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Infinity Blade: Redemption debuted at the top of the iBooks charts this week. Redemption follows the events of Infinity Blade II, with archenemies Raidriar and Siris imprisoned together in the Vault of Tears. Hugo Award-winning author Brandon Sanderson (MistbornThe Way of Kings) wrote both Redemption and its predecessor, Infinity Blade: Awakening in close collaboration with ChAIR. We asked Sanderson five questions about Redemption. We hope you enjoy the discussion.

Get your copy of Infinity Blade: Redemption on iBooks today!

IBR_CoverLargeHow did you come to partner with ChAIR on the Infinity Blade project?

BRANDON SANDERSON: I remember as a little kid saving up to buy my first Nintendo system, and I’ve been a gamer ever since. You don’t do what I do and not at some point want to be involved with video games.

I never had a great opportunity until Donald from ChAIR got in touch with me through a mutual friend and wanted to have dinner. He had some ideas he wanted to discuss. I’d heard of ChAIR and knew they’d been doing great stuff.  We had a wonderfully creative dinner where we sat and chatted about Infinity Blade, what they wanted to do with it, how they were fans of my books, and how we might work together. It seemed like a great opportunity for me. The video game world is very removed from what I do, but gaming is a hobby of mine and I wanted to be involved. So we brainstormed, and the idea was that I would write a book that would be a sequel to the first Infinity Blade game. It was exciting to me because the game had all these hooks for a story, but the game itself didn’t have much of a story yet. It gave me a lot of freedom to explore and to extrapolate and to ask, “How do you take some things that work in games and actually make a cohesive setting for a story?”

What did you learn from the first Infinity Blade novella that you applied to writing its sequel, Infinity Blade: Redemption?

SANDERSON: It’s been really cool, actually. I’ve done a second book now, and it’s been a little like juggling chainsaws. On the first book, Donald gave me Infinity Blade, and I played through it and liked it. Then I wrote the first book, which extrapolated on the game and took the story in new directions. After that, I tossed the story back to him and the team at ChAIR, and they made Infinity Blade II, building on those new concepts. Suddenly the characters that I’d added became main characters for the game and expanded on that. Then ChAIR tossed it back to me with this fun and terrible situation for the characters in the game, and I built upon that for the second book. It’s been really fun going back and forth, brainstorming and working together on all of it. It’s been a blast to see what I do for a book influencing what ChAIR does with the game and then for me to be influenced by that when writing another book.

When it comes to the second book, what is now going on in this world?

SANDERSON: Infinity Blade is fun because it’s this retro, postapocalyptic world where there is hidden technology. There’s this sense that these beings, the Deathless, have been around for thousands of years and had lived in our world—but our world went through some sort of apocalypse, and it’s never talked about what that was. So, one of the things I got to do in the second book was to do a flashback sequence from our time, or in the slightly near future, and show the bridge that led there. While at the same time, the characters were left in a pretty grim situation that I had to get them out of and propel us forward in character arcs. I get to do a lot more character development in the books, but in a game there isn’t as much time to spend on the characters since it’s more focused on action and gameplay. Infinity Blade: Redemption is this sequence of flashbacks mixed with the present time of the games, bringing the characters toward their natural conclusion.

IBR_TitleHow has the collaboration evolved since the first book?

SANDERSON: With the first book, we were pretty timid since we were both sort of new to this and hadn’t worked together before. Nobody wanted to step on anyone’s toes. They’d had partnerships with other writers but none that had ever influenced the game in this way. We grew much more comfortable as we worked through the first book, particularly when working on the script for the second game. It’s evolved into a very creative environment. It’s been a blast.

What do you love about the Infinity Blade universe?

SANDERSON: I love this half medieval/half futuristic world, which is something I’ve never done.  Of course, it’s been done in science fiction very well. I love the Sword of Shannara books, and it kind of reminds me of those, which are classics of fantasy. And Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, which I really like—this idea of a fallen culture with technology out there. But the fun thing here that doesn’t exist in any of those works is that we have these beings that have set themselves up as gods—and you approach them in the games as if they’re these divine beings—but you learn that they’re just people who have a lot of technology. This dichotomy, this blending of science fiction and fantasy into a cohesive story, is a really fun concept to me.

Buy Infinity Blade: Redemption

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OverRun on Island
Get ready for the most intense Gears game yet! Come to our exclusive pre-launch events to get a first look at Gears of War: Judgment which releases March 19. Compete with other Gears fans in the brand new OverRun mode in never-before-seen maps and meet developers from Epic Games!

Gears Fans Playing OverRunMultiplayer Designer Pete Knepley (@PeteNub) and Community Manager Will Kinsler (@Raczilla) will be representing Epic in Orlando and Atlanta. On the West Coast fans will have the chance to meet Epic’s Senior Producer Alan Van Slyke (@AlanVanSlyke) and Marketing Assistant Natalie Brickell (@PixelK1tty) in Seattle and LA. Fans will also have the chance to win prizes, including a Project GAEMS case!

Join us at the following Microsoft Store (@MicrosoftStore) locations where we’ll be giving away Gears of War: Judgment shirts and posters while you’re getting your hands dirty with Gears:

Orlando, FL – March 4 – 5-9PM
The Florida Mall 8011 South Orange Blossom Trail Orlando, FL 32809

Seattle, WA – March 4 – 4-9PM
University Village 2624 NE University Village Street Seattle, WA 98105

Los Angeles, CA – March 6 – 4-9PM
Westfield Century City Mall 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067

Atlanta, GA – March 6 – 4-9PM
Lenox Square Mall 3393 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30326

Microsoft and Epic Games today unveiled a new “Gears of War: Judgment” video entitled “The Guts of Gears Multiplayer” giving fans a preview of the highly anticipated multiplayer modes in Judgment. Like the first “Guts” video, part two is narrated by none other than Lt. Damon Baird.

Pre-order your copy of “Gears of War: Judgment” online or at any GameStop location nationwide to get exclusive three-day early access to the most anticipated blockbuster of this spring beginning March 15; demo available publicly to all Xbox LIVE Gold members on March 19.

If you preorder Gears of War: Judgment at Walmart.com, you’ll not only get: Gears of War: Judgment for the Xbox 360, a bonus* Preorder Exclusive Classic Hammerburst and bonus Gears of War 1 downloadable version, you’ll also receive your choice of Gears of War 2 or Gears of War 3, for free!

Gears of War: Judgment launches on March 19th in the US and a worldwide demo for Xbox Live Gold Subscribers will be available the same day.

Tim_Sweeney_01We’re closing Impossible Studios.

When former members of Big Huge Games approached Epic last year, we saw the opportunity to help a great group of people while putting them to work on a project that needed a team.  It was a bold initiative and the Impossible folks made a gallant effort, but ultimately it wasn’t working out for Epic.

In addition to providing Impossible Studios employees with 3 months of severance pay, we’ll be giving the team the opportunity to form a new company with the Impossible Studios name and the awesome Impossibear logo.

This means that Infinity Blade: Dungeons is now on hold as we figure out the future of the project.

-Tim Sweeney, Founder, Epic Games

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