Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Interview: Sniper Elite V2 Wii U – What about an eShop digital version, demo, and reasons to play this version?

June 9, 2013
Do armor-piercing rounds work on this, really?

Coffee Beans
Did you know that Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U runs at a higher resolution than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, due to the Wii U’s hardware strengths? If not, you can read where Rebellion’s CEO and Creative Directory, Jason Kingsley, said it in the first interview about the game posted up last week, HERE.

Sniper Elite V2 released last month for the Wii U on May 21st, and it received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of. If you’re looking to buy the game, you should be able to find it now on sites like Amazon.com and in stores like GameStop.

What if you’re a Wii U Deluxe Set owner and like downloading your games to take advantage of the Deluxe Digital Promotion though? While there isn’t a Wii U eShop digital version yet, I did ask 505 Games about it, as well as if they are planning a demo for the game. Brew yourself some coffee, and read on to find out those details as well as what features Wii U owners might enjoy if they have already played another version of Sniper Elite V2!

The Brew
When I asked 505 Games if Sniper Elite V2 will get a Wii U eShop demo of some sort, their response was very straightforward like when I asked them about the DLC for the game.

They answered, “We currently do not have any plans for this.”

What about getting the full game on the eShop for purchase though, so Wii U Deluxe owners might be able to get the game and take advantage of the Deluxe Digital Promotion? The answer to this question wasn’t as clear.

I specifically asked, “While the Wii U version is having a physical retail release, is there a plan to make Sniper Elite V2 available to purchase from the Wii U’s eShop? If so, when can Wii U owners that perhaps like to buy their games digitally look at getting the game? June? July?

505 Games responded with, “We are currently discussing this.”, but didn’t clarify any further on it. So, being that it had been almost 2 weeks since I first asked about, I asked about it again to make sure there hadn’t been any change from the first answer. They responded that there is still, “No news about the Wii U Shop”.

Now, if you’re a Wii U owner and have perhaps already played another version of Sniper Elite V2 (or, have access to another version), what features might you find enjoyable and notice make a difference from the other versions? Being a Wii U and PlayStation 3 owner myself, this is something that I was interested in.

I asked, “If there are Wii U owners that have perhaps already played Sniper Elite V2 on another system, what GamePad features do you think they would really enjoy and notice make a big difference from the other versions?

Rebellion’s Mr. Kingsley, the CEO and Creative Director, answered this saying, “Well firstly there’s obviously the mirroring allowing the game to be played completely on the GamePad. This could be a big thing for gamers who don’t want to disturb partners sharing the TV, or want to try and play Sniper Elite V2 in bed! Being a fiercely adult game, the privacy aspect could be handy too if the player has children and obviously doesn’t want them to watch the game on the TV as they’re playing. I think above all though, the GamePad enhances the tactical elements of the gameplay to help you avoid open firefights as much as possible. Being able to now track the positions of traps and explosives, see your heart rate (important when making precision shots) and other subtle tweaks really help make the stealth and setting up the perfect shot more rewarding.”

The Wii U GamePad showing the weapons on the left/right side, with the map in the middle.

Caffeinated Thoughts
As for Mr. Kingsley’s response, being a parent with young children, I can greatly appreciate the Off-TV GamePad play. I have used it in many Wii U games, and find I often use it the majority of the time to play games if it’s an option. Even Bean 1 uses it for playing some Wii U games.

Personally, I think that having a demo of at least one level from the game would be a great way to let Wii U owners interested in the game (and who perhaps have already played another version of it), see how it plays and the benefits the GamePad adds to it. Sniper Elite V2 has a demo on Steam, so it would be nice to have an option to try the game out, especially considering many other Wii U games have demos available now.

If you missed the launch trailer for the game, you can see it below and some of the Wii U’s features mentioned:

I think having Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U eShop from the first day it released, along with a demo, might have been the best way to get the game out and create a positive buzz for it, despite it lacking some of the content found in the other versions. The demo could have been tailored around a specific level that took good advantage of the GamePad quick weapon selection and enemy tracking features, as well as giving Wii U owners a good feel for the overall gameplay.

