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Disney Closes Canadian Dev Propaganda Games

Amid the news of a guillotine dangling by a thread above the noggin of Blur dev Bizarre Creations, another game studio with a troubled past has been struck with a killing blow.

Vancouver-based Propaganda Games has closed its doors for good, parent-company Disney Interactive confirmed to Joystiq. Disney's decision doesn't come as much of a surprise given the studio's recent--and unfortunate--proclivity for being forced to shelve projects and shed its workforce. Read more »

"I didn't say the workers were bad. I said the end result which in this case is the final game. ..."
- rjklevels    See all 11 comments


'Tron Evolution' Game Coming Holiday 2010

The Spike VGA revelations continue, with word that Propaganda Games (Turok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned) movie prequel / tie-in Tron Evolution is due holiday 2010--the same timeframe as the film.

In keeping with this evening's festivities, there was no specific word on platforms, with the trailer showing a mix of third-person melee combat and light-cycle racing. Read more »

"Yea that sucks cause Tron 2.0 and Nolf 2 were both awsome games that i played through multiple ..."
- funluvncriminal    See all 13 comments


Turok Q&A

Related Topics – Turok, Propaganda Games

The guys at Gaming Nexus have posted a Turok Q&A, asking Tim Lewinson of Propaganda Games about the newly released shooter.

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Turok Q&A

Related Topics – Turok, Propaganda Games

There's a Turok Q&A on Gamasutra, where they got to ask Josh Holmes of Propaganda Games about his company's dinosaur shooter.

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Propaganda Team-kills Turok Team-kill Achievement

Related Topics – Turok, Propaganda Games

A controversial achievement award earned by killing a teammate in online play will now be removed from Propaganda Games' upcoming action title Turok, according to Wired.

The "Grab Bag" achievement, which involves killing "at least 1 creature, 1 enemy, 1 teammate, and yourself in the same round of a public match," will now be changed to include only enemy targets and suicide by a mandatory release-day patch. Read more »

"I love the idea of achievements for Mass Effect, they were on to something there."
- razorblade79    See all 17 comments


The Video Game Release List of 1/27 - 2/2

This week's North American releases span the PC, Wii, Nintendo DS, and PSP. Click on any of the platform names to go directly to that system's listing.

Barring any unforeseen delays, most stores should have this week's games by Wednesday, January 30. Read more »

"So ... any good? :P I guess it's tough to tell from just 2 stages."
- Damodred    See all 16 comments


Turok Demo, Camera Games and More in PS Store

Demos of Propaganda Games' Turok (PC, PS3, X360) and EA Canada's FIFA Street 3 (PS3, X360, NDS) can now be downloaded from the PlayStation 3's online PlayStation Store.

Two original games, Tori-Emaki (PS3) and Mesmerize: Trace (PS3), were added today as well. Both require the PlayStation Eye camera and sell for $1.99. Also among the new additions is a $12.99 bundle containing Bluepoint Games' previously released Blast Factor (PS3) and its Multiplayer and Advanced Research add-on packs, which would otherwise sell for a total of $14.96. Read more »

"Wait, they gave a low review score to Turok, yet featured it prominently on the cover of the ..."
- deadhorse    See all 18 comments


Turok Demo On Foreign Xbox Live Marketplaces (Updated)

Update: The Turok demo is not currently available in North America, Xbox Live programming director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has clarified. This restriction may be due to the demo's inclusion in the latest issue of Future Publishing's Official Xbox Magazine.

Original Story: Newly available on the Xbox Live Marketplace this morning is a demo for Turok, the dinosaur shooter from Propaganda Games. The single-player demo is a 1.17GB download. Read more »

"oh yeah, your teammate is a cockbag- i hope he eats shit and dies."
- Klebold    See all 25 comments


Turok Dev Considers Not Encouraging Online Idiocy

Related Topics – Turok, Propaganda Games

I must have missed the initial news that developer Propaganda Games has created the reprehensible "Grab Bag" achievement for the Xbox 360 version of its upcoming Turok. It awards you ten Gamerscore points if you "kill at least 1 creature, 1 enemy, 1 teammate, and yourself in the same round of a public match."

