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CrashedAlex

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  1. CrashedAlex

    Your old arcade and game shop hangouts

    @Junker I used to pool (very badly) at Tollgate. I had a credit on "Double Dragon" in there. "The Silver Coin" was, I think, the only highlight of Stoke Town Centre. Used to play "Bad Dudes V Dragon Ninja" and "New Zealand Story" in there as well as "Chase HQ." At the tender and delicate age of 14 I went to that glamourous and aspirational local leisure venue known as Longton to a *new* nightclub called "The Highlight" - which was above the PMT Bus Station and was known as "Jollee's" in the 1970's. Always good for counterfeit stand up cabinets in there - I think the only original machine in there was "SEGA Turbo." It was going there I was able to play pretty much every Imagine advertised on the back cover of Zzap! - so that was "Mikie" (very hard to understand in Japanese), "Comic Bakery", "Combat School", played "Pengo" in there as well. The kebab shop opposite the front door used to draw a crowd as it had "Commando" in there (so we knew how poor the Elite version really was!) but there was also a fine fine parlour of amusements nearby (whose name I forget) and they had stuff like "Indiana Jones" inside. In fact one night I went to said nightclub with friends, wasted all my money in the arcade beforehand, couldn't afford to pay to go into the club, had to wait around for three hours outside in the rain for my friends to come out so get a lift home... Longton seemed like some sort of coin-op mecca to me in the mid 1980's. First time I had a proper session on "Pac-Man" was at the ice rink that opened there. Well, it wasn't really ice, more like funny fibreglass or something. Took me years before I realised I'd played a counterfeit machine as well as I only knew the pirate names for all of the ghosts...
  2. @elyuw That video was just capture of us playing - with time pressure beating down on us - to send a video to IGN. We were under the impression that they would do a commentary of it so it was introducing all of the tracks and their locations, then going through each game mode one by one. So we captured all of them. Would have loved to have done more of a trailer - which is all properly edited and has all the slick production and captions but we were up against it as it is. We lost a whole week of development doing that video. Again, this stuff scales with team size. In comparison, on NFS MW EA hired a team of people to just capture the game all through development and make trailers. That team alone was THREE times the size of our entire Studio right now - and we're doing three platforms simultaneously. I saw JC4 released something like 20 trailers from announce to release. @mushashi Highly unlikely as the hardware probably wasn't quite good enough. Would have easily ran if we'd made the visuals way worse though. I'm not the best person to ask about that anyway. Alex Fry would be the person to ask. He used to live and breathe Sony HW back then. @Salsa Party Animal LMAO I don't think either of those companies know we exist.
  3. @df0The Burnout PSP games weren't done at Criterion. They were done by an EA internal team at EA Chertsey. They were a dedicated group formed to port EA Canada titles over to the PSP. It was headed up by veteran UK dev Rob "Barg" O'Farrell (ex-Probe know him since 1995) and also included Simon "Daredevil Dennis/Die Hard Trilogy" Pick on the team as well. I still know where he lives, so if you want I can let you know where that is so you can go and put sugar in his petrol tank or something :-) They did a good job I think and I'm sure they would be have preferred doing their own game rather than port ours. But at the time I was pretty annoyed at those sorts of decisions being made immediately and sort of forced upon us so soon after we were acquired. I think we were one of the best PS2 teams on the planet at the time and I think most of us would have really liked to have a crack at it ourselves and try to become the best PSP team on the planet as well.
  4. @df0 Totally hear you - and as a player I agree. But as a developer there is only so much we can do. We don't make our game engine - we use Unreal Engine 4 so the faster it can load 'stuff' the faster 'retry' times can be - and nor do we make the hardware the game runs on. *Everything* improves with the more people, time and money you can throw it at it. Sadly, I don't have much of 'that stuff' right now. I am sure we will end up 'disappointing' people who are somehow upset with us for not doing 'that thing that is most important to them.' For me, what's most important is how much fun it is to blast the cars around the tracks chaining the Boost. But that's just me... Here are snippets of some of the emails we got from the folks who came down to convene the inaugural "Dangerous Drivers Club" meeting at the weekend... "Dear Fiona, Alex and the gang, Thanks once again for the chance to see a little behind the scenes! :) Feels like a proper family there, next time I'll bring my boy along as he'd be sure to enjoy the game too." "Hello 3FE team! I'd just again like to extend a massive thank you for not only coming in to work on a cold and wet Saturday, but for also opening your doors and showing us fans what you've all been working on these past few months. I feel like I should apologise for both being a little quiet, and for ruining your nice promo photos with my ugly mug! So sorry about that, in retrospect maybe a 4am start wasn't the wisest idea!" "Dear Fiona Thank you again for inviting me to the studio to play Dangerous Driving yesterday. I had a lovely time playing the game, speaking to the team and playing with your dogs! As you mentioned yesterday, if there's any way I can get involved with QA testing the game before it comes out next February, I'd love to get involved.." "Just like to say thanks for yesterday it was a great experience, you were all really nice and welcoming and it was great the way you all explained your parts in the game was really interesting, me and Mark left feeling like we were part of the game" "Absolutely fantastic meeting the team and finding out all the various things that go into making a game like this. Can’t wait to pick up the game!" " I absolutely enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the part where I got to drive through the red cones to record data for the A.I. I also enjoyed trying the game out. Thanks for an incredible opportunity :) I enjoyed meeting the team in person. I can't wait to buy the game. :)" If you would like to take part in future events, then sign-up and join the Dangerous Driving Club at www.threefieldsentertainment.com/dangerousdrivingclub Also, if you can tell me a good reason why we should come to your house and play the game with you before it comes out, then write in to the Studio and tell us why.
  5. CrashedAlex

