Q1: What HOME goodies are you working on at the moment and what can we look forward to next from Lockwood?
With Updates coming thick and fast from the Lockwood team it can be a little hard to say precisely what’s coming up next.
Between the time of writing and publishing a sneak peek can very easily become old news.
When it comes to the item store we’ve had a lot of fun with the Cauldron of the Sunless Kingdom. The Halloween theme and active item mini game went down really well with Home users. We followed this up with the Gift Machine just before Christmas and we saw a massive response from Home users around the world, with the response to the Cauldron we expected a warm reception for the Gift Machine but the actual response was unprecedented.
With this sort of reaction we are definitely looking at more active items and seasonally themed items hitting the Lockwood Store.
The other big question we do get asked is about the Lockwood Back Catalogue. One of the things we are looking at doing is opening that up over time. Our ambition is that we should be releasing the same content across Home so no matter where you are the same selection of great content should be at your fingertips. This is something we are generally managing with our new content but we are looking to level the playing field a bit more.
Q2: We noticed you are currently recruiting beta testers, any details into what will be tested?
We know there is a buzz about Sodium Two since Salt Shooter hit Home at the end of 2009. With Jack Buser’s announcements and interviews over the Playstation ® Home anniversary there’s no denying that if you’ve signed up to the Beta, SodiumTwo may well be one of the things you get picked to test.
That said Lockwood is far from being a one trick pony, so if you’re not picked for SodiumTwo there is plenty more to come. It’s all under wraps for the moment but remember if you’ve not signed up you can’t get picked.
Q3: Do they have any plans to bring us any video or music content?
With the reactions to the Telepad and Cauldron of the Sunless Kingdom Videos we can say this is something we’re definitely considering doing more of.
It’s one thing to see a couple of screenshots or the odd render here and there. But with environments like Home, a great game or an active item you’ve got something dynamic and a video really helps bring them to life and give you a far better taste of what you can expect.
Q4: Will you be releasing Sodium two before the end of this year, and how different will it be to Sodium one?
Yes, SodiumTwo is real, and should be with all our Home fans in the Spring.
As for how it will compare with SodiumOne, as some of you may have seen from the recent screenshots SodiumTwo will be a futuristic racer. The background for Sodium is built around different Shifts and next level extreme sports in parallel worlds, so the decision was made to go with a new genre rather than just sequel to Salt Shooter.
SodiumOne set us a really high bench mark but we definitely want to push things even further. While SodiumTwo will mean a change in genre, the distressed futuristic look, addictive arcade style game play, high quality visuals and audio that Lockwood have a reputation for will be there in spades.
We’re also bringing some other features to the party but we don’t want to spoil all the surprise.
Q5: With new content coming out weekly, how different will your content appeal to the community from other publishers?
Tough one, but honestly while we obviously monitor and research what’s happening in Home, for Lockwood it’s not about competing or trying to “one-up” other publishers, but very much about playing our own game.
While Lockwood is our publishing brand, with a great reputation for games and virtual items, we also have other strings to our bow. With Cornerstone, our work for hire team, we’re also out there doing work for other publishers in and around Home. Outso were behind Dragon’s Green, the Assassin’s Creed 2 spaces, mini-game and character costumes, Capcom’s Lost World 2 and Dead Rising 2 items, the inFamous Graffiti wall, Uncharted 2 Spaces, and loads of other features, spaces and items that we’re not allowed to mention. From the point of view of a small developer based in the East Midlands working with industry giants like Capcom and Ubisoft is a really special experience. It’s worth remembering that there’s always a chance that something you see may have a little Outso twist in it.
When it comes to what sets us apart from the opposition, at Lockwood we’ve always strived to be at the cutting edge of Home. Whenever we get involved with new technology we always like to see just how far it can go and the number of Home firsts we can boast speaks for itself.
But at heart Lockwood is a family, and anything we produce has that personal touch to it. We try to make sure that anything we produce is:
- Of the best possible quality
And most importantly you should genuinely be able to feel the passion that went into making it.
Q6: Do you have anything you would like to say to the community to look forward too?
Does 2011 promise to be an exciting year? HELL YES.
In 2009 Home users voted us the Best Home Developer for North America, in 2010 we were privileged enough to be voted Best Home Developer for North America and Europe (In fact we were honoured with 11 awards in all). In 2011 we have every intention of retaining those titles as voted on by the Home users.
Whether it’s the latest weekly update from the Lockwood Retail team or the behemoths being worked on by the guys behind the latest Sodium Updates or the work that’s going on behind the tarpaulin, razor wire, laser security grid and the “men at work” signs, there’s plenty to look forward to.
Q7: Really i want the truth here Where do you guys get the inspiration for home, I mean some items you guys have developed have just WOW’d me as I never seen or even thought of them coming.
We’re really lucky to have some of the best programmers, designers and artists in the business. Here in the UK the East Midlands has a rich history in games and we’d like to think we’ve had the pick of the bunch.
For the team behind the massive range in the Lockwood Catalogue, inspiration can come from any number of sources. We are always researching, be it online, looking to the highstreet, or what develops from one of the regular brainstorming sessions in the office.
Sometimes something may have a very obvious root, as we work within a particular genre. At other times it can be a real Eureka moment of pure inspiration. You learn not to question it, or argue, but to grasp the vision and try and make sure the result is something fun.
But as much as the creative process is about us it’s also about you and all the other Home users. It’s your thanks and suggestions that helps inspire us and make all the hours, weeks and months of work worth it. The programmers, coders and artists can create something but it’s you guys that bring it to life.
Thomas Edison said that genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. So as much as we do get the lightning strike moments, everything you see is supported by hard work, research and the skilled team to take a vision and bring it to life.
Q8: Now I read an article saying that sodium two was due for release in the 4th quarter of this year so this is more of a PR move but could we expect a discount on the sodium game arena for the release of sodium 2 and all its awesomeness?
You shouldn’t always believe what you read in the press . As any producer will tell you development schedules can be incredibly fluid things.
At the moment the target is to get SodiumTwo out in Quarter 2 of 2011, but as much as we want to see and hear what people think always bear in mind:
i) SodiumTwo won’t be out until it’s ready
ii) When it lands we’ll definitely be looking to mark the occasion
But while the screens remain up and the team work into the wee small hours to get everything ready, we do intent to keep the community in the loop so do please keep a watch on our website, facebook page and twitter feed for updates.
When it comes to discounts we always want to make sure that any Lockwood or Sodium fans get plenty of bang for their buck as Home users have seen from the 111 111 111 Scorpion Stomp, 1 Millionth User Celebrations and the Sodium First Birthday.
We can’t comment in detail about what the future promises for Outso and Lockwood fans. What we will say is that our commitment to originality and innovation in Home means that nothing we do will stand still. We’re driving forward and hope you enjoy the ride.
Q9: Also with regards to this fabricator facility can you comment on this at all ?
Ahhhh one of the most Frequently Asked Questions sent through to everyone’s favourite Information AI.
For now the details of the Fabricator Facility are a closely guarded secret. Movies tell me never to mess with an angry AI so we’re afraid that VICKIE holds all the secrets behind that silo door and for now she’s not talking.