Tag Archives: Amy Hennig

Highlights of EA’s 2016 E3 Press Conference

E3 is here again ladies and gentlemen, and kicking it off this year was Electronic Arts.  Their (not) press conference this year was titled EA Play, and it had quite a few strong moments, and some not as strong.  For this post, I’m just going to focus on the highlights of their presser; what that amounts to is that I’ll be skipping over the sports, mobile, and DLC talk.

1. Titanfall 2 get’s amazing trailers for both it’s singleplayer and multiplayer modes

Titanfall was a big success when it launched in early 2014, and Respawn is looking to improve upon its strengths for the game’s sequel that is coming this fall.  Vince Zampella, one of the founder’s of Respawn and original creator of Call of Duty, took the stage to first give gamers a brief look at the game’s multiplayer.  Zampella announced that the sequel would feature six additional titan classes, and the trailer showcased many new additions to multiplayer including grappling hooks, magnet grenades, teleportation pads, and new titan abilities including a ground pound and a massive laser attack.

Next, Zampella spoke about the singleplayer that they have added for the sequel.  He said it will expand the narrative of Titanfall and explore the distinct link between Titan and it’s Pilot.  The campaign will follow Titan BT-7274 and rifleman Jack Cooper, who link together based on battlefield necessity rather than choice after BT’s original pilot dies.  Respawn announced their will be a multiplayer stress test later this summer, before the game launches on October 28th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

2. Mass Effect Andromeda looks great, but still seems far off

Bioware took the stage at the conference to talk about Mass Effect Andromeda, the long in development next entry into the Mass Effect franchise.  The team didn’t have much to share, but gave eager fans a two minute long trailer that was partially gameplay, partially cinematics, and partially behind the scenes work.  EA said they will reveal more about the game this Fall, but the lack of a gameplay demo or cinematics puts serious doubt into my mind that this game will launch in it’s current March 2017 launch window.  What we saw however was great.  The player will explore new worlds on their ship, The Tempest, that are filled with new races and seemingly some familiar ones as well, with an Asari and Krogan being visible in the trailer.

3. A lot of EA studios are working on Star Wars.

EA has the Star Wars license for the foreseeable future and are making the most out of it.  Next year, EA revealed we will see a sequel to Battlefront, and the following year we will see the release of Amy Hennig’s long in development title from Visceral Games (developers of Dead Space and Battlefield Hardlines).  Respawn is also working on their own third-person action adventure game of Star Wars that has God of War III director Sitg Asmussen in the lead.  It looks like, if the mo-cap footage was saw was any indication, that it will focus on Jedi.  Jade Raymond (former Assassin’s Creed lead developer) and her studio in Canada, Motive, are assiting in development of Visceral’s Star Wars title and next year’s Battlefront which is being developed by DICE.  On top of all of that, Criterion, best known for the Burnout franchise, are apparently working on Star Wars Battlefront VR missions for Playstation VR.  Below is EA’s video on their Star Wars games, including a brief glimpse at gameplay from Visceral’s game.

4. Battlefield 1 wows with massive battlegrounds and Zepplin crashes.

DICE closed the show by showing off their WWI shooter, Battlefield 1.  In the trailers and gameplay sessions that followed we were shown new footage of some incredible spectacle moments including dog fights in single engine “Red Baron”-esc planes, tank and artillery in action, and zepplins being flow and crashed.  The level-ution that was so highly touted in Battlefield 4 seems to be back to a certain degree, as the zepplin crashed in the sleepy French village around which the two teams were fighting.  My descriptions do not even do it justice, so watch both the trailer and gameplay footage I was able to find below.

And those are the best moments from EA’s E3 press conference.  What was your favorite moments?  Anything you wish we would have seen but didn’t?  Let me know in the comments below!

by, Bobby Marquardt

 

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The Last of Us’ Directors are now leading development on Uncharted PS4

bruce-strahley-and-neil-druckmannIn an interview with Gameinformer, Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra confirmed that The Last of Us game director Bruce Straley and creative director Neil Druckman are leading development on Uncharted PS4.  Gameinformer asked for confirmation that the duo had stepped in during the transition period after Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond’s departure.  Well replied “It’s not so much a transition period, actually. We’ve asked them to lead the project. They are excited as veterans of the Uncharted franchise to take the responsibility and they’re doing great.”

