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Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:29 pm
by Chris
Introversion have a lot of game ideas. Generally speaking at any one time we have about a decades worth of game ideas queued up, in various stages of production. New ideas come up all the time and I store them all in a vault on my computer called The Bespokery. Original designs for Subversion from 2003 can be found in there, along with designs for all of Multiwinia’s game modes. Some ideas are patently ridiculous, others are wildly over-ambitious. Some ideas are incredible, and (we hope) will one day be released as finished Introversion games.

There is one document in this vault which has been edited and revised and updated more times than any other, and that document is called Chronometer.

It’s one of our more recent ideas, and was first written down during Defcon’s beta phase. I specifically remember the moment I explained it to Mark – in a KFC in London of all places, and he just stopped and stared at me while I was speaking. He genuinely couldn’t continue eating. By the time I’d finished I went back to my food and Mark just sat there silent for a few minutes before uttering “fuck me”, slowly shaking his head in disbelief.

It’s always been clear to us that it’s not a project we could ever afford to make ourselves. So the project sat there in The Bespokery all this time, a fascinating thought experiment in ambitious game design and nothing more, until Channel 4 approached Introversion and asked us if we had any game ideas we’d like funding for.

Our initial response was something along the lines of No. But the more we thought about it, the more we found Chronometer actually fitted the requirements extremely well, and their deal on offer was something we hadn't seen before. We pitched the idea to them and they approved the first exploratory phase pretty soon after.

So around three months ago, despite being busier than we’ve ever been, Introversion Software began work on its sixth game. Channel 4 funded an exploratory pre-production phase of three months work, which we have now almost completed. We spent a long time looking for a fulltime writer, and worked through nearly 50 applicants until we hit on the right guy for the job – a writer named Chris Hastings, who's sample work was a league ahead of the competition. Chris and myself have been working closely together in Cambridge during this three month period and that Chronometer document has now expanded into a whole project folder with scripts, pictures, maps, flow charts, production plans, budgets, the whole lot. We’ve spent a lot of time moving post-it notes around on a giant board, trying to piece together the structure of this new game.

Ultimately we don’t know for certain if Chronometer will be going into full production – the conditions would have to be right for Introversion and for Channel 4, although they’ve been fantastic to work with during pre-production. We’re pretty much finished with this phase of Chronometer for now, and we’ll keep you updated about this interesting sixth game project as decisions are made.

In the mean time it’s all-hands-on-deck for the impending Multiwinia launch that is bearing down on us alarmingly quickly!

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:31 pm
by Montyphy

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:32 pm
by Rkiver
Another game? Whoopee!

/me runs around happily.

Also Channel 4 and Introversion. An interesting combination.

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:42 pm
by zach
Woah, wait, what?

Sixth game already? It feels like you've only released three so far - oh wait, you have.

I'm wondering how you can have three (two, not counting subversion) simultaneous game projects that are all (both) pure Introversion. I mean, surely somewhere or other you'll be cutting corners and the likes, to be able to work on three (two) games with a small (yet growing) team.

Then again, I suppose Multiwinia is pretty foreseeable as it is right now, and since noone said anything about Subversion being this or that, I suppose it could work out. Still, will the "main" team be working on both Subversion and Chronometer, just as enthused as with Darwinia when that was the single project being focused on?

Will both Subversion and Chronometer potentially be "full" Introversion games, or perhaps some sort of 'solo experimentation' for some of you instead?


Whatever the case, allow me to say congratulations - I wish you the best of luck with your Channel 4 cooperation.

And to be honest, I'm dying to know more about Chronometer, too!

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:42 pm
by vanarbulax
I don't get it. How does a team of 8 (recently turned to 10) work on three games at once? It just makes my mind explode.

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:44 pm
by zach
EDIT: Double post, oh yay

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:50 pm
by jelco
Ooh, it's Chris and Chris! :P

Anyway, that bit about Mark makes me thing "fuck me" myself. It sounds like you're really growing into an important developer in the British industry if a publisher comes to you instead of the other way around, and the fact that you've picked a publisher during production makes the game even more enigmatic to me. I can't wait to hear more about this, and I sincerly hope you continue production of it after reading your enthusiastic post.


Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:52 pm
by Xocrates
Ah dammit!

*Adds another game to increasingly long list*

I really need to get a paying job.

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:57 pm
by vanarbulax
Also the first thing which comes up when I search for Chris Hastings is The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. No idea if it's the same guy but we've yet to see an introversion game with ninjas.

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:01 pm
by Nutter
if t was robot ninjas you would have had me right there

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:04 pm
by xander
This may be a bit premature, but golly, it is nice to see IV leading a resurgence in the British gaming industry. What a nice change of pace. ;)


Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:04 pm
by KingAl
So, Chronometer is about time travelling Scottish robot ninjas, eh?

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:06 pm
by ynbniar
Wow lots folk starting, MW on it's way, Ch4 new Opera Mini is struggling to keep up.

I should really get on with work...

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:36 pm
by shinygerbil
Hah, i'm on Opera Mini too :P i need to get home and read everything properly...

Re: Chronometer

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:18 pm
by ynbniar
Chris wrote:In the mean time it’s all-hands-on-deck for the impending Multiwinia launch that is bearing down on us alarmingly quickly!

The "Channel 4 Multiwinia Launch Party Complimentary Bar" has a nice ring to it... :wink: