20 Jul 2008

10 Years After

Andreas, an old friend of mine, noticed that Urban Assault went Gold (or RTM - Release To Manufacture as it was called at Microsoft at that time) on July 13th 1998, almost exactly 10 years before Drakensang went Gold (which was at the 10th of July 2008). He even sent me the original anouncement mail I sent back to Germany. Andreas and I had been "stationed" over at Seattle at that time to apply the final fixes and polish to UA, since flying the programmers over to NA was probably more convenient in 1998 then FTP'ing complete daily game builds over ISDN.

Apart from the usual post-project cleanup stuff I can now start to work on new and exciting technology stuff again, improving our tool-chain, continue working on Nebula3, and dust off those Wii and 360 devkits which probably feel a bit neglected due to our focus on finishing Drakensang.

We're also a licensed PS3-developer now, a N3 port hasn't started yet but from looking through the SDK docs the programming environment doesn't seem to be too bad. The underlying philosophy or "style" is a bit different then the 360 SDK (just like for instance Win32 has a different style then Unix). But all in all the PS3 SDK looks complete and actually quite usable. It's also quite obvious from looking through the release note history that the PS3 SDK has improved a lot since the PS3 launch. I think it will be relatively easy to get "something" up and running on the PS3, squeezing the last bit of performance out of the bitch however will be something completely different I'm sure ;)

The Dead Rising port to the Wii might be the most interesting news I took out of E3. It made me play the 360 version again, and this is one of those game which get better and better over time.

I totally underestimated the importance of the books one can find in the different book stores. In the past I ignored them because they take up valuable inventory slots. But what they actually do is they make every single slot much more valuable. For instance there is a book which triples the time edged weapons can be used until they break, and another which triples the usage time of items from home-improvement-stores. And the effects actually stack. For instance the mini-chainsaws which are unlocked after killing the clown-psycho (pretty much the most powerful melee weapons in the game) fall under both categories!

The Wii port of Dead Rising makes immediate sense with all the special attacks or shaking off zombies for instance. These should translate very well to waggle. I'm concerned though about the number of zombies. It's just not Dead Rising without hundreds of zombies on screen. The first batch of Wii screens have a suspicious lack of zombies in them...

2 comments:

sordidpixel said...

I recently found my old Urban Assault CD-ROM and played it again for the first time in 10 years. It's held up very well, even after a decade: it had me addicted all over again.

Thanks for all your work on this great classic game.

Josie Nutter said...

That project was rough. I remember finding you asleep under your desk during crunch time. Was it really that long ago? Damn, 10 years! :)