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We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 211

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We Want Your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

This month, Craig Leigh, who is helping make Fat Princess, tells us the benefits of having a curvier queen…

GM: Hi Craig, tell us what your role is on Fat Princess.

Craig: Hi GamesMaster, my role is the Lead Designer of Fat Princess. I try to take all of the creativity and good ideas of the team and funnel them into a workable and fun game!

GM: What happens in your typical working day?

Craig: Fat Princess is in the polish and debug phase and so my days are pretty hectic. A typical day is a combination of playing, reviewing and tweaking the mechanics of the game, and working with the team to ensure the experience is as fun and chaotic as possible.

GM: What’s the creative process like when thinking up an idea like Fat Princess? Did the pitches go well?

Craig: At Titan Studios, we all take part in the creative process and throw ideas into the pot when creating new gameplay mechanics and features. The original pitch for Fat Princess went incredibly well. We were discussing our ideas with Sony and they loved the concept so much that we started development shortly afterwards.

GM: Are the lovely ladies modelled on anybody in particular?

Craig: Well that would be telling wouldn’t it! I could not possibly say, I might get sat on and squished!

GM: Finally, any advice on how to enter the industry?

Craig: I originally started in Q.A. and worked my way up through the ranks. If you want to be a designer or level designer I would recommend trying to create mods for existing games as you will learn a lot from the process. The best piece of advice I can give is to join a development studio as soon as you can because there’s nothing better than hands on experience. And your mum is wrong – play a lot of games. You need to know your business!

GM: Thanks, Craig!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1: Two PS3 Debug stations so that I can play with myself all day.
2: My headphones as I need to rock out while developing.
3: PS3 wireless headset, I need to talk to my Fat Princess team to coordinate the attack. CHARGE!
4: Tea! I can’t live without at least 3 barrels of tea a day.
5: My “All Time Gaming Champions” trophy to remind my colleagues of my almost astonishing level of Bubble Bobble gaming domination.

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CAPTION: A PlayStation paradise. Keep your eye on Fat Princess, not that you could miss her, of course…

Review: Final Fantasy Fables Chococbo’s Dungeon – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 207

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OUT: NOW, PRICE: £29.99, DEV: SQUARE ENIX, PUB: SQUARE ENIX, ONLINE: YES, SPECIAL: TWO-PLAYER WIFI MODE, WEB: NA.SQUARE-ENIX.COM/FFFCD/, PLAYERS: 1 BEST BIT!
bestbit1CAPTION: Levelling up the different jobs is a welcome break from the Mystery Dungeon formulae!

FINAL FANTASY FABLES: CHOCOBO’S DUNGEON – Wii
STRAP: Chocobo serves up a real tweet…

Square Enix have been pretty cute with the title here as Chocobo’s Dungeon is, in fact, a Mystery Dungeon game. You should be familiar with them by now, randomly generated dungeons centred around a village hub amid searing, back breaking difficulty. Surprisingly though, Chocobo’s Dungeon works very well. It has a smattering of Final Fantasy nods with enemies like Cacatur’s and even a Cid, whilst a unique job system has been included, though we question the wisdom of only being able to select a job at the start of a dungeon and not switch throughout.

There are downsides to Chocobo. The randomly generated dungeons are all terribly similar meaning boredom will creep in on your visit to the fiftieth brown labyrinth, and the clammy hand of frustration will grab your shoulder when you come across an enemy unfairly stronger than you on the sixth floor, killing you and losing everything you’ve collected. The luke-warm story is told via tedious, patronising cutscenes and betrays the tough Role-Playing game mechanics, making Chocobo tough to love.

Still, it isn’t as painful as other Mystery Dungeon visits. You won’t lose all your levels when you die for instance, and there’s the opportunity to grind and level up the various jobs. Dungeons can have variety with fun challenges such as level restrictions and status handicaps, and there are other distractions in the way of online card battles and side-quests. Though unashamedly fan service, it’s a great starting point for those curious of how Mystery Dungeon works.

BOX 1
chocobo1CAPTION: Moogle’s make an appearance and help guide you on your quest!

BOX 2
chocobo2CAPTION: Although cute, Chocobo will constantly get his goose cooked.

