Path of Exile - Interview @ Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded interviewed Grinding Gear Games' Brian Weissman about Path of Exile.
DD: What challenges have you found in launching a new company and developing an entirely new IP?
BW: Probably the biggest challenge overall has been raising awareness of the company and of the game itself. It seems like mundane thing, relative to actual game development, but it's probably the most important. The game development industry is extremely competitive, moving along so quickly that it's easy to get ignored or passed by. The failure rate for new companies in gaming is astoundingly high.
People may not realise it, but a huge part of PoE's success has been our constant, varied avenues of promotion. From the very first media outreach we did at PAX 2010, we have worked tirelessly to promote the game. We've done hundreds of interviews, travelled tens of thousands of miles, written thousands of articles and forum posts. The sum of this has grown PoE into what it is today, but it hasn't been easy.
The next biggest challenge has been assembling our team. New Zealand is a very small country, population-wise, with 4.4 million people. That's not even half the population of New York City. Finding a set of people with the wide range of talent PoE's development requires has taken tremendous effort and time. We haven't been short of interested candidates, especially recently, but very few have the necessary skill set to work for us. Acquiring skilled programmers locally has been the greatest obstacle to meeting our long term design goals.
Outside of promotion and personnel, the next greatest challenge has been implementing our vision for the game. We stepped into a genre that contains some of the most beloved gaming titles in history, so comparisons are inevitable. Throughout our development, we've received thousands of opinions on how our game should look and play. Everyone thinks that they understand the genre best, that their design is ideal.
In the face of so much feedback, it is very tough figuring out when you're right, and when the fans are right. If you cleave too much to your vision, you risk appearing as a hardliner, alienating a lot of players in the process. If you compromise and give in too much, you dilute your vision, and come across as weak. It's a tricky dynamic we're still learning as we move further into Open Beta.
Information aboutPath of Exile
Genre: Hack & Slash