Meet the one-man studio behind Cyber Shadow by Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker for the PlayStation Blog
I used photos of myself as a reference for drawings and animations, but I couldn’t (allegedly) run like a real ninja, so the animation ended up looking pretty stiff. My training project wasn’t just for training anymore. It was shaping into a game with slashing in addition to jumping.
This brief origin story for Cyber Shadow totally reminds me of The Making of Prince of Persia Journals 1985-1993 by Jordan Mechner. Early on in the book (and the game’s development) Mechner bought a camera to record his brother and other actors on film that he could then breakdown frame-by-frame and hand animate characters in Prince of Persia.
October 15, 1986
Bought a camera at Whole Earth. It was more expensive than I’d anticipated — $250 with the lens —but it’s a good camera, and I imagine I’ll find some use for it even after the game’s done.
I shot my first roll of film (David turning around) and had it developed at the local one-hour photo shop; I think this will work. The real problem, obviosuly, will be going from a sheaf og snapshots to the 280 x 192 Apple screen, and the loss of accuracy entailed therein. It almost makes me want to do it in double hi-res. – Page 40
October 25, 1986
Yesterday I implemented the running animation. Next I’ll do the jumping…then the stopping…then the “jumping from a stopped position”…oh boy, this is great! – Page 44
It is wonderful to see that nearly 35 years later, video game developers are still using the same techniques to capture the authenticity of real, human movement.
My other favorite tidbit from this blog post was that the game will run at 120fps on PS5 (and presumably on Xbox Series consoles). How cool is it that a game inspired by the 8-bit consoles of yore can run at 120fps?! Merging the new with the old can really be quite exciting.
Stuck in Cairo: A Story From The Development Of Rockstar’s Agent by Blake Hester for Game Informer
During the development of Rockstar’s now long-missing spy game Agent, Rockstar San Diego project leader Luis Gigliotti had to do something far outside his typical job description: Call the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. He needed help. A small team of artists – his fellow coworkers at Rockstar – were being held under house arrest in Cairo. Not only that, but the Egyptian authorities were also trying to pin the group with false charges of shooting pornography – a crime in the country. He needed assistance in getting them home safe.
“And I’ll never forget, whoever it was on the call from the Embassy just literally said, ‘Are you guys stupid?'” Gigliotti tells me in a recent interview. “‘Whatever possessed you to think this was a good idea?'”
While Agent has become a consistent joke and reference between my friends and myself, I am fascinated whenever a story about its development comes to light. Last year, Hester wrote a brilliant look inside the mysterious game’s rocky, early development for Polygon. Now at Game Informer, Hester has written up a smaller, but equally unique story about a one-off trip to Egypt to gather reference data for the dev team. Rock solid reporting all around that I find far too rare in the video game industry.
Always fun to think that somewhere out there, Rockstar has a build of this game for the PS3.
A Bigger Badder Bowser – Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Trailer
Super Mario 3D World is another one of those wonderful Wii U games that not enough people played, for obvious reasons. It was a game I poured tons of hours into trying to complete it to 100% (stupid Champion’s Road). When it was announced as the next Wii U game to be ported to the Switch, I was already sold, additional content or not.
Then Nintendo pulled back the curtain on Bowser’s Fury.
Holy smokes! It’s a wacky 3D World, Sunshine, Odyssey fusion. It seems like Bowser waking up from his black, inky slumber is even a bit reminiscent of the blood moon in Breath of the Wild. This expansion seems more meaty than I originally expected, but I can’t imagine it being too substantial. Maybe a few hours of gameplay instead of a handful of levels that I originally expected. It is interesting to see Nintendo taking the gameplay, assets, and design of 3D World and actually making an open 3D environment to explore.
Once this releases next month, the only 3D Mario games missing on the Switch will be Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. I am eager to dig back into one of my favorite Wii U games.
Teaser Trailer for Indiana Jones game
Bethesda has finally announced a game I will snag on day one. Holy smokes.
Microsoft is putting that $7.5 billion to good use.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time by CLG ZFG in 41:40 – Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Online
The classic speed run game Ocarina of Time closed out AGDQ 2021 with none other than ZFG behind the controller. This particular run was “All Dungeons” and utilizes new techniques discovered a couple years ago. ZFG is manipulating the game’s code in real time and it is astounding to watch. I highly recommend checking it out.