Following on from our review of Age of Booty: Tactics, Thinkbad Monkey and Kailios managed to sit down with Certain Affinity’s Mike McCarthy to talk about the game and some of the other bits and bobs the company has in store for us.
1. What made you want to bring Age of Booty to mobile?
We had wanted to make another Age of Booty game for years and a lot of fans that we met at conferences and events were also asking for another Age of Booty game. We aren’t opposed to creating more Age of Booty games for console or PC again, but for the next game (which became Age of Booty: Tactics) we thought that the bright environments, colorful characters, and fun pirate world would represent really well on phone and tablet. If we made a mobile version, then you would be able to have an on-the-go Pirate adventure wherever/whenever.
2. So were there any particular challenges mobile faced compared to the consoles?
The biggest challenge was changing the game from synchronous to asynchronous play. We attempted synchronous in early development, and it wasn’t translating to these new platforms with the quality bar that we set for the game. Changing to asynch was a major paradigm shift for us as all of our previous work was in synchronous games. It was tricky to find the right pace and “rhythm” to the game, but it was the right move for the platform and for Age of Booty: Tactics.
3. Thank you for making this game free to play, did you have to put a lot of thought into this or did you always know you didn’t want to charge?
You are very welcome. We went back and forth on this topic as we are from more of a consumer-packaged goods background, although we have done a lot of DLC in our day and Crimson Alliance was a completely digital product. We did put an awful lot of thinking and debating into the decision, there are probably still folks in the office that think it would be better off as a paid app, but for today we are free as a bird… well, a bird in the wild that is. Not one that you would have to buy at a pet store.
4. We love the fact you have included Rooster Teeth characters in the game. Can you shed any light on who else apart from Gavin or Gus we could see coming next?
I want to save a few things for your readers to speculate upon, but I can tell you that a certain Rooster Teeth personality and his thunderous slap (http://bit.ly/1ouuzYU) will be sailing on the high seas very soon…
5. You have made great contributions to huge triple A games, including one of our all time favourites Left 4 Dead. Do your prefer making your own games, or working with other teams on the likes of Halo or Call of Duty?
Oh man, thanks! We are Left 4 Dead fans too. I know it sounds lame, but we like both. The challenges are so different. I think that if we only did one thing, we would get bored or burnt out and start to stagnate creatively. Doing both, and a lot of our people go back and forth from the AAA co-development work to developing our own IP, keeps the creative challenge fresh for us.
6. And I have to ask, who is your favourite captain and why?
I’ve been using Gavin the Mad a lot in ranked matches, but I’m a purist, so I have to go with Captain Biggs and his kick ass gold tooth. C’mon, he’s the face of the franchise! Just look at that Pirate mug in the app icon. He even looks like he is saying, “Yarrrrr!” How fun is that? I use the Bobbin’ Bonnies (mines) a lot when I play to block off parts of the map from my opponent and/or use them as weapons when I move them into a ship with a Facebreaker. Bigg’s default deck is full of those two curses, so he’s the Captain now.
Thanks to Mike and the team for taking the time to answer our questions. If you haven’t yet picked up Age of Booty: Tactics, it is available now as a Free to play game on IOS. To check out what we thought of the game, click here to read our review.