|Bugdom 2 Post-Mortem Interview|
October 18, 2002 | Tuncer Deniz
Bugdom 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the popular action-adventure game, has finally been released and so far has been garnering high praise. We recently caught up with Pangea's Brian Greenstone to chat about the game he just released.
Post-Mortem terminology? The last time I used the word post-mortem in an interview, I got several emails as to why I used that terminology. Yes, "post-mortem" means "after death". However, a few years ago a site called Gamasutra, a developer related gaming web site, began publishing articles called post-mortem's that discuss games AFTER they were completed. The gaming industry has since then adopted this term and is now widely used.
IMG: Now that the game has been release, how do you think it turned out?
Greenstone: I think it turned out 3x better than I had expected when we first started. Seriously, I had my doubts if we were going to be able to come up with 10 more unique levels when we started. It took a lot of effort, but I think we ended up with a game that's much better than the original Bugdom, and I'm very happy with it!
IMG: So why a sequel? Was there a lot of demand for another Bugdom game?
Greenstone: I had always said I'd never do sequels. My belief is that sequels are never as good as the original and I didn't want to fall into that trap. However, I got tons of requests for another Bugdom, so after thinking about it for 3 years I realized that I didn't really have to do a sequel. Instead, I could just do more of a spinoff - a game based on the Bugdom universe, but that had all new characters and storylines. So, Bugdom 2 isn't really a sequel, and that gave us a lot more latitude to work with. We weren't stuck with Rollie McFly and all that stuff. We basically wiped the slate clean and started all over with a Bug-themed game.
IMG: Did you encounter any major challenges while making the game?
Greenstone: YES. Trying to come up with original ideas. Bugdom 1 had every good idea I could come up with at the time for a bug game, so coming up with 10 more levels and a dozen or so new enemies was really tough. Then we had to deal with gameplay. Bugdom 1 had very simple gameplay since there wasn't enough horsepower to do much. But Bugdom 2 uses much more horesepower, so the game does more with it. Much more "adventure" in the action-adventure genre.
IMG: Your last game, Otto Matic, was published by Aspyr Media. This time around you decided to do the publishing yourself and to release first an online version and then later a boxed version (which will be available only direct from Pangea's web site). Why did you create the online version? And why won't it be in stores?
Greenstone: Well, earlier in the year we released Bugdom 1 and Cro-Mag Rally as an online download. We were almost out of inventory of the CD versions, so we had to put them up for download. Much to my surprise, having the downloadable versions of those games tripled sales! People these days want instant gratification I guess. Since retail was never a very profitable thing for us, and dealing with distributors and big chain stores is a royal pain, I decided to just avoid that route and only sell direct. Even if we sell only 50% as many copies this way, we'll still make twice as much money, so we make the same in the end but without the hassles of retail.
Heh, I guess I've taken the same approach as Dell.