Swordfish Studios Video Interview

We sit down with development guru Julian Widdows, to go in-depth on one of PS2's hottest shooters - and get detailed, interesting insight into game development and next-gen expectations. Plus! Cold Winter 2 confirmed.

Not too long ago, we met with Julian Widdows of Swordfish Studios - a UK-based developer that has been voted "Developer of the Year" by The IGDA and "Best New UK Studio" at the Industry Excellence Awards - for an interview that was intended to be all about the developer's hot, Vivendi-published PS2 shooter, Cold Winter.

However, we'll admit that thanks to some videogame show in LA or something, we're sort of a little bit late in publishing the full thing. The good news is that it doesn't really matter, for two reasons: firstly, Cold Winter is a game that still deserves the attention - boasting the kind of effort in AI design, console physics and FPS storytelling that's frankly exemplary (see our full review here).

But the interview is also pretty essential material for everyone interested in game development and next-gen, as we go in-depth on things like AI design, integration of story, creating compelling game worlds and much more - as well as a heap on the business and publishing side of things, like the experience of pitching games to publishers, working with Vivendi Games (as answered before its recent acquisition of Swordfish!) and lots more.

We move on to have a chat about next-gen, as Julian - clearly a talented and vocal development figure - reveals what he believes will be the biggest advancements in gaming on platforms like PS3 and X360.

More thoroughly:

  • Why was the Xbox version of Cold Winter cancelled?
  • Integrating compelling storyline into gameplay?
  • Balance of game narrative
  • Creating diverse and believable game environmants
  • Gritty world - not "freshly unpacked from Ikea"...
  • Layers of effects to create a unique look
  • Writing AI - intricacies, what's the goal?
  • Cool stuff like combining items to make weapons
  • Swordfish's previous project Hostine Waters, what happened?!
  • Being one of Rage Software's eleven independent studios
  • Getting IP back from Rage and selling it
  • Exclusive - Cold Winter 2 confirmed! ;-)
  • So what's "the greatest game you've never played"?!
  • Working with VU Games (as answered before VU aquisition of Swordfish!)
  • "It's hit the fan"...
  • Experience of pitching projects to publishers
  • Next-gen games becoming a lot more expensive and challenging to make
  • Integrating physics into next-gen games
  • Massive improvements in in-game genuine emotion and facial animation...
  • "You look like a bag of bollocks".

This new video interview will be enjoyed by everyone interested in the industry - and if you've had even a passing interest in the often startlingly good shooter that is Cold Winter, get involved.

Meanwhile, thanks to Julian and the folks at VUG for their time, and good luck with the "new relationship" and all that...

Adam Doree
Editorial Director, Kikizo.com

Click here for Kikizo's interview archive.

Video Coverage
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Swordfish Studios Video Interview
Extensive in-depth interview with Development Director Julian Widdows on Cold Winter, game development, next-gen and more. (hi quality)  
24.03m 137MB SD, 25
Swordfish Studios Video Interview
As above (normal quality)  
24.03m 63.7MB SD, 25

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