Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Llamas In Space: Catching Up with Llamasoft's Jeff Minter
arrowPress Releases
September 22, 2019
Games Press
View All     RSS







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Llamas In Space: Catching Up with Llamasoft's Jeff Minter


April 4, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 6 Next
 

GS: Will all of the stuff we saw today make it into the final version of Space Giraffe? I'm guessing the "Cube is not for yiffing" message might get cut.

JM: Well, that's not actually saying that yiffing is a good thing! It's NOT for yiffing! If you actually look at that picture, there's a little no entrance sign. There's nothing actually shown!

GS: Recently we did a postmortem on Toys for Bob's Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, where they described having to remove certain names from their game. Certainly that climate does exist.

JM: Well, I think Space Giraffe is abstract, and you can't really fly into anything within the world. That fox is pretty much the most real-world thing we've got in there!

GS: Have you ever given up on a game? I know that Unity was cancelled, but is it ever going to be resurrected at any point? You've expressed interest once.

JM: The thing with Unity is that it would be a matter of projects. As I've said, we got a year and a half into it and realized that it was going to be too huge. It was too ambitious. Not only did we have the light synthesis generator -- which was actually working -- but the whole idea was going to be genetic evolutionary algorithms controlling everything, and it was just too huge, really.

I think a lot of the ideas are still valid, but they will appear perhaps in smaller games. As a small development team, we can't afford to take on projects that span two or three or four years. We can't do it.


Unity, Llamasoft's canceled Gamecube project

GS: How many people do you have working with you?

JM: Me and Ivan [Zorzin].

GS: That's what I thought. You said "of our size"...

JM: Well, we've doubled in size! There's now two of us! We're also lucky, though, because we've got a lot of voluntary contributions from people in the Llamasoft community. Some of the music is being done by a bunch of musicians who also happen to be members of our forum.

Likewise, we've got other guys helping us out by doing logos and fonts and things. We've got a lot of people who contribute to us because they want to be in Space Giraffe, which is nice.

GS: And that's the final title?

JM: Yeah!

GS: Originally, that didn't seem to be the case. You said, "Well, let's just call it Space Giraffe"...

JM: Well, it just kind of stuck. It all came down to this one forum post, where there was just this one picture. I was working on this little creature, and at that stage it was just called "The Little Creature." I didn't have a name for it. Then I saw this one picture of a giraffe at a watering hole, and it looked just like my little creature standing at the side of the web.

So I started this one thread in my forum called "The Space Giraffe," and posted that picture there. Within hours, all the gaming sites were reporting "Jeff Minter's new game: Space Giraffe!" At that point, why go back? Space Giraffe is memorable, and people remember it. It may be a silly name, but people remember it.


A work-in-progress version of Space Giraffe

GS: That was partially my fault. I have a friend who reads your forums, and he relayed that post to me.

JM: This was all over the place within a few hours. One of the funniest posts was on Teletext in the UK. There was this post going "Space Giraffe invades Xbox 360..."

GS: Has PETA ever contacted you to make a game? It would kind of make sense.

JM: No, but the weirdest request I've ever had in making games was when I was once offered by a research place in Wales to develop video games for sheep. I guess it was some study into the cognitive abilities of sheep. I couldn't take it up because I was busy with other stuff, but I was genuinely asked to make video games for sheep.

GS: Did you have any ideas about it?

JM: I think we were going to see what kind of interface we would have for it first!

GS: Hoof-based controllers?

JM: "Avoid the barking dog!"


Article Start Previous Page 2 of 6 Next

Related Jobs

University of Exeter
University of Exeter — Exeter, England, United Kingdom
[09.20.19]

Serious Games Developer
innogames
innogames — Hamburg, Germany
[09.20.19]

PHP Developer - Tribal Wars
innogames
innogames — Hamburg, Germany
[09.20.19]

Java Software Developer - New Mobile Game
innogames
innogames — Hamburg, Germany
[09.19.19]

Unity Software Developer - Core





Loading Comments

loader image