Hogrocket Games announced its inception but a week ago as a second studio forming out of the ashes of Bizarre Creations by Pete Collier, Ben Ward and Stephen Cakebread. The team's decision to not group up with the other Bizarre Creations staff who formed Lucid Dreams had us curious about what to make of this new developer so we asked these nice gentlemen a few questions about their new venture and on what project they're working on first.
Pete Collier, Hogrocket's Creative Director, was more than happy to answer our queries about developing after Bizarre and hogs in rockets.
Game Rant: Is it just Pete, Ben, and Stephen, or are there more that have joined your company?
Pete Collier: For now at least, it’s just us who are full-time staff members. We have a group of super talented freelancers working with us too.
GR: What titles do Pete Collier, Ben Ward, and Stephen Cakebread hold in your company?
PC: Our official titles are: Pete - Creative Director, Ben — Managing Director and Stephen — Technical Director. How very serious.
GR: Cakebread is an awesome last name. Does Stephen bake? If he does, are his cakes or bread particularly renowned?
PC: Stephen does enjoy cooking, but is by no stretch a baker! I’m sure if he turned is hand to it he could do a pretty good job though. His name even bagged him a marriage proposal in one of the comment threads on launch day, quite impressive work for the first day of the company.
GR: You've said you're going to develop for multiple platforms, is your first platform going to be Facebook or iOS?
PC: Our first platform is iOS and our first game is designed specifically for the iPhone. Any versions of the game for other platforms we’ll re-design to compliment that platform’s strengths. Whether we do that is also dependent on how it’s received, if it bombs then we’ll learn our lessons and develop a new game. Hopefully it’ll be a success but, this is the beauty of our setup, we’re agile and if something isn’t working we can adapt quickly.
GR: Your website says you're working on your first game already. Are there any details you can give us about the title. Genre. Anything?
PC: We’re designing it specifically for the iPhone. It’s a really good challenge designing a game for the iPhone because our target audience is essentially ‘everyone’. I wouldn’t expect anything from us that you may think based on our past games. All of our back catalogue just wouldn’t work on the iPhone. We also don’t want to be doing the same stuff, this is the whole reason why we’re doing this together because each of us wants to stretch our creative muscle and not get complacent.
GR: Is there going to be a focus on games created for a younger market?
PC: Not specifically, our target audience is based on whatever device/platform we make a game for. Our branding is deliberately, fun, bouncy and childlike though. Everyone is a child at heart; it’s our job to tap into it.
GR: Lucid Games also opened up shop in Liverpool about a month ago, is there any particular reason you didn't join that group as well?
PC: It was time for us to spread our wings and venture out on our own. Lucid has a lot of the senior management from Bizarre and we learned a hell of a lot from them. But the time comes when you want to move in your own direction and take your own chances. We wish those guys all the best.
GR: We were huge fans of the games Bizarre Creations made, and were especially saddened by BC's closure. Would you like to comment?
PC: First of all thank you for being fans, it means a lot to us. I have many friends at Bizarre who have become lifelong buddies. It’s great to see them spread out across the world into all the different facets of the industry. Every cloud has a silver lining; the companies starting-up and the more senior positions that most have gone to is good for all of us. The closure was sad at the time but I’m not one for being overly sentimental, business is after all, business. You’ve just got to roll with the punches and get back up stronger which is what everyone is doing. Bizarre will live on in spirit.
Regarding Activision; to be honest on a developer level my experience was extremely positive. The individuals at Activision that I spent time with are very talented and I had good times and fond memories of working with them.
GR: Why "Hogrocket"?
PC: It was from a random name generator which Ben quickly coded up. It was one of the first names to pop out and we couldn’t stop saying it, it just seemed to roll off the tongue. It was the amalgamation of two words from a big list of words that we felt summed up the company, things that were fun, bouncy, quick and agile. With that in mind I’m not sure why ‘hog’ was in there, as on its own it’s not particularly cute or fun, maybe bouncy, but certainly not quick or agile. But put it together with a rocket and it just works. Also critically there were hardly any search engine results for it, so we felt we could own the corner of the internet which covers hogs in rockets.
We look forward to what this new studio is going to bring gamers down the stretch as we await more news regarding Hogrocket's first game. Check out their official site at hogrocket.com.
What do you think of Hogrocket's humble beginnings so far?