Questions
If you have played Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, what do you think about the game? If you have already played and beaten the game, do you know how many hours it took you from start to finish?

You can buy the different versions of Sniper Elite V2, from Amazon.com linked below:

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Interview: Sniper Elite V2 Wii U – What about the DLC and Miiverse updates?

June 4, 2013
Excellent sniping spot! Behind the planes, behind a tank, and behind sandbags!

Coffee Beans
Sniper Elite V2 released a few weeks ago for the Wii U, and the description for the game on the Wii U’s eShop says, “You are elite US sniper, Karl Fairburne, sent behind enemy lines into besieged Berlin during the final moments of World War II. You uncover a horrifying plot which threatens to kill millions of civilians throughout Western Europe, and which would irreversibly change history as we now know it. Make every single bullet count or the world dies with you.”

If you don’t know, the game was originally developed by Rebellion and published by 505 Games for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 last year. The Wii U version currently has a MSRP of $59.99, and received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

I reached out to Rebellion and 505 Games with some questions about Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, such as will the game be updated to allow in-game pictures to be posted to its Miiverse community? Also, what about the DLC for the Wii U version? I did receive answers to these questions about the game, and a few more as well, so brew yourself some coffee and hit the jump to learn more about Sniper Elite V2 for the Wii U!

That’s not a camera lens view, and I doubt they would say “Cheese!”

The Brew
First up, Sniper Elite V2’s Miiverse community is active. Right after the game released, I saw some comments about players not being able to take in-game pictures and post them to the Miiverse community, as well as some Wii U owners wondering if the game will receive the DLC found in the other versions of the game released last year.

I asked specifically about the free multiplayer expansion pack that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions have, and if there is any plan to make the DLC and online multiplayer mode(s) available for the Wii U version.

505 Games’ answer was very straightforward about the DLC. They said, “We currently do not have any plans for DLC.”

Some Wii U owners might not be happy about it, but many of those who have the game and are active in its Miiverse community really seem to be enjoying it, even despite it not having the DLC and multiplayer modes. Here are a few examples:

What about updating the game to make the Miiverse in-game picture functionality work though, like basically every other Wii U game? This question (along with the next) was sent directly over to Rebellion, and their CEO and Creative Director, Jason Kingsley, answered it with: “With the game just launched, it’s probably a bit early to talk about updates or new content yet!”

So, until the game is updated to take advantage of the Miiverse feature for in-game picture posting (or, if it never is), Wii U owners will have to draw their own Sniper Elite V2 X-Ray Kill Cam shots to share with friends and other Wii U owners, to show the cool effect from the game. Some have already done so, as you can see in the two images below.

Drawn by hand on the Wii U GamePad!

While Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U might be missing out on some of the content found in the other versions, I did ask which version the Wii U port was based off of and if the Wii U version looks and runs better than the other console versions.

Mr. Kingsley replied, “We can’t really go into specifics, but all versions of Sniper Elite V2 are running off our powerful in-house engine – Asura – which is very adaptable. We even use it to power our mobile games. The game also runs at a higher resolution on Wii U than it does on Xbox 360 and PS3 due to the platform’s hardware strengths.”

Mr. Kingsley’s statement about the Wii U version running at a higher resolution does seem to be backed up by some in the Miiverse community, and from at least one comment it seems the Wii U version does not have a screen tearing issue found in the PlayStation 3 version; or, at least not as bad/noticeable.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I can sort of understand Rebellion not including the online multiplayer in the Wii U version, because the online community would probably be small (and it’s apparently almost non-existent now in the other versions from what I have read). I do think that Miiverse can help solve some online community aspects in games though, with players finding other Wii U owners to hop into online matches from Miiverse.

While they don’t have any plans to release the multiplayer, co-op, or DLC for the Wii U version right now, I am glad to know that Rebellion took the time to make the Wii U version run at a higher resolution.

If you missed the trailer for the Wii U version of Sniper Elite V2 released a few weeks back, you can see it below:

The day the Wii U trailer was released, I received a message from a friend who had not seen the trailer, and didn’t even know that Snipe Elite V2 was releasing on the Wii U. I found his message and the timing of it pretty ironic. Why did I find it ironic?

