Splash DamageMarch 2009

March 2009

Chris Sweetman's GDC Talk Slides Available for Download

If you missed Audio Director Chris Sweetman's talk on Weapon Audio Design at GDC last week, we now have it available for download here on the site. All you have to do is head over to our newly glued together Publications section and grab the PowerPoint slides from there. Related, if you have any questions for Chris on the subject, feel free to stick them in the comments - he'll hop in there when he makes his glorious return to Castle Splash Damage next week.

Bang! Chris Sweetman to Speak About Weapon Audio at GDC 2009

Splash Damage's Audio Director Chris 'peaceful warrior' Sweetman will be giving a lecture at GDC 2009 in San Francisco later in the week. Aptly titled 'Weapon Sound Design', Chris will be sharing his approach for designing excellent weapon audio, fine-tuned during his rather long career in games which includes gun-laden titles like BLACK and SWAT. In addition, Chris will discuss how to prevent audio clutter (such as when multiple enemies are engaging the player at once), and share ways to evolve sounds to convey things like player mood and story progression.

The lecture is scheduled for March 27 at 11:10 AM local time and recommended for anyone even remotely interested in the noise guns make in games. For those who won't be able to attend it in person, we'll be making the presentation available here on the site at that time.

Play QUAKE Wars with PC Gamer and Splash Damage, Part Deux

Since everyone involved in our last PC Gamer/Splash Damage/community showdown had such a blast, we're getting together for another round on the 31st of March. Everything's set to start off at 7 PM that day and if you want in, just join the PC Gamer Steam Group - server IPs (there'll be more than one this time!) and passwords will be distributed via the group's chat room just before kickoff. We hope to see you there!

Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... Wars and Sequels

The latest edition of Currently Hurling is here and packed with new releases! After the rather quiet patch that was January, a truckload of great new games including Dawn of War II, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars, Resident Evil 5, Empire: Total War, Men of War and of course Killzone 2 has arrived and they all need to be played.

Without further ado, let's get to the Good Stuff and find out what we've been playing:

Jamie 'Fishbus' Manson (Level Designer):
Welp. I’ve had a good time with some new games over the past couple of weeks. For starters I got to play Killzone 2 with 4 of us in the same room on four PlayStations. It was pretty ridonkulous to say the least, but it was indeed very fun. The graphics for the game is simply staggering in most areas; I can’t get enough of the light-exposure-burn-in-your-eyes effect!

PC Action Names QUAKE Wars One of the Best FPS Games Ever

German gaming magazine PC Action has put together a list of what they think are the 33 best first person shooters of all time. We're delighted to see Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars on the list and all the way up at #11, snuggling up to BioShock. To see which other games they included, check out the full list on PC Action's website.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Neil 'exedore' Alphonso

exedoreThe latest staff member to roll up and down our list of pointed questions is Neil 'exedore' Alphonso who apparently climbed aboard the Splash Damage rope recently as Lead Level Designer. Prior to coming to Splash Damage, Neil worked at Guerilla Games on Killzone 2 for the PlayStation 3 and previously had his brush-building hands in the original Splinter Cell as well as Duke Nukem Forever.

To find out how Neil ended up at Splash Damage, his thoughts on the evolution of level design, and why he thinks that QUAKE is the best thing ever, row your mouse kayak over to the full interview in this profile.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Luis 'Leftie' Alvarado

LeftieContinuing our epic series of staff interviews, we chat with our Graphics Programmer Luis 'Leftie' Alvardo. Luis is said to be 100% Spanish and joined Splash Damage earlier this year, after previously punching game code in the face in Don King Presents: Prizefighter and tinkering with a variety of mobile phone and unnamed other console games.

To find out how Luis ended up in the games industry and, indeed, at Splash Damage, what he does all day long, his previous work, and being a part-time painter/composer/photographer, you can either phone him up or read the full interview in his profile.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Jamie 'Fishbus' Manson

FishbusThe fearless face of the latest episode of our happy meal-sized series of staff interviews is Level Designer Jamie 'Fishbus' Manson, who, unlike what his name may suggest, is not actually a vehicle filled with marine life. What he is, though, is the pair of hands behind the popular Team Fortress 2 map cp_steel, which has served as the battleground of choice for at least several of our lunch-time TF2 sessions. And now the man is here and making maps for whatever it is we're working on, while being forced to talk like Sean Connery at all times.

To find out more about Jamie, how he ended up at Splash Damage, his work on cp_steel, and why he owns every Sims 2 expansion ever made, drive over to his dolphin-friendly profile.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Matt 'Anti' Lowe

AntiOur series of staff interviews is back from the winter hiatus! First to take the interrogatory plunge in 2009 is Production Coordinator Matt 'Anti' Lowe, seen here donning his lucky charm helmet (which he does wear at all times when in the office, obviously). Matt's job here at Splash Damage is to basically clear all manner of metaphorical and physical obstacles facing the development team, so that they can get on with the whole game making thing in a fairly efficient manner.

To find out more about Matt, how he ended up at Splash Damage, and how he came suffer his black eye, roll any intact eyeballs you might have towards the full interview in his profile.

Killzone 2 Lead Level Designer Joins Splash Damage

We're very excited to announce that Neil Alphonso, most recently Lead Level Designer on the excellent Killzone 2, has joined Splash Damage. Neil is now in charge of our team of Level Designers and will direct their efforts for our new (and still unannounced) title with Bethesda Softworks. Aside from Killzone 2, Neil also level designed for the first Splinter Cell game on the original Xbox as well as Duke Nukem Forever and is a rather smart chap who's Seen It All (at least when it comes to level design).

For all the relevant details, quotes and line breaks, check out the official press release.

ESL Announces Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Spring Leagues

The European arm of the Electronic Sports League has announced its Spring 2009 leagues for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. The leagues come in 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 flavors, each with its own map list and set to kick off on May 24th (which is just a few days before ET's six year anniversary, actually). If you want to get in on the action, now's a great time to do so so as sign ups are open and being accepted until March 21st.

And if you're interested but just can't get your head around this whole ESL business, check out their handy Starter Guide.

Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... Pro Evo Saints Batman Unleashed

We're moving into the holiday season full steam ahead and for the first time since, well, the last holiday season, great new releases are flooding the market on a weekly basis. LEGO Batman, Saints Row 2, FIFA 09, and Pro Evo Soccer are out already and with Fable 2, Far Cry 2 and Dead Space, the next round of big budget titles is already waiting in the wings. We'll be doing our best to stay on top of the impending madness and may even have to increase the frequency of Currently Hurling to make sure each wave of new titles gets to be covered here on the blog.

Anyway, this week Senior Environment Artist Mark 'static_mover' Lack makes his blog debut with what's arguably the most concise entry ever, while Huntle salivates over Saints Row 2 and jRAD hates on the "Million Points" levels in the LEGO series. Let the games begin: