Hi, Sean Jacobs here I would like to present my interview with Switchblade Monkeys the wonder team behind the upcoming title Secret Ponchos. I would like to apologize for the delay but, I went Clark Kent and transcribed my interview via my handy digital voice recorder. Lets get into this tasty treat why don’t we.
Me: Hi, Sean Jacobs here from RealOtakuGamer.com can you Please introduce yourself to our readers at realotakugamer.com
Yousuf Mapara: Hi, I’m Yousuf Mapara and I am the Creative Director (and President of Switchblade Monkeys) of Secret Ponchos.
Me: Well, you just answered my second question because I was going to ask you what you’re relation to Secret Ponchos was!
Me: What inspired Switchblade monkeys to create such a unique game like Secret Ponchos?
Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that takes us back to multiplayer fun, That’s just fun to pick up and is not this huuuge learning curve of like 30-40 hours just to be able to have fun. We are all hardcore fighting game kinda fans and so we love that depth but not the (inaudible) Though, the main thing is that we wanted to make a Spaghetti Western game so, that’s where it all started, ya know? its just such a cool genre. Basically our musician and I were sitting playing Soul Calibur and we had um, were playing Ennio Morricone in the background at the same time and all of a sudden everything just magically synced up the music, the epic trumpets and uh ya know the drama from the music and it felt like everything we felt like everything we were doing was just choreographed to the music so, we were like “WOW we really need to make a fighting western game”
Me: Isn’t it weird how things just come together like that?
Yousuf Mapara: I know, I know it wish there was a cooler version on how the game started but, its stupid but, that’s how it came together.
Me: That’s OK because that is the most organic way to come up with an great idea.
Me: Were there any other influences drawn from other games pulled into making Secret Ponchos?
Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that has this competitive, you pick it up and we want your adrenaline to start pumping, that kind of fun. You pick it up and we want it to feel competitive, fun kind of game… I remember lining up to Street Fighter and getting our quarters and this is the type of game that we wanted to make so you could enjoy. A lot of games recently are awesome experiences but, they have also have became like interactive stories with a lot of cinematic experiences
Me: Yeah, like watching a movie you sometime play.
Yousuf Mapara: …and we wanted to take a step back from that, we have developed plenty of projects like that at AAA studios and we wanted to get to the feeling of “ah man you got me this time I’m going to go home and practice to get the best of you”
Me: Given the multiplayer nature of Secret Ponchos when it is released will Switchblade Monkey launch some sort of DLC to compliment that element?
Yousuf Mapara: You know uh, so our model for DLC is very interesting we don’t want to be very aggressive with dlc. When you buy Secret Ponchos its a complete experience on its own you don’t need to pay more money or buy stuff to be able to fulfill your experience, with that being said the genre is such an interesting genre for character archetypes that we only scratched the surface with our characters so, we are going to keep expanding on the Secret Ponchos Universe and that’s a better road to DLC. As long as the fans want to see the game universe expanded we will keep have new guys and use DLC to fund new characters.
Me: When I was doing research on you guys on YouTube that’s what I was thinking. I was like They could be in a good position to be able to spin DLC in a good way if infused correctly. I don’t like the aggressive DLC, I don’t like aggressive salesmanship at all so like, if your company create a great package its going to make us the fans want to buy it.
Yousuf Mapara: Yeah don’t want people to have their defenses up when playing our games as if we are trying to pitch them, if they bought the game its a fun universe, right? we hope people are looking forward to new expansions and new characters and we could use DLC to fund that. When you are really excited for a game, like Diablo and you are really looking forward to the expansion and its a worthwhile purchase that is the type of feel we want to lean towards.
Me: What about this game excites you the most and what can you tell people about secret ponchos that haven’t heard of it?
Yousuf Mapara: The two things we are the most proud of is the art style we really tried to focus on a great art style but, secondly when you look at team shooters and fighting games and there is a lot of them and they are all feeling kind of similar it was really exciting that we have found a new twist a new presentation for a combat game in this genre hey we are a small indie company and just by moving the camera over top we kinda made our own type of combat game and that’s what we are excited about it doesn’t have this superficial feel of a slight change on an existing shooter game it has its own thing and that’s what we are most excited about.
Me: Thank you again Yousuf and it was a pleasure standing here with you and playing with your staff on multiple matches. I can’t wait for Secret Ponchos and the many ways you will possibly expand its universe.
