BS: Where is the Newgrounds office on the east coast?
TF: We're in Glenside, outside of Philadelphia. I grew up there, and the Newgrounds servers are all based out Philadelphia, and moving those to the west coast would be a huge mess.
CR: How do you like it in San Diego?
TF: I never moved to San Diego. Actually we just fly out when we worked on Alien Hominid. I'd fly out for two or three weeks at a time, while we were working on it. [Programmer] Josh [Barth] originally lived down in San Diego, after Alien Hominid was done, Josh moved out to the east coast, 'cause he was excited to have seasons again.
So, once Josh was in the office, there was less need for me to go to the west coast, 'cause we got more centralized with our dev kits and everything, working on stuff.
BS: Are you going to be keeping with the same kind of scale and scope of games for The Behemoth, or do you want to make something larger? We were just joking about it: World of Castle Crashers MMO. Do you have ambition to get larger, game wise?
DP: I don't think so. I think the overall feeling is "similar or smaller." Having even light RPG elements in the game makes it so much bigger, so much more balancing is required on all these stats and everything.
Having to balance the character per level of his abilities made it way bigger. It's really simple in presentation, but underneath it all, it's this gigantic nightmare. And I think that's the biggest game that I'm going to want to work on for at least the next title. (laughter)
We have lots of ideas, and I'd like to get around them more. More ideas, at a slightly faster rate than that. So, I don't think that we ever try to make anything bigger with our current size.
BS: Basically all the art content is coming straight from you, right? It sounds like there are potentially a couple production bottlenecks in the system that you have, because you're [Dan] doing all the art and you're [Tom] the lead programmer guy, so if one of you gets stopped up, then it's like, "Well, it's tough to make the game now."
DP: We have a really good pace though. A lot of people say, "Oh, one guy was drawing, and one guy was coding, so that's why it took so long." But that's really not true. You can have nine ladies, but it's not going to take them one month to have the baby.
BS: Wouldn't it be funny if that were true, though?
DP: Yeah, it would be interesting if that was true. I mean, you've got 10 guys or one guy or 20 guys, and they're all worth their salt and everything, but basically you can't get any faster.
All games have always taken at least two or three years, whether you go back to SNES days or whatever. You're always stuck at a certain thing, and you have to let things marinade. You've got make an idea, and then sit on it, and then think about it.
BS: I think it's good to take time, even with smaller titles. It's good that you can actually afford to. I'm not sure if most people can't, or if most people think that they can't. I think that a lot of the blocks in terms of taking more time are mental. They're just not willing to say, "Fuck you, Sony! I need three more months."
DP: I think it's a step backwards that feels like a step forward to business people. Because they think that if they save that extra time, they're making more money. But in the end, I think it hurts quality, and people don't talk about the game as much, so they're not selling as much as they could have done if they invested more money.
TF: The really difficult thing is, the more people you have... Let's say we had a whole lot of people when Castle Crashers was done, if they weren't immediately working on something, they'd all be getting paid to twiddle their thumbs.
That's where the big companies usually just lay them off, and they re-hire later if they need them, and that's just not our style. We're really a great family. I always think of it like an old Japanese company, where everyone stays there for life.
DP: It's funny, we're working on an old-school genre, but it also feels old-school. Where the team's small and tight-knit. You know, it's just the way we're making games. It's more like it used to be, just by team size and all the approaches, and things like that.