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    Quote Originally Posted by anik_lc View Post
    Jodi original copy kinte chai taile pre-order er copy tai try korbo. Steam er madhdhome ki pre-order bonus gula paowa jay naki?
    Paoa Jabe. Special Lara Croft Costume And Gun's For Team Fortress 2
    A strong man doesn't need to read the future, he makes his own


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    FAQ about upcoming Tomb Raider game, film & Crystal Dynamics other projects

    Below you’ll find an archive of common questions regarding Crystal Dynamics and its products, compiled by Global Brand Director Karl Stewart (KS) and Community & Communication Manager Meagan Marie (MM).

    Last Updated: Jan 11, 2012

    FAQ: TOMB RAIDER (2012):

    What’s a reboot?
    KS: “Tomb Raider is an entirely new game featuring a new Lara Croft. To us ‘reboot’ means that the past Tomb Raider titles (including the settings, story, and characters native to them) exist as isolated experiences and are not related to this new game.”


    Is Tomb Raider a prequel?
    KS: “While Tomb Raider stars a 21-year-old Lara Croft, it isn’t a prequel to her other adventures. Rather, it’s an origin story with completely new cannon (see question above).”


    Why does Lara have a modern phone in the Turning Point trailer?
    KS: “The reason Lara has a modern phone in our debut trailer is because Tomb Raider takes place with Lara at age 21 come launch day.”


    Will Tomb Raider release simultaneously worldwide?
    KS: “Yes, you can expect a global, simultaneous release!”


    Why is the lead up till Tomb Raider’s release so long?
    KS: “The reason we’re taking our time with the game is first and foremost to ensure we deliver the quality game fans deserve. Additionally, the longer campaign gives fans and newcomers time to properly digest and acclimate to who this new Lara Croft is. The reimagined game and character are a departure from the legacy franchise, and as such time is needed to properly set the stage from both a narrative and character development standpoint. It will be worth the wait, I promise!”


    Will there be more Tomb Raider games after this newest release?
    KS: [Laughing] “Let us at least get this one out so you can play and tell us what you think! Of course though, we’re reimagining the entire franchise and this is step one. Enjoy it, play it, and we’ll tell you later what our plan for the future is.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    What platforms is Tomb Raider in development for?
    KS: “Tomb Raider will ship for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.”


    Will we see Tomb Raider on the Wii U or any other Nintendo Platform?
    KS: “At this time no. When we started developing the game we made a conscious decision that it was all about building the game for a platform and making sure the game was specific to that platform. Given that we’ve been working on the game quite a while before Wii U was announced I think it would not be right to try and port it across. If we started building a game for the Wii U we would build it very differently and we would build it with unique functionality.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will there be a Mac version of Tomb Raider?
    KS: “Yes! We’re in the middle of discussions with a company looking to do just that. I’d love to be able to see it day and date with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC release, but there is a technological aspect to it as well that we need to achieve. But yes, I want a Mac version because I love my Mac.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Are the controls nearly done? Will PC users be forced to use a controller, or will there be a proper keyboard and mouse setup?
    KS: “I used to be a big PC fan and I appreciate that individuals want to play with a mouse and keyboard. We’ve already started talking about the PC and keyboard layout, so yes, our goal working on the PC version is to allow for play with the controller or keyboard and mouse. We’ll keep you updated.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will there be a Tomb Raider Collector’s Edition?
    KS: “Of course! I love collector’s editions and personally designed sets for Batman: Arkham Asylum and Age of Conan. I’ve done loads and loads and I’m a big fan of them. So yes it’s on my list and I’ve already been doing a lot of exploration so I can say with certainty that there will be a collector’s edition. The editions may be unique to specific territories however, because some areas have restrictions and so on.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Why did Crystal Dynamics decide on a Mature rating for Tomb Raider?
    KS: “In the very early stages of concepting the reimagining of Tomb Raider it became evident that we were toning down the experiences that Lara would go through in order to fit in a T-rated game. It belittled the themes we felt so pivotal to delivering a new experience. We took some time and did some soul searching and decided that we had to move into the M-rated space. If we didn’t, the player would feel like the game was soft and light and that it wasn’t believable. It was a tough decision to make because there are many things to take into consideration including the age of our fans and the partners we can work with and even the times we can advertise our game. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but we believe we’ve made the right decision.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    How many hours of gameplay will Tomb Raider feature?
    MM: “ It’s a bit too early to put a number on hours. That being said, I know the team is working very hard to deliver a fulfilling experience that is competitive within the genre. I know my answer is vague, but we’ll clarify when we have a better idea down the road.”


    Can we request Portuguese subtitles for Tomb Raider?
    MM: “We’ve had an outpouring of support from the Brazilian community and the desire for Portuguese subtitles has most definitely been heard. We’re looking into the prospect very seriously and are in the process of meeting with various export market representatives. It’s a bit too early to confirm Portuguese subtitles, but keep an eye on this space for news as development continues.”


    Will Tomb Raider feature Croft Manor or Lara’s butler Winston?
    KS: [Laughing] “There won’t be a mansion on the island unless her parents had the foresight to send an architect there and build it without her knowing. And no, there aren’t any butlers in the game to lock into freezers.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will the Doppelganger or Kurtis Trent make an appearance in Tomb Raider?
    KS: [Laughing again] “No and no. I could sit here and try and elaborate, but neither of those characters play a part in this vision of Tomb Raider.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Did Lara still study archaeology, and is she an aristocrat?
    KS: “This is a very grounded Lara. She is still smart, she is still in college, and yes, she is still studying an element of archaeology. Is she an aristocrat? In this game we need to veer away from placing her in a social structure. She’s got a little bit of a back-story, but we don’t go into detail. Lara primarily wants to be accepted by her friends and by people in general. Her getting a job is more about wanting to socially convene with friends and be a team player rather than an issue of her not having any money. I don’t think we’d ever say ‘by the way, now she’s poor and from a broken home!’ That’s not Lara. Again, it’s not so much about financial status as it is the fact that she wants to gain experiences. That’s what Lara Croft is all about – gaining new experiences.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Is Tomb Raider a survival horror game?
    KS: “It’s funny that the term ‘survival horror’ has been used by the press, because it’s something we’re not trying to be. Obviously we’ve only shown off so much of the game till now and there is a sense of horror to it. It will be horrifying because you’re coming across people and instances and a world that is completely unfamiliar to you. The situations Lara will find herself in will require her to fight to survive. It’s more survival-adventure in our eyes. Lara is still a treasure hunter and adventurer looking for something new.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will weather be scripted in Tomb Raider, or will there be a day and night cycle?
    KS: “You will not stand in one place and over time watch the sun set and the moon rise. That being said, you will feel like there’s a persistent weather system. If you play in night hub and it’s raining and you fast travel back to another area, it will be rainy there too. It won’t feel like a dynamic weather system where you can stand on a cliff for hours and watch the sun moving across the sky. We have smart systems in place to help present it so that as you move around it will be the same time of day and weather as contextual to the narrative.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will the camera be unique from past Tomb Raider titles in the upcoming game?
    KS: “Yes, the camera will be unique from past Tomb Raider games. We realize that in some ways it always felt a little hard to control. We were very happy with the games we shipped, but we realized we needed to create a whole new camera to add a whole new experience. We needed to immerse the player in the experience and help them feel each different tone. When you Lara going through the tunnel in the scavenger den, obviously you can’t do that with a ten-foot camera off the back of her shoulder. You need to be up close and personal and hear her in your speakers and have the intimacy to see what she is seeing.

    “When you get into situation such as combat you need to be able to pull the camera back and allow the player to see more around them and evaluate the situation Lara is in. The same is true when she is climbing through the dynamic traversal. You need to be in that space with her. So we class it as a ‘dynamic camera’ and we’ve brought on a whole team just to ensure that experience is unique and different. As the campaign unfolds you’ll start to see some very bold and innovative ways of showing how we’ve tailored the camera for each experience. It really is phenomenal.”
    [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Why did Crystal Dynamics partner up with Beats by Dre, Speck, and showcase Lara with an iPhone in the Turning Point trailer? Will product partnerships continue throughout the game?
    KS: “What I’d say about those products is that from the very early days when we started concepting out the trailer I really wanted to make sure that we positioned the trailer in modern day. I’m not big into pulling in product just for the sake of it. I don’t like doing deals just for the money. Everything we do has to make sense with the character and the world.

    “For me it was about trying to find items that would help ground Lara in the world and tell you a little about her. If you pick up someone’s iPhone or iPod you start to understand more about that person. So for us the earphones stood for something. They are the earphones of today. We didn’t pay them and they didn’t pay us. It just fit the character we were creating.

    “As far as longer-term partnerships Tomb Raider has been around for fifteen years and has many partnerships with many companies. We’ve pulled many of them back and decided not to continue with them because they don’t live beside the brand that we envision over the next five to ten years. But then there are partnerships that make perfect sense. Over the course of the campaign you’ll see some, but every partnership we have will fit within the world of the game.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will Lara need food, water, or shelter in the new Tomb Raider?
    KS: “Yes, because she’s not a robot. We’re actually deep in that now and fine-tuning it in terms of how much water and how much food; how long she can go before consciously you’re like ‘I’d be starving by now.’ We’re also exploring what it means to collect. I’m not going to detail it too much and spoil it. What I will say is that this is not a simulation game. You’re not going to be picking berries and drinking your own wee in order to survive, but there will be a sense of realism in that she will have to scavenge food to keep herself going. [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Is the model we’ve seen of Lara in the 2011 demos finished?
    KS: “What you see right now is very early for Lara. We have artists working around the clock to get things like fabric and hair moving properly. This is one of the problems with showing content as early as we have been. There are certain things that will take the back burner until the game is finished internally and we get into a phase of polish. Lara’s hair is probably 40 or 50 percent of the way. The face of Lara and clothing of Lara is locked and won’t change, but details are still in flux. She’ll get much better.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will cutscenes be in-game or pre-rendered?
    KS: “The pre-rendered work we did with VisualWorks was purely a one-off. Everything in game will use the Crystal Engine. We haven’t pre-rendered anything and we intend to keep it that way. Not to say we’re sitting here in the studio making every single cinematic. We gave our engine to a partner company in LA and they aid with mo-capping and capturing VO and all that stuff, and then help build out our cinematic sequences. They have worked on Avatar and are also working on Hitman. The world’s best people are working on it.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]

    In regards to the E3 demo, will Lara continue to talk to herself and exclaim audibly throughout the duration of the game? How do you balance this self-narration with a sense of isolation?
    KS: “When you try to reposition a brand and showcase a new vision, you have to go through a strong character arch. As we’ve stated, Lara is 21 years of age and straight out of college when she ends up in this situation. Just like anyone she is afraid and alone and most people would talk to themselves for hours on end just to keep their sanity.

    “The goal as we move through the game is to see this huge character arc for Lara. Every day and every experience will make her stronger and make her closer to the Lara Croft we want her to be. So in the early stages you’ve seen her talking to herself or wincing or moaning, but won’t continue to the same degree. It’s a very serious thing for us, hitting that growth correctly. At the end of the game we want people to sit back and say ‘that’s Lara Croft.’” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Is there any chance of seeing cut footage from the Turing Point trailer?
    KS: “If I had my way from the very start the trailer would have been much longer. In one of our first brainstorming sessions I pitched an eight minute version to Visualworks. I had Lara walking up to the ship and saying hello to Roth and putting her bag in the room and going for dinner. VisualWorks looked at me and said ‘you’re off your trolley.’ So the final trailer is about four minutes and ten seconds. There is probably about a minute on the cutting room floor.

    “I’d love to think we’d put it all together some day, but the way in which it was built isn’t that we left scenes on the floor. It’s more that we were looking to get a specific level of emotion. For example in order to capture the scene where Lara nearly drowns in the escape hatch, we had to shoot it from many different angles. We captured an entire scene from inside the escape hatch and an entire scene from outside the escape hatch looking down. Then you start editing it together. So a lot of the stuff left on the floor isn’t necessarily something we can bolt onto the end and call it the ‘extended version.’” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will there be unlockable outfits in the game, or just Lara’s default clothing?
    KS: “Of course Tomb Raider has been known throughout the years to have unlockables and ways to interact beyond just the core game. We take that to heart. All I can say is ‘watch this space.’ We love unlockables and we love items as much as you do. That isn’t a yes or a no, but it’s a “worth thinking about.’ We’re still so far out it isn’t a decision we need to make next week.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will there be DLC (console-exclusive or otherwise) for Tomb Raider?
    KS: “Obviously it’s not something I can get into detail about right now. We will look into DLC and we’ve done DLC in the past, but it all boils down to experience. We need to make sure it fits. We also need to make sure we have time to build it, and we’re focused on the core experience right now. As far as exclusives, again, there is no real comment on that because you never know what’s around the corner. We try and keep as agnostic as possible, but I can’t even say if there will be a repeat of the Xbox exclusive for Underworld. If we do DLC, what’s the story? How does it fit within the game? That comes first.

