Mike Oldman, our favourite Community Manager at Square Enix London Studios (aka Mycoldman) will be speaking at the Develop conference along with Jim Blackhurst (Online Operations Manager) down in Brighton, which is being held between the 13th - 15th July.
They will be there to talk about opening up player metrics to the community in Just Cause 2, or as none-geeky people will call it, Stat tracking, which was designed by Mike and developed by Jim. I'm definitely going to try and go... it's a lot of money, but will be interesting to see what they have to say about it, and also listen to the other speakers.
A long time ago, I was approached by Poor Bison who was organising a gift for Mike Oldman (our favourite Community Manager at Square Enix London Studios), and completely forgot about it. Poor Bison, you are a legend in my books for doing it... and I am pleased to hear that Mike loves it!
Interviews are popping up everywhere these days, all trying to cut in on some of the Just Cause 2 action. One notable interview that has cropped up today is by Games Xtreme, featuring the one and only Mike Oldman (community manager, Square Enix).
Most things have already been covered by other interviews, previews and reviews, but this one is still worth the read and does cover some new things that haven't been talked about yet.
Today has been a pretty hectic day for Mike Oldman, but he's managed to pull it off, bringing us some pretty cool stuff that we've all been waiting for!
As you know it has already been announced today that the demo will be released next Thursday (4th March, 2010) on all platforms, and some demo information has been released in my Inteview with Mike Oldman which hit the internet last night, so I won't go into to much detail over that. You should take a look if you haven't seen it yet. It's worth the read.
What has now hit the Official Just Cause 2 website is the first in a series of Just Cause 2 Video Logs (that's Vlogs to you and I), which this week takes a look at the PS3 version of the game and shows off just how easy it is to save video footage in-game and upload it directly to YouTube.
As Mike Oldman has said: It really couldn't be simpler and we're hoping to see some truly incredible videos produced by the community using this feature. There are apparently a lot more to come, so stay tuned on that one!
Next on the list of updates today is the latest podcast episode - Episode 4, which I am currently listening to as I type this. In this episode, Mike Oldman is joined once again by the two lovely ladies from Avalanche Studios who should have been in the last one, but Mike forgot to press the record button.
[insert funny face + palm picture here]
Luckily he remembered to press it this time! It's definitely worth a listen, and also answers some of your questions towards the end. You'll also hear Mike talking about my website: www.panauisland.com, saying that If you really want to keep up to date with everything Just Cause 2, that's the place to go.
Finally, if you've been following my twitter page @Movura or Mike Oldman's twitter page @Mycoldman, you might have seen that Mike and Square Enix London Studios had a present for me... well I went to go pick it up from the studio today, and I must say it's pretty cool! (Cheers for that guys!) I'll probably show it to you guys a little later on, but for now, just sit back, relax and enjoy watching the Vlog, and don't forget to check out the latest podcast episode too over at www.justcause.com/media
As you know, the only thing we have heard about the Just Cause 2 demo is that it's coming. All that is about to change... check out the interview I had with Mike Oldman (aka Mycoldman, Community Manager Square Enix London Studios) where we talk briefly about the demo, what to expect and some other things related to the game itself.
So Mike, can you give us any information about the Just Cause 2 demo? What kind of things will you be able to do?
The demo will give you a pretty good snapshot of what the final game has to offer. So in terms of Rico's abilities and the crazy stunts he can pull off - it's all in there. There's also one whole multi-stage faction mission for you to try, a race challenge and ample opportunities to cause chaos at pretty much every turn. There's a good mix of vehicles, everything from tuk tuks to planes, helicopters to jeeps, military and civilian. We really want you to play it again and again, to try out as much as you can. If you don't fancy tackling the mission for example, don't. See if we care. You'll easily find something else to keep you occupied.
That sounds pretty cool! So is it true that the demo will literally be one big sandbox? How much freedom do we get in terms of exploration?
That's exactly right. One BIG sandbox. It's approximately 35 square miles of sandy desert, featuring towns and settlements, military bases, runways (and planes) and plenty more. In terms of freedom, it's really up to you, but we've certainly included more than enough to play with.
And how does the Just Cause 2 demo compare to the full game?
As I said before all of Rico's abilities are in there, so you can try out pretty much anything you want. The main difference is the real game will feature more of everything - different climate zones, weather and times of day, a load more vehicles, missions and of course... water.
It's recently been mentioned that there will be a few surprises for PC users. Would you be able to tell us more about that?
