I am not breaking my NDA

While talking to the XBLA team all this time, Ross Erickson has been our point of contact. However, he's now left Microsoft to work for Sierra Online! The brief contact we had with him was always helpful and reassuring, so I hope he goes on to do great things.

The chap who has replaced him as our Business Development Manager is really stepping up - we're having a phone meeting with him soon so that we can share more information about the game, the biz and whatnot. I think he just needs to get up to speed on our situation after the hand-over. He may be surprised to hear how far we've come, because I have a strange feeling that he believes we're merely pitching an idea, rather than being neck deep in development. Wow, this'll be our first phone contact, with real voices and everything! It's quite exciting to have someone actively interested in our game, even though they're paid to.

Perhaps it's just the general positive attitude you get when dealing with the XBLA team, but we have a feeling that the small amount of information we've sent about the game has gone down pretty well with this guy. I just read back over the mini-pitch we sent out right after we were told that those RDPs we submitted were being phased out for smaller XBLA developers. Now that I've forgotten ever writing it, I must say that it flows pretty nicely. It's a small miracle, considering what a spazzy writer I can be.

Last week there was this interview with David Edery doing the rounds.

Are there any types of games or particular titles that you think are perhaps under-represented and would like to see come to Live Arcade?

DE: There are definitely specific games that we're looking for, and game types that we're looking for more of. Some examples:

1) Non-combat, cooperative multiplayer games (as I mentioned earlier).
2) More board games.
3) More "experimental" games and models of gameplay, in general.

I don't think we'll be revealing anything crucial by saying that those points all* fit our game. Not to sound arrogant, but I'm not too surprised by this - having past experience in XBLA development, I had a good feeling about what suited the platform, and I was able to fit the game to that criteria. The game hasn't suffered in that process, either. If anything having real boundaries (rather than imaginary artistic ones) can be pretty helpful. Terry Gilliam once said "Our restrictions saved us from mediocrity", referring to how he was forced, due to budget restrains, to hit empty coconut shells together instead of having real horses in Monty Python's Holy Grail. We've also not really had anything other than the 360 in mind, so a lot of game design melds into the console's aesthetic and user experience.

Touch wood and all that, but things really feel like they're picking up (in development too, incidentally)!

*It could only tenuously be considered a "Board Game", but it is pretty much played from the same perspective, and is heavily inspired by a classic one.

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