Archives for category: history

Last July Ian Livingstone received the Development Legend Award at the Develop Awards in Brighton. Good for him – no one can say he doesn’t deserve it for all the work he’s done. For me though, his greatest ever decision was to hire Kelly Brook to be the real life counterpart of the female protagonist in Deathtrap Dungeon. The game came hot off the heals of Tomb Raider but unfortunately didn’t do very well – proving that at the time there was only enough room in PlayStation land for Lara and her enourmous…talents. Tomb Raider was obviously the better game, but Kelly Brook beats Rhona Mitra every time. So there we have it, Ian Livingstone. Legend. Inspiration. Dirty old man.

Anyone else looking forward to Team Ico’s next game, Last Guardian? Yup, me to. Do you know what’s going to happen when this game is released? That’s right, the ‘are games art?’ debate is going to come out from under the stairs. This debate has been raging for years now. For me, games are art if you consider them to be – that should be enough, be happy with yourself that you are enjoying art and then move on. But some need to make sure others realise it’s art too – which I think is why this debate won’t ever get killed off. Earlier today I started thinking about an article I’d read on Gamasutra years ago that summed things up pretty nicely. The article was written by Jim Preston (who I think is still at EA) and he made a valiant effort to slay the beast once and for all. In a nut-shell; ignore the debate because people do not realise art when they see it anyway – the context in which something is presented (i.e. you put it in a museum) does more to convince people that something is in fact a piece of art. Which is silly. The Arty Party by Jim Preston [Gamasutra, 2008]

When you compare games from today with the ones you played as a kid you can’t help but feel as though things have come a long way. While that’s true in many respects (things certainly have got prettier) – it’s not always the case. Check out this video from 1984 – almost 30 years ago:

If you listen to what these (now quite legendary) industry folk talk about you should be able to get over the fact it was recorded before you were born and understand that these objectives and values are still relevant today. Personally, I’ve always loved Trip Hawkins’ EA philosophy of ‘simple, hot and deep’ [14:30] – not only does it seem to make the show’s host visibly uncomfortable, it’s something that would definitely work as a philosophy for any aspiring iPhone developer.