The following is an interview with Seismic Games Chief Creative Officer Eric “Giz” Gewirtz regarding the game house’s recently launched titles. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Giz about the inspiration behind the formation of Seismic Games, what he hopes that players will enjoy about Marvel Strike Force and Blade Runner: Revelations VR, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: As the Chief Creative Officer of Seismic Games, what inspired you to co-found the organization and to launch its game development?
Giz: After working on console and PC games for many years, it became clear that social, mobile, and VR games had so much potential to explore new game genres and mechanics. There was this a brave, new world of games, and we were really excited about bringing our experience from console gaming into these growing platforms. There is still so much innovation to be had in mobile games, especially AR, that it felt right to explore that space.
BD: What do you feel sets Seismic Games apart from the other games houses in the industry, and what has come to define a “Seismic” game?
Giz: I think our “gift” and our “curse” is that we like to take on new challenges with every game we make. Unlike some studios that focus on perfecting one type of game, we like to explore new games with each new project. So far, we’ve worked on a Turn-Based Strategy Mobile Game in partnership with FoxNext (Marvel Strike Force), streaming game show (Jeopardy: Playshow), a mobile VR interactive narrative game (Blade Runner: Revelations), a location based interactive project, and an unannounced mobile game in an entirely different genre. The one consistent factor is that we pour all of our passion into our projects, so I think the quality of the game is part of what makes it a Seismic game.
BD: Seismic Games recently launched 2 large franchise titles in Marvel Strike Force on mobile and Blade Runner: Revelations VR on Google Daydream. What can you share about your team’s creative process in working on these games for their respective platforms?
Giz: Each of those projects had a very different creative process and unique challenges.
For Marvel Strike Force, the game was co-developed with FoxNext games. From the start, the teams were focused on creating a beautiful mobile game that captured the fantasy of having all your favorite Marvel characters teaming up and fighting each other. We spent a lot of time infusing the personalities of each of the characters; their models, animations, combat abilities, fighting styles, and visual effects.
We also took a lot of time to develop a version of the Marvel Universe that encompassed the game play mechanics and still felt ultimately “Marvel” in its style and tone. Just the right blend of heroics, action, and humor. Then, we spent a huge amount of time iterating on the gameplay, combat balance, story, and pacing.
For Blade Runner: Revelations, we started from a very different place. We were working with Google and Alcon to deliver a mobile VR experience that was true to the Blade Runner universe. Our first step was to go through every iconic moment, theme, and experience in both Blade Runner films (as well as the source literature) and find common threads we could translate into VR experiences. For example, the idea of interrogating a suspect using the Voight Kampff machine to determine if they were a Replicant. Using technology combined with good detective work uncover clues related to a grand conspiracy. Traveling over futuristic Los Angeles in a Spinner. Next, we focused on how to make these experiences uniquely VR. How to use spatial awareness, diegetic sound, and other tricks to push the limits on current VR technology. Then it was just a process of weaving in a story that felt like it contributed to the universe and delivered that classic Blade Runner feel.
BD: The studio has multiple IP related titles coming up on the horizon for 2018/2019 which are unannounced but tap into existing big worlds and canon that audiences know and love. What can readers anticipate from the new releases (that you are able to share)?
Giz: Unfortunately, we can’t yet talk about our new unannounced projects, but we can say that Seismic will continue to deliver top quality game experiences in new genres and forms of entertainment. We are constantly striving to innovate and re-imagine game genres with new twists or with familiar licenses.
BD: As Seismic continues to expand and evolve, what do you hope to see in its future in terms of properties and growth?
Giz: I’m excited to see what Seismic can bring to new game genres and platforms. Working in areas like AR and location-based gaming, I think Seismic can innovate and really push the boundaries on what can be done in those genres. We have a team of passionate game developers that love to take on new challenges. And there are a lot of areas in gaming that offer those challenges.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about Seismic Games and its catalog of titles?
Giz: We built Seismic as a place where people who are passionate about making games can come together and make breakthrough games. We’re always looking for new people to join us in that endeavor. We believe if you work on projects you are passionate about, alongside people who are fun to work with, we can make games that will truly shine for years to come. The future will tell if we’re right, but in the meantime, it sure makes going to work every day a lot easier.