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Chris Taylor

Interview: Supreme Commander talks new project

Sitting down with Chris Taylor is never a dull interview; his always-enthusiastic approach and politically incorrect jokes are a far cry from your average PR dribble, plus he managed to burn our throats last year with his dangerous French liquor, which was fun.

We recently sat down with the RTS legend to talk about his new console project, which he says is different from everything out there and will appeal to everyone from his kids to old folk.

So Supreme Commander's finally out the door. You must be quite pleased to finally finish it? How many years were working on it?

Zoom

Chris Taylor: It was the middle of 2003 when I started talking to publishers. But we actually started before that. It's been well over three years, maybe even closer to four, but it officially started in January of 2004.

You've always said Gas Powered Games is a family company without the 'sleeping under the desk' attitude. With that in mind, how troublesome was the last crunch to get the game out the door?

Taylor: We weren't crunching late and we don't crunch Sundays - so we still weren't going seven days a week because you need that day of rest. Everybody went through it very well and was quite - not freshed, but not burnt out.

When we got it finished on a Friday we had celebration, popped some champagne open, gave some speeches and had some laughs. Then on Monday morning we came in and went to work on the next thing. No time off to recover from extreme burnout or any of that - we just rolled right into the next thing because we were in a good place.

What can you tell us about what's next then?

Taylor: Unfortunately I can't talk about too much stuff but we do have a bunch of projects and I can tell you that we're working on some console titles.

We're very excited about the titles we're working on because one of them in particular is not a specific genre - it's very different. Although it shares and has genetic routes in a lot of different areas it's not one specific thing.

It's exciting because it's taken me many years to get to the point where I make something that different and non-genre specific. In our industry it's hard to sell a concept that's outside an established genre.

Where did you get the inspiration for this new title?

Taylor: My inspiration came from watching my boys play. There was a real inspiration there and I'm excited to put them down in front of the game when it's far enough along to see what they do. That's the litmus test for me.

Then I want to put it down in front of older gamers and put it down in front of both sexes. I really want to see how broadly we can take the concept by applying the theory that games should be fun and it shouldn't exhaust you, tap you out until you go to bed and the images of the game are still in your head.

I want games to be like listening to music, or watching a good television show or reading a book. It's getting a little more complex as time goes on but I think it's really starting to become a real concept.

Why can't we create videogame entertainment that restores and refreshes instead of just takes and exhausts?

It sounds like a massive departure. How does it feel to break out of the RTS and RPG genres and PC games after all these years?

Taylor: I did a bunch of console titles in the early part of my career, I worked on the Sega Genesis and 3DO. I did various sports games; boxing, baseball, driving and so forth.

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