Summary: Marketing Head Jay Moore talks about Marble Blast Ultra, those Tribes successor rumors and more.
FiringSquad: First, GarageGames has generated a ton of press lately thanks to the popular Xbox 360 Live Arcade game Marble Blast Ultra. Did the company anticipate how popular the game would become?
Jay Moore: We knew that Marble Blast Gold was fun and always wanted it to be multiplayer. And on the right platform, with the right players this game would find its full potential. Did we anticipate how popular it would be? To be honest the rapid success of Marble Blast Ultra has eclipsed even our most enthusiastic expectations.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about future plans for Xbox 360 Live Arcade games from GarageGames?
Jay Moore: We will have them and they will be fun. They will be made with the Torque Shader Engine (TSE) for Xbox 360. They will take advantage of Live! Beyond that our previously unannounced titles will remain unannounced.
FiringSquad: Are there any upcoming Live Arcade titles developed by third parties that will use your technology?
Jay Moore: Yes. We've had many new conversations regarding TSE Xbox 360 with both established and new studios looking to bring their games to XBLA.
FiringSquad: How hard is it to not only develop games but also create and update technology that will be used by others?
Jay Moore: Actually making great technology without using it to make games is like being a gourmet chef and never tasting your own food. As fun as it is to make games we do enjoy making powerful tech to take advantage of the next-gen consoles. The push to get Marble Blast Ultra out in the launch window of Xbox 360 was a great way to pressure test Torque and we're working on rolling all the optimizations back into the core TSE code base.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about upcoming changes and advances for your Torque Engine technology?
Jay Moore I can give you a peak at what we're showing off at GDC. TSE has continued to improve and we'll be showing off the updated Atlas Terrain and the new water system as we show off Milestone 3 at GDC. We also have a whole new version of Torque Game Builder (TGB), our 2D game engine we'll be showing off with Mighty Fist. TGB is a great way not just to learn game making, but a high performance engine for professional 2D game development, so many game types really are more fun in 2D. We'll also be showing off Torque Constructor, a next generation CSG editor for the masses. This customizable level editor is fully customizable with Torque Script.
SIDEBAR: In addition to the 3D Torque Game Engine, GarageGames also sells a full fledged 2D based Torque Game Builder.
Jay Moore: You always want us to talk about what we're not talking about... YET! There are some exciting things going on behind the scenes, more content, our expanding Torque Developer Network wiki, our "Break Into Games" contest that will be announced soon and of course our 5th annual Indie Games Con, will this be the year we get John Callaham to Eugene for IGC?
FiringSquad: What else will GarageGames be showing at its booth during GDC?
Jay Moore: You'll see our tech demo of TSE called Legions.
FiringSquad: There was a lot of speculation that some tech demos GarageGames is working on could turn into a full-fledged game, perhaps a "spiritual successor" to Tribes. Can you comment at all about this speculation?
Jay Moore: Wow! Can you believe the speculation, my comment is that its amazing how a two line comment in a forum can blow up into such a huge global rumor in a few short hours while we slept. We'd planned to show this at GDC and see what kind of response we got before rolling out any more of our plans, you can imagine we've had some great planning sessions lately over beer. One great result of this speculation is we've had more beer donations lately than we've had in years.
FiringSquad: Where do you see the indie games movement going in the next few years, especially with consoles like the Xbox 360 becoming a haven for these kinds of games?
Jay Moore: I think we're going to see more studios finding their 'sound' and doing a wide diversity of fun games. I heard someone refer to XBLA games as snack food for gamers, and I think we've focused on making full course meals to fit the retailing of games and now we'll have a much larger variety of games to snack on. Both short immersive games as well as distractions type games we're seeing in the casual game market.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about GarageGames and its current and future plans?
Jay Moore: There was a time when we were the early visionaries, promoting access to cutting edge technology at reasonable prices, building a strong community around indie game development and promoting online distribution as the future market opportunity for smaller developers. We've begun to realize those goals and we have some very exciting projects in development. I think you'll see GarageGames fulfilling our mission to provide cool technology and fun games all made on our own terms.
We’d like to thank Jay Moore of GarageGames for participating in this interview. We look forward to checking out future offerings from GarageGames in the near future!
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