OXCGN’s Exclusive Crackerjack Games Interview
Inspirations, development, and industry ambitions
by Daniel Clark
©2013 Daniel Clark
(ED: Thanks to Daniel Clark for his interview with Crackerjack Games. An Aussie indie dev that released Bar Nuts. Available on the iTunes store for free. Daniel is a freelance journalist who has written for IGN and WhatCulture. You can find him on Twitter @danieljohnclark or Facebook/daniel.clark)
Recently, I had the opportunity to have an in-depth chat to a couple of Aussie indie game devs—Tom Abrahams and Rich Rouse of Crackerjack Games—who provided a revealing behind-the-scenes look into the creation of their debut title, Bar Nuts, currently on soft release within Australia and Canada within the Apple Store (forthcoming worldwide).
DC: Tom and Rich of Crackerjack Games! I’d like to start with your gaming history—what were your first experiences?
RR: Experiences? Definitely Super Nintendo for me—probably even Nintendo: the duck shooting was probably my first real experience, and then I was right into the Super Mario series and all that sort of stuff. And then always had the latest console when it came out. But I don’t have a gaming background so much—I’m finance. I was stockbroking before I did this. It was as much the idea of building a business as it was building a game for me.
But for Tom though …
TA: Yeah, I’m a full blown nerd—just been a massive gamer since as young as I can remember. Then I got out of school and I was, like, I should probably get into something to do with business or commerce, or be a doctor or lawyer or something like that, and I did Commerce, and I just couldn’t imagine myself waking up and being like, ‘I’m ready to do some Commerce today—just super excited about it.’
And so I decided to do a gaming course at Deakin which had me doing databasing and stuff which wasn’t really related to making games, and then I went to a more specialised place, Qantm College, and did a design course there, and really enjoyed it, really loved it, and from that point, tried to get some work, couldn’t really find any, and heard some guy speaking at Qantm, just saying the best thing you can do is just band together with people you know at uni—there’s no reason why you can’t work together and make something.
And one day I got the call from Rich, who said he had a game idea and had heard I’d been studying game design; I knew an artist, and knew he’d be keen on doing something; and then we just needed to find a programmer to get the ball rolling.