This special impromtu episode of GameHounds features Edie and Joe Chagan of SPOnG just mere hours after Microsoft’s keynote address at the Game Developers’ Conference on Wednesday. We discuss the impact of the keynote over a tasty lunch of spring rolls and quesadillas at Tilt Arcade at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco.We’d like to thank the folks at Ultizen, the ultimate game lab, for providing us the space at their press luncheon so that we could record these immediate thoughts on Microsoft’s announcements and the food and alcohol that fueled it.Discussed are:
- The extremely liberal expansion of XNA so that just about anyone with a good idea and the drive can make a game available on the XBox Live Marketplace for download. How will this affect the independent game developers? Will this mean that the Independent Game Developers Association will now include more console options? What wasn’t said? Can Microsoft really let the reigns go and set developers free?
- Ninja Gaiden II: How did we like the look and feel of the gameplay demo? What do we think about the “save points” that allow players to save videos of their play and then allow the top players to have them available for others? What questions are we left with?
- Fable 2: Beyond being a Peter Molyneaux experience, which is all kinds of crazyfun, was the gameplay demo enough for us, considering we’re supposed to see it this year? Do we think we actually will see it this year? What do we think of the Pub Games being available on XBox Live weeks before the game’s release? What exactly does “multiplayer” mean? Were more questions raised than answered?
- Gears of War 2: Was the announcement of a November 2008 release date enough to merit the super treatment it received during the keynote?
- Unreal Engine improvements: How will this relate to complaints of poor support by other developers? Is it really what we wanted to see? How could this affect future games beyond GoW?
- CliffyB’s grooming secrets.
- How many beers does it take to get a GameHound drunk by noon?
All this and more is contained within. Stay tuned for more off-the-cuff episodes from GDC.