His message said that he was, “playing a cool Xbox game right now…V2 Sniper Elite.” Again, he had not seen the Wii U trailer, and we had not discussed the Wii U version prior to him messaging me. He described the game in the message as, “Tenchu Stealth Assassins meets Call of Duty“, and while I haven’t played Sniper Elite V2 I have played the other games he mentioned.

From some of the footage I have seen of the game and some of the comments I have read about the game since I received the message, I think his description of Sniper Elite V2 seems like a very good way to describe the game.

I have not played the game, but I am interested in it, and I think I would enjoy the Off-TV play feature the most from what I know about it on the Wii U. I do hope that Rebellion/505 Games at least take the time to update the Wii U version to take full advantage of Wii U specific features though, such as posting in-game images to its Miiverse community, and perhaps even adding alternative and custom control options to the game.

Questions
Have any of you had a chance to play Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, and if so, what do you think about the game? If you have played another version of the game, as well as the Wii U version, do you like the GamePad controls and the way they are implemented in the game?

You can order Sniper Elite V2 for the Wii U from Amazon.com below:

Trader Joe’s Coffee – Interview with NicodemusAtNite.com’s Charlie

September 27, 2011



Coffee Beans
     If you have been reading my site for a while, you may remember a post from June 2010 which was titled, “Coffee by Mail?!”  In the post, I stated how my friend Charlie, who writes on his own site NicodemusAtNite.com, had mailed me a package of Trader Joe’s coffee.
     Well, last month, another package arrived at the house from Charlie, and it contained this:

     Charlie and I met through a mutual friend, and I believe the first time we met we played GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64.  I remember we only played one match, and it was on the Temple level.  GoldenEye 007 was easily my most played Nintendo 64 game, and I enjoyed the game’s single-player as well as its multi-player.  It was not until I played against Charlie in that match though, which was in 2002 or later, that I realized the respawn points were pre-determined in the levels, and he knew exactly where they were!
     Charlie started NicodemusAtNite back in April of 2009, and his writing/blogging was part of the inspiration for me starting CoffeeWithGames; so you can partially thank, or blame, him for CWG!
     Last June, Left 4 Dead 2 was Charlie’s favorite game at the time.  In the last year, has another game moved into L4D2’s place for Charlie, and are there any games he would recommend now?  Let’s take a look!

Interview Q&A
CoffeeWithGames:  Last June, you said Left 4 Dead 2 was probably your favorite “current generation” game. Is L4D2 currently still your favorite game, or are you finding yourself enjoying another game more now?
Charlie:  The game I probably play the most now is Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition.  They rebalanced characters and added 4 new characters so it’s like a totally new game.  And it’s like chess.  So many strategies and ways to play a character.

CWG:  You purchased a PS3 in the last year(I think), are you still enjoying the system?  Are there any games you would recommend to other PS3 owners?
Charlie:  Yes, I purchased a PS3 last year (I was/am a hardcore PC gamer, so I jumped on last console generation about 4 years late).  But I am definitely enjoying the system.  When I was in high school I played a lot of fighting game and RPG’s.  I’d recommend Metal Gear Solid 4 because of the great graphics and story telling.  I also recommend God of War Collection (Contains God of War 1 & 2 in HD) for all you hack-n-slash lovers.

Do you think he would drink his coffee black?

CWG:  You seem to enjoy Trader Joe’s coffee more than the other blends, is there any particular reason?
Charlie:  Trader Joe’s is the best.  You know how there are beer connoisseurs?  I’m a coffee connoisseur.  Trader Joe’s coffee is full and rich.  I drink my coffee black so I can actually taste the different coffee flavors.  I recently, at work tried the mass produced coffees like Folger’s or Maxwell’s and even when I try to put more scoops to make it taste richer, it doesn’t.  Trader Joe’s also have a great selection of organic coffees which I”m a fan of.

