Interview: Sony Get In The Game Winner “Grant Midwinter”

I recently got the chance to chat with Get In The Game winner Derrick Grant from Leeds based Grant Midwinter, who were fortunate enough to win a coveted chance with Sony to get a PS3 game published in 2010.  Derrick is the Creative Director at the company, with big hopes for next year, and we hope you’ll get behind his plans too as they gradually unfold over the coming months.  For now, though, the interview!

Tell us a little bit about Grant Midwinter.

Grant Midwinter was founded by me, Derrick Grant. I collaborate with like minded companies and individuals to create platforms for ideas.

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How did you get involved with Get In The Game?

I’ve been meaning to make a game for a long time and my close friend and lead writer at GM had a great idea we really believed in. I must mention Jamie Sefton and Robin Cramp at Games Republic and Screen West Yorkshire respectively who really push for high quality interactions between creative companies in Yorkshire, those guys kept me in the loop.

Can you tell us a little bit about the pitch to Sony?

It was sweaty bum time, but really exciting. The Sony Liverpool building is a maze, so big in fact that we figured that if we camped out in a randomly selected boardroom for long enough we might get offered a job.  Lucky (for Sony) plan ‘A’ worked out and our pitch was warmly received. This being our first pitch for a game so we worked on the basics – making sure we could comfortably and clearly communicate our idea.

Can you tell us a little bit about your game – you’ve mentioned that you hope it becomes a franchise for Sony.

Hmm… I can’t say much at this point but we have started collating an amazing team of people to work with. I’m really excited by our lead artists graphic style and working with our lead writer who is bursting with good ideas.

Will you be involved in the actual development of the game, or just the ideas?

I’ll be involved (as much as possible) with all the stages of the game I can positively contribute to. Personally I believe idea generation is only the start of any creative process. However I think the digital medium, computer games in particular, are unique in the fact that average/unoriginal ideas can become outstanding products purely through with lots of dedication and streamlining at the development stage.

How much control will you have visually?

We’ve got a top class artist on board but as a designer, I’ll always want to tinker. We’re hoping to set a distinct visual tone for our game and as creative director it’s my job to pull it off!

Have you spoken to any of the other winners of the scheme too?

I’ve spoken to nearly all the companies that I’ve been introduced to through the scheme (winners and losers), since the pitch. I think it’s really important that people talk and collaborate as much as possible it’s what Grant Midwinter is all about.

What’s the projected release date area for your game.

We have no release date as yet, we’re just focused on the next stage of development.

We’ll have more from Grant Midwinter into the new year, but for now, thanks to Derrick for his time, and good luck for the future.

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