I saw that my good friends Harvey Smith (https://twitter.com/Harvey1966 on twitter) and his partner Raphael Colantonio (https://twitter.com/rafcolantonio) just won the Best Adventure category at the VGA awards last night, for Dishonored.
Now I couldn’t be more made up for them (full disclosure – I consider Harvey a friend and as such you might want to take the following gushing in that light) – Dishonored is a truly awesome game and frankly, it’s great to see someone who has been absorbed by a publisher produce a AAA game of this caliber. If anyone was going to do it, it was these two, since both are established talents in the game development world.
It’s great to see Dishonored take it’s place along side Assassins Creed and Bioshock as a new IP that is top tier gaming.
But it got me thinking about developers that I really admire, and for what it’s worth, I thought I’d list some.
Bungie. Well, they are Bungie, aren’t they? They created Halo, have been around forever, have an incredible history of being bought by Microsoft, then buying themselves back – and now Destiny appears to be on the horizon and from the concept art, it looks AWESOME. There’s serious pressure on them to reproduce the Halo Magic, but I’m confident that they can do it.
Epic. While I have some reservations about how Epic runs itself as a company, and some of the decisions that have gone into Unreal as an engine, there is just no questioning that these guys know how to make great games. Unreal, Unreal Tourament, Gears of War – these guys are top notch at making the most of their engine and producing engaging content.
It’s also worth noting how they started up a new studio in Boston to help out when 38 Studios went bang, which was very inspiring.
4 Door Lemon. Who? They are a small mobile group in Bradford, in the north of the UK. And they produce some pretty damn awesome Vita games. They are One To Watch for the future. Learn more about them here – http://www.fourdoorlemon.com/
The Pickford Brothers – creators of Magnetic Billards on the Ipad (http://www.zee-3.com/magneticbilliards/) who are frankly pioneers and capable of great things (Look out for Naked War, coming to an Ipad near you soon!).
Human Head up in Madison Wisc. They’d have a crappy year, what with all the shenanigans over Prey II – however they are hiring again, which means they have a gig. Fingers crossed for them!
Gearbox. Gotta admit, I’m a fanboi. They get the job done and they have a sense of humor when doing it. Borderlands is a thing of beauty, no question.
So there you go. Personal favorites when it comes to developers. YMMV.