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Bully 2 Discussion / Bully 2 confirmed?
« on: November 11, 2009, 10:15:30 AM »

The Gaming Liberty recently interviewed Shawn Lee about his work on the infamous Bully game developed by Rockstar. Although the interview is to come in the near future, we can post an excerpt from the interview in which Shawn Reveals some information that will have fans of the Bully game very, very excited indeed:

TGL: So far you’ve worked on two games, The Getaway and Bully, would you be open to composing for other games in the future?

Shawn Lee: “Yes. It looks like I will be doing the soundtrack for Bully 2 in the not so distant future….”

With this information, speculation will be rife regarding when the game is set and who is in it etc. Will it continue following Jimmy and the rumoured “college years”? We will have to wait and see!

Bully 1 Discussion / New preview, screens & video
« on: January 16, 2008, 08:23:34 PM »
Video - Multiplayer minigames:


This week we found ourselves at Rockstar’s office in downtown Manhattan checking out one of the titles they have been working on lately; no, it’s not GTA IV. Instead, we were walked through a bit of both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of Bully: Scholarship Edition, the next-gen translations of the popular PS2 title which has sold just under 2 million copies. Although we didn’t get to play the game ourselves, we got to see how things have come along thus far, and with two months before release, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s worth checking out if you’ve never played the game before.

For those who have never played the original, the game follows Jimmy Hopkins, a grade-A troublemaker who’s been sent to Bullworth Academy, a highly reputable boarding school, to get straightened out. In the walkthrough of the Wii version, we are introduced to Dr. Crabblesnith, the headmaster, who makes it clear that if you don’t keep your nose clean, he’ll “clean it for you.”

As we were told, the game isn’t so much about being a bully as it is “navigating the social strata” as it was put to us.  Which is pretty much the case, as you are bullied right out of the gate as the new kid at school.  The basic story premise is unchanged, short of the 8 new missions and 4 new classes (Biology, Music, Match, and Geography), but we’ll touch on that later.

The Wii version’s biggest change is obviously in the controls, which they said they didn’t want to make too exaggerated. “You shouldn’t have to be flailing your arms around,” which is an understandable concern for a 20-30 hour game. We saw a bit of combat, which was gesture based, with targeting duty assigned to the C-button, grabbing done with the Z-button, and the nunchuck and Wiimote acting as the left and right fists, respectively.

The controls for the Wii didn’t seem to be anything especially innovative, but considering how straightforward of a game Bully is, there isn’t much to innovate upon when it comes to controls. They merely get the job done. The graphics are pretty comparable to the PS2 version, and even though the game has a month before final internal submission, don’t expect the Wii version to blow you away, as expected given the hardware limitations.

What was interesting was one of the newly added offline multiplayer mini-games. The two Rockstar reps went head-to-head in a race to dissect a specimen in the new Biology class. Using the Wiimote to slice and dice open the subject seems to be a fun change of pace, and fondly reminds us of Trauma Center.

Though it looks as though it could become a tired game with time, after repeatedly using the scalpel to cut around the stomach, intestines, or what have you. It’s a lot of “cutting around,” and we’re not sure how long that could go on enjoyably.

The most lasting impression was left by the Xbox 360 version, which we saw afterwards. As soon as it was fired up, we saw that there was a vast improvement over the PS2 version made in terms of the graphical presentation, which was explained by the involvement of developer Mad Doc, who did the actual conversion.

The Xbox 360 version doesn’t run on Rockstar’s Rage Engine. Instead it runs on a proprietary Mad Doc engine, and the extra coat of next-gen polish is evident in the new trees, surface textures, and smoother character models. It almost appears as though it was originally developed for the Xbox 360, although it would be at the lower end of Xbox 360 titles visually. The graphics look that much better when compared to the PS2 and Wii versions.

There were a few glitches, like purple floors and serious clipping issues, but the game still has some time to get the kinks worked out, so it’s hard to make definitive knocks on an unfinished product.

We got see one of the new missions, “Rudy the Red Nosed Santa,” which features a whiskey breathed Santa, claiming to be the real St. Nick merely having fallen on hard times, tasking Jimmy with finding ornaments to spruce up his shack of a “workshop.” While out gathering ornaments scattered throughout the area, he was ambushed by elves sent by rival Santas in the neighborhood. After retrieving all the ornaments, you have to take pictures of children sitting on Santa’s lap, but they have to be smiling when you take it.

What’s amusing is that these kids are sitting on this drunken Santa’s lap in an alleyway in what appears to be a pretty shady part of town. One would have to ask, where the hell are these kids’ parents? There are 8 new missions, with a few of them taking place in the winter, a part of the game they thought was especially overlooked in the original.

The Rudy the Red Nosed Santa mission wasn’t especially memorable as far as the actual mission is concerned, and was perhaps a little too straightforward and seemingly too easy of a task. The Santa himself, however, was priceless, and made the mission wholly worth watching.

Rockstar claims that this next-gen release isn’t about the money, since the original saw favorable sales. Instead, they said that when the game originally came out, it was at the tail end of 2006, when many people who might have been interested had already made the jump to next-gen, and weren’t looking back on the PS2 any longer.

Above and beyond the additions already listed, there will be new unlockable items and clothing, additional 2-player offline mini-games, new music and ambient dialogue, and Xbox 360 achievements. Bully: Scholarship Edition will be on store shelves on March 4, but we should be back with some hands on time in a few weeks time, so stay tuned.


Xbox 360:


Enjoy :)

Bully 1 Discussion / Scholarship Edition 1st look
« on: January 04, 2008, 09:23:38 PM »
Release date, price, new features and screenshots: :D

Rockstar Games is best known for its Grand Theft Auto series, but Wii and Xbox 360 owners will soon discover another worthy title in its library. Bully: Scholarship Edition arrives on Wii and 360 on March 4 in the US and March 7 in the UK. Both version are priced at $49.99 and include the original game along with a bevy of extras.

Developed by Rockstar Vancouver, Bully puts you in the shoes of precocious Jimmy Hopkins. Stuck in Bullworth Academy, a stuffy private school for youths, Jimmy must deal with the common problems of youth. There are various cliques from jocks to geeks to socialize with (or avoid), girls to woo, classes to ditch, teachers to mock. This is a game of social networking and in that way a tongue-and-cheek attempt at simulating adolescent life in school.
Learning how to deal with the various cliques is crucial for your survival.

Added to the original PS2 version are:
eight new missions,
four new school classes (biology, music, math and geography),
new unlockable items and clothing,
new two-player offline minigames,
new awards and, of course, Achievements.

With Bully: Scholarship Edition just two months away, we should get an in-depth look at the game soon. Until then, you can check out our review of the PS2 version to get an idea of what to expect when Bully: SE hits shelves in March.

Bully 1 Questions / Greasers turf clothes store?????
« on: November 01, 2006, 10:00:56 PM »
I have a question, i just started the 5th chapter but the clothes store located on greasers turf is still closed in my game.

I find it weird cuz all the other stores located on greasers turf were opened a long time ago.

Isn't the clothes store located right next to the barber?????

Bully 1 Discussion / Favourite mini-game / job / npc errand
« on: October 30, 2006, 08:44:24 PM »
What's your favourite mini-game, job or npc errand?????

Mine is paper route, cuz i like the score during the task and the dogs chasing Jimmy is a neat detail.

And the penalty kicks mini-game, i like to see the lil' kid Constantinos suffering :twisted:

Anti-Bully / Bully's boy-on-boy scenes
« on: October 23, 2006, 02:20:18 PM »
Jacko counter attacks... this time he complains about the kissing among boys, but looks like the ESRB considered that content when they rated Bully T for teen.

Full article here:

Bully 1 Discussion / Bully Artwork
« on: October 23, 2006, 11:22:01 AM »
Check out some new Bully artwork:

Bully 1 Discussion / Gamespot Video Review
« on: October 21, 2006, 08:54:35 AM »

Bully 1 Discussion / GameSpy Review - 4.5 out of 5
« on: October 18, 2006, 11:45:08 AM »
Bully received another awesome score 4.5 out of 5, this time from GameSpy

Check out the review:

Bully 1 Discussion / IGN Video Review
« on: October 17, 2006, 09:31:19 PM »
IGN already scored Bully with a nice 8.9 out of 10, but now you can watch Bully's video review at IGN:

Bully 1 Discussion / 1UP Review - 10 out of 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« on: October 17, 2006, 03:21:10 PM »
According to 1up bully is a masterpiece, why????????

Cuz bully scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in 1up's review:

How cool is that :D

Bully 1 Discussion / Games Radar Review
« on: October 17, 2006, 04:18:15 AM »

Bully 1 Discussion / 1up interviews bully's producer
« on: October 16, 2006, 10:16:11 AM »
1up recently interviewed bully's producer Jeronimo Barrera:

Bully has been in the works for quite some time -- four years, from what we understand -- but we've only just recently begun to really see and understand it. Now, right before its release, we got a chance to sit down with producer Jeronimo Barrera to really talk about the game -- where it started, how it's come along, and how the team has dealt with the controversy surrounding it.

1UP: Where did the Bully game concept originally come from? What were your inspirations?

JB: From talking about games and the kind of things that hadn't been effectively made into games, then trying to figure out how to make it into a game we would enjoy playing. It took a while to develop because there were so many aspects to the game we had not considered before. Nobody had ever played an action game in a school world.

Our inspirations were every piece of entertainment we'd ever consumed that was set in schools, or those that highlighted the more realistic emotional aspects of being a teenager irrelevant of the medium. But more importantly our own childhoods and anything that captured that part of our lives was inspiration for us.

We remembered the ridiculous characters from our schools and our childhoods -- nasty pupils, bizarre teachers and the overall assortment of creepy adults -- and because we felt that too many people try to turn childhood and being a teenager into some kind of golden age, when the reality, at least for most of us, was that it was frightening, scary and funny, but never simple or easy and tried to put this into the game.

It's only by trying to do things that seem very difficult that you make new genres and new kinds of game experiences, and I think Bully is definitely something new.

1UP: How did you decide on the main character of Jimmy? Where did he come from?

JB: We didn't really "decide" on the character of Jimmy -- he evolved out from talking about the game, and thinking about the game world and trying to write missions and dialogue from the perspective of a 15 year old boy -- we wanted someone who was a bit of a hot head and a bit of a wise cracking smart ass, because these were the dominant emotions we remembered from being teenage boys -- and we wanted a character who knew that the world of high school with all of its annoying rules and officious and power crazed pupils was inherently stupid, but who still had a sense of what was right and wrong. Then we tried to make him pretty realistic and not too much like a hero, and more like an ordinary kid, prone to making mistakes and errors of judgment. And the sum of these goals was Jimmy. He fits the game world, but stands slightly apart from it. And while he was evolving a character and a way of speaking the artists kept drawing new versions of him, and none was quite right, until one day, one of them drew Jimmy and we all knew he was our man, or boy, as he physically embodied the spirit of the game so well. Above all, we tried to make him a character we could relate to.

1UP: Bully is the first game from Rockstar Vancouver. Can you give us some background on the studio? How was it decided that Rockstar Vancouver would work on this game?

JB: Yes, this is Rockstar Vancouver's first title. We hooked up with these guys about four years ago. Rockstar Vancouver was actually a PC developer [Barking Dog] before we signed them on. The team showed lots of interest and passion towards Bully so it was only natural that they would develop it.

1UP: You first talked about Bully at E3 2005, and it got a lot of negative feedback from watchdog groups based on misinformation and speculation on their part. After that, you didn't show the game again until just a few months ago. Do you feel like you might have initially jumped the gun?

JB: No, not at all. The game was shown as a taster of what we had coming up though was nowhere near completion. The depth of the game in terms of the gameplay, interactivity, audio, and sheer beauty of the environments has taken a vast amount of work, which has only just been completed! We do not tend to show games throughout their development, but with brand new franchises, you want to raise some early awareness, so we had to show something then -- we then kept it under wraps until we were ready to show the final masterpiece! Obviously some people got the wrong idea about Bully, but that is their business, not ours.

1UP: Was it tough to just sit back while all these groups were attacking you for reasons that didn't even exist?

JB: A problem you see with detractors of anything is that they shout rather loudly. Thus it doesn't take many people to cause a large amount of noise, especially with the internet. We were confident that once we started to show the game to people the negativity would be flattened by the much wider positive response and we were proved correct.

1UP: Even though the game makes use of the Grand Theft Auto engine, things look far more detailed here. Can you explain how you're using it differently or what else you're doing visually for Bully?

JB: We never re-hash technology! Even though it's built on the GTA engine foundation, we had to modify it in order for us to get our vision of the game design across to the players. We never sat around and said "it's Grand Theft Auto in a school." We approached it as the unique piece of software. Essentially, it was how we handled memory and streaming in the assets. It's always a balance and we had very smart people always pushing and pushing the tech to get the incredible results we attained. Lots of hard work and it shows. We wanted it to have a closer and more intimate feel than GTA, to capture the intimacy of life in school, and because of all the work we wanted to do with social systems and dialogue.

1UP: Unlike a lot of other Rockstar games, Bully doesn't make use of licensed music. Can you explain the artistic motivation for this?

JB: This direction was decided upon very early in the development of Bully. Music is one of the most important aspects of this game. Rather than simply setting a mood or a tone as most music in film/TV/games does, the music in Bully actually plays an (inter)active and informative role. It really creates a unique tone which completely reinforces the game play and captures the angst, humor, and experiences of youth, along with the creepy and unpleasant quality we wanted the school and the town to have, while still being a proper soundtrack -- we knew we could only get this if we worked with one composer, and somebody who was into games. We worked with a very talented musician called Shawn Lee, who wrote 74 original tracks specifically for Bully, which was, obviously, a mammoth task. He caught the atmosphere we were looking for extremely well.

1UP: Can you tell us about the voice acting in the game? Is this the most amount of voice you've ever done?

JB: We definitely pushed the boundaries with the amount of VO we have in Bully. Approximately 37,000 individual lines were recorded, for over 100 different characters. In order to create a realistic experience each character had to have its own voice, personality, and place in the world. The world of Bully is so heavily based on unique personalities and believable social interactions and in order to make it all believable this was a major focus from the beginning. The speech actually made developing Bully really enjoyable, since you encounter such a wide variety of humorous banter throughout the game.

1UP: The combat in the game shares some similarities with your previous game The Warriors. Were there elements from that game that you learned from that you applied to Bully?

JB: We have been extremely fortunate to have a team of people that have worked on so many other Rockstar titles, so naturally many of the best elements and learning's have come together for Bully. We are a passionate and close-knit family with expert leadership, and it's this passion and leadership that ensures that all the Rockstar titles are of the highest quality and that they all share the Rockstar vibe.

1UP: You've mentioned that in terms of character/world interaction, Bully is actually pulling off on the PS2 what you consider to be next-generation gaming. Can you elaborate on that a bit? What takes Bully to that next level that even titles like Grand Theft Auto haven't?

JB: The gaming experience in Bully is very different than the Grand Theft Auto experience. Bully is more focused on character interaction, while still having plenty of action elements. This means that we have a heavy emphasis on behavior and A.I.

As we move into developing for next-gen systems, more focus is going to have to be placed on making worlds not just look real but feel and act real. With Bully we're exploring new gameplay mechanics based entirely on character interaction on a social level, and combining that with an action game. It's very exciting and we feel that we have accomplished something so unique and special that you won't even find it on the current round of next-gen titles.

1UP: You've also mentioned that you think Bully is an important game for the industry -- that it's perhaps one of the most mainstream games yet. Can you explain this?

JB: Everyone over the age of 13 has been to school and the majority of those people have experienced the terrifying teenaged years! I am not sure there is another game out there that so many people can relate to in one way or another. It is not the fact that you play as Jimmy Hopkins, a 15 year old boy, but the setting, the interactions, the different groups of students, the humor and the music. All of these elements completely immerse you into the world and evoke emotion of your own experience. We feel this is an important game for the industry and a story that needs to be told. For the industry to keep evolving, we have to keep broadening the kind of things we tell stories about, and where we set narrative driven games, in particular, an a school is perhaps the most accessible setting of all. While the industry keeps sticking to existing formulas, it cannot evolve or grow.

1UP: Are you thinking of the world of Bully as something you might continue in the future (like Rockstar has done with many of its other games), or is this game a self-contained experience? Obviously, game sales and team availability dictate most of that, but from your vantage point right now, how do you look at Bully?

JB: All I can say is watch this space.

1UP: Finally, we did a feature listing some of our own personal favorite memories of getting into trouble back when we were in school so we'd like to hear one of yours.

JB: The memory that sticks out is actually not of me getting in trouble but standing up to a bully. My buddy Rob had his D&D books stolen by this big oaf of a kid. I remember weeks of plotting to get Rob's books back to him. Rob is in a wheelchair so he wasn't going to be much help. For the next couple of weeks I remember this drawn-out drama of near fist fights and crank calls. I'm not certain that we ever got the books back but it started a life long friendship with my pal Rob.

Bully 1 Discussion / New pics and info - 1UP
« on: October 12, 2006, 06:25:58 AM »
1UP unlocked thursday's preview: "Bully fully revealed", the result...

a bunch of new screenshots and info:



At its core, Bully is a game about a kid in a boarding school. We've seen glimpses of what happens in the nearby town -- bike races, haircuts, harassing the local police, etc. -- but for the most part the school has been the focal point in our previous looks at the game. Well now we have a treat for you, as 1UP has an exclusive look at Bully beyond the classroom, and what you will find when you get deeper into the game.
Hint: it's not nearly as nice and safe.

Perhaps the most notable part about these areas is they show a more edgy side to Bullworth. While the game itself seems hesitant to make too many moral decisions for you one way or another, the environments found within allow players to explore a bit of their dark side should they choose to.

Blue Skies is Bullworth's industrial part of town, where players will find the docks, rusty old buildings with smoke escaping from them, factories, etc. Due to the surroundings, town locals generally don't have much cash and won't be likely to put up with you messing around in their presence. Some of the younger people living in Blue Skies (it's an ironic name, we assure you) are Bullworth dropouts who made their way there instead of returning to live with their parents, which will naturally lead to some fun interactions with kids who hate your academy.

We're going to punch the first person who makes a Daytona joke, but yes, technically those skies are blue.

One of the most notable aspects of Blue Skies is players can go there to get tattoos. As Rockstar describes it, "Don't expect anything too elaborate -- the color is either black or black!" But for those looking to explore their rebellious side, this will likely be an area where you'll spend a lot of time.
New Coventry is another of the less than high class areas of Bullworth, with bars and other adult locations that you won't even be allowed inside given your age. You will be able to dress up in punk clothing and expand your haircut options if you find the right stores, however.

More interesting from an activity standpoint, you'll be able to check out a BMX park and experiment with tricks and races, and possibly even enter the Junk Yard and mess around with rundown cars, cranes, etc. There's also a hospital located here in case you get injured and need a place to heal up. Remember, this isn't Grand Theft Auto -- you're not invincible. (Hell, you can't even get into bars.)

Ah, "Hung Lo" -- it's good to see the tradition of cheesy Rockstar signs and billboards continues.

Ultimately, one of the most key aspects of these parts of town will be the interactions the player has with the citizens in them. Thanks to the game setting up clearly established social relationships that change depending on what you try to pull, you may get yelled at as you enter these areas. You may not get to enter the Junk Yard if you don't buddy up to the right people. And so on and so on.
The game may not have loads of scripted moral choices for you to make, but your attitude and loyalties will definitely play a large role in everything, which should be one of the most interesting aspects of the final game.

ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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