116 tysięcy znaków. Dziś się takich tekstów nie pisze. Nie o grach i nie w internecie. W prasie zresztą też nie. Solidna baza pod książkę.
Ale pal licho ilość. Jest przede wszystkim jakość. Informacje, których do tej pory nikt nie znał, duża grupa rozmówców, całość spięta w opowieść o powstaniu, rozwoju i zamknięciu studia Lionhead. Chciałbym czytać takie rzeczy regularnie, choćby i raz w miesiącu. Bo i tę kobyłę czytałem na jednej stronie. A każdy z nas zna serwisy, które pocięły by ją na 20 odcinków albo opublikowały na setkach slajdów.
Co znajdziemy w tekście? Kilka cudnych akapitów.
O nazwie studia:
Webley had named his hamster Lionhead because of its huge neck and because it looked a bit like a chap who used to pop up at the local pub who had „ridiculous” blonde curly hair. Molyneux’s then girlfriend suggested Lionhead as the name for the studio. It stuck. „As soon as we called the company Lionhead, my hamster died,” Webley says. „It was a death wish.”
O pokazie Black & White na E3 w 1998 roku:
But because it was the next game from Peter Molyneux, the founder of Bullfrog and the creator of Populous, people came in their droves. Cathy Campos, who worked as Peter’s publicist for many years, remembers Molyneux spinning these screenshots, the wireframe test bed and his notebook out into a 20 minute presentation. At the end Peter would say, „and there’s so much more I’ve got to tell you”. „And I would say,” Campos recalls, ” ‚but you’re not going to do it today. Thank you very much and goodbye.’ And I’d see the journalists out. But of course, basically, we had nothing more to say. That was the script, but we came away with a whole load of press coverage, and that set us up with Black & White.”
O zatrudnieniu w firmie kobiety:
„When Louise came in, she was a bit hardline,” McCormack remembers. „And as was typical of the game industry at that time – nobody really knew how to talk to a woman. Peter had no idea how to speak to her. He would make inappropriate jokes as if he was in a room full of guys, and then realise there was a woman in it.”
O słynnym testerze m.in. Fable, zwanym „Gestapo Robbo”:
„I just said it how it was,” he says. „I’d walk up to people and go, why the fuck are you checking in that shitty code? Do not ever check in shit like that unless you talk to me and I test it, or one of my testers tests it. Check that fucking shit back out now. We’ll test it and I’ll tell you when you fucking check it in. I was pretty harsh like that. It didn’t matter whether that was a programmer or Peter. That’s how I was. I didn’t muck about with Peter. A lot of people pussyfooted around with Peter. I was like, Peter, that is shit man. Come on. We ‚aint doing that. I wouldn’t take no messing, mate. Nothing. Not even with Peter.”
O skakaniu przez kanał:
In 2003 the Lionhead culture manifested itself in what is perhaps peak Lionhead: canal jumping.
Near The Britannia Pub is a canal linked to the River Wey. The canal is wide enough for boats to pass through it. It’s not meant for people to jump across. And yet, in 2003, that’s exactly what a couple of people at Lionhead tried to do. One of them ended up in hospital after smashing his face on the other side. „This was before we were acquired by Microsoft,” Peter says. „Microsoft HR wouldn’t have been up for any of that shit.”
O kupnie Lionhead, który zamiast do Microsoftu, mógł trafić do Ubisoftu:
There were two offers on the table: one from Ubisoft, and one from Microsoft. Molyneux had met with Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot in Paris multiple times about a potential deal. Those discussions went well, people familiar with the talks say.
It’s an overstatement to say Microsoft swooped in and stole Lionhead from under Ubisoft’s nose, as acquisitions of this type are rarely so dramatic. But it was the case that Microsoft wanted to secure Fable, which had done well on the original Xbox, as an exclusive role-playing series for the Xbox 360, and was aware that if it had gone to Ubisoft, it would end up on the rival PlayStation 3.
I tak dalej, i tak dalej. Nie ma co wrzucać więcej cytatów – trzeba po prostu przeczytać ten tekst. Rzadko kiedy fani są wpuszczani za kulisy marketingowo-biznesowej strony branży gier.
PS Moim pierwszym awatarem na Xboksie 360, blisko 10 lat temu, był młody bohater Fable. Nie zmieniłem go do dzisiaj.
PS2 Petera Molyneux będzie można poznać na Pixel Heaven już w najbliższy weekend. I wydaje mi się, że zamiast trudnych pytań o Fable będzie raczej moc szacunku za Syndicata i inne hity spod szyldu Bullfrog i Lionhead.