Project Offset Interview
By Owen Jones (2005-08-16)Project Offset is a stunning fantasy based computer game created by only three people; Sam McGrath, Travis and Trevor Stringer, who work out of an apartment. Despite being entirely self-funded they have caused a massive stir within the Games industry in recent weeks with their stunning graphics engine and game trailers that promise a quality gaming experience. With the number of small developers on the decline Project Offset is already a major achievement. Travis Stringer was kind enough to take time out of the team's busy schedule to grant Sffworld the following interview, enjoy:
1.) How did Project Offset come about?
TS: We were all just sitting around a few years ago asking ourselves "What would our dream game be?". We love the immersiveness and beauty of the fantasy genre, and love the fast action and skill required to play a first person shooter. Once we started talking and brainstorming the game just started falling into place. After Savage: The Battle for Newerth Sam left s2games to begin working on a next-gen engine. Trevor and I soon followed.
2.) Do you work on Project Offset exclusively or do you have jobs as well?
TS: We work on this game non stop. When you are a company this small, you have no choice but to work as hard as you can for as many hours as you can.
3.) It seems like a massive project for three people, has it ever gotten so hard that you considered giving up?
TS: Well, Trevor and I are brothers so there is definitely some arguing going on in this office. The workload is quite overwhelming and there were many times we felt like it was too much. Our faith in Sam as a programmer and his consistent ability to perform under pressure has been a great help. Without question the biggest thing motivating us is the response from gamers. We have received hundreds of emails from gamers expressing love for this game some even donating to the cause.
4.) What made you chose an epic fantasy setting?
TS: We just love fantasy and the beauty and imagination that goes along with it. The contrast from good and evil is so vast in Fantasy and it's always fun for artists.
5.) Were there specific fantasy influences you drew upon for this project?
TS: Once Peter Jackson released Lord of the Rings it really opened our eyes to what the future of gaming could be. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejio and Brom. My favorite artist however is Albert Bierstadt, although not a fantasy artist, his landscape paintings always amazed me and continue to.
6.) Have you set yourself a deadline for finishing the game?
TS: We have a timeline we would like to meet and we are going to work hard to meet it.
7.) What are your impressions of the three next-gen consoles? Have you targeted a particular platform for your game?
TS: Next-gen consoles look great. It's going to be a good time for gaming. We have received an amazing response from Xbox360 and PS3 fans expressing their desire to see this game come to their system. We are looking into developing for both systems and possibly even Nintendo Revolution. We are currently targeting PC but the engine is very portable. Windows and Linux will both be supported and we are looking into Mac.
8.) What can gamers expect from Project Offset?
TS: Well obviously we want great graphics and an immersive world. Our main focus however is gameplay and making this game fun. We will be bringing many new elements to the first person genre that we think gamers are going to be excited about.
9.) Will the success of this game determine your future plans in regards to game development?
TS: We are never going to stop making games. If this game does as well as we think it will, not much is going to change. We are going to step back, brainstorm up some new ideas, and work on ways to implement them.
10.) Given the amount of interest being shown in Project Offset, have you been contacted by anyone about publishing the game? Would you be willing to join with a larger developer?
TS: The response has been awesome. It's all very overwhelming and we are trying to take our next steps very carefully. Our main goal is to do whats best for the game, while at the same time retaining creative freedom.
11.) You obviously saw a need in the market for you game, is this a flaw in the games industry, that as many commentators are suggesting gaming is stagnating?
TS: We do feel the gaming industry is afraid to try something new, but that's understandable. The cool thing is independent developers need not worry about stuff like this, we have a little more creative freedom which is great.
12.) Finally, funding is obviously an issue, what can people interested in your project do to help?
TS: Within in the last few weeks the amount of people expressing their support as been amazing. We have setup a donations page and it has helped us tremendously. we are completely supported by gamers right now which is just incredible. People not able to donate can help by spreading the word, or just joining our forums and becoming a part of the discussion.
Sffworld.com extends it's sincerest thanks to Travis Stringer and Project Offset for answering all our questions, we wish them all the best and hope to be purchasing their finished game sometime in the not to distant future :)
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