This is quite possibly the worst idea ever in the history of online gaming, and the history of online gaming is already full of idiocy, griefing, and assholes. Read more »

"Sooo, pretty much every XBL game of Halo 1, 2, and 3 ever played? gotchya."
- unholydonuts    See all 21 comments


Turok to Maim Dinosaurs, Slit Throats on PC

Related Topics – Aspyr, Propaganda Games

Propaganda Games' reimagining of the Turok franchise will hit the PC next spring courtesy of Aspyr Studios, according to a statement today by Turok license owner Touchstone. The series, which was made popular by the now-defunct Acclaim, is now being given new life with Propaganda's take. Players will be back in the jungles, executing stealth knife kills and bulls-eyeing dinos with Turok's trusty bow and arrow. "It's definitely on the radar as far as something that we're looking at," said Propaganda co-founder Josh Holmes to Shacknews in an interview earlier this week. "The engine that this runs on is a highly modified version of the Unreal 3 Engine, and the Unreal 3 Engine supports Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, so it seems like an obvious platform that would make sense for the game." Turok hits stores February 5 on PS3 and Xbox 360, with the Aspyr port making sense later that spring.

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"Well think about it. would you rather stare at a blank screen and start a game engine from ..."
- chilln    See all 14 comments


Interview: Propaganda's Josh Holmes on Turok

Related Topics – Turok, Interview, Propaganda Games

The game that reminded us how cool dinosaurs are will return next year, with Propaganda Games' reimagined dino-shooter Turok (PS3, X360). It's the Vancouver studio's first game, and it appears to capture the essence of the original title--kill dinosaurs and dudes with a knife, bow, or wacky weapon--while bringing the gameplay mostly up to date. This version of Turok takes place 200 years in the future, where the mohawk-sporting Joseph Turok is a former Black Ops mercenary. After a probably fairly honorable dishonorable discharge from the military, he's been brought back as an adviser to a band of deep-voiced hardasses known as Whiskey Company. The company is trying to take down Turok's former mentor, a war criminal called Roland Kane, but unexpectedly crash on the prehistoric planet where Kane's hiding out. So that's where the dinosaurs come in.

