Science fiction promised a lot but computing has delivered.
Games are everywhere and they engage people socially, collaboratively or in a competitive way.
“The world has shrunk and everybody can be a consumer as well as a distributor,” says Dr Phillip Oliver DBA FRSA, speaker at Coventry Conversation this afternoon.
Dr Oliver is the CEO and co-founder of Blitz games studios located in Leamington Spa. The company was founded with his twin brother. They started learning to build games from the manual of the games their parents bought for them.
Their maths, computer and physics teachers have been an inspiration and a great source of help to them. Over the years they have worked what they term as ‘ridiculous’ hours to make their dream materialise and whilst their friends went to university they were focusing on making it in the games industry.
They started in their bedroom at the age of twelve and took turns to sleep because they kept experimenting with different games forms. Dr Oliver designs about a third of all games in the UK and Leamington Spa is now noted as the British centre of games.
The introduction of his presentation discussed family oriented games they have invented and also gave detailed insight into the Blitz Company. The first movie karaoke game is said to be coming out in a few months. The series of games produced comprises of mature, serious, casual, career advice and family games. Serious games are games considered to have a large potential market whilst mature games are also seen as high profile, very much respected and involve a huge amount of technology showcasing.
In as much as there are tones of games on the market, some games technologies have a short term future. Examples of these are 3D and virtual reality, online and socially connected games, digital delivery as well as speech and speech recognition games.
Designing games is not as easy as it sounds. It takes intelligence and a vast amount of hard work. Intelligent designs ranges from opened minded intuitive designs and also focusing on entertaining the player. One of the successes of Blitz is a game called ‘The biggest loser’ which is an ultimate work out game. ‘Fantastic pets’ was also very successful on the market and it was one game in particular that was targeted to children as young as three years old.
Designing games for children, Dr Oliver said can be very demanding, so they often seek advice from psychological experts. As new games evolve they will get more complex and difficult. Speaking as a games expert, his advice to the audience and game lovers is to embrace change and adapt quickly. Always be prepared to try, learn and try again.
Dr Oliver said: “With change, comes opportunity but only to those who can adapt quickly.”
More so understanding the psychology of people helps the games company to estimate the demand for every game they produce. As a games developer one should be able to predict the future and work very hard. The audience express that they are yet to see a game that is termed as a classic and readily recognised by all. Dr Oliver replied that Pacman and Super Mario are classic video games. These games were available as he grew and they are still played generations on.
People are vital to any industry and especially the games industry no less. People are their biggest cost, their biggest assets and their biggest liability. Just like any renowned company Blitz hire for attitude, they hire for HIGH levels of skills and they invest a lot in the people they employ.
Dr Oliver expresses the fact that people have gone from knowing how the computer system works to just having knowledge of how programmes operate. This is also a general concern of many parents including Dr Oliver who said that his six year old resorts to Wikipedia most of the time to answer question she does not understand rather that getting a detailed explanation on how things work.
Finally when asked if Leamington Spa is going to be like Coventry in auto cars he replied: “We would do our best.”
When we hear of games we stereotypically expect to see an audience that is largely male. My curiosity as well as interest caused me to attend the last Coventry Conversation for the term when I knew the speaker would be Dr Philip Oliver the CEO and co founder of Blitz games in Leamington Spa.
The demography of people who attended this session proved that being a fan of games is not necessarily aimed at a particular gender.
This article is aimed at the game lovers and also people who aspire to make it in the games industry. It will be published at the games arcade website so people who patronise the website can read more about Blitz and the games industry in general.
Writing about this article was made easy because I attended the Coventry Conversation in person and made note as the session took place. The Blitz website was also very helpful in finding detailed information about the company. (9/Dec/2010)