It's serious award season. Dundonian mobile powerhouse Dynamo has let it be known that they've been nominated for TWO International Mobile Game Awards (IMGAs) for Championship Manager AND The Crystal Maze.
The only UK company in the whole list, mark you - and one of only two companies in the whole list to have been nominated for more than a single award...
They're also (as exclusively revealed in SG.biz) in the running for the BAFTA Scotland Interactive Award, alongside neighbours Realtime Worlds (who are, according to one inside source, 'vaguely unnerved!')
Dynamo's Stuart Reid very graciously agreed to answer a few questions EXCLUSIVELY for Scottishgames.biz...
SG: 2007 has been quite a year for Dynamo. You've had great reception for your games, you've picked up some really strong licenses and now you're nominated in a couple of very prestigious award ceremonies. What's been the highlight of the year for the three of you (doesn't have to be games related)?
Behind the glitz and the glamour we have a great development team which make things happen and it’s this that has made us stand out from the crowd. The true highlight of this year has been being able to stay at the top of our game whilst moving forward and expanding our team.
SG: Why did you decide to go for TV gameshows when looking for new games licenses?
There were a couple of decisions around this angle. Firstly the mass appeal of the brands and secondly it has make to make good gaming material. It had to be something that appeals as a game not just a brand people have heard of.
SG: Why not Blankety Blank?
Sorry Brian we’re in a different generation, before our time…
SG: Championship Manager has picked up huge amounts of praise from across the media. What are the plans for the future of the franchise on mobile?
Personally speaking, I think CM is by far the best management game on the mobile. The sheer depth and quality is a step above the rest (yes a biased view but an honest one). I would like to see it continuing to evolve in the way it has done with more leagues and features but I think at the same time it has also got to maintain the same balance of playability we’ve created so far on the mobile version.
SG: Are you entirely committed to mobile, or would you consider moving into the wider 'casual' games market at some point?
Mobile is our strength and for the moment we will continue to focus on what we are good at. The casual market is a very competitive one and I could only see us dabbling in that if the right concept and opportunity came forward that really justified itself to us.
SG: What do you think of some of the new initiatives within the mobile industry, such as Google's Android programme and Nokia's N-Gage and direct-to-consumer channels? Will they make the market bigger, better, faster...?
Google’s Android is quite exciting, this could be the solution the industry has been looking for to resolve the device fragmentation issue. J2ME was an attempt to be the solution to this but with different manufactures implementing it to different standards on their handsets it failed to be the 'one and all' solution promised.
Android should resolve this problem (in theory anyway) as this should act as a consistent platform on which we can build games regardless of handsets. To achieve this however the mistakes from J2ME must not be repeated, if anyone could pull it off I’m sure Google can.
I think this marks an exciting step in the evolution of handsets, it’s the old diverging/converging technology cycle and hopefully this is a good converging stage.
I like what Nokia are doing this time around with the N-Gage, the platform does open up a lot more options for developers and the handsets will be main stream handsets. My only concern is that it sparks a next generation style battle on mobile, that would be detrimental to the industry at the moment which should be more concerned with creating high quality appealing games that fit the platform.
SG: Realtime Worlds and Crackdown is some fairly stiff competition to face for a Scottish BAFTA. However, do you think you could beat them in a straight fight?
I think we would be easily out numbered 50 to 1 but hey, just look at what the Spartans achieved when they were out numbered.
SG: There are four mobile game developers in Dundee: Dynamo Digital Goldfish, Tag Games and Cobra Mobile. Place then in order from 1 - 4, with 1 being the best...
The mobile game firms in Dundee have good links with each other, which means I'm going to have to disappoint and give you the politicians answer: Dynamo Games 1st then the rest joint 2nd. But seriously, these guys are doing some interesting stuff each with their own take on the market. It can only be a good thing all-round.
SG: What's the biggest challenge Dynamo faces in the next 12 months?
Fitting in everything we want to do. We are in a great shape and position at the moment and there are plenty of opportunities and things we want to do. We are planning to release our own IP next year which we are confident will be massive (watch this space!).
SG: Finally - and quite unashamedly self-promotingly, what's your favourite thing about Scottishgames.biz?
Well there’s a leading question.... It has to be the Editor! Do we get a discount now for our PR?