*Before our scheduled interview Yousuf and I had several conversations one that revealed that Secret Ponchos will be on the Steam for early access. Secret Ponchos was originally slated for PS4 release but, after the outcry of the PC community Switchblade Monkeys have decided to appease the masses and give the Steam community an early shot of the former PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Nintendo I am a multi-console gamer, with that being said I have personally had numerous conversations and debates with other gamers from other platforms. What I hear from gamers from such platforms like the Xbox brand and the Sony brands and the consensus is that you are missing key features that are current in today’s console market. These features are Technologies like in-game chat and cross-game chat, I am Not sure if your system is setup in such a way that you can add something like in game or cross game chat into the Wii U infrastructure but, these are very important in today’s social gaming scene.
It behooves me that with such the foresight to create a social gaming network like the miiverse you did not have the insight to add something like in-game chat. In-game chat has been around since the original Xbox, something that has proven to be a valuable additive in the gaming scene. Since then the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 continued on that idea that online social gaming is the next logical evolution of local multiplayer. It is understood that the local multiplayer experience is one of the pillars of gaming even today. In-game chat helps family and friends who are no longer available to physically sit down with friends and play games with in-game chat we can join online with our families and friends to stay connected. The inclusion of cross-game chat helps us play the same multiplayer games that we enjoyed playing while sitting on our families and our friends couches.
It is known that PlayStation 3 infrastructure was not set up for the addition to cross game chat though it did have a fairly decent in-game chat system to later with the Playstation 4 add cross-game chat. I know that the Wii U for the new Nintendo network is set up to be updated via the web framework design. I am not sure how this could be applied to this feature though, I hope it is possible that you could add some features like in-game and cross-game chat into the Wii U if not both. There is a couple of my friends on PlayStation 4 that actually got rid of their Wii U’s simply because there was no in-game or cross-game chat.
Here are the experiences that draw today’s gamer with in-game and cross-game chat. Today’s gamer loves to play online multiplayer and that is a fact games like first person shooters, sports titles such as NBA, NFL, FIFA and any other genre that local multiplayer could be used. We totally enjoy poking fun with our friends or helping them get through a certain level of a game. The Miiverse does fill in that gap but, this method while highly viable is not a constant stream of interactivity that is sometimes wanted or needed as far as social gaming is concerned. Nintendo, you of all people know how fun it is to sit and have fun with your loved ones in your living room or wherever you have your console. The inclusion of in-game and cross-game chat will help to dramatically raise interest in the Wii U along with helping developers see the light that the struggling platform is much more than something that only Nintendo loyalists flock too. The Nintendo Wii U has provided a safe haven for independent developers and I believe with the addition of current features like in-game and cross-game chat the major AAA developers will give your console a second look. I love the Wii U and at this point from my experiences with my playstation 4 you can actually compete with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 but, you first have to catch up with the times and add in-game chat/cross-game chat though, you should focus on inputting cross-game chat because thats where it truly matters and much more simpler. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!
The Wii U has been the butt of a lot of jokes for sometime now but, to the majority of the install base it is known as an underrated piece of hardware. Some of our ROG staff including myself would like to share our perspectives on this and what Nintendo could possibly do moving forward to gain more traction in other demographics beside the Nintendo loyalists.
It is commonly known since summer of last year that Nintendo has embraced the small time developers (Independent Studios) in droves. According to Nintendo Enthusiasts there are reportedly 120+ indie games all slotted for the launching on Big N’s Nintendo eShop for the Wii U. In addition to all these indie games being released Nintendo’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Damon Baker also announced during the Game Developers Conference that 50 titles are being developed with the Unity Engine 9 in which were on display at that event, games like Nihilumbra, Teslagrad, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite & Armillo. If you don’t know the Unity Engine is a recently popular software engine gaining steam late last generation for most consoles and now handhelds.
What I would like to see coming from Nintendo since they have a strong current and future lineup with independent studios is possibly a better exposure of these Online and Television advertisements. Flexing off their eShop indie title muscles Nintendo could flush in a great amount of indie-centric gamers along with Retro & Casual gamers. The eShop has favorites of mine like EarthBound, Unepic, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara all titles that proven to shine with me and are apart of my 52 games for the wii u along with resonating with the awesome social experience the Nintendo Miiverse.
I should jump on this while its fresh, Nintendo should also promote heavily their as always family friendly gamer social network Miiverse (here’s my personal Miiverse profile follow or friend me) this experience can only be absorbed on the Wii U and within recent months the Nintendo 3DS. Here you can gather true Nintendo gamers thoughts on such subjects like connecting with new friends, displaying all types of artwork using the Wii U gamepad sharing hints, tricks, funny glitches, gripes on issues within certain games but most importantly what game out there is actually a great game. Nintendo Miiverse is set up to be like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook built from the ground up for Nintendo gamers. This is another Wii U strong suit that should be advertised on all media outlets and no longer be kept close to the chest of Nintendo and only promoted by us Nintendo loyalist. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!
For those that are in the area of Maryland and DC (and Viriginia as well if you’re willing to make the trip). On the campus of the University of Maryland, there lies a little gem known as the TerpZone. It’s open for anyone to use, even those that aren’t students. They welcome any and everyone.
So what does the TerpZone offer? Well, they offer many things! They offer bowling, billiards, gaming, ping pong, arcade games, game nights (spades, etc.), and a lot more.
Most Fridays, the TerpZone offers video game tournaments for anyone to participate in for FREE! The games range from Call of Duty: Ghosts to Super Smash Bros. Brawl to NBA 2K14. They have their sign ups for the tournaments at 6pm with it starting at 8pm.
The schedule for the rest of this semester (until early May) is as follows:
Mario Kart Wii : March 28th
FIFA 14 : April 4, April 11, April 18, April 25
Super Smash Bros. Brawl : May 2nd
For more information on the video game tournaments, the contact is Leonard Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any general questions about The TerpZone or to find out more, the contact is Kevin Alexander at email@example.com.
Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) won’t threepeat “Worst company in America” this year by Consumerist. They were beat out by Time Warner Cable in the first round.
EA may have won this reader-based competition two years in a row, but did they ever really deserve it? They’re continually put up against companies that actually cheat people in some way, shape, or form and while you may argue that not making a game you wanted available offline or your continued troubles with Origin as having “harmed” you I’d ask you to be honest with yourself for at least one second.
They’ve never really deserved to be called “Worst Company in America” a fact shared by Peter Moore in his letter last year after they won. I loved it. He called out every major wrongdoing by other companies because those things really matter. Next to Ethan Albright’s letter to John Madden, it’s one of the most beautiful rants I’ve ever read.
Maybe that’s why they didn’t win this year. Maybe the internet for once thought about how they’re just a video game publishing company before they voted in this asinine competition. One can only hope that the internet actually put some rational thought into this one, but then again it doesn’t matter. If it did, maybe we wouldn’t see the same faces every year committing atrocities literally affecting the world.
”Watches are good at telling time but, imagine having useful, actionable information there precisely where you need it automatically,Today we are announcing that Android is extending to wearables”
-David Singleton Director of engineering, Android
Watch out Samsung, we know that your original Galaxy Gear didn’t fair so well in the market and at this moment Galaxy Gear 2 cleaned up some missteps but, Google has decided to show you a seemingly better way in doing things. Don’t get me wrong, you rock in making phones and tablets and it sure is odd that good ole google sure isn’t even shaking your tree a little bit but, check this thing out…
Crisp UI, Sleek bezel & band designs.
If first looks could kill I’m sure the death recipient would have a smile on its face. Google’s Android Wear will be hitting our stores ”later this year” infused with Big G’s very own Operating System. Android Wear will be buddying up with partners such as; Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung… HOLD ON, Samsung? Oh Google, you sly dog you. Now the upcoming wearable technologies coming from the search engine/E-mail client giant will really be interesting.
“To bring this vision to life we are working with consumer electronics manufactures, chip makers and fashion brands who are committed to fostering an ecosystem of watches in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes “
-David Singleton Director of engineering, Android
I would really like to now know whom is the company that created the device(s) announced by Google? Like these bezel designs of these Android Wear watches.
With Google App integration throughout these badboys should fly off the stores shelves.
Alex Faaborg Designer, Android elaborated on the newly designed custom UI that all the Android wearable devices will have embedded in them stating…
“(The UI) is based around voice and contextual information that’s reactive to your surroundings… it has to be incredibly fast, incredibly glanceable. There is only two components: Information that is most relevant to you and the ability to speak to it and do a quick command.”
