November 6, 2012 by khrisgolder
For Strange Flavour, SlotZRacer is just the tip of the iceberg. That is exactly what Lead Programmer Aaron Fothergill believes as they branch out into the realm of independent publishing. GamerCheese has the first look in this interview featuring the longtime gamer who helped bring us classics like Zoop and Croc 2.
Khris Golder: You’ve worked on video games for a while, dating clear back to the SNES days. What were some of your favorite projects? I’m guessing Croc 2 and Zoom might be a couple of them.
Aaron Fothergill: I rather liked working on Croc 2. It was my first game working at Argonaut, and my first really big AAA title having been ‘bought’ (along with the rest of the employees) from Cranberry Source.
KG: What did you do back then?
AF: I was what Argonaut called a Strat coder, which essentially meant I was using Argonaut’s in-house scripting language to write the various gameplay elements. Everything from smashable crates to the crazy minecart system that kind of became my own personal train set. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a fun one too. Among other things, I wrote Fluffy. (Aaron smiles)
KG: How about Zoop? I loved that game!
AF: It was Zoop I worked on at Electric Spectacle/Cranberry Source. A very cool fast puzzle game. One due an iOS version I think.
KG: I’d pick up the iOS version of Zoop in a heartbeat. You’re sort of pulling away from Freeverse, and tackling your own publishing team. How does it feel, moving forward, having Strange Flavour publish its own games?
AF: Both scary and liberating. We’re still organizing things at the moment, but looking forward to publishing some great games.
KG: It seems like a lot of developers are going the zombie route these days. Aside from Zombie Croc 2, what game do you think would be the funniest zombie version of a video game?
AF: Zombies make every game fun, but Zombie Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball would certainly be the funniest, especially if you swapped it out for the real one without anyone knowing. You can imagine the pervy teenage boys starting up their 360, looking forward to a half hour of super accurate breast simulation, and then the cries of “OMG, Agh!, Euurrrgh!” Also, zombie grannies. the next level.
KG: Hands down the funniest undead title yet! What sort of projects does Strange Flavour have in store for their fans over the next few quarters?
AF: Not a game with zombie grannies just yet, fortunately. First up is the big reboot of SlotZ Racer. With everything that’s been going on, it has taken us a year longer than planned, but it’s looking really good. We’ve also got another game in the works… a collaboration with a very cool organization, but that’s kinda top secret for the moment.
KG: Sounds intriguing. Make sure you fill in GamerCheese the moment you get a chance. I know many gamers out there want to know: what drives you to work as an independent publisher?
AF: My brother’s Mini, as he gives me a lift to the office in the morning.
KG: I guess I walked into that one.
AF: Non-joking, being able to write games I want to play.
KG: Well, there’s games we want to play and hate to play. What are you most favorite and least favorite console controller schemes in video game history?
AF: Favorite is probably the ‘standard FPS with tweaks’ in Fallout 3 etc. Especially with the ability to freeze time for shots.
KG: Good call. How about least favorite?
AF: Least favorite that I can remember is… Army of Two… where you’re constantly swapping between the characters. It’s a “great” idea in gameplay terms, but I just found it irritating in actual use and got fed up of the game fairly early on. I suspect that if you’re lucky enough to be one of the people it does gel with and can get used to it, then it’ll be a fun game, but it just wasn’t for me.
KG: Needless to say you aren’t too thrilled about Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel Zombie Edition. Thanks for stopping by, Aaron, and we look forward to seeing plenty more of Strange Flavour here at GamerCheese in the future!