Was it Remedy or an overseas job that was the most appealing?
Remedy Games’ Brooke Maggs, an Aussie currently serving as Narrative Designer on the upcoming Control, took time out of her busy Gamescom schedule to speak with Stevivor about the state of the industry within Australia and across the pond.
With local studios like Defiant Development closing of late, we were keen to get Maggs’ thoughts on whether or not Aussie developers needed to leave their homeland to find success within the industry.
“I think it’s possible to make it as a game development company in Australia,” Maggs said. “Companies like Mighty Kingdom and League of Geeks are good examples, but it isn’t easy. I have had the opportunity to work with so many talented developers like The Voxel Agents, Mountains and Paper House.
“We have talent and drive, but there is more to it, like managing publishers, release windows, development scope and budget, standing out in the market are all challenges for Australian game companies,” she continued. “For me personally, I wanted to grow my skills in narrative design and when I had the opportunity to do so with larger teams overseas, I took the chance, as there are few Australian companies making large-scale narrative games.”
Maggs detailed exactly how she came to work at the Finland-based Remedy Games.
“One of Remedy’s early games, Max Payne, was one of my favorites for its interesting characters and comic book-style storytelling,” Maggs said, describing the studio’s appeal.
“When I received a Women in Games grant from Film Victoria, I used the money to gain experience in studios overseas. I reached out to Remedy and the narrative team invited me to visit them in Finland. I was drawn to Control for the opportunity to work on a brand new story world from Remedy. It is an ambitious game striving to do something different, something New Weird that grounds the supernatural in realism but aims to be unsettling and dangerous. I loved that Control has an active female protagonist and that I would have the chance to work with a talented, long-running game studio.”
Ultimately, Maggs’ choice to go abroad was the right one for her.
“I feel I have grown exponentially in my first year abroad working in the game industry, and I can’t wait for people to play Control, the first Remedy game I’ve been a part of making,” she said, reflecting. “Thank you to all Remedy fans out there, and for those who have yet to play a Remedy game, Control is an excellent one to jump into. I think it really says a lot about the style of the studio, and it a big step forward for Remedy in a lot of ways including world development and art direction, storytelling, and gameplay.”
We’ll have more with Maggs in the days to come.
Control heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 in mere hours, from 27 August 2019. Many thanks to Brooke for her time.
Correction: We decided to give Brooke a big of a promotion in our original piece, detailing her as Narrative Director rather than Narrative Designer. We’ve corrected this change and apologise for the miscredit.