December 2010’s first Coventry Conversation saw Dr Philip Oliver, co founder of Blitz Games Studios of Leamington Spa, talking about the future of the video games industry
He started light heartedly, saying most of the 70’s and 80’s vision of the future, with its robots and flying cars, “has been a let down”. However, one important technological aspect of these visions has excelled.
He said: “Amazingly, Computer and Communications has come further than anyone could have predicted”, referring to the day by day growth of the internet, broadband speeds and computer technology, as well as the boom of Social Networking. He jokingly added: “Maybe we’re not on the level of Terminator yet, but I don’t think we want to go that far.”
As a result of this technological growth, Oliver told the audience that to really survive within the gaming industry, you will need to be versatile. Even within the last five years, the video game industry has had several major shakeups. This includes online console gaming made mainstream by the Xbox Live service, Motion controls popularised by Nintendo’s Wii, and the introduction of digital distribution by Valve’s Steam service Apple’s App store. “With changes come opportunities, but only to those who are able to adapt to the change.” commented Oliver. Writes Rob Williams…
This championing of new technology and the embracement of it is reflected well by Blitz Games Studios output. For example, one of their titles – ‘Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krabs’ was in Nintendo Wii’s launch lineup of games, while ‘Invincible Tiger’ was the market’s first game supporting stereoscopic 3D output. Also, they are currently working on a staggering five titles for the Kinect, Microsoft’s entry into the motion control market.Oliver added: “The gaming world is changing too fast, you will have to [be prepared] to learn for the rest of your career.”
Oliver also pointed out that to be a successful developer, you will need to know how to engage your audience: “You need to work hard to make life easy for your players, it’s what they pay for – for the fun.”To cater to as many audiences as possible, Blitz Games Studios is comprised of 5 subsidiary studios. ‘Blitz Games’ and ‘Blitz Arcade’ makes family games and casual games respectively, where as ‘Volatile Games’ develops games for the mature gamer. There is also ‘Trusim’, which makes serious games such as ‘Trauma Trainer’, which is a medical related training programme.
Finally, there is ‘BlitzTech’ which is responsible for creating cutting edge engines and tool chains that other developers may use, showing that Blitz Games Studios is a provider to the industry itself, as well as the consumers..
You can listen to the podcast of Philip Oliver’s Coventry Conversation (and all Coventry Conversations) at http://www.coventry.ac.uk/itunesU