CWG:  When you started your site NicodemusAtNite, it was through Blogger’s Blogspot service, but you made it an official .com a few months back.  Are you still enjoying the blogging world, and do you have any regular features/posts you would want others to know about?
Charlie:  I enjoy blogging.  I’ve tried something new though.  I’ve reverted to only writing one post a week, instead of 3 “not putting my heart into the writing” posts.  It’s hard at the same time though because there are days when I don’t want to write but I force myself to.  I know some of the other readers of your blog have blogs, podcasts, musicasts, etc and can maybe relate that it’s tiring because sometimes it’s like, “Nobody is really reading my blog.”  But I realize you start blogging for fun and post topics you enjoy and people will visit your site.  From there, communities are built or as Seth Godin calls them, your “Tribe.”  Actually the more I think about it, blogging is hard sometimes!  Here are two posts I want to share with others.  One is when my friend and I visited a fortune teller and one when I took the FBI entrance exam (read to see if I passed or not).
1) http://www.nicodemusatnite.com/2010/06/stella-fortuneteller.html
2) http://www.nicodemusatnite.com/2010/12/taking-test.html

Filtered Thoughts
     If you want to follow Charlie’s writings, you can do so directly at NicodemusAtNite.com.
     A big thanks to Charlie for all the coffees he has sent, including the latest Joe’s Dark blend!

Grab Your Guns! Interview with RespawnAction.com’s Founder

September 5, 2011

Coffee Beans
     Call of Duty: World at War, Borderlands, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune are all PS3 games in my collection, and they all have one thing in common other than the console they are on; I received them all from RespawnAction.com‘s founder, Keith.

Lots of respawn action in these games!

     Keith and I started chatting over a year ago, after he commented on one of my data posts.  We were both new to the blogging scene, and we would talk about different issues and ideas with our sites.
     If you just started reading my blog this year, you may have missed one of our ideas that came about last year, but was short lived.  Tornadoes in Alaska!  It was our version of a video game podcast, but it ended abruptly when Keith(yes, he is the one to blame!) went on vacation.
     So, what is RespawnAction.com about, and what type of games and coffee does Keith enjoy?  Find out after the break!

Interview Q&A
CoffeeWithGames:  You write for a few different gaming sites now, but RespawAction.com is your very own.  What audience are you aiming for at RespawnAction?
Keith:  Yes, I do write for a multitude of gaming sites, and EpicBattleAxe.com is where I would say I got my first big break.  With RespawnAction, however, I wanted to create a hub for the shooter genre, whether it’s first or third-person games.  Every major gaming blog focuses on the entire industry, and attempts to be the all-in-one source for gaming.  Surprisingly, the biggest genre in the industry doesn’t have it’s own dedicated website for news, previews, etc., so, that’s where the idea for RespawnAction came into fruition.  In time, I hope to have RespawnAction become one of the most respected blogs on the web, and a place where everyone can come to for both exclusive coverage as well as an aggregate for the genre.

CWG:  I believe you own a PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360.  Do you have a “favorite” console this generation, and if so, which one?
Keith:  “Favorite” console?  Well, I try to divide my attention equally, however, I try to take my online gaming, uh, online, with the Xbox 360, as I feel it has the better structure.  In the end, both give me a ton of headaches with the constant online issues which in my eyes happen for no reason.  My three most dreaded letters are N.A.T.  I’m sure many will agree.

CWG:  Being that RespawnAction has a heavy FPS focus, is the FPS genre your favorite/preferred video game genre?
Keith:  Shooters in general are my favorite genre, both first-person and third-person.  First-person allows you to delve into the character obviously, but third-person also has its benefits, namely allowing me to see the awesome character I created.  That’s the one thing I hate about customization in FPS games–you never see your customizations!

CWG:  What is your favorite FPS this generation?
Keith:  Left 4 Dead without a doubt.  That game has gotten more playtime out of me than Halo, Battlefield, and Call of Duty combined.  I can just keep going back to the same four campaigns time and time again.

CWG:  What’s your preferred coffee blend these days?
Keith:  When I’m home, I really love drinking Maxwell House’s “Breakfast” blend, but on the road I have a thing for deli coffee.  I don’t know what it is, but these family-owned delis sure make the best coffee.




