They Quite Literally Don’t Make Games the Way They Used To

The days of two developers making games in a shed are over, an article on The Guardian says. Spend any time with your grandparents and at some stage the age-old phase “they don’t make them like they use to” will pop up as nostalgia gets the better of them. Usually it’s just the rose-tinted glasses talking, but for video games it’s a fact: they quite literally don’t make them like they used to. Back in the 1980s, when the industry was in its infancy, games were often created by two-person teams consisting of one programmer and one artist. In the 1990s, sprites gave way to 3D modelling, and development teams mushroomed in size, hoovering up specialists in disciplines across animation, level design, character modelling and artificial intelligence. Today, creating the most advanced, triple-A games has become too big a task for a single developer leading to the rise of what is best described as a modular approach, where different developers work on different parts of a single game. The article adds: One developer that is pioneering the modern modular approach is no spring chicken. Set up in 1984, Newcastle-based Reflections swiftly established a reputation for bringing cutting-edge graphics to side-scrollers such as Shadow of the Beast and the gloriously named Brian the Lion. It then morphed into a driving-game specialist, thanks primarily to the Destruction Derby and Driver franchises. French publisher Ubisoft acquired the studio in 2006, expanding its remit way beyond its previous practice of churning out a new Driver game every three years or so. Reflections is crafting the vehicle components of the upcoming Watch Dogs 2 and Ghost Recon Wildlands and has just finished the Underground downloadable content (DLC) pack for The Division. It’s finishing Grow Up, the sequel to 2015’s Grow Home — ironically, a small, innovative download game made by a 90s-style 10-person team.


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