Dev Box Interview: Evasive Space’s Associate Producer Keith Hladik
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 feature takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us. This week we are giving High Voltage’s Keith Hladik a chance to answer some of our burning questions.
Name: Keith Hladik
Title: Associate Producer
What you do: My main responsibilities are to coordinate with publishers and ensure the game is on the right path and gets finished on time.
Most recent game worked on: “Evasive Space,” “High Voltage Hot Rod Show”
1. What game has most influenced you, and why?
If I think back, the one game that has influenced me most could probably be “Snatcher” for the Sega CD. It is the perfect example of a game ahead of it’s time. As games have matured, we’ve seen them take place of movies. “Snatcher” has been a game I’ve come back to time and time again as an example of the pinnacle of story telling in videogame format. The same could be said for “Metal Gear Solid” for the Playstation, which along those lines was a big influence on me.
2. What are you playing right now?
For which system!? I’ve run into a problem where I have a backlog of games and now I’m trying to breeze through them in order to buy any new games that come out. But right now I’m playing “Moon” for DS.
3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
Maintain a high level of persistence. I started out as a tester, and the old cliché of starting out in the mail room and moving your way up in a company can be true. I’ve worked hard, and was persistent and eventually worked my way up to where I am today. When making games, everyone has to have the same persistence to work towards that goal at full bore.
4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Apply yourself. I got this nugget of advice when I was in 8th grade from a concerned teacher. I’m not sure why it has stuck with me all these years, but it is something I think about once and awhile. I have a strong determination to see things through to the end; which I think really helps when working in the game industry.
5. What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
This is a tough call. But I think the biggest problem is pandering to the ‘casual crowd’. I know there is a big boom in ‘casual’ games right now and they are definitely making money. But personally, I think they are diluting the market and are often labeled as ‘shovelware’. Now I’m not saying ‘casual’ games are bad as there are plenty of gems out there. But you look at the glut of games that end in a ‘z’ on the Wii and DS and you have to wonder if people buy them and enjoy them. I’m not a 6 year old girl, so I can’t really know for sure.