Q&As// Space Giraffe Creator: Jeff Minter - Part 2

We are just banging up on the 50Mb size limit for most XBLA games

Posted 27 Apr 2007 11:46 by
Minter from the days of Zzap64 magazine...
Minter from the days of Zzap64 magazine...
Welcome to the second part of SPOnG’s grilling of games-creating legend, Jeff Minter. You’ll find more Space Giraffe goodness, some background Grid Runner factoids, and you’ll get some insight into how creating a great game can nearly destroy heart, mind and soul. Pull up a bean bag and read on…

SPOnG: What sorts of games strike you most as imaginative and inspirational, and who do you revere the most in the games industry? What games other than your own projects are you also looking forward to most this year?

Jeff Minter: I like stuff that's wildly original and doesn't take itself too seriously, like Katamari Damacy, one of my favourite games in recent years. I loved Loco Roco on the PSP too for pretty much the same reasons - it was novel, charming and fun. I also enjoy stuff that (hopefully like SG) evokes the purity of oldskool arcade design, whilst bringing it into modern times with good use of today’s graphics hardware – Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved being a perfect case in point. I also like games that have a strong individual style that works well - for example the Wipeout franchise, which I've loved pretty much every incarnation of, and which I am really looking forward to seeing on the PS3.

SPOnG: Can you tell us who might be providing the music for the Space Giraffe soundtrack? What type of music are we likely to hear during the game? Techno or Trance we might assume?

Jeff Minter: At the moment there are just a couple of tunes in there, both pretty techno-trancy for sure; one of them is by Redpoint and the other one is by me [smiles]. There is the possibility of a couple more but right now we are just banging up on the 50Mb size limit for most XBLA games so I really don't know if we'll have room for any more.

SPOnG: In keeping with the XBox 360’s music player roots, will Space Giraffe be compatible with custom soundtracks running off the console’s hard drive? If so, will the game be able to easily accommodate the rhythm of the tracks to build customised levels? If not, was this a function you were considering to include during development?

Jeff Minter: Yes, of course you'll be able to use your own soundtracks which is why I'm not too bothered about there being only two tunes. I love being able to use my own tunes in any game; I do it all the time as my 360 is hooked up to my music server with 100-odd gigs of tunes on.

I fully expect people to use SG the same way and play with their own favourite music on. The game doesn't really mind what kind of music you play - the background effects are mildly audio reactive but the music doesn't actually alter gameplay. That's something we have thought of but haven't got around to yet. It'll take a bit of research to get that kind of thing working well and we need to get a game out there to buy ourselves research time first.
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Juno Blaster 27 Apr 2007 17:51
He's becoming my hero!

Can't wait for this.
config 27 Apr 2007 18:31
You must be relatively new to this gaming lark - the Yak is many an 8-bit gamer's hero
FrankenVater 30 Apr 2007 11:18
Minter is a hero, there's no two ways about it. Llamatron was one of the best Amiga games ever.

But all this plumbing the depths of Tempest kind of freaks me. Let's remmeber, Tempest is David Theurer's creation, but it seems to have become Minter's legacy...

And his work on Tempest 2/3K was merely to add noise, swearing and distraction to a game that is one of the pure, hardcore gaming greats. Minter is cool, Tempest is cool. Minter + Tempest = not cool.

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