Recently Announced Motorola’s Moto 360
Weather, calendar information, important meetings, integrated GPS locating where you are, how far you are from a scheduled meeting and how long it will takes you to arrive there will be incorporated in these devices. Things that are most important to you will roam around with you all over the place like checking your favorite sports teams scores on games you cannot view at that time. You can also respond naturally to messages received simply by speaking to Google Now ”Reply” and say whatever that needs to be relayed to your contact and then it automatically send out your message. GPS services also can be initialized on the fly by asking google to search nearby locations for you like ” OK, Google find nearby movie theatres” and swiftly and accurately the device will find them just like that.
LG’s recently announced “G-Watch”
It was not mentioned if the wearables will be tethered to your smartphones like Samsungs Galaxy Gear series time will only tell as more information trickles out closer to the launching of these devices. I can say for sure if these Android wearables can be independant of the smart phones i definitely would love to have one of these pretty puppies. Even still what Google officially announced yesterday is still a great advancement in wearable technologies and thats always a great thing. Stay tuned for updated information on Android Wear & other geekery here at RealOtakuGamer.com
On May 17th and 18th from 9am to 9am, Naughty Dog, Wargaming America, Rooster Teeth, and ASTRO Gaming are teaming up for a great cause! The charity they’ll be helping out is Operation Supply Drop.
Operation Supply Drop’s mission is:
“Operation Supply Drop (OSD) is a military gaming 501(c)(3) charity designed to build video game filled care packages for soldiers (America and Her Allies) both deployed forward to combat zones as well as those recovering in military hospitals.”
This event will be used to raise funds for video game care packages for soldiers in Afghanistan and recovery centers across the United States. It will be a 24-hour non-stop gaming marathon which OSD dubs as an 8-Bit Salute.
It’s always great to see companies and people coming together for such a great cause.
Operation Supply Drop was created by Captain Stephen Machuga in 2010 and has since raised approximately $700,000 and served 2,500 soldiers.
Here is a video to show what OSD is all about:
To register or donate to this cause or just simply want to find out more about OSD, go here.
Welcome back to this one player adventure starring your very own legendary whip lashing vampire killer from Transylvania Simon Belmont. You should know by now this journey will be fraught with danger but, what do we do in the face of that? We sure don’t cringe I can tell you that.
Unepic (EnjoyUp Games)
Try this mixture platform, role playing, comedy that takes place in a fantasy of medieval lore. Set in the 80’s Join our hero Daniel a cool nerd that’s into role playing board games and sci-fi movies as he is thrust into a world he thinks is a bad hallucination. How long can he go before he realizes that where he has landed is oh so much more? 7 bosses, 70 spells and 100 weapons filled with snarky dialogue and pop culture references. Unepic is sure to spark up your inner geek, come on give it a try!
F1 Race Stars: Powered up edition (Codemaster)
3, 2, 1, Goooooooo! Blast onto the race course with over the top Formula One racer with brand new content, featured circuits, loop-the-loops and shortcuts famous transformed tracks all in the company of 1-4 player pals via split screen.
Enter the GameCube Nintendo’s 6th gen home console that was a small wonder packed to the gills with big & efficient tech. What also came into the mix were Sony’s Playstation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast and eventually Microsoft’s Xbox. Yes, another challenger Microsoft entered the fray shortly after the shameful end of one of one the console gaming giants Sega. I shall cover Sega later on a possibly new article if I’m driven to do such. This time around Ninty came out swinging with their tiny bite sized powerhouse only to be slightly dwarfed by Microsoft’s machine the Xbox. Though, Nintendo being the quirky uncle always with interesting stories to tell threw caution to the wind and created a new mini-disk that would be their storage medium of choice. The small stature of this system was not to be scoffed at when games were to be concerned. Big titles and new IP’s were shelled out with this tiny soldier while it seemed that the power and the games were there it seemed the monkey that was on Nintendo’s back from the previous gen was still there. The developers just seemed like they didn’t want to be there coming up with reasons like the disk was hard to work with and couldn’t maintain like the DVD’s the competitor’s. Until games like Capcom Resident evil zero, the acclaimed Resident evil 4 have shown the graphical ability and optical media of choice clearly wasn’t in the way. Even so Nintendo along with the likes of silicone knight developed a game of such surreal mental thriller which was also a mature title of many to release on the platform. It seemed that they just couldn’t find their footing even when the bow out of Sega as a console maker and demoting itself to a 3rd party developer was imminent.
