"The premise was this: Division 9 would have put players (and their friends) in the middle of an ever-encroaching zombie menace. Co-op gameplay, scarce resources, base-building, and strategic rescues were a part of the conceptual blueprint." Big interview with Ken Levine – including some video footage – of Irrational's cancelled take on the zombie genre. In a nutshell: slower, more strategic, more long-term survival than L4D's short campaigns, and had it been released, would have come out around 2006/2007.
"This suggestion was derided by EA execs at the time — they literally couldn't imagine going to Wall Street with a message of increased profitability rather than top-line revenue growth. They wanted to make the transition to digital while continuing to grow the packaged goods business." Great Mitch Lasky post on the problems facing EA – and, indeed, almost every big games company out there. Though it stems from their announcement that they missed their targets last year (again), really, it's about the changing shape of the games industry.
12 May 2006
Ken Levine, creator of System Shock 2, talks to IGN about his forthcoming RPG Bioshock. Two choice quotations:
I’ve always said that, when we were working on Thief, I’d rather have a story element about the moss arrow then about some cult you never get involved with in the game or some god or something. That’s because I play with the moss arrow, it’s part of my game experience; I want to tie that into the story.
I think it’s all about making a world that’s believable. One that has an aesthetic point of view in which the player isn’t constantly bumping into the edge of thus pulls him out of the experience. It’s not about physics puzzles, it’s about having things behave the way I expect them to. Half-Life 2 uses physics puzzles really well; that’s not an issue. My response is not to create my own gravity gun. Our goal is to make this world in Rapture a real place.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. More sharp, incisive, intelligent discussion in the full interview.