Train2Game news: CS:GO beta delayed, but here’s a reminder of the significance of beta testing

Train2Game students who picked up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closed beta keys at the Eurogamer Expo will need to a bit longer to get involved because it’ll miss the planned October launch.

Valve’s Chet Faliszek  – who spoke to the Train2Game blog at Eurogamer last month –  says the delay comes after feedback from professional players.

“They gave us a lot of feedback on things we should get in the game before we release it, otherwise we’re going to be getting a lot of bug reports or a lot of feedback and it would just be redundant,” he explained

“There’s going to be things we’re going to release it with knowing we need to add more, we need to do more. But just knowing there’s some feel and some just operating the game issues that need to be resolved first. We want to get those done first.”

Faliszek said the beta will accommodate 10,000 players, it has no official end date and it’s the beta testers who’ll say when CS:GO is ready to be released.

“We have no mandate from anybody of when we have to ship this. So we’re more than happy to just keep working on this until it’s ready to ship.

“By the end of it, everyone will be playing the game. It will be the released game that you’re playing and then at some point we’ll say, ‘OK we’re going to officially release it.’

His comments on beta testing and a release date echo those he told the Train2Game blog at the Eurogamer Expo.

“It’s really important to us because we’re going to let that drive the release date,” said Faliszek when asked about the importance of beta testing to game development.

“Because we’re really looking to get the feedback from the community over the changes we’ve made. We’ve brought over some stuff that was good from Counter-Strike: Source and we’ve brought over some stuff that was good from 1.6, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the communities react.”

The Valve man also told the Train2Game blog that modding is a ‘really good way’ to get into the industry. Meanwhile, End of Nations Senior QA Tester Karl Tars told us that beta testing is potentially a good route into QA.

Train2Game students will be aware that beta tests are used by many developers to tweak their games, but as the Train2Game blog reported last month, Battlefield 3 developer DICE believe some gamers misunderstand the meaning of ‘beta test’

What are your thoughts on the CS:GO beta? Are you going to be involved? If so, what are you looking for?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game interview: Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow – Part 2

Train2Game recently attended the Games Writers Panel at BAFTA’s headquarters in London. There, the Train2Game blog sat down with panellist Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow. In an in-depth interview, Swallow discusses writing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, games writing in general, DLC, what makes a good games writer and much more.

Read part 2 below on the Train2Game blog, or onthe Train2Game Scribd page.  Part 1 is available here, Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Going back to Deus Ex, how have you fleshed out the narrative not only for the game, but for the novel, Deus Ex: Icarus Effect,  which you wrote as well?

That was a lot of fun to do because I’ve already got experience as a novelist and when Del Rey Books approached Eidos and said they’d like to do a novel, they said ‘Why don’t you hire Jim, he already has experience?’ Basically I was the right guy at the right time in the right place because I had experience on both mediums so I could bring story that we hadn’t been able to put in the game. Say stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor, or stuff we couldn’t explain or explore in the in the game because we didn’t have enough time, I got a chance to bring it out in the novel and flesh out elements of story you don’t get.

With a novel you have the opportunity to get inside a characters head, you can show stuff from a completely different viewpoint. It was fun for me personally to revisit a world I had great time writing then write a story in a completely different way to writing a game narrative story.

You’re here at the BAFTA Games Writers Panel to talk about ‘Putting the protagonist in the hand of a player kills traditional narrative concepts,’ what’s your opinion on this as a writer?

When you’re a writer and you’re writing for a TV show or a movie or a book, you’re directing where a character goes, when stuff happens to them. You work that narrative and development for the right dramatic impetus.

In a game you can’t always do that because you can’t always know exactly where a player is going to be and you can’t railroad their experience and say ‘I want this dramatic turn to happen exactly here and you have to be standing here and do this thing exactly!’ because players might not want to do that, they might be looking at something else, they might want to be interacting with a completely different character. So you have to approach it in a very, very different way and it can be very difficult because you want to deliver story, players want to have a story delivered to them, but at the same time they don’t want to be railroaded.

So there’s a peculiar dynamic tension you get as a writer. On the one hand you’re being pulled towards the idea of giving players agency, having the ability to discover the narrative themselves. On the other hand you’re being pulled in the opposite direction which is you want to have a structured narrative that makes senses, that delivers the right dramatic impact at the right dramatic time. It isn’t an easy line to walk but it’s fun to do and I really relish the challenge of it because it isn’t often as a writer you get a chance to work in a medium that is so dynamic and so diverse.