Propaganda tried to add some depth to the combat with a couple mechanics. Since there are essentially three groups on the dino planet--Whiskey Company, dinosaurs, and Kane's men--you're encouraged to use the groups against each other. Dinosaurs can be drawn to armed guards with flares or called out of hiding by breaking up a nest of their precious eggs. Another addition is the stealth mechanics, which require silence via creeping around and knifing baddies and dinos alike in the brain using the context sensitive instant kill. Both the instant kill mechanism and dino manipulation worked like they should, but those weren't really what drew my attention in the very short gameplay segment I played. Though I'm not sure the thrill will last through the entire game, using Turok's trademark bow and arrow and knife to dispatch dinos and soldiers felt pretty enjoyable. Though the original Turok had no multiplayer, its sequels focused heavily on this aspect, and the new Turok will feature both competitive and cooperative modes. The game will ship with seven maps for the 16-player competitive multiplayer, with three maps included for the specially designed 4-player cooperative missions. To learn more about the multiplayer and the game in general, I chatted with Propaganda Games' co-founder, vice president and studio manager, Josh Holmes. Shack: What were the main elements from the original Turok games that you most wanted to bring to this game?
If you're watching this movie and a dino came out with machine guns mounted on the side of its head, would that be super cool or would that be laughable?
Josh Holmes: First of all, just from what it meant to the industry, I think Turok was the first console shooter to really get the console shooting experience right. So first of all I just want to acknowledge its rightful place in the history of gaming. I think a lot of people forget that--they think back to Goldeneye. But Turok was actually out there first and really set the standard for what a first-person-shooter was on a console. The things we really loved about it was, it was the first one to really take you out into what felt like a lush expansive outdoor world that was there for you to explore. It sort of deviated from that corridor crawler Doom clone that had been the standard for what a first person shooter was. Although, a lot of that, if you go back and look at it today, was through the use of fog planes and basically like a 6-foot draw distance. At the time with the graphics that they were using and also a lot of the audio cues, they were able to create that impression of a huge world that you were exploring. Loved the dinos, this idea of predatory animals that really turned the hunter into the prey. And then the inventive weapon types and this sense of satisfying power at your fingertips. Shack: What were some of the specific elements you wanted to leave behind from the more poorly received Turok sequels?
Josh Holmes: I think, basically, the Turok fiction got stretched so far into just far-fetched crazy fantasy that it kind of broke, at least for us. So we wanted to ground this in kind of a gritty realism, and one of the things that we as a team have always kind of used as a benchmark when we're considering something is, how could you see this translating into a movie or some other piece of entertainment? And would you laugh at it, in that case. If you're watching a movie about this situation and the main character jumps on the back of a dinosaur and starts riding it, would you laugh at that? Yeah, probably, so let's not do that. If you're watching this movie and a dino came out with machine guns mounted on the side of its head, would that be super cool or would that be laughable? So that was kind of a litmus test that we used for all the elements as we were going through the game. There was debate on our team, some guys were like, "Dude, that would be super cool," but ultimately we kind of made our decision as far as where these elements fell and what tone we were going for with the game and we arrived at something that was a little bit grittier and more realistic than those later games in the Turok series, or really any games in the Turok series. Shack: So Turok looks a little different this time around. Josh Holmes: We liked the Native American hero, but what we wanted to do when we sort of took those elements and looked at--Okay, how can we sort of twist these elements and reinvent it? What we ultimately wanted to do was take kind of a new take at what it meant to be a Native American hero. It didn't mean a guy in a loincloth and moccasins running around with a bone vest looking at dreamweavers and stuff.
We didn't want to do the stereotypical thing where the fact that he's Native American is the one and only thing that defines him as a character and other than that he's paper thin. We wanted to create a deeper, more nuanced character where his Native heritage was a part of who he was but it didn't define him wholly. I know that reading a lot of the boards and everything and people looking at the screenshots and stuff, that was something fans were like--What, is he not Native American? Did you turn him into some kind of action dude? And no, that's totally not our intention and that's not what we wanted to do, but hopefully people will realize that you can have a Native American hero that doesn't have all those stereotypical qualities to him. And we day pay homage to his heritage as a Kiowa Indian and talk a little about that, and that's part of the backstory with him and Kane, but again it's not the one and only thing that defines him. Shack: Has anyone at Propaganda worked on any of the other Turok games? Josh Holmes: Yeah, we do have some of our engineers that have worked on previous games in the Turok series. I believe one of our creature AI guys worked on one or two of the previous games and there's a couple other guys that had worked on it as well. But for the most part, it's a new team. And it's actually a team that has come together from all different parts of the industry. So we've got a group of us that have worked together in the past at EA on titles like Def Jam Vendetta and Fight for New York and NBA Street, and we've got people from EA who've worked on Bond and Need for Speed, and then we've got people from Ubi who've worked on Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, people who've worked on Metroid and Quake 4, Battlefield. So we've got a bunch of really diverse talented people who have come in and brought individual perspectives to try and create something that hopefully is different from everything else out there. I think first person shooters have been so done, especially this holiday there are so many great shooters out there. But the formula is pretty much the same. We really wanted to see if we could stretch that and expand it in terms of the immersiveness and grounding you in a body as opposed to a floating camera turret and adding some of the third person elements that bring the reality of the dinosaur situation to the forefront. Go to page 2 to read about Turok's platforming heritage, narrative devices, a possible PC version, PlayStation 3 features (or lack thereof), and Propaganda's upcoming projects. _PAGE_BREAK_ Shack: The original game had quite a few platforming elements. Will those be reintroduced? Josh Holmes: What we ultimately decided was, we didn't want to have a core fundamental path, like an area that you had to progress through, that had any hardcore platforming elements in it. Because ultimately, I think that as many people that found that stuff cool in Turok, there were as many or more that found it frustrating. I was one of the people who found it frustrating, so maybe I'm a little biased.
