Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Smith’

Harvey Wordsmith: The Argument

After the big immersive sim interview we did, Ex-Deus-Ex-er Harvey Smith’s latest game is somewhat smaller than we were perhaps expecting. As small part of his MFA homework, he’s just wrote a short Interactive Fiction and lobbed it online. Really slight but emotionally true, I link mainly because much like Rod Humble’s art-projects, it’s interesting to see what mainstream devs do in their downtime. Play here.

Dark Futures Part 4: Raphael & Harvey Arkane

Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith are game designers who are currently co-directing an unannounced project at Arkane Studios, working across offices in Lyon and Austin. They’ve been making games professionally since 1993, with a keen interest in first-person games with detailed environments and RPG features. Colantonio is the founder, CEO and Creative Director at Arkane. Under his direction, Arkane created Arx Fatalis and the PC version of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Over the years, he has worked with Electronic Arts, Valve, Ubisoft and 2K. In 2005, Colantonio expanded Arkane, opening a new office in Austin. At Ion Storm, Smith was lead designer of the award winning game Deus Ex, which received a BAFTA ward in 2000, and project director of Deus Ex: Invisible War. He was lead designer of FireTeam at Multitude and studio creative director at Midway Games (Austin). In the early 90’s, Smith worked at legendary RPG studio Origin Systems. Both Colantonio and Smith have spoken at numerous game conferences, and are passionate about immersive, highly interactive games with simulation elements.
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Counting For Taste

Watching Jesse Schell’s DICE2010 presentation about recent trends in game development – which took as its subject matter the unexpected popularity of Facebook’s “social” games and the external reward boom (unlocks, achievements, increased focus on the “score” for gaming generally) – I started to have a think about our Gaming Made Me series. I don’t think there were many mentions in there of “I just got hooked on the points system,” and I wondered if that would be different if we did it again in ten years time, or just with a wider net of people. Moreover, it got me thinking about some of the reasons why some gamers were horrified by the picture Schell painted.

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Project: Origin (No, Not That One)


Gaming archaeology: now there’s an idea. It can only be better than Bonekickers, anyway.

Upon hearing that EA Mythic had received several crateloads full of Origin Systems (the long-dead studio behind the Wing Commander and Ultima games, plus System Shock, and once home to the power duo of Warren Spector and Richard Garriot) archive materials, a group of fans arranged to catalogue the treasure trove. It turned out that EA seems to have hung onto an incredible amount of stuff, making this find perhaps the PC game equivalent of discovering all those fossilised folk in Pompeii. Best of all, there’s a good chance all these historical goodies will be released to the public.
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Harvey Smith Is A Lone Ranger

Blimey, it’s been a busy day for videogame gossip. And there’s more.

Harvey's the one on the right.

As you probably already heard, Harvey Smith has left Midway a couple of days after his rather ineloquent comments about BlackSite: Area 51. His infamous “so fucked up” speech really did sound like the last thing anyone gets to say when representing a company. And indeed, it was.

After his tribute to Gerald Ratner questions were asked about how likely Smith would be to stay on to develop BlackSite 2. But then the explanation was given that his job had come to an end before the words were uttered.

Not so, say Shacknews, accompanied by an “allegedly”. The site is reporting that he was still on the payroll at the time. According to their source,

A Midway executive allegedly referred to Smith’s talk as “his public resignation.”

Mr Smith, we have a suggestion. We’ve heard rumblings that there’s a new project going on at Eidos Montreal, for a game you might recognise. And come on, Montreal’s far lovelier than Austin. Go on. Goooooo on.

Smith On Blacksite

Wired magazine’s blogging wing are running a postmortem of Blacksite: Area 51, which provoked a widespread ‘meh’ response from critics. (Some even went so far as to ‘pff’). The piece is based around a chat with design lead Harvey Smith at the Montreal Games Summit 2007:

The first time Harvey Smith came to Montreal he had just finished his work as lead designer on the acclaimed classic, Deus Ex. On this trip, his last game was Blacksite: Area 51, a game published by Midway which one critic called “a major disappointment.”

“This project was so fucked up,” said Smith, by way of explanation.