Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 07 - The Man Behind the Egg

Indie Video Gaming Week, Day 07 - Developer Interview: Matt Thorson

If you're wondering, the reason why Chris Roper's interview had a screenshot at the top instead of an awesome piece of fan art is, unfortunately, I couldn't find any fan art for Return to Sector 9!

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Matt Thorson and his games, so I was really looking forward to this interview. Read on, if you wish. If you don't, do so anyway.


Reuben Horst: So how’s your life been recently, Matt?

Matt Thorson: It’s been great! Loving the spring/summer weather despite allergies.

RH: About how old were you when you started getting interested in making games?

MT: As far as I can tell I’ve always been interested, I used to draw video game levels as a kid. I think I first started actually making them when I was 14 or so with Game Maker.

RH: What are your favorite video games, PC or console?

MT: Some of my favorite games ever in no particular order are Yoshi’s Island, Pikmin 2, Team Fortress 2, Super Metroid, and Starcraft 2. There’s a lot more games I love, I just can’t think of them right now.

RH: What are your favorite hobbies not related to gaming?

MT: I like to paint, draw, graffiti, play guitar and drums, jog, bicycle, read, listen to music, and travel. Think that’s about all of them.

RH: Which of the games you have made are you the most satisfied with?

MT: Probably An Untitled Story and Give Up Robot 2, because those are the games where I feel like I broke the most new personal ground.

RH: Is there any chance that you could ever finish the game you were making quite a while back, Jumper 4?

MT: I might make a Jumper 4 someday. It likely won’t be much like the preview I gave earlier. I tend to start a ton of projects and eventually one of the many wins out and absorbs the ideas from the other projects, killing them in the process. If Jumper 4 comes back it’ll use new ideas.

RH: Without giving too much away, could you tell us a bit about your current projects?

MT: What I’m working on the most right now is a flash game with my friend Chevy Ray called Fat Wizard. It’s about a wizard who wants to make an omelet out of a gigantic egg. Gameplay-wise, it’s sort of like if you took my old Hold Off games but fleshed them out way way way more mechanically. Also its got a really cohesive and full world. That’s what Chevy is really good at – making things feel like a world within the computer.

MoneySeize 2 is a game for the Winnitron 1000. It’s a two-player competitive platformer designed to be played in an arcade setting. It’s about a married couple divorcing and each character trying to grab as much cash as possible.

And the Monocle Engine! I’m working on this with Alec Holowka and a bunch of people from the indie game community. It’s going to be a free, open-source framework for indie developers, to make 2D game development faster and easier.

RH: Is MoneySeize 2 ever going to be publicly released?

MT: Well anyone can play the Winnitron, and it’ll be a Winnitron game. So in that sense, yeah, it’ll be public. Whether I’ll make it available on my site for anyone to download, I don’t know yet. If it makes sense, then I’ll make it available.

RH: Looking back, are you glad you chose this career of making games?

MT: Incredibly glad. I do what I love all day and get paid. Plus, as a bonus, I decide my own work hours.

RH: What’s your favorite brand of soda?

MT: Don’t drink much soda, but I like any brand of root beer.

RH: Thanks for your time, Matt!


Matt Thorson's Website

So that's the end of both the interview and IVGW 2011. I really had fun this week, and I think I'll do something like this again.

Until later,
Reuben Horst

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