Beef, Boobs and Spism (Interview with Baller Industries)
The Xbox Indie Games channel is filled with the absolutely pointless titles that includes zombies, boobs, and those voxel games. If you haven’t added any of these features in your game, you are doomed forever. One developer takes the point and click adventure genre and makes it his own. I am not really sure I understand the whole idea behind these stories Baller Industries tells us. So I had time to get the nitty-gritty out of Angus Cheng. I got the mind numbing questions out of the way, which will hope clear the air of why boobs, and why spism.
VVGtv: Hey Angus, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions regarding you and your hilarious titles you have published. Every time I see your name, I want a cheeseburger.
BI: No worries Ryan. A lot of people don’t know the name Angus, so whenever I meet new people I tell them my name is Angus, like the cow.
VVGtv: I’m hungry, let’s start with a question that usually pops into my head when looking at your games. Why Boobs? Why Spism? Why the point and click adventure games?
BI: Back in 2009, when I was in my final year of university, I was playing through a lot of point and click adventure games. I played all the Leisure Suit Larry games in order. I really liked the dated references, humour and the idea of telling a story through a video game. I wasn’t too crazy about the game play. I think for almost of them I used a walk through to get to the end. Then when I was done with them, I wondered why no one was making them any more. I felt sad for a little bit and then continued doing whatever the hell it was I did back then. Then I realised adventure games are about the easiest category of games to code. So I went about working on my first video game Get Rich or Die Gaming.
A few weeks after starting the project, I had nothing. When you launched the game, a picture displayed, and an audio file played saying “Wilson is playing DotA”, then another picture appeared. That was it. I then went out to hang out with some friends. I hadn’t seen them in a while and things were a little bit uncomfortable. So I started telling everyone about the adventure game I was making. Among the group was a great illustrator called Steve, and a really funny writer called Vishal. As I was telling them about the game they all got really interested. So much so that Steve, Vishal and I agreed to meet up the next day and work on Get Rich or Die Gaming.
The next day Vishal wrote the spism dealer scene. I think originally the drug dealer threatened to fire semen onto the player’s face. I realised this might not be something appropriate for XBOX Live and so we changed it to an offering of spism in a cup. So that’s the story of the point and click adventure games and spism. What about the boobs? I just did it because they’re eye-catching.
VVGtv: Besides trying to make everyone laugh uncontrollably while playing your games, what are some of the SUPER FUN Recreational activities you enjoy?
BI: I really enjoy playing pranks on people. Which is why I don’t have many friends and decided to pursue a career as a computer programmer. I also like hiking, I go hiking twice a week at least, I actually prefer to go on my own. I get the opportunity to think about dialogue between characters, general story lines and other planning related stuff. I drink an unbelievable amount of coke. At least two cans a day, so I need to do some exercise to prevent myself from becoming unbelievably obese.
Recently a friend of mine Wilson was applying for PhD positions at various universities in Australia. I was overseas at the time and realised if I called him up the number would be blocked and he wouldn’t know it was me calling. So I called him up and put on a thick Australian accent.
I told him I was a professor from Macquarie University, and asked him some basic questions to get him to feel I really was from Macquarie University. Then I asked him if he would be willing to bite a horses tail to get the position. This really confused him. He didn’t answer for a while then said he thought he might have heard me wrong. I repeated the question and he said he didn’t know what I meant. “It’s perfectly simple, you grab a horse by the tail, put its tail in your mouth and then bite”. He then said he wouldn’t be willing to do that. Then I burst out laughing and he realised it was a prank.
VVGtv: What has been your biggest moment in developing your games?
BI: It would have to be the launch of Get Rich or Die Gaming. I couldn’t believe how many people bought it, talked about it on twitter, made YouTube videos and sent me hate mail. It’s nice to have a high selling game, but it’s really great getting all the feed back from people. Even if it’s extremely angry.
VVGtv: What inspires all of your titles such as Get Rich or Die Gaming, Let’s get Fiscal, and your most recent title, Rock Bottom?
BI: With Get Rich or Die Gaming I was inspired by classically styled adventure games, and the XNA framework. I really wanted to make something with XNA. With Let’s Get Fiscal I wanted to make a more traditional game, something that had more game play and something that would push my technical skills. With Rock Bottom I just wanted to get back to the world of Wilson Cooper. My next game is called THE RISE OF GADDAFISH. I was sitting on gmail chat one day, and a friend asked me what my next game was about. At the time I was working on Rock Bottom and had told him about it a million times. I was so mad, that I replied to him with the stupidest game idea ever. He laughed and said it was a great idea. Then I thought about it and agreed, it was a great idea and decided to use it for the opening of my next game, The Rise of Gaddafish.
VVGtv: Do you have a sneak peek of Rise of Gaddafish for us?
BI: Here’s a sneak peek of the opening comic for The Rise of Gaddafish.
VVGtv: Woah that is nice! How good is Baller Industries?
BI: It is really good.
VVGtv: Again Mr. Cheese Burger, I thank you for joining us. As always, Live Long and Spism!
BI: Thanks Ryan!