Questions part deux
FiringSquad: Was Rise of Nations pretty much the game you had in mind when you left?
Brian Reynolds: Yeah, I mean, I knew I wanted to make a real-time game. I’ve been a fan for a long time. As a developer when you play games you think: “Man, if I could design one of these I’d change this, this, this, and this!” (laughs)
FiringSquad: And RoN sticks close with what you’re used to, known for, historical strategy games. Did you ever think about making a shooter or role-playing game?
Brian Reynolds: I could see someday doing a role-playing game, I suppose. That’s always been my other favorite kind of game to play.
FiringSquad: I sometimes wonder what it’d be like if one of you hardcore strategy types tackled something simple, like a shooter.
Brian Reynolds: Well it wouldn’t be me; I don’t even really play shooters. So, um, the chances are slim! (laughs)
FiringSquad: Ok. So, you ended up with Microsoft. Do you have a multi-title deal with them?
Brian Reynolds: Yeah, multi-title.
FiringSquad: Will there be more strategy games? How about Xbox titles?
Brian Reynolds: It will be more strategy games, yes… I don’t see Xbox in the, well, not in the near future. Maybe if we grew to the point where we had multiple teams, I would imagine we wouldn’t be doing only RTS games for the PC. But RTS games will always be our core concentration, and that isn’t a good genre for the console.
FiringSquad: Is your goal for Big Huge Games to become a “big huge development house” with multiple teams and multiple games in development, or is your goal to keep it small?
Brian Reynolds: I think the big huge in Big Huge Games is more of a reference to the size of the games, not the size of the company required to make them. I can imagine expanding to another team, but it’s not part of our vision to grow to something monolithic.
FiringSquad: That’s probably smart; now Rise of Nations certainly is “big and huge”. If Age of Empires is a real-time strategy game combined with Civilization, then Rise of Nations is even more complex. It adds concepts like “Goody Huts” (in RoN they’re called Ruins) that reward exploration, diplomacy—you have to declare war, and you’ve added the border concepts from Alpha Centauri. Is that how you pitched the game?
Brian Reynolds: Not really. I was really just pitching the company. “You know we can make games, you’re going to have to trust our business model.”