It was a lot of effort that I think we would've had to put into trying to deliver something up to the standard of Half-Life 2 where really that wasn't the focal point of our experience.
We did include some areas that have some platforming elements that either allow you to find weapons and ammo and powerups or strategic vantage points that give you a bit of an advantage in an area, but again they're not required areas that you have to cross. I think there's only like one or two moments in the entire game where there's even a basic platforming sequence that you have to complete to progress, and that was something that we were pretty deliberate about. Shack: I saw a cinematic flashback cutscene, and also a gameplay section where the camera locked onto certain elements. Are these basically the way the narrative will be told? Josh Holmes: Some parts of the story are told in the moment, in first-person perspective. For a lot of the really purely story-focused stuff that's either backstory or character interaction based, we do use third-person with camera cuts. The state of the art, when we started working on this, for first-person storytelling, as far as in first-person perspective, is Half-Life. I actually think it's still the state of the art, when you look at Half-Life 2 and what they've managed to do. So we looked at that and we were like hey, this is one avenue we could take. But ultimately we found that we weren't able to portray the character emotions and interactions that we wanted to show off in a larger group setting.
Personally, and I guess this is a little bit biased, but I found it was almost a little distracting to be in some of those story moments throwing coke cans off of people's heads and having them continue to ramble on about stuff, and it was a lot of effort that I think we would've had to put into trying to deliver something up to the standard of Half-Life 2 where really that wasn't the focal point of our experience. Shack: Is there a PC version coming? Josh Holmes: It's definitely on the radar as far as something that we're looking at. We don't have anything to announce at this point, but the engine that this runs on is a highly modified version of the Unreal 3 Engine, and the Unreal 3 Engine supports Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, so it seems like an obvious platform that would make sense for the game. Shack: Midway was the first company to develop a multiplatform Unreal Engine 3 powered game on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and they've had to delay the PS3 versions of both Stranglehold and Blacksite. Even Epic had to delay Unreal Tournament 3 because of problems using the engine with the platform. Have you guys had any problems at all using the engine on the PS3 version, and could cause you to delay the game?
Josh Holmes: There's no way that we're going to miss our simultaneous ship on PS3 and 360. The Unreal 3 Engine is an engine that was primarily developed, or the lead platform was, for 360, and Epic has since spent a lot of time and effort bringing the PS3 version up to parity. We're lucky in that we have a dedicated group of technologists in the studio who have a lot of experience in next-gen hardware, both 360 and PS3, who've put a lot of effort into developing the PlayStation version of our engine. Although we were leading on 360 through the early and midpoint of the development, the PS3 has become more the focus towards the end of the development in bringing it up to parity. I think through those efforts and the hard work of that team, which has been amazing, we're going to be able to deliver both products simultaneously. Shack: As far as multiplayer goes on the PS3, the PlayStation Network doesn't support the extensive matchmaking and gamer profiles within the games like on Xbox Live for inviting friends to matches. Developers have to add this functionality themselves--will Turok have these features to make the 360 version and PS3 version equal in this regard? Josh Holmes: The online team has worked really hard to provide that functionality to find and add friends, and it's building off of the foundation of the Playstation Network, but they've added additional functionality. I wouldn't say that it's going to be 100% parity across the board with the functionality that Live allows because that's obviously a huge amount of functionality. But we have put a lot of effort into bringing the PlayStation version as close to parity with Live as possible.
Even on the achievements side, that's something that the PlayStation Network doesn't support, but we have brought the achievements from the 360 version across onto the PlayStation as well and provided support for that. Shack: Do you guys have any plans for downloadable content on either of the platforms? Josh Holmes: Sounds like a great idea. Nothing to announce at this point, but we really want to support the product when it's out there on the marketplace and continue to support it in terms of maintaining balance in the online space. Providing support, web-portal support for the online community, and then we'll also be looking at opportunities to expand with downloadable content down the road. Shack: Are you guys looking ahead at what you're going to be working on after Turok?
Josh Holmes: Absolutely. So we've got a couple of projects in the works after this. Nothing that we can announce at this point, although I will say the next project outside of Turok is an RPG, and that's all we can say at this point. Shack: So is Turok planned as an ongoing franchise? Josh Holmes: That will depend. We'd love to see Turok continue as a franchise. That was kind of our hope in working on this game was to revitalize the franchise and have it something that could continue on as a premier shooter on next-gen consoles as long as people want to play them. But a lot of that's going to be determined based on how well it's received. So hopefully everyone goes out and buys a copy and loves it. Shack: Thanks for the interview. Josh Holmes: Thank you. Turok will arrive on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 5, 2008.

