Media Darlings

Media Darlings

By Ed Fear

September 16th 2009 at 8:30AM

Develop chats with Media Molecule's Siobhan Reddy

In part two of our CEDEC coverage, Develop talks to Media Molecule’s Siobhan Reddy about her Japanese influences and cleaning up at the Develop Awards…

Hello, Siobhan. You’re talking at CEDEC this year – what brought that about?
I’ve really loved my visits to Japan. Each time I’ve been there I feel like I’ve learnt something new and been incredibly inspired. It felt fitting to go to a conference and see the Japanese industry in action.

Your talk is about the creation of Media Molecule – what things will you be aiming to cover?
I want to cover the things that were important to us when starting Media Molecule and how they influenced the making of LBP.

You’re also nominated for a couple of CEDEC Awards – how does it feel to be recognised by the Japanese games industry?
It’s an incredible honour. Japan is the centre of the universe of gaming for a lot of the Molecules. As a western developer it’s very exciting when the game you are working on appears in a Japanese magazine, let alone being nominated for awards at events like the Tokyo Game Show and CEDEC.
 
Are you going to clear up, like at certain other award shows?
[Laughs] I’m sure our amazing luck must be starting to run out by now! We have been incredibly overwhelmed by the recognition we have had from the industry. When we have encountered hard times, it’s been our community and the support we have had from the press and the industry at large that has helped us through. So, thank you!

Speaking of which, how did the team react to winning so many Develop awards?
If you combine the humbleness of the Brits, the champagne drinking of Aussies and Scots and the whooping of Americans, then you can probably get an idea of what our parties have been like. We are very proud, and very thankful for the support we have been given by the industry. I hope we have inspired some young start-ups along the way.

You’ve actually worked together with Japanese companies before on DLC for LittleBigPlanet – notably the awesome Metal Gear Solid pack and the Square Enix costumes. How have these collaborations been for you?
They have been amazing. In fact, when we were in the US late last year we were introduced to Kojima and he told one of the level designers that he loved the design of the Metal Gear Solid pack. Danny was very proud, so for that moment alone the collaboration was worth it. Also, they have been very fruitful. It’s obvious that our community really love Metal Gear Solid and were hungry for the diversity of content the collaboration allowed. When working with an IP we make sure they add something to the LittleBigPlanet universe, and the Metal Gear Solid collaboration is one of the best examples of this.
 
In what respect is the work divided? Is it all carried out by you guys and approved by them?
We work with great outsourcing teams; Fireproof, Tarsier, Leading Light and Testology. All of these have become an extension of LittleBigPlanet and have helped us deliver the huge amounts of content. We have a team of people here at Media Molecule whose main responsibility is managing the DLC. They work closely with the outsourcing teams, Sony and the companies involved, to make sure the end result is great. Each company’s approval process is different.
 
Are there any other developers or licenses – Japanese or otherwise – that you and the team would like to work on?
Definitely Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli!