Friday, April 15, 2011

FPS Friday - FEATURE Interview! Greg Hastings Paintball 2 - Part I

Coffee Beans:
     After I finished playing Greg Hastings Paintball 2's Career mode a few weeks back, I contacted the developer of the game, Super X Studios.  I was really impressed by the amount of content in the game, and you can watch my "Video Preview and Impressions" of the game HERE!

     Not only did the developer respond to my email, but Greg Hastings himself, responded!  I ended up sending over some questions to Super X Studios about the game, and to Greg Hastings as well.  Being that there were multiple questions/answers, I'm splitting the interviews up over a few weeks, that way they don't get lost after just one post.
     So, if have a question about Greg Hastings Paintball 2, and it's not answered in this portion, definitely leave a comment and I can let you know if it'll perhaps be posted in the next few weeks.

     Part I of the interview is below, and this portion is with Super X Studios' James Thrush (JT).  So, without further delay, let's get started!

Interview Q&A:
CoffeeWithGames:  First, thanks for taking the time for the interview.  Can you tell the readers a little about what you do at Super X Studios, and how you were involved in developing Greg Hastings Paintball 2?

James Thrush:  I'm James Thrush, founder and President of Super X Studios.  I've known Greg for six years now - I got the chance to help out on the original Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball games for the Xbox and PS2, and fell in love with the franchise.  When it was time to make the sequel, and the previous developers bowed out, Greg came to me and it was an easy sell to get us on board!

CWG:  What was it like working with Greg Hastings during the development of the game?  Was there anything that he particularly wanted in the game, that was a challenge getting into the game?

JT:  Greg wanted everything in the game!!!  Seriously, he's so passionate about giving his audience exactly what they want, and more.  We made a good team, because Greg would push for depth and authenticity, while I came from the other side - gamer-centric and user-friendly.  I'm happy with the intersection we found on all those things.  We really tried to stay true to the feel of paintball, the realism of the equipment, the locations, and the play modes.  But we also wanted the game to appeal to gamers, and to use familiar gameplay and UI mechanisms.

CWG:  Did the development team take any trips out to paintball fields to play matches, or just record footage of any paintball matches, during the development of GHP2?

JT:  Absolutely, bunches.  We went to one of the largest speedball tournaments (Hunington Beach) as well as giant woodsball games (which we actually participated in!).  We also had a couple of team outings to local fields to make sure everyone on the team was intimately familiar with the sport.  Greg said many times, "No one is touching this game that hasn't played paintball at least once."  He even took the entire staff at our publisher Majesco out to play a day of paintball!

CWG:  The Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Greg Hastings Paintball 2 released in September 2010.  When did development initially begin on the game, and was it originally planned for all three consoles?

JT:  Development started in May 2008, however full production didn't start until we got Majesco on board as publisher in mid 2009.  We originally focused on the Wii, Greg was very pumped about the possibilities of that platform for the game (and I think he was right).  I insisted we include Xbox360 so that fans of the previous game on Xbox wouldn't feel left out, and we eventually went for broke and pulled in the PlayStation 3 as well.

CWG:  I played and completed GHP2's Career mode on the Wii, and I was impressed with the number of tournaments/fields/players/gear in the game.  Was it a challenge to fit all of the content in the game on the Wii?

JT:  Not as much as you'd think.  Disc space isn't an issue, since the Wii uses DVDs just like the Xbox360.  Memory wise, there were some challenges on the Wii, but considering you don't have things like normal maps, specular maps, or as high-resolution geometry (since it's only standard-definition TV), it tends to even out.
     The major disappoint content-wise on the Wii was that Nintendo insisted on having us pull out 3/4 of the bonus videos because they felt they constituted "advertising".  They even made us pull one of Clare Benavides encouraging female paintball players, and one of Kerry Rosenberry mentioning to support local paintball fields, because they didn't feel they were relevant to the game.  That was ridiculous.

Filtered Thoughts:
     So, that's Part I of the interview with Super X Studios' President, James Thrush.  I think it's pretty awesome that Greg insisted on the developers playing paintball, before making the game; and that the development studio went to several events, and played at their local paintball fields as well, to make sure they had a good understanding of the sport, for the game.

     Personally, I think it's crazy, or as James said "ridiculous", that Nintendo insisted on Super X Studios pull out bonus videos, featuring professional paintball players talking about paintball...from a PAINTBALL GAME!
     I really don't understand Nintendo sometimes(Wii Speak, friend codes, etc.), as it seems their decisions don't make any sense sometimes.  When you have a developer that takes time getting interviews and videos together as bonus materials for a game, which are unlocked as you play the game, I don't see what's wrong with it.

     Do any of you think it was odd, or "ridiculous", for Nintendo to insist that Super X Studios remove the bonus videos from the game as James said in the interview?
     Also, if any of you own Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii, my friend code for the game is 3696-5848-4525.  Feel free to add me to your list, and contact me if you're ever hopping online in the game!

If anybody is interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii or Xbox 360, you can see prices on linked below...the PS3 version will be releasing soon!


  1. Awesome article - I think that's very cool that they're willing to talk to you and let you interview them like this. And yes, I do agree that it's ridiculous. If a person doesn't want to watch that content, you're not making them - so why not provide it for those who might be interested? I for one generally enjoy that kind of extra content, and consider it something that adds just a bit more value to the overall package.

  2. @Chalgyr:
    Yea, doesn't make sense to me...kind of baffling really. I mean, if it fits on the disc, and it isn't insulting Nintendo in any way...why not?

    Thanks for the comment, and be looking for Part II very soon!

  3. Without seeing the videos it does seem odd that N requested them to be pulled. Perhaps they thought it was more "Greg Hastings" adverts vs general paintball info, but that in of itself is silly as it's Greg's game.

    As a contrasting example Tiger Woods 10 for Wii includes some interviews and commentary by Tiger. (I can't remember how many at this point) The videos I remember were of him talking about a particular shot during a tournament, what happened, his thoughts, etc.. Then I believe you could go to that scenario and play it yourself. Pretty cool stuff, but all-in-all it's still advertisement even if he's not blatantly saying "well, I used my Nike 56 degree wedge that has a custom heel grind and is 1 degree upright, you should buy one too.".

    It's advertising for him, Nike [implied], the game of golf, the tournament he's talking about and the golf course it was played on. :)

    I imagine TW12 'The Masters' will include even more content and cool features just because it's Augusta.

    Back to paintball, that's really cool that the developer and Greg took the time to respond.

  4. @Robert:
    "They even made us pull one of Clare Benavides encouraging female paintball players, and one of Kerry Rosenberry mentioning to support local paintball fields..."

    For a company that has a message about taking breaks from game-play, it doesn't make sense to me to remove videos that are trying to encourage gamers to be active in something...ironic really.

    Thanks for the comment! Also, thanks for sharing the info on Tiger Woods 10, as maybe that can be a heads-up to developers in the future of what Nintendo is looking for?

  5. I understand Nintendo's decision and as Robert describes the Tiger Woods video, it is clearly informative in how to approach a shot, the advertising is not the focus. But it is still sad they were left out as they would definitely appeal to fans of paintball.

  6. Nintendo has such a weird "nanny" thing that they do.

    They've gotten better, but on the NES, there was mild profanity, mild blood, and even nudity (Taboo: The Sixth Sense, of all games). They got super weird with the Super NES (see the first Mortal Kombat), and while they've mellowed over the years (and done some surprising things like allowing BMX XXX to be released), they still get much weirder about content than any of the other consoles.

  7. @Jonath:
    Your comment snuck by me!
    I just think it's odd that Nintendo would even waste their time on it...and not let the ESRB worry with video content.
    The game is about paintball, and having people talking about paintball and encouraging gamers to get active in the sport, I would think would be encouraged.

    @The Dread Pirate Guy:
    It just seems really, really, really odd, to have videos removed...why not concentrate on game-play as I kind of mentioned above.

    How is a video going to improve/not improve game-play? It just seems really stupid in this situation...I mean there are Wii games released with BROKEN features, and bugs that can't be easily fixed(looking at Metroid: Other M), so why worry with bonus materials in games?

    Thank you both for the comments/feedback!


Keep the comments clean. Rated "E" for Everyone. :)


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