BOX 3
chocobo3CAPTION: This bell is the problem; it keeps stealing the villager’s memories…

JUDGEMENT
GRAPHICS: 68%
Overly bright, fluffy and colourful, though disappointingly Dreamcast era.

GAMEPLAY: 75%
A quirky and unique RPG for Wii, but can get very repetitive at times.

LIFESPAN: 79%
Levelling up jobs and conquering dungeons will keep you coming back for more.

OVERALL:
73%
A great introduction to Mystery Dungeon for newcomers, a competent rent for others.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
BETTER THAN: Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked!
WORSE THAN: Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City (PIC: animal1.jpg)
WAIT FOR: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (TBA)
BEST PRICE: £24.99, Play.com

GamesMaster Magazine Issue 207 – CheatMaster Boxouts

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INTRO

Good God, Christmas already? We’d best get started then, quick, load up the sack of games with the biggest titles of 2008 and give it to Santa. Wait, we’ve capitalised the words God and Santa, does that mean that ol’ Chris Cringle is now a deity? He is in the eyes of many gamers who are undeniably spoiled this year with such a fine selection of games, and our mouths are watering at the prospect of tucking into these turkey sized feasts and pulling the cheats out of them like giblets. We wish you a merry Christmas here at CheatMaster, and a happy New Year!

GREATEST CHEATS EVER!

BANJO-KAZOOIE (N64)

YEAR OF RELEASE – 1998

PUBLISHER – Nintendo

With a brand new Banjo game doing the rounds, we thought we would reminisce on one of the strangest cheats of all. Head into the code menu on Banjo-Kazooie and type in ‘WISHYWASHYBANJO’ to turn the beefy bear into a washing machine, killing all around by firing underpants and socks at them. Rare thought they would be sneaky though and implemented a kind of cheat failsafe device. Use more than two cheats in the game and Grunty would delete all of the saved Banjo files from your memory card, the miserable old cow…

banjo_1CAPTION: Nice to see you’ve been busy in ten years old chum, swiping picnic baskets and the like…

YOUTUBE SOLUTION

CALL OF DUTY 4 – 360, PS3, PC

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FbYXV0UivpM

For our first Youtube Solution, we’re going to show you how to get one of the hardest achievements in modern gaming, finishing Mile High Club on Call of Duty 4, Veteran mode. Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, watch where to use your flash bangs and where to take cover in your quest to save the un-named hostage!

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SPOILER!
GEARS OF WAR 2 – 360

Losing the Light mass bomb is the least of Marcus’ problems as when the helicopter lifts him off the Brumak, it starts to mutate into a huge ugly mess. The team takes it down, realising the monster has the same explosive properties as the Wretches. As it blows, the city above collapses and the mountainside crumbles, forcing a huge tidal wave deep into the Earth killing off the remaining Locust and extinguishing the magma. Marcus tries in vain to contact Anya whilst his friends reminisce on their loved and lost, the Locust Queen’s narrative setting us up for Gears of War 3

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YOUR TOP 10 CHEATS

Share your top tips with us, the best one wins a game!

10: MABOSHI – Wii

NEW WALLPAPER

To unlock a new space background wallpaper, collect a million points for Mr. Maboshi. Points you’ve already collected for him if you get Game Over are carried over.

Sean Campbell, via email

09: FRACTURE – PS3, 360

NEW CAMPAIGN SKIN

On the main menu, press Up, Right, Left, Down, Up, Left, Right, Down on the Dpad to unlock a brand new skin for Campaign mode.

Tijn Janssen, via email

fracture1CAPTION: Jet Brody, solving global warming one grenade at a time.

08: BIOSHOCK – PC, PS3, 360

FREE HEALTH

Running low on health? Hit health stations with your wrench to get free health packs.

James Nixon, Stoke on Trent

bioshock1CAPTION: Big Daddies have stomped onto PS3!

07: DEAD SPACE –360, PS3, PC

MORE POWER NODES

Press start in the game and press Y, X, X, X, Y. You’ll now have two more power nodes but beware; you can only do this once per game!

Paul Spangler, Devon

deadspace1CAPTION: We wish there was a cheat to get the stains out of our pants…

06: SPIDER-MAN: WEB OF SHADOWS – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

UNLOCKABLE COSTUMES

Type these codes into the Insert Code option to unlock some new costumes!

VENOM COSTUME

Enter ‘IEATYOURBRAINS’.

MOON KNIGHT COSTUME

Enter ‘CRESTWARRIOR’.

RHINO COSTUME

Enter ‘MASSIVEHORN’.

Ralph Cerar, via email

spiderman1CAPTION: Use our cheats to unlock this hulking behemoth of a… er… Rhino?

05: LITTLEBIGPLANET – PS3

UNLOCKABLE PROPS

GOOGLY-EYED GLASSES

Complete the Sensei’s Lost Castle level.

PIRATE EYE PATCH

Complete the Level First Steps.

RINGMASTER TOP HAT

Complete The Meerkat Kingdom Level

MOUSTACHE

Finish Burning Forest.

Lauren Dombowsky, Winchester

lbp1CAPTION: Sackboy’s on top of the world in this PS3 smash hit!

04: LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, X360

SECRET CHARACTERS

Enter these codes on the Batcave computer to unlock the corresponding character:

SWAT OFFICER

HTF114

TROPICAL JOKER

CCB199

MAD HATTER

JCA283

MAN BAT

NYU942

Aaron Ferreira, Nottingham

03: FALLOUT 3 – PC, PS3, 360

UNLIMITED HACKING

As computer terminals shut down if you fail a hack after the fourth time, it’s an idea to pull out after the third failed attempt. It will reset the terminal and give you another three chances to get it right.

William Wong, Edinburgh

02: SAINTS ROW 2 – PC, PS3, 360

INFINITE AMMO

Finish the following missions to get infinite weapon ammo:

FUZZ, MISSION SIX (PROJECTS)
Infinite Pistol Ammo

ALL HITMAN LISTS

Infinite Rifle Ammo

SNATCH, LEVEL SIX (DOWNTOWN)

Infinite SMG Ammo

Earnest Vaillencourt, via email

01: FABLE 2 – 360

EASY MONEY

Buy the weapons shop in Bowerstone Old Town and buy a load of weapons from it at a discount. Head to the blacksmith at Bowerstone Market and sell them to him for a tidy profit! Just remember to restock your shop…

Timothy Ham, Greater Manchester

fable1CAPTION: Of course you can’t eat the dog. What kind of cheat request is that?

CONSOLETATION ZONE

GM – Coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

OKAMI – Wii, PS2

Dear GamesMaster
I’m very stuck on Okami because I am looking for the last Canine Warrior and when I go into Kamiki Village the Canine Tracker doesn’t pop up. Why is this happening? Please can you help me, I’m really bad at Okami.
From Max Caffyn-Parsons via E-mail

Don’t worry Max; Okami is a spiritual journey in itself, like a long and winding road. As you mentioned Kamiki, we’re going to assume you mean Chuyabusa, but it turns out that this is actually a clever ruse. Find the Ninja dog Hayabusa who is lying around and pester him until he mentions his hole digging record. Then head to the turnip patch and start digging, keeping the old lady away with an inkfinity stone. Grab the last turnip and take it to Mushi and pester Hayabusa until he reveals his true identity and challenges you to a fight.

okami1CAPTION: We wolf whistled when we saw Okami and still give it a play now and then!

POKEMON DIAMOND – DS

Dear GamesMaster

On Pokemon Diamond, I am stuck on getting the Riolu egg and finding other eggs, and where to find other Pokemon. Hope you can help? Thank you.

Sam and Janet Bonner, via E-mail

What a polite young man, of course we can help! The Riolu egg is on Iron Island, and to get there you will need to beat the fifth gym leader to reach Canclave City. Once there, you can get on the boat at the docks to reach Iron Island and meet Riley who you will need to help through a cave. Then you’ll have to beat some Team Galactic members and Riley will give you the egg (make sure you have an empty space in your party). It’ll take 3,000 steps to hatch and then you’ll be the owner of your very on Riolu!

