|Interview: Pangea's Brian Greenstone|
September 4, 2002 | Tuncer Deniz
Pangea Software, the company behind popular games such as Nanosaur, Cro-Mag Rally, and Otto Matic, has been working on their latest creation, Bugdom 2. IMG recently caught up with Pangea's Brian Greenstone to chat about the new game as well as a few other topics.
IMG: Brian, tell us how Bugdom 2 is coming along. Are you still planning on shipping this fall?
Greenstone: Bugdom 2 is coming along extremely well. We're actually a week or so ahead of schedule right now. When we started the game, I was worried whether we were going to have enough unique ideas for it so that it wasn't just a re-hash of the original Bugdom, but we've come up with some really cool stuff for this one. There's a lot more to this game than there was in Bugdom 1. It appears we'll be alpha in a few weeks, and then beta about one month after that. We still plan on going GM around November 1st.
IMG: What kind of challenges have you encountered during the development of Bugdom 2?
Greenstone: The biggest challenge was coming up with new ideas for a "bug" game. At the time we did Bugdom 1, we did all the good ideas we had, so starting from scratch and coming up with 10 new, unique levels was really difficult.
IMG: How is Bugdom 2 different from Bugdom 1?
Greenstone: Well, I always said I'd never do a sequel, and Bugdom 2 technically holds up to that since it's really an entirely new game - just happens to involve bugs. For starters, the main character is totally new. Instead of playing the pill bug named Rollie McFly, you're now a grasshopper named Skip. There's no more King Thorax and his clan. Instead, it's all new enemies, and this time you have some helpers that guide you along: Sam the snail and Sally the Chipmunk. Additionally, the levels are quite different. We still have some traditional outdoor garden levels, but we also have lots of totally new ones. Several levels take place inside a house, and there is even a level where you ride a water slide down the house's gutter! The gameplay is more involved as well. Instead of just walking around kicking nuts like in Bugdom 1, in Bugdom 2 you have more "adventure" elements to complete on each level.
IMG: Are you still planning on self-publishing Bugdom 2? If so, what kind of marketing strategies are you planning for the release?
Greenstone: Yes, my philosophy is that if you want it done right you've got to do it yourself. I don't like publishing - development is my forté. So, we're going to do this differently than we did with the other games that Pangea has published. I'm not even bothering with retail shelf space. If stores want to carry the game that's great, but I'm not going to actively pursue it. Instead, we're going to sell Bugdom 2 directly off of our web site. Additionally, we will have an online downloadable version of the game for people who want to save some money and don't want to have to wait for it. When the game goes GM, the online downloadable version will be available almost immediately. The boxed CD version will be available a few weeks later once it goes thru the manufacturing process. I'm also hoping to do a pretty big advertising blitz for the game since that was quite effective with the old Bugdom and with Cro-Mag Rally.