Ten Questions with the Academy: Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell is a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences where he serves as one of its board directors.  He works for Vigil Games.

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

A: How to get quality games made on time and on budget without anyone having to work any overtime.

Q: Tell us one of your recent professional insights.

A: Our industry, as a whole, does not currently operate in a sustainable fashion for the long term.  Fundamentals have to change.

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

A: Consumers are extremely well informed about their gaming options and you cannot fool them.  Everything that you put into your game matters, so make it all count.

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

A: Working with a talented group of creative people on a daily basis.

Q: What game are you most jealous of?

A: World of Warcraft.  It changed the way we think of gaming and took what was previously a niche genre and grew the audience because of both its quality and accessibility.  It is a game that has something for everyone at a high level of quality all in one package.  It can be played solo, cooperatively, competitively and socially all in the same experience.  For people like me who like a little bit of everything, it allows me to have a slightly different slice of gameplay every time I sit down to play.  Add in the stickiness of the character progression and satisfying reward systems and you have a recipe for true addiction.

Q: Are games important?

A: Games are as important as any other form of mass entertainment.  People need fun in their lives.

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

A: I have no idea.  I was parking cars before I joined the industry.

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

A: It’s essential that developers continue to play games to keep pace with the rapid evolution of game making.

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

A: How to transition from a used games driven retail model to a direct, long-term, service-oriented relationship with our consumer.

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

A: Help make our company operate better through stronger management and communication practices.