Category Archives: Video Games

A Super Quick Look at the PlayStation Vita TV

Last month, I received a small consolation for having to wait until February to buy a PlayStation 4 (Japan is the last territory to get the PS4). At FromSoftware’s bōnenkai (Japanese end-of-year drinking party), I was lucky enough to come away with a brand-spankin’ new PlayStation Vita TV (one of the perks of working at a video game studio, I suppose).

Released last November, so far, it’s only available in Japan, although I’ve heard that it’s also set to launch this month in a couple more Asian countries.

I realize now that this photo makes no sense at all. I should have also mentioned that we won some Nintendo 3DS games at the party raffle as well. We were both clearly more excited about the Vita TV.

The cool thing about the PS Vita TV is that, as the name suggests, you can hook it up to your TV and play Vita games with a DualShock controller.

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My best hand modeling.

My best hand modeling.

It’s no PS4, but it is pretty neat. Plus, at least now I’ll have something to tide me over until next month.

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Blurry Photos from Tokyo Game Show 2013

Tokyo Game Show 2013

This year, I had the chance to attend Tokyo Game Show for the first time. It’s a four-day game convention, quite similar to E3although smaller in scale. The first two days are industry-only Business Days, while the last two days are open to the public. I originally wasn’t planning to go, as Business Day passes normally cost ¥5000 a piece, but Miyazaki-san came through in the nick of time with four pre-paid tickets, which meant that Edu, Bob, Kairi and I were able to indulge in a field trip to TGS this past Friday. The great thing about attending on Business Day was the lack of crowds! I hate line-ups that last more than an hour, so if I’m lucky, I’ll try out maybe one game at E3, but at TGS I was able to spend a considerable amount of time playing the RYSE multiplayer demo, the Knack demo (which actually had quite a long line), and check out a few on-stage demos as well. I won’t review any of these, because hey, why read reviews when you can look at blurry pictures I took with my phone instead!

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The Last of Us Wrap Party

In game development, the old adage very much applies: work hard, play hard. Last week, the Dogs threw an amazing wrap party at The BookBindery to celebrate the The Last of Us. Here are a handful of photos from the night.

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TLoU in Brazil

I took a quick break from my vacation to do press in São Paulo. Sony Brasil had organized a sales event, and The Last of Us was to be the focus of the Playstation booth with several kiosks set up with demos of the game. Because I have family and friends in Brazil — a lot of whom are gamers — I was pretty eager to work at the event. It was also my first time doing press, so it was great having Jacob, our Lead Game Designer, at the event as well, since he’s had plenty of experience speaking with journalists.

The three-day event was pretty long and exhausting, and there were a lot of unexpected bumps along the way. For instance, there weren’t any interpreters on hand, so I ended up having to use my Portuguese a lot more than I expected those three days, playing translator a lot of the time and, at Jacob’s encouragement, even doing an on-camera interview entirely in Portuguese. (I’m pretty proud of this actually, considering the fact that two years ago, the only things I could manage to spit out in the language were a few key obscenities, of which Brazilian Portuguese has a lot. You could probably fill an entire dictionary with rude words and expressions commonly used in Brazil, but this is a topic for another day.)

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. My favourite part was actually talking to game journalists. It’s so easy to forget that there are people who actually enjoy what you’re creating when you’re so deep in production and spending practically every waking hour at work, so it was really great to watch gamers try their hand at the Lincoln/Pittsburgh demo and enjoy it, and it was humbling to get the chance to talk to gamers who were actually really looking forward to playing the game (Thankfully, they let me do these interviews in English.)

I could only track down one of the interviews that I took part in, but I’ll post more if I come across them.

Kotaku BrasilTwo Quick Interviews with The Last of Us Team [in Portuguese]

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Crunching Numbers

There’s no turning back now — I’m on a flight out of LAX — well out of range of the office — so if there’s anything that needs fixing, it’s too late. Yes, folks: crunch is officially over for me. Just in time, too, as working on this game has not had the most positive effect on my health. Observe:

  • 11 white hairs, all of which sprouted up during production.
  • 1 case of cervical arthritis. Oh, and my neck now curves in the opposite direction to how it’s supposed to be.

Necks are not supposed to curve in this direction!

  • 11 sessions of physical therapy to deal with the consequences of sitting hunched over my tablet for 14-16 hours per day.
  • 5 lbs. gained by the end of the project (I gained 20 lbs. on Uncharted 3, so this is actually an improvement).
  • 35 bottles of wine consumed throughout production.
  • 6 additional bottles of wine consumed the night of art lock.

This cute list is really only the tip of the iceberg. To be honest, this crunch was pretty brutal in a lot of ways, physically, emotionally, mentally, and I’m still in the process of recovering. All that matters to me right now is that, at the end of the day, all the personal sacrifice that I and everyone else put in to this game has paid off, and  I got to be part of what I believe is going to be an amazing game.

And I am officially on vacation.

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