BabbyMan is better than RumbleMan!
Microsoft loon Kudo Tsunoda once again raises eyebrows with his claim that it is:
almost laughable the way people hold on to rumble as the holy grail of haptic feedback … The overwhelming thing we’ve discovered is that rumble is such a rudimentary form of haptic feedback
What is haptic feedback one might well ask? It refers to the tactile interaction between player and control pad as they enjoy tight, concise control schemes and satisfying rumble feedback while seated in a comfy chair. You see haptic feedback is something singularly lacking from Microsoft’s epilepsy simulator, so naturally tactile input is a benighted technology of the past used by backwards looking manufacturers like Sony and Nintendo, and of course musty old dinosaurs like us who enjoy sitting down while having fine grained control over our gameplay input. As awful and obnoxious as Wiimote waggle is, at least the Wiimote is something in your hand with buttons. In many instances Wii games are able to be played (to varying degrees) from a sitting position, how often is this likely to prove the case for a babby game? What does a babby game even look like when played from the couch (a hypothetical to be sure)?
Tsunoda readily admits that he was apprehensive about developing a control scheme with no physical feedback, though such trifling concerns were quickly dispelled when he was able to see that player’s “responses to the visuals were different when they used their bodies as controllers”. Ok, so his misgivings about the control scheme are dismissed by the audience response to the visuals, logical disconnects aside I can certainly see how the graphical prowess of such abject copy-cat dreck might be somewhat mitigated by the requirement that one flail about like a retard with Parkinson’s playing with a toaster in a bath-tub in order to use Kinnect. Perhaps this might make for an apt bullet point to the project babby sales pitch: GRAPHICS LOOK BETTER WHEN IN MOTION (you, not the game)! Alternately the graphics might look finer still if you refrain from looking in the direction of your television entirely. At any rate Tsunoda seems to think this marriage of loose controls and visuals is a winning combination:
We’ve gone so far past anything that can be done with rumble, or that kind of restrictive thing you have to hold. It’s been creatively liberating to work on this stuff.
Indeed, the man seems to have pushed right through the awesome-barrier and come through the other side …
Weekly Murfreesboro update:
In a piece of the more bizarre news to surface this week Obsidian, makers of the much maligned Alpha Protocol, have flippantly thrown their hat into the ring of future Chrono endeavors. Fresh from the announcement of their unholy union with Enix Square for the production of Dungeon Seige III, Obsidian man Feargus Uquhart identified the Chrono series as the Enix Square property they would most like Obsidian to work on in the future.
Uquhart sees the Chrono series as a natural fit for the WRPG genre owing to its open ended structure and sci-fi/fantasy sensibilities, which he believes would benefit greatly from the western approach to dialogue trees and mission structures. As distasteful as it sounds to have the next installment in the Chrono series crafted by the purveyors of Bioware B-sides, I am not about to yell “blasphemy” and condemn this possibility out of hand. Consider for the moment that Obsidian would likely be capable of producing a better quality sequel than modern day Enix Square, and one which would no doubt be more enjoyable to play. In an age when Enix Square’s internal studios are plumbing ever greater depths of ineptitude with their poor programming and ever poorer game design, and while an ever vaster share of their output is being farmed to incompetent western developers like Double Helix (of Silent Hill: Homecoming infamy) , might not Obsidian’s custodianship of Enix Square’s RPG catalogue be the lesser of all available evils? Though of course a greater mercy still would be for Enix Square to allow the series to remain dormant, as Chrono is the one property that they have not as yet managed to completely bollocks up.
Worst Company of the Week:
With the suit well underway for 40 past and present Infinity Ward employees over their unpaid bonuses for Modern Warfare 2, details are beginning to emerge which appear to not only vindicate Zampella and West’s account of events, but also serve to bring the picture into sharper relief. According to the claimants 60% of their bonuses were withheld in a crude attempt to strong-arm employees into developing Modern Warfare 3 by November 2011, this was of course following on from the events which saw mass interrogations of Infinity Ward staff and the unceremonious dumping of Zampella and West on the grounds of treason. According to the suit Activision contracted external security to block off the building’s exits and conduct interrogations wherein employees were bound to secrecy. The suit alleges that in a subsequent meeting, notorious CEO Bobby Nodick promised to pay Infinity Ward’s outstanding bonuses by the end of the month, yet they were never to materialize, when confronted about the outstanding sum in April Activision CFO Thomas Tippl allegedly stated “get over it”.
With such a callous disregard for employee wellbeing, it is perhaps little surprise that Activision has taken out worst company of the week. That any employee should have to fight so hard for what is owed them is, on the face of it, reprehensible, and any employer adopting this approach is of course to be abhorred by all right minded individuals. Infinity Ward may well have stood to lose some employees in response to the police state mentality with which Activision prosecuted their case against Zapella and West, yet holding bonuses to ransom was always going to see them lose the entire studio for a certainty, and cost them a greater figure in remunerations beside. So well done Activision, you are truly poor company.