A while back I did a little review of a game called Gobtron. Seeing how awesome my review was, the creators of Gobtron, Juicy Beast, were more than delighted to give me a one-on-one personal interview. We sat down to some delicious brownies and ice tea in my beautiful enclosed garden, and this is the conversation that followed:
Q: What was it that originally inspired you to get into the gaming industry?
As far as I know, almost everyone in the office has always been a gamer at a certain point. We’ve always been interested in technology, interactivity and arts in general too. Out of 4, 3 of us studied Multimedia Integration and our lead illustrator, Jean-Philippe, studied 2D Animation (all in Quebec, Canada. We’re French people, actually, so sorry for any mistakes we could make in this interview :] ). J-P never really learned anything about game development before entering the company. In our case, we learned the basics of game development in school and it became our biggest passion since then! J-P, though he never learned anything related to games, is a kickass illustrator and learned quickly how to use Flash and how we work in the industry. We’re pretty proud of our team!
Q: Why the name “Juicy Beast”? Why!
This is relatively simple. When we created the company, we knew we wanted to create games that differ from the others, in an original and creative way. The first step of reflecting that “philosophy” was to choose a name that could demonstrate it well. We then chose the name Juicy Beast, which refers to 2 important things for us.
First, the word “juicy” refers to our creativity and all the “fuel” we got to run this business. We’re extremely passionate by what we do and we wanted it to be reflected in our name. You could probably picture it as brain juice or creativity juice, haha!
And then, the word “beast” refers to our determination towards becoming successful in the future. We’re all hard workers, so having the word “beast” in our name is pretty self-explanatory for us. As you can see, we’re playing a lot with words connotation. Happily, mixing these 2 words gave us a pretty funny name, which suits us well :]
Q: Are your long time goals focused on flash/indie gaming, or is it just a starting point for you?
Well, we never really know if we can find ourselves producing games for other platforms in the future. But for now, we know we want to stick with Flash game development, since we’re working on a bigger project (still Flash related). Our long time goal is obviously this bigger project we’re working on and we plan on keeping it alive for as long as possible. We don’t want to tell much about this project since it’s still in early development and it may change a lot from the release day, but we can tell it’s going to be Flash based. Since the company is still small, we think it’s a good choice for us to stick with what we’re good at and maybe explore different gaming platforms only when our team will grow bigger (hopefully in a not so distant future!)
Q: About how long does it take to get a game done from start to finish?
Actually, this depends a lot on your production team. What should mostly influence the production time are things like the number of people working on the game, how much code you can reuse from other games and the size and length of the game in general. In our case, since we’re a starting business, we still need to write a lot code from scratch for every game. We also give high importance to the visual aspect of each game, so illustrations and animations takes a lot of time for us (since J-P’s the only one working on it). We could say that it takes us between 1 and 3 months to complete a game so far. Since Gobtron was our first game, it took us a lot more time than we planned because of the working methods we had to develop and everything. Dale & Peakot is the “biggest” game we’ve worked on yet and it’s taking a lot of time, mainly because we’re writing all the code from scratch. Once we’ll have a couple of games in our “portfolio”, we’ll be able to reuse some parts and the production time should significantly drop!
Q: How has the response to your first game Gobtron been?
It’s been really good compared to our expectations, haha! We knew the game was going to be rejected by some people because of its immaturity, but in general we received really good comments regarding the originality of the game (which is great, since it’s something we aim for). We’re aware that Gobtron has a couple of bugs and gameplay issues (like clicking and dragging the mouse for 400 times can be harsh on the hand) but we were happily surprised to see that people often gave it a good rating regardless of these. What we remember the most is that people found it pretty disgusting and immature, but more importantly they found it fun and addictive, which makes us proud since it was our first game! Oh, and thanks again for the awesome review you did after the release :]
Q: Any exclusive info you could share about your upcoming game: Dale and Peakot?
We could say that what we’re about to release is a demo version on the complete game, but we already mentioned it on our blog… That’s not really exclusive eh? Hum… Maybe we could say it’s a relatively big demo, especially for a Flash game, and that it has a lot of secret and hidden stuff in each level. DnP is that type of game where you got to explore if you want to find extra items. You’re not forced to go back and forth in the different levels to beat the game, but if you do, you’ll be rewarded. We also plan on adjusting different parts of the game after we release the demo to make sure that the complete version will be even better. That’s mainly why we’re only release a demo for now and not the complete game. If the player community complains about a certain point in the game, we should still be able to fix it for the final version.
Q: Gobtron was a defense game, Dale and Peakot looks like a platformer. Is this a hint that your future games will be multi-genre? (i.e. Whatever the hell you feel like making)
Actually, we don’t really plan on developing any specific genre. We first brainstorm on a gameplay concept and the “genre” follows by itself. Of course, we try not to do 2 defense games in a row, but we’re not telling ourselves “hey, let’s make a platformer game”. To answer your question more directly, we’re already developing in a “what the hell we feel like” manner haha. We mainly want to focus on the gameplay itself, since we really want to “explore” and find different ways of merging and tweaking game types to achieve original and creative results.
Q: One last, very important, question. If you were a zombie, what kind of zombie would you be?
Hum… good question! Probably the type of zombie that can remove any parts from his body and replace them with anything else to see what it does. For example, let’s try removing my forearm and replacing it a grappling hook launcher. Maybe I can grab tasty survivors more easily, or even climb on roof tops (that’s where we heard the juiciest humans regroup, hehehe).
Damn fine answer to that zombie question!Tags: Dale, Gobtron, Interview, Juicy Beast, Peakot