Original Grand Theft Auto “Almost Canned” before being saved by bug!

Train2Game blog GTA logo

Train2Game students will be very aware that Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest franchises in the video games industry with over 17 million units sold across the world.

It may come as a surprise then to hear that the original game was “almost canned” while in production during the late 1990’s! That’s according to an interview with Gary Penn – who worked for DMA Design – gave in Replay: The History of Video Games – It’s a book that may interest many Train2Game students!

Now an extract from that interview published on Gamasutra reveals Grand Theft Auto came close to being cancelled:

“[The original GTA] was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere,” Penn – now with Scottish Independent developer Denki – told author Tristan Donovan.

“It never really felt like it was going anywhere. It was almost canned. The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.”

“There are probably two key things it fell down on. Two critical things. One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the time. So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn’t really test it.”

“The designers couldn’t test stuff out or try things out, it just kept crashing as simple as that,” he added. “That was a boring one, but that was pivotal — so that was the first step to get that knocked out.”

“Now the other thing that was a problem was the handling — the car handling was appalling,” he explained, a game-breaking issue for a game based mainly around driving. “…The core of playing was fundamentally broken”

Penn also reveals how what was originally a bug, ended up essentially saving Grand Theft Auto:

“One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive. It was because they were trying to drive through you.”

“Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, ‘Oh my God, the police are psycho — they’re trying to ram me off the road.”

“That was awesome, so that stayed in.”

It’s interesting to hear that it was a big which took Grand Theft Auto from almost being cancelled, to a finished product which has spawned multiple sequels and is one of the most well know video games franchises in the world.

However, there doesn’t seem to be a Grand Theft Auto V on the horizon quite yet, with one analyst even predicting we won’t see it until 2012.

Of course Train2Game students will know that not many bugs change games in a positive way! But now you can learn how to spot bugs – and many other skills – with the newly launched Train2Game QA course.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on these revelations about Grand Theft Auto? Are you surprised to hear the first in a very successful game franchise was almost never released? Does this encourage to stick with developing games that have problems?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively, you can also tell us what you think via Twitter.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Train2Game blog student interview #6: Games Designer Craig Watkins

In number 6 of the Train2Game blog student interviews, we talk to Train2Game Designer Craig Watkins  (AKA Walkers on the Train2Game forum) He tells us why he decided to take a Train2Game course, a bit about his life around the course and what he hopes to achieve this year.

Remember you can read previous student interviews both here on the Train2Game blog and the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

Train2Game blog: Hi Craig, why did you choose to study with Train2Game?

Train2Game Designer Craig: I’d wanted a job in IT but I wasn’t really sure what I actually wanted to do. I just wanted to be as close to an IT job as I could so when that when I understood what I wanted from a 9-5 job, I was in a good position to go there.

I didn’t know that Games Designer was a job role. I always thought that the Game Developers and programmers would design the game, while script writers wrote stories for the games that they were making. I tried college to get a foothold in university in order to learn a scripting language and be able to make games. However, I couldn’t study at a college as I get bored easily and need my own motivation.

When I first saw an advert for Train2Game I was very sceptical as it seemed a little too good to be true, but I sent off a request form anyway. Nine months passed and I get a phone call from Train2Game.  I was shocked as I thought I would get an email asking for a lot of money from the get go, but no they went out of their way to phone me for a chat about me and my experience with gaming.

An advisor came round and gave me a lot of confidence about Train2Game and its structure.  I really felt like they wanted to teach me how to become a Games Designer.

Train2Game blog: Which Train2Game course did you decide to take and why?

Train2Game Designer Craig: I chose the Train2Game Games Design course. At first I didn’t 100% know what a Game Designer did but I knew that my skills are more in line with that than the other two options. (Games Developer and Games Artist & Animator)

When I was in school I was obsessed with story driven role-playing games such as Final Fantasy VII.  I used to write down my own game ideas, starting with the genre and a few little comments about what I wanted to achieve – I now know these as Design goals thanks to Train2Game – then I used to write small stories, and then try to link them together to make something bigger.

These were gateways to what I was actually good at; writing game rules, game mechanics, designing content and calculations for scenarios to be resolved by checking against other calculated numbers… these are the things that I loved doing. As I went through the Train2Game course I realised that I really been doing these things for a while just without knowing that was I doing so!

Train2Game blog: What were you doing before you started your Train2Game course?

Train2Game Designer Craig: I was – and still am – working full-time at McDonalds. I have worked there for nearly 7 years now and I’m now a manager at a low-medium volume store.  I manage around 15-30 staff per shift and around 70 staff overall and am part of a management team that drives up to 1.5million pounds of sales a year.

Now I know some of you are saying that it’s a fancy way of saying that I flip burgers, but that isn’t true. McDonalds is one of those jobs that on the surface seems like its one thing then behind the scenes, behind the smiles and the suggestive selling you see what and how the company really runs on, how they manage to get people to come back to the store, how they make sure that they are the best of their industry.

I’ve learned some things while working at McDonalds that I’m not sure that I would learn in other jobs.  It’s full of surprises and no one day is the same with focus and challenges always changing. It’s what kept me there for so long! I get bored quickly and need things to keep me motivated and focused otherwise I drift off.

Train2Game blog: How are you finding balancing the Train2Game course with the rest of your life?

Train2Game Designer Craig: Quite easy to be honest! But that’s all down to the fact that I work 11pm – 7am.  I usually get up late afternoon, spend a few hours with the family, put the kids to bed, watch something with the girlfriend, then get a couple of hours of the Train2Game course in before work. Don’t think I would be able to do it if I worked shifts like I did before!

Train2Game blog: What has been your favourite part of your Train2Game course so far?

Train2Game Designer Craig: I would say it’s the feeling that the Train2Game course gives me that my life is heading in a direction I want to go in. So many times in life we feel as if we don’t have a choice about our actions, that we are going along with the flow regardless of how we wanted it to go and it is hard to swim against the tide. This was the first thing that I worked towards that I wanted to do.

Train2Game blog: What do you hope to achieve with Train2Game this year?

Train2Game Designer Craig: December seems so far away but I really want to have my foot dipped into Section 3 of the Train2Game course,  and I would like to be in a development team and  make a full, successful, enjoyable game if at all possible. I want to be in a close team of people who all want to make fun games as much as me and have the drive and passion to be able to get them to as near a professional level as possible.

Train2Game blog: Thanks Craig.

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

UK Charts: Dead Space 2 takes top spot

Dead Space 2 Train2Game blog image

Dead Space 2 has entered the UKIE GFK Chart-Track All Formats chart at Number 1, becoming the second sequel to take top spot in as many weeks.

The dethroning of LittleBigPlanet 2 means there’s been a different Number One for every week in 2011 so far.  It mark also marks a much more successful debut week for Dead Space 2, with a 70% increase in launch sales compared to the original games launch week in 2008.

Last weeks No. 1 LittleBigPlanet 2 drops to second place while former chart topper FIFA 11 rises one spot to No. 3. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood also moves up one to No.4 as Call of Duty: Black Ops drops down to No. 5.  It’s been two weeks since Activision’s highly successful shooter last took top spot.

Just Dance 2 still remains in the top ten despite falling three places to No. 6 with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit spending week 4 one place behind it after moving up three places from No. 10.

Wii Fit plus drops to No. 8 while Art Academy and Just Dance both re-enter the topt en.

Mass Effect 2 and Gran Turismo 5 both leave the UKIE GFK Chart-Track All Formats topten, dropping to No. 11 and No. 14 respectively.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats top ten for the week ending January 29th 2011 is as follows:

1. Dead Space 2 (EA)
2. LittleBigPlanet 2 (Sony)
3. FIFA 11 (EA)
4. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
6. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
8. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
9. Art Academy (Nintendo)
10. Just Dance (Ubisoft)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on this weeks’ UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats chart? Is it well deserved by Dead Space 2? With no major releases in the coming week, will Dead Space 2 hold on? And has the momentum of Call of Duty: Black Ops finally slowed down?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also let us know what you think on Twitter.