    Your old arcade and game shop hangouts

    If I had more time I'd do the photos First computer shop was 'Komputer Kabin' at The Parade, Silverdale nr Newcastle-under-Lyme. Ran by the son of one of my teacher at Infant School. Very good place for VIC-20 owners and Beeb owners. I wrote about it for the bit I wrote about VIC 'Road Rage' on the Three Fields blog... For the C64 years it was Hanley's "Computerama" in the arcade next to "Fantasy World" and then later on, "Town Computer Store" further up the High Street, past WH Smith's. In there for games on disk, loading games before you bought, and the first place I ever saw Compunet demo's being loaded up. Pretty astounding place. Later on there was a smaller shop in the space where the Joke Shop used to be on Hope Street. At the end of my C64 days I got "Buggy Boy" and "Bionic Commando" in there. I then moved to specialist importers for my 'lost weekend' years of NES, PC Engine and GameBoy.. Arcades were - everything and anything in Rhyl and Blackpool - esp "Mr. B's" and both Shipleys on Cheapside, and the one opposite Webberley's Book Shop in Hanley. Plus the small one opposite the "Koh-I-Noor" indian restaurant in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
  6. @Robo_1 You have a long memory my friend, and yes you're right - I was around for 2001 and 2002 but that was about it. I did race against many on the forum on the first few nights of "Burnout 3:Takedown" online on the PlayStation2 for a bit. I didn't come to try and sell anyone on the game I'm working on - I just hope I can spread the awareness that it exists. It's been inspiring to know that fans of the genre still exist. Meeting fans who came to visit the office at the weekend was also good as well. It's never easy trying to finish a piece of software over Christmas, so things like that can help in finding those extra reserves of energy. @pastry We're definitely NOT doing hot air balloons and stuff like that - we always think that stuff is just wasted art time. @elyuw As one of the the very few indie teams making an intensive 3D driving game, we're not trying to be 'the successor' to Burnout 3 - but more trying to bring the spirit of the games we worked on before back, and trying to take them to a new place. @Salsa Party Animal Thanks for your kind comment. @mushashi Please understand that as an independent team we're spending money on the game first and foremost. But we'll have more to say. Can't write or respond much more at the moment as we're slammed trying to author the entire single player game this week.
  7. @McSpeed Going to “review” events was never an interest to me. Felt uncomfortable about that sort of stuff tbh.
  8. I have to say I love reading these stories. @donkeyk it’s called Rivals Mode in Forza 7 choose your class and pick your track... @ilpostino “Cinema?” yes - we had a French irritant who would play that song every morning Absolutely wiped after so much intense work the last three weeks so it’s offline for me! @Ninja Doctor that was because the brilliant Joe Bonar bought a prog scan telly with him when he joined us for that game. No one had one back then really.
  9. @Mawdlin I watched this last week as I read the news he had died. It's a fun hour if you haven't seen it...(and great to hear from you again!)
  10. It's interesting to wonder if "Rocket League' would get made today. It's an online game and the advice given to independent developers at present from the format holders is 'give up on online as you will have ZERO players' - bc everyone is ONLY playing shooters apparently. But they are only trying to help from the data they see on how many people play "OnRush" or "Laser League' because they get to see all of the numbers. Sega Rally was just a few cars and tracks. I played it on Saturn for several thousand hours, but then hey, Sega aren't making stuff like than anymore. Gaming is a very very personal thing for most people. We all like different things. Personally speaking, I spent days and days just walking around in "Watch Dogs" without doing any of 'the game' just marvelling at the quality of the open world before me. Today was refreshing to meet so many true fans of the genre. People who just get it. Much different that meeting 'industry' at the old trade shows.
  11. @Hello Goaty ♥ Thanks for that. As far as 'having no content' we're making as much as we can afford to with the time and money we have. There is a limit I'm afraid. We simply cannot compete at the same level as massive teams of thousands who have years to make games. Those teams are backed by massive companies and have endless resources We simply do not. If you see our game on IGN you're seeing four months or 120 days of work. I'll do my very best to entertain you though. I hope we can do that!
