category_outlined / Tech & Gaming

Edge May 2016

The authority on videogame art, design and play, Edge is the must-have companion for game industry professionals, aspiring game-makers and super-committed hobbyists. Its mission is to celebrate the best in interactive entertainment today and identify the most important developments of tomorrow, providing the most trusted, in-depth editorial in the business via unparalleled access to the developers and technologies that make videogames the world’s most dynamic form of entertainment.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues


access_time2 min.
keep your eyes on the watch as it moves back and forth…

We’ve known for a long time about the unusual effects VR hardware can have on some of us – disorientation, nausea, and so on – but it also seems to have the power to inspire strange behaviours among the people driving these technologies. Take Jeff Stafford, senior staff software engineer at Sony Computer Entertainment America, for example. As one of the key people behind the forthcoming PlayStation VR, Stafford shares responsibility for building hype around Sony’s hardware in the face of fearsome competitors. And yet he was happy to admit recently that the product his team will ship in October is suboptimal. “[In the future] we’re going to try and improve every aspect of it,” he said. “Get it lighter, smaller form factor, easier to use. Of course people want…

access_time5 min.
lionhead: game over

As a band of knights approach Camelot in Monty Python And The Holy Grail, we see their leader change his mind. “On second thought,” King Arthur says, “let’s not go to Camelot. ’Tis a silly place.” It’s a description that fits many of the older UK studios. You know the ones I mean: the Frontiers, the Rebellions, the Codemasterses. They are silly places, amusing places, inspiring and occasionally aggravating places. They’re places caught between the past and the future, places whose signature games we remember fondly and whose transgressions we often forgive. Why? Because they’re the places with spirit in a modern industry that often lacks it. Modern studios are factories, measuring every interaction and mathematically tuning their games like a Vegas casino might. Many have forgotten (or never learned) the…

access_time12 min.
maker’s mark

You’d be forgiven for thinking you know Ubisoft inside out. This, after all, is a company with a reputation for announcing its games early and then doing its best to make it impossible for you to forget about them. Those that it does intend to keep under wraps, meanwhile, still find their way into the news through leaks. And there is such obvious connective tissue linking its games (particularly open-world ones) that after a while everything about Ubisoft begins to feel a little too familiar. But we don’t know it all, a fact made clear when we’re told shortly after walking through the doors of Ubisoft Montreal that 80 per cent of projects in development at its flagship studio are yet to be announced. It’s made even clearer by the reason…

access_time5 min.
reanimating r-type

The legendary shoot ’em up R-Type has reached beyond its arcade origins to land on everything from Sinclair’s ZX Spectrum to Nintendo’s Game Boy, but Irem’s game has never been realised in animation form before. Paul Johnson tells us why, and how, he’s doing it. Your R-Type animation has attracted a lot of attention as a ‘fan project’, but you’re an animator by trade, right? I guess I am now. I studied Japanese at Sheffield University, and when I graduated I thought that speaking Japanese meant I could become a translator of Japanese. I did a few games and novels, but unless you want to largely take on 50,000-page contracts for patents for new battery chargers, there’s really not much work in that space. It was looking like I was going to…

access_time1 min.
fergus mcgovern

1965–2016 Much-loved Britsoft pioneer Fergus McGovern – pictured here as immortalised via the ‘Fergality’ in the Mega Drive version of Mortal Kombat 2 – passed away in February, aged 50. Often branded as a ‘whizzkid’ in the emergence of the UK game development scene, McGovern’s legacy includes co-founding Probe Software in 1984, which thrived bringing coin-ops and film tie-ins to 8bit and 16bit platforms. Later known as Probe Entertainment, the business was sold to Acclaim for $40m in 1995. McGovern later embraced numerous roles, co-creating the plug-andplay specialist HotGen, becoming an associate director of Crystal Palace FC, and pouring his time into charity work. “Like so many of us of a certain age in the games business, we grew up together and built our careers together,” says Stuart Dinsey, chairman at Curve Digital…

access_time1 min.
cover game

Hidden Folks is the younger, cooler sibling of Where’s Wally? (or, as it’s also known, Where’s Waldo?). But while the latest project from Bounden and Fingle creator Adriaan de Jongh is about looking for individuals, his collaboration with illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg is anything but the result of a concerted search. “I accidentally stumbled upon Sylvain’s miniature illustrations at his graduation expo,” de Jongh recalls. “I was immediately drawn to it: taking a close look, discovering all those little scenarios and tiny stories unfolding. That feeling of ‘Wow, what’s happening here?’ was very inspiring, and I jokingly told Sylvain we should make a game together.” He might’ve proposed the idea flippantly, but it took hold. The result is a series of animated, sprawling and minutely detailed scenes that respond to the probing clicks…