Are you finding that the E for All Expo is similar to E3, in terms of having to bust out a demo in time for that?
JM: We have a very structured development-stage gate system. Those have outcomes that are demos or videos or documentation, and we never really adhered to having to have an E3 demo.
You guys are doing some production for Home here, right?
JM: We're localizing the title here. We're trying to help them out as much as we can, but the main development is in Europe.
What specifically are you guys doing with the localization?
JM: We're doing QA support, getting the IT server set up here, and doing any kind of background help that they want. We don't need to do any kind of language support, or product development technology support.
What kind of reaction are you anticipating from Home?
JM: I hope it's a great reaction. I'm excited because I think it's going to be interesting to see, and it's going to be fantastic to integrate the PlayStation experience overall. It's totally different.
Do you have anything in particular to say to potential employees?
JM: I come from an independent developer background, and working for Sony is fantastic. People sometimes don't understand what the advantages of working for a company are. They'll say, "You're going to deal with red tape," and all that, but that happens everywhere, frankly. Believe me. Being an independent developer, I dealt with that from a publisher angle. I wouldn't worry about the "megacorp" as a main concern.
As a company, we're really showing a lot of progress and innovation on all of our product platforms, and that's what drives developers: the ability to make great games. Sony is definitely a place where I, as a developer, feel that they're saying, "You tell me what you want to make, and tell me why it's going to be fantastic and exciting and new, and we're going to support you." It really is your job to stand up and make that happen. That's unique and exciting to me.
Do you perceive a change in Sony over the last few years, in terms of the kind of stuff it's willing to put on its consoles? I'm speaking specifically of PSN-type games. A lot of smaller publishers used to have trouble pushing their stuff through at that level.
JM: I don't think there's a shift; I think that's always been consistent. That drive for quality and innovation has always been part of the development scheme. When you look at PSN, there's a lot more opportunity there. Would Blast Factor have been a boxed product? No, but it's fantastic for PSN. flOw is like that as well. Because we're more of the shareware model on PSN, that level of innovation can be done because our team sizes and budgets are smaller.
Is there a different kind of production tactic for digital downloadable stuff versus disc releases?
JM: No. We use the same exact measurements of preproduction and production processes that we use [for retail games]. The differentiating factor is the timeframe, the product style, and what the requirements of the title are.