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Dev Box Interview: Fallen Earth’s Colin Dwan

Dev Box: Colin Dwan

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 Fallen Earth, LLC’s Colin Dwan take a break from working on “Fallen Earth” 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: Colin Dwan
Title: Project Manager
What you do: I coordinate all the teams and their resources so we can accomplish everyone’s vision.
Most recent game worked on: “Fallen Earth” is my first title.

What game has most influenced you, and why?
“Star Wars Galaxies” was my first MMO and its pre-NGE content was fundamental in establishing an open world that players could escape into. You could be anything you wanted and you really felt like just one person in a vast and unexplored galaxy. Other MMOs have since refined and improved on my favorite gameplay elements but early “SWG” is a core building block for my game world.

What are you playing right now?
“Left4Dead,” “Fallout 3,” “Dreamfall: The Longest Journey,” and of course “WoW.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
How hard it is to pick the best ideas and stick with them. Everyone is so creative that we get awesome new concepts for the game every week. The hardest part has been pinpointing exactly what makes “Fallen Earth” special and sticking to it. If you innovate too much you don’t get to do any one of those features well.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Be patient. Things have a surprising way of working out if you keep a steady, level headed approach. This doesn’t mean compromise, it just means when things seem about to blow up, take a deep breath and work through it. There’s always a solution right around the corner.

What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
Overhyping. It’s so tempting in this growing game marketplace to claim your game will be the next giant killer but I think games would do well to focus on their strengths and set realistic expectations. Some of the biggest MMOs to come out in the past two years have suffered from unrealistic expectations and suffered as a result.

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