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The Naked (War) Developer

Ste Pickford, one half of indie-devs the Pickford Brothers, dropped me a line recently. Their most recent was...

Which is another major piece of evidence in the "Indie games=Best names" argument. In passing, Naked War was one of my favourite underground games of last year and a really cute tactical PBEM game: The Gollops' Laser Squad Nemesis possessed by the spirit of Sensible Software. I gave it 80% for PCG, and Dave Taurus concurred over at Eurogamer. Despite me being better than him at it.

But that's not what this is about - Ste has entered the blogosphere. Since the Pickfords have been doing this for longer than a good chunk of our readers will have been alive, they've seen games change enormously. In the most recent post, Ste's talking about talking to Rare about developing on the NES and the strange demands that they insisted upon...

"Rare explained to us that every game had to be bug free, and had to be able to be completed - they even had to send a video of the game being played through to the end as part of the submission process. In those days we, the devs, never expected to be able to complete our own games. We just presumed that some expert player out there might be good enough to get to the end. Often we just made each new level more difficult than the last by increasing a value controlling speed or number of enemies, presumably until the player died or the game crashed. It was a real eye opener to start thinking about the actual experience of the player - the customer - rather than just showing off how many sprites we could get on the screen or what clever screen scrolling systems we could program."

We've come a long way.

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Kieron Gillen


Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.