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Interview with doublesix games

August 8, 2008 Written by Anthony Severino

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PlayStation LifeStyle recently had a chance to speak with Jim Mummery, creative director of doublesix games.

doublesix recently won the prestigious “Best New UK/European Studio” award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards.  So I am sure you all can see why we are so excited to present our readers with this interview.

First off I would like to thank you on behalf of the staff and readers of PlayStation LifeStyle for taking the time to answer our questions.

d6: It’s our pleasure. We’re a new studio and we appreciate the chance to talk about what we do.  So, thank you.

Why doublesix games? Is there a meaning behind the name or does it just sound cool (sounds pretty catchy to us)?

d6: The easiest way to explain it is to use that old board game staple: when you throw a double six you’re allowed to have another go.  We want to make games that are quick to pick up and hard to put down – games that inspire that ‘just one more go’ mentality where playing again is its own reward – that’s kind of the studio philosophy – hence the name.

How many PSN titles do you currently have in development?

d6: Although I’d would love to tell you, I’m afraid I’m not allowed to talk about it.

Can you tell us anything about “Burn Zombie Burn!” other than it supports the DUALSHOCK 3?  http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2008/07/14/just-what-is-psn-developer-doublesix-games-up-to/

d6: I’m afraid there’s only so much I am allowed to say until we are officially announced.  But I can tell you that BZB is, at its heart, a third-person-shoot’em-up but with some very cool new gameplay mechanics.  Using the power of the PS3, a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and a shed load of enemies– we’ve created something really very special.  I’m sure you hear that all the time from proud game developers but the buzz we’ve been getting back from other developers and publishers has been fantastic.

Basically, BZB is an evolution of the shooter – its roots are founded in classic games but the power of the PS3 allows us to create something really cool.

From your website: “Burn Zombie Burn! for PSN and PC. (more platforms coming)”. How do you decide which platforms to release a title on?

d6: The decision is made from project to project (sorry that’s not a very interesting answer).

Burn Zombie Burn! That’s an interesting title, what were you hoping to achieve when choosing a name for the title?

d6: Funnily enough, Burn Zombie Burn did actually start with the title.  Usually, the title comes later.  However in BZB, the name always captured what the game was about which is a sense of fun.

Can you tell us anything about Underfire?

d6: Yes, a little – Underfire is an accessible turn-based tactics game that takes place in a modern setting.  We have a lot of experience at the studio with turn-based tactics games and we feel it’s a versatile genre that can be made for a far wider audience.

Underfire is a project designed from the ground up with that simple premise.  Everything is designed to be immediately recognizable, understandable, accessible.  Sounds easy but it isn’t.

We know you will be supporting DUALSHOCK 3. Is there any plans to support SIXAXIS functionality?

d6: We do support Sixaxis – in a way that complements the game and its sense of humor.  I can’t wait until I can tell you more…

It seems as though you like fire, are you guys pyromaniacs? Don’t mind our humor.

d6: LOL.  We like games that do what they say on the tin.  Burn Zombie Burn is a good example of that.

What do you feel the benefits are, if any, of development on a platform such as PlayStation Network?

d6: There are a lot of benefits: the power of next-gen (well, it’s all current gen now but you know what I mean) with the freedom to develop the games you want.  When you look at what’s already been released on PSN – the imagination and ingenuity involved and it’s hard not to be inspired.

Do you plan on adding PSN trophy support, XMB in-game, or custom playlists?

d6: Yes to PSN trophy support and XMB in-game but sadly, no custom playlists.

How important do you feel features, such as those mentioned in the previous question, are for your games?

d6: We feel that they’re very important.  When you are making a game for any platform – even on a multi-platform title – you have to make the most each platform and that means using the features each console has.

In June 2008 you announced that you’d also be developing titles on iPhone/iPod Touch, in addition to your other platforms (including PSP). How does the new iPhone/iPod Touch app development stack up with the PSP? That is, are titles able to be ported between the two or is it a completely different situation?

d6: Developing for the iPhone is very different from the PSP (for us anyway) and whilst at some point in the future, we may well do games that appear on both – when we do, we’d treat them as individual platforms.  We wouldn’t want to put something on PSP for the sake of it – we’d rather develop a version of the game tailored to it – it’s an amazing platform.

Are there any titles on the PSN currently that reflect your addictive, “have another go” approach to games? That is, are there any titles currently on the PSN that you wish you had made?

d6: Lots – any of the Pixel Junk games, Super Stardust, Flow…  That said, all our games have their own unique flavor and to be honest, we are very happy doing our thing.

Congrats on your nomination for the Best New UK/European Studio in the upcoming 2008 Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Who do you feel is your biggest competition as you grow?

d6: Thank you and we won!  Digital download is a rapidly expanding market and there are some good studios out there but none that feel like direct competitors.  Like I said, we’re doing our own thing.

Speaking of growth, would you ever consider developing a retail disc-based game for the PlayStation 3?

d6: That’s not our focus right now but never say never.  One of the advantages of what we do is that we often get to retain the IP and it’s not impossible we might want to take one of our own games to boxed product…  But right now we are busy enough and happy enough working on the digital download formats.

Any plans on bringing the addictive flash game from your website to the PSN [StalkingSilence loves it]?

d6: Thanks StalkingSilence!

We’ve had a good response on the game – although the original idea was simply to capture what we’re about – the ‘just one more go’ sensibility.  We are a company that makes games and we thought our website should have a fun, simple game on it.  We don’t understand why more developers don’t do that.

We are intending on adding more games to the website in the future.

As to doing more with the game that’s on there – we’d be happy to – if people are interested.

Lastly is our signature “LifeStyle” question, what is your favorite food?

d6: Here’s a random list from some of the guys at the studio… (answered communally by the doublesix team)

  • Sushi
  • Celery
  • Cake and a cup of tea
  • Katsuo no Tataki
  • Chicken Caeser Salad
  • Cheese
  • Pancakes
  • Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshakes
  • Dirty noodles from one of those nasty refreshment counters you find at music festivals
  • Anything so long as it’s diced

Thanks again for answering our questions, we wish you the best of luck in the future and look forward to getting a chance for some hands on time with your games…

Now I am off to get some Sushi and Dirty Noodles…

-Anthony

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