Efforts Of Aussie Devs "Largely Uncredited"

ausglobe_01.jpgWhat makes a game "Australian"? Is this even quantifiable? On the surface, a game made by an Aussie developer should qualify. But what if the game has no Australian themes, characters, environments or accents? Take Bioshock or Puzzle Quest. Is there anything about them, other than their developer, that makes them Aussie?

Not really. So how's our country going to make its mark on the industry at large if we don't burn in the message with our games? PALGN spoke to David Hewitt and Tom Crago of Tantalus to find out.

From Hewitt's perspective:

"I actually feel as if the contribution of Australian game developers is largely under-credited. It's not an industry that generates celebrities and recognisable faces, and games developed here don't necessarily have Australian accents in them, or Australian scenery in the background. Most players would be surprised at the number of high-quality, high-profile titles that are developed here".

Hewitt goes on to say that this effect can be attributed to the fact that many local titles are designed with an international audience in mind.I don't believe people buy games - or even get excited about them - because they happen to be overly patriotic or familiar. When I drive around in Grand Theft Auto IV, I see the city as a just that, a city, and not a loose recreation of New York. For some games it's vital the environment or culture is authentic, as is the case with GSC Game World's STALKER. I doubt it would have been anywhere near as compelling if it'd been based in Lucas Heights.

While it'd be nice to have games with an Australian feel, I don't think it should get in the way of making a good game. Sure, inject a bit of local flavour if it adds to the experience, but the "Australian-ness" should be in the form of quality and polish - a signature if you will - rather than forced as a theme in the pursuit of recognition.

What footprint do Australian developers leave on the world? [PALGN]


Comments

    I think I can count the number of Aussie themed games on my hand...

    *makes fist*

    See?
    Zero!

    The AFL games obviously, but I'm not entirely sure they sell internationally.

    From recollection, I believe Krush Kill and Destroy was based in Australia. And who can forget the Australian voice acting in Halo!

    Personally I'd like to see the ANZAC stories told through the medium of Call of Duty. Imagine doing the last charge of the light horsemen.

    The Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games would seem to qualify...

    They needed to make a GOOD AFL game...

    Also, I found the Aussie accent in Bioshock really grating, even though it was completely natural.

    Australian developers ARE largely credited. I see them on game boxes, I see them in games. I see them in game credits. I don't know what this guy is on about.

    So what if we don't have any celebrity status designers and the such? It's not going to make the game any better.

    Heck, BioShock had a Australian feature in it's storyline.

    As already suggested, KKND (And KKND2) was definitely done by a company in Melbourne.

    Kenny, the singer from Karnivool (Aussie band) sung in a promo clip for some hip hop guy called Phrase to promote halo... Not that it's super related but that's probably the only other remotely related thing I could think of in terms of Australian interaction with game development.

    Other than that, i've got no idea.

    Funny, a while back I wrote about this sort of issue for my TAFE magazine and now these guys come out and say this. I put the article on my blog aswell for those who may be interested

    Fallout Tactics
    Bioshock
    KKnD
    Medieval II Total War

    There's four big ones I can think of off the top of my head that Australians had a big part in making.

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