many pages as the three books themselves. Scattered throughout the books are references to poetry and song that help our imagination do its job. So it is only fitting that a series of computer games based on Tolkien’s books have music that is directly drawn from this treasure trove. That is … Continue reading Middle Earth Music

Devoted to the cause

Blood Transfusion to save aging game Although some games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City get the largest share of the game industry's revenue, there are many quality programs of note as well that don't get very much press. Then there is the Blood Transfusion project, which in all likelihood, you have never even heard about. The Blood Transfusion project is made up of a group of talented programmers who are devoted to a classic game: Blood. When Blood first came out for the PC, it was a masterpiece of visual programming. Lots of people were turned off by the … Continue reading Devoted to the cause

New Blood

Dynamic Duo Goes Solo Alex Josef and John Foster are known throughout the industry as two guys who know how to get the job done. Whether that job is putting journalists into a boxing ring for real fighting to promote a Mike Tyson boxing game or setting up meetings at the Tokyo Games Show, they have done it. And although they loved their jobs at Bender/helper Impact, both men thought it was time for a change. Sooner or later, talented people decide it's time go it alone. They have formed Zeitgeist Communications, a marketing firm where they plan to use … Continue reading New Blood

Graphical Greatness

A house built on a shoddy foundation won't last very long, no matter how many amenities the structure has. In the game industry, a game's graphics are its foundation. Having amazing graphics is a basic requirement of any game these days, or consumers won't even bother to try it out. Ironically, creating amazing graphics is probably one of the most time-consuming aspects of computer game programming. If there are any flaws, the players will immediately notice. Some companies employ entire armies of artists and graphical programmers, and even then it can take two years or more before that phase of … Continue reading Graphical Greatness

Games Invade Ivory Tower

The summer's over and a new batch of bright-eyed students head off for university to get themselves an education, learn to drink copious amounts of beer and acquire a newfound appreciation of mum's home cooking. Nestled among the history, English and business studies students lurks a new breed of academic – the videogames undergraduate. It's been a long time coming, but it looks like academia is finally opening the door to videogames. Over the past few years, courses designed to train a wealth of industry savvy graduates have been cropping up like mushrooms. From Tyne Tees down to the south … Continue reading Games Invade Ivory Tower

Tuning in, dropping out

You remember back when Jaws came out to theatres? Looking back the shark was not all that scary, but the music sure was. In the world of movies, music has always been an important component to any screen gem. In the early days computer games tried to keep up, but anemic soundcards made the going difficult. Today however, a game without a rich, dynamic soundtrack is a sitting duck for a bad review. One of the best current soundtracks is Icewind Dale II. A mix of Nordic and medieval instruments, the music ebbs and flows and keeps the player excited … Continue reading Tuning in, dropping out

At Everglide’s Pad

They say if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. We guess the same can be said about building a better mousepad. Everglide, quite by accident, began life in 1997 as a way to improve the overall game experience indirectly by making the existing mice more functional. This was done by creating a better surface for the mouse to rest on and glide across. Over the years Everglide has grown to include illumination devices, PC carrying cases and a host of other products aimed at the PC game player. As the company grew, … Continue reading At Everglide’s Pad

Hitting the right notes

We've all heard of the Miyamotos and Kojimas of this world, but when it comes to the music for games, it's blank faces all round. Imagine Final Fantasy without the plaintive keyboard theme or Silent Hill if the guys at Hanna Barbera had handled the score – scary. So I think it's about time we talked about the people that enhance the drama and atmosphere of our gaming experiences. I had the opportunity to interview Richard Jacques (that's Jakes, so no crappy French accents), the man behind the critically acclaimed music of Headhunter. Richard is a freelance composer of videogame … Continue reading Hitting the right notes

A Publishing Alternative"

If you are a new development house working in the game industry, you can expect that your first game, no matter how great, probably won’t equal a lot of financial rewards. The fact is that development companies often play second fiddle to the large publishers. And although most publishers are fair in their dealings with developers, we have heard many horror stories where developers end up with nothing for their efforts, even when their product turns out to be a popular one. And the fact is that even if a development company signs a great deal with a publisher, the … Continue reading A Publishing Alternative"

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