Dropping the third season of the "Sam & Max" franchise on PSN has presented a unique opportunity for developer Telltale Games. From what we understand, the studio now has an unclogged tech pipeline and has started talking to other license holders about morphing their franchises into episodic content courtesy of Telltale.

In our recent phone conversation with Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale, Connors spoke briefly about new IP, explaining the studio's position and even teasing a possible announcement. Here's what he said when I asked if the studio had anything up its sleeves on the new IP front:


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In an exclusive interview with MTV News, Black Eyed Peas member Taboo spoke out about his role in the upcoming "Street Fighter" movie, "Legend of Chun-Li." Taboo will be playing an "edgier" Vega in the upcoming film.

The multi-talented rapper, dancer and actor also took a stab at one of life's most puzzling questions: who would win in a fight, Vega or Wolverine?

Check out the whole interview here.

talifischer.jpgThis week, I spoke to different women working in games. Today's interview is the last of the series.

We've heard from journalists Morgan Webb and Jane Pinckard as well as game developers Elspeth Tory and Brenda Brathwaite.

Another sector of gaming that I wanted to delve into was public relations. There are many, many women working in public relations in general, and gaming is no exception. When I was asking around for female game developers, I stumbled upon Tali Fischer, who was willing to answer my questions via e-mail earlier this week.

Currently a public relations manager at Sega of America, the 32 year-old has been working in gaming PR for eight years. She seems to have had a positive experience overall and doesn't see any sexism within the video games industry:

Fischer: ...I feel like there is this constant scrutiny on everyone's behavior looking for an indication of sexism here. Almost like people outside the industry hope there is more sexism to point a finger at. I don't feel like there is. I do feel like every industry has its politics and every industry has its personality conflicts and every industry has its extreme example of bad interpersonal behavior. But when it comes to video games, there really is no dramatic story of women prevailing over the big bad men. ...

Read on for Fischer's thoughts on what it's like to work in gaming PR, how the industry has evolved, and speaking with journalists about Lara Croft's breasts...


brendabrathwaite.jpgContinuing Multiplayer's special week-long series of "Women Working in Games" is an interview with game designer, author and professor Brenda Brathwaite.

After speaking with two journalists, "X-Play"'s Morgan Webb and Game Girl Advance's Jane Pinckard, and another game developer, Ubisoft's Elspeth Tory, I also really wanted to talk to Brathwaite because of her experience in the industry. She is the "longest-serving woman in computer games," with 26 years under her belt, and she's also the chair and founder of the International Game Developers Association's Sex Special Interest Group. Brathwaite has extensively studied and worked on sexually-themed video games, such as "Playboy: The Mansion," and written a book on the subject titled "Sex in Video Games." With her experience and expertise in the industry, I figured that she would have a lot of interesting things to say to about her personal experiences as a woman in gaming over the years.

I caught up with the 41 year-old trailblazer on the phone last week. We covered a lot. Here's just one highlight from the long interview that follows:

Brathwaite: Sheri [Graner Ray] in this lecture, she gives has an amazingly great slide of these hyper-sexualized men. And they're not even fully hyper-sexualized. If they were really hyper-sexualized , they'd probably be showing something you wouldn't show in a large auditorium to people. With this hyper-sexualized male characters, I love to look at the audience and watch how they react. The men are like, "Agh, would you get this off?" And the women are pleasantly surprised like," Finally, something for us to look at." And it's always amusing to me to see people's responses to this. And as a gamer who has been a gamer forever, if I see a woman in a thong in a game, honestly I don't even think twice, because I'm so used to it at this point.

Read on for more of Brathwaite's anecdotes, including how she's hopeful for women getting into the industry, the weirdness of working on a "Playboy" game, being the first pregnant woman at her company, and what it's like to be mistaken for a booth babe.


elspeth_tory.jpg This week, I've been posting interviews -- more like conversations -- I've had with women working in the games industry.

First, I spoke with two journalists: Morgan Webb of G4's "X-Play" and Jane Pinckard of the blog Game Girl Advance. They both had different perspectives about being a woman working in games. Now, I bring you another female voice in the world of gaming but on the development side: Ubisoft's Elspeth Tory, the project manager for animation on "Assassin's Creed."

I know what you're thinking. With all the hubbub surrounding "Assassin's Creed" producer Jade Raymond, why not talk to Raymond herself? I originally asked Ubisoft to speak with Raymond, but was told by a company rep that she was "not interested at this time." Totally understandable. However, Ubisoft suggested Tory, since she was available and another female able to speak about working on "Assassin's Creed."

I admit that I knew very little of Tory before the interview, but I learned that she was an animator on games such as Microids' "Syberia II" and Ubisoft's "Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones." I didn't know what to expect, but the 29 year-old gamer was very honest about her experiences when we spoke on the phone last week.

Here's an excerpt from when I asked her if she's ever felt uncomfortable in the workplace:

Tory: ... At some point, there was a woman who came in for an interview, and she was an attractive woman, apparently. We had these windows in our meeting room that were high up. And the guys, at some point, I so clearly remember this, they actually got up on their desks to look in on the woman in her interview. And they were making comments. Like, that was the kind of working environment that I was in. It wasn't all the time, but it was ridiculous! ... This was at Microids when that happened. I specifically remember it, and I was so disappointed. ...

Make the jump to read more of Tory talking about doubting herself, having to do well for womankind, and the comments made about her co-worker...


jane_pinckard.jpgYesterday, I posted an interview I did with Morgan Webb, co-host of G4's "X-Play," about being a highly visible woman working in the games industry.

Webb's interview is part of Multiplayer's special week-long series called "Women Working in Games." A few weeks ago, I decided to speak to a few prominent women in gaming to find out about their personal experiences working in the male-dominated field.

Aside from Webb, another woman that I really wanted to talk to for my set of interviews was Jane Pinckard of Game Girl Advance. For years, Pinckard has written and talked about gender and games, and she recently wrote what I thought was a passionate and thought-provoking entry about all the attention surrounding "Assassin's Creed" producer Jade Raymond. In it, she captures the anger, frustration, sadness and ambivalence that I -- and perhaps other people -- have felt about gender issues in gaming, which seems to have come to a head once again.

On November 29, I called Pinckard while she was at the Montreal International Game Summit to talk about gender in the gaming space. Here's a tidbit from our conversation, where she mentions the sexualized Jade Raymond comic when we talk about the kind of comments women can get:

Pinckard: The whole Jade Raymond comic thing to me... it's a super big deal, and it's terrible. And if you are a woman, let alone Jade -- that comic affected me as a woman. I saw that, and I was like this is an attack on me and on you and on all of us. And the thing is the guys just didn't get it. They were like, "What? It's the Internet. Don't take it so seriously" and that kind of thing. … some people really didn't get it.

Read on for more of Pinckard's thoughts on Lara Croft, Ubisoft and what women can do to thrive and survive in the video games industry...

morgan_webb.jpgAs a female gamer myself, lately I've been thinking a lot about women in the gaming industry.

And it's not just me. Other people have been discussing the topic during the past few weeks.

From extreme and public cases, such as the recent sexualized comic about "Assassin's Creed" producer Jade Raymond to even subtle instances where male developers overlook me to speak to my male associates, I've noticed that women gamers are viewed and treated differently from (and by) their male counterparts. But this is nothing new, and people have talked about it before.

Recently, I decided to track down some major women in the industry to really discuss what it's like to be a woman working in games. In this special week-long Multiplayer series, I'll be publishing an interview with a different woman every day. From journalists to developers to publicists, these women told me about their personal experiences. Had they encountered sexism in this predominantly male industry? Is the gaming industry an environment where women can thrive? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a female in this field?

One woman that first came to my mind was G4's Morgan Webb. As the co-host of the video game program "X-Play," she's a highly visible woman in gaming, and last week she gave me an honest interview over the phone. Here's an excerpt, where she answers my question about the negative attention some women gamers get, particularly on the Internet:

Webb: I do not read fan e-mail because 0.1 percent of people ruin it for everybody, and I don't read forums because 0.1 percent of people ruin it for everybody. And it would be really great if I could go on a forum and talk to people who like the show and talk about games, but I can't because there's some 14 year-old jerk somewhere who just wants to be an idiot and try and get attention.

Make the jump to read more of Ms. Webb's candid responses about posing for Maxim, Jade Raymond, and why the world doesn't really need more women playing games...


callofduty4.jpgWhere do Xbox 360 Achievements come from? We're going to find out, one game at a time.

First up, the Achievements of "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare." Last week I asked Infinity Ward's Community Manager Robert Bowling via e-mail about the Achievements in "Call of Duty 4." A fan of Achievements himself, Bowling and the team behind the best-selling title take Achievements very seriously:

"I don't agree with Achievements that don't require skill, like 'Play multiplayer for 8 hours straight.' That's not an achievement, that's a pain; it's one of those Achievements people will typically get simply by starting up a game and just leaving it sit while they sleep."

Bowling also goes on to talk about the lack of Achievements for online multiplayer, the hardest Achievement in "Call of Duty 4" and his own "Achievement-cation" he recently took...


nathandrake281×2111.jpg"Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune" is a third-person action-adventure about a modern-day treasure hunter.

But according to "Uncharted"'s Game Director Amy Hennig, it could've been "BioShock" or "Resistance: Fall of Man."

I caught up with Hennig on the phone earlier this week to talk about Naughty Dog's first release for the PlayStation 3 (in stores next week), and we discussed how they came up with the premise for "Uncharted." When the Sony-owned, Santa Monica-based developer of the "Jak and Daxter" series was tossing around ideas for their first next-gen game, a slew of concepts came up -- including ones that may have been similar to "BioShock" and "Resistance: Fall of Man." So what happened?


rockband-logo1.jpgNot too long ago I visited Harmonix, the company that's developing "Rock Band" (published by MTV Games).

I poked around, conducted some interviews (including an extended one with Audio Director Eric Brosius) and even asked longtime staffers their thoughts on the recently released "Guitar Hero III" (the first title in the franchise not made by Harmonix).

During my interviews, I also found out some random, little-known facts about the company and the game, like:

  • The inspiration for the in-depth Band World Tour mode
  • How they fixed the issue of online lag using patented technology
  • How Harmonix works with corporate behemoths like MTV and EA
  • Harmonix's real "Rock Band" rehearsal space
  • Future peripherals (possibly keyboards and... a cowbell?)

Senior Designer Dan Teasdale also hints at what we can expect at the end of the game:

"The Band World Tour is open-ended so you can go around and play any cities or venues or event you want, but we do have a lot of special events at the end that you can play. Like we have the big one which is the endless set list where you can play all the songs back to back. It's like a six-hour marathon of playing everything in the game. Because it's a marathon, we do give you something really cool at the end of it... But I can't tell you what it is yet."

And there's more...


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