Here I interview iphone game developer Michael Bean from Pixelocity Software who created the excellent Disc Drivin’ game for iPhone and iPad.
Beck: Who are you, where are you and what do you do?
[Michael] – We are Pixelocity Software (www.pixelocitysoftware.com), a Texas based independent game company started by my brother Tommy and myself [Michael Bean]. We’ve been in the game industry since the late 90s, working mostly on large PC and console games like Age of Empires and Halo Wars. Having worked on really big projects for a long time, we had a growing desire to make smaller games and the emergence of the iPhone presented a great opportunity. So we started Pixelocity in 2010 and got straight to work on our first title, Disc Drivin’.
Beck: I love Disc Drivin, what on earth gave you the idea for the game?
[Michael] – Disc Drivin’ has several inspirations. First, there’s a physical board game called Pitchcar with a similar theme of sliding discs around a track that is a ton of fun with a lot of people. We’re also huge fans of the Mario Kart series, so we really wanted to incorporate a lot of obstacles and powers to keep the racing exciting. And finally, the inspiration for making it turn-based came from friends and former coworkers of ours at Ensemble Studios, who went on to make Words with Friends. Tie those together with some creativity and polish and you have Disc Drivin’!
Beck: Are you working on versions for other platforms like Android or Windows 7 phone?
[Michael] – We aren’t working on Disc Drivin’ for other platforms at this point. We would rather concentrate on updates for iOS and on making new games rather than porting to other platforms right now.
Beck: Lots of tracks to play already but are there plans for new tracks or maybe even a mirror option to flip over the current tracks?
[Michael] – Yes, there are plans for new tracks. We’re working on an update now that will have new tracks plus a few other surprises hopefully.
Beck: Sometimes I film with my phone my crazy or weird shots to YouTube for others to laugh or cry at. What would be great is an option to upload a previous shot to YouTube. Would this be hard to implement?
[Michael] – It’s not impossible to implement. We actually started on that feature when we first released the game and got it partially working, but had to shelve it for higher priorities. It would be cool to revisit if it bubbles up on the wishlist.
Beck: Do you have any other new games in the pipeline?
[Michael] – We’ve started several prototypes and have a massive list of games we want to try making, but we don’t have anything far enough along to talk about yet.
Beck: I have a personal statistic of 866 gold medals, 544 silver medals and 17 bronze medals. Are you as good as me?
[Michael] – No, I am not nearly as good as you. But you knew that and just wanted me to admit it in print. It’s incredibly common in the game industry that developers are “the best” at their own game for a brief few weeks after first release.
Check out these two Videos of my favourite shots by me. The first is a weird shot that went wrong, the second is just a good shot.