|Brian Greenstone Talks Billy Frontier|
July 15, 2003 | Tuncer Deniz
Pangea Software's latest game, Billy Frontier, is scheduled to be released any day now. The game is an arcade game that features 4 mini-games set in an old Western setting. IMG recently spoke with Brian Greenstone about his latest game, among other things.
IMG: Tell us a bit about Billy Frontier. What kind of game is it?
Greenstone: Billy is an arcade game involving cowboys in space. It's actually 4 mini-games: Duel, Shootout, Stampede, and Target Practice. They're all action-oriented.
IMG: Billy Frontier is certainly much different than any other game you've done in the past. What about the cowboy genre attracted you to make such a game?
Greenstone: Scott Harper and I are both big fans of the old mythic westerns such as High Plains Drifter, The Good the Bad, and the Ugly, Fistfull of Dollars, etc. Coincidentally, last year there was a short-lived TV show on Fox called Firefly which was also basically cowboys in space.
IMG: What kind of system requirements does Billy Frontier have and what will the pricing be?
Greenstone: The price will be $14.95, and we only have it available as a download. We wanted to make Billy a low-priced game, and as such, it isn't economically possible to put it on a CD in a box. As for system requirements, that's a fairly subjective thing for this game. We've tested it on an iMac/500 running OS 9.2.2 and it was playable. However, we *recommend* OS 10.2 with 800mhz and a Radeon.
IMG: MacPlay recently announced that they would be distributing the CD version of Enigmo. How did that relationship come about?
Greenstone: Lane Roathe did the PC ports of Nanosaur and Bugdom, and I guess his company Images from the Deep is part of that whole United Developers thing. So, he spearheaded the effort to get them interested in Enigmo, and somehow it ended up under the MacPlay division of that whole organization.
IMG: This is your second game of 2003. Are you more interested in creating smaller shareware like games or will you keep on producing titles such as Bugdom 2 that take much longer in the future?
Greenstone: Right now I'm focusing on the smaller games. Enigmo actually made as much net profit in only 3 months as Bugdom 2 made in 9 months. Those big games take forever to make, cost a fortune to produce, and take eons to break even. But games like Enigmo are much more profitable and more fun to produce since they don't take so long. Additionally, I simply like small games more. I don't ever play my old games like Bugdom or Otto Matic, but games like Enigmo or Billy Frontier I'll pick up all the time and just play for a quick fun-fix.
To put it into perspective, Bugdom 2 cost about $140,000 to produce. Enigmo cost around $6000
IMG: What do you think about the new Power Mac G5's?
Greenstone: Totally bitchin'!!! I'll definitely be getting one by the end of the year. The speed is great, but the thing that I most envy about it is the silence. My G4/1000 is L.O.U.D. I can't wait to get a new desktop that is quiet for a change. Too bad it won't boot OS 9 tho... pain for testing.
IMG: Apple also showed off Mac OS X Panther at WWDC recently. What are your thoughts on the OS X update?
Greenstone: I'm still waiting for my developer CD's to test it out, so all I've seen is what was in the keynote. Looks nice, but I didn't see much of anything all that significant. The window hide/show feature is much needed, but everything else seemed pretty minor to me.
IMG:So what's next after Billy Frontier?
Greenstone: Very, very good question... one I ask myself every day. Well, vacation first. Then I've got to think of something fun. I've been mulling a sports game (like combat baseball or something), but I might want to do some kind of action shooter too. I need inspiration.