    “We will build our game from start to finish and we want people to experience that 100 percent. When you pick up a copy of our game we want you to feel like you started and finished something. The story ended. If there is a piece of DLC, it may continue on a different trail from something that was hinted at in the game, or it might take something out of left field. DLC will give you a different experience, however, it’s certainly not something that has been removed from the game in order to make more money. That is completely against what we’re all about. Especially in regards to Tomb Raider it’s more important than ever that we do DLC right. The end of the game has to feel definitive. You don’t see a movie in a theater only for the big finale to be reserved for the DVD. That doesn’t happen.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Will we ever see some behind the scenes content, such as motion-capture and voice-recording sessions?
    KS: Yes, we intend to show lots of behind the scenes content, but are working to ensure that it isn’t delivered in the same old vein as developer diaries. We’re going to do something very special in not-so-distant future, although I don’t want to give it away right now. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    The game will have any stealth system or it will be more action style?
    KS: We’re working very hard to ensure our combat system has a variety of different play paths and play styles. Melee, ranged, and stealth interactions all play a huge part in this world. We’re looking forward to showing you our combat system around E3, when we’ll be unveiling it. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    Can we expect to see a variety of enemies? or will it be exclusive to the islanders and animals? (ie no more mythological creatures?) and/or boss battles?
    I don’t want to keep giving away spoilers. There is obviously an element of mystery to the island that you have to play to properly experience. I can say that there are plenty of people on the island, and lots of diversity in your encounters. I look forward to fans seeing the bow in action, and to hunting. That’s what you do on an island, right? Hunt. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    Now that Lara is so much more humanized, what's the potential to see her get involved in any relationships?
    KS: I’ve read and fed into the script now on many, many occasions, and I can tell you that there is no love interest in this game. She is trying to survive. She is busy. Surviving the situation is all she can cope with right now; surviving a relationship would be a bit tough. In one of the next releases we could possibly see this more human Lara meet someone, but that is way over the horizon. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    All the past games have had Lara search for an artifact. Will the goal of the game be an artifact, or survival?
    KS: Lara has landed on an island that is shrouded in mystery, so obviously we want her to uncover that mystery. First and foremost she has to survive. There is a core discovery to be made, and that core discovery will unlock the mystery of the entire island and answer a lot of questions for you. There are items and artifacts that you have to pick up and find around the island, but everything points to this big discovery. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    Will the axe interact with fixed climbing points, or will we be able to free climb with it?
    We have a very wide range of fixed points, guaranteeing you’ll have freedom of movement. There are limitations, however, like not being able to jump off the side of a cliff and hook onto the side at random to free climb. The real world doesn’t work like that. Like real life you can’t just walk up to a cliff and assume you can climb it. It may be too steep, or too rocky, or jagged. But then there will be other areas perfect for climbing. It will feel organic and natural. The path won’t be screaming at you – no white ledges. [From forum Q&A session #1]


    Will the music in the trailer be the Main Theme?
    d1n0_xD asks: The music in the trailer is so awesome, is it going to be the Main theme?
    Alex Wilmer: It is indeed the theme. It was very important for us to reveal it in this way. [From official forum]


    Does the game engine support dynamic lighting?
    Phaid asks: Lara seems to not cast any shadow in these pics: pic1 pic2 pic3. Does the engine support dynamic lighting?
    Brian Horton: The engine supports dynamic shadows on multiple light sources, the shots you pointed to have shadows but they were not clear in those angles. Thanks for the question, hope that clears it up.[From official forum]


    FAQ: LEGACY TOMB RAIDER TITLES

    Will the Xbox 360 exclusive DLC for Underworld ever come to PS3 or PC?
    KS: “Unfortunately it will not. That was a deal we had with Microsoft as a worldwide exclusive. At this point, the team has been disbanded and is working on other projects so we wouldn’t even have the staff to work on it.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    Are there plans to remake any other Tomb Raider titles such as was done with Anniversary?
    KS: “No, there are no plans right now or in the future to develop any other Tomb Raider title besides what we’re currently working on. You can still play the original games on your PlayStation or PSP. As you know our goal is to start from day one with the franchise. This is it. This is Lara’s new adventure.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]



    FAQ: TOMB RAIDER MOVIE

    What can you share about the new Tomb Raider movie thus far?
    KS: “I can’t share anything apart from what we’ve been telling you. Of course there’s a lot that goes on behind closed doors and when we’re ready to talk we’ll talk. We’re great partners with GK, but a lot of movie stuff will come directly from them. We’ll be privy to it beforehand and we’ll discuss what gets said, but GK is managing that process.

    “I can tell you that we have scriptwriters – Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus – but we haven’t got a director associated with the project just yet. Normally the process is that you get concept approval, script writers, director, and then you hire the actors. I can also say it’s not Olivia Wilde as reported. She confirmed it!” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]



    FAQ: CRYSTAL DYNAMICS

    How many projects is the studio currently working on?
    MM: “Crystal Dynamics is currently working on three titles – Tomb Raider, and two unannounced, original IP.”


    When will we see the next Legacy of Kain game?
    KS: “I can’t answer that because we’re not working on a Legacy of Kain game. The studio is focused on our three projects at the moment. One is Tomb Raider as you know, and the other two are new IP. Again, we’re not working on a Legacy of Kain game here at Crystal Dynamics.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]


    What’s the best way to secure a job at Crystal Dynamics? Do you need extensive experience? Is picking a specialty the way to go?
    KS: “Have confidence and be awesome! We take people into the studio from all different levels – straight out of college, contract positions, sourcing people and so on. It all depends on the requirement. Take something like combat – which is very important to us. We needed individuals with specific experience in that area. But we have artists who have worked on only one other game and those guys are rock stars. I think if you’re really talented in whatever field you apply for, that will shine through. We wouldn’t pass up on someone just because they are fresh out of collage. If you’re good, you’re good.

    “If you have the benefit of going into college now and knowing you want to work in video games, that’s great. You’ll have the upper hand. But I’m a classically trained animator. There is an organic element to it too. When I finished college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had this great opportunity to work on animation and then I moved into marketing and then moved into brand. Now I blend the two together and I understand two fields. So I wouldn’t say that just because you didn’t study it in college means you’re stuck. I guarantee if you asked one or two people in the studio what they used to do, they started in finance or the like.” [Transcribed from Crystal Habit Podcast]



    Source: Official Tomb Raider Forum

    ---------- Post added at 20:51 ---------- Previous post was at 20:47 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Badhon View Post
    Paoa Jabe. Special Lara Croft Costume And Gun's For Team Fortress 2
    Hayre. I was talking about two big size posters, 15 year celebration t-shirt and Lara Croft statue which is under consideration with pre-order box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anik_lc View Post
    Jodi original copy kinte chai taile pre-order er copy tai try korbo. Steam er madhdhome ki pre-order bonus gula paowa jay naki?
    Steam e alada preorder bonus thake usually.

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    i have a bad feelings working that this game will be pushed to 2013.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename5302 View Post
    i have a bad feelings working that this game will be pushed to 2013.
    Tomb Raider hits Alpha stage in December 2011. Which means they need 8/9 months maximum to reach the Gold stage. Oder target May/June er vitorei Beta stage hit kora. Plus E3 er combat level ta aro polish kora as much as possible. Tomb Raider er ager 3ta game release er age onek info video charsilo jar karone game gula ratings kom paise. Eibar ora last 8 months dhore kisu show kore nai karon eibar onek innovative idea anse game e, eita koekbar bolseu ora. Ei karone spoiler diye agei shobkisu noshto korte chay nah. CD aro bolse je 2013 e Tomb Raider 3 film release korbe(jeitar shooting probably Hawaii e hobe ei year ei) and they have no intention to release both TR game & film in one year. Don't worry, ei game 2012 November er vitorei release pabe for sure. Tomb Raider had a great past 12-15 years ago. Now they lost the main attention in last few years. This game will bring back the glory.
    Last edited by anik_lc; February 6th, 2012 at 12:06.

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    ^ i am talking from business perspective. hitman is going to be released within 2nd or 3rd quarter of the year. SE is not foolish enough to release two games back to back. november is also a bad month for SE. COD, MoH, few PS3 exclusives etc will also affect sales of TR. so for safety reason they may push it forward to 2013. of course if SE is brave enough then we have a chance to taste this game before 2013. besides as it is a strong ip for SE, there is a strong possibility to push it to end of financial calender so that it looks good to share holders!!! let's keep our finger crossed!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename5302 View Post
    ^ i am talking from business perspective. hitman is going to be released within 2nd or 3rd quarter of the year. SE is not foolish enough to release two games back to back. november is also a bad month for SE. COD, MoH, few PS3 exclusives etc will also affect sales of TR. so for safety reason they may push it forward to 2013. of course if SE is brave enough then we have a chance to taste this game before 2013. besides as it is a strong ip for SE, there is a strong possibility to push it to end of financial calender so that it looks good to share holders!!! let's keep our finger crossed!!!
    I am saying it from what CD said in last few months in multiple interviews. CD said In September 20-23, in Makuhari Messe convention center, they have big plans for Tomb Raider which is speculated to be game release with something special for the game. The reason is the game sets in Japan, SE headquarter is situated in Japan, even they release lots of AAA title from other publishers in Japan including titles like Arkham City, Modern Warfare 3 & Black Ops. And 2012 November eu ora CoD 9 release korbe Japan e. Don't worry, we will see the awesomeness of next TR in exactly 10331513 seconds when everyone will say it has the potential to compete with AAA titles in November too. But TR fans are optimistic about a late September/ early October release. Beside SE still have games like Thief 4 & Final Fantasy XIII in their hands and two new AAA IP working by Crystal Dynamics.

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    Atleast Cod er theke aktu distance rakhai TR 9 er jonno valo hobe. naile compete toh durer kotha Selling a onek loss gunte hobe.

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    Crystal Habit Podcast #7-
    http://officialtombraiderblog.tumblr...-crystal-habit

    What is in it:
    - New tidbit of music.
    - Noah talks about cut-scenes and camera.
    - Voice and Action are captured simultaneously.
    - Karl is heard yelling in the background.
    - Two people are motion capturing Lara. (Stunt & VA. I assume.)
    - All standard cinematic are rendered in engine. (no ****)
    - A wild Karl appearance.
    - Lara has no birth-date. (In Meagan's word; WHAT?!) And Karl is repulsed by Lara and states that he doesn't wanna date her.
    - The beauty of the island WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.
    - If you haven't played Arkham City, don't listen to the podcast. Ah, the irony.
    - The reason we haven't got new info is because there is a strategy between everything they do. They want to tell Lara's re-imagining slowly and carefully, and wants the info to sink in. (*facedesk*) They have loads to show, and it won't be long until they come back. (It won't be long = Soon)
    - The president of Germany has resigned.
    - And yet the VA is not revealed.


    ---------- Post added February 18th, 2012 at 09:30 ---------- Previous post was February 17th, 2012 at 23:29 ----------

    Just in-cast anyone wants to read:

    Crystal Habit Podcast #7 Transcript:
    Transcription
    The Crystal Habit Podcast: Episode 7

    MEAGAN MARIE: Hey, everyone, Meagan Marie here, thanks for tuning in to the Crystal Habit Podcast: Episode 7. In this episode we have a couple of very cool segments for you. The first is called "Creating a Cutscene," and we'll have our Creative Director in here to talk about exactly that, the process of creating a cutscene in-game. After that we have the Take Five segment with Karl. I think it's quite an enlightening segment this episode, so definitely tune in for his answers to several questions that I've heard repeatedly. I'm very excited to finally get you guys definitive answers for them. And last, we have a crowdsourced segment featuring audio clips from webmasters worldwide, talking about why they love Lara, which we thought would be a fun little way to tie in the podcast to the recent Valentine's Day holiday. So, stick around and enjoy!

    [musical interlude]

    Segment 1: Creating a Cutscene

    MEAGAN MARIE: I'm very excited for the first segment of our show, which is called "Creating a Cutscene." What I like about these segments is, I get to learn right alongside you guys, because this is all new to me. So I have with me Noah Hughes, who is our Creative Director. Hello Noah.

    NOAH HUGHES: Hello.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Would you be able to walk me through, kind of... Almost a timeline, from beginning to end, of what you do, before we get down to the nitty-gritty of creating a cutscene and getting these into the games?

    NOAH HUGHES: Ah, yeah, just to walk through our high-level process... We'll start with a meta-script. Generally, we map out the story that we want to tell. From there we go into a scriptwriting phase, where we'll do several iterations of a script. From that point we'll break it down into the scenes that we intend to shoot, we will storyboard those particular scenes. We do a practice shoot with the actors at the motion capture stage. From that we'll iterate on the script, we'll do a revision based on how the scene was playing. We'll also learn more about the staging of the actors and where we want the camera in the particular scenes, so when we come back in and do the final shoot, we really have a clear understanding of where we want the actors and where we want the camera and things like that. We will iterate... From that session we'll actually get rough motion in data. So we'll cut together a version of the scene based on the practice data, make any last-minute changes to the script from that, and then go back into the motion-capture studio with the actors, this time with the full audio capture and the full set design and all of that. And we do a capture of the motion and voice of the actors playing that particular scene. We then bring that back in-house and do things like lighting and textures and refining the motion and all of that. That's basically, I guess, the high-level process.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then it winds up in the game. So how many people are involved in creating a cutscene? What departments have a hand in it, aside from... You talked about talent, and you talked about, obviously, your involvement as the Creative Director.

