The much-anticipated Trials Fusion is set to launch in less than two weeks and as such Ubisoft have released a brand new promotional trailer featuring a disapproving Officer Ray played by Erik Estrada. The follow up to the hugely successful Trials and Trials: Evolution will release on April 16 on both Xbox One and XBLA. It’s the first of the series to reach next-gen platforms, but Trials Fusion promises to build on and enhance the vital features from the best-selling games with new tricks in a brand new Trials world with unique new social features.
Hidden Path Entertainment has announced it will be premiering Defense Grid 2 on Xbox One at PAX East next week. Representatives from the developer will be present to give attendees the chance to play a single-player map at the 505 Games booth (#396).
Additionally, Hidden Path CEO Jeff Pobst will be joining a panel to discuss the role of embedded journalists during game development on Sunday, April 13 at 11:00 AM in the Condor Theater. These media/developer arrangements often allow for very unique insights into the development and management cycle, enabling a team to engage their target audience in a much more personal manner than the typical hands-on preview or interview every six to eight months. For more information, check out the event schedule.
Telltale Games tweeted earlier today that The Wolf Among Us Episode 3: A Crooked Mile will come to Xbox Live Arcade worldwide on Wednesday, April 9. Episodes are available for $4.99 each, but the season pass for all five currently costs $14.99.
For those of you keeping up with the series, we have a trailer below for you to see what’s next. You can also read our full review of the first episode.
Zen Studios will soon release Star Wars Pinball: Heroes Within for Xbox One and Xbox 360. This pinball pack will complete the original Star Wars trilogy of pinball tables — the newest table revealed in the trailer below features Episode IV: A New Hope. Players can rescue Leia, race to stop the trash compactor from closing in and fly through the trenches in Luke’s X-Wing fighter as they make the final assault on the Death Star. Zen Studious continues to expand the frame of what is possible for digital pinball, and the narrative moments from the film — note Leia’s capture and Luke’s training session with the remote — transfer nicely to the pinball table.
The full Star Wars: Heroes Within package will include three tables, and this is the second of them to be revealed. The first is a table featuring Han Solo, which follows Zen Studios’ pattern of releasing one character-themed table, one general Star Wars table and one film-themed table. The quality of these pinball tables has been consistentlyhigh, which only increases the expectations for this promising set, “coming soon” to Xbox 360.
The independent developer who brought XBLA gamers BattleBlock Theater, Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers has announced that, in addition to game development, it has two other ways it hopes will result in the best indie games possible making it “from conception to physical reality in the industry.” The Behemoth is now providing quality assurance and usability testing and what it describes as “no strings attached” funding for external indie developers.
Its testing lab, which the Sand Diego developer previously talked to XBLA Fans about at PAX East 2013, has been dubbed The Research Centaur and is said to staff testers with an average of six and a half years worth of experience in game testing. When he spoke of the testing center last year, The Behemoth President John Baez told us that it started as a purely internal department. Things went so swimmingly when testing BattleBlock Theater, though, that the developer decided to begin offering its testing services to external indie studios.
“I mean, one of the things we’ve done to kind of contribute to that [indie developer survivability] is we built a usability lab for Battleblock Theater, which has gone really, really well,” Baez said last year at PAX East. “It’s about a year old, and it’s only internal, and now we’ve opened it up. Well, there’s that and a QA department — very small, four people — but they’re very, very good at what they do. And now we’re beginning to open that up to other developers. So Bastion for all of iOS, we tested [it] and certified [it] to make sure that [Supergiant's] game was good.
“So we’re opening that up to independent developers as a resource so they don’t have to go — I mean it’s not any cheaper than going to a big, gigantic test firm — but you’ll get the absolute attention to detail.”
4J Studios is coming off the release of their latest highly anticipated Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition title update, but that doesn’t mean their work is done. While the update introduced a massive number of new features, according to some tweets from the developer there are still some lingering issues they are working to resolve. Unlike TU14, however, there will be a much shorter timeline for this release: “There’s about 15 [bugs] we want to fix quickly, and get another update out…”
How is the latest update working for you? Sound off in the comments below!
As many users have noticed, an update rolled out for the Xbox 360 earlier this week. It is a fairly small update without many obvious changes since it takes care of “mostly back end stuff,” according to a tweet from Major Nelson. The only noticeable change allows videos rented through the Xbox Video app on the Xbox 360 to be accessed and played on other devices such as a smartphone or laptop. Previously, movies rented through Xbox Video on the Xbox 360 could only be watched on the Xbox 360.
An update to the Xbox One should also release this month.
It’s not often a developer will stop production on a new game to update and re-release an older title. That is exactly what is happening with Sixty Second Shooter. Developer Jamie Fristrom recently recounted the recent changes in his project schedule. Quite possibly the most intriguing portion of the story is that over 1,600 Kickstarter backers were on board with a three-month delay in their game’s completion. Sony was also reportedly amicable and had no issues with allowing Energy Hook, the kick-started game, being delayed.
The reason for this schedule change is less sensational, but potentially extremely profitable. According to Fristrom, Microsoft’s Chris Charla mentioned that there were currently no indie “twin-stick shooters” being developed for the Xbox One. Fristrom quickly realized that filling that gap could both bring more attention to Sixty Second Shooter, as well as generate profit. This began the process of asking his Kickstarter backers to vote on what his course of action should be. The backers voted, and over 80 percent were supportive of the choice to delay Energy Hook. Microsoft stated that it certainly would do the same in a situation like this, as independent developers often have scheduling changes.
Following the announcement of his promotion to new Xbox boss, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer conducted a brief interview with Game Informer about his vision for the brand moving forward in which he continually stressed the importance of putting games first.
“My goal, first and foremost, is to make sure that everybody understands that Xbox is a gaming brand and it’s going to be gaming first,” Spencer told Game Informer. “That’s a leadership principle that I will bring to the program from day one. It’s not that it hasn’t been there in the past, but if you put the studio guy at the head, you kinda know what you’re going to get.”
Spencer headed up Microsoft Studios before taking over as the leader of all things Xbox. The brand took a huge hit in the eyes of the gaming public last year when its Xbox One reveal focused more on the next-gen console’s ability to play TV shows than to play video games. While Spencer said that performing multiple functions is necessary for any “incredible” electronic home entertainment product, he stressed again that games are priority one for the Xbox brand.
“We have always been, since the beginning, all about games at Xbox,” he said. “I want to make sure that shows up not only internally, but also externally.”
After what seems like a relatively short wait since the often-delayed Episode 2, fans of the The Wolf Among Us can begin to prepare themselves for the next harrowing episode in this undoubtedly fine series by watching a brand new trailer. Although this short introduction movie does contain some slight spoilers, we won’t be revealing them here – needless to say, though, it looks like fans can expect Telltale Games to keep the twists and turns coming as we accompany Bigby the Wolf on his search for an ever more elusive serial killer.
Unfortunately, there is still no official release date for A Crooked Mile, but we can certainly hope that the emergence of a new trailer can only mean good things.