I can't just yet I'm afraid. But very soon I promise! What I can say is what I've said before, Just Cause 2 on the PC is absolutely not a port of the console version - and you'll see a whole bunch of enhancements that reflect that. We're DX10 all the way, using all we can to get the most out of the game on higher spec systems. Though you can of course use an Xbox pad, I actually really like playing the game with mouse and keyboard.
Ok, sounds promising. Let's move onto DLC. How will the DLC work in terms of pre-ordering it from Steam or someone buying the Limited Edition in the shops and redeeming them?
We've not announced any pre-order incentives yet for those purchasing the game through Steam, but if you buy a boxed copy from the shops you'll obviously get whichever pre-order bonus that retailer has. All DLC will be redeemable via Steam for PC users.
While we're on the subject of DLC, can you tell us anything about the sort of items we can expect to see in future or is it still pretty hush hush?
Nope. But those outside of North America looking at the Monster Truck with green eyes needn't worry. It'll be available everywhere at some point. It's important to us to keep the playing field level, so all DLC released will ultimately be available in all territories for purchase later down the line.
So, Basejumping. What is the current base jumping record in the office and how was it achieved?
Huge. It's mine, and if I told you how I did it you'd just go and beat it wouldn't you? I think Iíll just let you find out on JustCause.com when the game stats and leaderboards section unlock at launch.
Haha. So, whatís the coolest thing youíve ever done in Just Cause 2?
That's a tough one as something cool happens every time you play! I've certainly had some pretty narrow escapes over time, that's for sure. There's something about playing as Rico (with his grapple and parachute) that makes you want to see how far you can push your luck. That's how I tend to play... dangerously. :)
Top tip: Look out for stray gas canisters. You really don't want to get hit by one from a distance in the thick of a firefight.
Do you not get sick of playing Just Cause 2 hours on end? How many hours have you played it now?
Not at all. For me, most of the fun of Just Cause 2 is just being in the world. I know we say so much about how it's one giant playground, but it's true, there's always so much to be done even (and sometimes especially) if you're not completing missions -be that searching out all of the collectibles, completing settlements or just mindlessly racing sports cars down the sides of mountains. It's stunning to look at too, so it's a nice place to relax in between creating chaos. Much like in real life, no two sunsets are ever quite the same and it's easy to get lost in the views Panau has to offer. It's difficult to put an exact figure on how many hours i've spent playing the game now throughout development, but I'd guess at easily somewhere in the region of 400.
Wow! That's impressive! So with the release being so close to easter, what kind of Easter eggs can we expect to find?
I'm not going to ruin any of these for you, but needless to say there are plenty of little secrets hidden around the island. Some useful, some useless, but all good fun. Maybe we'll check in on this a little after launch to see what's been discovered. I'll give a few hints then.
Ok, so last couple of questions then. Itís getting pretty close to release now. What kind of stuff can we expect to see within the next couple of weeks prior to launch?
We've still quite a bit to come before launch. Our recent Anatomy of a Stunt series still has plenty of videos left, getting more and more crazy as they go on. We've also got Vlogs, more podcasts and new community focused functionality hitting JustCause.com
So we've got a lot to look forward to then by the sounds of it!
Oh, and just for the sake of asking it because I know it's on everybody's mind right now, when can we expect the demo??
Hehe. Very soon. (Sorry!!) Before launch for sure.
Well thanks again for your time. Itís been a pleasure speaking with you again.
It was my pleasure!
So there we have it then guys, that's all the information they can give us right now. Perhaps we'll hear more about the demo tomorrow, though by the sound of it, the demo may not be out for some time yet.
I have had a chance to play a very early build of the demo for a bit, and I must say it is so much fun. The demo is virtually a full game in itself, so that should give you an idea of what the full game will be like. It's definitely a great way to experience Just Cause 2 in bitesize, manageable portions, and as the theory goes, the smaller the portions, the more you can eat! That's certainly true in this case!
Right then guys, I have received quite a few emails, and PMs on my xbox, ps3 and both the official forums and these forums asking exactly the same thing: when is the demo coming out?
I must stress that I do not work for Square Enix and so it is not my call to make. As soon as the date has been confirmed by Square Enix, I'll be sure to make a big announcement about it.
Sadly the only answer I give at the moment is that the demo will come out at some point between now and the official release of Just cause 2. As you know, they are aiming to release the demo on all platforms at the same time, which as PSN only gets updated on a Thursday, this means the demo will know doubt be released on a Thursday. Did any of you play the AvP demo when that came out? It was released full of problems and they couldn't do anything until the following Thursday. I'm sure Square Enix don't want to make the same mistake Sega did.
As for the interview I mentioned earlier this week, I will post it as soon as I get it back from Mycoldman (Mike Oldman).