Harvey Smith gets blunt about BlackSite

Midway Austin creative director highlights his Area 51 sequel's shortcomings in game conference presentation.

SIDEBAR: Attendees of the Montreal International Game Summit 2007 this week were able to witness an alien autopsy, as Midway Austin creative director Harvey Smith delivered a postmortem dissection of his latest title, BlackSite: Area 51 for the Xbox 360 and PC. (A PlayStation 3 version of the game is set for release next month.) According to a Wired report, Smith was brutally candid about the game, which debuted on store shelves earlier this month and received middling review scores.

"This project was so f***ed up," Smith said. Developers were given little time to polish the game, Smith said, reportedly describing the situation as "completely reprehensible." He also said that having to share the technology under the hood with other teams and other technical issues set the project back on several occasions, and laid some of the blame at his own feet, saying he had been more excited about another project he was working on at the time.

Smith also addressed the game's political satire elements, something he proudly trumpeted in early interviews. He admitted that those parts of the game didn't really take shape until the final year of development, and was disappointed more people didn't latch onto them upon the game's release. Specifically, he referred to a part of the game in which military veterans that the government had turned into monsters attack the player in a veterans' memorial.

"How can you look at all these elements and not think this is super f***ing subversive," Smith reportedly asked.

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