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An Interview With Team Leader Ben...

How are you feeling post-X48?
Tired, we all are, the energy drinks and pizza is still in the system. The event has just become one big blur, kind of like a dream as if it never happened.

Was it worth the slog?
Definitely! Not just because we walked away with two awards but because the whole event was just so much fun! Also meeting so many nice people and just being in that environment was worth it.

What did you gain from the experience and what do you hope will come from it?
I think it really showed us all how much we can actually do when we set out minds to it. I’m still amazed at the quality of the game we managed to create! I'm not really sure what I hope will come from it, I really want to start up my own games studio when I finish University, so maybe this will be a title we release :) With a lot more work obviously.

Where are you at with your degrees/courses, and what specific areas are you doing? How has X48 contributed to your studies and career aspirations?
We are a mix of computer games designers and programmers. We are all currently in our final year, with a shed load of work. I'm focusing on the Design/Production side (Ben.Hinchliffe), (David North) is focusing on general art, (Karl Miston) is working on game play programming and (Adrian Smith) is an AI programmer.

With regard to career aspirations it has proven to me that I'm a competent designer and producer, this is not the first games design competition we have walked away with a prize. It really does show I have something and the same goes for everyone else in the team.

What did you learn from X48?
We have all learnt that team work and a solid idea is the key to game production. We knew what we wanted to make and just got on with it, that’s why I think our game came out so well.

Would you do it again?
At the time we said "no" but that was because of the 29 hour straight session with no sleep, being fueled by energy drinks and jelly beans. Looking back now, without a doubt we would defiantly do this again!

What was the thinking behind the type of game you made, and why did you pick the target audience?
Our target audience was casual gamers, specifically Xbox Live Arcade. We chose this audience because casual gaming is a booming area, simple games can be made and the often bring the most satisfaction. We felt keeping the game simple and easy to play was key. We wanted people to be able to pick it up and know how to play within a few minutes. We wanted the game to have that casual look, so we went for bright colors and simple primitive shapes. However we gave them some characteristics like eyes etc, so that people could associate with them.

The game play itself was to take evolutions core concepts and translate them into a fun game. We read the key points of "Darwin’s Origins of the species" and included many of these in our game.
I feel we managed to achieve what we set out to do, if this game was put into a casual market be it XBLA or PC; we feel it would be right at home :)

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