Romero and Killcreek Monkeying around
More details on JR's new company, Monkeystone
Following the collapse of Ion Storm Dallas after four years of budget-burning disasters, John Romero and Tom Hall seem to have decided to go for a back to basics approach to game design. Instead of designing cutting edge PC and next-gen console titles, they have switched their attentions to hand-held systems. In particular, the PocketPC. Their first title is Hyperspace Delivery Boy, which sounds like an attempt to return to the pair's heyday when they working on classic shareware games like Commander Keen at id Software. It should be available by the beginning of November, something of a departure from the four year development cycles of Daikatana and Anachronox at Ion Storm! "Development for the Pocket PC can be done with a small team in a very limited amount of time. This is exactly the environment and feel we were looking for with Monkeystone, and I think it suits John and Tom perfectly", Romero's girlfriend Stevie Case told GameSpy in a recent interview. "This way they get to spend their time actually working on the games rather than managing a team. Trying to balance the needs of a big company and its endless list of employees is a big waste of their skills, in my honest opinion. As things stand, John is doing all of the programming. I haven't seen him so happy since I first met him. Tom is doing design work, art and mapping." At the moment the company has just five employees, including former Ensemble CFO Brian Moon, who is handling the business and management side of things, leaving the Ion Storm escapees free to concentrate on game design. "We will be ramping up a bit and doing some hiring, but it will not be excessive", Stevie revealed. "We are enjoying this small team way too much! Also, we feel that handhelds are the market to be in right now."