Wideload Shorts' Scott Corley on the Business of Making Funny

Joe Blancato | 20 Aug 2007 21:00
Interviews - RSS 2.0

TE: Is this PC only, or do you plan on going to consoles, too? Are you hoping to release across all platforms, or to just start on one and see how things grow?

SC: We're starting off dipping our toes in the water, and we're going to see how it goes. The different consoles have different strengths and weaknesses and different target markets, especially if you look at the Wii vs. the other two.

We take all that into account, and we look at some of our game designs, and we think, "OK, these would be better on this platform or better on that platform." The way we look at projects as either it would awesome on one platform and would be fine on just that one platform, or maybe it should lead on that platform and trickle to the other ones. Some of these designs we look at and think they should be on all platforms right away.

Another one of our strategic goals is to leverage outside technology as much we can. We end up doing quite a bit of stuff internally to make our games do what we want, of course. ... If we can get a game out on all platforms by leveraging someone else's technology to do that, then we will. But right now, especially since the downloadable channels are each a special case, we're looking at each game on a platform-by-platform basis.

TE: Do you plan on having a fixed pricing scheme, or will price vary?

SC: We think the price will vary per game. We want to leave our options open to put out a game that's very low cost, and have games that are a little bit more involved. One of the things that we're really trying to reign in or the Shorts side is we really don't one of our games to blow up and turn into a full retail SKU, because then we'll be working on it for two years, and we'll totally miss the whole mission of Wideload Shorts. ... But below a certain threshold of price, we still see some room to do some that are really low cost and other ones that are simply mildly low cost.

TE: What's the ultimate Shorts experience? How do you want the games to play? What's the "theme" for the whole company?

SC: We were just talking about that this morning. ... We've got a wiki internally here. ... There's this whole page in here that covers this question you're asking. If there's a way to describe the experience of a Wideload game, I wouldn't put out an example of a game or a genre that would typify what our games are going to be - we probably could do that, but it would send people down a trail that led the wrong way. But we do think the games that we make should have a really solid gameplay hook that you can identify and understand.

The best way to describe it is there's games out there that have this one gameplay hook, and that gameplay leads to this constant flow of fun that flows all from this one idea. When we're looking at our game ideas, we can identify those things pretty early. We can look at something and say, "That'll be fun for a few hours, but after that it'll be horrible." And then we see other ones and think, "Well, that might be fun." Then we look at it a bit more, and it kind of reveals itself ... and we see more and more fun. When we tap into those mother lodes of fun, that's what we like to grab onto.

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