What are the key skills a good games writer should have?

Play lots of games, I can’t underline that enough. A lot of the games writers I know are people who have experience from other areas of gaming. The people on panel with me, for example, Andy Walsh has experience working in soap operas and theatre, there’s me with experience of working in radio. Rhianna Pratchett has experience of working as games journalist before she was a writer whereas my buddy Ed Stern has come up through the ranks purely involved in game design and games writing.

So there’s no one course into it you can take. I would say be a good writer first, obviously, you can’t be a writer without being a writer.  But play lots of games, understand games, and try not to come at it just from a writer’s standpoint, but understand a bit about design and the way games are constructed. Listen to what level design guys and art design guys talk about, producers and directors, understand how they do their job because ultimately if you want to be a games writer you are going to have to interface and mesh with these people. So if you have an idea of what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes, you can do your job a little better.

How did you get started in the games industry?

Purely by accident. I’ve been a games fan all my life and I love playing video games, I stay up way to late playing them all the time. I was actually doing some work for a magazine where I just happened to be covering a preview of a game release and one of the guys working on this game was actually using some material I’d written. He’d no idea that I’d actually written it. He said ‘We’re using this source material’ and I said ‘Really? I wrote that!’ ‘Really? We should probably hire you then!’ and that was it, I kind of stumbled into it.  And once the opportunity came to get involved behind the curtain with games writing I thought this is something I really want to do.

Since then, for about the last 10 or 12 years now I’ve been working on one or two game projects a year as well as doing prose and script writing. It’s great fun, such a fantastic medium to be working with. It’s really rich for a storyteller because it’s so new and dynamic and I’m fond of saying this: there are no maps for these territories.  What we’re doing is breaking new ground and a new way of telling story. I mean, who would not want to be involved in a new way of expressing your medium.

So people who want to get involved in the games industry, with games writing, what advice would you give to them in order to get that critical first step in?

Definitely get yourself a good grounding in writing and don’t be afraid to work in a games project perhaps in a facility that might not involve being a games writer, like working in QA Testing. That’s always the sharp end of anybody, working in QA which is unforgiving grunt work but there’s no way you’re not going to learn about games other than that job. If you’re going to take that job, that’ll be what teaches you the most about the way that games work and the way games don’t work.  I think it’s very important to play a lot of games to understand games and to understand narrative. If you can get those two things, you’re o n the road to becoming somebody who can write good game story.

Anything else you’d like to add about anything you’ve spoken about?

I’m really pleased with the way people have taken to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Four years of my life went into working on that. I’m fiercely proud of it; it is without doubt the best games project I’ve worked on in my entire career because the story was really respected on that game and I’ve just really enjoyed being part of it. I want to thank everyone who bought a copy of it and I hoped they all enjoyed it!

Thanks for your time James.

Thank you.

Part 1 of the Train2Game interview with games writer James Swallow is available here.

For more information, go to www.train2game.com

BAFTA’s public events and online resources bring you closer to the creative talent behind your favourite games, films, and TV shows. Find out more at www.bafta.org/newsletter, www.facebook.com/bafta or twitter.com/baftagames

Train2Game news: UK Charts – Battlefield 3 shoots to No.1

Train2Game students will have seen the Battlefield 3 hype machine in action for most of this year, and all that work from EA seems to have paid off because the FPS from DICE takes No.1 in its first week on sale with the second biggest launch of the year so far.

Not only does Battlefield 3 claim the 10th highest week one sales in the process, but it also beats the combined first week sales of all the previous Battlefield titles put together.  The success of Battlefield 3 means previous No.1 Batman: Arkham City, slips to No.2, with EA Sports FIFA 12 dropping one to No.3

PC title Football Manager 2012 is down one at No.4, with Just Dance 3 holding on to No.5 for the second week in a row.

Former No.1 Forza Motorspot 4 slips to No.6 in its third week on sale, while The Sims 3: Pets drops one to No.7.  Zumba Fitness continues to feature in the top ten, this week moving up one to No.8, while Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure from Activision reaching top ten at No.9 in its third week.

