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Skip Navigation LinksPlayHard > In English > Spicy Horse. Interview with American McGee

Название: American McGee's Grimm: Volume 1
Разработчик: Spicy Horse
Зарубежный издатель: GameTap
Издатель в России: Акелла
Официальный сайт игры: перейти
Системные требования:
P4-2.4, 1 GB RAM, 128 MB 3D Card
P4-3.0, 2 GB RAM, 256 MB 3D Card
Жанр: Action, Third Person
Игра вышла: 18.09.2008
Рейтинг: 6.5

American McGeeWhen we were playing and enjoying American McGee's Alice years ago, we couldn't guess that years after we'd be talking to its creator - American McGee. Here this famous game designer answers our questions about the Spicy Horse studio, its team and the game industry in general. The second part of the interview which is focused more on the Grimm project can be found here.

- Greetings, American! For anyone in the game world who dares not to know you yet, please, introduce yourself.

- Greetings to you too! My name is American McGee and I’m a video game designer living in Shanghai, China. I’m 35 years old, enjoy walks on the beach, knitting cat hair sweaters, and milking goats. Also, I am the Creative Director on the project called American McGee’s Grimm. In that role I do a lot of things, from design to project management. But mostly I’m the go-to guy for goat milking.

- Give us some background about the company named Spicy Horse.

We formed the studio a little over a year ago. It started with just two people – myself and our Art Director, Ken Wong. Ken’s the guy responsible for creating our very cool logo. Without that logo we wouldn’t be as cool as we are today – so we’re very thankful to him for that. When we started, Ken and I were down in Hong Kong – but we moved to Shanghai for the beautiful weather, complete lack of pollution and abundant supply of goats.

As for our different offices – we have a few people working in the US, but the main studio is in Shanghai. Here we have about 35 people inside our core team and another 20 people at a nearby art outsourcing company. An additional group of people are in the US: our Executive Producer/Lead Writer, RJ Berg, and our Community Support person, Dawn.

Spicy Horse translates into “Ma La Ma” in Chinese. “Ma La” is a type of Chinese pepper that numbs your mouth so you can eat really spicy stuff. We love Ma La and spicy food, so we thought we’d put that in the name. The second “Ma” means horse, and we chose that because horses are cool. We would have named the company “Spicy Goat”, but some Chinese hot pot restaurant had already taken that!

- What other projects did the members of your team work on in the past?

- Like I said, 35 in the core team at our Shanghai office. We have a cool mix of expats and Chinese locals working on the project. Most of the locals had previous experience at Ubi Shanghai – mainly because this is one of the few, big foreign game companies in town. Many of them worked on various Splinter Cell titles. Of our expat employees, myself and Ken probably have the most direct game production experience… But we wasted a lot of that making stinky games which should be forgotten! For a lot of the team this is their first game production.

An inspiring Goat drawn by artists from Spicy Horse
- Besides keeping the goats' supply steady, what else is required to create a pleasant surrounding environment for a game designer?

- A pleasant environment is critical to a happy team and to free flowing creative energy. We work very hard to foster a positive, fun culture at the studio. More than anything I think this is about helping people understand why their work is important to the project and to the company. We are an artistic company, so we put great emphasis on the value of people’s creative work. Also, if people don’t behave we throw them off the roof.

GameTap's Gateway- What can you tell us about GameTap? What are the advantages of delivering games via digital downloads nowadays? 

- GameTap rocks. I work primarily with Ricardo Sanchez, the VP of Content and Creative Director and Roger Faso, the game’s in-house producer. GameTap was launched in 2005 as a games on-demand subscription offering from Turner Broadcasting. Much like other divisions of Turner like Cartoon Network, TCM and TNT, GameTap took older content (arcade and PC titles), repackaged it and created a new product. They are now in the business of creating new content – GameTap Original titles. Grimm will be the latest GameTap Original.

Advantages of digital delivery? First, you don’t have to struggle to get the box open. That’s a huge plus. And you don’t have to wait for the store to open in order to buy a new game. That’s awesome too! Beyond that, digital distribution allows developers to try innovative new game concepts without having to worry about what “genre shelf slot” they’ll fit into. For publishers, it means a title can have a longer lifespan, and again allows them to be more creative about the types of titles they finance. I think as more interesting games come out of digital distribution we’ll see the market shifting more in that direction.

- American McGee is considered in Russia as a very talented videogame designer with an inspiring sense of humor. What are the good points of working in Shanghai in comparison with running a studio in other countries?

- Wow, I think I like Russians even more now! I’m looking forward to making more games that Russian people will enjoy.

Making games in Shanghai is great. Like anywhere, the city and the people can have their ups and downs. But for the most part we’ve found that the culture, the mind set, and the willingness to try new ways of building games to be very refreshing. And the food is yummy! Overall, Shanghai is one of the most interesting, receptive, and rapidly evolving cities I’ve ever known. It is a great time to be here – we feel like we are working at the center of change. Probably the biggest positive point in comparison to other countries – the market and the game development workforce is so new that people don’t have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about how to build a studio or develop a game. That has translated to us being able to build a very unique game without having to overcome much internal resistance.

The Team of Spicy Horse- How do you see the prospects of the game industry?

- In my opinion the game industry will continue to expand and evolve until it forms into the basis for a different sort of reality – we are building the tools that will allow us to move society away from the real-world and into the virtual. I think in many ways the world needs these sorts of tools – humanity needs them, if we are going to survive. As all of this happens –maybe it will take another 25 years – I think ideas such as “genre” and “platform” will fade away, to be replaced by user created content and free, universally accessible content.

As for the current “wars” between consoles, PCs, game genres, publishers, etc… All great fodder to keep the media in business and to pull money from the pockets of consumers.

- Name a few games that have impressed you recently.

- Bioshock was definitely my favorite story-driven game of the last year. Portal of course was awesome. Somehow I think I’m waiting for more content like that… but it’ll probably be a while before we get a couple more super-quality, super-innovative – we’re back into the quiet part of the cycle.

- Collision Entertainment and Universal Pictures are going to bring us a new motion picture entitled “Alice” which is based on your videogame. Sarah Michelle Gellar is credited as Alice. Do you have any news about this movie? 

- No news. You probably know more about it than I do! These days my focus is purely on Grimm.

- Thanks, American!

P.S. We're also grateful to Anthony Jacobson from Spicy Horse and Wendy A. Rutherford from Turner Broadcasting, Inc. for making this interview possible.

23.04.2008 22:45, Unicorn


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База игр: перейти
Новости: 10.12.2008 Для сказок настали мрачные времена
04.07.2008 Как в сказке
Анонсы: American McGee's Grimm
Обзоры: American McGee's Grimm: Volume 1
Интервью: Spicy Horse. Интервью с Американом МакГи
American McGee's Grimm. Интервью с Американом МакГи
Читы: American McGee's Grimm
American McGee's Grimm
Ролики: American McGee's Grimm [Ep #7 trailer, 00:53, wmv, 864x486]
American McGee's Grimm [Ep #6 trailer, 00:56, wmv, 864x486]
American McGee's Grimm [Ep #5 trailer, 00:59, wmv, 864x486]
American McGee's Grimm [Ep #4 trailer, 00:49, wmv, 864x486]
American McGee's Grimm [Ep #3 trailer, 00:56, wmv, 864x486]
American McGee's Grimm [Ep #2 trailer, 00:56, wmv, 320x180]
American McGee's Grimm [trailer, 00:52, wmv]
American McGee's Grimm [00:39, wmv]
Демо-версии: American McGee's Grimm: Episode 1
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