GoNNER dev talks original concept, creating a cute-looking game with brutal gameplay

A portion of a Gamasutra interview with dev Mattias Dittrich...

GS: How did you come up with the concept?

MD: Honestly there was no "concept". I experiment with visual effects a lot, and came across the visual style of GoNNER almost by accident. I was tweeting about the process and got contacted by Martin Kvale (sound designer). Martin thought it looked interesting and saw the potential in giving it an unexpectedly cute and squishy soundscape. Since then on, the design process has mostly been us discussing what we like and dislike in video games, and trying to steal all the cool ideas while leaving out the things we dislike. A month or 2 into the development Joar Renolen got involved in the project to compose music.

Something that's been central to the whole project is the three of us always trying to challenge each other. Joar said he's comfortable making one song per month, so Martin asked him to create five in a single day.

It turned out very chaotic.

GS: GoNNER features a cute art style that almost hides its vicious difficulty. How did you come up with this style? What drew you to this silly, charming look?

MD: I don't really enjoy the process of animating, so if an animation takes more than 10 minutes to draw, I come up with a way to make it simpler. For instance, Sally, your space whale friend, was originally supposed to be a little creature living in a house, I struggled with drawing a nice looking house, and ended up drawing a huge face instead. In fact, a lot of the design process for the game is based on that "if something is boring/tedious to create, how can I make it more interesting for myself?"

Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission X - new gameplay details

- new evolution and the definitive edition of the Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission
- form your own teams using a maximum of five cards from a total of 3,300 cards
- five-versus-five battles in a card battle adventure game
- all eight Dragon Ball Heroes missions, all 10 “Galaxy Missions,” all eight “Evil Dragon Missions,” and all 10 “God Missions”
- over 240 characters
- first-print copies of the game will include a set of five cards for Super Dragon Ball Heroes: “Tokusei Hero Avatar Card,” Son Goku: Xeno,” “Vegeta: Xeno,” “Darkness Majin Towa,” and “Vegito (Super Saiyan Blue)”

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns launching on February 28th in NA, Mario costumes coming as well

– Mario’s Outfit and Hat: Mama mia! The iconic plumber’s signature red and blue uniform gives your running speed a boost.
– Luigi’s Outfit and Hat: Luigi’s costume will improve your luck at fishing. Others will be green with envy!
– Princess Peach’s Dress and Tiara: This regal dress and tiara will make you better friends with other characters. Sweet!
– Toad’s Outfit and Hat: The tireless Toad’s outfit causes your stamina to recharge automatically over time.

“In celebration of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the longest-running farming and life simulation series, the beloved Bokujo Monogatari franchise – now known as STORY OF SEASONS in the West – returns with its biggest adventure yet in STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns. Settled on a homestead in the middle of three distinct and uniquely themed locales, players can explore a diverse landscape as they search for new ways to grow their farms and friendships. Extensive customization and gameplay options are on offer in Trio of Towns, with each village offering its own variety of regional crops, lads and ladies to romance, animals, festivals, furniture, decorations and more. More ways to play sprout up as players connect to one another locally or via the internet to chat, trade, and enhance items on a mysterious multiplayer island.”

Arby's shares some love for Dragon Quest VIII

Arby's is on fire when it comes to video game references. They clearly have someone that's a fan of games over there. While this stuff might seem silly at first, it's also a pretty fun gesture. Thanks to Jeff for the heads up!

IGN - RIME dev on how the game was almost cancelled, why it took so long

The following comes from an IGN interview with Tequila Works creative director Raul Rubio...

“Maybe we did announce the game too early. Yes, there were a lot of moments where we thought that the game wasn’t going to be released. In fact I was completely sure of that once. Fortunately that didn’t happened. That [possibility] was always for technical reasons, not for financial or something business related.

When we announced that we were acquiring back Rime’s IP there were cancellation rumors. The truth is that in that precise moment we were moving to a bigger office. That's pretty far from being closing a Company, isn’t it?

A lot has changed since the beginning. There was always an island, and there was always a tower. If you compare the first Rime project in early 2013, we had a tiny island and things like the use of sound and there was a kid stranded on an island, but the rest has changed a lot. For example we are now using Unreal Engine 4, and that engine has evolved, so we can include many more features and visual effects that weren't possible then. Now we have a bigger structure and many islands, not just one and now we have all the content complete, which is great.”

When we started Rime it was a small indie game – and that's still the case, a small indie game – but the reception of the first trailer at Gamescom was overwhelming. So when we returned to the studio we said ‘You know what? They love it… but now it needs to be perfect because otherwise they are going to kill us’. That’s what we have been doing since 2013. The game was playable then, and had been playable for six months, but being playable doesn’t mean that it’s the game.

It may sound like a lot of time, but considering how difficult it is making games today with so many platforms and so many great competitors out there, it means that people don't see the difference between an indie game and a AAA game. It’s just a good or a bad game, and we wanted to make a good game. A very good game. We have spent four years developing Rime. And in terms of how the production has been, we did a design by subtraction. That means in 2014 we had way too many things. Removing those superfluous things and achieving a minimalist result that feels elegant and compelling is something that you reach, not something you start from.”

Masahiro Sakurai, Kirby voice actor attending Kirby 25th anniversary orchestra concert

- Masahiro Sakurai will attend the concert in Tokyo (on April 16th) as a special guest.
- Makiko Ohmoto, the voice actress for Kirby, will attend all three concerts
- MC duties will be handled by:

Mirin Furukawa, a singer;
Nozomi Yuzuriha, who used to be a television announcer and is now working freelance.

Concert dates/locations

April 16th: Tokyo (Bunkamura Orchard Hall)

Conductor: Taizo Takemoto
Orchestra: Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
Guests: Masahiro Sakurai, Makiko Ohmoto

Noon concert: 1.30PM (doors open at 12.45PM)
Evening concert: 6PM (doors open at 5.15PM)
June 18th: Osaka (Orix Theatre)

Conductor: Taizo Takemoto
Orchestra: Osaka Symphonic Orchestra
Guest: Makiko Ohmoto

Dragon Ball Fusions - avatar customization trailer, Japanese online events, more screens

More screens and art here

Online events re-run in Japan

Challenge #1 (January 18th to January 24th)

Challenge: battle against Goku Black (deal as much damage as possible)
Participation reward: Super Saiyan Trunks (Super)
Rank reward: Light Sword (a new special move for Super Saiyan Trunks (Super))
Clear reward: new title (Mother’s Spirit)
Challenge #2 (January 25th to January 31st)

Challenge: battle against Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegeta (defeat him as many times as possible)
Participation reward: Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegeta
Rank reward: Final Kamehameha (a new special move for Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegeta)
Clear reward: new title (Savior)
Challenge 3 (February 1st to February 7th)

Challenge: battle against Fusion Zamasu (defeat him as fast as possible)
Participation reward: Fusion Zamasu
Rank reward: Holy Wrath (unlock a new special move for Fusion Zamasu)
Clear reward: new title (The One Who Felled God)
Also, don’t forget that if you do an EX Fusion with Zamasu and Son Goku, you can get Gomasu.