The Crystal Habit Podcast: Episode 21

05 Luglio 2013
Meagan Marie – Community Manager
Team di Crystal Dynamics – Vari Componenti

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[Musical interlude]

Segment 1: E3 recap

MEAGAN MARIE: Thanks for tuning in, everybody. This is episode 21 of the Crystal Habit podcast, and I am your host, Meagan Marie. We actually are going to do a little bit of a recap podcast this month, as we just came off the return from E3 2013. It was an awesome show, especially because of two huge announcements for Square Enix: the reveal of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. As a massive Kingdom Hearts fan and Final Fantasy fan, I admit that I was squee-ing in the back of the booth as those announcements went live.

While Crystal Dynamics wasn’t there showing off anything on the floor, Square Enix was there in full force and had a ton of awesome games to check out. I also had the extreme honor of hosting a new broadcast program called Square Enix Presents at the show. I think it was one of the coolest parts of the show. It was our first ever live broadcast program, and it had tons of awesome content, including new trailers, demos, live interviews, behind the scenes content, making-ofs, and giveaways.

So what I’d actually like to do for this episode of the podcast is run you through some of the cool offerings that we had on the show floor and let you know where you can find out more about games from our sister studios and so on. As well as let you guys listen in on an exciting contribution that Crystal Dynamics made, called Crystal Dynamics Uncut.

I think that we should start off our virtual booth tour on a cheery note with Murdered. Murdered: Soul Suspect is actually a brand new IP developed in tandem by Square Enix and Airtight Games. It falls under the premise that the hardest case to solve is your own murder. It stars detective Ronan O’Connor, who gets caught up in a violent burglary and meets an untimely end. He ends up in this world called Dusk, a limbo world. In order to find his way out and pass beyond the beyond, I suppose, he has to find out the truth about his killer and bring him to justice.

During E3, we did a behind-the-scenes tour of the Murdered: Soul Suspect theater. I also did a gameplay walkthrough live, so make sure to turn in to Square Enix Presents later this week to see those videos uploaded. Murdered: Soul Suspect is set to release on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in early 2014.

Deus Ex was also at the show representing in full force. First up, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut. The Director’s Cut was originally announced for just the Wii U, and it has some really cool functionality that takes advantage of the unique controller. It also has visual improvements overall, boss fights, and reinforced combat mechanics. It’s considered the ultimate Human Revolution experience. We did announce, however, at E3, that Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut is no longer just exclusive to the Wii U. While you’ll get that cool controller content and tailored content for the Wii U if you decide to pick it up for that platform, it’ll also release for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Mac later this year.

The second Deus Ex offering at E3 was actually Deus Ex: The Fall. The Fall is a stand-alone title for the iPad that takes place in the same world as Human Revolution. I actually had the pleasure of interviewing two people attached to the project at E3: James Wright, who’s the producer at Square Enix Europe on the title, and Jean-Francois Dugas, also known as J. F., who’s the executive game director on The Fall at Eidos Montreal. If you want to learn more about The Fall and see it running on the iPad, it looks fantastic, and I did have a chance to play it. It looks extremely intuitive and fun. Make sure to check out so that you can see the interview and see the game in action.

Another tablet title that was actually announced at the show is Bloodmasque. Bloodmasque is an action-RPG set in 19th-century Paris where vampires rule the night. Players actually get to be the vampire hunters in order put a stop to all of the vampires’ evil schemes and save the citizens of Paris. I had a chance to interview producer Ryutaro Ichimura and assistant producer Kensei Fujinaga about the title. The game has one really cool feature that I especially enjoyed, which actually allows you to put yourself into the game. Through taking a series of three photos – a neutral face, a happy face, and an angry face – you can put your face onto the primary character and watch them react to the game. Bloodmasque will release for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch this summer.

Next up is Thief, which was a huge point of pride for Square Enix at the show. Thief actually had its own giant theater, with representatives from Eidos Montreal playing the games for press and attendees alike. As those of you aware of the franchise know, Thief is a first-person stealth action-adventure title. It brings back the classic Thief experience, which is the fantasy of being the master thief. If you haven’t played a Thief title before, this is actually a really good place to start. In the demo that we had on the show floor, the population of the city are revolting against the baron’s iron-fisted regime and the city is burning. Garrett takes this opportunity to infiltrate Northcrest Manor, the baron’s family home, in order to steal a precious gem that he’s learned about called the Heart of the Lion. Thief is currently in development for Windows PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with a release window next year.

This is a fun one. I also had an opportunity to check out Saints Row IV. Developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver, Square Enix is actually a distribution partner on the title. The Saints are back in the limelight again, and this time they’ve rode their wave of popularity right to the White House. The leader of the Saints is actually sitting pretty in the Oval Office now. Despite eliminating the deficit and ending world hunger, they haven’t really faced a challenge like the one just over the horizon, which is the arrival of the Zin Empire. The Zinyak, the leader of the Zin, is probably going to regret his decision to abduct the leaders of the United States, considering they’re the most dangerous men and women on the planet. Saints Row IV will be available August 20 of this year.

Also on the show floor was Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, which is considered the ultimate Kingdom Hearts experience. Remastered in HD, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is a compilation of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and the cinematic scenes from 358/2 Days. It’s going to hit retail on September 10 for the PlayStation 3. For those of you in North America, you should definitely check out some of the pre-order bonuses, because you can get an exclusive artbook with some cool sketches that haven’t been seen before.

A huge, huge point of pride in the Square Enix Presents programming was having the opportunity to interview Tetsuya Nomura himself about Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX, as well as Kingdom Hearts III. That interview will be live up on a little bit later this week.

If you’re itching for even more nostalgia, Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is a great game to check out, especially if you missed the original versions. Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster brings together two Final Fantasy favorites with beautifully upgraded graphics. The game is based on the International versions, which were previously only released in Japan and Europe, so you’re going to get some content that you’ve never seen before, even if you did play the versions in North America. Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is going to release for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita later this year.

I actually had the chance to talk to Motomu Toriyama, the director of X | X-2 HD Remaster, as well as Yoshinori Kitase, the producer on Lightning Returns, about X | X-2 HD Remaster. Make sure to tune into Square Enix Presents on the YouTube channel if you want to check that out. There’s actually a cool little exclusive tidbit where we got to see Lightning from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in Yuna’s garb from Final Fantasy X.

We had a lot of eager fans come and check out Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on the show floor. It’s actually the conclusion of Lightning’s story, where you have 13 days to save the world. Featuring new weapons, player customization, and new battle abilities, it’s a race against time to understand your ultimate destiny. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 11, 2014.

We had a couple of awesome opportunities to discuss Lightning Returns during Square Enix Presents, including the aforementioned interview with Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama. A fun addition to the programming, though, was an interview with Ali Hillis, who’s Lightning’s voice actress. I had the opportunity to ask her a couple of questions and even have her read some of Lightning’s most famous lines live. Make sure to check out that program at Square Enix Presents also.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was definitely a showstopper at the booth. Those who stopped by had a chance to check out our new demo. The game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up with a focus on refining systems, gameplay, and the overall player experience. A really fun addition was this battle arena, where players had the chance to team up and try to beat Ifrit in a pick-up group. If they did, in less than 10 minutes, they got this really cool free polo. Square Enix Presents had a ton of programming about Final Fantasy XIV, including the Final Fantasy XIV producer letter live. It’s a really popular piece of content, and we had it actually in both Japanese and then also in English at a later time. Our resident A Realm Reborn experts also did a Realm Reborn battle event recap and community update. So again, I know I’ve been repeating myself a lot, but make sure to visit if you want to see those programs.

