As promised, here is the Q&A our very own LunarDuality did with the makers of the recently released Commanders: Attack of the Genos. Both Terry Coleman [TC], Sr. Producer at Sierra Online, and Daniel Jeppsson [DJ], Lead Programmer on Commanders: Attack of the Genos and Technical Director at SouthEnd Interactive were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions.
[XBLArcade.com] For many reasons (some more obvious than others) Sierra Online has had a very strong presence on XBLA. What drives Sierra to be a strong leader (especially in new IP) on the platform? And what keeps you coming back with more?
[TC] Our philosophy is that we make the best game we can, and put that game on the platforms best suited for it. We felt that Commanders was not only a natural fit for PC download, but that it would also work on Xbox LIVE Arcade, because there wasn’t anything quite like it on that platform. The advantage of XBLA is that you have the power of an Xbox 360, yet the platform lends itself to doing games which are less hardcore and therefore more accessible.
This in turn allows us to do a wide variety of games, and to take some chances. If you look at our portfolio, we’ve done puzzle games (Boogie Bunnies), space games (Battlestar Galactica), casual sports games (3D Ultra Mini-Golf), turn-based strategy games (Commanders), and even a Role-Playing/Adventure game (Arkadian Warriors). We’ve had a number of games which have sold well and some, like Switchball and Assault Heroes, which have even won awards. So, we’re excited to be a leader on XBLA, and we’ll continue to do games which use the platform to its best advantage.
Check out the rest of the Q&A after the break...
Let me start by thanking everyone who entered, it was certainly our biggest contest yet with 80 people entering. We've picked the winner's randomly and here they are:
If you are on this list and haven't received an email to the address you have set up on the site, please let me know. As for the rest of Commanders week, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we've had to delay it. Expect the Q&A to be out early on Monday with the "tournament" to be shortly after.
Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest.
If you really cared you probably already knew, but just in case you have a press release fetish I'm posting the weekly press release after the break. If nothing else, it does have links to the xbox.com pages, and that's something.
What I really want to know though is who is buying?
Oh, and there's a bunch of screenshots after the break too. (Was that important to mention?)
My magic touch strikes again. I claim full responsibility for Discs of Tron finally arriving. I did recently call its absence a "debacle", after all. Apparently, someone at the top read that and said, "Get that game out, now!" That's right. All me.
I'm sure that I'm also totally responsible for Commanders: Attack of the Genos arriving this week but I just can't figure out how yet. Give me some time.
While I get my brain warmed up let me explain just how we know about our Wednesday haul in advance this week. With Discs of Tron, Disney was kind enough to go the press release route. Riveting, I know. With Commanders, Sierra slipped up by actually putting a (presumably) accurate release date on the game's info page. And there you have it.
What's your poison: giving your opponents the derezzing treatment with a swift toss or methodically dismantling their armored vehicle division?
Sierra Online's Official Commanders: Attack of the Genos Site has a nice video and some screenshots to whet your turn-based appetites.
(BTW, the game's title did indeed add "of the Genos" back onto the end despite referring to it as just "Commanders: Attack!" for a while there.)
The release of the Poker Smash achievements come on the heels of Void Star Creations confirmation of the game's release for next week. But look at what else we have here -- a bevy of unreleased games with achievements. Could these be indications of their impending releases? Just ignore the whole Discs of Tron debacle and work with me here. Okay, fine. Don't. Don't get needlessly excited for games that won't see the light of day for who knows how long. Be a party pooper.
The rest of us (those who dream big dreams and are filled with everlasting hope) will be hanging out after the break, checking out all the achievement details. But you're not invited anymore. So there. You don't get to hear about Triggerheart Exelica, Commanders: Attack!, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil, Poker Smash, or N+. I don't mention War World though...I'm afraid to jinx it.
Direct links to each game's achievement list after the break.
Sierra Online (a division of Vivendi Games) has been a strong supporter of the XBLA platform. Go figure, since their leader, Ross Erickson, comes straight from the XBLA mothership. Even so, this has become an embarrassment of riches.
Adding to their list of four previously announced XBLA games (Arkadian Warriors, Battlestar Galactica, Commanders: Attack!, and Switchball), Sierra has just announced an on-rails shooter titled Aces of the Galaxy and a Bust-A-Move-style puzzle game, Boogie Bunnies.
Previews of all of their games have gone up on IGN and can be found through this single handy-dandy page.
Thankfully (for my wallet), Boogie Bunnies is slated for Q1 2008 and Aces of the Galaxy has a vague "winter" release scheduled (meaning sometime before February of 2008).
Add to the revelations above the fact that Commanders: Attack! has lost its emphasis and added some words to become simply (or not so simply), Commanders: Attack of the Genos. I guess Sierra lost that little game of chicken with Screwjumper!.
After the break, a list of the remaining horribly vague release dates stated by IGN.
[via IGN, thanks Blue_Falcon]
The ESRB got a tad jealous when it found my little love letter to the USK hidden under my pillow. It was upset (understandably) and after the screaming and breaking things concluded it went about trying to reclaim my affections. And thus, a new rating.
This time, it's Commanders: Attack! coming in at an E10+. Of course, it didn't include the "!" so maybe it's been dropped. We shall see.
All these ratings make me wonder what poor game will come out next week, hidden under the shadow of a certain retail game released this Tuesday. Any ideas?
Usual list of ESRB lurkers post-breakage.
[via the ESRB]
Sierra Online isn't holding back. Ross Erickson and crew aren't going to sit idly by while Mr. Erickson's former colleague Greg Canessa touts PopCap's status as the "#1 Developer on XBLA" and steals the spotlight. Oh no. The glove has come off and has been slapped across Canessa's face as Erickson "demands satisfaction".
Okay, so maybe I embellished that a bit (read: made it all up) but in a move worthy of Activision, Sierra Online has buckled up in their XBLA car and stomped on the gas. And that means videos. Videos of games we're dying to play. Games like Commanders: Attack! and Red Baron. Games that can't come soon enough. And thus, I present to you, the Sierra Gamer's Week XBLA Video Jamboree 2007! Woo!
Commentary after the break.
[via GameTrailers, thanks for the initial tip Shaolin Munkeh]
Since I've been horribly backlogged with tips and other stories I thought I'd turn this into a regularly occurring feature. It's an easy way for me to catch up and also harness your collective tipster skillz.
So, here's what's been happening around the XBLA world that I haven't had the chance to share:
Sierra Online, a huge supporter of XBLA (see: Assault Heroes, Carcassonne, 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures), has given TeamXbox an exclusive advanced look at their E3 XBLA lineup. The coverage details three of Sierra Online's upcoming XBLA games (one we knew about, one we had a hunch about, and one out of the blue).
Maybe this strong XBLA push by Sierra Online has something to do with Ross Erickson's move from Microsoft to Sierra Online in February? Hmm, I wonder.
Who's excited (besides me, that is)?
[via TeamXbox, thanks to everyone that sent this in!]
Blurbs about each of the games and links to the screenshot galleries after the break.