RAGE from id Software completes the top ten.  (Train2Game students can see our in-depth interview with RAGE Creative Director Tim Willits here on the Train2Game blog)

PES 2012 and Gears of War 3 both drop out the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 29th October 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Battlefield 3 (EA)
2. Batman: Arkham City (Warner)
3. FIFA 12 (EA)
4. Football Manager 2012 (Sega)
5. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
6. Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
7. The Sims 3: Pets (EA)
8. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
9. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision)
10. Rage (Bethesda)

Releases this week include Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

So Train2Game, what do you make of Battlefield 3’s success? Have you played it? If so what do you think? And for how long can it hold onto No.1?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game interview: Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow – Part 1

Deus Ex Human Revolution Train2Game blog imageTrain2Game recently attended the Games Writers Panel at BAFTA’s headquarters in London. There, the Train2Game blog sat down with panellist Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow. In an in-depth interview, Swallow discusses writing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, games writing in general, DLC, how to get into the games industry and much more.

Read part 1 below on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page, while Part 2 of our huge interview is here. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

First of all, can you tell us what your role as a games writer on Deus Ex: Human Revolution involved?

Wow, that’s kind of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question really! The job of games writer isn’t like saying ‘I’m a journalist’ or ‘I’m a novelist,’ games writer is a very broad church because there are so many different things you can do in it. You can be writing cutscene dialogue, you can be writing dialogue for the third tier characters you bump into in the street, you could be writing text for text boxes that’ll pop up on screen. There are a million little jobs that fall underneath the term of games writer and I think I did a little bit of all of that stuff on Deus Ex.

It’s kind of fun to be able to do that because it gives you a broad understanding of the entire game and a feeling like you’ve really invested narrative in every single element, from basically what’s written on the back of a gum wrapper you find in the street to the main cutscene where you’re confronting the villain of the piece.

How do you even begin to create the narrative for the in-depth world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution?

In a lot of ways it’s similar to the process of working on a television series because the game is made up of episodic sections in the different levels, hubs or mission sections you get. You break the story. We sit down in the beginning and we say ‘OK, what’s the story we want to tell? What is the motivation and the concept of it? Where’s the very highest level of what we want the story to bring to the player?’ And then it’s a question of back engineering it, constructing the skeleton of the storyline, the narrative beats of it, and then trying to find a structure that works with level design, with character design and hopefully the whole thing meshes together nicely and you get an interactive, dynamic , story experience.

 Deus Ex: Human Revolution Train2Game blog image

 

How difficult was it to link the Narrative of Human Revolution to the original Deus Ex game, released over 10 years ago

Well the original Deus Ex has such a strong narrative to it and so much back-story that it was an embarrassment of riches, we had tonnes and tonnes of back-story we could use. One of my earliest projects on the job was actually writing a timeline that went from 2027, when Human Revolution is set, to 2052 when the original Deus Ex was set.

As we did that we started back engineering elements of the story and saying here are plot threads we can bring back and we can connect them together and hopefully people who are fans of the original Deus Ex games will appreciate the little kisses of history we put in there. I love doing that kind of stuff, I think it’s great fun to bury these Easter Eggs in there and make the story mesh together.

Such as the one after the end credits that links the two games together?

I can neither confirm nor deny that!

With all the choice available to the player in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, how do you go about writing the narrative so it doesn’t become too overly muddled during the course of the game?

You do a lot of writing, lots and lots of stuff.  It is a difficult thing to do because when you start a game you have no idea how your player is going to play it. The thing with Deus Ex is we had the four main pillars of gameplay; you could play aggressively, you could play it stealthily, you could play it in an adaptive way, you could play it with a social approach. There are a lot of different ways you can go through the sections of the game, you could try and mix and match. When I played it personally I found that I’d bounce backwards and forwards between the pillars of gameplay depending on how my mood took me. You can play it as a nice guy if you want by helping people, getting cats out of trees, or you can be a scumbag kicking the dog and mugging the old lady, and all those options are open to you.

How do you construct a game where all of those possibilities are open to a player where they’ll feel real?  It’s hard to do because you have to write dialogue that reacts to the events and the style of gameplay. Do you write hundreds and hundreds of different versions of dialogue? That’s not possible with the technology that exists right now.  You have to try and write dialogue that’ll be generic enough but at the same time not too generic that it’s bland, to try and make it so it’ll fit multiple levels of encounter and multiple levels of narrative.