As you can see, we had a ton of awesome games on the show floor, and an equally exciting set of announcements. Once more for good measure, you can check out all of the programming from Square Enix Presents at

Segment 2: Crystal Dynamics Uncut

MEAGAN MARIE: Now I’m actually going to share with you the piece of content that we created for the programming, which is called Crystal Dynamics Uncut. It’s true that original ideas and stellar tools make for great games, but we all feel that at the heart of development are talented and passionate people. We wanted to showcase this in a feature called Crystal Uncut, which gave the team the opportunity to just sit down in front of a web camera and answer some really candid questions about developing the game. Highs and lows and really whatever they wanted to share. In this feature, you’ll be hearing from Darrell Gallagher, head of studio; Daniel Bisson, game director; Brenoch Adams, the assistant art director; Brian Horton, senior art director; John Stafford, senior narrative designer; Kam Zambel, producer; Jason Lacroix, the lead rendering engineer; Remi Lacoste, the lead camera designer; Daniel Neuburger, the game director; Noah Hughes, the creative director; Jack Grillo, the senior sound designer; Rachel Babcock, the studio administrator; and myself. I think you’ll be able to identify most of the voices based on past interviews.

I actually have a favor to ask of you. If you like what you hear and would appreciate this becoming a regular feature throughout future development at Crystal Dynamics, please let us know. You can tweet @crystaldynamics, you can respond to the blog comments, you can send an email Just let us know what you think, and if you’d like to have more of this candid connection with the teams at Crystal in the future. Enjoy!

[musical interlude]

BRIAN HORTON: I wanted to talk a little bit about what it was like to join Crystal Dynamics for the first time. I got out of development. I literally left development for a while and was on the publishing side, but I always had this desire to work on a great game. It had been my goal. When Darrell Gallagher called me. We had had a relationship. We’d been talking over the years about the possibility of working together. The timing worked out perfectly. I moved my family up to the bay area and we started working on Tomb Raider. It was super exciting, because for me, I’m a huge fan. I’ve been a fan of Tomb Raider since the PlayStation one era. The idea of re-imagining it was both scary and exciting. I felt like Lara Croft was at a place where she deserved to see a new chapter in her story. To have the opportunity to work with a really talented group of people that really knew this franchise, coming at it from a fan’s perspective, it was quite an honor.

JACK GRILLO: So what made me want to join the Tomb Raider team? I was working on Los Angeles at the time when I got the opportunity to move up to Crystal to work on Tomb Raider. It really excited me to work. It really excited me to think about working on one of the best-known franchises out there. Again, I was particularly excited to see how I could bring my sound design aesthetic to the world that was being built.

DANIEL BISSON: What made me join the Tomb Raider project? One thing that was very important for me is working on something that I really care about. What made me join that. I was working for a previous company on other big projects, but for me, Tomb Raider was something that was very personal. It was something that I had this special relationship with. I started as a fan. I knew that, when I was a young adult and it came out on the PlayStation. I first played it on PlayStation, unlike other people who were on the PC and things like that. For me, it was a PlayStation thing. It was my favorite game. Some of my friends actually wanted to. We were sharing the PlayStation. Some of them were playing other types of games, but for me, it was Tomb Raider. That’s one thing that was very important for me – being part of that great franchise. Also, the team. I knew that the team. I knew people that were working on the team, and I knew that they were very strong, very solid. I knew that this new game would be great. That’s why I wanted to be part of that, to represent how I could bring what I knew to the franchise. I’m very proud of what we accomplished, and I’m very happy that I’ve been part of the franchise and the team.

JASON LACROIX: I guess I’d say that my greatest fear, when I joined the Tomb Raider team, was probably that. I was afraid to really screw up one of gaming’s great franchises. A lot of responsibility was sort of placed into my hands and other people’s hands with this. Essentially a gaming icon. We were really re-creating who Lara was and what she looked like, which mattered a lot more to me, because as a rendering engineer I’m more responsible for the look and feel of things. There was a great fear there, that people wouldn’t like what we did. It’s a fear that gradually melted away as we got further and further in with development, but when I first joined the company, it was something that I had to think about. Can I do this? Am I really up to the task of tackling such a huge gaming icon? Can I really help and contribute in the re-invigoration of a franchise?

DANIEL NEUBURGER: My greatest fear working on the new Tomb Raider really was re-imagining something that was so near and dear to my heart. The fear really being. Being able to recapture the spirit of what Tomb Raider is to myself and the fans, but also improving in areas where we needed to improve to keep the content relevant.

DANIEL BISSON: What was my greatest fear working on Tomb Raider? That’s a good one. I represent. Basically, when I came in as a game director, I represented a little bit of the new vision of the game. While people here. A lot of people were working on Tomb Raider for a while. For example, Noah represented what Tomb Raider was. The new versus the old. I think that, for me, was the greatest fear… At the beginning I was not seeing that. I was like, “I’m going to create all these new things. I want to make this game about Tomb Raider, but completely new.” And then we had all the negotiation and things, talking about the fans, and I realized that I should not be tampering with this in a way that would completely change it. So the greatest fear for me was adding new features and new ways of approaching the franchise that would transform it to the point where it doesn’t feel like Tomb Raider. That was my biggest fear. How can I touch something that almost has a holy stature? I could touch it and people would be like, “This isn’t Tomb Raider!” I think I would say that’s the greatest fear for me.

MEAGAN MARIE: My biggest fear, working on Tomb Raider, was that I would somehow personally disappoint the fans, or that the game wouldn’t be what they expected, or what they wanted, or not Tomb Raider-ey enough. I believed in the vision of Tomb Raider, you know, from the time that I saw it at Game Informer. If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t have come over to Crystal Dynamics. I wouldn’t have uprooted my life. I did believe in that vision wholeheartedly. But there was always this fear that maybe you were too close to something. Maybe the fact that you saw the long hours that everybody was working and that you saw all that effort and the heart and soul and passion poured into something. Maybe it colored your vision a little bit. Maybe it left you a little bit biased. Maybe you were too close to it. So there were nerves, certainly, right to the last minute, right until those reviews came out, right until the gamers got their hands. I would sit there on the forums and read people’s reactions and I was so relieved and so proud to have people say and express that they were so happy and impressed with the game, and that it felt like a Tomb Raider experience, and that we did the franchise right. So it was an amazing feeling. It was wonderful to have those fears finally alleviated.

BRIAN HORTON: One of the things we do, specifically for the art team, we have a weekly painting class. We bring models in. Some people draw. Most people paint. It was one of those things that was a request of a couple of the artists. They were big fans of traditional art. So it was a great thing, that the company decided to sponsor us. They pay for the models. All we have to do is show up. The model comes in and we have a three-hour painting session. At some point, I’d like to share some of the work that the team’s doing when they feel up to it, but I’m really proud of the work. It keeps our skills sharp. A lot of us come from a traditional background. It was one of those things that we wanted to keep going in the studio, to make sure that not only are we good digital artists, but we keep our painting skills going, our drawing skills going.

JOHN STAFFORD: One of the day-to-day activities for me that was entertaining was taking pictures of the team. I’m a photographer as well as a writer and a narrative designer. For a large chunk of the development, I brought my camera in and just kind of stalked the team and quietly took pictures as they were doing their work. It was a nice way to remember, for my own sake, all the hard work everyone put in. It’s a great way to capture a moment in time. That’s one of the things I like about the studio. Everybody is an expert and does their own thing separately, but when you look at it all together, it really draws a picture of a team working together and doing something special.

KAM ZAMBEL: Some of the fun things that we did around the office to kind of keep morale up were. We had our game director, Dan Bison, who was working with me closely and the combat team developing all our combat for the game. We would do plenty of photoshops of Dan Bison. You would see him probably plastered in. Behind desks, chairs, to our mobile carts to play the game, to meeting rooms.. Still, now, walk around after the shipping of Tomb Raider and you’ll see Dan photoshopped in some funny outfit or some crazy hair. It just kind of puts a smile on your face. It brings back great memories of actually developing the game.