Both Druckman and Straley previously worked on the first two Uncharted games, after which they departed to lead Naughty Dogs second team on The Last of Us.  During that time period, Hennig and Richmond lead the team responsible for Uncharted 3.  Wells and Balestra spoke quite negatively about the reports that surfaced around Hennigs departure.

“To us, it’s kind of strange because the perception and what’s being “reported” is in stark contrast to the feeling here at the studio, Everyone here is energized and excited to show off what we’ve been working on. There are no doom and gloom feelings, unlike what’s being portrayed by the “journalists” that are writing these stories. It would be comical if it hadn’t persisted as long as it has – it’s just not going away. Every single departure, or now even hires, are being reported as if it’s big news.”

They went on to say how in the last ten years, these type of high level departures are nothing new.  “…we’ve had art directors, creative directors, co-presidents, and co-founders, leave the company and we just keep going. We’ve replaced that talent and we’ve filled the gaps. Some bumps are harder to smooth out than others. We work it out.”  Wells and Balestra also confirmed that another project is being worked on at Naughty Dog besides Uncharted PS4 though it is in “very early pre-production stages.”   They confirmed that this shuffle of talent would not effect that project either.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Todd Stashwick to co-write Visceral’s Star Wars game


Todd Stashwick
Character actor and writer Todd Stashwick has joined Amy Hennig at EA Visceral to co-write the studio’s upcoming Star Wars game.  The news came in a tweet today from Hennig, who elaborated on the choice saying that Stashwick is a huge gamer, knows Star Wars inside-out and sideways, and is a brilliant writer to boot.” 

Stashwick is likely best known for his role as Ash Murhpy on Justified, his stint on CW’s vampire drama The Originals, and his take on Dracula for CW’s Supernatural.  Stashwick’s credits as a write are much slimmer, but wrote the pilot of SyFy’s Clandestine, and writes a web-comic called “Devil Inside”.  Stashwick previously worked with Amy Hennig on Uncharted PS4 as an actor (even voicing the game’s teaser), before Hennig departed the studio last month.

Little is known for certain about Visceral’s Star Wars game, but it is heavily rumored that the game is an open-world action game being developed by both Visceral and EA Canada, who is currently finishing development on EA Sports UFC.  The game must be relatively early in production though, if they are adding Stashwick and Hennig as writers, not to mention Hennig will be the Creative Director as well.

What do you think of this decision?  Will Stashwick bring the right goods to EA’s next Star Wars game?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

by, Bobby Marquardt

Source: IGN

 

Amy Hennig joins Visceral Games to work on Star Wars

Amy HennigLast month, Uncharted game director Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog studios.  Today, EA announced that Hennig has joined EA and Visceral Games to work on Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars game as creative director.  Steve Papoutsis, Vice President and General Manager of Visceral wrote about the news in a blog post, saying “I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Amy Hennig to our team at Visceral Games and EA as Creative Director on our Star Wars project.”

Papoutsis went on to say that he and Hennig had spoken quite a bit in the last few weeks as to what her next project would be, and what really attracted her to Visceral was that she is a Star Wars fan.   “Amy’s a huge fan. We happen to be making a Star Wars game. Just thinking about the possibilities made both of us even more excited about having her join the team.”

Hennig took to Twitter today to speak about the decision, and her overall love of Star Wars.  “I began my career almost a quarter century ago (I have the 1991 Rising Star award from to prove it – ha! 😉 … It might’ve taken me 23 years, but I’m back – and it’s good to be home !  It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the Star Wars universe, after it’s had such a formative influence on my life.  I vividly remember sitting in a theater with my buddy @MatthewRockloff in 1976, seeing the Star Wars trailer for the first time and feeling like the universe clicked into place for me in that moment.  Two amazing things entered my life in 1977 – Star Wars and the Atari 2600.  This opportunity is the confluence of the 2 most influential experiences of my youth, and I couldn’t be more excited to go on this journey.”

Visceral is heavily rumored to be working on an open world adventure game set in the Star Wars universe.  Previously, EA Canada, who has been linked to working with Visceral on the project, has had job listings for an open world game set in the Star Wars universe.  Adding Amy Hennig to the mix of any game will almost certainly make it even better then it could have been, and seeing her joining a Star Wars title is amazing news.  We wish Amy Hennig all the best with her work on the Star Wars franchise.

by, Bobby Marquardt