Blog the first
by Batwick on 01/06/2011
Well hello everybody! This is the first entry in what should be an ongoing blog, shared between myself, Nobby, and others on the Carma team. We’ll try to keep the entries short, as nobody wants to spend hours reading our crap. Not when there’s drinking to be done.
A quick introduction: my name is Patrick Buckland (aka ‘Batwick’). You might recognise me as Vlad from the game. I set Stainless up with Neil Barnden (aka ‘Nobby’) back in 1994, and I’m still here, occasionally managing to direct, all those years later. A bit like one of those turds shaped like a U-boat that you need power-tools to dispatch.
So what is a ‘blog’? When we first started the company and did those first designs for Carma the Internet barely existed – and certainly had little presence amongst real people. (I.e. people that didn’t cite last night’s pizza as their life partner.) Now though, the internet is everywhere, and it is actually compulsory to kill yourself by swallowing your own mouse if you don’t write a blog.
What a stupid word: ‘blog’. It sounds like the sort of noise you’d make if somebody interrupted you in mid vomit by making you swallow your own mouse. (Which admittedly would act like a pretty effective anti-vomit cork.)
But I digress.
Actually, no I don’t as you need a subject in the first place to digress from, which I have clearly failed to establish. Fuck-holes. This isn’t going well so far is it? Look, I’ve never written a blog before, and I’m beginning to see why...
Right. Concentrate man.
Let’s choose a bit of misty-eyed nostalgia for our subject matter: Carma dev history.
When we set Stainless up, the plan was to kick things off with a relatively simple Destruction Derby game (this was before the Reflections title) to establish the company, and then go onto greater things. The Destruction Derby game – codenamed 3DDD, as ‘3D’ was actually still a buzz word back then – was born from an observation of people playing driving games. Most driving games were pretty dull (this was well before Gran Turismo changed that forever). Even the top of the pile like the original Ridge Racer were as boring as an accountant’s pillow talk (well, OK then, to me), so the less patient amongst us (well OK then, me), used to turn our cars around, race around in the other direction and try to hit our opponents head-on in order to alleviate the ennui.
So the plan was simple – turn this into the raison d’être of the game. Make “being naughty and breaking the rules” the actual point of the game.
This made us feel really big and clever (as did using the phrase “raison d’être” above), as if we’d invented a whole new form of video game, although I bet it had been done before. But that wasn’t the point. Our bigness and cleverness was assured.
What then happened is documented in detail elsewhere, but to cut a long story short, about two years later we were well into development of what was by then, “Carmageddon”. By this time, the concept of “being naughty and breaking the rules” had grown wings, climbed up to the roof, flown off, landed on the head of the tabloid soap-box preachers, and shat down the back of their neck.
We were lucky with our choice of publisher, as SCi let us do almost anything we wanted. So our imaginations ran wild, which when it’s myself and Nobby you’re talking about, is a dangerous situation! If it made us laugh, it went in. If it didn’t make us laugh, but it was silly anyway, it still went in. If it made somebody else laugh, then we’d hit them with pool cues until they stopped, and then it went in as well. The whole development was carefully planned and scheduled, which would have been great had we stuck to the plan. In reality though, the feature list was driven by anything from accidental bugs that we liked the look of, to things we dreamt of after too much tequila.
The end result though, was something we remain proud of to this day. Too many video games disappear up their own arses, whilst Carmageddon showed you its arse, farted, sniggered, and ran off to throw something at your mum.
Well, here we are a decade-and-a-half later. We’re fatter, greyer, creaking a bit, definitely no wiser, and drink even more than ever. But we still have the passion to be as stupid as possible at every opportunity. So Carma has come home, and it’s got a big smile on its face. It’s safe here, nesting happily amongst the rivers of livers and infeasible numbers of eyeballs that erupted whenever you burst-open a nice juicy granny.
We hope you are all as excited as we are about the future of our baby. We have not grown sensible with age, as you will see when we post some videos of recent Stainless Christmas parties...
Rest assured our stunts will be ever cunning. Max is back!