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Interview with ProRattaFactor
September 9, 2005 | Michael Scarpelli

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Tragically, El Ballo finds himself trapped in someone's homework.
IMG: Do you think developers today are handling the transition to more
mature games well? You mentioned developers need to be up front about the content of their games, and you certainly have been with El Ballo. How do you think the rest of the developing world is handling it? Are they trying to hide what their products are to an extent?

Casey: I think most developers are handling the transition quite well, but some publishers and their marketing tactics are not. Most of them are not up-front about how mature certain content is and have actively spoken out against laws being established to reduce minors from buying mature games. I mean come on...why should a 13 year old be allowed to buy a game that allows them to role-play the life of a violent criminal? Publishers and retailers need to be sensible and adapt the laws that the movie and music industries have.

Perhaps game consoles should have a maturity rating disc-check system in it that parents can configure to help the situation. (Shhh...I didn't say that.)

In "The Adventures of El Ballo", we have the option for a parent or guardian to set the game to "Family-friendly" mode and password-protect it. This dresses all the characters, filters some things from the story and allows youth to enjoy the game to the parent's liking.

IMG: I'm sure you're aware of Apple's upcoming Intel switch. Is that affecting the development cycle for El Ballo at all? Do you think Apple's switch will affect new developers adversely? Or do you think, being new to the market is helpful, as you're not tied into the current architecture as much?

Casey: At this point the switch hasn't affected us. We understand that in a few months we'll need to revisit the code and optimize it. Now that I think of it, Ivan could best answer this question.

Ivan: Intel schmintel. I embrace this switch wholeheartedly, although I will probably swear a lot when the time comes to port El Ballo. The problem is, as many other developers have remarked, the switch of endianness [byte order]. The good news is that I don't know of any parts of the code that need to be updated, and the bad news is that there have to be such parts, I just don't have any idea of where they are.

As for being new to the market, I'd say that it definitely is a good thing for us. We have less legacy code to update, and we're still very flexible in our technologies. In addition, this Intel switch is the vitamin injection Apple needs.

Looking into the future of an increasing Apple user base is very exciting. We have a big bucket of cool ideas for the El Ballo franchise, and if we get more customers, then I can finally gold plate my Lamborghini. (Or at least pay the rent. To my mom.)

IMG: Are there any other ProRatta projects that we should be eagerly awaiting?

Casey: Hmm. The doors are sealed on that one.

IMG: And lastly, what can we look forward to from El Ballo?

Casey: A wild, fresh, and zany action/adventure game rooted in old-school flavor.

Many thanks to Casey and Ivan of ProRattaFactor for taking time away from putting the finishing touches on El Ballo to sit down to an interview.

Related Links
Ambrosia Software
El Ballo



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