As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.
Head of Fresh Produce
Best Known For: Derrick the Deathfin
Being an independent developer can be tough. Gordon Midwood knows all about that - his rather brilliant arcade swim-a-chomper, Derrick the Deathfin
, put him in debt by around £40,000. It was worth it, though, to see the game shine in reviews (check ours out here
We caught up with Gordon once more to ask his views on always-online, console manufacturers getting closer to indie studios and whether new IPs are needed before the next wave of hardware launches.
Do you feel that an always-online future would be a positive one, for both developers and gamers?
I feel that it would be a very positive future indeed for paranoid publishers!
Of course there are many benefits of always being online in the gaming world, in terms of asynchronous multiplayer, collecting metrics, tweaking experiences in realtime and so on. Personally I have never done any of the things in that last sentence though.
Still there are genres and types of games that have only recently existed that are powered by constant connectivity, and many that are surely still to emerge. And then of course there's the whole nature of digital distribution that is enabled by increased connectivity which is an incredibly positive development in my opinion.
Following Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal event, how successful do you think next-generation consoles will be in capturing the indie and mobile gamer?
I am not sure to be perfectly honest.
There seems to be a wave of successful indie games making their way to PlayStation from other platforms at the moment, which can only be a good thing for all those involved. It shows intent on Sony's part, and they certainly seem keen to have indie developers on board for the PS4 launch.
Nintendo too have opened up a lot to indies with the Wii U as I understand things. So everyone wants indie game makers on their platforms, clearly, but still the cost and barriers to entry for smaller developers on console are considerably higher than for other platforms.
So I don't know what will happen, but I'd love to see more indies on consoles with the next-generation - that would be great for everyone.
As for capturing purely mobile gamers, I see that as a completely different audience, albeit one that has eroded the number of people willing to play on console. I don't think they are really there to be captured by a traditional console anymore, I think they have left the living room for good!
How important is it to create new intellectual properties for existing platforms? Should the final years of a console generation consist of already-established franchises?
To me it is crucial. New and fresh games are what I love to experience, regardless of the designated stage in the console life cycle.
Thanks to Gordon for his time. Check out SPOnG's recent industry insights below.
Industry Insights Series:
Mar 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Mar 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Mar 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water / Oddworld Inhabitants
Mar 2013: Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games
Feb 2013: Blazej Krakowiak, Techland
Feb 2013: Gina Jackson, Women in Games Jobs
Feb 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water & Oddworld Inhabitants
Feb 2013: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory
Jan 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Jan 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Jan 2013: Andy Payne, O.B.E.
Jan 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Jan 2013: Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios
Jan 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Jan 2013: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Jan 2013: Peter Molydeux, Genius
Jan 2013: Andy Payne O.B.E.
Jan 2013: David Jaffe
Jan 2013: Jon Lander of CCP
Dec 2012: Martyn Brown, InsightforHire
Dec 2012: Steve Lycett, SUMO Digital
Dec 2012: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Dec 2012: Ted Price, CEO Insomniac
Dec 2012: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Dec 2012: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx