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Tour of Chicago Pt. 4: Day 1 Studios
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Tour of Chicago Pt. 4: Day 1 Studios

August 9, 2006 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

Platform Assault

Another relationship that Day 1 would consider is with the Wii. “We’ve just signed non-disclosures with Nintendo,” Thorley responds. “We’re going to be looking at their hardware very carefully.” He finds the price point extremely attractive, and expects development costs should be a little less. Though Day 1 doesn’t have direct experience with the Wii, their engineers are evaluating how well their toolset will work in such an environment. “We’re not doing Mech games,” Thorley jokes about the controller, “But there’s lots of opportunity there for creative stuff.”

Development for the PC is also something that one of Day 1 Studios’ publisher is asking the studio to consider. Thorley notes the size of the install base, saying it will likely require more new hardware selling, and requires care in making the decision. Still, Thorley believes the PC will be a viable platform. “Until Vista gets settled down, and we know where that’s going to be, we’re not going to be playing in that arena,” he said.

“Sales indicate that [PC sales are] declining,” Thorley continues. “Shelf space at the retailers indicates it’s declining. Which probably means it isn't the best time.”

Thorley sees the difference between consoles and PCs as a “distance experience thing.” If you’re playing a game that demands you’re two feet from the screen, then the mouse is a better pointing device, and the PC a better game platform.”

With the proliferation of HDTV, Thorley thinks the differences will shrink. With HDTV, “you’re going to be playing your videogames in your den or entertainment room, and other people are watching and enjoying the experience,” Thorley says. “The PC is pretty much you in a room. Perhaps playing multiplayer, but none the less, it’s you looking at a screen.”

MechAssault 2

To Be Continued…

Episodic content is something that Day 1 has experience with, being the first to have downloadable content for Xbox Live and MechAssault. “The downloadable content we did for MechAssault,” Thorley recalls, “a bunch of it we released for free, trying to keep the interest in the game. And that worked very well. That really did extend how long the game was viable in terms of retail sales.”

“The stuff we released for pay,” Thorley continues, “our install base was not large enough so that you could cost justify – from our standpoint. It probably worked fine for Microsoft. But from our standpoint, that took a measurable chunk from a prolific team. So you really look at your opportunity costs. ‘Do I have these guys working on this fairly small project, or do I have them working on the next big release?’"

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

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