Wideload Shorts' Scott Corley on the Business of Making Funny

Joe Blancato | 20 Aug 2007 21:00
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TE: Will Shorts be designing the games with just one team? What's the company's structure like?

SC: We're structured like the mini version of the larger Wideload [Check out Allen Varney's The Wideload Way, in issue No. 61 - ed]. A lot of the best studios throughout history have been small studios, and when they grow past a certain size, different dynamics take away some of that magic. So we're trying to keep that small core size. ... Wideload retail games are made with this core group of people that can define what the game is, design the game, design the characters, and when it comes to the heavy lifting, like the major animation and the major modeling work, we go outside of Wideload and hire experts in whatever particular field that we need to get that major work.

On the retail side they may scale up to 100 people at some point in the project, and then in between projects, when we're doing design work, it can scale back down. Wideload Shorts is doing that same approach. We have one team right now, and the way we're doing the three projects overlaps right now. The one project that's in production to be finished this year clearly takes the bulk of our time. But we set aside at least a day a week to tend to the other projects; do some more kind of creative and brain storming and visionary work on those. By using this model of saying, "It's OK and great to use outside people," we have people outside of Wideload who are working on concept sketches; we're doing a lot of iterations on these other ideas that are working outside of Wideload and working in parallel with us.

By doing that, we can work on these ideas over long periods of calendar time, let those percolate through our minds, sleep on things and get the designs really solid in our heads before working fulltime.

TE: Is there any name we might recognize for who you're working with on the "heavy lifting" stuff?

SC: There probably are some names you would recognize. On the Wideload retail side they use some bigger outsourcers. On the Wideload Shorts side, we work a lot more with individuals.

TE: Do you ever intend to act as a distribution platform or publisher for other designers with a similar take on the industry, a la Manifesto or Kongregate?

SC: We regularly remind ourselves that we are a developer. Part of the Wideload idea of sticking to what we know and hiring experts in other fields definitely applies to distribution and publishing.

There's a possibility that we'll open up a Wideload Shorts store on the web. But we talk about those things, and we think if we're going to do something that's a big storefront or something like that, it's much better to find someone whose goal it is to become an expert in that and work with them. Our goal is to be experts in designing and making original IP.

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