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

Death of The Conduit?

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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 06 Sep 2008 04:31
Tags: fps homebrew quake scifi

Quake Wii Get Its Mods On

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Eluan has been hard at work on Quake Wii, making a number of improvements. There's something of a changelog after the break, but the most interesting thing is that users are reporting much greater mod compatibility.

The new release has a big increase in mod compatibility (ive just noticed.) I have tested out [everything] from weapons to bots, and they work [beautifully].

(except for a quick reduction of framerate in a thick strip on the top of the screen using some mods, like bots.)

What does this mean? It means a massive library of quake mods could soon be yours for the asking. Hundreds and hundreds of maps and tweaks could turn Quake Wii into one of the longer-lasting games available on the system.

Excellent news. Discussion of networking elements is still taking place, and there are even dreams of Quake 2 and 3 dancing in developers' heads.

Via Official Quake Wii Dev thread | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 03 Sep 2008 23:39
Tags: conduit fps news scifi wii

Conduit Publisher: Impending

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From PAX, ArsTechnica reports:

"You want to know about the publisher, don't you?" Rob Nicholls, the game's designer, asked when he saw my media badge. He had effectively read my mind and answered in turn. "We're not ready to officially announce anything, but things are in the works. Look for the word in the coming month."

Over the past few weeks, Nintendo Wii Fanboy has repeatedly noted the oddity of publisher choice being a teaser. They failed to note why, instead making it sound like some sort of off-the-wall decision by a developer that might not know what they're doing. It's valid to note the oddity of the situation. It's very strange not to explain why publisher choice is SO important. So WiiHD will.

Not every publisher can bring their own online network to the table and completely ignore Nintendo's backward FC system (should the need arise). EA has already done it (the need did arise). One presumes Activision could, were they so inclined. If Nintendo were to publish it, obviously they could make any exceptions to their current rule-set that they wanted to (and no one would be happier than WiiHD if Nintendo suddenly went reasonable on us) , but it would be unprecedented.

A game like this, unlike some others, NEEDS a sane lobby system. So far, Nintendo has refused to make that sort of system a part of their Wi-Fi Connection network. So if you want it, you need a publisher willing to provide it, or you need Nintendo to make a BIG change.

Outside of features, one of the reasons this game had been so hyped is that basic game decisions (such as not including the letter "Z" at the end of the title) were made without publisher interference. If a publisher is getting signed now, they still have plenty of time to ruin the game. This consideration favors different publishers, since EA and Activision are often too big to be bothered with quality (especially on Wii). Capcom would be an encouraging choice on the quality front.

If HVS pulls a rabbit out of their hat, and manages to present a publisher capable of providing a full feature set and not ruining the game, it would be about the biggest news of this game's life-cycle. It might also guarantee The Conduit will become one the best games of the Wii's entire lifespan and launch a new franchise as well elevate HVS to the top of the Wii developer ladder. The wrong choice could make The Conduit forgettable and a source of buyer's remorse.

The stuff Wii Fanboy would probably expect to be a publicity tease, like the online feature set, are directly tied to the publisher decision. If you dig back through some earlier interviews, you'll find HVS discussing publishers in relation to feature questions that they couldn't yet answer. Do you want lobbies? Do you want solid communication options? Do you want good matchmaking? Do you want a decent ranking system? Then you care how HVS makes THIS decision. It could be the most defining decision of the game.

And there's more.

"We're going to ship with a full single player campaign and both offline and online multiplayer. We're also working with Nintendo now on getting LAN play working [via system link]."

Off-line multiplayer? Splitscreen has been denied in the past. Did they re-assess that decision? Is the offline some sort of cooperative play with rails or quasi-rails? Or might this be off-line vs? Keep your fingers crossed.

Finally, not content with what they've already got, HVS used their PAX demoing to aggressively solicit feedback from gamers so they can make the most of the next 6 months:

Nicholls admitted that there was much tweaking to be done. "We've been drilling normal [non-media] gamers to get a feel for what works and what doesn't," he said. "We're looking to make the controls not just functional but fun, too." And drill he did. I listened intently as he polled the gaming public about their experience with the game and listened carefully to the feedback, especially the negatives. Without dismissing a single criticism, Nicholls made note of the problems and rewarded gamers' honesty with buttons and shirts.

