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by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 04 Nov 2008 02:39
Tags: conduit fps friend-codes interview scifi

High Voltage Still Working on Networking


In an interview with Iran White (IW) at Wiirincontrol.com, Eric Nofsinger again confronted the topic of Friend Codes, empathizing with gamers' frustrations. It is possible to read part of the passage below as saying that Friend Codes are not inevitable, but given the bolded underlined portion (emphasis WiiHD's) a more fair reading simply has Nofsinger explaining, as he has before, that they're doing everything they can to improve the Friend Code system, not trying to bypass it altogether. Some months ago, The Conduit makers alluded to Mario Kart in a pretty positive way, as if it had solved the Friend Code dilemma and they were no longer a problem

IW: Many Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers have a sort of “one eye on it” interest in The Conduit. Graphics aside, for them the clincher will be how well the game plays online. While Friend Codes aren’t a deal breaker, it is a major concern. Has Nintendo given you an explanation for why they are so adamant about the use of Friend Codes for even such a game as The Conduit, even though they’ve built a significant Parental Controls system into the Wii?

EN: Yeah, this is definitely something that we go back and forth with them on. They do have their security issues that we need to be cognizant of. We’re very aware of those concerns and understand where they are coming from with that. But really all we can commit to is creating the best possible experience.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Friend Codes, I don’t think that anyone on the team is a fan of Friend Codes. What we’re promising people is that we’re working with Nintendo, we’ve had them out to the office. We’ve been over to their place. We’re in regular communication with them. It will be as good of an experience on Multiplayer as possible. We know it’s important. We don’t want to let folks down.

IW: Yeah, I understand. It’s Nintendo’s thing, you have to play by their rules.

EN: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I know that there’s been one notable exception of a game that hasn’t had friend codes. As far as I know, at least from what’s been relayed to us, that exception was a one time thing. It’s something where we need to continue to work with them closely, and figure out something that does hit what they need, but also hits what we need as gamers, you know?

What was that one time exception? Medal of Honor: Heroes 2. An otherwise unremarkable game that may well still be the gold standard in Wii FPS multiplayer even after QoS, Call of Duty and The Conduit come out if Nintendo doesn't get their act together.

wiirincontrol.com Via Gamefaqs user Teh_5_Starz | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 13 Sep 2008 21:38
Tags: conduit fps friend-codes interview scifi

Death of The Conduit?


We at WiiHD have made no secret about how much we love The Conduit. We have also done our best to argue against the use of Friend Codes, both here, and in missives sent to the developers. With each day that passes, however, the odds of The Conduit shipping without Friend Codes, as the PSP port Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 has already done, decrease. Today's blow to our hopes and dreams comes from Nintendo Radio. And it's a pretty harsh blow.

Below is a transcript of an excerpt of a Nintendo Radio Podcast (Episode 50 58:40ish to 1:00:40ish). Two developers from High Voltage Software participated, Rob Nichols (lead designer) and Tony Mecca (Animator), however, they neglected to to identify themselves so I can't be 100% sure which voice belonged to which developer. Based on the last quote below, I've assigned the associated voice as Rob Nichols, because that just makes the most sense (he's the guy he has to be the most concerned about not pissing off Nintendo), and the other voice to Tony Mecca. But it's just a guess.

----Begin Transcript----
Probably Rob Nichols:

Ahhh, the infamous friend codes. Ummm, what I can announce on that is we are working very closely with Nintendo. Ummm, we're looking at some possiblilities and some options. If we have to use Friend Codes, which, you know we probably will, I will just say that and make that admission right now, but we're going to make it as streamlined and as fast as.. <audio glitch> Give Nintendo its credit, every time they've come out with a new multiplayer game, which you'll notice, other than EA, Nintendo… first-party games are the only ones that have multiplayer. Every time they've done that, there have been small improvements to the system, and we're going to, you know, try to build up on that as well and work with them to make it even more improved than it has been in the past.

Probably Tony Mecca:

We definitely want gamers to know that we're not all completely hyped up about Friend Codes, especially in the first generation of games that it was used in, you know. And we are definitely interested in getting the best online experience you can get. And we're not, by any means, fans of Friend Codes. <unintelligible> We're looking at every possible option we can possibly have to get you guys online and playing games with friends as fast as possible.

Probably Rob Nichols:

But I mean, folks have to realistically understand, it's Nintendo's system. It's their console, which we have to have their permission and their sign-off for whatever we put into the game. And if Friend Codes are what is, <unintelligible> is gonna be.

Interviewer: I think Nintendo is the only one who enjoys Friend Codes

Probably Rob Nichols:

Well, they, they have their concerns. The play base, there's a lot of hardcore guys who have Wii, of course. Um, but overall, the play base for the Wii tends to skew younger and they're justifiably concerned about that. So….

----End Transcript----

Elsewhere, they confirmed there will be no DLC.

Now that doesn't confirm that the game will use Friend Codes. However, it is the most pessimistic outlook on Friend Codes thus far. If you're willing to read between the lines, it's everything BUT a confirmation. They're saying this now so that when they finally confirm it, it won't be as much of a disappointment. Notice also the rather strained excuses for the Friend Code system, and the oft-heard refrain about how closely they are working with Nintendo. That seems to reinforce rumors about Nintendo as a likely publisher.

