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The History of Timeshift

by Nick Haywood on 20 January 2006, 09:08

Tags: TimeShift, Atari (EPA:ATA), Vivendi Universal Interactive (NYSE:VIV), PC, Xbox 360, FPS

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Brrr... chilly in Russia!

Matthew Karch, CEO of Saber Interactive writes about the toils of developing Timeshift, the new shooter from Atari due out soon on PC and Xbox 360

If there is an environment more conducive to game development than St. Petersburg, Russia, in the dead of winter, then I don't know where it is. With temperatures regularly well below freezing, roads and sidewalks slicked over in a sheen of solid ice, and just a couple of hours of sunlight each day, there is nowhere better to be than inside a nice warm, brightly lit room.

Now, don't get me wrong, St. Petersburg is a beautiful place in every sense of the word. Beautiful architecture, beautiful parks and canals, and, of course, beautiful women, but when your spit freezes before it hits the sidewalk, there is no time and even less desire to stand and admire the scenery. Your only thought is to get inside and thaw your feet. And where could it possibly be warmer and brighter than an office packed with overclocked PCs and monitors?

It is in such an environment that the guys and gals of Saber Interactive spend most of their waking hours working on TimeShift, our upcoming time-bending shooter for the Xbox 360 and PC. We are in full crunch mode now. We are polishing the artificial intelligence and animations, integrating full-motion videos, testing our multiplayer and single-player modes, and, of course, fixing the bugs that tend to creep into the code during development. We are fortunate that we have plenty of time to polish the game. As any seasoned developer will tell you, good games become great games in the last few months of development. If we stay the course, we will have a truly great game on our hands.

In this first segment of the TimeShift diaries, I am going to share with you a little bit about the design origins of TimeShift and why we at Saber and Atari are so excited about the game.