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03/07/2012 at 10:58 PM
Oh, and by the way, Skulls of the Shogun will be coming out for Windows 8 (PCs & tablets). Microsoft hasn’t officially announced the launch date for Windows 8, but the game will be coming out on all three platforms (Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8) around then.
Well, I can’t say it hasn’t been a stressful few weeks of work. Jake, Ben, & I are here at GDC in San Francisco, after crunching the last couple months finishing up the game. Monday morning I gave a talk on the AI in the game. Brandon Justice did a nice piece on the session, including post-mortems on the AI in Kingdoms of Amalur & The Darkness 2, for EGM.
We have been working pretty hard on doing an official announcement/press release about the Windows 8 version. Colin Williamson, who joined us recently, a 10 year vet of Square Enix, was working on an awesome new trailer. Then our shoebox office In Seattle got flooded, and we realized we had to delay a proper announcement. Kotaku covered the unfortunate circumstances, and now the guys up in Seattle have moved next door to some unused warehouse space.
But, I wanted to mention the new platform in my talk so people understood everything I learned from working on the AI came from getting it into a finished state (playable at all the shows we’ve been to, and will be at PAX East very soon).
A less reputable then picked this up saying we had been delayed because of AI and bugs, which is well beyond inaccuracy and basically just a lie. It’s an unfortunate problem for indie devs. Jon Blow (Braid, The Witness), has noted this himself, and Chris Hecker (Spy Party) have run into these issues as notable indie devs, and spoken out about them regularly. Chris gave a great rant on the subject at GDC 2009.
I guess we’ve just been incredibly lucky so far, in that all the journalists we’ve dealt with have been super passionate about their work, getting things right, and care a lot about indie games. And this practice by the bad seeds doesn’t have a big impact on companies like EA or Activision. They haves teams of PR people 10-20 times our entire size just to deal with this kind of problem. (We just have my burgeoning ulcer, apparently.)
Flooded, frustrated, I know this is probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but to have someone misrepresent your work is tough for folks like us, on top of everything else that’s happened in the past couple weeks. (Are there bugs? Sure, but actually not that many compared to most games I’ve worked on at this stage.)
So we just need to keep focusing on the good stuff – we just got back our 9 langauge translations from Jake’s long time friends at 8-4, and they look fantastic. Feels like they really captured the humor in the localization – I kinda want to have them translated back to English! (But I guess it doesn’t really work that way).
Windows 8 is super exciting for us. Playing the game on a tablet is my new favorite way to play, and for all Windows 8 users we really think the new Xbox Live for Windows is a great step beyond Games For Windows Live. We’re big believers in the cross platform gaming future, there’s lots of cool opportunities and you’ll be hearing more from us on that front before we’re done.
Here’s a shot of the tablet in action, along with it’s little baby brother, the Windows Phone (although since technically the phone came first this would make the tablet the child that freakishly outgrew his parents, which is kinda like what we assume Jake’s kids are gonna do, and up even bigger than his towering height!).