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah, we have a lot of people touching it at different stages. We have stakeholders on the team, who participate in the overall story that we're going to tell. I'll work closely with the writer and the cinematic director, turning that into script and storyboards. And then, obviously, we have a lot of professionals at the stage and the actors, things like that. And then once that data is captured, we work with an external animation group, who will take that data, clean it up, things like that. That's a lot of animators touching it at that point. When we bring it in-house, we have fewer people. At that point we're building our sets, we have a group of a few people who are helping with getting the animation on the actual rigs that we have and polishing it. We have our character group, which is essentially making the characters and making their visuals final, and then a few people who are making the cinematic sets and art final, lighting, things like that. And then we have an audio department doing the mix. I guess, at any given stage, it's usually in the hands of a few people, but by the time it's gone through the whole process, it's been touched by... I don't know, what, 30, 40 people, something like that?

    MEAGAN MARIE: Wow. And at what time do you implement these cutscenes into a game? I know, looking at early footage, you see those storyboards, that are just panned across to give you an idea of what's going to be there, as placeholders. So when do you try to implement the final cutscenes?

    NOAH HUGHES: Getting all of the cutscenes in around our alpha milestone is important, so we can start really judging the story of the game in the context of how it's actually going to be told. But as you mentioned, before that, we make sure to integrate storyboards and other stand-ins for the cinematics so that we can start to understand how it transitions in and out of gameplay and what the pace is going to feel like and those types of things. But really, alpha is when our cinematics start to drop in.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And at that point in time, are they locked? Do they still have the ability to change, if necessary?

    
NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. They're a little more locked than a lot of our content, because we're trying to keep the capture data that we have, but at the same time there's a fair amount of iteration that happens. With cameras... The performance is happening in a way that's hard to change. If you change one character then they won't interact correctly with another character. But having said that, the camera can be changed so we just view that scene from a different angle. So we have a fair amount of liberties playing with the camera after the capture. But we also have done a lot of capture cameras, so even those we don't like to touch too much. We're trying to keep the organic feel of the hand-captured cameras. But that is something that we'll iterate on. Additionally, we'll do ADR sessions, essentially some dialogue replacement. If there's particular lines in performances that are bit rough, or if we'd like to change a line, we can do some of that on the home stretch as well. And then things like lighting don't even happen until later in the process. We really iterate on that a lot, to get the mood and the cool final polish.

    
MEAGAN MARIE: It's interesting seeing them progress, it's something I hadn't been privy to before, so it's cool seeing them layered and layered until you get the end result.

    NOAH HUGHES: It's kind of scary, because at first they're pretty much a disaster, until it all starts coming together...

    MEAGAN MARIE: But then they function as placeholders, and then, like you said, the puzzle pieces fit together and it's impressive. I think a lot of our fans are actually quite interested in the motion capturing process. And obviously, we haven't revealed who the voice actress is yet, so we don't get to say who's running around in the black suit, but... These people, are they in the traditional black suits with the little balls all over it? Can you kind of set the stage as far as what the motion capture stage looks like?

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. The motion capture stage... It's pretty cool. It's just a huge square warehouse-stage-type-feeling-thing. But it's got a carpeted floor and a grid on it, so we can use that for marking out the scene. And then actors, as you mentioned, they're in the jumpsuits with the little balls. The sets are built out of rough materials, when we need the physical form of the sets to be there. We'll have... The stage itself is very clean, with thousands of cameras, or I guess hundreds of cameras placed all around it, but then there's at least as large an area that's just full of wood planks and pillars and boards and apple boxes...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Kind of a build-your-own set...

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. It's almost like a carpenter's Lego set for building the physical form of the set that we need. It looks more Tron-like than Tomb Raider-like. It doesn't look much like the game when we're doing it on the set, obviously.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It's very interesting, though. So we capture... You said that we capture the voice and the motion simultaneously, is that correct?

    NOAH HUGHES: That's correct, yeah.
    
MEAGAN MARIE: So what are the benefits of doing that, in terms of character performance?

    NOAH HUGHES: For us it was pretty important to try to really have the actors benefit from playing off of each other. So obviously, their ability to act in the scene together, but also even be giving that vocal performance as they're giving the physical performance. I think you get nuances out of all of that happening at the same time, that you don't necessarily get when you try to break that up into different stages. As I mentioned, it's fine for us to do some pick-up lines in a booth, stuff like that, but really, the ability to hear exertions underneath a line, if someone's straining as they're delivering it... Or even just the little bit of stepping on a line that you get between two actors as they're playing off of each other. There's a lot of nuance that we like to try and capture in the moment.

    MEAGAN MARIE: How do you capture some of these more, like, grand action sequences? Like jumping or falling or... Is that all captured, or is some of that keyframed?

    NOAH HUGHES: We try to capture as much of that as we can. We have stunt actors as well, so we have a stunt Lara and some other actors. We will do any number of things, I guess... We had wires hanging from the struts in the ceiling, or we had trampolines where they were doing head-over-heels flips to capture exposions, things like that. But, like you would do in a standard movie shoot, you break the scene up into different bits. One contiguous action sequence would actually be done in little snippets, so that moment where the explosion goes off, that will be one capture, where we'll get the stunt actors flying through the air, and then as we edit it together it becomes that contiguous action scene.
    
MEAGAN MARIE: This sounds like a lot of fun! I need to come down and see one of these stages. Stunts hanging from the ceiling... So how often do you need to go down there? Do you do a couple of very full days, do you do smaller bite-sized sessions, or... How often are you recording?

    NOAH HUGHES: We try to do... We tended to do about two or three days at a time, and we've done... I don't know, probably six or seven of those particular sessions, with enough time in between... One of them being practice, and then leaving some time in to iterate on the script and do our initial edit based on the preliminary data. And then we do the final version of that shoot, and again, leave a little bit of time to prepare for the next one, get all the props ready, things like that. Then we go down and shoot the practice for the next batch. So we ended up doing three batches overall, doing a practice and a final shoot, with a little bit of test thrown in there for a total of about seven different sessions.

    MEAGAN MARIE: So are you down there earlier than the actors, helping set up the stage, preparing all that, getting it all ready for the performance capturing?

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. There's a decent amount of preparation. Also, the actors' time is pretty precious. In games, we're used to working a really long day if we need to get things done, but the actors have the strict rules of how much they can work in a particular day, so what we try to do is get down there, do as much preparation as we can, so as soon as the actors are in there, we're actually shooting scenes. It's always a stress throughout the day, hoping...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Checking your watch.

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. Are we gonna get that final minute that we need to get to today?

    MEAGAN MARIE: Okay. So once you get the footage... You're talking about how you have multiple cameras all over the motion capture stage. Who decides the angles and the panning and the camera view, once you get all that raw footage back to the studio?

    NOAH HUGHES: That's actually a really fun part of the process. When I mentioned all the cameras around the stage, those are just for tracking the motion. So they have... If you look at the little shiny balls on the actors' suits, the hundreds of cameras around are really just tracking that and turning it into 3D motion. When we're actually doing the cameras for the cinematics themselves, we've already captured the actors and we're able to play them back in the 3D engine, watching the scene play out. And then we have a virtual camera, which we can take into the stage. So at that point, there aren't any actors on the stage. If you look through the virtual camera, you see the 3D characters performing, so we use that virtual, handheld camera, which has a little viewport just like a regular camera would, but you're seeing in to the digital version of it. You can move that camera around and shoot the performance from any angle you want, and then you can go ahead and start the performance from the beginning again and shoot from any other angle. So we have a cinematics director, who's doing the directing of the actors on the set, and then doing the directing of the cameras on the set. Those are two different days. The process of being able to shoot multiple cameras over and over with the same performance is pretty fun. The other things that are neat with that, that you can't do with a normal camera, is you can, say, for example, change the scale of the motion of the camera. So all of a sudden, it's as if you could be a hundred-foot-tall person, and when you move the camera around the scene, it's really more like a huge crane shot, something where, in a normal movie, you'd need that giant crane or a helicopter or something to get. Just by changing the scale of the camera motion, you're able to move the camera in all different ways. It's a super-fun part of the process.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Very cool. I have to imagine it makes it that much more rewarding when you finally hear that audio layered in, and the texture and the lighting and whatnot.

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. And that really is the thing, it's... Every piece is done as a separate layer. It's always very exciting to capture one layer, but you're always then anxious to get the next layer in, so that you can see it all. When we first capture the performance, I'm really just looking at the videos from that day. But once we get to the cameras, we can look at the camera shots. But until you get the edits, it's not that interesting. Even once you get the edits, it's not that interesting until you put in... You know.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But then when you see it all together... That's what everybody gets to see, and they don't realize how much work goes into it. So everything is rendered in-engine, correct? Nothing is pre-rendered?

    NOAH HUGHES: Yeah. For all the standard cinematics in the game. We have an opening sequence which is pre-rendered, but beyond that, we've really enjoyed using the realtime process. It allows us to transition seamlessly from gameplay to cinematic and have it really feel the same. That's something that's important to our game. The whole experience should feel like an intense performance from the actors, right? That goes in and out of gameplay. That ability to do it in real time has been an important part of us making it feel unified.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Awesome. Well, I can't wait for everybody to get to see more of the work that you've been doing down the road. So... Thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it.

    NOAH HUGHES: Thank you.

    [musical interlude]

    Segment 2: Take Five

    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright, Karl, you know what's coming.

    KARL STEWART: Cool, no problem. Take Fiiiive!

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yes. And I'm actually extremely excited about this one...

    KARL STEWART: Oh, dear.

    MEAGAN MARIE:
    ...because I get Karl to answer two questions that the fans have been asking quite often, and that I know they're going to be excited to get definitive answers to. So!

    KARL STEWART: I know they have questions about this as well, because I get more tweets, more questions on the forums and e-mails, I get hit up with this a lot. And every single time I walk by Meagan, this last week, all she keeps saying is, "What's the answer?! What are we gonna say?!" So for all you people giving Meagan crap for not answering, I'm the one who said, "We say nothing just yet, until we communicate it correctly."

    MEAGAN MARIE: Thank you, Karl, you just made my day.

    KARL STEWART: So Meagan presses me every single day to answer these questions.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Oh, you just made my day. Thank you so much.

    KARL STEWART: I always try to find excuses to have to go. "Gotta go to a meeting! Sorry!"

    MEAGAN MARIE: But 90 percent of the time you do have to go to a meeting, so...

    KARL STEWART: Yeah, I know...

    MEAGAN MARIE: So, question number one, are you ready for this?

    KARL STEWART: Yeah.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Does the new Lara Croft have a birth date, and if so, what is it?

    KARL STEWART: No comment. Question number two.

    MEAGAN MARIE: What?!

    KARL STEWART: [laughter]

    MEAGAN MARIE: That was a bit of a loud screech.

    KARL STEWART: Okay. So. Let me see if I can answer this in a very constructive way. When we went back to look at this new vision of Lara, obviously, we tried to make sure that we position the character in the future of the character. So we're not looking at a year, we're looking at the next 20-plus years, let's say, if she lasts that long. Obviously she will. We had to be very cognizant about dating our character. I know, in the past, we've had... Lara's birthday is February the fourteenth, it was Valentine's Day. For the life of me, I don't know who ever decided that, I don't know when it was decided, whether it was a year, five years... Well, I know it wasn't a year. Five years? Ten years ago? I do not know. And in all of the characters that I've been studying really closely, I have tried to make sure that... We give her a juice, right, so we're building the game better, we're telling a story. But really, there are certain personalities and certain things that... I, and the team here, just don't feel like you need to get into that level of depth. That brings a level which kinda starts to break down that fourth wall a little bit too much. And some of the examples that I will give are... You look at James Bond. I have studied it and looked it up. He doesn't have a birthday. Batman doesn't have a birthday. The Incredible Hulk doesn't have a birthday. So it's looking at characters and kind of going, "What is the rationale for having a birthday?" Right? Of course we want to celebrate and everyone wants to say, "Oh, Valentine's Day has just come," and we had loads to talk about, but... Does it necessarily mean that we have to pay homage to a fictional character on her birthday? So despite the fact that a lot of people will probably be a little bit peeved with us for not calling it out and saying, "Hey, February 14!", we look at it and kind of go, "Does she need to have a birthday? Is it something that we need to bring to her personality?" And I think that the answer is no. So...

    MEAGAN MARIE: We can love Lara every day.

    KARL STEWART: We love Lara every day. I don't want to disappoint people by kind of making them feel like we're disrespecting it, saying, "No more." But we have looked at a lot of characters and a lot of people, a lot of games, and really... My thought, and I think the team here's, is that we do not want to date the character. You put a date on it... It's like, how old is James Bond? James Bond has been the same age for God knows how long. It's just been a different iteration of James Bond. And I think even when you look through... There's always been speculation about when James Bond was born, what his birthday was, and the same with Batman, the same with many, many other characters. Really, from our perspective, we don't want to date Lara. But we still keep her in our hearts.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Absolutely. Thank you so much for that one.

