GDC 2015: Escalator Pitch

Everyone tries to take the escalator in the Moscone Center during GDC. It’s the most convenient way to get to appointments, talks, meetings, bathrooms, whatever. But not everyone knows how to use the escalator properly, causing a much longer ride than expected. Let’s imagine this: you’re standing next to a big wig investor visiting GDC with sights on finding the next hot game idea. Since no one is moving up the escalator, you have one minute to wow this wealthy investor. Thus creating the escalator pitch.

Destructoid plays the fancy, rich moneybags and challenges indie developers and the like to pitch whatever they want. We’ll decide if the idea is worthy of our millions.

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GDC 2015: DLC – Daily Lunch Chronicles

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is the epicenter for new innovations and thoughtful discussions about the games industry. It is also houses some of the worst convention center food. In this series, Destructoid takes you out to lunch and chats about our experiences throughout the day, all over some delicious non-Moscone Center food. Bon appétit!

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Á La Cartridge: The First Seasoning

One day, Destructoid’s features editor Steven Hansen, US notary Troy Henry, and Apple retail specialist Kenny Redublo thought it was a good idea to start a cooking show. It was a cooking show based on the question, “what does this video game taste like?” Loosely based.

We made six episodes for Destructoid, established a weird Twitter, Vimeo, and Tumblr.

The seventh episode has quite the cliffhanger…

Stay hungry, you filthy animals.

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NOS and Crave Online find the cure for sleep

After chugging a few NOS energy drinks, Crave Online had the jittery idea to break a world record at E3. It involved no sleep, fighting games and a tent full of energy. Fatalities and X-Rays were included too. Fueled by energy drinks and the lust for punching someone in the face, four gamers banded together to wreck the Guinness World Record of “Most Consecutive Hours Played of a Fighting Video Game.”

And wreck they did.

Located just shy of the convention center, NOS energy drinks and Crave Online collaborated to shatter this world record and get some E3 attendees the energy they need for the expo.

“We provide the gamers and NOS provides the fuel needed for this attempt,” said Nicole Chavez, senior marketing manager for Crave Online. “There is no better fit for this record attempt than Crave and NOS.”

Starting on June 7, the first day of the show, Lance J. Moose, Melissa Estuesta, Cristopher Bryant, and Paul Chillino started their attempt to break the world record of 30 consecutive hours of play.

Playing the newest iteration of Mortal Kombat, they were set for 31 hours to beat the record, but shot for 38-40.

“We wanna be able to show others that if you wanna beat our record, you have to work for it,” said Chillino.

Chillino has stuck with the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter series from the very beginning and though just a casual player, is interested in taking his skills into the tournament scene.

Though mainly a Call of Duty: Black Ops gamer and longtime Ghost Recon fan, his fighting game love has rekindled with the latest release of Mortal Kombat.

“The series has really gone back to its roots with all the blood, guts and glory,” said Chillino.

The idea of breaking a world record at E3 came from the creative director and the sales representative of Crave Online in order to hone in on big gaming events and gain a larger presence, according to Chavez.

The internal teams at Crave Online collaborated with their community to find the best gamers for the record attempt.

The whole sleepless affair was live streamed on Crave’s website with interaction from the viewers through their twitter as well. Viewers had their tweets echoed to the gamers through the host of the live stream to give the gamers some motivation throughout their noble attempt at greatness.

NOS and Crave Online found the cure for sleep and it’s quite record breaking.

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @

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Relentless Software goes smaller on iPhone and Kinect

Buzz devs Relentless Software get back into the quiz game foray with Quiz Climber, their first iPhone game that feeds the inner quiz addict with persistent social network integration and the lust for bragging rights.

Relentless Software Executive Directors David Amor and Andrew Eades are also working with Microsoft and their Kinect Fun Labs program to develop Music in Motion (tentative title), a Kinect project that makes air guitar look legitimately acceptable and fun.

With Music in Motion, Relentless uses the Kinect to superimpose guitars, drums and keyboards onto the “musicians” while they air-shred, air-solo or air-dazzle the party to five different types of music including disco and country.

“Air banjo is what the world has been waiting for,” said Amor.

Amor explained that Music in Motion won’t hold your hand since the actions of playing air instruments are usually natural.

“You don’t have to say ‘here’s what you need to do,’” said Amor. “Just go ahead and jam and see what instruments you can find.”

What the Fun Labs program is helping Relentless and the Kinect community out with is showcasing the potential alternative uses the device holds. Kinect games don’t necessarily have to be retail-size experiences and by making these “toys” and games smaller and experimental, Kinect can reach a more global audience.

“There’s no scores, there’re no levels,” said Eades. “It’s more an experience.”

Relentless have been on the smaller game track with their last project, Blue Toad Murder Files, premiering as an episodic PlayStation Network and PC downloadable title. Staying on the “smaller is better” track,Quiz Climber for the iPhone stays true to that purpose.

As these quiz game veterans have refined they craft, putting that experience on the iPhone is the logical step forward. In making their games a universal appeal for gamers and non-gamers, Quiz Climber plays out like the familiar and simple “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” formula. What keeps players coming back is the Facebook integration. The constant reminders of friends on a higher question than you fuels that lust for bragging rights.

“There’s something compelling about when you wake up and you see that little red badge [on the iPhone],” said Amor. “It drives you to go back in.”

With weekly updates for relevant questions and persistent Facebook integration, Quiz Climber will have some pull in the App Store on July 14 when it releases.

At Relentless, their purpose is to create games that have universal appeal and that anyone can get into. With Music in Motion and Quiz Climber, that purpose still stands.

“You don’t need to understand the language of video games to play our games,” said Eades. “We use the language of TV or something [familiar] to give people the leg up and understand what they’re supposed to do.”

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @

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No touching my VisionBalls

Ever wanted to use your iPad but don’t have enough stupid hands to multitask? No? Alright then. Do even have an iPad? Well, that’s too bad. I’m still gonna tell you about this new tech though so deal with it.

According to the grocery store copy machine flyer given to me at this show floor demo, literally sitting on the floor, “building upon the spatial-tracking success of the best-selling applications Wall Painter and Home Decorator,” this middleware will use the front facing camera in the iOS devices and enable motion tracking for use in games and apps. But seriously, Wall PainterHome DecoratorBest selling.

Demonstrating the tech in a basketball game VisionBall, the camera is able to detect the depth of your hand and individual fingers and gestures like shooting a basketball will, obviously, shoot a basketball. The tech is very similar to early EyeToy games and, more recently, Kinect games… like Sports Champions.

The tech has been in development for six months now by one single man, Joel Teply. According to his representatives, Teply is in deals to collaborate with CNN and Pixar. Yeah.

The demo tech was made in a week before E3 and had some hitches especially with the convention center lighting. There were multiple options to fully calibrate the tech and by multiple options, I mean sliders. Like Jerry O’Connell’s run on FOX, these won’t make it into the final product. Janky is where the tech stands right now but still, motion controls is the equivalent to a VD for video games.

Where this tech’s real focus was was at WWDC, showing off its VisionBalls to the heads of Apple and getting some great buzz from developers, according to Nathan Evans, project manager at Digital Rising. This E3 demo was just to show that something is coming and in the works. I don’t blame them for having troubles with the tech since the rush it had endured, but to prove that there is something in the works is beneficial. I still stand by my views on motion control in games but as a use in different applications like navigating through the OS, I can see the potential. I’m lazy so waving my hands around and actually having those actions do something seems beneficial, especially lying down in bed just inches away from my computer.

Upon further discussion with Evans, the main difference between this tech and Kinect is that it isn’t tacked onto an otherwise controller based navigation system. iOS implements all touch so this tech’s finger recognition might prove better than Kinect’s often janky navigation.

