For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to Steve Brand, producer on Rare’s Xbox 360 exclusive Viva Piñata
After releasing in early November, the game has since received a number of nominations for end of year awards. During this time, the development team has been on what Brand describes as a few weeks of “well earned rest”, though he adds this time hasn’t been entirely restful for him.
“I seem to be catching up on all the jobs around my house that I haven't had time to do this year,” he muses. “When I return to the office I'll probably be busy catching up with a mountain of emails and various requests before looking at the next project - whatever that may be!”
We asked Brand about the various elements that make up his media diet right now.
"I have a pretty varied taste in music and as such you'll find anything from Iron Maiden to the Horace Silver Quartet on my Ipod. There's not a great deal around at the moment that is really 'exciting' me.
I'm currently listening to lot of US alt guitar bands, such as Pavement, Sebadoh and Superchunk. I'm also a closet prog rock and folk fan, one of my favourites being Caravan. If you haven't heard of them go and check out 'For Girls who grow plump in the Night'!"
"One of my favourite films is a low budget British film called Withnail and I
. I tend to return to that more than any other. I also enjoy Richard Linklater's movies; Dazed and Confused
being a particular favourite. I prefer films that don't rely on massive budgets and special effects to hold your interest. A strong and deep script for me is the most important thing.
The last film I actually had time to watch was The Last Samurai
that was on TV the other night. I'd never seen it all the way through and actually quite enjoyed it!"
"I don't have a particular favourite genre. At the moment I've a couple on the go, including The Historian
, by Elizabeth Kostova, a vampire thriller that deals with the history behind the legend, going back to Vlad the Impaler.
I'm also reading the John Peel biography, an influential DJ that sadly passed away just over a year ago."
"My favourite games are generally those that I can pick up and enjoy in short bursts. I don't tend to get as much time as I'd like to play games so they have to be easily accessible. I try to cover all genres to see what the best of each has to offer.
Most recently I've just completed Half-Life 2: Episode 1
. I've played through the original HL2
a few times now and still enjoy it. Valve have created an atmosphere like no other with the Half-Life
series and in eagerly await the next episode!
Lately I've been enjoying Saints Row
- again in short bursts - and have to admit to becoming hooked on UNO
over Live. Oh, and I've recently spent a lot of time with a strangely addictive management game that heavily features paper mache based critters..."