Yesterday, in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Lionhead Studios' Creative Director, Gary Carr, spoke of Microsoft's commitment to courting indie developers on the Xbox One. He describes Microsoft as "very passionate" about building strong relationships with Indies, noting that the gaming business' future is in jeopardy without independent developers.
Gary adds that while the big players like Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon "kind of hold it all together," independent development is a major force behind innovation, and both big and small players alike can co-exist. Carr's comments regarding an upcoming presentation from Phil Harrison could be interpreted as a hint that Microsoft may be re-evaluating its approach to publishing on Xbox One.
In a separate interview, Phil Spencer also discussed some of the challenges faced by both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One with regards to game publishing. The ease of development and publishing for the Xbox 360 has been both a blessing and a curse for the console. There have been some immensely high-profile, high-quality releases from a number of independent developers, but much of the Indie marketplace has also transformed into a dumping ground for woefully mediocre titles and clones of clones of clones.
At this point, so far into the console's lifecycle, it can be difficult to reliably identify Indie games worth playing, and this has led to a significant shift in Microsoft's publishing strategy for the Xbox One. Thankfully, Phil Spencer is aware of the parallels to Apple's heavily-curated, closed ecosystem, and addresses them to an extent.
However, the goals are still potentially antithetical to each other; in order to attract good developers who create great content, a market cannot or should not heavily restrict access to its publishing tools. Conversely, a completely open market, where everyone can publish nearly anything, can also lead to a weakened content ecosystem, suffering from the same quality bloat seen in the Xbox 360's Indie marketplace.
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Capcom took a brief moment today during San Diego Comic Con to blow a few minds and announce a new Strider game headed to current and next-gen consoles early next year.
The techno ninja who first made his debut more than twenty years ago is getting a 2.5D graphical overhaul, some slick new toys and a seamlessly connected environment through which he'll hack, slash, flip and generally just go about being a ninja. The revival has a distinct Shadow Complex vibe, and is being helmed by none other than Double Helix Games, the studio currently developing the long-awaited Killer Instinct remake.
Though information released indicates the title will be developed for all the usual suspects, including Xbox One and Xbox 360, there's no official word yet as to whether or not Strider will hoist the orange banner of Arcade as previously rumored. Considering the release window falls well into the next generation of hardware, it could be that Xbox Live Arcade will have already been phased out, as we learned earlier this year.
In any case, look for Strider to bring a little more ninja to your X-marked console of choice. You can check out the official announcement trailer after the jump, and if you're still hungry for more, kick back and take in seven minutes of gameplay footage immediately following.
You may have heard about Super Time Force. Something about how it's a retro-looking side-scroller game with arcade-y Contra-type action, but with some time-traveling twist. They say that when you die, you can reverse the clock and jump in as a different hero throughout the same moments while your previous run continues exactly how you played it out. These re-runs can stack up to having several heroes carrying out their recorded destruction in tandem.
Confused? That's okay, because you now can finally see it in action. This new gameplay trailer from Capy Games demonstrates exactly how the time travel smashes a classic formula into a mind-twisting puzzle. It also shows off the different heroes, their weapons, and how you will pause time to cycle to new heroes and zip through the level with as many extra seconds as possible. You can even use the time travel to save your life by intervening where you died. What are you waiting for?