Rare: "We Will Continue to Collaborate with Other Studios"
Posted by Damien McFerran
Kinect Sports Season Two is just the beginning, says Senior Studio Director
Rare's union with Kinect Joy Ride developer BigPark appears to have paid off handsomely if our recent hands-on preview of Kinect Sports Season Two is anything to go by, and according to Rare's Senior Studio Director Craig Duncan, it's going to be the first of many similar arrangements in the future.
We sat down for a chat with Duncan and Bigpark's Joe Nickolls about what it was like for the two studios to work together on such a high-profile release. Both considered the process to be overwhelmingly positive, confounding the negative reaction fostered by many long-standing Rare fans when the co-op project was first announced.
“Rare and BigPark are essentially two very experienced developers that delivered successful Kinect launch titles,” Duncan says. “If you think of what Rare learned during the creation of Kinect Sports and what BigPark learned during Joy Ride, it's clear there's a very talented group of people, and we thought that it would be great if we could get those two groups together. Of course each studio has its role, but having another team that we can bounce ideas off is great. There were times when Joe would pick up the phone and say 'we've just done this really cool thing' and they'd turn the build over and we'd play it, and that kind of close interaction is very productive.”
Nickolls is equally enthusiastic about the process, and quick to point out that sometimes such arrangements yield surprising results. “Take the International Space Station,” he says with a smile. “Everybody was like 'Russians and Americans working together! Oh my God!' but that's actually worked really well. People forget that Microsoft is a huge company. When a big game comes out – take Halo for example – there's an awful lot of people working together on that across several different studios. That's just the way it is, that's how Microsoft Games Studios works.”
Duncan believes that cross-studio projects are here to stay, and that's all for the better. “A collaboration between studios isn't a new thing,” he says. “Within Microsoft Game Studios we have a number of studios which help and support each other. With Kinect Sports Season 2 we have very high expectations, and we wanted to put the best team together to achieve those expectations. Rare will continue to collaborate across studios."