Microsoft’s Xbox came out of the shadows of the Dreamcast demise they were to become the 1st home console that took some PC features like Hard Drives, Ethernet port for broadband internet and most importantly the Xbox Live service. Taking their mother platform the windows OS will be the seeds to be sown for MS later. Sony Playstation 2 was the weakest system of that generation due to the popularity of its last iteration and the ability to watch DVD’s amongst the intense marketing of the console Sony had the industry by the balls and took the world by storm. I wasn’t impressed by what most PS2 had but, I did have the Dreamcast, GameCube and the Xbox plenty of my peers swore by this machine. I could see Nintendo was in dire straits and actually was starting to feel the pinch especially when Xbox started to gain ground with the rise of the Halo franchise along with the online culture starting to take hold in the home console market. Gamecube by the way of just not being able to recapture what they lost from a generation past was vastly underperforming. Though, Profits were still large simply because the company in its entirety still has money flowing into their vaults like a golden waterfall in Scrooge Mcduck’s gold chamber. Nintendo continued to garner more sales by creating such tech as the Gameboy player to tie in the portable market into their home console possibly to help the sales. At the end of it all regardless of countless deals brought together by collaborations and time exclusive deals it seemed while the Gamecube wasn’t a commercial success it also was not a complete failure. Much was learned in this generation and graphical ability and mature audiences wasn’t the bane to Nintendo’s dominance. It was much more to be learned but, some seeds were sown in Nintendo’s field like wireless controls. I believe if Nintendo had developed a better relationship with Nintendo the Gamecube would’ve succeeded much more so than it did. Nintendo came to the end of its second straight generation where it has lost more market share in the console market while remaining the king of the portable market remaining a financially solvent company.
Here Wii goooo! Like good old Mario would say the big N went in and had fun with this outing and that’s exactly what happened when the vastly underpowered Nintendo Wii was released for the 7th console generation. Arriving late to the party alongside the Sony PS3 after the year early released Xbox 360 Nintendo came out swinging with their Wii sports IP which helped the consumers to fully understand what Nintendo was out to do this time around. Fun was to be had with the new motion controllers with its wiimote and nun chuck and that is what happened. So, much the Wii actually brought in new types of gamers from the 6 years olds to the geriatric of gamers. Nintendo when creating this console decided to go their route from here on out though, spending big investments on cutting edge technologies wasn’t prudent on their financial ends. Microsoft and Sony have experienced losses producing their consoles in the hopes of making a long-term profit on software sales; Nintendo reportedly optimized production costs to obtain a significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold. So, they just added an extension of their previous hardware’s architecture and added revolutionary controls that are to change the game from here on out. Though it could not compete graphically with the two other consoles the sheer numbers of units sold rip the competition a new one so much so that they had to emulate some things that this little train that could brought to the table like motion controls. There were HD systems abroad brought to us by the Xbox360 and the Playstation 3 and the Wii was simply critically acclaimed games like the Mario Galaxy series, Wii sports, Wii party along with the extensive back catalog of Nintendo and other 8 to 16 third party developers for Nintendo’s own virtual console service. Kept this console off of the self because everyone had to have this new way of video gaming for 2 years it was very hard to acquire this title in North America. Through the world it broke records though as this generation was crazy long the limited power the Wii had started to putter due to the HD visuals and graphical powerhouses sold much more games and gained in population. The Wii still was the winner of Gen 7 and brought in so many new gamers into the market they also alienated their hardcore audiences the same ones that has been with them since the NES days.
Throughout this generation the Wii gave developers the chance to create new unknown experiences not used before which brought games exclusive to this console. It was amazing to see how in the mix of HD powerhouse a small tike like the Wii could out box them in providing the gaming community with unique pleasurable moments. We are in the 8th generation now it has just begun with the year early release of the Wii U in 2012 with PS4 and Xbox One releasing holiday 2013. The competition is steep and the Big N is still evolving their company in many ways why remaining profitable. While Sony and Microsoft’s consoles seemingly catching up on a full year of low sales from Nintendo. I believe it will be their newly enriched relationship with the independent developers that will make the Wii U future shine bright when its present might look bleak.
Thanks for staying with me I hope you enjoyed your stay.