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.
OXCGN’s Fruit Ninja Kinect Review
Flailing ‘about’ has never been so fun
©2011 Gav Ross
Having the honoured distinction of being the first Kinect-enabled Xbox Live Arcade title, Fruit Ninja Kinect has more pressure to deliver the goods than most downloadable titles.
Can slashing randomised produce with your arms be as fun as kicking back with an iPhone and just making your index finger tired?
Actually, it’s not just as fun, it’s even better.
OXCGN’s Dead Space iPhone 4 Review
Strategic dismemberment in the palm of your hand!
©2011 Arthur Kotsopoulos
When a title that is so graphically visceral on its console counter parts can offer almost the same level of detail and immersion on a mobile device, it’s pretty impressive.
Okay, so I lied: it doesn’t offer the ‘exact gaming experience’ as its console counterparts, but for a game on a mobile device that is mainly used to call, message and browse the internet, it certainly is a looker.
Developed by Iron Monkey Studios, Dead Space on the iPhone 4 is not only graphically impressive with its lighting, character models, and environment, but is also fluid and easy with its innovative control scheme.
OXCGN’s iPhone 4 NBA Jam Review
We brought the peanut butter &… EA definitely brought the JAM!
©2011 Arthur Kotsopoulos
I can safely say that many hours both during and outside of class time were spent in the gaming dungeon slamming away the competition.
When I heard that NBA Jam was being released for consoles with updated graphics and using the current roster of NBA athletes, I was very excited.
And better yet now that it’s been released for the iPhone 4, anytime and anywhere I can sit down and get my boomshakala happening while negotiating the urban sprawl we call Sydney on the various modes of public transport.
: New On The Way?
Can Panasonic manage a new handheld – or?
©2010 Grant Smythe
While it has yet to be ‘officially’ announced, the pics and video of “The Jungle” could mean yet another handheld is heading our way, but can the market take it, or want it, and better still, could Panasonic pull it off, especially after their past blunder with the 3DO many years ago.
Sure, times have changed, but to produce a handheld that has both a decent keyboard, touch-screen and online gaming would require a significant amount of investment, and that means a higher than normal retail price. What could be the reason behind it . . .