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Demiurge: Creativity Is Key, But So Is Pragmatism

Albert Reed, studio head of Demiurge Studios, says in a Gamasutra feature interview that while creativity is key in coming up with game concepts, so is honing those
Albert Reed, studio head of Demiurge Studios, holds a view that while creativity is key in coming up with game concepts, so is honing those concepts for marketability and skills, as part of a Gamasutra feature interview. Says Reed, "I think in the game industry, we are short on pragmatism, for sure. I don't think that it's more essential than being especially creative, or having brilliant, distinctive artwork, but I think in the game industry, especially in smaller studios, people are not practical." His company, best known at present for working on projects like Mass Effect's PC port for BioWare or developing Green Day Rock Band for Harmonix and MTV games, is set to announce its first major original title in the near future -- something that Reed says was only possible because of this pragmatic philosophy. "They sometimes need to be more realistic about what the marketplace wants, not what their little dream game is," he says. "I think we have been able to marry what the market wants with what our dream game is nicely; I'm excited about that." Reed says that the studio has developed a culture where the staff is encouraged not just to constantly pitch new ideas, but also to refine those ideas based on feedback. "When getting up in front of people to talk about your title, it's amazing how quick the people giving the pitches realize the flaws in their ideas, and what is really a home run in their ideas, based on having to stand up in front of their peers and talking about it," says Reed. "It works incredibly well." "It causes people to extract the little gems in this bigger idea that they have that will really resonate and push back the stuff that didn't sit well with people." To read the full interview, which goes into more depth about the studio culture at Demiurge, the company's prior attempts to hit the market with original titles, and its core creative values, be sure to check out Gamasutra's latest feature: Demiurge's Road To Creativity.

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