Casey Lynch (editor in chief at IGN.com) recently visited University of Iowa and on his last day here he was able to drop by and speak to EPX Studio about gaming in general and was able to squeeze in time for a presentation on the current stage of the game in development- “Time Trap”. The session started with Casey taking a myriad of questions from the members of EPX Studio ranging from his views on motion sensor technology to his take on digital distribution. Casey stated that he personally believed the newer innovations will be part of gaming’s future such as the Oculus Rift (a Virtual Reality headset in development), but he considers these all additional optional add-ons and nothing can really replace the stable input controllers we have today. He also believes that what we have today can be pushed to a higher degree of interaction such as the Kinect serving as an extension for the existing controls and being used to interact with the HUD in games such as Halo.
When asked about how he felt the distribution of games work now a days, Casey explained that near the end of a console’s lifespan, less ventures are made to sell boxed copies of games unless it’s predetermined to sell well due to it having an established name (such as Mario, CoD, ect.) but digital distribution is the more viable alternative that has been established to ensure games can be sold without worry of producing physical supply (outlets such as Steam exist to fill this void.) He also briefly talked about Ouya, the open source console and how he felt it was a good idea and the idea of using Kickstarter to raise initial capital was smart and effective. Among many questions he responded to though, the most notable one was to list his personal favorites which he was able to rail off quite the list- Diablo II, Chrono Trigger, Halo 2, FFIV, Planescape Torment,Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2, Dark Souls, Pokemon Blue, Earthbound, Megaman 3, and Ultima IV.
As for the presentation, EPX was able to showcase the preliminary skeleton of the game in terms of the story of sibling conflict resulting in the incident that sets up the premise for the game and the protagonists of the small and brainy brother, and muscular plus brawny sister. Each group was able to present tidbits of what their stage’s design or story has been developed to, with Level 1 having the map’s bare landscape fleshed out and walkable already. Level 6 presented the general flow of the stage and the idea of making it a split stage to encourage re playability. UI Design was also able to showcase an early idea of what they designed for the interface of the game.