Saturday, May 14, 2016

GJG Blog Interview #6: Derrick Canfield - High Tale Studios


Having mentioned the fact that I quickly became a fan of one particular game that debuted on the Ouya, Acorn Assault, I figured that it was only fitting that I interview a member of the development team that created Acorn Assault. Derrick Canfield, Co-Founder and Developer of the talented High Tale Studios, was kind enough to answer my questions on High Tale Studios, Acorn Assault, and what could be in store for the game dev team in the future. I'd like to thank Derrick for taking the time to answer my questions for this interview! 

Link to High Tale Studios:  http://hightalestudios.com/
High Tale Studios Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/High-Tale-Studios/245310168879963
High Tale Studios Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/HighTaleStudios

Steven Vitte:
1) What are High Tale Studios' main components in game development? What do you guys value when making a game?

Derrick Canfield: Local multiplayer is something we feel very strongly about, especially because we see more and more games removing things such as split screen gaming. We grew up on games like Goldeneye and Mario Kart where friendships were made and then destroyed all in one multiplayer session. Everything that we work on going forward is being looked at in how we can bring that type of gaming back into the modern world.

2) What are some of the favorite games you've played in the past that inspire you to develop games?

The game that originally made me want to be a game developer was Duke Nukem 3D. I spent a ton of hours with the development tools that came with the game as a kid. As far as recent games, I am quite eclectic in what I play from big triple-a games to casual indie titles. The game that helped inspire Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution was Triple Town.

3) What inspired you to make Acorn Assault and Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution? What was it about squirrels that helped you come up with the theme of the games?

We came up with the game’s mechanics by looking at games we enjoyed such as Triple Town, Hearthstone and Might & Magic Heroes 7. The core mechanics of the game were pretty much solidified before we had a theme to go with the game. We knew we wanted something unique for the setting and when our concept artist Tony pitched the idea to us, we knew we had to make a game about squirrels in powdered wigs waging war with one another.

4) How has Acorn Assault been received by gamers and critics? What are your thoughts on this feedback?

I have to say I am pretty pleased with the reviews and feedback we have received for the game which has been very positive. Right now we have twenty-two positive versus three negative reviews on steam. That is not to say there are no gripes people have with the game, but do know that we read all reviews on the game in order to make Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution better and to improve our future titles.

5) Are there plans to expand on Acorn Assault in the future?

We have ideas for additional content for the game such as a new campaign, new characters and cards, but since we are a small team we have to be careful about how we spend our time. If we see our fan base grow and want to have more content for the game, we will definitely release more content for the title. So please tweet at us, message us on facebook, or yell at us in the street and let us know that you want more content!

Having said that, don’t expect our cast of squirrels to go away. We have plans to explore the characters more in future titles to come.

6) Aside from a strategy battle game like Acorn Assault, what are other game genres that you'd like to tackle in the future?

Our first title was ZomNomNom which is a zombie shooter where the main character is inexplicably stuck in one place on screen as she blasts away zombies, and with the Acorn Assault games, the squirrels get planted in place and do not move. So I think it’s safe to say that we want to work on an action game where the character can actually move! A first or third person action game would be something we would be very excited to work on.

7) Any chance that we'll get Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution for the Sony PS4? I own a PS4 and not an Xbox One, but I would love to get this game!

Again, this is where our fans come into play. It’s something we would love to do, but our time is limited. Anyone who wants to see squirrel skirmishes on their Playstation should let us know.

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