REMI LACOSTE: There are some fun day-to-day activities we’d do in the office. We have a bottle of wine from a winery called Rochambeau. What we’d do is, we’d use the bottle as a trophy. In order to win that bottle, we need to play rock-paper-scissors. The winner each day got to keep the bottle at his desk. [laughs] Keep it until someone else challenged him.

RACHEL BABCOCK: Some of the day-to-day activities that we had here available to our staff during launch, and during any time here at Crystal, were. We have a gym on-site, so through the gym, we’re able to do rock climbing. We’re able to work out. We’re able to go swimming. But also we have a bunch of team sports that allow you to play against other companies within our complex. Here at Crystal we actually have a volleyball team. We have a softball team called Base Raiders. We actually have a dodgeball team called Balls of Duty. Besides having those events and activities available on hand, we also would do weekly barbecues for the staff, where the leadership team and the leads on our dev side would barbecue for the staff and serve them and show their appreciation for all their hard work and dedication.

DARRELL GALLAGHER: I think the single biggest feature that I wish we had kept in was probably the horse, which was cut very, very early. But it was one of those things that I felt could have been really, really cool if we had kept it in. It was very complex to do. Ultimately, we really couldn’t pursue it for this one. But the horse was the one thing I wish we hadn’t cut. Things like the turret, which some of you may have seen in some videos. We had a turret that was cut. I was happy to cut that. But the horse, not so much.

NOAH HUGHES: One of the features that I was saddest to have to cut in Tomb Raider was. Some of the benefits from hunting that we had played with early on, survivalist mechanics. We’d worked hunting into the health system. In the end, we didn’t really get a version that we liked a lot, but it was an idea that we were very compelled by. In the end, it was sad to have to cut it.

JOHN STAFFORD: Originally, the ending of the game was different. It was something I was involved with, and I was really attached to it, but we had focus tests and information from a variety of sources that indicated that it needed to be changed. And so. I’m partly bummed, but I’m also glad that we changed it, because it was the right decision. But I’m curious to see what people would have thought if the original ending of Tomb Raider had made it to the final cut.

BRENOCH ADAMS: There was one feature on Tomb Raider in the early days, the really early days, that I was a part of, and that I thought of to be the most awesome thing that we could have done. Now, it was a different game back then, but let me set it up for you. We had a little bit more of an open world approach. There was a lot more terrain to cover. So we went with a couple of different vehicles, one of which was an old World War II motorcycle. Another one was a horse. Eventually we had a bug where the horse was riding Lara, who was riding the motorcycle, and I thought that that feature would have been strong. It would have been a good Easter egg. But I thought that some of the horse stuff we were doing was really interesting, and I was kind of bummed to see it go. In the long run it was the best choice, but the horse riding Lara riding the motorcycle was phenomenal.

JACK GRILLO: One of the highs for me on Tomb Raider was when we delivered the E3 2012 demo. That demo had a level of detail and quality that was real proof to me that we were on the verge of something special. A real low for me was when we were finishing up the localization process. That was a huge workload, and at that point the work itself isn’t terribly creative. It’s more file management, and that was kind of a creative low for me during the project.

DANIEL NEUBURGER: So my highest high, definitely, making Tomb Raider was the big E3 unveiling of Tomb Raider that we had. It was really awesome to be able to be the person showing the world the great work the team had done up to that point and blowing a few minds. And my lowest low, I think, definitely was having to take time off just as we were entering alpha to deal with some personal issues. It was really hard leaving the team at that time, but they did an amazing job getting the game together, which led to another one of my highs, which was being able to come back with still some time to make some meaningful difference on the final product.

JASON LACROIX: You will get into those pits where you’ll be miserable. You’re unhappy. Everything looks like it’s not working and you think you just want to quit. But you bond with your team members, the people around you. Those are really the people that pull you back out, and together you climb out of the muck and all the bad stuff that is going on. When you get out of it and you turn around and you look back at what you’ve created and you see this phenomenal experience that was crafted, something that most of us have never done anywhere else, you get this incredible sense of accomplishment. It just fills you with pride. It sort of makes all of it worthwhile. There were times when we really, really hit some low points. But then, when you turn around afterwards and look at the final product and what came out of it and people’s reactions to all of the work that we’ve done, it really does make it worthwhile. It really does.

DARRELL GALLAGHER: One of the biggest things that motivated me to give my all through the long nights and weekends and many years of making this game really was the sense that we could actually make a game that made a difference. Not only to the studio and ourselves, but also to the industry as a whole, and hopefully all the Tomb Raider fans around the world too. There was a sense this was going to be bigger than any one game, a sense that it was not going to be just another game. It was going to be a special game. That really motivated me to make sure that we did everything we could possible to pull it off.

KAM ZAMBEL: Gosh, I can tell you. I think the thing that kept us all going was the great personalities that the guys had. They were really devoted and very passionate about what they were doing. They were willing to put in those extra miles. It just got to those nights where it was like. A lot of fun, a lot of goofing around, and a lot of hard work. I guess those kept me going, because I really wanted the guys to succeed, and they did awesome at what they did.

NOAH HUGHES: The thing that really motivated me during the long days and nights of Tomb Raider is the idea of making something special. I think everybody at the studio really thinks Tomb Raider has such potential as a franchise. We really wanted to see the best game that we could possibly make out there on the shelves.

REMI LACOSTE: What really motivated me to work hard and harder was that I knew we had something very special in our hands. I had a dream of pushing the boundaries of how we can tell stories with the camera in video games. Every time I thought about that dream, it kept me alive.

BRENOCH ADAMS: The thing that kept me going through the long nights and weekends on this project, on Tomb Raider over the many years I was on it was being able to work with such a tremendous team of talented people. Despite all the ups and downs that we had and the iterations and all the things that went horribly wrong – which they did, often – when we found the right answer it was really easy to rely on them to provide support back and forth, because we were all interested in making something great. I think when I look back on what got me through all the hard times, it was the people who I worked with and their talent level and our motivation to make something that was great.

DANIEL NEUBURGER: The thing that really motivated me and kept me going through all the long nights and weekends on Tomb Raider really is the thing that keeps me going when I’m making any game, which is thinking of the moment that the player — the person we’re making the game for, after they go and they spend their hard-earned money on the game and put it in for the first time – what their takeaway is going to be. I’ve definitely bought plenty of games in my life where I put in the disc, I’m really excited about the game, it’s all been highly hyped, and. I hate the game. My greatest fear is creating a game where that is how the end player ends up feeling. That’s what keeps me working. That’s what keeps me going. Making it as good as I can possibly make it in the time that I have.

MEAGAN MARIE: My favorite memory of working on Tomb Raider is one that I’m super super super super fortunate to have experienced, and it was never anything I really thought I’d be doing. But I had the extreme luck of being able to tour and show Tomb Raider off to fans at community events around the world. One of the places I demo’d the game was Paris, which in and of itself is amazing. But I had an event, a community event one night, and then the next day the fans came back and we all went to the Louvre together. It just blew my mind, that I was here with other Tomb Raider fans, all united by our love of the game and the franchise, and we were walking through this incredible museum, literally walking through tombs together. We really enjoyed the ancient Egyptian exhibit, obviously, but there was so much to see there. I felt like it was a place that Lara would obviously have been giddy to explore.

JACK GRILLO: My favorite memory from working on Tomb Raider was when I finalized the sounds for the submachinegun. I’d been working on that on and off for the whole time I’d been here. I finalized them back in October. It was one of those moments where I feel like I got the perfect sound for that particular weapon. It had been kind of eluding me for a while, and at this point I’m really pleased with it. It had a lot of really positive response for the sounds to the weapons.