Filtered Thoughts
     If you want to follow Keith’s work you can do so directly at RespawnAction.com, follow him on Twitter, and/or “like” the RespawnAction Facebook page.
     As for the games, we are currently playing(getting destroyed in) Borderlands.  If any of you own Borderlands on the PS3, and want to join our adventure, leave a comment and perhaps you can help us in our current situation!
     A big thanks to Keith again for the games!

>FPS Friday Interview – Part II Q&A with Greg Hastings

May 13, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     You can read Part I of the interview I posted last week with Greg Hastings HERE.

     *Editor’s note:  The very first question below was in regards to Greg Hastings Paintball 2’s release date on the PS3, I have contacted Greg and Super X Studios on the issue of the release date, since the PSN crash has caused its release to be delayed.

Interview Questions & Answers with Greg Hastings – Part II
*CoffeeWithGames:  The PS3 version of the game saw some delays, but is expected to be releasing on the PS3 through the PlayStation Network.  Does the PS3 version have a solid release date, or release week window; and what price will PS3 owners be looking at to purchase the game?

*Greg Hastings:  May 10th is the date that I’m told!  Sony makes ya jump through hoops, but in the end it assures quality, which I appreciate.  I’m not sure on the price, but this version has some extras that are not found in the 360 or Wii versions.

CWG:  Have you been to all of the fields that are in Greg Hastings Paintball 2?

GH:  Of course, who do you think took all the pics to make the maps?  I’ve played them all too, so I think we nailed them pretty well.  Not only did I want to look correct, but I wanted the game play to match that particular field.  Realism baby!

CWG:  Currently, what is your favorite paintball gun, and is it in the game?  If not, what paintball gun in the game is your favorite?

GH:  My favorite is the Auto Cocker, which is in the game.  It has the absolute best range and accuracy than any other gun in the world.  On real fields, I only fear pump guns and Auto Cockers.  I pay no attention to those with the fancy expensive machine guns.  You can find my exact set up in the game.  2002 Cocker with Stiffi MF barrel, Crossfire Air tank.

CWG:  Before heading out onto a paintball field or to a big paintball event, do you ever drink coffee to help wake you up?  If you drink coffee, do you have a favorite blend; if not, do you have a favorite beverage?

GH:  I only drink coffee that I can chew.  When in the Navy at sea, everything on the sub could break and we’d stay at sea, but if that coffee machine went down, that was more devastating than a reactor scram!  That’s where I developed the taste for strong, dark, cups of coffee.  Yes, I get a few cups goin in the morning before I play.  I may yak it up an hour later, but taste just as good goin out as it did goin down.


Filtered Thoughts:
     I think it is awesome that Greg has been to all the paintball locations in the game, as they are located all around the world, and I think it shows that he takes the sport seriously enough to travel far and wide to play it.  Greg’s answer to my coffee question made me LOL, and he seems to be along my line of thinking with coffee; perhaps no specific brand, just strong and dark.
     While the PS3 release date did not happen, I should be doing another post if/when I get an update on it.

     A big thanks again to Super X Studios and to Greg Hastings for taking time to answer the questions I submitted, and I hope you all found the interviews enjoyable.

     The Wii and Xbox 360 games are linked on Amazon.com below, as well as PlayStation Network card, for those of you that may be interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WWI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WPU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004RMK4BC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 

>FPS Friday: Greg Hastings Paintball 2 – Super X Studios Interview Part II

April 23, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     If you missed Part I of the interview with Super X Studios‘ President, James Thrush, you can read that HERE.
     Part II of the interview is below, and it is the remaining portion of the interview with James Thrush.

Interview Q&A Part II:
CoffeeWithGames:  The players/teams in Greg Hastings Paintball 2 are all real-world paintball players, correct?  What was the process of deciding which real-world players/teams made it into the game?

James Thrush:  Absolutely, every one of them (except for one cat!).  We set up a photo booth at several large paintball events for a year or so during development, and opened it up to any teams and players who wanted to be in the game.  They just had to sign a release and stats form, and get their picture taken.  We wound up with 1,262 people in the game!  We did it partially to add authenticity, but also as a giant thank-you to the paintball community.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be in a video game?!?

