|IMG Interviews Andrew Welch|
November 17, 2003 | Tuncer Deniz
It's been over a decade since Andrew Welch created Ambrosia Software. His first shareware game, Maelstrom, set the tone for what he and his company would go on to create for over 10 years: quality shareware for the Macintosh.
From time to time we like to sit down with the legendary Mr. Welch to catch up on things, and to get his thoughts of some of the popular happenings in the Macintosh world.
IMG: The last time we interviewed you was roughly two years ago. Since then Ambrosia has released a number of shareware games and popular utilities. How has Ambrosia's business changed over the last two years? How many employees do you now have?
Welch: We have 8 employees, and work with an increasing number of developers under contract. We also have an office parrot, and an office dog. I'm not sure if they count or not though.
IMG: What's a typical day like for you at Ambrosia?
Welch: Honestly, my typical day is that I don't have a typical day. I usually work from home for a few hours after I wake up, then go into the office, and work from there until I go to the gym. If I'm working on a development project (as I am now with Snapz Pro X 2.0), I many times work late into the night as well. I get the most done when working at night for some reason; perhaps it's the isolation, or perhaps I've gotten enough busywork done that I can get down to coding.
IMG: What makes more money? Games or utilities such as Snapz Pro?
Welch: That's like saying "Which is better, Ford or Chevy?" :) It really depends on the game/utility in question, but in general, Snapz Pro X is our best selling product, and I expect it to only get better with version 2.0. Games also take a lot of investment in terms of artwork, sounds, music, etc. that is not present when designing a utility program (or at least not to such a degree).
IMG: Can you give us a status update on Redline, the upcoming racing game?
Welch: Redline's looking great, but we're still working on the artwork for it, so we're a bit hesitant to release too many screenshots. Like it or not, people judge things by how they look, and even a great game engine can look bad if the graphics aren't in place.
On the plus side, we're able to play some pretty fun trans-Atlantic rally races (though I swear, something must be wrong with my car... I never seem to beat Jonas).
IMG: Have there been any games or utilities that you've done that have surprised you by how well they've done? Any that have disappointed you?
Welch: Honestly, we usually have a pretty good idea how something will go over, based on our experience working on projects, and also based on the reaction we're getting from our beta testers, and the public at large. Of course, I'm always disappointed when a game/utility doesn't sell well, but many times I'm not terribly surprised it didn't go over like gangbusters. Each project has its scope, and its success needs to be judged relative to that.