    KARL STEWART: I know I'm going to get for it anyway. But I'm just... Trying to be as open and honest...

    MEAGAN MARIE: And I think the fans will appreciate that. Thank you. Alright, question number two, this one's a little easier. What sort of additional content or replayability will we see in the new Tomb Raider game? Will there be side missions, alongside the main missions?

    KARL STEWART: Over the coming months, as we've been sort of saying in the last podcast, we have loads more content we're going to talk about. I don't want to spoil anything, I don't want to give stuff away, but I think it's very simple to read between the lines and kinda go, "Look, we're Tomb Raider, of course this island is full of mystery, there'll be loads of other things you'll be able to do." As time progresses we'll start to introduce you to different storylines and different faces, sort of different times that'll be on the island. For instance, you step out on that cliff and you see all those ships, historically, there are ships from many different ages. There's a Viking ship there, there's a Spanish longship... Is a longship Spanish? What do you call it? A Viking longship, Spanish armada, made a mistake there. As well as, like, B-52 bombers, fishing trawlers. So of course there's tons of stuff that we want to talk to you about over the course of time, but really, our core is that the next time we come back, we're going to talk to you about the progression of our character, a little bit about the surroundings and the people on the island, before we start getting into that secondary stuff. But trust me, as with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, as with all the Tomb Raider games, there will be lots of other things to do. We're not going to stick to just...

    MEAGAN MARIE: To cater to your play style...There are people who just want to plow through it, and then there's people like me who can spend an hour and a half in one little area because I'm trying to jump on everything and find everything...

    KARL STEWART: Exactly. Guardian of Light, I loved all the challenge tombs, and to us that was a big deal, to make sure that the player felt like there was more than just that main story. And I think, you know, again, read between the lines. You see what we're setting up here. Over the coming months you'll see that there's a lot of other things that go on on the island that will keep you intrigued. I'm just not going to go into it right now. [chuckles]

    MEAGAN MARIE: The third question goes into it a little bit more... But, similar parallel lines, not exactly the same. What variety of environments can we expect to find on the island? I think that some people have a fear that our game is dark and moody and scary and rainy and gross all the time, and that you don't get to see the beauty...

    KARL STEWART: It's not.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I know it's not, and that's why I can't wait for people to see more. But can you expand on that?

    KARL STEWART: So one of the most important aspects, when we started work on this game, was setting the island up as a character. Now, in order to have the island as a character, you can't just have a one-dimensional character, you have to have a multi-dimensional character. So therefore, you're going to come across situations on the island where, yes, you've seen dark, dank tombs and you've seen ships on the bay, imagining being able to possibly get down to them, and then you see it's raining... Well, of course, you know, there's going to be so much more. There's going to be places on the island that will blow your mind, vistas, beautiful. Again, I'm big into not spoiling things for people. I love to remark on them, let you know that stuff's coming and not to worry, but I don't want to turn around to say, "She does this, and she looks out on this, you'll be, like, holy !"

    MEAGAN MARIE: I think the character analogy is a very good one. The fact that it's a very multi-faceted location. Because it is... The game is on one island. That was one of the things, a persistent single location... So we wouldn't want it to feel redundant and boring just because it's in one space.

    KARL STEWART: Exactly. And it's like... Trust us. We're not going to build a game where it's all nighttime and just rain. [laughter] Because we'd be very bored should we have decided to do that.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And we didn't.

    KARL STEWART: And we didn't.

    MEAGAN MARIE: So rest assured. Alright, question... The next question is, is there any news about trophies and achievement support?

    KARL STEWART: Only the fact that it's going to be in the game, of course, because it's a big deal in every single game. We'll try and make some easy, some very hard. But it's kind of a moot question because it's going to be in there, right? I don't think we can contractually submit a game to any first party without putting in trophies or achievements.

    MEAGAN MARIE:
    It's, surprisingly, a question I get quite often, and I think that perhaps just hearing the reassurance is a good thing.

    KARL STEWART: Alright, well, maybe on this one, I can answer wholeheartedly "Yes!" We will have trophies and achievements. What they will be, right now, there is absolutely no way on this earth that I know, because that doesn't happen until you have your game in a position where you can go in and play it and kinda go, "Oh, that's cool, let's make that really hard to get! That's a cool reward for doing that." So although it's in the back of our heads, it's not something, at this stage, that we start planning out. And then, of course, you don't want to give any spoilers. I will be doing my best to make sure that we keep it as quiet as possible, and that the XboxAchievements.com or whatever that website is doesn't get their hands on it...

    MEAGAN MARIE: That always breaks them...

    
KARL STEWART: They always break it, they always tell people...

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then there's storyline spoilers and...

    KARL STEWART: Yeah. And I suppose, to comment on that, we will be very cautious about making sure that the names of the achievements aren't spoilers. Because I think that is a very important thing. It's a bummer when you turn around and say... Here's an example, it's probably a spoiler, but if you got an achievement in Arkham City for, say, "The Death of Joker," you'd be like, "Oh, no, that means he's gonna die!" Well, who the hell names an achievement that? Now, I know that Rocksteady did not give an achievement named "The Death of Joker." But that's a spoiler, that's a big deal...

    MEAGAN MARIE: And there's a lot of people that go through the achievement list immediately, to see all of the non-hidden achievements, so they can make sure they've got their eye on the right activities and whatnot, so...

    KARL STEWART: Exactly. Which is funny there, because just as I said "The Death of Joker," Meagan looked at her like I'd just given her the spoiler alert and she hadn't played it...

    MEAGAN MARIE: No, I played it, I know.

    KARL STEWART: Funny.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Last question. So we bookended the Take Five with the hard questions. So now we're closing in on a hard one. Final question is, why have you guys gone so long without sharing any new information about the game? Is there a strategy to this?

    KARL STEWART: So I would say, yes, there's a strategy behind everything we do. We do not just talk for the sake of it. It was very important to us that we time the announcement of our game, as well as the information that we reveal about our game, very strategically, so that we tell the story of re-imagining this character. Lara's been around for a very long time, and you cannot expect that you come out, 12 to 18 months before the game ships, and go, "Ta-da, here she is, she's shipwrecked on an island," and the next phase is, "Oh, she's getting stronger," and the next phase is, "Oh, she's an action-adventure hero." There has to be the right amount of time to allow everything to sink in, for people to understand what we're trying to achieve. Now, with that said, we have been extremely lucky in 2011 off the back of getting the cover on Game Informer, written by none other than Meagan Marie... We had planned to sort of say, "Well, right, for the entire year we will just talk about and focus on that one thing." Now, as the year progressed, and we found that the 35-plus covers and all the awards at E3 and the amount of people who came to see it, we were... It was almost a sellout concert. Every single time we did a demo, whether it be at E3 or any show, we had more people turning up than we'd imagined. So we felt like we achieved our goal of communicating this new vision for Lara in a fraction of the space of time that we thought it would take. And we really reached a point in time where we said, "Okay, well, the next stage has to be that evolutionary step of Lara. What's she going to do next?" So that each step of the way you kinda feel like she's growing and growing. And that's what we plan on doing now when we come back pretty soon. But as soon as we got to... Like, I think it was around the September timeline. Really, everybody had seen it. Everybody had seen what we wanted to show. All that happens is that, in my mind, you start frustrating people. Because you're regurgitating the same content, you're talkng about the same thing over and over again. Even if... As an example, we had the option to release the gameplay footage, narrated, that we'd shown at E3. At some point in time, everybody has seen it and it feels like you've got nothing new to show. We have loads of new stuff to show and we're really excited to get ready to do it. We just decided that for a period of time, we did not want to keep showing the same thing, because it starts to just date the product. People look at it and go, "Is that a one-trick pony? Is that all they can do?" And that's not all we do. So it has been very strategic. It was obviously a little bit... It's a little bit longer than we had planned, because we managed to achieve so much last year. Which we're very proud of and we're very happy, that the press and all the fans loved what we were doing. But let's just say that it will not be long before we will be coming back. We will be coming back and showing you the next phase, and trust me, from then on into the campaign it's a lot of content dropping.

    MEAGAN MARIE: A lot of content, and it's not just game-specific, like trailers and screenshots. We'll be talking about talent, we'll be looking at ancillary things... All sorts of stuff.

    KARL STEWART: We have loads to say. But it also takes time for this new vision to settle in to people. We're all fans, we're very close to it, a lot of the people who listen to this podcast have been close to it since day one. Re-imagining an IP like this takes a little bit of time for it to sort of seep through all the cracks and for everybody to be aware that it's happening. We believe that, when we come back in the very near future, we will have sufficiently sorta seeded the new vision, the re-imagining. And when we move into this next phase, people will understand where we're coming from in order to get there. These things take time.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It does take time, but it'll be worth the wait. That's what I keep telling people. The content that we have coming is phenomenal. So I cannot wait to share it with you guys, and thank you for explaining that, Karl, I think it does provide a lot of insight into the motivation behind why we're doing what we're doing in the order and the timeline that we're doing it.

    KARL STEWART: Excellent.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Awesome. Thank you so much!

    KARL STEWART: And you see, that's only a Take Five. If you'd had a Take Six, that would have been... "Who is the voice of Lara Croft?" And that would have been... That's a great sixth question. But I'm not going to answer it right now.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But you won't.

    KARL STEWART: [knowing laughter]

    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright. Thank you.

    KARL STEWART: Bye-bye.

    [musical interlude]

    Segment 3: Why we Love Lara

    MEAGAN MARIE: In the final segment of this episode, I wanted to tie in to the recent Valentine's Day holiday, and I thought... What is better than asking the Tomb Raider webmasters, the members of the official fansite program, to discuss why they love Lara? It turned out to be extremely cool to hear everybody's voices for the first time, to hear all the accents from all over the world, and to hear all these very similar experiences to my own. So, here are some of the webmasters from around the world, talking about why they love Lara. Enjoy!

    DRIBER: Hey, everyone, this is Driber, I am a staff member from the official forums, I'm a custom level builder, I live in the Czech Republic, and I'm a long-time Tomb Raider fan. What I probably like most about the games are the environments which Lara is placed in. My first-ever experience with Lara, if I remember correctly, was a demo of the Venice level from Tomb Raider II, I absolutely loved it, I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere of the game, and soon afterwards I headed to the local game store and I bought Tomb Raider one for the original PlayStation. I've just been hooked ever since. Over the years I've played many other types of games, first-person shooters, RPGs, racing games, fighting games, other adventure games. But Tomb Raider always managed to stand out to me for some reason. It's got that special something to it. I really can't explain what that is, though, it's hard to really put my finger on it. So far I liked every major installment of the game. Yes, that does include Angel of Darkness. Despite its flaws, I did like the original story which Core wanted to tell with it. I think it's a shame that their planned trilogy was never finished. It was actually funny for me, chasing Eckhardt in Prague, because I was actually in Prague at the time on vacation. I was staying at my girlfriend's parents house and looking out of the window, I could see the real Strahov, which by the way is in reality a football stadium here, not an actual fortress. I think the atmosphere in some of the levels of Angel of Darkness was some of the best in the entire series. But still, nothing really beats the first experience of Tomb Raider one. It left by far the biggest impression on me. The creepiness of the abandoned tombs, the subtle background ambiance, the weird creatures in the levels, especially the ones near the end, the giant alien eggs all over the place. I especially loved the awesome orchestrated soundtrack for the game. It was really something different at the time. What I also love about Tomb Raider is that it's still alive and kicking, after more than 15 years now. Everyone knows Lara Croft. She's such a major icon worldwide, both in the gaming industry and outside. And finally, I love Tomb Raider for its community. I love reading all those online discussions, playing those very creative custom levels, and seeing all that awesome fan art from you guys. You guys rock. And I love how the Tomb Raider community brings people from many different backgrounds and countries together. So in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I'll end by saying, thanks, Tomb Raider, I wouldn't have met my better half if it wasn't for this game.

    Quentin: Hello everyone, my name is Quentin, I'm the webmaster of the website tombraideraddict.com, a French fan site about Tomb Raider and Lara Croft. I'm a fan of Lara for almost 11 years. Lara is my idol since I'm a little boy. I started playing it on PS one with my parents' friends, who already had the four Tomb Raider games. I fell in love with the Tomb Raider franchise, with the action, the adventure, and especially the character, who is strong, beautiful, and intelligent. If I had to choose my three favorite Tomb Raider games, I think I would first say, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. The Egyptian feeling that I love, it was a wonderful game. Lara was beautiful, and we could play as young Lara for the first time. Then I would choose Tomb Raider Legend, that I had on PS2. Lara is handsome in this game. The levels are very different. The environments are awesome, and the characters are lovely. The story wasn't that bad. Finally, I would say Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, that I also had on PS2. Lara is dark in this Tomb Raider, but she's not bad, and I like the way you go through the levels without having weapons like the other games. Infiltrate, kill, pick up, I found this very prudent. The Louvre was the best level of the game to me. About the upcoming Tomb Raider, I can't wait to play it. I've always dreamed about a Tomb Raider that would have to be played as a survival game, where you need to eat, to drink, to pick up equipment. And especially, to survive. I think about it every day. Crystal Dynamics is making a very good work. I know this Tomb Raider reboot will be great.