CWG:  Greg Hastings Paintball 2 has been in development for the PS3, but saw some delays.  Why did the PS3 version see delays,  was developing it for the PS3 more challenging?

JT:  The PS3 got delayed only because it was the last platform we added to the roster.  It isn’t inherently more difficult to develop for, in fact it’s one of my favorite platforms development-wise.  Programming for the cell multi-core processors is a bit more work than developing for the Xbox360s multi-core, but Sony has good technical resources for it.
     We’re blessed at Super X because we have an awesome in-house cross-platform engine that we’ve been building and improving for the last 13 years.  We can hit one button and generate builds for 4 different platforms at once(soon to be even more!).

CWG:  Will the PS3 version have any additional features, that the Wii and Xbox 360 versions don’t have?

JT:  Move support is the big one, and a few minor ones as well.  There will be an alternate control scheme that feels more like Call of Duty or other FPS shooters, and a few tweaks to the single and multi player game mechanics for game balance.

CWG:  For PS3 owners, as you said, the game will be supporting the Sony Move control option.  Are there any big control differences between the Wii Remote and Nunchuk and the PlayStation Move and Navigation, that you think players may notice if they’re moving from the Wii version, to the PS3 version?

JT:  They’re pretty similar in execution.  I think the tracking on the Move feels a little tighter to me.  The big difference is just that the PS3 visuals look so much nicer than the Wii.

CWG:  Are there any cheat codes in GHP2 that perhaps haven’t been discovered by players yet, that you can share?

JT:  Greg was adamant about not having cheat codes in the game, so you can blame him for that!

CWG:  Did coffee help the development team make it through any portions of the development cycle?  If so, did the development team have a preferred coffee blend?

JT:  Next door to our office is an amazing Neapolitan pizzeria called Tutta Bella, and they have the most amazing authentic Italian coffee in Seattle (which is obviously saying a lot).  We were over there twice a day and got to be good friends with them.  In fact, a bunch of them are in a band together and I just went to their show.  Shout out to “Smokey Brights“, check them out!


Filtered Thoughts:
     I thought it was pretty awesome for the game to have over 1,000 real-life paintball players in the game, which I knew it had a lot, but I didn’t count them all…and that cat(which I can’t remember if I saw!)!
     Also, if I’m ever in the Seattle area, I’ll try to check out the Tutta Bella pizzeria, and grab a cup of their Italian blend coffee.

     So, that’s Part II of the interview with Super X Studios’ President James Thrush.  I appreciate the time he took answering the questions, and I hope you, the readers, found it interesting to hear from a developer directly.

Questions:
     Do you have any of you have questions about the development of Greg Hastings Paintball 2, that perhaps weren’t answered in the interview?  If so, please leave it in the comments; or send me an email to Scott(@)CoffeewithGames.com.


     If any of you are interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2, the game is currently available on the Wii and Xbox 360 linked below, and the PS3 version with be releasing on the PSN very soon!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WWI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WPU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 

>FPS Friday – FEATURE Interview! Greg Hastings Paintball 2 – Part I

April 16, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     After I finished playing Greg Hastings Paintball 2’s Career mode a few weeks back, I contacted the developer of the game, Super X Studios.  I was really impressed by the amount of content in the game, and you can watch my “Video Preview and Impressions” of the game HERE!

     Not only did the developer respond to my email, but Greg Hastings himself, responded!  I ended up sending over some questions to Super X Studios about the game, and to Greg Hastings as well.  Being that there were multiple questions/answers, I’m splitting the interviews up over a few weeks, that way they don’t get lost after just one post.
     So, if have a question about Greg Hastings Paintball 2, and it’s not answered in this portion, definitely leave a comment and I can let you know if it’ll perhaps be posted in the next few weeks.

     Part I of the interview is below, and this portion is with Super X Studios’ James Thrush (JT).  So, without further delay, let’s get started!

Interview Q&A:

CoffeeWithGames:  First, thanks for taking the time for the interview.  Can you tell the readers a little about what you do at Super X Studios, and how you were involved in developing Greg Hastings Paintball 2?

James Thrush:  I’m James Thrush, founder and President of Super X Studios.  I’ve known Greg for six years now – I got the chance to help out on the original Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball games for the Xbox and PS2, and fell in love with the franchise.  When it was time to make the sequel, and the previous developers bowed out, Greg came to me and it was an easy sell to get us on board!
CWG:  What was it like working with Greg Hastings during the development of the game?  Was there anything that he particularly wanted in the game, that was a challenge getting into the game?

JT:  Greg wanted everything in the game!!!  Seriously, he’s so passionate about giving his audience exactly what they want, and more.  We made a good team, because Greg would push for depth and authenticity, while I came from the other side – gamer-centric and user-friendly.  I’m happy with the intersection we found on all those things.  We really tried to stay true to the feel of paintball, the realism of the equipment, the locations, and the play modes.  But we also wanted the game to appeal to gamers, and to use familiar gameplay and UI mechanisms.
CWG:  Did the development team take any trips out to paintball fields to play matches, or just record footage of any paintball matches, during the development of GHP2?

JT:  Absolutely, bunches.  We went to one of the largest speedball tournaments (Hunington Beach) as well as giant woodsball games (which we actually participated in!).  We also had a couple of team outings to local fields to make sure everyone on the team was intimately familiar with the sport.  Greg said many times, “No one is touching this game that hasn’t played paintball at least once.”  He even took the entire staff at our publisher Majesco out to play a day of paintball!
CWG:  The Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Greg Hastings Paintball 2 released in September 2010.  When did development initially begin on the game, and was it originally planned for all three consoles?

JT:  Development started in May 2008, however full production didn’t start until we got Majesco on board as publisher in mid 2009.  We originally focused on the Wii, Greg was very pumped about the possibilities of that platform for the game (and I think he was right).  I insisted we include Xbox360 so that fans of the previous game on Xbox wouldn’t feel left out, and we eventually went for broke and pulled in the PlayStation 3 as well.
CWG:  I played and completed GHP2’s Career mode on the Wii, and I was impressed with the number of tournaments/fields/players/gear in the game.  Was it a challenge to fit all of the content in the game on the Wii?

JT:  Not as much as you’d think.  Disc space isn’t an issue, since the Wii uses DVDs just like the Xbox360.  Memory wise, there were some challenges on the Wii, but considering you don’t have things like normal maps, specular maps, or as high-resolution geometry (since it’s only standard-definition TV), it tends to even out.
     The major disappoint content-wise on the Wii was that Nintendo insisted on having us pull out 3/4 of the bonus videos because they felt they constituted “advertising”.  They even made us pull one of Clare Benavides encouraging female paintball players, and one of Kerry Rosenberry mentioning to support local paintball fields, because they didn’t feel they were relevant to the game.  That was ridiculous.
Filtered Thoughts:
     So, that’s Part I of the interview with Super X Studios’ President, James Thrush.  I think it’s pretty awesome that Greg insisted on the developers playing paintball, before making the game; and that the development studio went to several events, and played at their local paintball fields as well, to make sure they had a good understanding of the sport, for the game.

     Personally, I think it’s crazy, or as James said “ridiculous”, that Nintendo insisted on Super X Studios pull out bonus videos, featuring professional paintball players talking about paintball…from a PAINTBALL GAME!
     I really don’t understand Nintendo sometimes(Wii Speak, friend codes, etc.), as it seems their decisions don’t make any sense sometimes.  When you have a developer that takes time getting interviews and videos together as bonus materials for a game, which are unlocked as you play the game, I don’t see what’s wrong with it.

Questions:
     Do any of you think it was odd, or “ridiculous”, for Nintendo to insist that Super X Studios remove the bonus videos from the game as James said in the interview?
     Also, if any of you own Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii, my friend code for the game is 3696-5848-4525.  Feel free to add me to your list, and contact me if you’re ever hopping online in the game!


If anybody is interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii or Xbox 360, you can see prices on Amazon.com linked below…the PS3 version will be releasing soon!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WWI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WPU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr