An interview given to BigDownload, which was subsequently picked up by GamesIndustry.biz, reveals some of the problems and frustrations the company and Peck went through during the development of their as-yet-unreleased Xbox Live Arcade game, Bloody Good Time.
What was it like working with Ubisoft on the game?
Contractually, no comment.
In general, having worked in the industry for over 12 years, I can say that the creative freedom and the efficiency of independent development is somewhat inevitably lost, and that the milestone driven nature of working with a publisher is both open to abuse by publishers due to it’s basis on subjective results (try to define “good” & “fun” in a contract!), and inefficient due to the slow turnaround of feedback and the distance of the working relationship.
While I have never met a developer who has a good thing to say about a publisher, I was still hoping that it would be a lot more of a co-operative venture, taking the best of Outerlight, and the best of Ubisoft, and combining them. On a positive note, I can say they had an excellent QA team in Romania.
While people often compare the games industry to the film industry, I’d rather compare a games team with a band, trying to come up with a new hit album, the publisher being the guy that sits in the corner and suggests you try a major rather than minor key for the chorus, and maybe change the lyrics to mention lady Diana…oh, and have you thought about hot backing singers, and maybe wearing monkey suits, marketing says they are both big right now. Not ideal.
The interview goes on to reveal that Peck is the sole remaining developer, working unpaid, hoping to realise some royalties from Bloody Good Time as well as ongoing sales of The Ship. Outerlight’s website has been down for several months now, while nothing official has been heard from the company for a good deal longer.
While no official date has been given for the launch of Bloody Good Time, Outerlight’s entry on Wikipedia gives October 27th 2010 as the release date.
You can read the entire interview here.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Chris every success with Bloody Good Time and the resurrection of Outerlight in the near future.