Here’s to the crazy ones. The round pegs in square holes


As you know, we’re al­ways look­ing for ex­cep­tional things. And not just ex­cep­tional things in the most com­monly as­so­ci­ated mean­ing (you know: good stuff), but also in the more lit­eral def­i­ni­tion – ie, games, tech­nol­ogy and peo­ple that are out of the or­di­nary, that some­how defy ex­pec­ta­tions or run against con­ven­tion. This is­sue con­tains some great ex­am­ples.

In our big in­ter­view, for in­stance, Richard Le­marc­hand ex­plains why he walked away from Naughty Dog, a stu­dio at the height of its pow­ers, to try some­thing new. It would have been no sur­prise to see him cred­ited fol­low­ing the in­evitable cli­mac­tic show­down in Un­charted 4: A Thief’s End, but in­stead Le­marc­hand is ded­i­cat­ing his time to help­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of cre­ators make their names at the Univer­sity Of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Else­where, we look at the ori­gins of a most un­usual breed – a genre of game that UK stu­dios have dom­i­nated for years while the for­tunes of the re­gion as a whole have wa­vered. In UK Garage, the cream of the Bri­tish rac­ing de­vel­op­ment scene ex­plain how they’ve de­fied the odds.

And from big stu­dios to small, in New For Old we re­visit the con­sole home­brew scene to see how plat­forms such as Atari’s Jaguar and Sega’s Dream­cast live on thanks to the work of a band of coders, de­sign­ers and artists de­ter­mined to carve their own niches even deeper.

Con­tin­u­ing the Dream­cast theme, in The Mak­ing Of… Rez we meet with Tet­suya Mizuguchi to dis­cuss the cre­ation of a game that has lost none of its lus­tre some 13 years after ap­pear­ing on Sega’s con­sole and PS2. In 2001, we hoped Rez might her­ald the be­gin­ning of a wave of hyp­notic au­dio­vi­sual ex­per­i­ments. That so few oth­ers were dar­ing enough to follow in its wake demon­strates how lucky we were to see it at all.

Then there is Rime, from Tequila Works, a stu­dio that is work­ing hard to put Spain on the game-mak­ing map. Rime has among its visual in­flu­ences the art of Joaquín Sorolla and Sal­vador Dali, while its tale is told not by NPC di­a­logue but by more ex­pe­ri­en­tial means. Ex­cep­tional in­deed.

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