Editor's Note: God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen

Were the venerable U.K. bedroom coders the first and last of their kind, or is there a new generation waiting in the wings?

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Rockstar are from the UK? But... they're so American!

Actually now that I think about it that kind of makes sense. Nobody can sum up a culture so well as an outsider.

Depressing articles across the board this week but thanks to the Sex Pistols it's named correctly at least. There is no future in England's dreaming, yup.

I have to agree to be honest. I think its a much bigger struggle to make headway these days partly because of the growing separation between mainstream gamers and niche gamers.

The UK has always produced developers that can do something a little different. I'm not putting myself anywhere near the same league as our well known legends but I'm a UK develoepr, I just turned indie a couple of months back and released my first game on XNA community games called Bullet Trap (shameless plug). The game mechanics are a little diferrent from normal shooters(you can go play it if you are actually interested in details) but my point is that different isn't really where the mainstream wants to look.

The mainstream wants to pay money for something they know they will enjoy and while there are a good number of talented people out there they will rarely manage sustainable commercial success even if they do get a niche following.

It's like going to a resteraunt. You know you realy like dish A so you get that. You might also like dish B, but if you try it and don't like it you missed out on dish A and wasted your money.

I'm not saying this is wrong. Just that it's something we all have to accept. Gaming is now a commercial machine more than an artform. With target markets and projected sales and all that stuff that just wasn't around in the early days.

I was surprised slightly to hear that Rockstar are British, I always thought they were American. But then again I suppose I do have to concur with Fraser.JA's comment, above. And a lot of big companies from Canada and the USA also have offices in the UK as well as all over Europe...

As a Brit though, I'm very interested in this series of articles (usually I'm here for the forums and videos, and not the magazine as much, though I'll make a comment if something catches my eye). I'm studying Maths at university at the moment and hope to teach myself C++ and/or Java, and I downloaded Game Maker a while ago. Basically, I'm hoping for a career in game development, in particular level design, and happen to know the UK games industry is "crying out for mathematicians", in the words of the Head of Undergraduate Studies at my university. So this is pretty interesting to me on a personal and professional level, indeed this hope is the entire reason (oh, and ZP) that I became involved in the Escapist in the first place, seeing it as a place to develop ties with the gaming community in general, learn more about what other people and not just myself and friends see as a good game, and to learn more about the industry. So I suppose really thanks are in store for the Escapist for the great articles they've posted this week :D Well done guys!

God Save The Queen!!!
Go Go Nationalism!

Hmm, I think maybe this feeling stems from the lack of british publishers. There used to be a number here in britain (ocean, codeys, eidos) but have all since left apart from codeys. Those guys used to publish all sorts of games. These days all publishers cater to american tastes and the american market.

But all is not doom and gloom, to be honest there's a whole bunch of indie developers living in caves and lurking under rocks here in the UK. From the introversions and the positech's to the stickman guys, moonpod, tuna, the list goes on.

The point being, they are alive and well and making great games. The biggest issue we (I use the word we because I still create my own games too, despite being in the industry for a LONG time working for one of those original british developers) face is that there really isnt a press outlet for us that really advocates these types of smaller studios. Keiron Gillen has done wonders for the recognition of Introversion for sure, but he's only one man.

These days I teach game programming and design while doing my own thing and I must admit, it feels like there are fewer people who want to setup thier own company and go it alone, I don't have an answer there.

But britains bedroom programmers are alive and well and living in a rainy bedroom somewhere across the pond :)

 

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