Archive for September 10, 2008

Say hello to Friction – a new arcade company and a new game UPDATED

September 10, 2008

AMOA is here and with it plenty new stuff to talk about. But today we don’t have just any news to talk about – it’s not every day we get to introduce to you a new company that is joining the fray of the arcade industry!

The name to remember – Friction Game Studios. Based in Los Angeles California, they have been working for some time on their first game known as Friction and soon you’ll be able to see it for yourself, either as an operator or a player.

Friction itself is a light-gun title where the gameplay looks to fit between Area 51 and F.E.A.R. (one the game’s designers is a fan of the latter). You play through three huge levels where you fight against hordes of robotic foes and on top of that there is plenty of destruction you can wreak on the game environment, with many breakable objects (ok, buzzword time: it has “destructible environments”)  and several types of weapons for you to use. From the official website about the game, here are all the features:

  • Real-time dynamic lighting using programmable pixel shaders
  • Fully destructible level geometry
  • Ultra-realistic physics and motion captured character animations
  • Over 14 different enemies with varied attack behaviors
  • Variety of player weapons and powerups
  • Unique transforming super bosses with special attacks

As you can see from the video and screencaps below the graphics are pretty good (much better in person and on top of that the game upscales it’s resolution depending on the monitor), as in addition to the physics involved it also uses specular lighting effects. It’s more impressive when you think about the fact that this has been put together by a small team (of I believe two people sorry, I misspoke there – the company has two founders) as opposed to a team with hundreds of people.

(Click on the images to expand them)

The game’s configuration for cabinet or kit form is still TBD, their preference is to go with a full cabinet. No word on pricing or exact specifications on the hardware yet (they are not ready to reveal that at the moment) but it is sufficient to say that this should be something great for operators to add to their arsenal.

Here is a video of the game in action. There are a couple more videos on their website:

We can expect to see more from Friction Game Studios in the future, so stay tuned and we welcome them to the fold!

[Friction Game Studios Website] [Discuss on the Forums]


Before I leave for AMOA…

September 10, 2008

This is likely to be one of my last posts for the next couple of days as tomorrow morning I will be headed out to AMOA in Las Vegas. I have co-ordinated the trip with a game purchase so I get two birds with one stone – I just hope that the game will be worth it but I am hearing some good things about what to expect at the show. If anyone wants to meet up with me I shouldn’t be too hard to find – I’ll have a green shirt with an arcade on it and I’ll probably be taking pictures, video or just playing games. I do hope that I get to everything though, I will only have an hour or two tomorrow and four hours on Thursday if I’m lucky.

I will have one post after this – a new game announcement along with a new game company! I cannot post it until tomorrow morning but do check in for that!

Now for some rumors about the show: I have heard that SFIV *might* show up there. If so I don’t expect that I’ll have the time to play it as it will probably have a long line and I don’t have the luxury of time. While I was told not to expect much from Raw Thrills’ at the show, Betson (who Raw Thrills’ usually teams up with for these shows) has a very large booth and I heard that something big might be at the show. We’ll see – it would be nice to know what else it is that they are working on so I will know whether to save up for it or not.

I also heard that Stern Pinball might be showing off a new pinball at the show based on the movie Transformers. Apparently some pinball fans are talking about this but I haven’t heard anything until today so it will be interesting to see if that holds up.

I do expect to see Rambo and SR3 at the show since they have those two games on the Sega Amusements USa page. At the very least Sega has a larger booth at AMOA than they did at ASI. I also hope to catch a glimpse of the new title Get Outta My Face! and get a chance to try out NFS Carbon in dedicated form. At least I should be entertained for the short time I’ll be staying, I just wish that the show would stay open beyond 4pm.

I will be getting as much video as I can of the show but it will probably take me a few days to get it all posted and I won’t have internet access while in Vegas. Until then maybe I’ll catch you at the show!

[Discuss on the Forums]

Article: The United States of Street Fighter IV

September 10, 2008

Here is another take on what is going on with SFIV right now by Jared Rea and for those interested he also has some pictures of what some operators are doing with their kits, which in several cases means taking whatever they have on hand to get the game running without the Vewlix cabinet, even if that means using a 2-player control base that is connected to two HDTVs or even worse just anything they can throw it into (the image above is photoshopped, I should have noticed that before).

You can’t blame them though as SFIV is undoubtedly huge right now but because it commands a very high (let me say, outrageous) price that most operators just can’t afford it creates a difficult situation for us. Had Capcom not dropped the ball on the hardware and made it so that the game requires 1 kit or cabinet per player the situation would be different and more operators could capitalize on the hype that this game is bringing to arcades at the moment – a level of hype that we haven’t seen in a very long time.

One point that Jared makes that I agree with is that SFIV proves to everyone something about arcades that I think a lot of people have a hard time accepting for some reason – that great games that are properly marketed will bring out the masses. I’ve said it before – arcade makers need to take note that SFIV has been marketed like a console game and not like a typical arcade game and look at the difference in the results.

But that’s my rambling, if you want to check out Jared’s article, click here.