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Unity's 'triple-A' direction driven by industry changes

In a new feature interview, Unity Stocholm's Renaldas Zioma (pictured) and Erland Korner -- both ex-DICE -- explain why the so-called "triple-A" initiative makes sense for the engine provider.
In a new feature interview, Unity Stocholm's Renaldas Zioma (pictured) and Erland Korner -- both ex-DICE -- explain why the so-called "triple-A" initiative makes sense for the engine provider. The company opened up a new Stockholm satellite office last July to attract new talent in the city, which has become a hub for game development in the Scandinavian region. The company's largest office is in Copenhagen. The company's initiative to cater to high-def, high-feature game development has launched from this office. Zioma, in particular, thinks "triple-A initiative" is something of a misnomer, however -- instead preferring to think of it as a way to bring advanced functionality to the engine which could benefit all users. "Quite a lot of people are going from triple-A to form their own studios and make some small games. Some small companies go to web and start to multiply, becoming bigger and bigger. You see lots of people going in both directions. It makes sense for us to try to blend between those two groups, and get the experience from them," he says. The technology will also reflect the changing shape of the industry, he explains: "With Unity, traditionally, it's easier to enter and easy to make a small game for indies. We want to at least drag as much as possible of that feeling towards the bigger teams. And then the big thing is functionality. We are more implementing [features] for the bigger teams, and dragging that towards a little bit more user friendly, and make it more indie-friendly, or smaller team-friendly." But, he says, the company doesn't intend to force things, and instead takes a more user-centric approach. "It's not like we have this certain goal to blend between or drag. It's something that happens naturally for us -- there is a certain amount of people very active in giving the feedback to us. We are working with certain teams, like [Shadowgun developers] Madfinger, that give feedback to us, and influence us in a natural way. It's not like we have this goal set, ourselves. It's more what we actually see happening." Korner agrees. "Our overall goal is to always provide the smoothest and most easy-to-use tools for developers to make games, and we don't interfere with cultures or try to dig too deep into game design, or influence how game makers are developing their games, but more provide the means for them to make the games as quick, and flexible, and joyful as possible. We try to listen in as much as we can. It's a bit of a learning process." The full interview, in which Korner and Zioma discuss their work on the popular engine at length, is live now on Gamasutra.

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