CAPTIONS:

pokemon1What kind of mum lets their child wander poke-infested streets at 10pm? A bad one, that’s what.pokemon2If only all births were pedometer related…

Tomb Raider: Underworld Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 206

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We want your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

Lara’s bringing sexy back. Donning a swimsuit is a brave new direction for Tomb Raider, so we thought we’d ask Creative Designer Eric Lindstrom for his thoughts on Lara’s new adventure:

01: Hi Eric, tell us about your role on Tomb Raider: Underworld.

As the Creative Director of Tomb Raider: Underworld, I oversee all creative aspects of the game experience. I’m a game designer by trade, but as the Creative Director I need to keep the overall vision of the game strong, clear, and consistent, be it design, art, audio, or most importantly, the combination of these elements.

02: How did you go about getting the role of Creative Director? Was it sheer hard work or simply a love of games?

I’ve been in this industry for twenty years, and I worked hard for the first five before I got to lead a project. The biggest thing in my favour with Tomb Raider: Underworld was how much I value all aspects of a game, not just the design mechanics. Everything matters, and you need to give everything its due.

03: How much of your own personal creativity goes into games? Is it satisfying seeing the end results in motion?

Because Creative Directors don’t usually make content for games, there is very little I can point at and say, “I made that part.” Much of the framework of what you do is what I established early on with the small pre-production team. Seeing the end result of those images I had in my head early on is very exciting, what I see now is better than what I had imagined at the start.

04: Are you pleased with this latest imagining of Lara’s world? How much further can you take Lara?

We made her world bigger, better, more lush, and more exciting than ever before, and she can do a lot of amazing things. We did this by magnifying everything people had seen so far in the past couple games, so there are still plenty of different and intriguing places Lara Croft can go in the future.

05: Any advice for young mavericks looking to get noticed in the world of games?

Young developers have great ideas and we need them, but it takes a lot more than good ideas to make a great, successful game. If you’re smart, hard working, and willing to learn, you’ll get noticed. If you want to succeed, bring your brains, your energy, your love for games, and a desire to learn what the industry already has learned, and you’ll be in the best position to jump on opportunities when they come.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

01: Lara Croft: her watchful eyes keep me honest.

02: Water: I drink a lot of it.

03: Notepad: still the best organizer around.

04: Origami: folding paper quiets the mind and keeps me sane.

05: Guinness: ’nuff said!

ericlindstrom_wwyj

CAPTION: Look at all that Origami! Maybe Eric should start his own paper-view channel…

‘Buy It!’ Page – Liverpool.com Magazine November 2008 Issue Double Spread

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Phone skills are paramount for Buy It, on this occasion I had the near impossible job of contacting Disney and Samsonite for product images. My perseverance paid off though, as you can see below!

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Reviews – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 199

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Sins of a Solar Empire: Real-time Strategy, Unrivalled Scale Collectors Edition review:
Try reading a Klingon phone book, learning the number of every individual and writing it all out again from memory. Sins of a Solar Empire can be just as confusing, initial tutorials tell you how to politically police entire galaxies and expect you to manage whilst under constant attack. The steep learning curve however makes it immensely satisfying when your space fleet flattens other races as you vie for control of the expansive galaxies. Give it time and you’ll find a deep, involving Real-time strategy game that’ll last you for months.

Format: PC
Out: NOW
Developer: Ironclad
Publisher: Stardock
Players: 1-10

Caption: Research your ships to maximum potential to conquer the galaxy.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 86%

Comment: Not for casual play, but big enough to block up a black hole.

Sega Superstars Tennis:
Not so much the cream of the Sega character roster, more like a glass of warm milk. Sega Superstars Tennis would be a good tennis game, if it concentrated on the tennis. Shots lack accuracy and finesse and whilst the Tournament mode can be finished in a day. Some mini-games are cute and actually challenging, we particularly liked directing Chu’s into a rocket for blast off, reminiscent of Chu-chu Rocket, but these can’t compensate for a pretty average tennis game, especially at the price.

Format: DS
Out: NOW
Price: £29.99
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sega
Players: 1-4

Caption: A tired and dejected Sonic wonders what his next outing will bring.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 64%

Comment: Fun mini-games, but these can’t keep the rest of the game afloat.

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer review:
Mystery Dungeon
isn’t for everyone. Though similar to most role-playing games, it also offers some drastic differences. Randomly generated dungeons greet your quest to reach the Golden Condor atop an unreachable mountain, turn based battling harks back to the SNES days of the series and the weapon upgrade offers depth. When you die however, it’s game over. No excuses. You start from the beginning minus all levels and items which is frustrating, especially if you run into foes ten times stronger than you. Only for gamers with masses of patience.

Format: DS
Out: NOW
Price: £29.99
Developer: Chunsoft
Publisher: Sega
Players: 1-2

Caption: Going into battle means you could progress further or lose everything you’ve grinded for.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 67%

Comment: A journey littered with pits and troughs, but can be rewarding if you give it time.

Ford Off Road Racing review:
Although essentially a Ford car overload, Ford Off Road Racing isn’t half bad. The cars feel solid and weighted like real off road vehicles and it’s variety of challenges add longevity. Modes include Career mode, Elimination races and Time trials amongst others, set against usual rally backdrops of deserts and forests. However, the only reason to keep going back is to increase the amount of Ford cars in your showroom and the wide tracks can sometimes take the competition out of a race. Not bad, but nothing to rev your engine for.

Format: PSP
Out: NOW
Price: £19.99
Developer: Razorworks
Publisher: Xplosiv
Players: 1-2

Caption: Ford enthusiasts will love the range of cars available to unlock.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 76%

Comment: A solid little racer that handles well, but doesn’t pull away from the pack.

Peggle Review:
Big and bright like Bonfire night, Peggle is addictive high scoring fun. The aim is to clear the screen of Orange pegs with magical assistance from your animal tutors. Greed for Higher scores and increasingly difficult level design will ensure you keep coming back, but Peggle doesn’t reward skill. It leaves you to casually fire a ball into a crowd of pegs and hope for the best. It can be fun and terribly compulsive, but we can’t help feel there’s nothing more than pointing, clicking, and hoping.

Format: PC
Out: NOW
Price: £10
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Players: 1-2

Caption: Top up the Fever meter for explosive high scores!
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 83%
Comment: Addictive play for the score junkie and a fun distraction for everyone else.

Major Minor Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 205

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We Want Your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business

Early one morning, we heard the music notes from new Wii title Major Minor’s Majestic March wafting across the ocean all the way into the GM office. With the likes of Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy under his belt, we talked to Tanaka-san, founder of NicoLabo about his latest project.

1: Hi there Tanaka-san, tell us about your role on Major Minor.

I’m the Project Lead/Art Director.


2: Project leader is a pretty important role, how did you get to such a position?

I had been working for NanaOn-Sha as a graphic designer for 10 years until I created my own game company, NicoLabo 2 years ago. Of-course, most projects I’ve been involved with have been music games, and because of those experiences, I was entrusted to do this important role.

3: Parappa and Vib Ribbon are cult hits worldwide because of their unique music and style. Are you hoping for similar results with Major Minor?

Of course, MajorMinor is a new game developed by NanaOn-Sha, a pioneer in the music game genre.
We’re sure that we will present a new form of musical experience with this game.


4: Will the Wii controls be suited to this gaming format? How different will it be compared to other games on the system?

As a game input device, the Wii-remote is very interesting. Sensory input devices affect the play experience of music games. The infra-red function is an attractive point, but we chose to only
use the motion sensing function this time. I think you can feel why when you play the game!


5: Can you offer any tips to youngsters looking to get into the gaming business?

I think some people might go mad…. but if you want to work in the games industry, please don’t be playing video games all the time! I think it’s important to be interested and have knowledge in various
kinds of things. Often the origins of the most interesting concepts come from something completely unrelated to games. Being interested in various things, having diverse experiences, and then if there are some things you want to express and create, please think about how to make them appealing. Incidentally, if you do choose “gaming”, I hope to have a chance to work with you!


5 Items –

1.Vaio Laptop: I do most of my work with this.
2.Plant: I love plants for relaxation.
3.Coffee cup: I need to drink tea and coffee to keep my sanity!
4.ipod: Music is part of my work.
5.Power stone set(crystal and amethyst): My mum gave me this last year.