Kinect comparisons aside, this tech is still work in progress but the potential still stands in making every iPad user a bit more lazier. Seeing the VisionBall demo didn’t very much pique my interest, due to its early bugs and unsurprising game concept, but if this tech can get us closer to that “Minority Report” style of navigation, as what the Move and Kinect initially promised, I’m all for it.

Until then, shoot some VisionBalls, paint some walls and decorate some homes. Just don’t touch me.

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @

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Unexpectations: E3 2011 Day 1 “So says Mr. Destructoid…”

Day 1:

Gas. Brake. Traffic. I thought 9:30 in the morning would be more than sufficient for clear roads. Of course, I was wrong. The usual 45 minute drive turned into an hour and a half of me cursing every congested junction I pass. I just wanted to get to E3 already!
Well, after a strenuous test of patience, I had finally arrived… to a four block trek.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

First walk of the expo

Not too bad considering the beautiful weather. For someone who doesn’t really know the existence of time before noon, I had quite the bit of energy. It was the E3 energy.
Dressed in my best bowtie and vest, I was ready to ham it up as Mr. Destructoid. To strut was my calling and to pose was my purpose.

Fresh out of the Nintendo press conference, I met Jesse “Tactix” Cortez, the ever great Dtoid SF community manager and most of the Dtoid team.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Always be busy

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Work work

The burning excitement was still ever lasting from the press conference, with the Wii U announcement and other Nintendo charm in the eyes of the staff. It was really great to see that common glee for video games instead of getting blank stares.

Having some spare time before I get into some mascot hijinks, I got to tour the expo floor. Due to me being excessively ready with camera equipment, Niero asked me to tour the Nintendo booth since that is what would be the hype of the day, coming fresh out of the presser. And focus I did.

Lines galore and pretty ladies tethered with tech, the Nintendo booth and its pretty lights was a warm welcome to E3. With tons of demos and the Wii U actually playable, give or take, the booth seemed to take the attendee saturation statistic.

The wait time signs proved no hinderance to eager attendees, while some just wanted the “experience.”

As the booth started to fill, the girl holding the Wii U controller I had previously talked to became surrounded by overly anxious photographers, taking awkwardly close photos of the controller near her crotch.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Calm before the storm

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Never mind that hottie, that's the effin' Wii U!

A look of discomfort was shot across the lurchers to me, in which all I could return was sympathy. So sorry, miss.

As I frolicked the floor, I couldn’t find the urge to stop myself and just play something. I was on a roll to just get footage of everything. I was addicted to footage. Video games were a second priority and I had no idea why. It was the journalist in me branching out. I also got to give Jeff Gerstmann and Vinny Caravella of Giant Bomb greatness my business card! Alright!

But I still did manage to break away from coverage lust to play Dance Central 2. I can’t express the joy I felt dancing to Montell Jordan’s ‘This is How We Do It.’ It is just ‘how we do it.’ I was also really happy to find out that one of the dancers remembered me from last E3. Not one for goodbyes, I told them I’ll be back… wearing a robot head.

It was time to don the mask. And a role it was.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

You know. Robot business.

Being silent in that head as I followed Jesse’s feet around the floor, all I could think about was that Sanford and Son theme song to motivate my strut. It worked, since I heard some ladies say, “I like how the robot walks!” Success.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Mission accomplished.

So I posed and strutted and apparently met quite a few people. I think I met the head of Gaijin Games. That would explain that Commander Video pin I had on me.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Dtoid Royality Hollie Bennett

Photo by Kenny Redublo

The infamous bastard himself, Mr. Caffeine.

I danced to Glee songs that Jesse would sing. Apparently, Glee is a thing.

Ladies love cool Mr. Destructoid according to all the photos I saw after my tour of the floor. I couldn’t really see any of them but hamming it up as I pointed and posed as cheesy as can be was the best part of being Mr. Dtoid.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Also, cocktails.

As the first day of E3 ended, I was sweaty and fancy all over, but the night hadn’t even begun. And did it ever have its lasting effects.

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