Media Molecule's matriarch gets the rapid-fire question treatment
[Develop’s archive of FAQ interviewees can be found here]
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Siobhan Reddy, and I am the studio director at Media Molecule. My role is split between studio direction and games production. How we make our games is very linked to the types of games we make. I try to make sure that we have a shared direction between where the studio is going and the games we are making – then I do whatever is required to help us achieve this. So, another way of explaining it is Madame Cat Herder.
What are you working on right now?
We have just finished up on the LittleBigPlanet2 Move pack, which is very cool. As you may know we have announced that we have started experimenting and that LBP won’t be our sole focus anymore.
This is exciting, but brings challenges and so a lot of what I am doing right now is trying to help manage this. We will still continue to run the LBP services that look after people’s content, and also manage the community. We love LBP and it’s always going to be a part of us, and we will always be involved. We can’t help ourselves (apologies in advance to [LBP Vita developers] Double 11 and Tarsier).
What was the first video game or product that you ever worked on in the industry?
I worked on Discworld Noir for Luci Black. I thank her regularly for hiring me, as we still work together.
What was the first video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
I think it may have been Donkey Kong 2 on the Game & Watch. We grew up in South Africa and Australia so have to say video games weren’t as much as part of my early years as the swimming pool
I recall playing Donkey Kong with my brother and little sister in the back of the car on the then long and hot drive to Canberra. It must have been amazing as we fought like cat and dog to have our turn.
What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
This question is unfair. Like any form of art and entertainment there are games that suit moods and so I am not going to give you one.
I am a huge Resident Evil fan; especially the early games. They had a great combination of puzzles, discovery, zombies and combat. Then it’s very difficult to not mention things like Monkey Island, which made me laugh my guts out, and then Ico, which made me cry.
What do you enjoy about the video games industry today?
So many things, starting with the brilliant people but extending to the fact that we have the opportunity to shape how people interact with technology in entertaining, social, creative and educational ways.
What we can do is only bounded by our imaginations. It’s an industry that gets better with age and diversity.
What disappoints you about the video games industry today?
This is an industry that I love, and so one of the first things is that I believe that we have to be good to each other in the industry.
There is so much to celebrate and it’s easy for us to not see the amazing advances that have been made even in the last 10 years.
I am disappointed that I am very bad at moving and shooting. I’d love to see new mechanics and genres. I feel like we must still be at the tip of the iceburg in terms of the genres that are possible for console games experiences.
I also think that for games companies it’s just as risky to try something new as it is to go head to head in competitive genres. I’d encourage us all to try and be brave in finding these new genres and gameplay mechanics.
Also, the ‘are games an art form’ debate; of course they are.
Finally, I want to work with more women. I have had the pleasure of working for and with amazing women in the games industry, and as we grow in numbers the games get better. There are plenty of jobs going right now. Come on girls.
What hobbies or interests do you have that are unrelated to video games?
Vintage and retro design, hat making, and old books with pretty pictures.