March 07, 2014 | 2:37 p.m.
It was Valentine’s Day, and I was afraid someone was watching me die. On a night when most are finding ways to celebrate (or curse) romance, I had opted to spend the evening curled up on the couch with a game, a first-person shooter. At least I wasn’t alone. I was one of many worldwide who were playing “Titanfall,” a game in beta testing that Microsoft has declared the showcase title for its recently released home console, the Xbox One. Connecting to strangers via Microsoft’s servers, many of whom were engaged in midgame conversations, I was outgunned, anxious and nervous about letting down my new teammates. In eight minutes, I would be killed 11 times by people I will never speak to. Once, a giant robot stepped on me. Moments later, a giant robot fired a rocket into my chest. […]
June 12, 2013 | 10:41 a.m.
Vince Zampella is a name awfully familiar to “Call of Duty” players. As one of the principal designers on “Call of Duty,” the video game executive/developer helped define the modern first-person shooter. This week, Zampella found himself back at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a new game in “Titanfall.” Building “Titanfall” wasn’t always an easy process. After splitting acrimoniously from Activision in 2010 — a divorce that resulted in a two-year legal dispute — Zampella and his team found themselves wondering what to do for an encore. First, Zampella said, you spend a year debating. “It was a process — in some ways painful,” he said, speaking at E3, the largest video game trade show in the world. “It was a matter of relearning how you do things when the restrictions are off and you can do anything. There were a lot […]