Ich durfte für das Dis+positiv den Game Designer John Comes von „Uber Entertainment“ interviewen. Das Thema war „Uber Entertainment“ und „Toy Rush“ das neueste Spiel der Firma.

Hier das gesamte Interview:

When founding Uber Entertainment you decided to make a 3rd Person shooter / MOBA “Super Monday Night Combat”. You then also made “Planetary Anihilation” a RTS and “Outland Games” a Sidescrolling Plattformer. Now you switched to a Tower Defense / CCG Game. Whats the philosophy behind this and why are you as a company making fundamentally different games?

John ComesWe actually made „Monday Night Combat“ before „Super MNC“. That came out on the Xbox 360 in 2010. The simple answer is creative freedom, expansion of knowledge and tech, and access to personnel. When we made the MNC games, the entire company worked on them. As we grew, we found that there were opportunities for smaller projects to spin off. „Outland Games“ was an attempt to take the early version of the „Planetary Annihilation“ engine and get it working on planets. We had an engineer who passionate about doing a mobile side-scroller, so we gave him the code base, the creative freedom, and he went at it. We added in some art talent and put out that game. When it came to „Toy Rush“, I was at the point where the PA engine wasn’t far enough along for me to make any major impact, so I took the opportunity to learn and use Unity and get games on a tablet. I wanted to try a mobile F2P game that somewhat drove away from some of the standard styles of games. So, we had personnel that were somewhat idle, wanted more institutional knowledge of both Unity, tablets, and F2P and we could push our creativity a bit.

I love that Uber makes so diverse games. It’s a selling point when we want to bring in talent. There will be opportunities for anyone to work on a style of game they want. It also makes it so we’re not pigeon-holed into being known as a certain type of studio.  Expect even more diversity from us in the coming years.

What’s connects all your games?

John Comes Bacon… Truth, bacon has been in all of our games in some form or another.

Also, the leadership. The leaders in art, design, engineering, and audio have been deeply involved in every single one of our games.

Toy Rush is a Tower Defense Game / CCG. What makes these two genres blend particularly well in your opinion?

John Comes It’s fresh. It’s something different. As someone who has worked mostly in strategy games for my 13 year professional career, the addition of the element of chance to a strategy game is particularly engaging to me. The idea that you have to beat the tower defense game with the toys you’ve been given, encourages a lot of strategic thinking. It also helps not to get locked into things like ’starting builds‘ in RTS games, because you might never be playing with the same set of toys.

Only recently Blizzard published their game Hearthstone. This is only one example of a huge influx in digital CCG’s and CCG hybrids. Do you intend to compete with these games and what is your target audience?

John Comes We don’t really consider traditional CCG’s as competitors to Toy Rush, any more than any other game is a competitor, because Toy Rush is not really a CCG at heart. Toy Rush is a hybrid of game genres, but at its core it’s more of a tower defense and strategy game than it is a CCG. Of course it does have CCG elements, along with a tower offense component, that make it a unique and different type of game from any other game out there. The target audience is fairly wide, we’ve seen younger kids get really interested in the game because of the characters like Fin Doctor, and then they discover it’s a deep and challenging strategy game too. At the same time the strategy elements are complex enough to be engaging for older, more hardcore gamers.

Toy Rush will be free to play. How do you plan on monetizing the game?

John Comes The game is monetized through in-app purchases. Players are able to earn everything in the game through playing, however they also have the option to purchase caps, the in-game currency, to accelerate their progress and acquire cards faster. We wanted to ensure that paying and non-paying players have access to the same content and the same game, and that the game is not „pay-to-win“, however you do have the option to purchase currency as a convenience.