A quickfire 10 questions with Richard Brown.
Richard is a Boston-based freelance artist and also our Community Manager so it was pretty easy to get 10 minutes of his time to ask a few questions. Richard has worked on an extensive game catalogue from the SimCity to Wardog!
1: How long have you been a game dev and how has the landscape towards diversity changed in that time?
I’ve been in the industry since around 2000 as an artist. I don’t think that diversity has changed a whole lot on the whole in certain disciplines like engineering, but it has improved in the art and design fields which are great!
2: If you could revive one dead console/platform, which would it be and why?
Atari Jaguar, because I loved AvP on it and as a console, it just didn’t have a fair shake at the time.
3: What are your thoughts about out-sourced art/code studios in Eastern Europe, India and China and where do you see them in 10 years time?
They’re inevitable that places with lower cost of living will have these studios and some of them really are quality outlets. A lot of the success in using them does relate to communication and how your studio works well with them. I think if a studio can handle a remote worker working from home, then they’ll have a better handle on this and with time differences, having a person in-house in either studio would certainly be very valuable.
4: Is there any current or past games that you would have loved to be involved with? How would you have changed them if you could?
The Chaos Engine was a favourite as a kid. I would love a more involved multiplayer aspect to the game though.
5: What are your thoughts on crowdsourced funding and what makes or breaks an attempt to go that route for funding?
I think it’s great if it helps a small studio get a product out the door, but the success really does seem to depend on the quality of the marketing more than anything, except past success as a studio name. Spend time and money on that marketing, but don’t do it too soon in the product pipeline.
6: How do you see the future of console exclusive titles and how necessary are they in this day and age?
They’re still a hook into buying a particular system, but they’re less a big selling point these days. Nintendo, selling on mobile devices and with a proper price point seems to be changing the outlook.
7: How do you see the future of game bundling deals like Humble Bundle affecting projects in the future?
I don’t see them affecting projects in the future but they certainly help give extra legs to an older release or give extra, easy bit of publishing for a new indie release if they can ride the coattails.
8: VR hardware and gaming, a fad or here to stay?
It’s a bit of a niche fad for gaming, just because of the cost and space required to really enjoy it but it brings an opportunity to revive the arcade arena of a place to go for gaming with friends and if hardware were to be less intrusive, where you’re only wearing glasses and the hardware running it could be worn as a belt, perhaps it would be more enticing for the home user.
9: What would be your preferred size of studio and would it be open planned or having your own space?
I personally rather like a smaller studio where you get to know everyone and from working in cubicle/office space and open plan, as an artist, I liked the open plan. Worked really well for bouncing ideas off people and headphones for when you want to knuckle down and be quiet but I guess this isn’t as popular with the engineers.
10: What motivates you to stay in the industry and what role do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I just can’t see where I’ll be in 5 years time. I just don’t know too many folks in their 40’s who are still in the industry.
Thanks Richard for taking the time out to answer these questions. If you’d like to connect with Richard or see more of his work feel free to reach out via Gamesmith.com
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