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The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers

August 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 12 of 21 Next

Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:

Infinite Interactive

Studio overview

Infinite Interactive was founded in 1989, and became wholly independent in 2003 as a spinoff of Strategic Studios Group, which is best-known for the PC role-playing/strategy series Warlords. The company is headquartered in Port Melbourne, Australia.

Key staff

CEO and founder Steve Fawkner is the creator of the original Warlords and has more than 20 years of professional game development experience. He is the lead designer for most of Infinite Interactive's titles.

Resume highlights

Infinite Interactive's first few projects were sequels to series that had been established by SSG (Warlords IV, Warlords Battlecry II and III), but the studio's first big hit was with last year's Puzzle Quest, which debuted on the PSP and DS.

While the title had loose affiliations to the Warlords franchise of games, the combination of role-playing elements with match-three gameplay was an entirely new direction.

That new direction proved to be a hit with gamers and critics alike -- the game was so successful that it was eventually brought to Wii, PC, XBLA, and PS2 later in the year, and both GameSpy and GameTrailers recognized Puzzle Quest in their 2007 awards.

What's next

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (slated to come out later this year for XBLA, PC, and DS) is the sequel to Puzzle Quest and will introduce a sci-fi setting, a hexagon-shaped board, and gravity-influenced battles.

The company has also announced that it is working on Neopets Puzzle Adventure, a puzzle game based on the concept of Reversi that will be published by Capcom.

Our take

"Game developers don't often get major second acts -- at least, not after being in business since 1989, as Infinite Interactive has.

So it's all the more impressive that Steve Fawkner's company has transitioned from PC notability with the hardcore-loved Warlords series, through to the new and ostensibly spin-off Puzzle Quest series.

Obviously, Puzzle Quest's evilly addictive combination of match-3 and RPG has been well documented, at this point, but I think it's doubly impressive how the other upcoming Infinite Interactive titles continue to iterate on the basic concept in new formats and licenses.

Tragic though it may be, I'm genuinely excited by hexagonal versions of Puzzle Quest with different settings or the same general concept with a Reversi/Othello board included - plus Warlords Online trying in-browser variants. If you've found the golden path, why stray from it?"
- Simon Carless

Article Start Previous Page 12 of 21 Next

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