Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.
Super Mario Maker comes with 100 pre-built levels on disk
Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker construction kit for Wii U comes with a level editor and the option to download and play levels created by fellow players, but the game will also include 100 pre-made courses on the disc, according to the game’s U.K. website.
Super Mario Maker will launch for the Wii U on September 11th.
Apple working with developers to return some Confederate flag toting games to App Store
In the wake of Apple’s mass banning of games from the iTunes App Store that feature the Confederate flag, according to the company.
“We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses.”
-Apple, in a statement
“We accept Apple’s decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition, and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game’s battlefield.”
-Game-labs, Ultimate General: Gettysburg creator, which was removed from the App Store
The strategy game depicting the Battle of Gettysburg has since rejoined the App Store.
Star Wars Battlefront closed alpha coming to PC; EA giving invites
Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE has launched a closed alpha of the game on Windows, and is sending out invites, according to EA.
The Battlefront alpha will only be available through EA’s Origin service.
“The purpose of the Star Wars Battlefront Closed Alpha is to perform a technical tests that will help the team at DICE as they continue the development of the game.”
-EA, in an email
The email is an invitation to apply for the alpha. It notes that applying doesn’t guarantee entry because closed alpha space is “very limited” and “we may not be able to accept all players who apply.”
EA also listed the following minimum system requirements for the alpha, but these specs do not apply to the final game.
- CPU: Quad-core CPU (Intel Core i5-2300 @ 2.8GHz, AMD Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.2GHz, AMD FX-8350 @ 4GHz)
- RAM: 6GB
- OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit required)
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, AMD Radeon HD 7970 with 2GB of video memory
The alpha “does not represent [the game’s] final quality,” according to EA.
“Performance at this stage of development may be inconsistent, with possible issues such as server lag and downtime.”
-Electronic Arts, in an email
Characters and progress made in the alpha will not transfer to the full game, according to the email.
Star Citizen FPS module delayed indefinitely
Star Citizen, Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander series’ spiritual successor, has encountered technical and gameplay issues that will infinitely delay the game’s Star Marine first-person shooter module.
The space combat simulation comprises several interconnected modules. The hangar and multiplayer dogfighting modules, called Arena Commander, have been available for some time.
Star Citizen will launch commercially in 2016.
The latest release of the game’s playable beta, update 1.2, is late.
Roberts cited “technical and gameplay-related issues” for causing the module’s delay.
“We feel the current build doesn’t feel like it lives up to the standards we’ve want[ed] to achieve with Star Citizen. There are several issues that will need additional time in order to deliver the first iteration of the gameplay we want you to experience.
“When will we see Star Marine? Tonight, I don’t have an absolute answer for you. What I will tell you is that we know exactly what we have to do, and we’re already well on our way to doing it.”
-Chris Roberts, Cloud Imperium Games founder
While there’s some overlap, the team dedicated to the FPS module accounts for roughly 15 percent of Cloud Imperium’s total workforce, according to Roberts.
“I don’t want to say that there is no impact [to Star Citizen’s launch schedule. Integrating the FPS properly will help move every part of Star Citizen forward, as the tech will help form the blood and sinews of the whole game, but I can’t stress enough that two additional months spent on Star Marine are not the same thing as two months of a delay for Star Citizen. The persistent universe team in Austin is still building brilliant new worlds, the ship team in Santa Monica is coming up with great concepts and integrating existing ships in preparation for future Arena Commander updates, and of course the Squadron 42 team in the UK is full speed ahead on the single player adventure.
“We are going to investigate releasing a build with Star Marine disabled that would allow you to experience some of the changes and updates we’ve made over the last few months to the core code base. There are some technical challenges in doing this, and it won’t happen overnight… but I feel that it’s incredibly important to do because we need to test with the public, we need to collect your feedback and frankly we need to continue proving that we’re working on what you care about.”
Wii U’s failure came down to wrong approach at wrong time: Miyamoto
The Wii U’s lackluster sales are partially because of Nintendo’s miscalculations on the console’s tablet-like GamePad and launch timing, according to designer Shigeru Miyamoto in a Fortune interview.
With 9.54 million units sold as of March 31, the Wii U is Nintendo’s slowest-selling console of all time. 4
“I think the assumption is that we were trying to create a game machine and a tablet and really what we were trying to do was create a game system that gave you two screens that would allow different ways.
“Unfortunately, because tablets, at the time, were adding more and more functionality and becoming more and more prominent, this system and this approach didn’t mesh well with the period in which we released it. I still feel it was a very novel approach – and a very interesting idea.
“Of course, I am observing and looking at the [NX’s] hardware, but I am not actively participating and making decisions.”
-Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo producer, designer
Splatoon gets Tower Control multiplayer online mode
Wii U shooter Splatoon has received a new online multiplayer mode added to its Ranked Battles mode known as Tower Control, according to Nintendo.
The mode’s objective is to climb atop a mobile tower and ride it into the enemy base. The tower moves once a team boards and seizes control of it. Surrounding the tower and protecting the player on your team riding it, according to Nintendo, will usually get a win.
Tower Control is available now.
Eight months of Uncharted 4 work scrapped after Last of Us devs took over
Naughty Dog threw out eight months of Nolan North’s Uncharted 4 work after writer Amy Hennig left the studio and The Last of Us’ leads Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley took over, according to Nathan Drake’s voice actor during a MetroCon panel.
“Yeah. I can’t really say too much about [whether Hennnig’s departure changed the script], but I will. We had shot eight months of her story, and it was all thrown away.”
-Nolan North, Uncharted 4’s Nathan Drake voice actor
Hennig served as Uncharted’s creative director and writer for the PlayStation-exclusive’ series’ first three games before leaving Naughty Dog in early 2014.
“The Last of Us guys came in, and you have to understand, new producers, new people, they want to do it. I don’t know what happened, exactly. Amy [Hennig] is still a very, very dear friend of mine, and she’s brilliant. But the Last of Us guys were the next team there, so they took over. They just wanted their own flavor. They got rid of some of the other people that were involved and just redid their thing.”
“Great move they made with Troy Baker who played my brother, and they knew that was going to work because Tony and I are friends, and he had done Joel, and they knew he and I had good rapport.
“The tone, I think, is going to be slightly different. It has to be, you know? You can’t have … a Robert Ludlum novel is not going to be the same as Stephen King. It’s just that they’re different styles, but it’s true to the story.
“It’s going to be along the lines of the same story.”
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is scheduled to launch next spring as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
“I know [Naughty Dog’s] doing The Last of Us 2:” North
North knows that The Last of Us 2 is in development.
“For now I know they’re doing Last of Us 2, but my character in Last of Us kind of met an untimely demise.”
“By the way, I know nothing. I don’t know if we’re gonna do another one or not. If we do, then I trust [creative director] Neil [Druckmann] and [game director] Bruce [Straley], and everyone at Naughty Dog to tell a story that needs to be told.”
-Troy Baker, voice actor
Visceral’s Star Wars game is in “the style of Uncharted”: North
Developer Visceral Games’ upcoming Star Wars title will take some inspiration from the Uncharted series, according to North.
Amy Hennig is now at Visceral working to reboot a brand new Star Wars franchise in Uncharted’s style.
“I happen to know a lot about it, and it’s going to be awesome.”