FiringSquad:How much support does the company give to third parties who license the engine?
Eric Peterson:Initially support is purchased on a yearly basis. After the first year the licensee can elect to continue support on a monthly or quarterly basis. We supply the licensee with documentation and forum access. If an issue can’t be resolved through the forums or email, the issue is escalated to a phone call. These sorts of resolutions occur during normal business hours. On-site support would be the highest level of escalation if both parties agreed that it was necessary. Regarding fixes and enhancements to the current technology, we update the developers periodically with new improvements such as performance updates, bug fixes and some new features. We will continue to update to the latest compilers and system software versions on the consoles as well.
FiringSquad:Can you give us an idea of how many third parties have already licensed the Vicious Engine for their games?
Eric Peterson:There are quite a few developers that have signed up already and we plan on unveiling who they are once their titles are announced. Also, since our successful debut at GDC this year, we have been receiving even more contacts from potential customers and are putting our evaluation package into their hands so that they can see how powerful and robust our toolset actually is.
FiringSquad:What can you tell us about the license terms for the engine and how it compares to other game graphics engine?
Eric Peterson:Our engine is very comparable to the price of Gamebryo and RenderWare’s graphics engine as well as Virtools solution. We wanted to stay competitive with other packages with regards to cost even though we are offering more than just a graphics solution. With our technology you get everything you need to make a game from the ground up and for one price. We also include full source code with the purchase. Also worth mentioning is that when a license is purchased, the engine can be used for one game and one sku. Other skus can be added for a minor fee compared to the original skus purchase price. Overall, our goal is to keep the engine affordable so that all developers who have different budgetary needs can still utilize our technology.
FiringSquad:Are you planning to support next-generation consoles and higher PC hardware requirements in future versions?
Eric Peterson:Yes. We are currently PS3 and Xbox 360 approved developers and we are moving forward with middleware plans for both of those systems, as well as the newly announced Wii (aka Revolution). PC is always a supported hardware platform since we develop all of our titles on the PC from the ground up and we will continue to update our libraries to support all of the latest and greatest features.
FiringSquad:Besides Vicious Engine, what game projects is Vicious Cycle working on at the moment?
Eric Peterson:The only title that we can officially talk about is Monkey Bar’s next title and that is with D3Publisher, Inc. The title is for the new DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Features movie called Flushed Away. Vicious Cycle has other titles that are being geared towards the hardcore gamer and will be released later this year and early next year. One of the games that we currently have in production is an original intellectual property created and developed by Vicious Cycle. It is being debuted at E3 this year at D3Publisher, Inc.’s booth in the South Hall. Both Vicious Cycle and Monkey Bar will continue to work on licensed and original concepts as we move forward with new opportunities.
FiringSquad:Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Vicious Engine at this time?
Eric Peterson:We are licensing our technology for games, simulations and educational purposes. So if you need a fully featured engine and you are interested in checking out the Vicious Engine for any of our supported platforms, then you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website at www.viciousengine.comto get more details and inquire about trying an evaluation of our technology. Also, over the next few weeks, we will be updating our site with our GDC demo assets so that people can see our PSP screenshots first hand. John, thanks again for the opportunity to discuss our new division and look out for our latest games at E3!
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Hear that? It's the sound of the largest computer chip manufacturer in the world churning out new processors to power your gaming rig. This week, Intel is launching their next generation of Core CPUs, code-named Ivy Bridge. Like last year's Sandy Bridge chips, they're low-power, quad-core powerhouses that also feature integrated graphics processors. Want to find out more? Maybe check out a whole bunch of performance benchmarks on both the CPU and graphics sides of things? Well you can, in today's review!
Intel Z77 Chipset & DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview
Looking forward to those new Ivy Bridge CPUs? In anticipation of their release later this month, Intel has already unveiled the new Series 7 chipsets designed especially to take advantage of what will be the 3rd-generation of Core processors. In today's article, we take a look at the architecture of the enthusiast variant, the Z77, and how it's used in the Intel Desktop Extreme DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Even if you're not particularly interested in the motherboard itself, you'll probably want to see some of the new features that come along with it, so read on!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!