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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Rare Tour Shows RareWare Secrets 29

Thanks to Rare-Extreme for their feature showing an uncommon tour of secretive British game developers Rare, as they note: "If you described it before as Fort Knox, nobody would blame you... The mysterious aura that surrounds Rare's inner workings has done wonders for the British developer in the past." The feature includes many pictures of RareWare's extensive office complex in rural England, and also offers a vague answer to long-standing Internet rumors regarding "a 'hot swapping' feature where players could pull out their Banjo-Kazooie cartridge while the power to the N64 was still on and jam in their Banjo-Tooie cartridge... to use the secrets found in Banjo-Kazooie in the sequel" - apparently, "it was never meant to be in the first place", never functioning properly, and not intended to be found (by Action Replay use) in the N64 cartridges.
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Rare Tour Shows RareWare Secrets

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  • What?! (Score:4, Funny)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @08:46AM (#8519934) Homepage Journal
    Middle of nowhere, no starbucks, no tacobell.

    No real coder could work there.
    • Re:What?! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @09:26AM (#8520194) Homepage Journal
      huh? they have their own cafe it seems.

      wtf they'd need starbucks or taco for if they can afford a proper cook to make the food/coffee.
    • Re:What?! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bbuchs ( 551229 )
      Middle of nowhere, no starbucks, no tacobell

      You say that like it's a bad thing... i dream of a world with no starbucks or taco bell.
    • I haven't seen a single Taco Bell in the UK ever. I don't think we have them. There might be one in London somewhere, as they have a ?Wendy's? (not sure if the name right, they sell weird square burgers) and I haven't seem them anywhere else either.

      Don't worry, we do have Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizzas, Costa Coffee and numerous other places to buy programming supplies (at least in big cities.) Just not Tacos. Or square burgers.
  • terrible article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TwistedGreen ( 80055 ) <twistedgreen@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:07AM (#8520502)
    Wow, what a terrible article. It looks like it was posted mid-edit.

    And what was this?
    ...and with plans to expand Rare so drastically in the near future it becomes obvious at how committed Rare are to the Xbox and Microsoft's next generation hardware.
    What is this, a Microsoft ad? And Rare would obviously be committed to Microsoft, being owned by them and all...
    • Re:terrible article (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wow. I think you're reading your own anit-Microsoft bias into this. Why do you think they shouldn't mention Microsoft anywhere in this article? As you pointed out, they are owned by them after all.
  • Poorly Written (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rufo ( 126104 ) <(rufo) (at) (> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:16AM (#8520550)
    I don't know about anybody else, but I found that article to be extremely poorly written. First off, there didn't really seem to be much information contained with the article - just some fanboy going "OMG! It's THAT GUY'S OFFICE!". Secondly, there are several points in the article where there's a paragraph repeated twice and worded differently, which confused the hell out of me until I figured out what was going on.

    On the good side, I had no idea that Rare was as large as they are - they have their own cafe and motion capture studio, and that many programmers? I had always pictured them as a much smaller studio, although I suppose they've been around for long enough that they've probably outgrown that long ago.

    The last thing is whether or not Rare still retains it's magic. IIRC several of the programmers from Rare left and made Free Radical and games like TimeSplitters 2 (which was critically acclaimed), so a few people think that Rare's next batch of games (now that they're owned by MS) will suck. I guess we'll see, won't we...
    • you're right... i nfact most of the core goldeneye team left, hence why timesplitters was so similar to GE at points. Basically, they lost a lot of the people who made rare RARE.

      It's a shame, but theyre still killer developers, regardless of the loss... just not AS killer...
  • "an extensive office in rural England" Is this opposed to downtown England?
  • I hate to say it, but considering all the equipment and knowledge of RARE is unconceivable they come up with a game like "Grabbed by the Ghoulies" a bunch of british sexual references and horror jokes which are untranslatable to any other language and sub-par action cliched history which is suposedly made for 4 year olds and yet features totally unfair instant death traps (read instructions or die)? who the heck greenlighted this thing? I could have guessed this would be a poor receipt game just by reading
  • Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BadmanX ( 30579 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @01:59PM (#8522803) Homepage
    This guy saw no games in development. He heard no music or voice acting. He didn't meet any of Rare's developers - just saw them pointed out in the cafe. He couldn't even take a picture of the Rare sign in the lobby. What kind of tour is this? And why the hell does Rare feel the need to be so secretive? There are much better development houses that don't feel they need razor wire and security cameras.

    Completely anal developers + drooling fanboy = boring article.
    • I love the way he keeps mentioning Perfect Dark Zero, when there is literally no evidence to suggest that it is even currently being developed. Rare have been known to drop a franchise for 20 years (see Sabrewulf) - face it, folks, it's not coming out this hardware generation, so stop buying consoles in anticipation of it.

  • Hopefully though, this article brought many of you a lot closer to Rare than ever before. What the...? the article is a bunch of pictures took from an helicopter (aparently) and a camera on the sidewalk across the street? Does these guys know that real press can actually interview this people and get access to at least a waiting room in the offices? Heck.. if you are good at it, any small magazine or website (such as theirs) can call and make an appointment with the PR guys.

    But ok, I will give them tha
  • Refund? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superultra ( 670002 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:14PM (#8523697) Homepage
    My bet is that Microsoft wishes they could get their money back.

    Not that they shouldn't have known any better anyway. The decision to buy Rare always mystified me; it seems that there are so many smaller dev houses that may have been riskier, but far cheaper with potentially much greater results. I'm not even an industry insider, and I was well aware of the inter-office politics that plagued Rare in the last months before the buyout. The forum at Fatbabies was pretty much a whine-fest about office conditions inside, so it just makes me wonder if the buying of Rare was just a bet by two uppers inside Microsoft:

    Unnamed Xbox Employee: "Bet you you can't buy Rare."

    Ed Fries: "Bet you I can."
  • Face it, TimeSplitters 2 - done mostly by the old GoldenEye team ... is the best game Rare never made. Conker's was the last brilliant thing to appear out of Rare and they've got nothing impressive rolling in the hype machine. At first I was terribly bummed by the MS buyout - I was afraid it would go all Bungie on us ... but like other posters have mentioned, I don't see any great loss to the platforms I game on.
  • Don't get me wrong, I'm usually supportive of smaller fansites, but that's just...lame.

    The "Secret Project" studio? It must be PDZ, yeah. It couldn't possibly be anything else. Despite that we know of other projects Rare is working on, and nobody knows anything about PDZ at all. And would anybody really care anyway? PD was good, yeah, but that was 4 years ago, the development team left, and all the college all-nighters are with Halo now, not GoldenEye. The world has moved on. I mean, has PDZ ever be

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein