In an attempt to stave off impending closure, Midway Newcastle spent its last month working on and, more importantly, pitching Necessary Force to potential buyers. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, and the company was closed on July 14. Personally, I’m sad to see Midway go, especially since Necessary Force looked to have a fair amount of potential.
For a brief and emotive glance into Midway Newcastle’s last few weeks, you should make it a point to check Steven Pick’s personal account of the ordeal. Before he was rather unceremoniously laid off, Pick was a GUI artist for Midway and helped put together some of the promotional artwork for Necessary Force, as well as working on the game itself. While a lot of the account is a very personal sketch of what it’s like to be laid off, he also talks a fair bit about Necessary Force:
I spent the time producing graphics and concepts for the cop’s PDA unit, which would be an integral part of the evidence gathering and manipulation. We had a lot of nice ideas for the game – for instance, the morality system affected the weather and time of day too. If you were a bad-ass cop, the days would feel shorter, and it would rain more often. This was also linked to a system where the city would systematically be cleaned up – more desirable pedestrians, graffiti taken off walls and newer, more optimisitc buildings taking the place of the run-down buildings.
Pick’s piece is really interesting on a number of levels: as a gamer, it’s too bad I won’t get to play Necessary Force; as a blogger, it’s interesting to note that northeastern England has just lost “a third” of its development community.
Most importantly, Pick humanizes the development process. Writers and fan alike are quick to excoriate mediocrity (and rightly so!), but we should all take some time to remember that real people with real emotions make these games — reading Steven Pick’s blog would be a good place to start.