You mean Clash of Heroes, or you mean your next next game?
NV and KP: Next next game. (Laugh)
NV: Clash of Heroes, Ubisoft will define the price-point, and we'll smile and nod because that's their job and our job is to make it amazing. But our next games... like Sword and Sworcery on iPhone, we get a chance to do what we want to do with pricing there. Heartbeat we'll get a chance to price the way we want to.
Then, the next big project that we're working on -- we're going to be constantly making a bigger game, so we'll definitely adjust and figure out that price-point as well.
The whole price-point thing is just kind of crazy. It's such an interesting part of the video game landscape that we exist in right now where small, independent studios get a chance to define the financial component of their own game.
Well, there was a little shockwave when Adam Saltzman didn't make Canabalt cost a dollar. Like, "Oh! You can do that!" It sounds funny to put it that way, but everyone seems to be really grasping at straws to find what the pattern is.
KP: Yeah. I think it's mostly about just being honest about what kind of game you're making, but also I think it's important to make sure you're not devaluing games in general by saying, "Here's my awesome game! It's going to be 99 cents!" That does no good for anybody.
NV: I think overall, pricing is something that comes out of understanding the type of project you're making. We don't have to sit there and do sales forecasting and all this kind of crap. We need to make sure that we make our money back -- hopefully; cross fingers -- but we don't have to be scientific about it. We can just be honest about it.
How do you decide what projects to pursue? You have Heartbeat; you have your "next next game," which will be a big part of your efforts moving forward. But how do you identify big versus small projects? How do you settle on them and make them go?
KP: Actually, I think it's a little bit of an organic process. We sort of just go with the flow, and there's constantly discussion about different games that we'd want to make. We're constantly talking about our next next next next next project.
There's a big, long list at Capy of the games that we eventually want to make, and it's a combination of where the opportunities are coming from and also, I guess, what we just feel like we need to make.
Coming out of Clash of Heroes and Critter Crunch, we cautiously wanted to make two games that were not puzzle games because it's kind of just ended up that way.
You don't want to get pigeon-holed, or you just got bored?
KP: Yeah, exactly; we don't want to be pigeon-holed into "That's the puzzle game studio." So that was part of the motivation for Sword and Sworcery and Heartbeat -- but definitely not the full motivation for them. It's hard to pin down. We get very excited about an idea; we'll just go with that.
NV: We've had ideas that have come out of a meeting where we're like, "Let's pitch an idea" or "Let's get together and talk about ideas," but we've also had ideas come out of having a few beers in a bar and somebody makes a joke and that joke turns into something we actually think could be cool. Or we'll be sitting there, riffing on an idea just for fun at midnight one night, and something will just pop out of Kris's mouth and we'll laugh at it.
I think a lot of ideas that we have come out, at least in some way or another, from our sense of humor, but I think the idea of being able to just have ideas coming constantly so that we do have that list and can say, "Yeah, that idea that we came up with six months ago doesn't seem as appealing now; but this one that we had three years ago or whatever -- what if we did this with it?"
Just making sure that we always know that there's always an open opportunity to pitch an idea for a game... It's so easy to do when you're small and comfortable, when that's just the norm -- that's the culture: to just have ideas.
KP: And a lot of it I think just comes from the kind of games that we actually want to play. That's a big thing, at least for me. Clash of Heroes was one of those things where I wanted to play that game on DS; that's what I wanted to play. That's kind of where it came from. Our next next game is kind of like, what do we want to play on PSN or XBLA? When you log on, what's that one game that you'd love to be playing right now? I really want to play the games that we pursue.