E3 2008: EA Press Conference; Sims 3 Announced, id Partners with EA to Publish Rage, and More!


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We just arrived at the EA press conference at the Orpheum theater. Lots of news being released, including the announcement of Sims 3, coming out in 2009. Click through for our liveblog!

3:13 PM

Sims 3 announced. Every object in the game will be customizable and editable. Persistance in the entier Sims world. Anaolgy is that the old Sims games kept you trapped inside the house, new one will open the doors.

3:18 PM

Dead Space: Demo of the game. No HUD. Third person horror action. Large hulking beast on four legs comes rushing in. Issac's weaon has a 3d-heads up display. The beast is emiting fire as the hero shoots off parts of its limbs. Circle strafing around it as the beast rushes. A freeze type blash temporarily stunns it. The fight is going on for over 2 minutes now. Still plenty of body parts to shoot off. Finally finishes it off.

Takes an elevator up. 3-laser beam tracking gun armed.  Long organic arm comes out of the wall. Grabs Issac's leg. He shoots with his pistol as he's being dragged. Gets up. The arm comes back and grabs his face. Pulls him into the wall. Awesome!

Avail Oct 21st on PC, 360, and PS3.

3:24 PM

Patrick Soderlund. EA European Studios

Mirror's Edge: Being demoed on the PS3. Developed at DICE. Starts gameplay. On rooftop. No HUD again. Looks like the same demo we saw at GDC. Faith, the lead character, running across a rooftop. Watching through her eyes. Pipes glow bright red to give you direction (runner's vision). Balancing on pipes to walk between skyscrapers. Faith makes a long jump and latches onto another pipe on the side of a wall.

Runs inside a building. Indoor puzzle. Have to reach a vent shaft high above. Makes several jumps and grabs to reach. Drops down the vent. Faces four cops, who fire at her. Faith runs up a stairwell and out on the rooftop.  News helicopter hovering outside, covering the chase.

Faith slows down time using "reaction time." Leaps acros more rooftops. Slides into the feet of an enemy, knocking them down. Grabs another one by the gun, and disarms. You can complete the entire game without firing a single bullet (tied to achievement). Sees another runner jumping across rooftops. Goal is to deliver a package to this runner, Celeste.

Guards catch up with Faith again. No way off that roof -- it's too high up.  Faith jumps and grabs the helicopter, sees her reflection in skyscraper windows.

New gameplay trailer. New environments. Sliding on water underground in sewers. Knocking guards out with their shotguns. Lots of industrial buildings and warehouses. She doesn't fire a single shot the entire time.

3:34 PM

Will Wright goes up on stage! He's wearing a "Save SETI"  t-shirt.

Spore is the intersection of Science and Creativity. Venn diagram explanation.

Spre Creature Creator -- 1 million new creatures uploaded in a week. Blew away expectations. They have 1,756,000 creatures on Sporedatabase right now. 18 days. More creatures in Spore than known number of species on Earth.

Spore fans = 38% God!

Very surprised by what fans could do. robots and humans. not intended, but fans did it anyway. creepy things. They even made vehicles.

Even celebrities haved used it. Richard Branson, Melissa Joan Hart, etc.

Partnerships with SETI and National Geogrphic announced.

New gameplay trailer: takes you from microbe to galaxy. Basically says you're God. You guide these creatures through their entire evolution and cultural development.

3:45 PM

Peter Moore is up. EA Sports. Starts with NBA LIVE 09 demo. Game now features "Dynamic DNA"

Updates player stats every day of the season, after every game. New Instant Replay and DNA Scouting Report features seen in the pause menu. New connected experiences for the online gamer.

Now announcing new Wii sports games. "All Play" branding. More accessible for new gamers.

Demo with Tiger Woods. 28 total players. Peter Moore plays with "All Play" turned on, turns off higher difficulty settings so you don't have to worrk about wind, etc.  Gets a really close shot. Makes a joke about at least not accidentally pausing the game. Scores a birdie.

Playing with advanced mode on, Natalie Gulbis scores a bogey. Crowd cheers anyway.

Five All Play games coming out this summer and fall.

4:02 PM

John Pleasant, EA Redwood Shores

Lots of marketing speak, talking about the direction of the company. Giving users what they want, when they want it. etc etc.

Introducing some colleagues who're driving this consumer experience.

EA Online Group: Nanea Reeves. Talking about EA online technologies. Spore, Battlefield Heroes. Just rolled out Nucleus. EA's persona/gamer profile for their games. Reputation, stats, scores. Stored in the cloud. Buddy lists. Works on mobile phones. Tied to micro-transactions. Battlefield Heroes and Sims. Live in 30 countries.

Integrated into 25 EA titles by the end of 2009.

Sean Fanning (Napster guy) gtalking about Rupture.

Social Achievements. You can challenge friends to complete certain achievements, or create new achievements (ie. achieve certain score over one weekend). open API for developers. Games can export game data to variety of formats.

More details at www.rupture.com/developers

Travis Boatman, EA Mobile

iPhone games. App store is exciting for them. Touch screen allowed them to innovate with Tetris. Touch mode to slow down the game.

Also taking advantage of the accelerometer. Ie. in Spore Microbe action game.  Makes the game easy to play. Adding accelerometer support to Scrabble game.

Wifi support for Scrabble. Multiplayer scrabble with friends.

3D engines used for Tiger Woods PGA 09 and Spore for iPhone. Gameplay trailers shown.

4:11 PM

Greg Zeschuk, Bioware

Dragon Age Origins, Spiritual successor to Balder's Gate

Your personal origin story is how the world sees you, and the lense through how you see the world.

Trailer shown: Looks like LOTR high fantasy. Golden and silver armor. Animals with tatoos. humans facing off against orc army in the rain. Hounds are unleashed.  Massive armies charge. Fireballs and flaming arrhows launch in the air. One of the most epic battles I've seen rendered in real-time. Huge horned monster grabs a human and screams in his face.

4:14 PM

Game Newell, Valve

Left4Dead. First person co-op horror survival game.

AI Director.  Big chunk of AI code. Game plays different every time. Directo creates the drama in real-time. Monitors player experience (health, aiming) and changes the pace of the game.

Demo: Gas Station level. Two different groups. Group 1: Beaten up, playing poorly. Film grain to create cinematic feel.

Second group: Smoth going, playing well, lots of health and ammo. Outcome: Much more challenging encounter. Many more zombies. Huge explosion. Entire gas station is blown up. Bigger payoff as reward.

Tf2 taught them a lot about L4D development.

Completely new survivor designs. Looks more realisitc. Still one girl, three guys. African american wearing a white shirt and tie, with blood. Old vetern guy with white hair. Biker guy is now gone.

Gameplay trailer: Game looks much better than when we saw it last . Lots of rain and advanced lighting effects. Exploding zombies. Chatter between survivors. They shoot down a boss infected. Very cinematic.

4:21 PM

John Carmack, id Software

id Software now teamed up with EA through EA Partners. Probably the same deal as Valve. Marketing muscle, but remaining independent.

New Rage Trailer: Buggy driving into a fortress. Dusty terrain. Inhabitants wearing goggles and covering their faces. Semi-steampunk like. Mutants wielding bones swipe at you. Messed up faces. Looks like the big giant guy from the Goonies. More variety of colors than last year. Not just brown anymore. Impressive, but short. More Rage info at Quakecon.

And that's it! Check back for updated info and photos.

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