Features// Games Industry Insights with Peter Molydeux, Genius

Posted 4 Jan 2013 11:00 by
As 2013 comes into sharp focus, SPOnG turns to the real video games experts: the people who actually make games. We have posed the same five key questions to some of the most interesting and insightful publishing and development figures in the global games industry. We got their unedited, open and highly informed opinions and we are publishing them in multi-part series of insights.

Industry Figure: Mr Peter Molydeux
Job Title: Artist/Thinker/Worker/Soul
Company: Yes, very good.
Best Known For: Being Twitter's Petermolydeux, MolyJam Global Game Jams


SPOnG: In what ways has the rise in tablet and mobile gaming proven beneficial/challenging to your work?

Peter Molydeux: Well firstly, touch control has allowed us to get closer to our characters than ever before. Sure, we would stroke the faces of characters on the television back in the day whilst trying to calm them down but it had no real effect. We can't feel the characters yet but now we can touch them and make them respond. Sure, the Nintendo DS had touch but you were encouraged to use a pen. Imagine poking a child with a pen to calm them down after a bad day at school, it doesn't work.

Wouldn't you rather wipe a child's eye with your finger as opposed to a pen? I know I would.

This challenge is the inevitable next step, I don't want to just touch characters I want to feel them. If I wipe a child's tear I want my finger to get wet. Then I want a drop of water from my soaked finger to drip back down on the child and you actually see it splash over their face. This makes them sad until you reassure them that it was an accident.


SPOnG: How do you feel the industry has coped with regards to the economy, particularly redundancies and studio closures?

Peter Molydeux: Well it's awful isn't it? It means developers and publishers are wanting to play it safe. The problem is everyone is being safe and so many games are alike. Curiosity is anything but safe and people are flocking to it, it's like water in an industry made entirely of sand.

Yet these companies that continue to play safe are only adding more sand. Sure, you can build cool sand castles with sand but if there isn't any water you won't survive long enough to fully take in the beauty of your sand castle.


SPOnG: What's your opinion of cloud gaming? Have Gakai and OnLive helped with perception?

Peter Molydeux: Cloud gaming is the future. Right now people mainly use it to save their games but what if the cloud had a brain? I want a future where you save your game in the cloud and then the next time you play, the cloud knows what you've been up to and has an opinion.

The future of the game adjusts depending on the opinion of the cloud. Something like that. I haven't figured it out exactly but I know that I'm excited. It also gave me an idea about a game where you control a cloud but that's something else.


SPOnG: Crowd-funding (i.e. Kickstarter) has become a popular method for games developers to pitch their projects. What's your opinion of it? Would you use it? Have you?

Peter Molydeux: Well as you may know I've just used it to great success. It's amazing. If you went to a publisher today and told them you want to make a game about a egg with a hat they would ask pointless and stupid questions such as “Why does a egg need to wear a hat?”, “Who hatched him?” and “How can a egg jump?” because they crave realism.

Yet now with Kickstarter you can fund such projects. Well maybe not a game like Dizzy because that's a remake. Me however, I'm creating something so unique and refreshing that is world changing and that's why it was funded. People don't want remakes of a game featuring a stupid egg with a hat.


SPOnG: What is the best possible thing that can happen to the world of games in 2013?

Peter Molydeux: I don't care about next gen and I truly don't believe anybody should be. There is still a lot of innovation that can come from this gen. A game where you control the inside of a kettle, has that been done before? no.

Do we need next gen machines to create that experience? no. In truth I believe that we could still be making games for at least another 30 years on current platforms before we need new hardware but for some sad pathetic reason people want to see dust being reflected in puddles. Would reflective blocks make Tetris a better game?

SPOnG: Many, many thanks for your time, Mr Molydeux.


Be sure to check out how the other industry figures we've interviewed for this feature answer up by checking the links below like some sort of amazingly insightful advent calendar. Each interview goes live at 11am (GMT) on the day indicated and not before!

26/12/2012: Games Industry Insights with Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
27/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
28/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Ted Price, CEO Insomniac
29/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
30/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Steve Lycett, SUMO Digital
31/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Martyn Brown, InsightforHire
01/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Jon Lander of CCP
02/01/13: Games Industry Insights with David Jaffe
03/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Andy Payne O.B.E.
04/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Peter Molydeux, Genius

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