~ April 2013 ~
It's always a pleasure to see kids
sharing their enthusiasm for my games at school, so
I participated in an interview for Nicco Toral's school newspaper, The
When did you start making
It depends how far back you want to go because I used to make games out of
cardboard long before I even owned a computer! I've always been passionate
about entertainment of all kinds. I first stated programming basic games for
the PC in 1998, which evolved into my first public releases in August 2000. I
was introduced to the PASCAL language on a college course, and even though I
could only use it to make text games, that was all I needed to get started.
What is your best PC game that you made?
Objectively, it's the Wrestling MPire 2008 series - which has gone on to
be downloaded over 200,000 times and has spawned an entire community of fans
who have made it their own. Personally, I have a soft spot for "Under
Development" - my game about making games. It was fun to revisit my childhood
and recreate the entire history of gaming as I knew it.
What is your best phone game booking revolution or wrestling revolution?
They're two sides of the same coin so it really depends which aspect of
the wrestling industry is appealing to you at the time. When the Wrestlemania
hype was in full swing, I enjoyed hiring talent and putting the cards
together. But sometimes playing so many matches in a row becomes a chore and
you want to advance more swiftly. Booking Revolution is like having a
full-time job - which is both the best thing about it and the worst! I'm
currently enjoying my Wrestling Revolution career more at a the moment because
I travel a lot and I can play a couple of matches at a time.
What do you use to make your games PC and Phone?
I've used a lot of different tools and programming languages over the
course of my career. I started in PASCAL, dabbled in C++, made a lot of
progress with DIV, and then found my niche on the PC with Blitz BASIC - which
is what all of my 3D releases were programmed in, with the modeling done in 3D
Studio MAX. Developing apps for mobiles is the most complex task I've ever
turned my hand to. To make games for Android and iOS simultaneously is a
headache-inducing cocktail of Java, X-Code, and Flash's Actionscript 3. And
then a lot of work goes into compiling the games into files fit for public
consumption. The biggest difference between now and then is that I spend at
least 50% of my time doing administrative tasks. Being creative is only half
of the story.
What is your favorite wwe game?
If you literally mean "WWE" then I would be stumped because I haven't
enjoyed their official games for a long time. I was extremely excited about "WWE
All Stars" because I love that visual style and would use it myself if I was
capable of it. But the matches were unplayably predictable in my view. It's
frustrating because, as a wrestling game developer myself, I know how easy it
would have been to improve that aspect. The difficult part is making a game
look like that - it's the easy things that they get wrong! All it requires is
passion, which is something you can't fake. The last "WWF" game I got any
satisfaction out of was the N64 series over a decade ago now. That had
Japanese roots so it was more in keeping with what I like about wrestling.
What made you make video games?
I've always been motivated by the fact that what I wanted to play simply
didn't exist. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself -
and I take that literally! I just make the games I want to play, and hope that
enough people share my vision to make it worthwhile. I like to use my freedom
to do things that have never been done before. Independent developers have to
fight for the right to exist, and I think the best way to do that is to bring
something new to the table.
Are you making any new video games like a remake of any of your games?
Yes, that's the most exciting thing for me right now - I have dozens of
concepts that are competing to be remade as a mobile app! There's a lot of
demand for Hard Time, and I'm also interested in making a 2D version of my
desert island survival game, "Wrecked". If I can figure out how to access the
music on the device, Popscene would write itself too. I also have plenty of
brand new concepts waiting for the right time to come through, so it's a very
busy but exciting time for me. I figure I only have a limited time to make all
the games I want to make. In 5 years time, the industry could once again be a
very different place.
Which game do you thing wasn't a good game?
I have to think all of my games are good on some level, otherwise I never
would have worked hard enough on them to get them over the finish line. A lot
of people have accused me of being "deluded", but in so far as that's true
"delusion" and egotism are necessary parts of the creative process. Every work
of entertainment you've ever enjoyed is there because someone felt that it was
worth doing and that they were capable of it. That said, I must say that my
movie industry sim "Popcorn" is the one that most falls flat. As a solo
developer, I simply didn't have the resources to create all of the content
that a game like that needed. Filmmaking is also a very difficult process to
turn into a "game" so it's was perhaps a step too far to begin with.
Why have you stopped making PC games?
The main reason is that there's very little support for the PC games now -
especially when compared to the explosion of mobile apps. The apps are
literally downloaded more times in a day than the PC games are in a week! And
those people enjoy them more too because they're not so cynical. They're more
willing to invest in the entertainment they enjoy, whereas PC users want
everything for free. Wrestling Revolution is the first project that I've still
been able to work on a whole year after it was released. That's no coincidence
- it's because of the support and investment. For me, returning to PC game
development would be like CM Punk returning to wrestling in front of hundreds
of people in a gym instead of tens of thousands at Wrestlemania! That's not to
say it would never happen, because I respect my roots. It's just not something
I can justify dedicating my life to at the moment.
What have you been working on this month?
Booking Revolution only just launched as a work-in-progress in April, so
I'm still fine-tuning that. This is also producing a lot of developments that
can be passed back to Wrestling Revolution, so both games are growing
alongside each other quite nicely now. I'm also busy doing "research &
development" for the future! The OUYA will bring Android games to the big
screen this summer, so I'm doing everything I can to be part of that. This is
the busiest I've ever been, but I'm also having the time of my life. I haven't
enjoyed making games this much since I first started.
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