    Jessica: Hi, my name is Jessica, and I'm the proud owner of the site Tomb Raider Level Editor of Brazil. I love Lara Croft because she inspired me a lot and made me learn that women can also be prominent, strong, and always wanting more. That is what makes her what she is today, a global icon!


    Reno: Hey, this is Reno, from Lara Croft: The Raider community, I'm from Iraq and I want to take this opportunity to say that Lara Croft is one of the most important people in my life. She's more like a mentor and a best friend to me than just a video game character. She's always been there for me since I first started playing Tomb Raider in 1997, which was Tomb Raider II. And until now, Tomb Raider has been one of the most important and most inspiring video games I've ever played. Lara Croft has always been there for me, whenever I felt lonely, or upset, or just didn't know what to do. I turned my console on and I started playing for hours and hours. That's what I still do, to this very moment. It's all led me to creating a fansite, which later became an official Tomb Raider fansite, which is more like an honor, one of the biggest achievements in my life. I want to say that I'm more than just excited about the upcoming Tomb Raider title. I think it's going to be amazing, I can't wait to play it, and I have every trust in the developers, and of course, in the amazing Lara Croft.

    Katie: Hi, this is Katie Fleming, from Katie's Tomb Raider Site in Canada. I've been a huge fan of Tomb Raider for 13 years, and it's my biggest passion. I love how each game brings you to unique places around the world, perfectly combining adventure, action, and puzzle-solving. I have so many great memories from the games, and here are a few of my favorites: locking Winston in the freezer; crashing the quad bike into a federal compound; discovering aliens do exist; kayaking down the river Ganges; and blowing up the speedboat in Venice. Tomb Raider is an amazing series with an incredible fan base, and I can't wait for her next adventure later this year.

    Matt: Hello everyone, my name is Matt, I'm from Australia and I run tombraiderblog.net, and that's been going for almost a year now. I've been a Tomb Raider fan for about 14 years, and the demo from Tomb Raider II is what started it all for me. One of my favorite Tomb Raider moments would have to be from Tomb Raider III, in Area 51. Towards the end of the level Lara comes across this UFO, in the facility that she's found herself in, and eventually she discovers a way to undo the trapdoor underneath the craft. Now, it looks pretty small from the outside, but on the inside it's absolutely huge. Kind of like Doctor Who's Tardis. And then there's the artifact, Element 115. It's just sitting there on the floor, unlike the other artifacts throughout the game, where you practically have to kill Lara to retrieve them. So that's one of my favorite Tomb Raider moments.

    Luca: Hello, my name is Luca, I'm from Germany, and I'm the maker of Tomb Raider Insider. Meagan has given us the opportunity to tell you why we like Tomb Raider so much. What I like best in the games are the great and awesome worlds and places you can explore. I think that's what makes a good game. Most of all, I liked Underworld, because the Thailand level was absolutely epic, I love it. In addition, Tomb Raider also offers a great and interesting story. But unfortunately I started very late in the series, so I'm really looking forward to the reboot, and I'm really looking forward to a new Lara, too. Finally, I extend greetings to all visitors of Tomb Raider Insider and everyone I know. Thanks for listening.

    Marco: Hello everybody, I'm Marco, and I'm the webmaster of the website allgamestaff.altervista.org. I'm Italian, as well as my website, so I apologize for my English and my pronunciation. But I would really like to talk about the reasons why we love Lara Croft and Tomb Raider. Personally, I fell in love with Lara, so to say, since the first time I met her. A sort of love at first site. She was and she is very beautiful, but she's much more than this, in my opinion. I was struck, for example, by the characteristics that weren't hidden by her beauty. First of all, she's very clever. She's sarcastic. She's a self-made woman. And most of all, she has made her passion her job. Some people accuse Lara of being a symbol of the objectification of women, but I do not believe it is true. Lara is so beloved because she's an independent woman, and she can do what most men couldn't do. These are the reasons why I love Lara Croft, and I do believe that I'm going to appreciate the new Lara too. In my opinion, the franchise is going in the right direction. That's all. Thanks for listening, and I'll continue to follow Tomb Raider. See you!

    [musical interlude]

    MEAGAN MARIE: And that concludes our episode. So, to wrap up, we do have a Tomb Raider trivia contest of sorts this month. If you've been following the blog, you know that we've had a couple of technical problems, and as such, the podcast number six was down for about a week. Because of that, we're going to extend the trivia contest from last month to make sure that everybody has a chance to get in and answer the questions, since the final question was on podcast number six. So, to make things a little bit easier, I'm actually going to recap all three trivia questions right now for you, so you don't have to hunt them down on Facebook, Twitter, and the podcast. And remember, you're going to take all three answers and you're going to plug them into tombraider.com/podcast.

    As a refresher, the prize on the line this month is a custom Tomb Raider North Face jacket that is only available to us as developers, and also kind of a little survival kit that we picked up from REI. So, trivia question number one is, in the original Tomb Raider, touching what artifact will transform Lara into solid gold? Question number two is, who is the ill-intentioned cosmetics tycoon from Tomb Raider III? And question number three is, what is the mysterious Bermuda Triangle-esque location in which the newest Tomb Raider unfolds? Hope you got all of that, and best of luck.

    'Til next time.

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    God of War director joins Tomb Raider




    "Crystal has pulled together some of the best teams in the industry to deliver against upcoming projects and future IP," said studio head, Darrell Gallagher. "Cory's heritage in building industry defining action adventure titles, together with our focus on delivering quality character driven blockbuster entertainment makes Cory a tremendously exciting addition to the team."

    Barlog is best known for his fine work as writer and director on God of War 2 at Sony's Santa Monica Studio. He also served as creative director on Ready At Dawn's PSP titles God of War: Chains of Olympus and headed up writing duty on Ghost of Sparta.


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    bah.. Tomb Raider dekhi shobaire niya namse UC re beat dewar jonno

    Red ViperZ---ЯV●shafiee007

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    Nice thread..



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    Actually I don't like revealing of game's plot or synopsis before its release. It spoils the fun.
    Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you, they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I really am, and why I say this. Come, and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ЯV●shafiee007 View Post
    bah.. Tomb Raider dekhi shobaire niya namse UC re beat dewar jonno
    Blades er jaiga whip dibe akta lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by ЯV●shafiee007 View Post
    bah.. Tomb Raider dekhi shobaire niya namse UC re beat dewar jonno
    Uni Tomb Raider development e kaj korbe nah. Onno 2ta IP develop korse CD, oigulate kaj korbe.

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    I liked TR Legend. And This Tom Raider will be Awesome, no doubt. My sister is eagerly waiting for this. Her favorite series is TR.

    Anywhere Anytime Anytask
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    Crystal Habit Podcast #8-
    http://officialtombraiderblog.tumblr...-crystal-habit
    or
    Download

    Just in-cast anyone wants to read here is the transcript:
    Transcript of The Crystal Habit Podcast: Episode 8:


    Meagan Marie: Hey everyone, Meagan Marie here, community manager at Crystal Dynamics. I have to first and foremost apologize, because I'm a little bit under the weather this episode, so I may not sound quite as chipper as usual. But thank you for listening in, and hopefully you're taking advantage of our new status up on iTunes. For the first segment of the show, we're going to look at what it takes to run a video game studio. This is something that's quite often overshadowed by the production of a game itself, and something that a lot of fans have inquired about, in terms of what it's like to work at a game studio, and the culture behind it. I really think you'll enjoy it. After that, we'll have our monthly Q&A update with Karl, and an HR update about some of the exciting new job positions we have open at the studio. We'll end with our trivia challenge in a new format, and another one-of-a-kind prize, which I actually just picked up today, and I'm really excited for you guys to check it out. I hope you enjoy the show!

    [Musical interlude]

    Segment 1: Maintaining a Game Studio

    MEAGAN MARIE: A question I often receive is, "What is it like working at a game studio?" The inner workings of game studio are often enigmatic, especially to people that are in the press, like I was previously. During my time at Game Informer, this fact made a studio visit or tour the highlight of my month, or even year, because they were very few and far between. So this segment is actually aimed at sharing a bit of the magic of working at a game studio with you guys. We're going to talk to some of the key people who help ensure the studio is properly maintained, and that Crystal employees are happy. So, with me today I actually have three guests. I'm excited, as they're new voices and fresh faces for the podcast. I have Brian Venturi, who's the IT Director, say hello, Brian.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Hello.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then I have Benny Ventura, the Facilities Manager.

    BENNY VENTURA: Hel-lo.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then we have another lady on the podcast, Michelle Miceli. Did I do it right?

    MICHELLE MICELI: Yes, you did it right.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Great, and she's our HR generalist. These are the people that help keep everybody in the studio happy, and kind of make sure everything is in working order and everyone's comfortable, and often fed...

    BRIAN VENTURI: That is the overall goal.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yes, exactly. So I'm going to start by touching on the general areas... We'll start with Benny in facilities. And then people, just jump in, if you have funny stories to share. I know some of you have been here for a long time... Yeah! It's exciting. So, Benny, what did you do prior to joining Crystal, and how long have you been at the studio?

    BENNY VENTURA: Prior to joining Crystal, I was shipping and receiving manager at Crate and Barrel, at the Stanford Mall. This is my 13th year at Crystal.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I knew you had been here a long time.

    BENNY VENTURA: I'm OG.

    MEAGAN MARIE: You're OG. So to set the stage, can you actually... Because we can't, unfortunately, post a video fly-through of the studio, because we've got intellectual property and secretive stuff all over... Can you describe and set the stage of what Crystal is like, some of the amenities and the general layout of the studio?

    BENNY VENTURA: Well, let's see. We have four... Four or five conference rooms, all fully equipped with AV. We have a larger area for team and company meetings, that houses a nice foosball table, a ping-pong table, couple of arcade units. What else we got... We have a kegerator which is kinda cool.

    BRIAN VENT: Yes... Very cool.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Everybody appreciates that come Friday.

    BRIAN VENTURI: And it's on wheels.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, it's on wheels. Mobile. What else we got?

    MEAGAN MARIE: We have two kitchens.

    BENNY VENTURA: Two kitchens.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Can't forget the hub, just in general, has a LAN gaming area...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Lots of board games, puzzles, fun stuff to put together, for people to break.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Pretty common to see that place packed during lunch.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, lunchtime activities, big time. Lot of board gamers over there.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Playing board games, we should say.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Lots of "bored" gamers... [laughter] That's something we never want to have in the studio, is bored gamers.

    BENNY VENTURA: You know what I mean.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yep. So I am going to brag about you a little bit, and I hope that I got this title right. You recently received the Unsung Hero award, is that what it is? Unsung Hero?

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I know it's a general sentiment. We had our giant year-end party, and Benny was given the Unsung Hero award, because... I think a lot of people don't realize how much work you do for the studio, and really what it takes to be the head of facilities. I feel like I should ask, "What don't you do?" But what do you do around here that helps keep everyone happy?

    BENNY VENTURA: I provide snacks and beer.

    MEAGAN MARIE: That's underselling yourself a little bit, I think.

    BENNY VENTURA: Nah, I mean... We take the approach of, "Hey, what can we do to make the place better." So, I mean, whether we provide, like I said, a little snack here, we'll do random barbecues or something like that, just to keep morale up. We'll bring in bagels or whatever. In a general sense, the typical day, it's hard to say, because we don't know what can pop up at any given time. It's just a matter of always being ready for anything, for us.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Some of the things that you do touch on, that I'll bring up specifically, then, is... People work hard, they may work late, they come in the morning and there's going to be some sort of breakfast for them. We always stock cereal, right? And on Fridays we bring in bagels, which is one of my favorite things. It's a little thing, but it's a gesture that I appreciate, that I'm looking forward to. But I need to talk about the coffee machine, because the coffee-bot...

    BENNY VENTURA: The coffee-bot, yes.

    MEAGAN MARIE: ...is impressive.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes, yes, that is our workhorse there. Most often drank out of that as of late is the chai tea.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah, I like that.

    BENNY VENTURA: And the cappucino-milk combo. That's a recent addition, that's pretty popular.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But it's actually a little machine that has all these pre-made packets and recipes for combining them for certain gourmet coffees. The times it's not working, which are very few and far between, I think the studio just falls apart on itself. Well, not really, but people... If people love it so much, it's like the lifeblood of the studio.

    BENNY VENTURA: This is true.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It is.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Rage does set in, if it's not...

    BENNY VENTURA: Normally we're pretty on top of it. When we get notification that there's a backup or whatever, we can usually fix it in about a week or so.

    BRIAN VENTURI: A week...?

    BENNY VENTURA: That's so wrong. About an hour or so...

    MEAGAN MARIE: But that's when we get to drink the tar coffee. Whoever comes in, at like eight in the morning, and decides to make... Who is that? Is that Ron?

    BRIAN VENTURI: That's Ron coffee.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Ron makes the tar coffee.

    BENNY VENTURA: I'm gonna plead the fifth on that one. [laughs]

    MEAGAN MARIE: I actually like the tar coffee, because you only need half a cup.

    BRIAN VENTURI: There's always a "Beware" sign next to it.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then it lasts all day.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, the brew cup coffee tends to be made a little sludgy, if you will. Most people will go for the individual teacup stuff.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But in an emergency, the old-fashioned grounds, traditional coffee pot is there.

    BENNY VENTURA: Or you can have the vending machine for Red Bull.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah, that's always an option too. Along the same lines of food, this is something that I also thought was magical when I first started here, if people end up working late, we provide dinner for them, which I think is great. How does that process work?

    BENNY VENTURA: If you're working past seven, normally we send the e-mail out to production, we get a headcount, and we have food catered in during the week.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And what kind of stuff do we offer? It's always different.

    BENNY VENTURA: It varies. I'd say, we can go traditional, hamburgers, hot dogs, to more interesting stuff like... I think the last week I saw this weird combination of Thai food brought in, it was kinda cool.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Haven't I seen Greek pitas and...

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, some Mediterranean stuff.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Or, obviously we still have pizza every once in a while.

    BENNY VENTURA: We try to phase that out, just because it's a little too common. These guys, give them some variety.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And then every once in a while when you do have the pizza, then it's grub status...

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, if there's pizza... Or occasionally we'll go for the six-foot burrito. That was pretty cool.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And every once in a while, especially during times when we're trying to hit a milestone, people will come in on the weekends, and it's the same thing. It's food catered, we don't want anyone to have to worry about being hungry, help everybody be happy and efficient. I've seen anything from... One morning I think I came in on a Saturday and I'd swear I saw... It was like a shrimp egg bake or something like that. Really good, high-quality food.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, we'll bring in breakfast and sometimes brunch. And sometimes even the producers, they'll get down and they'll make waffles, which is kinda cool.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah, I like that, and I like when we do the barbecues and we have people outside... The producers are cooking and handing everybody their hot dogs or their hamburgers and stuff like that. It's always nice. Speaking of the weekends, are you in charge of the air conditioning thing? This is actually something funny that people may not think of...

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes, I am. After hours AC.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Studios get warm, and if the AC doesn't work people get a little bit unhappy. Unless you're me and you're always cold and you have a heated blanket at your desk. So that's something that you take care of, ordering... Michelle totally knows I do, I'm bundled up to my armpits in a heated blanket.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Looks like a Snuggie.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It does, but I don't care, because that makes me work more efficiently. But you order AC on the weekends if people plan on coming in and make sure temperature controls...

    BENNY VENTURA: Actually, that process is... I'll ping the producers every Thursday, just to see what the headcount is for the weekend, and we'll get services scheduled. Roughly from 9AM to 7PM. Just so the guys aren't in the sweatbox all day. Without it on, it tends to get really warm in here, really fast. Just because of the amount of equipment we have on the floor.

    MEAGAN MARIE: What about... I know this is something you've actually helped me out with, incredibly. It's shipping stuff worldwide, you also take care of all shipments in regards to, like, international packages... Recently we've been sending a lot of stuff out for the various Tomb Raider trivia contests, forum winners, all of that daily shipping you take care of and make sure everything's out on time, or call people in and...

    BENNY VENTURA: If it's small stuff we'll just use UPS, but the bigger stuff, we'll go for somebody like... International logistics, so an Adcom or someone.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And what about these infamous Costco runs and Costco deliveries, where you've always got food and snacks coming in... What do we have, we have the trail mix...

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes, a fan favorite.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Always gone within five minutes of you refilling the jar. And I'm fairly certain you lock away the reserves, don't you?

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes we do.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Dammit! I'm always opening drawers looking for them.

    BENNY VENTURA: It's all secured.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Oatmeal...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Lots of oatmeal.

    BENNY VENTURA: Breakfast stuff, the cereals, we're really big on Hot Pockets here... Real big on Hot Pockets.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I've been petitioning for some Lean Pockets.

    BENNY VENTURA: I'm trying, I'm trying. But, you know, it's... Little perks we can give the employees. Not necessarily because we want to keep them in their seats all day, but just, hey, if you're hungry, we have stuff for you to eat.

    MEAGAN MARIE: If you forget your lunch it's not the end of the world. Because we're out on the Peninsula, it's a little bit of a drive to find food. If you don't want to venture into Redwood City or something, it's nice to be able to grab some grub here and never have to worry about going hungry. And then also I put a note to make sure we remember to mention the beer cart, which we did. But we can actually... We have people vote on the beer. I've never actually participated in voting on the beer, but now that I know that, I'm going to.

    BENNY VENTURA: Well, you can. We'll take requests. We have a set stock that we rotate in.

    MEAGAN MARIE: What's the most popular?

    BENNY VENTURA: Right now...? Probably Sierra Nevada, or Fat Tire.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Blue Moon? I thought we had Blue Moon in there a while ago. That was the one that I opted to actually have a beer at five o'clock. We do these weekly recap meetings called "Awesome Town," where we look at new content and everybody gets excited and talks about what they did that week, and that's when we roll out the beer cart and kinda come together as a studio, which is one of the things I really enjoy each week. So is there anything... I feel like that wasn't comprehensive enough, actually. Was there anything I missed? Because it's not just all about superficial things like food and shipping. You make sure that everything runs and that nothing's broken...

    BENNY VENTURA: Anything that pops up that we can take care of, we'll do. Of late, a lot of folks, they like an elevated desk, so we'll take the time, we'll work with IT, we'll elevate it so it's a standing desk and they're not hunched over all day animating stuff. Little things like that.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Whenever employees have concerns, they know to come to you. Which is great.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yes. I will generally have the answer, and if not, I'll help find it for you.

    MEAGAN MARIE: One thing I did forget to mention, which is specific to the fact that we do work with new IP, is that we actually have a visitor policy. You have to make sure the visitor policies are enforced. What do you guys call the little area, the glass area?

    BENNY VENTURA: Just the elevator lobby...

    MICHELLE MICELI: The fishbowl.

    MEAGAN MARIE: The fishbowl! There we go. So we have the little fishbowl area outside the elevators where people can sit on the couch and wait for someone, because they have to have a liaison show them around the studio. We can't just have people wandering around. So what are some of the processes involved with having guests in the studio?

    BENNY VENTURA: Um... They have to be announced to our visitor request page, and basically it's a one-stop shop listing out who's going to be here on that day, what the nature of the visit is, if it's business or personal. And then from there, we'll follow up with the requests, like... "What are your requirements for this person?" If it is a personal visit we kind of have to enforce the policy, like no recording devices of any type on the floor, if you want to take pictures make sure it's in the lobby away from dev spaces. Stuff like that.

    MEAGAN MARIE: That must have made, when we did the all-nighter... Brian and Benny, I think you guys remember that. That must have been a tricky thing to put together. If you don't know what the all-nighter was, we had a Dead Island all-nighter when Dead Island, which Square Enix published here... We had some journos in, and they did an all-night session playing it, live-streaming it, and so having not only individuals in, but individual press people in, playing a game all night... That was a bit of a...

    BRIAN VENTURI: Absolutely. Heightened alert, yes.

    MEAGAN MARIE: That was a little bit of an endeavor, to get everything together.

    BENNY VENTURA: That one was interesting from the facilities side, because we wanted to make sure that, A, the guests themselves were comfortable enough, but we also wanted to protect our IP. So... [laughs] We ended up building a huge wall, where these journalists could not travel down into development areas, which was kind of interesting.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But they had fun. I remember we had couches for them to crash on, we had food catered for them...

    BENNY VENTURA: We had little survival packs...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Survival packs, which were, like, deodorant and toothpaste and Mentos... So I think that was fairly successful.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yeah, that was a fun time.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Great. Well, let's move on to Michelle, since you've been a little quiet.

    MICHELLE MICELI: I have been quiet, I'm sorry...

    MEAGAN MARIE: That's okay, I basically let Karl talk half the time and then just giggle every once in a while, so people know I'm still there. That's how that works.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Thanks. I'll remember that. [laughter]

    MEAGAN MARIE: You can't get by with just giggling now.

    MICHELLE MICELI: I'll try my best.

    MEAGAN MARIE: How long have you been at Crystal, and what did you do prior to joining the team?

    MICHELLE MICELI: I have been at Crystal for just over a year, and prior to working here I lived in Los Angeles, and I was at an internet company. I did human resources there, and I've done HR my entire career.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I think I remember that. I started not too long after you did, right?

    MICHELLE MICELI: Right.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I just came to you and assumed you'd been here forever. You seemed like you were very well-integrated into the family already, so...

    MICHELLE MICELI: Thanks.

    MEAGAN MARIE: You were a pro already when I got to Crystal.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Thanks for that. I got to jump right in, I think I had someone start the same day I did, and I got to do his paperwork for him also. I was like, "I don't know what I'm giving you, but here we go." We went through and it was exciting and I got to do just learn...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Learn on the fly.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Yes. Exactly.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I think that's how a lot of jobs end up working, just jump in the deep end and...

    BENNY VENTURA: I think I remember that.

    MEAGAN MARIE: ...hope everything works...

    MICHELLE MICELI: Which is great, because it's the best way to learn, right? I mean, you kind of figure everything out really quickly, you're integrated really fast to the team, you learn everyone's names and faces as quick as possible that way.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I still have to work on learning everybody's names, I'm so bad with names.

    MICHELLE MICELI: It's tough.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah. We have a decent-sized studio, and so it's more or less... I'm starting to remember people by funny quirks or things on their desk, instead of specific names. I need to rectify that immediately. So what is your primary focus at Crystal, then? What is the bulk of your HR duties?

    MICHELLE MICELI: Oh, goodness.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Everything.

    MICHELLE MICELI: I feel like I'm just like Benny in that people come to me for everything, with initial questions and requests. Our main focus and priority as an HR team is just to make sure that our employees are happy and get their questions answered as fast as possible and as thoroughly as possible. So we focus highly on customer service.

    BENNY VENTURA: I think that's a general trait for operations, right? We all... I consider operations kind of like small factions of one large team, if you will. We all kinda cross all the time.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. It's true, because I often defer to Brian or Benny if I have questions, and they help me out, definitely. They help the studio out, that's the number one priority all the time.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I was very impressed, when I joined Crystal, at how... How willing everybody is, how approachable everyone is and how willing everybody is to help you out if you have questions. Everybody's like, "Sure, come talk to me," and that was something I really appreciated, especially since I moved across the country. "What am I doing here?"

    BRIAN VENTURI: It's kind of hard when you sit two spaces next to me. I can't avoid you as much as I want.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I know, I feel kind of bad for some of you guys, because I sit right next to IT. If I have a problem I don't necessarily file a ticket, I just start yelling at someone...

    BRIAN VENTURI: "BRIAN!" [laughter]

    MEAGAN MARIE: I'm gonna work on that, I promise. So can you touch on some of the more creative or interesting things that you try to initiate, or programs that we've done to make life here a little bit more comfortable?

    MICHELLE MICELI: Sure. In addition to having an awesome benefits program, human resources likes to keep its employees engaged. We feed them a lot, so in addition to all the snacks and treats that facilities provides in the kitchen, we do like to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays each month, so we always have cakes or pies or brownies...

    BRIAN VENTURI: There's a lot of cookies coming out of HR.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Yeah, lots of cookies. We love Specialties cookies, we love to order those in bulk and pass those around, we're slightly addicted.

    BENNY VENTURA: That's an understatement.

    MEAGAN MARIE: We appreciate them, though, because it's often enough that it's an appreciated activity, but it's not often enough that we're starting to see it in our waistlines or something along that line.

    BENNY VENTURA: Speak for yourself. [big laughs]

    MEAGAN MARIE: You must be finding secret cookies here somewhere.

    BENNY VENTURA: No, I just... I have to receive them when they come in, so...

    MICHELLE MICELI: We taste-test them.

    BENNY VENTURA: ...I know when they're here.

    MICHELLE MICELI: We like treats. But yeah, so we keep the employees happy through acknowledging their birthdays, their tenure here. We also like to acknowledge random holidays, like we just recently celebrated Pi Day, which was 3/14. So we brought pies into the office, and then of course right after that was Saint Patrick's Day, and the office manager hosted a little party in the afternoon for that, and human resources sponsored scratchers for the staff, so it was kind of a lucky Saint Patrick's Day thingy.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I was actually out of town for the Pi Day, so I saw the announcement, and I was sitting here all sad thinking about the fact that everybody was eating pie and I didn't get any.

    MICHELLE MICELI: It was amazing. Just go buy a pie... I just... I like pie.

    BENNY VENTURA: It was pretty good.

    MICHELLE MICELI: So of course, with all that eating, we also have to sponsor wellness programs and keep everyone active and healthy, and their lifestyle happy. So we sponsored an IPS Wellness program last year for the first time, and we think that was really successful in the studio. We had some people team up and support each other in their own wellness goals, and that was all around wellness, in terms of mental, emotional, physical wellness.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It was like a game-ified point tracking system, where you set goals for yourself on this online program and then you...honor system...have to say whether you maintained those goals. It could be everything from a set calorie amount to working out a certain amount to stop drinking so much coffee, or have more glasses of water a day... So that was something where you threw a couple of little prizes on the end, and it really incentivized people to take control and step up and consider their health a little bit more. I know a lot of people appreciated that one.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Absolutely. It was good, and it was a really good team-building activity also, because people were on teams and trying to compete against each other in terms of their point system. And they could, like you said, choose their own challenges and what was best for them in their life at the time.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Other things, like I remember the chair massages, I appreciated those... And I got to appreciate those more than the ten minutes. I got to appreciate it all day, because it was right next to me. I got to listen to the music all day and the lights were down low. It was a very relaxing day.

    MICHELLE MICELI: That was nice. That was part of the wellness program also, we did bring in chair massages for a day and everyone got to sign up for a time slot and get a chair massage. I was lucky, I got a 20-minute one, because the person signed up after me didn't show up.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Oooh, preferential treatment...

    MICHELLE MICELI: I wasn't going to stop him.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I think if you're organizing it, you can get a little throwback every once in a while.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Totally. But yeah, we brought an on-site yoga person as well, for the wellness program. We'd like to do that again, that got some pretty positive feedback. As well as the chair massages, that was definitely positively received.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah, it was wonderful. Going outside in a... I'll have to post some photos eventually of our campus, but it's beautiful. The lawn is so well-manicured and maintained, and going outside and doing yoga midday was totally relaxing. I loved it.

    MICHELLE MICELI: And it got some people who'd never done it before, who wanted to do it, to actually try it.

    MEAGAN MARIE: There were a couple of guys who came out, and they were a little bit embarrassed and a little bit hesitant, and by the end they were just like, "That was amazing." It was great, I thought it was great. And then other things, like... We have free flu shots, make sure that people aren't getting sick, taken care of and all that. So it's a widely-encompassing... Not just making sure that the studio's running properly, like Benny does, but make sure that we're running properly too, because we make the studio go.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Absolutely. Yeah. That's... Like I said before, HR's number one priority is to just get employees' concerns and questions handled, number one. If employees are happy, that means they're here at work producing and doing what needs to be done on the game.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yes. And that's what everybody wants, because everybody's excited for the game. Are there any unique HR considerations that relate to working at a gaming studio? This is one that I'm just throwing out there, I don't actually know if it's true... If there is something specific to gaming studios. Like I know a lot of people touch on... Benny touched on the standing desks, they're really popular, and looking into ergonomic chairs because game designers are sitting a lot, they're at their desks a lot...

    MEAGAN MARIE2: You know, that's a good question, I'm trying to think... I just think that the people here are very unique, and very creative. It's just being dynamic with the people and matching their enthusiasm. I think that's the biggest thing that we focus on. As an HR function, you're always trying to get benefits questions answered, handle 401K stuff, the basic onboarding of employees, giving them the information that they need, that's kind of universal. But the people here are really dynamic and fun and full of energy and full of life...

    MEAGAN MARIE: They are, definitely. I love the group here. Alright, are you ready for your time to shine, Brian?

    BRIAN VENTURI: Let's do it.

    MEAGAN MARIE: We're going to talk IT.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Oooh, boring.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Exciting stuff...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Well, as IT director, I expect that this isn't too boring to you.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Oh, I love this stuff. IT? Are you kidding me?

    MEAGAN MARIE: So how long have you been at Crystal, and what did you do prior?

    BRIAN VENTURI: Well, I'm not quite a Benny, but I've been here...12 years.

    MEAGAN MARIE: You're not quite a Benny by one year.

    BRIAN VENTURI: One year, he's got me beat.

    MEAGAN MARIE: That's not too much of a discrepancy...

    MICHELLE MICELI: No, that's a long time.

    BRIAN VENTURI: No... April 2000, yeah.

    MEAGAN MARIE: And what did you do prior?

    BRIAN VENTURI: Before I was a network engineer, before that I actually managed a hardware store.

    MEAGAN MARIE: So you know more than just the tech stuff, you also know some pretty cool hardware building stuff, which I've actually picked your brain about...

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah. I've got weird hobbies, I do weird stuff. Yeah...

    MEAGAN MARIE: I know a little bit about that... Alright, so as IT lead, your team's in charge of computers and networking and handheld devices and so on. Am I missing anything? What's the gamut of stuff that you have to keep track of?

    BRIAN VENTURI: For the most part, it's really anything plugged in. Anything that comes in. Kind of to Benny and Michelle's point, we work in tandem on all kinds of different projects, and that goes through the whole range from setting up events to, let's say, our E3 presence. I've actually led a team from the technology aspect since, really, 2000 for our presence down there. Not so much in the last couple years, because Square's really taken the lead on that, and done a fantastic job, but it shows that what we do here, not only all aspects of the teams, but really outreaching beyond as well. And then both IT and these other groups, we help out on a larger scale globally as well with our company as well. A lot of fun stuff.

    MEAGAN MARIE: What is the bulk of your day usually consumed by? I know we have a ticket system where people put in a request, unless they just yell at you from their desk...

    BRIAN VENTURI: They do that too. Especially you. [laughter]

    MEAGAN MARIE: "My Mac isn't working again!"

    BRIAN VENTURI: In IT, just kinda thinking about that... Once again, anything when it comes to the operating system, but being in the games industry, we have to support consoles and all the specific softwares that have to do with making a game. But really, it's hard for me to say that anything is typical about our day here for IT, because each day it's something completely new. Every day feels like a Monday, it's hilarious. But it's great, it actually keeps the job very challenging. If it was monotonous I probably wouldn't have been here for 12 years. It's actually kind of fun in that way. I didn't really answer your question, but yeah, it's different, it's challenging. It's good.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Are there any special considerations you do have to make because it's not just IT for... Just a standard communications company, it's IT for a gaming company...

    BRIAN VENTURI: First and foremost, this is not a slacks and buttoned-up shirts kind of job.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Which is nice.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah, which is good, but it does also mean you're going to be doing everything from really basic troubleshooting to really in-depth hard weird stuff. The typical IT person, this job would break them.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Really?

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah.

    MEAGAN MARIE: You need someone with some grit to do this job.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Definitely grit. A lot of IT people take pride in what they know, and you come into an environment like this and that's shattered. Absolutely shattered, because you think you know something, but it all changes. You have to remember, as we were saying, the people that we're supporting here making these games, they are fantastic, creative, intelligent, frustrating, challenging... [laughs] They know a lot. More like, they know enough to be dangerous. So yeah, it's very interesting here.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Touching back on the intellectual property, Benny has said that from a visitors standpoint we have to go through certain procedures to have people in the office, but there's also some tech rules. Recently we have, now, our console systems locked to our desks, which is something that... It's pretty much to protect the integrity of everyone's hard work. But are there any other examples of that sort of thing that we have to take into consideration, to make sure that our IP is protected?

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah, there's a lot of different aspects we look at. We try with the simplest things, like no recording, no taking photos, no USB drives, that kind of stuff, just to make sure our code does not walk. We're trying to protect everybody's job, really, we want to make sure that when something launches, it's a surprise. That's what it's all about. But IT in general, we try to make sure a lot of requests come through us, even if it does not directly affect us, just so we can maybe get the right departments involved, or get the right levels of security to sign off on whatever that may be. Again, people like myself and Benny that have been here a long time can look at questions and think about it a little bit deeper as far as who it may affect. We're always thinking security, and we're always reminding people about it. Let's think about this, who can this touch, who can this affect.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Exactly. Karl, actually, when I was talking to him about the segment, he'd mentioned that when he travels and he's taking a kit with him, he keeps the hard drive in a separate briefcase or a separate suitcase from where he keeps the actual console...

    BRIAN VENTURI: We might as well have handcuffs and a suitcase for him, traveling. Never shall the two be together kind of stuff. There's a lot of behind the scenes process that we have going on.

    MICHELLE MICELI: There's stuff I wouldn't have even thought of.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yeah, and that's the stuff that surprised me when I joined the studio, but it absolutely makes sense, because everybody's excited, everybody wants something... It needs to go out the right channels at the right time, to really protect what becomes of a studio of passionate, dedicated people's hard work. You can't be too careful.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah. It's definitely an industry where everybody wants to see stuff as early as they can.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I understand that. Are there any special tech or IT considerations, considering that we're global? It's Crystal Dynamics in Redwood City, but Square Enix is a global company. We talk with people internationally all the time, so I know that we have some cool videoconferencing programs, lots of...

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah. Different ways of file sharing, videoconference... Your vidcon and your conference calling systems, all your basics there. We have a lot of sites connected, and we make sure that the communications levels are high between IT departments, HR departments, facilities, all ops, really, in general. Just making sure that the people on the ground doing the job can communicate and talk in a timely fashion and a secure fashion.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Yes. Absolutely. So it's not just... Like we've mentioned, it's not just about making sure computers and networks run. You guys also have to deal with those game builds, make sure the game builds are prepped and on the consoles and everything's updated. Can you explain a little bit of what that process is like?

    BRIAN VENTURI: No.

    MEAGAN MARIE: [laughs]

    BRIAN VENTURI: But I will tell you, we definitely work with other teams within our company, whether that be mastering, QA, the production teams themselves, about reminding them, about which software is best to use or how to serialize or track... All that stuff happens behind the scenes.

    MEAGAN MARIE: But it's a big part of your job. Testing, playing through, updating builds, looking at content, it's a huge part of the daily in and out of what's done at the studio.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Yeah. IT has a part in that. We're not solely responsible for testing and stuff like that, but to make sure the protocols work, that the process is being followed, we help establish that and make sure it's followed. Benny here is keeping quiet, but he has been everywhere from QA to production to IT and now facilities, so he knows all about this stuff as well.

    BENNY VENTURA: All-purpose ninja.

    MEAGAN MARIE: All-purpose ninja Benny, I like that. So... I think all of that is extremely interesting. Like I said, when I came to the studio all of these little details... I don't know why, but the cereal drawer was like the most amazing thing to me. I even took pictures of it my first day, I was like, "Look at this! There's free Life cereal!" And it's not just Life, it's Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats, it's all this amazing stuff. It's really impressive how much you guys work to keep the studio running and to keep everybody happy. I think I can say thank you from everyone.

    BENNY VENTURA: We do whatever we can do, right?

    MEAGAN MARIE: It all feeds back into making an amazing game, which is what we are gonna do for everyone listening.

    BRIAN VENTURI: Absolutely.

    BENNY VENTURA: Yep.

    MICHELLE MICELI: Definitely.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Thank you all so much for participating.

    All: Thank you!

    [Musical interlude]


    Segment 2: Take Five


    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright, Karl. Take Five time. We're actually going to drop straight into it, because everybody is crazy busy right now, preparing some exciting new stuff. So are we ready for question number one? Is Toby Gard still involved with the Tomb Raider franchise?

    KARL STEWART: At this time, no, Toby Gard is not associated with the Tomb Raider franchise. As we've mentioned in many, many conversations and interviews in the past, Toby is a friend of the studio, so he has been up and he's been a part of what we're doing for a little bit, but at this time, no, Toby is not. He's off doing his own venture. We talk a lot, Toby's a good friend, he's a good guy. But he's got a lot of creative juices that he wants to keep working on, so he's always going to... He's going to appear somewhere else, doing something else, and we're going to be jealous, I bet you.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Question number two, and this one might seem slightly trivial, but we actually get it quite a bit, and it gives a little bit of insight into how retailers work. EB Games listed Tomb Raider's release date as December 31, 2012. Is this correct?

    KARL STEWART: Has nobody told you? December 31? Did you miss the memo? No, this is... From my days working on the publishing side, then moving over to the development side, this is just a standard thing that retailers do when they don't have a date to put in that little box that they need to tick. It's like one of those... If you imagine a content management system, and it says, "Put in the date here," and if you say "Not Applicable" it just picks a date and spews it out and puts it on the site. So... I can guarantee you that if you go to a dozen or so unannounced games on EB or GameStop or any retailer's website, they'll all probably say December 31. Or January 1. So no, we haven't announced a date. We will be doing that pretty soon, as you all know, but the December 31 is wrong. We have not said we're going to ship on the 31st, which would be kind of a screwy day to launch a game on, I think...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Question number three, will Crystal Dynamics ever opt to have their own Tomb Raider online store, like BioWare? And the sentiment behind that is, "We want Lara goodies!"

    KARL STEWART: And I want to sell Lara goodies! Yes, so... We have been working tirelessly over the last six months, although people may think that we've gone quiet and we've just been in our offices playing video games, which we partially have... In actual fact, one of my roles is to be out there making sure that we bring together all of the merchandise, all of the licensing and all of the extensions and partners, great partners, all together in one place so that when we do come back with our next round, inside of that will be everything from online stores to collectibles to you name it. We've been busy. You'll see, pretty soon. I can't give you a date right now because we're still in some of our final talks, but it is exciting. Every game has to have its own store. We've looked at nearly every single game out there who has it to take reference from what they've done, and what makes it exciting, the types of goodies. You've all seen Meagan's desk, so you cannot say that you don't expect to have a collection of collectibles appearing in the near future. Meagan has given a lot of her time to help pick and find and source and we're excited. We've picked a very strong collection of partners. Hopefully in the very near future I'll get out there and announce them all, bit by bit.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright, on to the next question, and again, this is a very popular one, especially in the forums right now. Was Tomb Raider in any way inspired by the Hunger Games, and if not, what do you think of the Hunger Games?

    KS: Um... Okay. Take this as two parts. No, it wasn't inspired by the Hunger Games. We had begin doing the re-imagining, and Lara having a bow, before the book came out in...late 2008, I believe? So Katniss has got similarities, without a doubt. I'm sure some of you have read my tweets. I was going through a state of listening to that, I think it took me like 48 hours or something on audiobook from my drives back forth, some stupid time... I love it, I think it's awesome, I can't wait to watch the movie. I actually tried to get my midnight tickets for IMAX. I'm excited to see where they've taken it. I've been reading some of the reviews over the last couple of days and I think they've put it in a good position. Although Haymitch, I believe, is not the same character, in the same way. Haymitch was this, you know, abrasive kind of drunk in the book, and seemingly they've made Haymitch... Well, he's not as abrasive from what I hear in the reviews. But that's a spoiler alert...

    MEAGAN MARIE: I've actually only seen a couple of the trailers, so I've been staying away from that kind of stuff. But I think, hey, it's a great thing if we can have more strong, respectable female protagonists.

    KS: I think it's a huge support, and I have no doubt that over the coming months there will be a lot of comparisons drawn. We saw that way, way back when we had sat down with all of our visions, and kinda thought about the future of the franchise. And then not too long after, the Hunger Games book came out, which was relatively unknown for quite a while. People were talking about it, but it certainly didn't get anywhere close to where it is now with the movie being signed. I just think now, it's in the spotlight and people are making comparisons, but... No, I think it's great. Female characters, strong leads, bring 'em on. I think it's great.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Final question, and again, this is one that we get a lot, but I guess all of these questions are ones we get quite often, because that's why I pick them. Why all the secrecy around the voice actress? I think some people think that it's a little strange, that we're keeping such an important factor and an important part of the game from the public for so long. Can you explain the thought process behind that?

    KS: Okay, so... Let me see if I can answer this properly, so that a lot of people won't be P'd off at me. When you go through the process of... When you're hiring voice actresses, you go through a lot of changes. You get so far into a project where you think, "Okay, is this it? Is this the voice, or do we need to change it again?" So obviously we have to be very careful in one sense, that we don't go announcing somebody and then have to backtrack and say, "Oh, sorry, we decided that when the game got X percent of the way through, we felt her voice wasn't relevant anymore." Or, "This game is all about Lara's arc, and that going in as a young naive girl and then coming out as an action-adventure hero, we need to find the right actress for that." So we believe we have... The girl that we've signed, we're absolutely delighted with her. But with that comes making sure that it's announced at the right time. Announcing her right now, when there's no new content, doesn't make sense, because the goal of the next beat that we come out with, in the very near future, is all about how Lara has made that transition as a character. So our goal when we come back is to show the next stage of her progress. And with that we want to be able to present the voice, we want to be able to present her in a light in which you're immersed in this world of how our character has now become this next... She's come into that next stage. We want to make sure that you can put a face to that and put a voice to that, you can see what this girl has done in the past. Plus, she's been busy doing what she's been doing right now, so it's hard to sort of say, "Hey, by the way, can you come and do some press tours?" We have to be very structured in how we manage that and how we get her out there and allow her to talk to the press when the time is right.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Because you don't want to just tweet, "Hey, this is the voice!"

    KS: Every single thing that we want to do, we want to put prestige behind it. So if we get out there and we do a cover, you don't just do any cover, you want to do Game Informer. If you get out there and want to show the game for the first time ever, you don't just want to turn up and show it in a video, you want to get it on the Microsoft stage. So for us, we look at it and think, "How can we make this big?" This is a very important aspect of the game and the campaign going forward. We're very serious about making sure that when we present it, we present it in the right light, so that people can understand the gravity and the thought process and structure that went into making these decisions. They're not decisions that are made on a whim overnight. These take weeks and months to get to the point where you feel comfortable that this is it, because... When we announce her, she's going to be the voice for quite a long time. It's not like we're going to say, "That's great, next game, next voice." It's a very serious thing. And we have to respect her career too. This is a big deal for her, for her to be announced. If she was working on anything else, she'd be announced in the proper way. So we can't just expect that we're going to...

    MEAGAN MARIE: It's a partnership.

    KS: Yeah, it's a partnership, it surely is. And as you all know, again, from my tweets, I met with her before the holidays and we've been, planning this and talking about this. We're going to catch up again in the next few weeks, and it's actually been hard. She's got a schedule too, much like us, and trying to find that date to sit down and talk has been hard. We'll see. It's getting very close, we will say that. You won't have to wait too much longer. It's something that we're very excited... I don't think we can keep the lid on it for too much longer, before it'll explode itself.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Something will happen and it will come out. Well, thank you very much, we appreciate it, Karl.

    KS: No problem, you're more than welcome. Thanks.


    Segment 3: HR Highlight

    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright, so we are back with a quick HR highlight section. I have Casey Manning, our recruiter extraordinaire...

    CASEY MANNING: Hello.

    MEAGAN MARIE: He's been on the podcast before, so it's exciting to have him back.

    CASEY MANNING: Good to be back.

    MEAGAN MARIE: So at first, we have just opened a new Twitter account, haven't we? For looking specifically to hire. You want to talk a little bit about that?

    CASEY MANNING: Sure, absolutely. So the HR department here at Crystal Dynamics has opened a specific Twitter for all our job-related and HR needs. It's the Twitter stop to go to, if you will, for everything related to recruiting and HR at Crystal Dynamics. The handle is @CrystalJobs, you can find that on Twitter. Look at that particular site to get information on openings, maybe some events we're doing in the area, recruiting events, meetups, things of that nature. It's a great site to follow for that. It does not necessarily replace the current Tomb Raider Twitter or the Twitter that our brand department's setting up. This is specifically for jobs and candidates that are seeking to get information about how to submit portfolios, what they should be studying, maybe internship programs that we'll have down the road, and information related to that aspect of what we do here.

    MEAGAN MARIE: It also shares mugshots, evidently, of some of our hiring talent... I remember seeing your photos up there.

    CASEY MANNING: Yes, yes, during GDC we took some Instagrams, if you will, of our beautiful faces and our branded HR gear for GDC...

    MEAGAN MARIE: Just to kind of show who you'd be working with...

    CASEY MANNING: Exactly.

    MEAGAN MARIE: I actually thought that was a nice touch.

    CASEY MANNING: You could recognize us on the street and tackle us.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Do we have any particular job openings that we're still looking to fill, and how would someone apply?

    CASEY MANNING: Yes, we still do have several openings available. A lot of them are senior and lead positions, positions such as Lead Environment Artist, Lead Character Artist. We're still strongly looking at tech talent, I know there is a war for tech talent, especially in the Bay Area, so any of your tech guys out there, please apply and let us know what you're interested in. We're looking for lead engineers, rendering engineers, gameplay engineers, technical artists, as well as engineers focused on potentially emerging technologies. Research-based engineers. If you have a technical focus within games, we'd be happy to chat with you about what you could potentially bring to our organization.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Awesome, and how does one apply? Where should they be sending in their resumes and super-impressive qualifications?

    CASEY MANNING: Yes, I should mention one thing, we actually just recently rolled out JobVite. If you go straight to our site at crystald.com and click on the job section, that will pull up a list of available opportunities as discussed before, and it links directly to our JobVite, so you can either apply directly, or if you have a friend that you think might be interested in an opportunity in games or at Crystal, you can send them an invite directly from that page as well. That's definitely the best place to go. Or of course you can e-mail our recruiting team directly at [email protected], and we'll be happy to take a look at your background and qualifications, see if you're a fit.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Great, well thank you very much, I appreciate it. And I'm sure all those people that are itching to get into the games industry or looking for a way into Crystal appreciate it too.

    CASEY MANNING: Yeah, absolutely. Happy to talk with them.

    MEAGAN MARIE: Great, thank you.

    CASEY MANNING: Thanks.

    [Musical interlude]


    MEAGAN MARIE: Alright, that's it for this show. Thank you for listening. As I mentioned, we're actually changing up the format of the trivia challenge this month, in order to accommodate fans. I've received some feedback that it's a tad difficult for non-native English speakers to catch the questions posed at the end of the podcast each month. And I totally understand, because I speak very quickly and I apologize for that. As such, from now on, all three questions are going to be posted in text form on our various social media outlets from now forward. So that'll be the official Tomb Raider blog, the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. The contest will still correspond with the podcast in regards to timing, but it should make it a bit easier for fans to participate this way. So you can look for all three trivia challenge questions on the blog later today. And that is the officialtombraiderblog.tumblr.com. Best of luck and tune in next month!




    You probably should look at segment 2 about 5 new Q&A about Tomb Raider.

    I will post some bullet points later.

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    Exclusive dev Q&A session #2 - February 2012

    Question 1: Will the game, Tomb Raider 2012, be available to pre-order or purchase on the Steam platform?
    Karl Stewart: Square Enix has had a fantastic relationship with Steam in the past, with the majority of our catalogue available on the digital platform. We can’t foresee any changes to that relationship in the future!


    Question 2: I don't quite understand how the Hubs work. Are these hubs the only areas we can explore/traverse around or are there connecting areas/paths so we can travel from hub to hub or will we have to use fast travel?
    Karl Stewart: Hubs are large, opens spaces on the island that are ripe for exploration. Lara can carve her own path through them, unless a particular area is blocked off through gear gating and requires returning once she’s better equipped. In these hub spaces are basecamps, which we’ve touched on briefly before. Basecamps will allow Lara to fast travel between hubs that she has already visited. This mechanic gives the player the option of retuning quickly to tackle a challenge or area that was previously inaccessible. That being said, you won’t be warped between hubs as the story progresses – slightly more linear paths lead you from hub to hub as the narrative unfolds.


    Question 3: I'd like to know whether we'll be able to see Lara's whole body during the gameplay like in previous games or just half of her body like most of the time in the E3 demo? I'm asking, because it's hard for me (and not only for me I believe) to make a jump when I can't see the character's feet and I think it's odd to change camera view angle before every jump.
    Karl Stewart: As with most third-person action/adventure titles, you’ll be able to see all of Lara’s body the majority of the time. That being said, we’ve got a dedicated team that made it an explicit goal to retool the camera to be more dynamic and cinematic. In claustrophobic areas the camera will close in on Lara so that the player feels what Lara is feeling. In vast, open spaces the camera will pan back so the player can get the lay of the land. The first part of the E3 demo unfolded mostly in tight, foreboding corridors, which was the reason for the mid-thigh view. The escape sequence from the collapsing cave panned back to a full-body perspective, though. Rest assured, our goal is to ensure the camera never detracts from playability.


    Question 4: Since she is inexperienced, will the combat reflect this by being "unresponsive" to a degree? (In the sense that it's awkward as opposed to previous entries).
    Karl Stewart: We wouldn’t want to penalize the player with underdeveloped or awkward controls. Rather, Lara’s inexperience and character arch will be fleshed out through the narrative and increasingly difficult encounters as she grows into the woman we know she can be.


    Question 5: Is Lara able to do acrobatics moves like in previous games? jumps, flips, rolls, etc
    Karl Stewart: While Lara is still extremely athletic, her moveset is more grounded and believable than in past Tomb Raider titles. Her impressive ability to traverse through rough and formidable terrain is still intact, however.


    Question 6 : IO announced that the new Hitman is going to have a "purist mode", where all helper icons, instinct mode (aka survival mode for TR) and other visual hints will be disabled. Can we also expect a similar "hardcore mode" in TR9, to cater to the more experienced players?
    Karl Stewart: We’ve already discussed that Tomb Raider will boast multiple difficulty settings to make the game accessible to a wider range of players. A “purist mode” isn’t necessary in that regard, as hardcore players can choose not to use the optional survival instinct system if they want to keep their experience challenging. Our goal is to ensure that the game is challenging even for the most seasoned Tomb Raider players.


    Source: Official TR Forum

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    Onekdin kono khobor ashse na,game ki release date delay korbe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arefinzz View Post
    Onekdin kono khobor ashse na,game ki release date delay korbe?
    No way! Tomb Raider reached Alpha stage on early January and is expected to go Gold during May/June. So delay korar prosnoi ashe nah.
    Fall 2012 = September 22-December 21. But December e AAA title release hoy nah. As game will reach Gold stage around June so don't expect late October or November date too. Rest assure the game is coming late September or early October. I have a feelings that it might be released on September 25 or October 2nd.

    And next batch of info is coming in April/May. Brand Director Karl Stewart is visiting Europe and giving away new stuffs to magazine & website right now. Hopefully this XBOX magazine will have some new stuff on April 18-

    Like my Facebook page Gaming Newz for new gaming news updates.

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