  12. @mushashi Thanks for the kinds words. I think anyone who on the B2 team would appreciate reading them -thanks! To try and answer your question, whilst it would be fabulous and convenient to say 'yes, EA made me do it' - which was an old meme for us on the old Crash TV podcast - in reality, there can never , and would never be some 'mysterious dark forces' in the background telling us what to do. Fiona Sperry ran the company. I was the Creative Director and worked with a talented team (and a really core 'braintrust' type of group consisting of Fiona, Me, Hamish, Mike, Alex, Richard, Olly, Chris, Omar, Paul, James and many others I could list here) so if anything you could say the buck stopped with me. But if you want to blame someone, then it was all of them, obviously :-) "Point of Impact" was a very pure racer in the style of the old AM2 games. After that title, we found a new publisher in Electronic Arts. We learned a lot from EA. At that time, I'd argue that they were the best game makers on the planet. And ran a seriously impressive operation. (ever seen EA Canada's setup? it's fabulous) Each game had to evolve and we could not just keep making the same game over and over. "Takedowns" came from really focusing in on what was the best move you could do in the first two games - which we termed 'knockouts.' We were also really influenced by EA Sports at the time and how slick - and how massively successful - those PS2 titles were. EA guided teams to create killer features each year so we made 'aggressive racing' the whole focus of the game and that made doing everything else easier. Design the front-end? Easy. How should it sound? Ah yes. Easier than staring at a blank sheet of paper. People across the Pond, in the market that was TEN TIMES the size of ours, suddenly began to notice the game. "Paradise" was open world because that's what I was interested in having a go at back then. A different experience where exploring and collecting and hanging out with your Friends was the core. Or 'not playing the game is the game' is how I spectacularly failed at communicating it to people. I was massively influenced by the very wonderful first "Mercenaries" game on Xbox and later on - the best game ever to come out of Scotland - which was "Crackdown" (if I ever win the lottery I will pay someone from that team to show me where the missing Orbs are. I swear!) I hope that answers your question. If you are hankering for something like B2 to make a return, then take a look at our next game "Dangerous Driving." However, if you think something like B3 should make a return, then take a look at our next game "Dangerous Driving." We're not EA though, or Criterion, or anyone else. We're a tiny team of seven self funding and self publishing our games so we make smaller games on way way more smaller budgets than most.
  13. @Soi I haven't played MK8 so I must admit to being unfamiliar with that feature. If it doesn't take more than 15minutes to do, we'll try our best. No promises though!
  14. Here are some pics from the inaugural meeting of the 'Dangerous Driving Club' at TFE18 held earlier today in that mecca of gaming, Petersfield, Hampshire (home of the best arcades in the world) http://www.threefieldsentertainment.com/today-we-opened-our-doors-to-the-players/ Beautiful intelligent, racing game veteran players of all ages and from all parts of the country came together in one very cramped office! If you're interested in visiting our Studio, playing our games in development, giving us feedback, and arguing with us as to which version of "Burnout/Ridge Racer/ Gran Turismo' was best then have a click on www.threefieldsentertainment.com/dangerousdrivingclub
  15. @Mawdlin Hey, what a shame Ricky Jay died the other week eh? Have you ever watched his '52 Assistants' show, it's on YouTube? Joao was the first person I ever showed the software to who not only understood what we were about, but also more importantly, what the core experience was - which was 'high speed everyday driving' - which obviously is a different sort of driving to what other games in the genre do. Haven't spoken to him in a few years. I did email him and say how I sort of missed seeing him every year. We had him as a Judge in a BAFTA category once and I think everyone in the room loved listening to his speak about each game that was in contention. I met many industry people over the past two decades all over the world. I can count on one hand the people who made an immediate impact on me with their knowledge and passion. Joao is one of those people.
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