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"What the poor guy seems to have forgotten is that anyone who's looking for a "gritty and ..."
- Guypz0r    See all 13 comments


Dinosaur Luring In Turok Movie

Related Topics – Turok, Propaganda Games

A new Turok movie has been released, offering about a minute of gameplay footage showing how you can lure dinosaurs in the game.

Get the Flash Player to see this player. The Propaganda Games developed action game, which serves as a reboot for the franchise, is due out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next February.

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"Looks so blah :( Wake me when they make an FPS/TPS where you are the dinosaur hunting all those ..."
- AgentPothead    See all 21 comments


Turok Gets Hollywood Voice Actor Ensemble

Related Topics – Turok, Bethesda, Ensemble, Propaganda Games

If nothing else, Propaganda Games' reimagining of the Turok franchise will have a dinosauric load of Hollywood talent when it comes out next year, including acting/voice acting vets Ron Perlman--the "Hellboy" star who will be narrating Bethesda's upcoming Fallout 3--and Powers Boothe of HBO's "Deadwood" and "Sin City" fame. These two talents will be joined by 12 others announced by Touchstone today in voicing the game's coterie of characters. The title role of Turok goes to Native American TV actor Gregory Norman Cruz, most recently in TNT's new fall series "Saving Grace." Joining Cruz as the rest of Whiskey Company--the dino hunter's squadmates--are Timothy Olyphant of the upcoming film adaptation of Io Interactive's Hitman franchise (as Cowboy), the aforementioned Perlman as Slade, Donnie Wahlberg as Shepard, William Fichtner as Logan, Mark Rolston as Cole, Chris Judge as Jericho, Lombardo Boyar as Gonzales, Gideon Emery as Reese, Josh Gomez as Parker, Jon Curry as Foster, Jason Harris as Carter, and Steve Van Wormer as Henderson. On the villainy side of things, Boothe will voice war criminal Roland Kane, who was Turok's ex-mentor, with Sean Donnellan voicing henchman Grimes. Here's hoping the final product is able to match the quality of the voice casting when Turok ships to retail for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 5 next year.

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"mother fucker! I talk to fichtner almost every day and he never mentioned this, he knows im a ..."
- klearlyunseen    See all 11 comments


Turok Quiet Kill Footage Depicts Fatalities

Related Topics – Turok, Trailer, Propaganda Games

A new Turok video has been released, showing about a minute of stealth kill footage. The Propaganda Games-developed action game, which serves as a reboot of the Turok franchise, is due out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next February.

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"I was wondering the same thing. I think I'm burned out on all the violence in video games."
- slip42o    See all 46 comments


E3 07: Turok Lands on PS3, X360 in February

Related Topics – E3, Games: Console, E3 07, Propaganda Games

Propaganda Games' ultra-violent dinosaur hunting first person shooter Turok (PS3, X360) will release worldwide on February 5, 2008. The date was announced at publisher Disney Interactive Studio's E3 2007 press conference. Following the adventures of space adventurer Joseph Turok, the game picks up as the explorer crash lands on an alien planet filled with dinosaurs. A trailer of the game was shown, which highlighted Turok snapping a raptor's back. A number of other brutal attacks, such as stabbing an enemy in the eye with a knife, are available to players as well. "Looks awesome," Shacknews editor Carlos Bergfeld wrote during his live coverage of the event. In addition to numerous screenshots, we also have two gameplay movies for your visual enjoyment.

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"Honestly, I've never enjoyed a turok game, but I downloaded the demo of this game and had a lot ..."
- cycopl    See all 9 comments




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