Yug from Australian gamer did a tour of Krome Studios Melbourne recently, and caught up with 3 senior members for a chat about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and the long and varied history of technically Australia’s oldest studio.
The first part of the interview is with new Studio Director Kurt Busch, and Force Unleashed Producer Mark Coombes. Kurt and Mark discuss the origins of the studio back with the first released game “The Hobbit” in 1981, as well as the take over by Krome in early 2007, and then on to the development of The Force Unleashed.
On the Wii version of The Force Unleashed Mark had to say:
I do feel a certain amount of responsibility, especially with the Wii, and you read forums and people talking about the Wii and there is a high expectation about the first game with a lightsaber. Everybody’s perception and anticipation about what that experience is going to be like, the guys here are thinking about all the time, but we’re in the reality of the situation and we know the hardware and what it can do, and the difference between the perception, and what CAN be delivered and what will be good for the game and fun will be quite different.
The second part of the interview is with industry veteran Kevin “Zaph” Burfitt. Kevin has been at the studio for 13 years, and was at the company through Melbourne House, Infrogrames, Atari and on to the new owners –Krome, and has been working alongside many people with 10+ years of experience in the games industry, even when he started in 1995. Zaph give more of a rundown of the history of the studio, and an insiders view on the company changing hands so many times.
It’s always hard to change what you’re doing. Melbourne House had been independent for almost 20 years, got bought by Infogrames, became part of a big multinational company but we were kind of this little developer on the edge, sort of ignored, which was to our benefit a lot of the time. But when Krome came in, we had to get ourselves back into a fast-moving environment. It’s much crazier, especially for those who have been around a long time, and there’s a lot of us here, which really says something.