Ten Questions with the Academy: Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor is a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. He spoke at the D.I.C.E. Summit® in 2007. He works for Gas Powered Games.

Q: What's your favorite part of game development?

A: Probably the first stage, where creativity plays a big role, as there are infinite possibilities when a game first begins development.

Q: How do you measure success?

A: I measure success by creating games that positively impact people’s lives with laughter and entertainment.

Q: If you weren’t in game development, what would you be doing today?

A: It would be nice to think I could make a living at some other form or art like perhaps writing or painting, but I’d be happy as a scientist too.

Q: Are games important?

A: Sure, because they make people happy, and that gives them the recharge they need to do even more important things.

Q: Tell us one of your recent professional insights.

A: Choose great partners, and just because you need a deal done now, doesn't mean you should do a deal now (that’s as a guy running a game company).

Q: What's the one problem of game development you wish you could instantly solve?

A: The time problem, there is never enough time.

Q: On a practical basis, what’s the one thing you're going to tackle next?

A: I’m simplifying everything, because good art isn’t about complexity... and I gave complexity a shot, and that didn't work.

Q: Do you think it’s important for developers to continue playing games?

A: Absolutely, it’s key to staying in touch with the art form.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you see facing the industry?

A: Understanding our customer, and making games for them, and finding a way to break away from the pattern of just making games bigger...we need only to make games more fun, and get it into our thick skulls that challenge is not the same as difficulty, and simplicity does not equate to easy. Some games have made great strides in this area, though, so this problem is not as widespread as it used to be, but it's still pretty evident to me that we have a long way to go here.

Q: Finally, when you look at the future is there one great big trend that affects everyone?

A: The online gaming trend is big right now, and in the future I would guess that most games will be online, even if they are solo or single doesn't mean multiplayer, it will mean zero install times, persistent gameplay, and the ability to play from anywhere hassle free – imagine no updates or patches – and many other things that are positive to the experience. Gaming is still clumsy enough to keep people away...and online gaming might well open gaming up to the rest of the world.
Questions by Evan Van Zelfden