Interview with Pocketwatch Games
The CMP Game Group (producer of Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers. They saw how the Sundance Film Festival benefited the independent film community, and wanted to create a similar event for independent game developers as well as the student population of game developers.
I spoke with Andy Schatz of Pocketwatch Games, over instant messenger, a bit about his game, Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, which is a finalist in this year's Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the IGF. We find out who Pocketwatch is, what they do, and what their goals are for the future.
Hi Andy, first of all, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and Pocketwatch Games?
Can you tell us about the development of Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa?
I'm going to jump in here for a minute if you don't mind since you brought it up. How was it managing all of the people and resources coming in from all over the place?
Since Pocketwatch has been together for only a year now, making a title and getting into the IGF is quite an achievement. How does it feel to be this successful so quickly?
Is there anything in particular that you would attribute the rapid turn around to? Going from nothing to a complete game with this much attention in less than a year?
I played the demo for Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa and was, to be honest, surprised at how fun it was. I was anticipating a more "kiddy" game, but I really enjoyed it. Did you design it specifically for kids, or did you just design it to be fun?
With your background in commercial games, why the jump to independent? Did you want more control over the process? And also, how has this transition been for you?
What does the future hold for you and Pocketwatch Games?
Do you see yourself developing your own technology in the future or sticking with Torque for the time being?
Are there any final words you'd like to say?
Thanks for taking the time out for this interview, and best of luck to you at the IGF!
Interview conducted by Casey "caffeineaddict" Wireman