It's still a cool game. It can still succeed. But it's fallen from possibly being the greatest 3rd party game on the system, forever. Now it'll probably be the best game on the system until the next game finds a way to avoid Friend Codes. The Single player obviously won't be affected, and if that's why you're buying the game, there's no cause for discouragement. But the single player campaign on Normal is around 8 hours. How much time could you get from the game on multiplayer? Hundreds of hours. How much fun is sucked out of online play by Friend codes? Tons.

We'll doubtless see details about the online system in the near future. As we've explained before, the publisher choice will likely affect the online feature set. So in 2-3 weeks, the full picture will begin to reveal itself.

Nintendo Radio Podcast #50 | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 13 Sep 2008 18:34
Tags: animales interview shooter wiiware zombie

Will Animales Go Retail Instead of WiiWare?


Is it possible that Animales de le Muerte, everyone's favorite Mexican Zoo Zombie Shooter, will go retail instead of WiiWare? According to Eric Nofsinger, High Voltage hasn't decided.

We are still working on Animales but aren't sure whether to make this another WiiWare game or maybe a full blown Wii title.

This is news to WiiHD. We thought Animales was already done and just waiting for Nintendo to choose a release date.

From the same interview, Eric says HVS is looking into Co-op mode options for The Conduit, but splitscreen isn't going to happen. The excuse? The same as WaWii's. Too much graphical fidelity. I'm guessing no one tipped them off that they could crank down the graphics for splitscreen. (Thanks to Gamefaqs user CatsBall for the heads-up on Conduit Multiplayer)

konsolifin.net | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 28 Aug 2008 18:40
Tags: fps interview qos spy wii

Joystiq's Quantum of Solace Interview


Nothing crazy ground-breaking. The game has been in development since Casino Royale, so they claim the quality is higher than most Licensed games that rush to meet a movie release date. Here are some quotes. The full interview is linked below.

Quantum of Solace will follow the story of the film. In fact, one of the reasons we went and visited the sets was so that we could take reference photos so that our environments can look as identical to the film as possible. We've also got some scenes from Casino Royale in here, which play out as flashbacks throughout the game. The game is called Quantum of Solace, so we wanted you to get straight into the new stuff from the first level. There are also some levels that show scenes that are not from either films, but are part of their stories.

Daniel Craig was actually the most reluctant [to be in the game]. He's a big gamer himself and didn't want to be in a poorly made licensed game, so we sat him down and let him play an early build. He loved it and came back to us to say "Okay, I'll do it." Since then he's been a very important part of making the game what it is. We try to get him to give us feedback as much as possible, but he is obviously a very busy man. We'll send script drafts to him to check over, so he's been been involved with that aspect too.

A gallery is after the break, conspicuously lacking in Wii screens and video.

Joystiq Interview | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 24 Aug 2008 22:16
Tags: conduit fps interview scifi wii

Destructoid Conduit Interview


Not the world's greatest interview. Although it's been edited, it originally left people with the impression that there would be a PC version of The Conduit (look at the author's comments in the comments section). In addition when the interviewer asks about WiiSpeak, the game designer being interviewed seemed to think he was asking about Motion Plus. Then when he does ask about MotionPlus, the answer strays far off course. Was there a lot of noise where the interview took place? That would certainly explain a little.

That said, that strayed Motion Plus answer is probably the most revealing about the game. One feature High Voltage is at least considering is letting you customize your User Interface. Don't like where the ammo indicator is? Move it. Same for all the other UI elements. Would that be useful? Hard to say, but WiiHD would certainly like to find out.

Otherwise there's not a whole lot new to the interview. Enjoy it anyway. The Conduit hasn't had quite as much in the news the past month as it did the month before that. If we're in for a drought, might as well stock up where we can.

Destructoid Via yosouf06 | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 22 Jul 2008 20:42
Tags: interview interview wiiware

WiiWare World Talks Up Animales


One of WiiHD's ten most anticipated games is Animales de le Muerte, an entry into the little known genre of Mexican Zoo Zombie Shooters. You won't be shooting Zombie Zookeepers, no, you have a license to kill undead animals south of the border using the same Quantum3 Engine that powers The Conduit.

WiiWare world hits us with an interview with High Voltage's Executive Producer Chad Kent. WiiHD loves hearing about control schemes, and we get both from this interview. On the Wiimote-chuk, you'll move your character with the analog stick, and he'll face the on-screen aiming reticule, wherever you point it, which sounds like a pretty good system to us. In addition, you have a net for rescuing healthy animales and a whip for the less fortunate. A downward swing of the nunchuk activates the whip, and Z plus a whip-like action with the chuck activates the whip. If you're not fond of that, conventional dual analog is available with the Classic Controller.

Kent doesn't expect bad or good press over the violence, but figures the comical nature of the violence will win the day with players. No questions were asked regarding racism in this title, sadly. So since N'Gai Croal isn't around, WiiHD demands to (not) know if there were any Hispanic ZooKeepers working on this WiiWare game. What's the implication here? European ZooKeepers can keep their animals from becoming undead, but Hispanic ZooKeepers can't?? <GOB Bluth>Come on!!</GOB Bluth>

As with all interviews, the fun-loving and unique gamer personality of High Voltage shines through. Read it all. Video and screens after the break.

WiiWare World interview 1 and supplement Via Wii Fanboy | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 14 Jul 2008 22:45
Tags: conduit fps interview sci-fi

Mr. Ford Can Jump


One of the things WiiHD was surprised to learn when we picked up MoHH2 for the first time was that, apparently, mankind had not learned to jump in WWII. We searched in vain for the jump button, and then, after making sure no one was watching, we even opened the game manual (0.o) to double-check. Fortunately, according to a new interview by WiiNside, mankind has learned to jump by the time The Conduit takes place. There's also some odd (inconclusive) conversation about whether the ASE would be included in multiplayer.

Hit the link below and check out the rest. Of if you're confuzzled by this "Conduit" talk, hit the break for some game media.

Via WiiNSide | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 08 Jul 2008 10:39
Tags: conduit fps interview scifi wii

GameSpot The Conduit Intervew


GameSpot is bringing us one of the longest interviews from The Conduit developer High Voltage yet. While it's less packed with news than some others have been, there is some interesting context about the challenges HVS is facing. Blazing trails is never as easy as following a well-beaten path. Here's some things WiiHD found interesting from the interview:

  • Publishers have been resistant about the inclusion of multiplayer at all. Their data or assumptions seem to indicate that Wii owners aren't that interested in online multiplayer—something former Nintendo marketing VP, and sworn enemy of WiiHD George Harrison used to spout about all the time.
  • HVS responds that there is a lot of self-fulfilling prophecy surrounding features and game types on the Wii. If you say it long enough and don't ever release those games on Wii, then you accumulate more and more evidence that those games aren't want Wii owners want. It's pretty much the same response WiiHD would provide. Maybe a game like The Conduit can't succeed on Wii, but there's no evidence supporting that, and there is some evidence in favor of it, like RE4 and Red Steel sales numbers.
  • HVS mentions MoHH2 and EA's apparent deal to not use Nintendo's system. Refers to it as the benefit of being the 800lb gorilla that EA is. If you thought that just anyone could opt out of Nintendo's terrible online and use their own and bypass Friend Codes, you might should think again. WiiHD doesn't like EA, but they could be our best hope for getting good multiplayer. Depending on what Activision does for World at War, they could be a nice option too.
  • Gamestop asks (devil's advocate style) why HVS even bothers with graphical prowess since Wii will never compete with the PS360. HVS says just because they can't build a Ferrari doesn't mean they should deliver a Yugo. Well put.

It's a good read, so read it all. The Conduit could be the single best thing to happen to Wii in its entire life-span, IF they execute correctly. There's a lot riding against them, but the hopes and dreams of WiiHD are on their side.

GameSpot | Via GoNintendo | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 03 Jul 2008 03:29
Tags: conduit fps interview

that videogame blog's The Conduit Interview


that videogame blog teased us with a piece of their interview with High Voltage the other day, but now you can read the whole thing.

We chose The Conduit because we saw there was a need. We’re all Wii owners and love the system and think it’s wonderful that all these new gamers are being pulled in. But we also want games for us and we weren’t seeing a lot of games like that being made outside of first party ones.

The Wii, with the controllers it has, really does cry out to be used as a shooter. We have an advantage from looking at other shooters and how they’ve controlled too.

The Conduit has been great to develop because we’re doing something original and it frees us to make decisions that are actually better for the game as opposed to licensed rules. … The Conduit’s been great because we’ve added things and removed things and changed things and as result this is a game that has been designed for gamers from the start.

As of right now, High Voltage is planning 16 player multiplayer, and wants voicechat badly. They were shifty on the topic of Friend Codes (Do Not Want). The game continues to sound like a full experience, story, gameplay, multiplayer, graphical prowess; the works. Not half-baked. Overall, a well thought out interview that should be mostly encouraging. Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

Via that videogame blog | Permalink

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 25 Jun 2008 18:53
Tags: cod5 fps interview wawii wii wwii

CoD5, Treyarch is Talking the Talk

In an interview with Joystiq, Treyarch rep Mark Lamia spent a fair amount of time talking about the Wii version of the game, sometimes unprompted. He must be aware that CoD3 wasn't the bundle of joy we were hoping for. He claims CoD5 will be better because 1)There's no PS2 version, so the team on Wii is focused on it's capabilities alone, 2) they've had a two year time frame to work on it unlike the one year they had for COD3 as a launch title for PS3 and Wii, and finally 3) this one's online, unlike CoD3 Wii which had no multiplayer of any kind.

Anyone feeling trusting today? WiiHD isn't. Their excuses sound reasonable enough, but they're going to have produce something impressive before we offer up our fragile hearts to be ripped out, thrown to the floor, and crushed by Mexican hat dancers. Again.
Via Joystiq | Permalink

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