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HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Carbon 6 Gets in the Game with 'Spy Kids 2' Video Game

15 Nov, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

Newly formed video game development company Carbon 6, which is based in Los Angeles, is developing a Game Boy Advance game based on Dimension Film's Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams.

The game is slated to ship at retail in conjunction with the film's August 2002 release. Dimension is funding the development of the game, which Carbon 6 will design and manage. Carbon 6 chose Austin, Texas-based game developer Game Titan to work on the project. The team is working with Spy Kids 2 writer/director Robert Rodriguez with the game, visiting sets and sharing production art.

Dimension is currently looking for a video game publisher to distribute the game. Michael Helfant, senior executive v.p. of Dimension, is overseeing the development of the game for the studio.

Founded by video game veterans American McGee and Dave Taylor, Carbon 6 is taking a new approach with the development of video games. The mission of Carbon 6 is to take original or Hollywood intellectual property and marry it to a development team and a publisher, while designing and managing the game to completion.

“We're very flexible with our business plans, working out different deals with different projects, which allows us to make the best deals and the best games possible with each project,” said McGee, chief creative officer of Carbon 6. “We want publishers and consumers to know that anything that has our company mark on it will be a quality product.”

Working more like a Hollywood producer, writer and director, the development house operates more like a design and management studio. McGee and Taylor will orchestrate the deals, in many cases with the help of Collision Entertainment's Scott Faye, Paul Rosenberg and Rick Jacobs, choose a developer, write the design document and then oversee the game from creation to completion.

“In many ways, we'll serve as an incubator for new game development houses, established houses that are looking for work, or sometimes we'll form our own teams from scratch,” said McGee.

With the success of American McGee's Alice, which Electronic Arts released on PC and Dimension Films has picked up as a feature film with Wes Craven attached as writer/director, McGee's next big project takes a new look at “The Wizard of Oz.” American McGee's Oz will give a pre-history to the classic book by L. Frank Baum, which is a public domain property.

Like Alice, the game will take a darker approach to the “Oz” world and will have McGee's own game style attached. No material from the movies will be used in the game.

“Although Baum answered the questions like where the Scarecrow and Tin Man came from in his books, we take a different approach to the material,” said McGee. “At Carbon 6, ‘Oz' is equally alive as a video game, toy line, comic book and movie. Dimension has a first-look right to the material, and they're currently deciding whether to option it, but we have a number of Hollywood studios interested in this property right now.”

McGee has a writing/directing/producing deal with Dimension and will be involved with the “Alice” movie.

Carbon 6 currently has two PlayStation 2, one GameCube and one possible PC game in its development slate. Once the company is running at full speed, Taylor expects the output to eventually reach about six to eight games per year.

“It's not easy finding funding these days with the current economic climate, so we did it the old-fashioned way,” said Taylor. “We're being funded directly by Miramax for Spy Kids 2. Most studios can't be bothered by games, but they're a very entrepreneurial studio. We hope to bring a new take to movie-based games, rather than just following the plot of the film.”

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