Goldeneye 007 is fondly remembered as one of the best games on the N64. A game that despite being a licensed title, managed to become a groundbreaking entry in the first-person-shooter genre. In an interview with Nintendolife, Goldeneye developer David Doak shared some brief insight into what it was like working on the game when it originally released in 1997.
Avid Goldeneye fans may recognize developer David Doak from lending his likeness to a key NPC in the game. Speaking to Nintendolife, Doak recalls that the team felt quite anxious about the game before its release. Before the internet became much more sophisticated, they mostly had to rely on print news and reviews to find out just how well the game was received. This time lag meant that they wouldn’t quite know for sure if their game was doing well until quite a while after it hit store shelves
I don’t have clear memories of the exact public retail release date. There was definitely a fair amount of apprehension because we really had no idea how well it would be received…The critical feedback was also not immediate – again, there was a lag, certainly for print reviews, and online was still relatively niche.
Furthermore, while the team was glad to finally be done with the game, they couldn’t help but focus on all cuts and compromises they had to make.
We were incredibly self-critical and my enduring memory is that we were just relieved to finally have finished making the game. All we could see were the bad things; the compromises and cuts which had been necessary to get the thing finished. In my experience of game dev, that is not unusual; nobody ever thinks their game is properly finished.
Of course, we now know very well that Goldeneye turned out to be a massive success and a beloved classic that shaped many childhoods. To that, Doak shared that he continues to feel privileged and honored to have been a part of creating something that brought so much happiness to others. The developer also attributed at least part of Goldeneye’s success to “couch multiplayer”, a key feature Goldeneye pioneered that helped bring gamers together.
As I get older it is an increasingly amazing thing to see impactful the game was, and continues to be. It is such a great privilege to have been part of something which has clearly brought an enormous amount of joy to many, many people. I’ve spoken a few times about this – it is particularly touching to have ‘random’ people thank me for contributing positively to their childhood memories.
I think it is harder for individual games to have such a deep and lasting impact these days, simply because there are so many of them. I also think that “couch multiplayer”, with everyone bunched up together for a good session of friendly banter and shared fun, is one of the pinnacles of video gaming – GoldenEye was undoubtedly a pioneer and an epitome of that.
What do you think? Do you have fond memories of Goldeneye on the N64? Let us know in the comments below.