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THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Nov 20, 2012 0 comments

Sabotaging a gas pump and watching from inside a dumpster as a criminal walks up to it, takes a phone call, lights a cigarette and then explodes is one of Hitman: Absolution's (out today for PC, PS3, Xbox 360) simplest pleasures. Last week I talked to the game's director,18-year industry veteran Tore Blystad, about his latest project.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Oct 23, 2012 0 comments

Hotline Miami (released today on Steam) is a dark and sordid 16-bit trip through 1989 South Florida and its seedy underbelly. It mixes a retro aesthetic with more violence than you're used to (think last year's cult hit Drive). It plays like earlier entries in the GTA series - but without the tedious driving between missions.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Sep 18, 2012 0 comments

As great a game as the first Borderlands was, it didn't offer much in the way of story. Developer Gearbox Software realized this and brought in Anthony Burch (best known for the often inappropriately hilarious web series, "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?") to write Borderlands 2. Burch was also a member of the video game press corp whose equally sharp analysis and humor made him a must-read in his time at Destructoid and other places around the Web.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Sep 05, 2012 0 comments

Harmonix Music Systems redefined the peripheral-based rhythm genre with Rock Band in 2007. Five years, two numbered sequels and a few notable band-specific spin-offs later, their fans have a huge music library at their disposal. Thanks to smart thinking at the outset, almost all of the material from each successive game release has been playable within the Rock Band ecosystem (The Beatles Rock Band notwithstanding). There's somewhere in the neighborhood of three thousand songs in the Rock Band catalog if you count the community-authored tracks available on the Rock Band Network store.

The problem is, no one wants to buy peripheral-based games anymore. The novelty's over and isn't coming back anytime soon. Despite this, Harmonix has been keeping Rock Band fresh by releasing new songs and albums each week for players to download. This is great for hardcore fans, but not everyone wants to go through the hassle of getting the band back together because they want to play a few new tracks. That's where Rock Band Blitz comes in.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Aug 28, 2012 0 comments

The dragons are back from the ocean's depths. Today marks the release of Guild Wars 2, the new massively multiplayer online role playing game (think World of Warcraft meets Star Wars: The Old Republic) from developer ArenaNet. S+V got a chance to chat with Guild Wars 2's audio director, James Ackley, who told us about the challenges and rewards of designing sound for an MMO.

Filed under
Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Jun 27, 2012 0 comments

Adding color to the Walking Dead universe was a gamble, but Telltale Games nailed it.

At E3 this year I had a chance to preview the latest episode in the series (out today for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 Friday) and pick the brain of Telltale's Founder and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Bruner.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: May 30, 2012 0 comments

Last week, we told you about all the work that went into the refreshed soundtrack for Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD. S+V also talked with Robomodo president Josh Tsui about the whole range of challenges involved in recreating a classic game for a modern era.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: May 23, 2012 0 comments

Late last year during the Spike Video Game Awards a familiar image resurfaced: A lanky towhead skateboarding around a dingy warehouse. The problem was that - aside from the sound of trucks grinding on a railing - the video was silent. Today, the team at Robomodo - the developer behind Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD - breaks that silence. I took the opportunity to speak with the game's producers and audio designer to learn how much work goes into re-licensing a classic soundtrack, picking out new songs and what original track almost had the studio's president breaking out his wallet to buy the rights.

Filed under
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 05, 2012 1 comments
Steven Wilson is best known as the founder, lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, but he’s becoming the go-to man for remixing classic rock recordings into 5.1 surround for DVD and Blu-ray. His recent solo album, Grace for Drowning, proves he’s just as adept in creating new music that fully exploits the surround soundscape.
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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments

The Reapers are upon us. Mass Effect 3 is out next Tuesday, and with it Commander Shepard's story is coming to a close. I took the opportunity to chat with the series' audio lead, Rob Blake about his team's work in defining the Mass Effect franchise. Over the course of his career he's worked on everything from feature films to Spongebob Squarepants games, but counts his efforts at developer BioWare as the most challenging gigs he's encountered.

"What we do here dwarfs anything I've done before," he told me.

Filed under
Mike Mettler Posted: Nov 15, 2011 0 comments

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time,” Steven Wilson told me backstage about an hour before his groundbreaking live quad show unfolded at the Performing Arts Center at Temple University in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 12.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 22, 2011 0 comments

Good news, friends — we have another exclusive video treat for the S+V faithful.

Kim WIlson Photography: Joe Tabacca Posted: Jan 22, 2010 1 comments

Located in the Soho district of lower Manhattan, the Savant Experience Center is an actual living space complete with a media/living room, home office, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room and a dedicated 800 sq. foot theater. Close to the Apple store, the Experience Center showcases the latest technologies in home entertainment and control to dealers, architects, designers, industry associations, and prospective clients.

Kim Wilson Photography: Mark Schafer and Marc Stewart Posted: Jan 18, 2010 0 comments

Homeowners love what technology provides but many prefer to keep its presence at a minimum. Such was the case in this beautiful Southern California home in the upscale Pacific Palisades area. "This project had a good sized budget of $100k to provide whole-house distribution of audio, video, phone and data," said Mark Schafer, President of Custom L.A. "Still we all encountered a few challenges such as the family room, where the client wanted a completely invisible Home Theater in a wide open space".

Kim Wilson Photography: Myro Rosky Posted: Dec 05, 2009 1 comments

Who says you can't get quality work completed in less than a week? Talk to David Frangioni, CEO of Audio One Sound & Video in North Miami Beach and he'll tell you anything is possible. He knows because he's installed a world-class home theater with high performance AV in only three days.

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