Via ArsTechnica | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 01 Sep 2008 21:39
Tags: scifi star-wars video wii

Clone Wars Duels In Motion

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Star War: The Clone Wars (you know, the other definitive Lightsaber game for Wii that doesn't use Motion Plus) showed off some lightsaber-duel footage at Leipzig. Grab it after the break.

At first blush, WiiHD likes The Force Unleashed's duel mode better. It could simply be that these were convention goers playing the Clone Wars demo rather than programmers who knew all the ins and outs of the game, but Force Unleashed looked to be more dynamic. We'll of course keep an open mind as more footage comes out.

Watch the new video below, then go sample The Force Unleashed's duel mode and tell us what you think.

Via GoNintendo | Permalink


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

Destructoid Conduit Interview

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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 21 Aug 2008 23:33
Tags: conduit fps scifi video wii

The Conduit At Leipzig

We don't post many videos above the break here at WiiHD. That helps keep the front page tidy and responsive. But when it comes to The Conduit, there are no rules.

Via GoNintendo | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 20 Aug 2008 02:54
Tags: conduit fps news scifi

Nintendo Hearts The Conduit

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High Voltage Software sent out a press release today announcing that The Conduit would be featured in Nintendo's own booth at PAX.

The Good News: Nintendo's recognizing one the best games in the queue for Wii.

The Bad News: In exchange High Voltage had to agree to turn the game into an on-rails shooter and turn the aliens into candy peeps and the guns into water pistols.

Okay, we don't actually know that High Voltage made those particular compromises, but naturally, we're concerned about any involvement Nintendo might have. On the one hand, them taking a close interest in The Conduit could lead to exceptions to the archaic game-breaking Friend Code infrastructure Nintendo clings to. On the other hand, if this is an indication that Nintendo is interested in publishing The Conduit (after all, they aren't known for heavily promoting 3rd party games to the exclusion of their own), it might lead institution of Friend Codes in a game-breaking way. WiiHD is always hopeful that Nintendo will change their ways, even a little. But we're not holding our breath.

So we do want Nintendo to heart The Conduit, just not in an Elmyra Duff kind of way. A little TLC is okay, but SIDS is not.

Via Nintendo Wii Fanboy | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 18 Aug 2008 05:50
Tags: platformer scifi video wii

KORE (Wii) Is Alive

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Back in May, the news came out that an abandoned original Xbox title, The Kore Gang, was getting a new lease on life on a new console: Wii. An announcement doesn't make it true, but now we've seen a little piece of it with our own eyes. The newly monikered KORE (a name change WiiHD approves of), showed off its first footage on Friday.

Revamped and redesigned, KORE is a platformer that has three heroes protecting the center of the earth from the baddies with a little cybernetic assistance. Now we know, platformers aren't the cool genre anymore, but they're still chock full of potential fun. Even so, platformers aren't the easiest game for a developer to really nail. Nintendo has always been good at it, but by and large, it's a rough genre to really innovate in and provide fun that feels fresh.

That said, we wish the game the best of luck. Take a gander at the new footage after the break.

Via Joystiq | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 15 Aug 2008 22:55
Tags: ds fps moon scifi

There's More Than One Dark Side of the Moon (DS)

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With Civilization Revolution out of the way, Moon is quickly becoming WiiHD's most anticipated DS title. Eerie, moody, suspenseful and brimming with action, it has elements more closely associated with Microsoft's gaming division than Nintendo's. One of the advantages to being on top, as the DS is in the portable wars, is getting a little bit of everything.

The point of this post is to let you get a gander at the new Moon trailer. It isn't big, but it doesn't really need to be. It's after the break (would that WiiHD's plumber would keep his moon after the break too), so see for yourself.

Via DS Fanboy | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 07 Aug 2008 21:29
Tags: conduit fps scifi video wii

Ford Kills 'em All in The Conduit

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IGN has some 3 new videos for the Conduit. Check them out after the break.

Via YoshiMaster64 | Permalink


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