|IMG Interview: Strange Flavour|
June 3, 2004 | Tuncer Deniz
Strange Flavour, the folks behind games like Airburst and ToySight today announced that they would be quiting their full time jobs working on console games and concentrating solely on developing Macintosh only games. IMG recently chatted with Aaron and Adam Fothergill to get thoughts on their new company, games, and more.
IMG: First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got into making Macintosh games?
Aaron: When I started programming Macs in 1985, I was writing 'serious' software for radio stations, and when we started writing ST and Amiga games we were always being asked to do Mac versions, especially by Powerbook users. Unfortunately at the time, we were only just holding the ST/Amiga writing together and there wasn't time or money to do any Mac games. So when we got jobs working for someone other than ourselves on normal hours, we started looking at writing something on the Macs we had at the time, which I think were an LC III and a Performa 6400.
The first two we played with got axed before completion. One was a newer version of the Base Jumpers game we did on the Amiga and another was a sort of Pearl Harbour type game for up to 8 players called Kamikaze. We'd done an unreleased Amiga version for fun, and the Mac version proved that we still had the control system wrong for it. We were also using a 3rd party sprite library that didn't fit in with my programming style and limited the graphics Adam could do. So we started from scratch and wrote the graphics engine we used for Bushfire.
IMG: Your last two Mac games, Airburst and ToySight were extremely popular. After their success, did you think, hey, we should do this full time and that's how Strange Flavour, the company, was born?
Adam: The idea was they were going to be a part time thing but having talked with Freeverse we decided there was a possibility to make it serious, and when possibilities like that arrive you have to give them a go.
Aaron: It's also a bit different from what we were doing in the day job in that it's smaller teams and more direct input on what gets released.
IMG: How big do you want Strange Flavour to get? Keep it a two man team or do you envision more programmers, artists, etc working on multiple Mac games at a time?
Aaron: Slow and steady growth is the aim. Also we plan to prove the concept of home/teleworking is viable for the games industry. Because we don't need huge development setups or large teams working together. We can work from home (or wherever we want with the Powerbooks), so the big overhead of paying rent for an office is removed. For future projects we have some friends who we'd team up with for larger projects or for areas which they specialise in
IMG: You've decided to team up with Freeverse to publish your games. How has that relationship worked out so far?
Adam: Really well, they've helped us loads with the publishing, testing and marketing plus they're actually quite funny people (if slightly monkey obsessed).
They're similar to us being a two brother outfit, also with them being in america and us teaming up with them as a publishing partner, we have representatives in the States, and they have representatives in U.K.