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iPhone a "revolution" for game design - Arkane Studios

AUSTIN GDC: Newly-hired producer Harvey Smith reveals studio working on strategy card game and first person RPG

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and The Crossing creator Arkane Studios will be producing a "casual strategy" card game for the iPhone, newly hired producer Harvey Smith revealed at his 2008 Austin GDC GameCareerGuide session.

The Deus Ex: Invisible War and Blacksite Area 51 producer revealed the nature of the yet unannounced project, which is in production alongside a first person RPG, at his student-focused session on the recent changes in the industry that has made it an exciting time to get involved.

Smith did not divulge any further details on the project, but spent much of the session extolling the virtues of the iPhone platform, calling its App Store a "revolution," and noting how the iPhone is "going to influence the types of games you can make and design decisions you can make."

Mentioning a video that shows a one year old child using Flickr on the iPhone, Smith said the platform "represents so many incremental moves" forward in the industry in the way it is "linked to potentially everyone else in the world" and its "super innovative interface."

Elsewhere in the session, Smith gave the audience of would be designers his top five pieces of advice, telling them not to be afraid of changes to the industry coming down the pipe, but instead to use those changes to push games forward, and to always remember that games you create are not your masterpiece, but creating environments to let players make their own masterpieces.

Smith also said to "embrace constraint," with a quote from BioShock producer Jordan Thomas on how limitations gave the team "vital focus, even when it was painful," and quoted former id producer Dave Taylor, who said it was fundamental to make games "fun with stick figures" - getting core game mechanics fun in a raw form before focusing on art production.

Finally, he ended with a quote from his former colleague Warren Spector, who said "Don't settle, there's too much settling. Dare to dream of doing great things. Find the moment of magic you can introduce into a game, regardless of your role."

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Brandon Boyer

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