It’s not easy to do, it’s a big challenge because you think of where you are in a game, of the information you have to put across, you want to give pitch and moment and drama to a character… But you also want to be able to say ‘The princess is in another castle’ and you want to be able to deliver feeling and emotion and you have to do that in one line of dialogue. It’s not easy, but it’s an interesting challenge though.

What are the different challenges of writing for the Missing Link DLC instead of the full game?

Away from Deus Ex I’ve worked on some other DLC as well; I worked on Pigsy’s Perfect 10 which was an add-on for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Working on that what we realised was that generally with a game you have a discreet beginning, middle, end experience and to build on story DLC you have to find a place where you can connect it. With the Enslaved stuff, what we did is we took a character who was playing a supporting role in the original game and we spun out an entire storyline out for him. So it’s kind of a side story, almost a prequel because the DLC ends with the characters introduction into the storyline of the main game, so it connects that way.

With the Missing Link we created a very discreet, compact narrative for our hero Adam Jensen and when we were approached and asked to do DLC we had to work quite hard to find somewhere we could fit it.  And we realised that we had this point in the game where the character is off the grid and this is the perfect opportunity for us to put in almost a missing episode of the story.

It’s interesting with DLC because you want to produce a dynamic, interactive, interesting and ultimately rewarding experience for the player. But you have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t break the story that you’ve already created for the source material. I guess that’s the unique challenge of it, to find a way to make a story that parallels what you’ve got without overwriting it.

Part 2 of the Train2Game interview with games writer James Swallow is here.

For more information, go to www.train2game.com

BAFTA’s public events and online resources bring you closer to the creative talent behind your favourite games, films, and TV shows. Find out more at www.bafta.org/newsletter, www.facebook.com/bafta or twitter.com/baftagames

Train2Game news: Deus Ex writer on what makes a good game designer

Train2Game recently had a chat with Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow at the BAFTA Games Writers Panel where he discussed various aspects of game writing and game design.

But does the he think is the key skills a good video game writer should have?

“Play lots of games, I can’t underline that enough.” he told the Train2Game blog in an interview to be published on Monday.

“I would say be a good writer first, obviously, you can’t be a writer without being a writer.  But play lots of games, understand games, and try not to come at it just from a writer’s standpoint, but understand a bit about design and the way games are constructed”

Swallow argued that a good game designer needs also needs to understand the roles of the rest of the game development team in order to do the best work.

“Listen to what level design guys and art design guys talk about, producers and directors, understand how they do their job because ultimately if you want to be a games writer you are going to have to interface and mesh with these people.” said the Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer.

“So if you have an idea of what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes, you can do your job a little better.” he added

Train2Game’s in-depth interview with Swallow covering Deus Ex: Human Revolution, writing for games and how to get into the industry will appear here on the Train2Game blog next Monday.

So Train2Game, what do you make of the advice from the Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer? Do you think about game design while playing video games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Bioshock: Infinite’s “biggest character” is its world says Levine

Bioshock Infinite will be PS Move compatibleTrain2Game Game Designers in particular that in order for a game story to be strong, it needs strong characters.

However, a strong setting can also be an important piece of narrative in itself and Irrational Games boss Ken Levine believes this to be the case with the Bioshock series.

“In BioShock 1, I think the biggest character in the world … was the world, the world of Rapture,” he said in a newly released Bioshock: Infinite developer diary which Train2Game blog readers can see below.

“In Infinite we’re continuing that tradition as well: that there’s a lot of narrative told in the world, probably on the same scale as with BioShock 1.”

The developer diary also features Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper,  the voices of Bioshock: Infinite Booker and Elizabeth respectively.

“Our challenge is we don’t have a very presentational medium” said Baker.

“When you think about storytelling in a lot of games you think about cutting to a cutscene and being locked into place, and that’s not something we really like to do. So we created these two characters,” he added.

The idea of an environment as a character in games was discussed at the BAFTA Games Writers Panel earlier this week, with games writer Rhianna Pratchett arguing that the “character of Rapture” was a particularly strong way of telling the story of Bioshock.

Train2Game interviews with members of the BAFTA Games Writers Panel will be published on the Train2Game blog in the near future.

Earlier this year, the Train2Game blog reported that Levine says game developers of all disciplines need to “get comfortable with throwing their stuff away” Meanwhile, Bioshock featured as a major part of Sony’s E3 presentation.

So Train2Game,  what are your thoughts on the environment as a character in games? What game environments do you think help tell the story?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: VG247]

Train2Game interview: Train2Game game developer Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil

Train2Game student Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil – AKA Superfurry on the Train2Game forum – is on the Train2Game Game Developer course. In an interview with Train2Game Radio, he tells us why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he fits it around his life as a musician and what he hopes to achieve in the games industry.

Read the interview on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game Scribd page. Alternatively, you can listen to it via Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

OK Paul, what first got you into video games?

Probably my father. I’ve been playing computer games since about 5 on the Spectrum, that’s where I started. Manic Miner, that was the game that got me into it.

What made you decide you wanted to forge a career in the games industry?

Well I’ve always been into games as I said and I used to programme on the Spectrum and on the Amiga. I’ve had pretty much every console that’s come out.

So what got you into programming?

I just had the brain for it I suppose. I used to love programming little things on the Spectrum, little games from magazines, putting in thousands of code and then…it didn’t work! And then finding the problem. But I’ve never really programmed any games because I didn’t know how to really.

And is this why you decided to join the Train2Game Game Developer course?

It is, yeah.

What does your partner think about being on a Train2Game course?

She’s OK with it, she thinks it’s good. I mean she’s seen some of the programmes I’ve written. Her sister works for Nintendo advertising the games, the new Zelda game I think she was advertising that.

Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do?

I’m a musician, I play in pubs and bars, and I’ve played in Europe: Denmark, Sweden, places like that.

How do you find fitting the Train2Game course around the rest of your life then?

I’ve been ill for the last couple of months, in hospital, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get into it lately.

What’s been your favourite part of the Train2Game course so far?

I’ve not been able to get stuck into it that much, but just making little games from the first book, just making the little platform games, which I enjoyed doing because I love platform games. That’s my favourite part so far. And I’ve got a bit of knowledge of C++ and other languages already so I’m sure I’ll get to a point where it’ll fry my brain, but it’s going alright so far.

And what do you want to achieve with Train2Game this year?

I want to put together a portfolio, learn more C++, incorporate that with other languages and learn databases and things like that and how to put them in games.  Just to get a head start to get me into the industry.

How useful have you found the Train2Game forum so far?

I’ve met a couple of people actually. I met up with a few people in Cardiff a few months ago, and they want to work on a game with me when we’ve got further into the course.

How do you see yourself entering the games industry, would you like to get a role at an established developer, or do you want to form your own studio with other Train2Game students?

An indie done would be perfect because I’ve got some ideas once I get my head round stuff, and the two lads I met, they’ve got some good ideas for games so hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can develop it more.  It’s just ideas at the moment.

Can you see your music career and games career joining together at all?

Possibly, yeah. I use a lot of software to record stuff at home so it’s pretty easy to knock up a little background music for a game.

What would your ideal job in the industry be?

Just being a part of a team really, learning new things and getting better.

Thanks for your time Paul.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game news: Your Minecraft creation could feature in the official Minecon trailer

Train2Game students who’ve made custom Minecraft skins could see them feature in an official trailer at Minecon, the Minecraft convention taking place in Las Vegas next month.

Indie sensation Minecraft is popular on the Train2Game forum, so there’ll no doubt be some Train2Game students who want to get involved in the contest.

To celebrate Minecon, Minecraft trailer producers, The Hat Films, are giving fans the opportunity to see their custom skins feature in the official trailer.

“We will randomly be selecting subscribers from our Youtube channel and messaging the winners for their Minecraft user names, so that we may tear the skin from your virtual blocky bodies and thrust them upon NPCs in game.” said a Walrus representing The Hat Films in their video announcement, which Train2Game students can see below.

Train2Game students could therefore potentially see their custom Minecraft skin seen at the convention which will coincide with the ‘full’ release of Mojang’s title.

Despite still being in beta, Minecraft has been purchased over three million times. For more information on the full release of Minecraft, see this post on the Train2Game blog.

The popularity of Minecraft saw developers Mojang walk away with the ‘Downloadable Game of the Year’ at the Golden Joysticks.  The success of Minecraft provides inspiration for many Train2Game students.

So Train2Game, have you produced Minecraft skins? Will you enter the contest?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: PC Gamer]

Train2Game news: Unreal Engine 4 to be made public ‘sooner’

Train2Game students are preparing for the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam where they’ll have 48 hours build games using Epic’s Unreal Engine.

But despite Epic first introducing the Unreal Development Kit to studios as far back as 2005, it only became available to Indies and modders in 2009. But as the Train2Game blog has previously reported, since the free-to-use UDK has been downloaded almost a million times.

The success of this seems to have encouraged Epic to make their next engine, Unreal Engine 4, available to the public much sooner than the current UDK was.

“What we’re doing with Unreal Engine now is a lot different to what we were doing about seven years ago when we first started using the tech,” Epic President Mike Capps told Develop.

“There was no Unreal Development Kit even four years ago, and I think it’s been real successful in getting people used to our technology. Should we have done that from day one with UE3? Yeah, maybe,” he added.

Capps said that they don’t have any specific plans for distribution of Unreal Engine 4, which is “probably” going to be released in 2014.

“I’m not sure if we’re going to do it straight away with Unreal Engine 4, but if you look at what we do now with UE3 – y’know, push a button and your game is built for mobiles – we could have done that before and we didn’t spend much time on it. How much that will figure into Unreal Engine 4 is up to us.”

He added that indie studios using UDK has helped Epic learn how their tech works on different platforms.

“In the past few years I think we’ve learned a lot about our technology and how it works for indie studios. How our tech works for iPhone games, for high-end triple-A studios and for a couple of guys who make a cool UDK game over the summer,”

“We’re going to apply all these lessons we’ve learned with Unreal Engine 4, and I think you’re going to see a lot of difference with UE3 within the first six months from launch.”

The Train2Game blog previously reported that Epic believe game visuals will match those of films within a decade. Train2Game blog readers may have seen a taste of this with Epic’s ‘Samaritan’ tech demo earlier this year.

If you’re going to be getting your hands on UDK at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam next week, why not add your name to the official Facebook event page?

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Epic making their next engine available to the public closer to the time it’s released to studios? Have you been practicing with the current UDK ahead of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Develop]

Train2Game news: GTA developer criticises money focused mobile games

Train2Game students have seen a huge rise in studios producing mobile games in recent years, and will be aware that it’s potentially a great way to get a product into the market. (Just ook at how well micro studio Hogrocket has done in this Train2Game blog interview)

However Grand Theft Auto developer Dan Houser believes a lot of publishers and studios have turned to mobile only to make money, with less focus on developing quality titles.

“This is my personal opinion, but I think a lot of people in the general mobile industry are more focused on making money than making good products,” the Rockstar man told Japan’s Famitsu Magazine.

And Houser revealed he believes the focus on making money ‘depresses’ him, and thinks games are more than an exercise in making money.

“We’re a business, too — we have to think about how to build revenue and we value the knowledge you need for that, but we want to conduct business with superior products. Focusing on nothing but business is depressing to me; it’s boring. I want people to understand that we make games for more than just to make money.”

“Our mobile strategy is not at all different from our console strategy — in other words, we don’t have one,” he said.

“Our focus is purely on making games that we can be confident on the quality of. We’ve never made something because we felt it was a business opportunity or because we thought there was some niche in the marketplace we could fill.”

Big developers including Bioware and Activision have recently looked into the possibility of developing for mobile.

Some believe mobile, and Apple in particular, are a threat to consoles, Houser argues that while an important area, in won’t swallow up the entire games industry.

“I don’t think mobile is going to swallow up video games, but it’s an important topic. The massive phenomenon we saw when portable game systems came out has already spread over the mobile market, but we’ve experienced successes and failures in portables in the past.” Houser concluded.

Rockstar have had a high profile week, with the Train2Game blog reporting that the developer finally officially revealed Grand Theft Auto V. See what Train2Game students want from Grand Theft Auto V here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game Facebook page.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Housers’ comments? Are some developers focusing on making money from mobile rather than producing quality products? What’s your opinion on Rockstars commitment to making quality games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers]