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Monday, 12 April 2010

Days of glory

Jamie and were flattered last week to be invited to be part of bit-tech's Made in the UK Week. Editor Joe Martin has written a brilliant article about development of the Abraxas MMO and also conducted an in-depth interview that covers our early gamebooks, our Eidos days, and plans for future products from the Fabled Lands Studio. But go over and look at the other goodies Joe has on offer too. The survey of the UK's top games, for example, is a fabulous reminder of some of the great original content this country has produced - and still could, if the government would really get behind the games industry.

Btw, if you saw the Eurogamer review of Joe's article, I should probably just make it very clear that Jamie and I did not say that World of Warcraft swiped the Abraxas art style. How could they when they never saw it? And Joe didn't ever say we said that. The simple truth is that we were considering a bright, slightly cartoony look to the Abraxas characters - and that's where some fantasy games like WoW and Torchlight have gone since. Simple as. But not as sexy a story when put like that, is it?


  1. Having read Jamie's last words on the article, bemoining that fabled lands could have been a franchise at the Final Fantasy level, I still think that you guys have two potentially awesome single player sandbox/open world rpgs ready to storm pcs (and consoles I suppose :p) in the future. Though I do have to agree that the mmo market may be off the mark for now, I think a single player game would definitely be worth a few nights thinking about.

    Looking at games like Fable, Oblivion, Fallout (especially 3), Dragon Age and The Witcher there is clearly still a large market for these kind of games.

    I mean how many people wouldnt love to travel to thematically different lands, become an owner of a castle, set up trade routes, be a captain of your own vessel or even a shipping magnate?

  2. Funny you should mention Fable, Alberto, as Jamie has been working at Lionhead on the next version of that. And we were playing The Witcher with matchsticks propping our eyes open, barely taking time out to eat - at least until it terminally crashed Jamie's PC!

    A solo game would be a good place to start, and I was very impressed that Torchlight was created by a 25-strong team in one year. (They had the Diablo experience to draw on, but even so - impressive!)

    I think it would be fairly easy to create a CRPG as efficiently as that but one that would give the impression of an entire world to explore rather than just a village and a dungeon. All we need is $2 million. I'm going to get Jamie to look down the back of his sofa :-)

  3. Hi Dave

    Thanks for replyings (as usual!).

    Would you prefer the FL/ABX games to be developed (if ever) by an indie studio or do you have any big names in mind?

    I guess an Indie studio could mean you keep control of the IP, whereas there would be a certain loss of control if it were licensed to a bigger studio.

  4. Alberto, in a perfect world it would be done by the brilliant guys I worked with at Elixir Studios, greatest game developer anywhere ever! But unfortunately they're all scattered to the far corners of the globe these days. However, that's the way I prefer to work, a medium-sized indie studio where people have a little bit more freedom to be original, I think.

  5. I always wonder what its like to work for a Video game company especially as a creative designer, had I not gone into economics I would have loved to have tried it!

  6. If you have the right team, there is no better job on Earth! I have worked with many marvellous guys in the games industry and what I like is the unique combination of technical and artistic skills, which you don't get in any other business to that degree. (Having trained originally as a physicist, I like numbers, words and pictures equally.)

    The one thing you have to watch out for are the publishers... I'll say no more ;-)