- Sid Meier, Firaxis
- Bill Roper, Blizzard North
- Brian Reynolds, Big Huge Games
- Bruce C. Shelley, Ensemble Studios
- Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios
- Alex Garden, Relic Entertainment
- Louis Castle, Electronic Arts/Westwood Studios
- Chris Sawyer, Freelance
- Rick Goodman, Stainless Steel Studios
- Phil Steinmeyer, PopTop Software
- Ed Del Castillo, Liquid Entertainment
Chris Sawyer, Freelance
Although Chris Sawyer may not be a household name, this game developer, designer, and programmer created some of the most popular computer strategy/simulation games in the industry, including Transport Tycoon, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, and its add-on packs Corkscrew Follies and Loopy Landscapes. Sawyer has also been in charge of many PC conversions of Amiga games, including Frontier Elite 2, Xenomorph, Conqueror, Campaign, Virus, Goal, and Birds of Prey.
Sawyer's contribution to the sage advice in this chapter:
Create something original and unique. Your game should look and play differently from other products to stand out.
Don't be put off if publishers initially discard your ideas and designs. When RollerCoaster Tycoon was in early development, I was told by everyone that it wouldn't succeed. The best way to convince people of a game's potential is to get the game to a playable state and actually let them play it.
Never forget that the ultimate aim of any computer game is to be fun. It's all very well coming up with a novel gameplay idea or an ever-more-immersive 3D world, but if it's not actually fun to play then it's worthless.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating RollerCoaster Tycoon?
Figure 3.4 These three images show some of the 3D models used in Chris Sawyer's RollerCoaster Tycoon in their source environment (either Lightwave or Raydream Studio). Sawyer commented when submitting these images, "Actually, this is the first time I've seen these myselfthey're fascinating." Indeed. (Used with permission by Chris Sawyer.)
If Sawyer could go back and create the original RollerCoaster Tycoon all over again, would anything be done differently?
Any pet peeves with today's computer games?
Chris Sawyer returns in Chapter 12 to discuss artificial intelligence.