posted on 10.17.13
Bringing a video game into the real world with Anki Drive
"Actually having a character that can react realistically to being shot, or being pulled in with a tractor beam or being hit by another car, that’s really powerful, because you don’t expect that to happen with a physical character," said Sofman. "We want them to feel like they’re human, like they’re alive, like they have a personality."
It may sound almost primitive, these little cars lighting up and playing pew-pew sounds as part of a game. But when kids play with normal, non-sentient cars, they can build an entire world in their imagination, even as they’re using their hands to move cars around on a coffee table. Anki is hoping to tap into that spirit of play, that physical connection that can be even stronger than playing a video game.
Here’s my latest on-camera piece for Polygon: an in-depth preview (along with a lengthy article) about Anki Drive, a car combat video game that’s played in the real world with physical cars. No, really. Super-interesting technology!
posted on 10.14.13
Anthony Hopkins REALLY loved Breaking Bad
You and all the cast are the best actors I’ve ever seen.
That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It’s almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.
Right there with ya, Tony.
Update: Link’s broken because the post has disappeared from Steven Michael Quezada’s Facebook page. :(
posted on 9.24.13
FIFA 14 review: raw talent
FIFA 14 wants to separate the champions from the also-rans.
Here’s my full review of FIFA 14 on Polygon, the first review I’ve done since MLB 13 The Show back in March! It’s also the first time I’ve participated in a video review, which you can also watch at the link above. (Special thanks to Pat McGowan and the rest of our video team for working overtime to make it happen.)
posted on 8.28.13
Opinion: Nintendo 2DS proves the company knows its audience
$129.99 is a mass market-friendly price — lower than flagship smartphones on a two-year contract — which is more tempting for parents ahead of the looming holiday shopping season. This year will see a video game market crowded with hardware options, all of which will now look significantly more expensive in contrast to the 2DS — because they are.
Parents who buy expensive electronic devices for young children also worry about the fragility of those devices. Sure, the clamshell design of the DS and 3DS protects the dual screens within, but anything with a hinge is much more susceptible to being snapped in half than a unit with a single-body structure. The 2DS may look like a toy designed by Fisher-Price, but that’s perfect for the market Nintendo’s aiming at.
Today, Nintendo announced a redesign of the 3DS called the 2DS, so named because it plays 3DS games but does not display them in stereoscopic 3D. It’s $40 cheaper than the 3DS — $129.99 instead of $169.99.
Most people, including my colleague Chris Plante, think it’s yet another misstep for Nintendo.
I’m the opposite of a Nintendo fanboy — the last Nintendo system (console or handheld) I owned was an NES, because I haven’t felt compelled to buy one since I had enough disposable income to afford my own consoles (which, granted, was within the past decade).
But I think it’s a good move for Nintendo, and in a counterpoint to Plante’s piece, I explained why.
Agree? Disagree? Somewhere in between?
posted on 8.24.13
I Have a Character Issue
Why do people dislike my character on “Breaking Bad”?
Anna Gunn = hero
"My character, to judge from the popularity of Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women. […] But I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender."
posted on 8.16.13
Winners Use Drugs: Holly Green's Guide to Seattle, PAX Prime 2013!
So you’re going to PAX Prime 2013! As a long time resident of the area, I welcome you to the city of Seattle. If you’ve booked one of the PAX affiliated hotels, you’ll likely find it easy to track down food and other necessities while you stay, as Seattle has a well organized downtown area…
This is spectacular! Can’t wait to go to PAX this year — haven’t been since 2011.
posted on 6.22.13
EA faces barriers to entry for a baseball franchise, says EA Sports chief Andrew Wilson
Baseball is always on Electronic Arts’ mind, but there’s a lot that has to change if the company is going to get back into the market of baseball video games, according to EA Sports executive vice…
Like many sports gaming fans, I loved MVP Baseball 2005 and was really sad to see it go when MLB 2K became the only existing third-party baseball franchise. I asked Andrew Wilson, the head of EA Sports, at E3 about whether EA will ever get back into making baseball games. He told me there are a few significant barriers to entry.
This was my first time interviewing Wilson, and I gotta say, I really enjoyed it. I felt like he was relatively candid and open (in comparison to, say, some other video game executives). He always came off that way in interviews I’ve seen from other publications, so it was nice to have that validated for myself, if you will.
posted on 4.25.13
Vote for Polygon for General Website / Games-Related in the People's Voice Webby Awards!
Hello, friends. Today’s the last day to vote for the People’s Voice Webby Awards, and if you could take a minute (literally… it won’t take any longer) out of your day to vote for Polygon, we’d really appreciate the support.
We only launched officially in October 2012, so even being recognized is a huge honor for us. But it’d be even better to win!
posted on 1.8.13
XCOM: Enemy Unknown interview on free Second Wave DLC
Firaxis Games is adding 16 options to XCOM: Enemy Unknown with free DLC today, options that let players customize their play experience. I spoke with lead designer Jake Solomon and lead producer Garth DeAngelis about the content — we talked partly about how the new stuff makes XCOM kinda like a sports game. (No, really.) Check out the full interview at Polygon!