Mark DeAngelis on Gameplay HD, the High-Definiton Game Channel

Joe Blancato | 3 Apr 2008 21:00
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TE: One thing I noticed watching the Madden Challenge, there wasn't a lot of games being shown. It was more clipped together, like highlights.

MD: The problem for an hour compression of three hours is that fact. We had 24 competitors in the semi-finals, in the first two shows. When you got four players on stage, you're really forced into a highlight situation. When you get down to eight players, where it's one-on-one, you see a hell of a lot more gameplay.

We were asked to make the show in that direction, so we were forced to do a more highlight feel. I'd love to show you [episodes] four, five and six where you get much more gameplay. That's the thing, and I agree, in our post mortem we're going to put a lot more gameplay into it. Even though it's only two-minute rounds, it still can feel a lot richer in that.

TE: With G4 and ESPN, G4 has X-Play and Morgan Webb. ESPN has Sportscenter and Chris Bermann. Do you have a face of the network yet?

MD: I think I needed to come out and prove that we were gonna be different than G4 ... making sure that videogames were the stars. We're now creating content that will start giving us the faces. We have another series called Nikki the Knife. ... Nikki is a professional gamer ... he's also the host. He's got a lot of knowledge, but he's got that, like - he's 20, man! I remember when I was 20. How many cares in the world do you have? You worry about everything and nothing at the same time. So he can show up at all these events, whether it's a new E3 or a GDC, and he floats around the floors, interviewing players and kids and developers.

It's a real blast; it's a half hour. There's this funny part, where you got this Pac-Man machine, and you got the world-class player of Pac-Man, and [Nikki] takes him on and he gets his ass kicked, and his pride is all wounded! And then he's over with the Frag Dolls, who are trying to recruit new girls to play, and this is a little weird, but he gets dressed up as a girl. That's what you do when you're 20! It's a real fun show, and I think over the course of '08, you're gonna start seeing more and more faces that will blend well with the content we have.

TE: Walk me through your prime time, from 8:00 to 11:00 on a Thursday. What am I gonna see?

MD: We're very niche and boutique, so you're gonna have an opportunity to see a lot of our types of programming through any given night. You'll see some cinematics, you'll see some Raw Play.

Raw Play is an interesting concept. If you ever wanted to see a game and experience it before you bought it, it's a great thing to do. And if you never had a chance to play something, it gives you that experience. Some of the gameplay is so compelling to watch within itself.

You're gonna see some game spotting shows that will give you some really good riews and insights in the gaming world. You're gonna see some great documentaries, all kinds of games. You're gonna see lots of tournaments from across the globe ... everything from Counter-Strike to Halo to PGR. You're gonna see a lot of videogames.

If you're just jonesin' for a 50-inch high-def experience, if you wanna sit on the couch for five, 10 minutes and get pumped up, turn on my channel.

Joe Blancato is an Associate Editor at The Escapist. He can probably beat you in Madden '97.

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