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Too Human dev diary 2 discusses game theory

The folks at Silicon Knights have served up the second video in its series of Too Human developer diaries, this time focusing on the company's theory behind game design. The video actually brings in a pair of university professors to discuss the theory behind game design as it relates to film and psychology. Along with these well-versed experts, the Silicon Knights team elaborates on the immersive nature of good video games, noting that they can engage a player on a deeper level than cinema (take that, Ebert). The diary doesn't really go into exactly how Too Human will accomplish this, but asserts that the team is attempting to make the best game possible. As Director of Design Hentry Sterchi puts it, "if they pick up the controller and they're smiling, that's the goal." An admirable goal to be sure.

Epic motion denied, Silicon Knights lawsuit goes forward

GameDaily BIZ reports that the lawsuits between Epic Games and Silicon Knights will be moving forward as planned, and Epic's motion to dismiss Silicon Knights' case has been denied. The brouhaha all began in July, when Silicon Knigts sued Epic on the grounds that Epic did not deliver final code for the Unreal Engine 3 -- on which Silicon Knights' Too Human is built -- on time. Epic followed with a counterclaim citing breach of contract (among other things) and also filed a motion to dismiss Silicon Knights' case altogether.

Now that the motion has been denied, both lawsuits will move forward. As one might expect, Epic's Mark Rein points out that the denial of the motion does not lend any merit to Silicon Knights' argument, and that such denials are common. Silicon Knights' lawyer, naturally, is "pleased that the court has recognized the merit" in their claims.

No date has been set for the trial.

[Via Joystiq]

Too Human trailer shows off actual gameplay

Forget the tiny snippets of gameplay in the recent Too Human video diary, because we've got the real thing right here. Through some sort of wizardry (necromancy, we think) GameTrailers has procured a trailer for Too Human comprised entirely of gameplay footage. Isn't that something? Yeah, we thought so too. Throughout the video you get to see the cybernetic god Baldur doing what he does best, which is apparently killing robotic baddies of all stripes. For those of you out there that have been following the game, we hardly need to tell you that this is one of the very few looks we've had at the game proper. Having watched the video, we can't help but think of Diablo and its dungeon crawling sensibilities, which certainly isn't a bad thing. We're still not convinced about the right stick controlling attacks, but we're still eager to get our hands on a controller and try it out.

Watch the video and tell us what you think.

[Via Evil Avatar]

Too Human update, new screen

Okay, first thing is first, the headline above is somewhat misleading. Indeed, there is a new entry on IGN's Too Human blog. This time, however, Dennis Dyack of Silicon Knights steps back to let a cognitive psychologist write the entry. No, seriously, the latest entry was written by a psychologist discussing the Interacting with Immersive Worlds forum, a gathering of game designers and scholars. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss game design and theory. Rather than discuss, say, Too Human, the blog uses the birth of chemistry as an allegory for the game industry. Again, we're not joking. It's an interesting read, sure, but a little Too Human talk wouldn't have hurt. Still, we do get a screenshot, which you can see above (see it in hi-res here). Hit the "read" link for the full article.

Too Human offers up a color lesson

Over on Silicon Knights' IGN space, Too Human's art director Carman Dix posted an interesting article on how color is used in their upcoming game. Dix talks about the role of color, what feelings are associated with each hue and how Too Human's environments are colored to invoke the mood they wish. It's an interesting read for those of us who like getting inside the heads of the people who are involved in game development.

So now that you're in the "know", you can analyze a few Too Human videos to see what emotions Silicon Knights was going for. Hint: Becoming hungry is not an option.

Too Human blowout continues, new video

IGN's massive Too Human blowout continues with an interview with the developers at Silicon Knights. In case you haven't been keeping up, IGN has already featured a new video, a retrospective, and a 5 page hands on preview. The most recent interview goes behind the scenes to learn what tweaks have been made to the game over its (very) long development cycle. The team discusses concerns that the game will be considered a Devil May Cry or God of War clone and what ultimately separates Too Human. Also discussed is the game's detailed combat system, the RPG elements, and the battle cries and Ruiners, which act as special class-based abilities. For example, you might heal your allies or summon a spirit to help you fight. Finally, the team discusses the item drop system and the game's hub world. Anyone familiar with Diablo and other dungeon crawlers will likely feel right at home (right down to 4-player online co-op). Hit the "read" link for the full interview. Be sure to check out the new video above before you go.

Video: Too Human lives!

Flying well below the watchful gaze of the internet for several months now, Too Human has risen once again. IGN has a massive video preview for the game, showing off many new and undiscussed elements. In particular, the preview goes into great detail concerning the RPG elements of Too Human. Dennis Dyack and the crew from Silicon Knights reveal details on the online co-op mode as well as the deep character customization system, which includes more than 20 customizable sets of armor (with more planned as DLC). In this sense, Too Human has a Diablo-like feeling to it, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Also discussed are the combat systerm (where melee attacks are based on right stick movements) and the dynamic camera system. Viewers will also get some insight on the Norse mythology on which the game is based. All in all, the preview is about nine minutes long. Give it a watch and tell us what you think.

[Thanks, kabes]

Too Human pre-preview impressions

Matt over at IGN got his hands on a new Too Human demo up in Canada the other day and came away feeling pretty good. If you remember, Too Human was shown at E3 last year and was ripped apart due to its lack of solid gameplay, loose camera, and sub-par graphics. Matt just wanted to let everyone know that Silicon Knights wasn't happy with last year's showing and reworked a lot of the problems and are coming out with something they are proud of. Overall things are looking on the up and up for Too Human as Matt goes on to say that "the game has inevitably evolved, and it's on the level you'd expect from the maker of Eternal Darkness". Also, be sure to head on over to IGN next month when they'll be releasing a bunch of exclusive Too Human content and coverage. What do you think ... will it be good or will it be great?

[Thanks, Matthew M.]

Too Human peeks out, reemerges soon

On his latest developer blog, Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack explains just what happened to Too Human, an action title about cybernetic gods. Savvy readers will know that Too Human dropped from the public radar after a highly criticized showing at E3 2006. Many publications were quick to point out the E3 demo's low framerate and less than perfect camera. All in all, Silicon Knights took quite a beating for an unfinished demo of an unfinished game. In his latest entry, Dyack explains the reasons they took an unfinished demo to E3 and the reasons for Too Human's subsequent disappearance. Dyack explains that Too Human had to "go dark" after E3 in order to make the necessary improvements (many of them made as the result of E3 feedback). He promises that all of the E3 problems have been fixed and that "sweeping improvements" have been made all around. He concludes by offering a single screenshot of the current build and letting us know that Too Human should re-emerge "soon."

Hopefully, "soon" means that the game will make an appearance at GDC before its expected June release date.

Xbox 360: The Best of 2007

2006 was a great year for the Xbox 360. We saw tons of great games -- Oblivion, Gears of War, and Dead Rising just to name a few -- Xbox Live Arcade showed signs of maturity, Xbox Live grew by leaps and bounds, and overall 360 sales are closing in on the 10 million mark. Yes, it was a good time to be a gamer if you had a 360. What about the future? What does 2007 hold for the Xbox 360? Read on and join the discussion.

Continue reading Xbox 360: The Best of 2007

Dyack responds to Too Human feedback

If you followed the 360 coverage from E3 at all, then you probably have some concerns over what we and other members of the press thought about Silicon Knights' Too Human. What we were shown was an early build that chugged along with framerate afflictions which gave off the vibe that it was way too soon to be playing the title.

However, you've got to keep in mind that Too Human is still in development, and as such, it still has some tweaking to go through. We knew this when we played it. Nailing down the framerate seems to be one of the last legs of the development cycle, so the showing at E3 didn't necessarily leave a bad taste in the mouth. Even so, 1UP decided to ask Denis Dyack what they thought about the show and the feedback that they received.

During the interview, Dyack guaranteed that gamers will not have an issue with the framerate and that no such problems will arise like they did at E3. He even went as far to say that there won't be any concerns in co-op or multiplayer either. Check out the rest of the interview for his other responses.

First impressions: Too Human

The big issue with Silicone Knight's Too Human is going to be the camera. It's completely controlled by the game, and you have to fight the urge to try and swing it around with the right analog stick when it gets in an awkward spot. It also likes to take a wide angle view leaving your human looking like an ant on the battlefield. The game puts you in the role of an Unreal Tournament-type warrior with the ability to make some pretty colors with a sword. You can bust out combos with the right stick and take out waves of insectoid enemies or dual wield a pair of laser guns and blow them away. The combo action is supposed to be super-deep but it didn't feel that way when I played. Pressing B at certain times  launches your most powerful attack, which looks cools but unleashes a looong canned sequence.  I assume you unlock more moves as you progress. The framerate hitched when things got crazy.

Not sure why I keep thinking of this game as an RPG when it's the total opposite. Maybe the title is a little too esoteric. I'd call it a sci-fi 99 Nights with a little less foot traffic.

Vidcam-capture of Too Human gameplay

Following their interview with two members of the Too Human development team, Bytesector returns with some camcorder footage of actual Too Human gameplay! We'll be seeing plenty more of this next week at E3, but if you've been waiting to see how Silicon Knights' much-anticipated action game plays, then you'll be pleased to know: it looks action-packed!

As was written in EGM this month, there appears to be a plethora of maneuvers to keep the action exciting and the repetition to a minimum. Most interesting is probably the camera. Much of the demo appears to be a user-controller camera, but there are scenes where the camera automatically selects a dramatic angle for the action. This technique was used to great effect in last year's God of War, and looks to be similarly effective in this short bit.

Microsoft's Gamerscore Blog has also put up some screens of Too Human on their Flickr page.

[Thanks, Asim]

(Before this post was even done, the video has been removed. It's only a matter of time before someone gets this up at YoutTube, or the like, and we'll update the post then. Sorry!)

(Update: Big ups to bv for tracking it down at the shiny new GameVideos site.)

Interview with Too Humans

If you're too excited about Silicone Knights' 360-exclusive sci-fi actioner, Too Human, you'll be interested in ByteSector's interview with Art Director Carmen Dix and Sound Director Steve Henefin.

[Via Joystiq]

High-res Too Human magazine scans reappear

Those scans from this May's EGM featuring tons of Too Human coverage that we posted about last week, and had already been taken down, have (unsurprisingly) cropped up elsewhere on the internets.

If you didn't think Too Human was ambitious before, prepare to read a compelling argument otherwise. If you're familiar with Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack, you already know his interests are varied; Too Human ranges from Norse mythology, Nietzsche, and Shakespeare to God of War, Metroid, Zelda, and Phantasy Star Online.

[Via Le Garonne]

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