Dev Box: Black Sigil’s Developer Studio Archcraft’s CEO Vincent Dehaut
It usually takes a small army to create the video games that we play, and, most of the time, all of the focus gets put on the game itself, and not on the people that came together to make it. Our weekly Dev Box interview series takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us. This week we are letting Studio Archcraft’s CEO Vincent Dehaut take a break from working on “Black Sigil” and give him a chance to get on the Dev Box and tell us a bit about himself, and what he thinks about the industry.
Name: Vincent Dehaut
Title: CEO (Studio Archcraft)
Most recent game worked on: “Black Sigil” for the Nintendo DS
1. What game has most influenced you, and why?
That depends. If I had to choose one videogame it would be “Dragon Warrior 4″ on the NES. I had played quite a few other games prior to it, including many RPGs. However, “DW4″ was just so much better than anything else. An incredibly detailed (at the time) story, a massive world to explore (and you really could explore – you weren’t limited to backtracking or heading to the next location), a huge roster of characters that all played differently, and unbelievably deep gameplay. In my opinion, it’s one of the best console RPGs - even with dated graphics.
That said, the good old pen-and-paper “Dungeons and Dragons” probably had more influence overall. Being a game master really taught me quite a few things, and also permanently cured me of any shyness I once had.
2. What are you playing right now?
Lately I haven’t been playing too many games. The last year has been hectic, so when I have some free time I prefer to stay away from computers and consoles. However, I’m keeping an eye on what comes out. If anything strikes me as a must-play, I’ll jump on it!
3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t develop a game by consensus. There’s a time for good ideas to be suggested by everyone, and that‘s in the early design phase. Once you’ve got the basic design documentation on paper, there are only two people who should be allowed to make changes - the lead designer (if the design needs to be modified to work), and the producer (to keep the game under budget and on time).
4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“You’re responsible for your own happiness.” What it means is that the only guaranteed way to get what you want is to take control. Luck, fate and a helping hand can only get you so far, but if you take control of the situation, there are very few things you can’t get done with hard work.
5. What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
I see games suffering from two related problems…
First, at this point there is a clear lack of truly exciting titles being released on the market. There are a few good titles scheduled to release, but nothing that would make me run to the nearest store to buy a console and games, or wait in anticipation for the release date. However, I’m not too worried at the moment. I felt the same way during the early PlayStation era, and it turned out just fine.
The second problem I’d like to point out is that there is a huge gap to fill in the market. To date, there are very few AAA-quality games intended for non-hardcore gamers. I’m in my late twenties and I have quite a bit of disposable income that I’d like to spend on games. So where are the games intended for me? Where are the AAA-titles with new, interesting stories and settings? Where are the top-notch games that don’t require me to sit in front of the TV for hours at a time just to make a bit of progress? I know I’m certainly not the only person with money, but no products to buy.