TALKS TOMB RAIDER
Copyright 2005 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ March 2nd 2005 ]
Core Design boss and CiRCLE Studio director Jeremy
Heath-Smith has given a candid interview to Game
Informer on his new project, Without Warning,
the use of middleware as a viable alternative
to developing an in-house proprietary game engine,
and the lessons learned from the Tomb Raider franchise
which resulted in abandoning the studio he formed
in 1998. Commenting on leaving Core Design, Heath-Smith
said: "I started Core Design in 1988; she was
my baby. I sold it, which I guess changes the
dynamic of that a little bit and made a me lot
of money out of it as a result, but I spent the
best part of my life there. My brother joined
us a little after I started Core Design and the
team we took with us has been with us for about
8 to 10 years.
walk out of that building was kind of weird but
I have to say that once we moved into the new
building it was like a sort of cloud lifted from
over us. Everything was new again. It was just
all the boys sitting around trying to come up
with a game. That's how it's really changed; it's
one of these things where the entire company is
behind everything that goes on. That had been
missing for a long time. It was a massive heart
wrench, but looking back at it now, I don't regret
it for a second."
lessons learned from the Tomb Raider franchise:
"The difficulty of Tomb Raider was that when it
was successful, you try to appease everyone. You
try to appease the press because you don't like
to read negative reviews. You try to appease the
marketing, sales, and commercial guys, too. And
they all say that it needs to change, that it
needs to be more edgy and you need Lara Croft
to go into the city and go here and go there.
So you do all of that because you think it's the
right thing to do and then you actually stand
back and look at it and think what the heck happened.
This isn't Tomb Raider. That game was back with
the wolves and the bears and the ancient temples.
talk to a Tomb Raider fan and ask them where we
went the wrong direction and they'll say that
it was when we started to change the core gameplay
dynamic. To be fair, we sold out to commerciality
and we should have stuck to what we knew we were
good at doing, which was making games. So the
lesson to be learned is do not break the formula.
Look at Final Fantasy, they haven't changed the
formula for that recently. They've advanced it
but it's basically the same game as the first
Game Informer interview with Jeremy Heath-Smith
can be read HERE.