Interview: High Impact's Lesley Matheson On New Studios, Tech, And More
May 16, 2008 Page 2 of 6
long has High Impact Games been around?
LM: Probably two and a half years now?
How big is your studio now?
LM: We have about 45 people.
And do you have multiple, simultaneous projects?
LM: Yes. I mean, you might have heard that we did Size Matters for the PlayStation 2 as well. And then we also have other things we work on.
It seems like a lot of the high profile PSP games, a lot of them end up trickling to the PlayStation 2 after a while. How do you view that, as a developer who's working on the PSP platform to make a game? I mean, law of averages suggests that eventually it will be a PS2 game.
LM: Well obviously there are economical benefits for doing them on PS2, but beyond that, we actually did receive a lot of requests from people to have that available on the PlayStation 2.
I mean, there are a lot of people who own PSPs, but it's nowhere near compared to the size of the PS2 audience, so there was a lot of demand for it. So I think that it's going to be really popular on both.
High Impact Games/Sony's Secret Agent Clank
It seems like you have a great relationship with Sony, and obviously with Insomniac, so is that your focus right now? PSP and PS2 development? Or...?
LM: We focus on one game at a time. Right now we're finishing Clank, and that's PlayStation Portable, and we just wrapped up a PlayStation 2 game. We'll have to see what the future brings.
And now with this game, it diverges a bit from the formula, because it's a Clank game, not a Ratchet game. So was that a creative direction that had been brewing, or was it just something, when you were brainstorming ways to make a game, that really fit the platform and was a natural outgrowth?
LM: I think it had been brewing for a while. Fans have been demanding a Secret Agent Clank game for many years; especially after he made his first appearance in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. So, it's something that the fans were excited about.
We were also interested in taking the franchise into a new direction that felt really fresh to fans. And by making Clank the main character, we were able to explore some really new styles of gameplay.
This is one of those franchises that has had so many entries in such a quick period of time. Does that creative well dry up, or does the fact that there are so many ideas flying around all the time keep it fresh for you guys?
LM: I think for me, the fact that there are so many ideas flying around keeps it fresh for me. Whenever I think about Ratchet games, I ended up having more ideas. Moving toward Clank as a main character just extended that; I think there's just a lot of rich potential in that universe.
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