When an album by your favorite band is released, you're likely to hear about it. And when you read a book that you really enjoy, you're likely to note who the author is, possibly even read a couple of his or her other books. Heck, we hear even movie directors are getting some public recognition these days. Shouldn't it follow, then, that when you play a game that you love, you should note who developed the game, maybe even seek out their work in the future? The founders of a new publishing company, Gamecock Media Group, think so, and we agree.
We interviewed one of the founders, Harry Miller, who is a veteran of Gathering of Developers - a studio with the novel idea that developers should be treated well, allowed creative control, and not forced to meet unrealistic release dates. Gathering has since been bought and absorbed, but its spirit lives on.
Miller told us that Gamecock, as the name may indicate, won't be taking themselves too seriously as a publisher, since it's all about the developers. They'll be endeavoring to create an environment conducive to creativity which will encourage developers to bring new ideas, new worlds, and new kickass games to the industry. The following are examples of the latter - new games (hopefully kickass) in the works for Gamecock. Yes, it's okay to giggle.
Above: What some big publishers do to developers (screen from the PC game Fury)
In development by some of the folks who brought you Stronghold (PC), this hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler looks to shed new torchlight on the genre. Miller told us that this type of game usually frustrates him, because something just doesn't fit. Why are there a bunch of random monsters hanging out in this dungeon, and why is there a pile of gold in that corner? Who put that there? What's up with these monsters? Vanquishing them is fun, but it does get a bit old.
He was excited about Hero, because it promises living, inhabited dungeons. A dungeon society, if you will, with interplay between various factions and maybe some commerce - not just a bunch of monsters hanging out, not killing each other. This added depth could be a great shot in the arm for a tired genre.