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2010 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

A reminder about the 1st ever Train2Game Game Jam

Earlier this week we revealed the first ever Train2Game Game Jam, and you can see the details below.

Train2Game, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and DR Studios, is hosting a 48 hour Game Jam. Bringing both students and non-students together for a weekend for a common goal – to make a great game.

The Train2Game Game Jam will take place from the evening of Friday 25th through to Sunday 27th March.

If you like a challenge, and want to come together with other talented individuals this could be a perfect opportunity to push your skills and challenge your way of working. Participants will work concurrently along with industry professionals around a central theme, and you will have 48 hours to create a game.

If all goes well we will see some experimental prototypes that teams can continue to work on after the Jam. Many games developed in jams have become fully published games.

The Jam is Open Source, hardware and software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons License. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves within reason, everyone needs to eat and sleep and stay at their best!

More details about the Train2Game Game Jam are below and you can keep up to date with it on the Game Jam event page on Facebook.

Dates: 6pm Friday 25th March 2011 to 6pm Sunday 27th March 2011 (48 Hours)
Location: University of Bedfordshire

Format: Teams of 2 to 6 members
Participants: Existing Train2Game students (limited number), Non Train2Game students
Existing members of the games development industry are excluded from this event.
Age Limit: 17+

Cost: Free for existing Train2Game students
£35 per person for non Train2Game students
Provided: Bag, t-shirt plus extras (TBC) for every participant

There’s even more information available about the Train2Game Game Jam on the Train2Game forum.

We’ve had an excellent response so far with people already saying they’ll attend the event even though it is still two months away! You can check out the Facebook event page here.

Be sure to keep reading the Train2Game blog for more information about the Train2Game Game Jam as it appears!

 

Enslaved could become franchise suggests Namco

Last years Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was a game that we at the Train2Game blog followed rather closely, but when it was released it was met with rather disappointing sales despite a lot of marketing.

However, speaking to MCV Online, Namco Bandai has revealed that the poor sales haven’t killed off the franchise.

“It didn’t perform as well as we hoped it would, but we’re very proud of how it was received by both the media and the gamers who have experienced it,” said Namco Bandai Marketing Director Lee Kirton.

“I can’t discuss where we are in terms of a sequel, but we’re looking at reviews and feedback from the press and because of the gameplay and quality that Enslaved delivered, we see it as a great catalogue title going forward.”

Namco Bandai also told MCV that they want to become a top five publisher.

“That’s the ultimate goal. We can’t go into too much detail about new titles and new business but we are working to a three-to-five year plan. We’re working closely with developers, discussing exciting new projects.”

Train2Game was at the Eurogamer expo last year and I personally was lucky enough to get a lot of hands on time with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and you can read all about here.

There’s also a report of the Enslaved Developer Session with Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades a highly interesting read too. It contains information that will be of interest to Game Designers, Game Developers and Game Artists!

You can also check out the thoughts of Train2Game Blog for more information.

So Train2Game, did you play Enslaved: Odyssey to the West? If so, do you think it needs a sequel? Were you planning on buying it before other bigger titles got in the way? Do you think you’ll look into it soon?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. You can also let us know what you think on Twitter.

[Source: MCV Online]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Sony: casual gaming “a growing market that we simply cannot neglect”

Sony PSP2 Train2Game blog image

Train2Game students will probably know it as the worst kept secret in gaming, but today the PS2P was finally officially revealed. You’ll be able to read all about it on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog shortly.

Not only are Sony confident the PSP2 (codename: NPG) will attract hardcore gamers, but they’re also planning to corner the casual market through Android enabled smartphones. This will happen through the newly revealed ‘PlayStation Suite’ which will allow Sony games to be played on Android devices.

