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Dev Box Interview: 2XL’s Creative Director Robb Rinard

Dev Box: Robb Rinard

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 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 2XL’s Creative Director Robb Rinard take a break from working on “2XL Supercross” for the iPhone, and console’s “Baja: Edge of Control” and give him a chance to get on the Dev Box and tell us a bit about himself, and what he thinks about the games industry.

Name: Robb Rinard
Title: Creative Director
What you do: Game Design, Sound Design
Most recent game worked on: “2XL Supercross” and “Baja: Edge of Control”

1. What game has most influenced you, and why?
“Robotron: 2084.” Eugene Jarvis created some of the finest videos games ever and is one of my heroes (along with Kelly Johnson of U2 & SR71 fame). Of all Eugene’s great games, “Robotron: 2084″ is the game I’ve spent more hours playing than probably any game ever made. To this day, the gameplay and sound effects are fantastic to me.

2. What are you playing right now?
“Little Big Planet,” “Battlefield 2″

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
By the time you get to the end of the project, you can count on losing most of your objectivity regarding the game’s level of difficulty. You likely can’t make it easy enough for most people.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references. (from Real Genius)

5. What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
Same problem as the film industry. All the obvious stories have been told. All the obvious gameplay mechanics have been played to death. All the obvious artistic styles have been copied repeatedly. It’s very hard to be creative in a way that can actually grab people’s attention. As a result, people are becoming very jaded and difficult to entertain. The Roman’s had the same set of problems with the mobs of the Coliseum in ancient times. After a while they simply couldn’t put on a show anyone was interested in no matter how big the production grew.

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