Timothy J. Seppala

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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.

Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Jun 26, 2011 0 comments

Dead Island came out of nowhere earlier this year; its announcement trailer - the scariest set of reverse-chronology vacation snapshots you've seen in a while - went viral and now has more than 4.7 million hits on YouTube. And then for months we heard nothing. What was it, exactly?

Well, I played it the other week at E3 and can tell you exactly what it is: A first-person action-RPG with a focus on melee combat and weapon crafting. Oh, and you can play it online with three buddies, with drop-in/drop-out co-op.

Timothy J. Seppala Posted: May 16, 2011 0 comments

Brink (Splash Damage/Bethesda)
Xbox 360 (also for PS3/PC)

Everything about Brink feels like a missed opportunity. I wanted to like it because I'm a sucker for objective-based shooters, and I was jonesing for something new. Instead, it feels too much like other shooters, not to mention the fact that it recycles its own few new ideas ad nauseum.

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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: 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: Oct 30, 2012 0 comments

Criterion Games wants wanted their latest open-world crashathon racer Need for Speed: Most Wanted (out today for PC, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360) to be a more film-like experience. So they hired BAFTA Award nominee Vanesa Lorena Tate to take on audio lead responsibilities. She’s been composing since she was four years old and has worked on such films as Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and two Harry Potter flicks: The Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows part 2 in addition to Criterion’s last Need for Speed, 2010’s Hot Pursuit.

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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.

Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Jul 05, 2011 0 comments

Without a doubt, Alice: Madness Returns has the most beautiful and well-realized aesthetic of any game I’ve seen in ages. But, I’m begging you to never play it. Why? Because it’s heartbreaking that a world rife with so many imaginative possibilities ends up feeling so empty, so dull, and so soulless.

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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.

Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Dec 20, 2011 0 comments

Surround sound headsets are for gamers what soundbars are for the average consumer: no-hassle, "good enough" alternatives to a full home-theater system. The hurdle all gaming headsets have to overcome is successfully tricking your brain into thinking it's hearing five to seven discrete channels around the "room." Some do this better than others, but simulating spatial separation with a few drivers located less than an inch from your ear is a tall order - too tall, I'd thought. 

Then I took several pairs for extended test drives, and what I found surprised me.

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