As anyone in a creative industry can tell you, ideas are cheap. You’ll come up with a dozen ideas on your way to work. The hard bit is to be able to realise which are the good ones and the facility to keep ideas bubbling along until you need them.
That seems like a good place to introduce myself. My name is Hal Sandbach and I’ll be your host for the next few minutes. I’ll let you deduce who I work for.Now we are one of the larger names in the business and so have a certain standing to maintain. We therefore want to ensure that our games are, at the very least, profitable. And, more ambitiously, engaging, memorable and innovative.
More specifically, I work for Sony Computer Entertainment, within Sony Liverpool, just down the road, the home of a variety of successful games. Most recently, it has produced WipeOut HD.There’s also the hardware aspect. Sony don’t just make games, they make the consoles to play the games. We therefore have an interest in making games that will show off and sell the consoles. Looking at this from a different perspective, of all the game developers in the world, we’re going to get our hands on Sony hardware first. We therefore have to really make them sing, to show them off.
Some prime examples of this are the MotorStorm games. The original MotorStorm’s development was started long before the actual PlayStation3 hardware was finalised. When it was launched, it was heralded as being head and shoulders above the vast majority of its contemporaries.
It’s sequel, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, continued the process of really pushing the PlayStation3 more than other developers. A significant reason behind this is our familiarity with the system.More recently, MotorStorm Arctic Edge has garnered great reviews on PSP, even better than those for the latest Gran Turismo.
So briefly what I’m going to talk about today is a short explanation of what drives us within SCEE to innovate.Then I’ll talk about how we do our best to come up with original ideas and some of the problems preventing this.Thirdly I’ll give you a short explanation of what happens with those ideas.