Writing on the PlayStation Blog,  President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Andrew House said the opportunity was too hard to ignore:

“Casual gaming on multi-purpose mobile devices is a growing market that we simply cannot neglect. With that in mind, PS Suite is a new initiative to offer PlayStation quality games on Android based portable devices, be it mobile phones, smartphones or tablet PCs. By offering a fantastic selection of legacy PlayStation games (PS one classics), alongside content made specifically for PS Suite, we believe that we will be offering the PlayStation experience to a wider base of users.”

“Via a program, called PlayStation Certified license program, we will work with hardware manufacturers to provide devices that optimize the gaming experience. We want to give consumers the freedom to choose between various devices when they wish to enjoy a certain piece of PlayStation content.”

“We also realise that PlayStation content should be provided through a secure and unique means, that is both reliable and user friendly. Therefore we also plan to open PlayStation Store to download content on the Android based portable devices. This is a significant move for us and one that we firmly believe will make PlayStation content more accessible than ever before.”

Sony’s move towards the casual market may not come as a surprise to regular Train2Game blog readers, with a recent report stating that social media and casual games are booming.

While earlier this month Capcom suggested that smartphones are drawing people away from handheld consoles. Could developing games for Android phones therefore be a good move for Sony?

Last month Android revealed that their latest operating system – Gingerbread – is optimised for Game Development.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Sony move towards the casual market? If you’re an Android phone user, would you use it to play Sony games?  And do you think gaming giants like Sony moving towards casual games is a positive thing when it comes to finding work in the games industry?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Remember, you can follow Train2Game on Twitter here.

Train2Game blog student interview special: Artist Fiona Stewart pre-Scottish Game Jam

This weekend, Train2Game Art & Animation student Fiona Stewart (AKA FeeTheGiraffe on the Train2Game Forum) will be joining a team of experienced game developers at the Scottish Game Jam. Before Fiona left for Scotland, the Train2Game blog caught up with her to see how she was feeling before the big event.

Train2Game blog: Hi Fiona, first of all can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I’ve been a Train2Game Art & Animation student since May 2010. I originally trained as a graphic artist and worked for a publishing company. I then went on to study Fine Art at a private studio which then lead to Bradford Art College to study Painting and Printing at B.A. level.

Since then I’ve been on the fringes of the games industry for the last four years as a texture artist having transferred my painting skills to digital. I also help other (non digital) Fine artists and catalogue their work for them. I joined the Train2Game Art & Animation course to learn 3D modelling, animation and how to make video games

Train2Game blog: How and why did you get involved with this weekends Scottish Game Jam?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I was asked by Dave Sharp if I would be interested in joining his team as their 2D artist was not available for the Scottish Game Jam.  Already knowing some of the other team members, I felt I could slot in fairly easily. I had followed the team during last years Bangkok Game Jam, so I’m semi aware of what it involves. After seeing what they produced within the 48 hour period, I felt I wanted to experience it and hopefully gain some knowledge as well.

Train2Game blog: Are you confident the skills you’ve learned so far with Train2Game will help you?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Having already learnt Photoshop as a digital artist prior to joining Train2Game, I believe half of my battle is already won. The Train2Game course has however provided me with the skills to know how a game gets put together rather then just knowing how to draw pretty pictures. So, I now feel confident enough in my abilities to be able to be of some use to the team while at the Scottish Game Jam.

I do feel confident enough to know how a game should look and how to produce the artwork to for use in one… the rest is up to the programmers.

Train2Game blog: How are you preparing for the event?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Well, at the Scottish Game Jam nothing is provided so we have to take everything we might possibly need. For me that is my drawing tablet, camera (for taking photo textures or ref material if I need to), a card reader to read the photos, a Media drive that contains Photoshop, a bulk of photos I have already taken, my stash of fonts and brushes for Photoshop, my Wow-Pen and trackball (for when my hand starts to hurt so I can swap over), a laptop, a pillow and plenty of money for coffee!

Train2Game blog: What do you think you’ll learn in a high pressure environment at the Scottish Game Jam?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: Oh, tonnes. You’re being thrown in at the deep end. You have limited time to get it all right and with the promise of execution if we lose (thanks Dave) You have to work making sure you don’t make a mistake or you’ll hold the other team members up. Communication and teamwork has to work or it will all fall down.

Train2Game blog: How much are you looking forward to taking part in it?

Train2Game Artist Fiona: I’m looking forward to it a lot. I’m excited and nervous but I’m sure my experienced team mates will guide me though.  I hope I do OK!

Train2Game blog: Thanks Fiona, and good luck!

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see this Train2Game blog post or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Analyst predicts “blowout” quarter for Activision

Train2Game blog Activision logo image

The fact Activision will make a lot of money isn’t a surprise to Train2Game students, but the publisher will make an larger revenue this quarter than originally predicted.  That’s according to Analyst Cowen and Company who have raised their original estimations from $4.58 billion to $4.77 billion.

“We expect strong sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to drive a blowout quarter.”

Regular readers of the Train2Game blog may remember how both of these Activision published games have been very, very successful. Call of Duty: Black Ops was the biggest selling game in the UK during 2010, while World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold 4.7 million copies worldwide in its first month.

These figures mean Cowen and Company have altered their predictions, increasing them up to $4.77 billion.  And Cowen’s Doug Creutz doesn’t think it’ll stop there:

“We believe that despite some challenges, Activision can grow earnings in FY11, based on continued growth from the Call of Duty franchise and likely new output from Blizzard.”

He also added that ‘modest’ income from True Crime: Hong Kong will help contribute a little to Activisions’ profits.

Cowen’s predictions for the next year assume Diablo III and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be released during the 2011 financial year.  Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was another big seller for Activision during 2010, shifting 3 million copies during its first month on sale.

Activision reveals its results for Q4 1010 on February 9th.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the predictions on the estimated revenue of Activision? Well deserved for publishing a number of great games over the year? Or do you think they’re become too big and too successful?

Or do you just think the whole estimate by Cowen and Company is completely obvious anyway?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

The 1st Train2Game Game Jam – Event Details

Train2Game Game Jam Long Image

Train2Game, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and DR Studios, is hosting a 48 hour Game Jam. Bringing both students and non-students together for a weekend for a common goal – to make a great game.

The Train2Game Game Jam will take place from the evening of Friday 25th through to Sunday 27th March.

If you like a challenge, and want to come together with other talented individuals this could be a perfect opportunity to push your skills and challenge your way of working. Participants will work concurrently along with industry professionals around a central theme, and you will have 48 hours to create a game.

If all goes well we will see some experimental prototypes that teams can continue to work on after the Jam. Many games developed in jams have become fully published games.

The Jam is Open Source, hardware and software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons License. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves within reason, everyone needs to eat and sleep and stay at their best!

More details about the Train2Game Game Jam are below and you can keep up to date with it on the Game Jam event page on Facebook.

Dates: 6pm Friday 25th March 2011 to 6pm Sunday 27th March 2011 (48 Hours)
Location: University of Bedfordshire

Format: Teams of 2 to 6 members
Participants: Existing Train2Game students (limited number), Non Train2Game students
Existing members of the games development industry are excluded from this event.
Age Limit: 17+

Cost: Free for existing Train2Game students
£35 per person for non Train2Game students
Provided: Bag, t-shirt plus extras (TBC) for every participant

Train2Game Game Jam FAQ

Do I have to be in a team already or can I come on my own?
The game jam is open to pre-organised teams and individuals alike. If you’re attending as an individual then one of our game jam crew will help you into a team that fits your skills as a programmer, artist or designer. On most game jams 50% of the participants are attending as individuals so it’s not uncommon.

Do I have to bring my own computer?
No. The University of Bedfordshire has kindly donated enough lab space to house everyone that wants to take part in the event. The computers in the lab are more than capable of running all the latest software required for modern games development. If you want to bring your own computer/laptop the university will clear some space in each lab for you to use, however, your computer will need to be PAT tested (safety check) before we will allow it into the event.

What software is commonly used?
Because of the short time scales there isn’t any option to be elaborate. Commonly games are built in Game Maker, Unity, Flash, HTML or XNA. The focus is on games design and game play rather than the excessive use of technology.

Do I need to have done a game jam before?
Not at all. The process under which the game jam is run is pretty straight forward, all you need to do is to be able to code, draw or design … and stay awake

Do I need to stay for the full 48 hours?
It is possible to come and go from the event once we have announced the theme and the jam has started although you need to discuss this with your team members right at the beginning, so they understand you’re going to not be there for a period and therefore are not relying on you for something in the time you’re not there.

What facilities are there for sleeping and eating?
There will be a quiet room set aside for sleeping. You need to bring a sleeping bag or quilt to use, as these are not provided. Food is provided at both the venue and in the area surrounding the University.

Can I bring a non-participating friend with me?
Yes. If you have friends or family that would like to attend and watch what’s going on and learn a little more about games development that’s fine.

What happens to the games at the end?

The games are made available for download for free on the internet.

How do I register?

Registration is not open just yet. Watch the forums, Facebook page and Twitter for the announcement that registration is open and how to register.

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Zombie Cow on balancing creativity and commercial viability of indie games

Time Gentelmen Please Train2Game blog image

Many Train2Game students have pooled their resources and set up their own game development studios. These keen Train2Game students – who are already developing their own games – may find what one UK independent developer has told GamesIndustry.biz very interesting indeed.

Dan Marshall of Zombie Cow spoke about how indie developers need to find a good balance between making a game not only creative, but commercially viable enough for the game developers to make an income from it.

“You’ve got to walk a tightrope between what you want to do and what you have to,” Marshall said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz . “You’ve got to make stuff that people want, and you’ve got to make stuff that you want to make.”

Speaking about Zombie Cows recently cancelled sequel to indie hit Time Gentlemen, Please! He said

“It’d be lovely to make another adventure game, but that’s probably not going to bring in enough cash to keep me doing what I’m doing.”

“If you look at the big games from the last couple of years or so, it’s been Super Meat Boy and Limbo and Braid and that sort of stuff. Should I be making things along those lines, because there’s obviously a market for those? Then suddenly you start to sound very boring, but it’s the reality of it.”

It sounds like a question many Train2Game student developers may have to ask themselves. There are plenty of great ideas out there, but when it comes down to it an independent game needs to be successful enough to bring the game development team an income.

Marshall also explains how not enjoying producing the game was on of the reasons development on the title was stopped:

“I wasn’t enjoying making Revenge of The Balloon-Headed Mexican and that’s one of the main reasons that it ground to a halt. If I wasn’t inspired by it, how could I expect anyone else to be? It would have been a really good game, I just don’t think it would have as good as Time Gentlemen, Please! and that’s the core of why it was cancelled.

“You’ve got to make stuff that you want to make because you’re the one sitting there typing for 12 hours a day making it, but you’ve got to make something that other people want as well in some capacity.”

That last point is some good advice for Train2Game students. They need to ask themselves if they don’t enjoy their game, is it possible for the consumer to do so?

Of course that isn’t to say a creative and innovative independent game can’t be successful! Just look at Train2Game favourite Minecraft ,which recently passed over 1 million sales. You can read much more about Minecraft and the reasons behind its success on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts about needing to find a balance between being commericial and being creative? Do you think its something you’ll need to apply to your games? Or in future are you willing to take a risk developing a game that’s very creative, but isn’t guaranteed to sell very well?

As usual you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz – log in required]