Walking over to DoubleFine Studios earlier this week here at GDC to get an embargoed look at "Brutal Legend," I spotted a familiar gaming figure with his back to me, waiting to cross the street. This was happening less than 24 hours after the leaked news of the OnLive cloud-computing service. And here, in front of me, was the game designer who has been talking publicly about a One Console Future and cloud computing more loudly than most.

I shouted to get his attention: "Denis Dyack was right!"

Dyack, president of Silicon Knights, turned. He had given me a long, confident pitch about cloud computing just a month ago at the DICE gaming event in Las Vegas. So he was feeling proud to be on the right track. He said he didn't know enough about OnLive to comment about their plans, but said that he's been excited to see other companies, including IBM, also pursuing this kind of technology. I joked that he should try to make his studio the first OnLive-exclusive development group.

He laughed. I headed off to "Brutal Legend."

Denis DyackLater today I'll have a longer post containing a trio of interviews I had with Silicon Knights developers about "Too Human." When I set the interviews up, I requested that SK founder and outspoken "Too Human" front man Denis Dyack not be among my interviewees.

I've interviewed Dyack about the game plenty already -- and so many of us have heard from him. What do other members of his studio think about "Too Human?"

But first: What do other members of Dyack's studio think about him?

All three developers provided the following answers about Dyack over e-mail... Read More...

Denis Dyack loves his games with an undeniable passion.

As "Too Human" nears its August release date, Dyack has stepped up his media presence and brought "Too Human" to the conversational forefront.

You may have heard about his "Too Human" post on popular gaming forum NeoGAF, where he called out his own community and asked them to pick a side -- for or against.

Last year at E3, I asked former Microsoft Game Studios head Shane Kim (who's since been promoted) what he thought of Dyack's unconventional public relations methods. This year, I had an opportunity to ask the new head of MGS, Phil Spencer, the same question. "Too Human" isn't far off.

I wanted to know what he thought about Dyack's recent comments to the public.

"I've never tried to shut down someone's passion for a game," he told me and a crowd of journalists at lunch yesterday. "I think that's part of what ["Too Human"] is about."

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Too HumanNot everything that is awesome needs to be in a trilogy.

So should we ever be suspicious when a major video game is announced to be an epic three-parter? Do players of pre-determined trilogies get shortchanged on a full plot, a full offering of game levels, a real ending -- a full game?

In the first of a two-parter, I ask these questions to Denis Dyack, president of Silicon Knights and chief architect of the upcoming "Too Human" trilogy.

Multiplayer: Your game is being announced as a trilogy, correct?

Denis Dyack, President, Silicon Knights: That's correct.

Multiplayer: I hear about a lot of games being announced as trilogies. They don't always become full trilogies. But "Halo" recently was a trilogy that concluded. [Dyack grins]… I don't know where you're going already…

Dyack: I do. [laughing]

Multiplayer: Well you might want to let me finish my question first, because otherwise you might say something bad…

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EccoIn the year 2008 Multiplayer is hunting for The Greatest Animal In Video Game History.

What is it?

We don't know. That's why we're asking.

I recently had a chance to ask Denis Dyack, president of "Too Human" studio Silicon Knights what his favorite gaming bird was. He told me, but I can't tell you, because for this month of March we are instead trying to figure out what the greatest aquatic animal in gaming is.

Look for a full list of nautical nominees on Friday morning, with an official vote to follow at month's end. Let's have Denis kick things off…

Multiplayer: Denis, can you tell me what your nomination is for greatest fish or other marine life in video game history?

Denis Dyack, President, Silicon Knights: I guess I would move towards Ecco the dolphin, if I was to name one. And yes, it is a mammal, but I think it qualifies as a fish.

Multiplayer: Why? Can you explain the greatness of Ecco?

Dyack: I think it was one of the few games that worked underwater. I look at all these video game genres, and, if you're going to make a game underwater - it's sort of like the curse of the underwater games. [That curse] is sort of like the curse of the games about Superman. If you're going to make a game about Superman, you're almost destined to not do well. ["Ecco The Dolphin"] was one of the few games that broke the curse of the underwater game.

Too Human(Below is part of my latest GameFile column. For the full thing, check out MTVNews.com)

I heard Dave Jones, president of development studio Real Time Worlds and one of the original architects of the "Grand Theft Auto" series, telling an audience: "I like to leave story to books and movies."

David Braben, anther long-tenured game designer, sat with me to talk about his company's upcoming downloadable Wii game "Lost Winds" but veered into a discussion about story and just how bad he thinks most games' tales are. And then he apologized for it: "If you look at stories in films in the '30s, they were sh--." Gaming can get better too.

I met with Denis Dyack, the ever-outspoken president of Silicon Knights to talk about the ambitious and heavily story-driven action game "Too Human," which his company will be releasing on the Xbox 360 this year. And he trashed game stories too. He said the current quality of game stories is "just not acceptable."

Here's what he told GameFile (it's classic Dyack, the kind of commentary that has won him legions of fans and detractors): "I think stories like [the ones in the books] 'Hyperion' or 'Altered Carbon' or very serious science fiction — we need to get stories to that level in the video game industry. ... Bubblegum stories are OK, but there's no reason we can't aspire to do more for those who want to do more. Certainly there's room for everything. If 'Too Human' can say anything, it's that it can be done, and we should at least attempt to try."

Check out the rest of this column at MTVNews.com

If I was making a list of top 10 answers I ever got in an interview, the following honest, open, emotional video from Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack would be included.

At GDC I asked him why, with more than a decade of development work done on "Too Human," he didn't at some point decide that this game just wasn't meant to be. This is what he said:



As with all MTV.com videos, it is not available to anyone using computers with IP addresses in Japan, the U.K. and Canada (sorry Denis!). Read on for an excerpt: Read More...

Too HumanNine times out of 10, developers get along with one another at the Game Developers Conference. That wasn't the case at this morning's "The Future of Story in Game Design" panel.

Though five members of the industry were featured, the fireworks were clearly between two in particular. Denis Dyack, President of Silicon Knights and Director of "Too Human," and Matthew Karch, Co-owner and Game Designer at "TimeShift" developer Saber 3D, were visibly and verbally butting heads over the importance of story in video games in the future.

The two split on basic philosophies of game development. Dyack, always the passionate visionary, said developers need to stop designing games based upon a gameplay mechanic. "Too Human," he said, came from a desire to comment on the continued melding of humans and technology. Karch, however, said gameplay is king and any story elements acts as a support for that gameplay, a motivating factor to keep going.

Karch pointed to some of the best selling games of last year, "Call of Duty 4" and "Halo 3," suggesting that their phenomenal sales had little to do with the narrative. "Yeah, there's stories [in these games], but I don't think people played those games for the stories," said Karch, who believes the visuals and visceral gameplay of both games were the main draw. "We can pretend that we want to elevate games to the level of Shakespeare, but the reality is, the audience that we're dealing with today wants that [gameplay focus]."

You might guess that Dyack vehemently disagreed with Karch's assessment. Read on to find out his reactions (one of many) to Karch during the panel's hour-long debate.

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