You don't have to ramp up and down, and get rid of all the people when you don't have a project. Since there aren't a whole lot of people out there doing this, is Warren Spector calling you up and asking, "Are these guys any good?" Are companies that are outsourcing talking to each other?
AS: Yeah. Whenever I go to a conference and talk about what we're doing, I always end up meeting other people that are trying to transition their studio to a model like this, or starting a new studio and trying to use a model like this. I've learned a lot from talking to those kinds of people, with what their own ideas are, and sharing experience that way.
It would be good at some point to get some kind of best practices set up and things to look for as well. Somebody should write an article about that sometime!
Did Stubbs wind up doing well for you?
AS: Yeah. It didn't burn the charts up, unit-wise, but it was a great project for us to prove our model. From that perspective, it was extremely successful. It made money for us, too. I wasn't necessarily planning on turning a profit, so that was great. We're hoping to do another game with Stubbs, too. For us, it was a huge success.
Seems to have had some influence, as well - when I saw Dead Head Fred, I was like, "Whoa, that looks familiar!"
AS: Have you played it?
No. It's just [similar in] the concept. What do you think of Halo 3? Have you seen it or played it?
AS: I've seen it, and I think it's going to be great. There's a lot of Bungie guys who work here at Wideload, and we all play Halo 2, and there's some mixed reactions. I loved Halo 2. I thought it was great, and I think Halo 3 is going to be really good. That project seems to have been really well-managed in relation to what came before. That's got to tell you something.
I think some people thought Halo was better than Halo 2 because of game balancing and AI.
AS: Yeah. And there were some criticisms of how the story ended, and how it worked. I had a lot of fun with it, and got some really good stuff with it. I'm a sucker for the single-player campaign.
I couldn't understand what the characters were saying most of the time, because of the voice filters. I just interpreted it as "Yeah, I'm going to go shoot a guy!"
AS: "Something's going to blow up!"
Some day when I get a lot of money, I'm going to make a game where it's like, "In this level, you kick the guys. Okay, now kick those guys," or "This game is called The Gun Shooting Man. In this game, you shoot the men. This is your mission." And you shoot the men until the game is over.
AS: That sounds awesome. There's definitely a game that can be made that pokes fun at that stuff.