Developer Playlist is The Black Panel’s occasional column devoted to industry figures and the games that inspire them. Each instalment features a ‘playlist’ of influential titles hand-picked by a talented creator.
A graduate from the University Of Newcastle and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Paul Baker served as a software engineer at the now closed Blue Tongue Studios. There he worked on numerous multi-platform action adventure titles and became the lead programmer on the studio’s final uncompleted game. Based in Melbourne, Baker left Blue Tongue after its closure and worked on ideas for mobile games and co-founded Three Phase Interactive in 2012. Speaking of history, Baker was recently kind enough to tell us about his gaming inspirations.
—– Paul Baker’s Playlist —–
DOOM, the classic 1993 first person PC alien shooter from developer id Software caused controversy through its satanic references. It was also the game that introduced us to the wonderful world of mods. Some of the more popular mods were based on The Simpsons, Star Wars and Alien. Baker says “it was the first game that I really got immersed in and was the game that I first modded. I guess Doom set me on my path to be a game developer.”
Designed and released specifically for the Xbox and its successor, the FORZA MOTORSPORT series from Turn 10 Studios redefined racing games for Microsoft systems. The series took off in 2005 and has since received a majority of positive reviews. “It has great feel and they continuously improve the look, sound, AI and customisation,” Bakers says. “I also love their focus on their community, which inspires me to always think of the player first and how to encourage the social aspect of gaming.”
Rainbow Studios has showcased motorbike racing in games since 1998 and its MOTOCROSS MADNESS and MX VS ATV titles have featured on platforms from PC to PSP. The games cover both motorbike racing and all-terrain vehicles such as dune buggies, along with planes and helicopters. Baker clearly has a love for riding, both in and out of the gaming world, noting that “these games captured my love of motorcycling and the feeling of freedom it gives.” As well as playing to win there is also the fun of crashing and burning. “I really like how failing is fun in these games, and that is something we have tried to capture with Stunt Star.”
What is Stunt Star?
Phase Three Interactive’s Stunt Star is designed purely for iOS, an action puzzler that allows gamers to swipe the screen to create the perfect ramps and perform the ultimate stunts. “Stunt Star is an addictive Hollywood themed stunt/puzzle game” Baker says, “You play the role of a stuntman as he pulls off stunts for his hard to impress director on three different movies.” If 16 vehicles isn’t enough for you, there is always the option to upgrade. Baker confirms that there are “15 vehicle add ons to help you pull off better stunts and to reach the elusive Star pickup. There’s lots of explosions and humour to keep you trying one more time until you nail it and unlock the next level.” Stunt Star is due for release on Thursday 4th October.
Image Credits: MobyGames (Doom)