BRENOCH ADAMS: One of my favorite moments on Tomb Raider. Morale was low. Really low. I felt like I had to motivate. The best way to motivate is to provide some type of comedic relief, so Brian Horton, the senior art director on Tomb Raider, was nice enough to provide me with an image of himself, and I found one of Lara, and I created what I would consider to be one of the greatest photoshop mockups I’ve ever done in my career. Unfortunately, I can’t show it here. [clears throat] Not saying it’s not going to be posted on my blog any time soon. I would never say that. I would never say to go to brenoch dot. Never mind. But it was great. It rallied people and I think it motivated the team to realize that even through the more difficult times, we were still able to laugh at one another.

RACHEL BABCOCK: My favorite memory working on Tomb Raider would have to be launch week. It was filled with so many surprises and so much excitement among the studio. We had two weeks of schwag items, so every day we gave away a schwag item to the staff. But ultimately, I would say. It was the midnight opening sale for Tomb Raider. There were probably 30 of us staff members on the dev side that went out to a local GameStop and actually had probably about 50 community members and fans of Tomb Raider there celebrating with us on the launch of Tomb Raider. Just seeing the staff interact with the community and seeing the excitement on the fans’ faces is something that’s completely priceless.

DARRELL GALLAGHER: My favorite memory working on Tomb Raider, I think, has to be the launch party, where we had everybody together, all in the same spot, with alcohol, having a great time, feeling this huge sense of accomplishment and bringing their significant others along to celebrate with us. It was just a great event where we all felt this sense of achievement. We were very proud. I looked out at a sea of smiling faces who were having such a great time to celebrate their success. That really was a highlight for me, to see all of that come together and all of us be in one place celebrating.

JOHN STAFFORD: Someone I’d like to thank is my daughters, because working on Tomb Raider has given me a chance to, hopefully, create a really powerful female protagonist in video games. I want my daughters to play games and I want them to have someone to look up to. I’m thanking them for motivating me and giving me that sort of perspective. I think it’s an important perspective. Girls play games, and they should have some powerful heroes to look up to.

REMI LACOSTE: From the very start, it was made clear by the lead designer and the artistic director that as a lead camera designer, I could fully express myself. I’m very thankful for their support, because I could just push the limits and the boundaries of how we could tell a story with the camera in a video game.

MEAGAN MARIE: Firstly, I want to thank the studio, because it was not easy. It was an easy decision. I knew that this was where I needed to be and this was a project I needed to work on, in leaving Game Informer and moving across the country, but it wasn’t easy to do. Leaving my family was very difficult, because we’re extremely close. But like I said, it was the right decision. So first, thank you to my family for letting me go, for letting me follow my own path and being so incredibly supportive along the way. Thank you to the studio for making me feel welcome, for making me feel at home. And thank you to my boyfriend for always being supportive and taking care of my cats while I was gone for 30 days at a time, making sure they didn’t die. Love you for that.

DANIEL BISSON: Who I would like to thank, inside or outside the studio. I would say that I’d like to thank my wife and my kids, because I was living in Montreal, and we have our families there, and friends. We speak French as our first language. We’re French Canadian. But she was willing to come and sacrifice her own career to support me here. She worked as a speech and language pathologist, and she had to let go of that work to come here supporting me in that journey, which was a very intense and very big journey for us. I’d seriously like to thank her, because she’s a very special person. I love you very much. So, thank you very much, Melanie. I love you.

NOAH HUGHES: The first thing I wanted to say to the Tomb Raider community is, thanks. I think it sounds a little clichéd, but we really do have such an amazing group of fans out there. For me, it’s such an honor to be able to work on Tomb Raider for you guys. I’ve been inspired by your passion and your ideas throughout the process, and so here we are at the end of it. I think it’s important to say thank you for being along for the ride and for all your kind words after we were finished.

[Musical interlude]

MEAGAN MARIE: Thanks for tuning in to episode 21 of the Crystal Habit podcast. Next month we’re actually going to start a series of features where we’re going to take a look at what it takes to get into the game industry. We’re going to start with a high-end overview of different talent at the studio. We’ll then continue on with subsequent features that break down specialties. So what do you need for your art portfolio? What if you want to get into animation? And so on. Hope you enjoyed the podcast. Until next time!

[musical outro]