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Interview de Brian Greenstone

Interview de Brian Greenstone

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Both president and developer of Pangea Software, loved for his kindness and well-known by all for his popular games such as Nanosaur, Bugdom, Cro-Mag Rally or Otto Matic, Brian Greenstone is a real idol for some, to start with me. VIP of the Mac game world, he couldn’t be ignored by JeuxMac anymore and that’s why we offer you his interview now . Through the beginning of Pangea, Otto Matic, the future game and his future projects, learn more on the famous Brian Greenstone!



-JeuxMac: Pangea Software started in late 1987. However, the company has become Pangea Software Inc since February 1999. Now that we are in 2002, how has it evolved and who work for Pangea?

Brian Greenstone: Actually, it hasn't evolved at all. I'm still the only full-time employee, and I still have just 1 artist and 1 musician per project who work as
contractors.


-JM: Since Aspyr Media has gained the right to publish Pangea's games, how are your relations with Aspyr? Who did the first step in this partnership?

BG: Aspyr took the first step 4 years ago when they asked me to lunch to discuss Nanosaur at the time. We've always wanted to work with each other, and Otto
was the first opportunity to do so. I really like working with them - they're good guys over there!


-JM: You've worked on a lot of games such as Bloodsuckers, Gerbils, Nanosaur, Bugdom, Cro-Mag Rally and more recently Otto Matic. How has your design philosophy and production philosophy evolved over the years?

BG: Well, we're much more organized now since the stakes are higher. We used to just start working on a project without really knowing where we were going, but now we get a good outline and some levels designed before we dive in. We still do a lot of designing on-the-fly, but it's just a lot more organized.


-JM: Let's talk about the last Pangea's game. What was the inspiration behind Otto Matic?

BG: Otto Matic was totally inspired by all of the 1930's-1950's sci-fi movies. Mainly, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "The Blob", and other classics like that.


-JM: What are some important lessons that you have learned with Otto Matic that you think will carry over into next projects?

BG: I don't know if I learned anything new, but certain things were reinforced such as my belief that gameplay must be diverse. In Otto we put tons of varied gameplay elements like the Bumper Cars, Teleporters, Zip-Lines, etc. Each level is like it's own mini-game.


-JM: What was the most unexpected or surprising thing that happened during Otto Matic development?

BG: Nothing, really. Otto went very smoothly. I guess the only surprise was that we finished it as soon as we did. Originally, we didn't think we'd be done until January for February.


-JM: Pangea is actually working on a new project. Nothing has been revealed except it will be incredibly different from the other games, especially because it s going to require number of new tools. Tell us a bit more...

BG: If I told you any more, I'd have to kill you! We'll be announcing it in a month or two.


-JM: A strong Mac will it be required to run it?

BG: Depends on your definition of "strong". Since most of the Macs out there are un-upgradeable iMac's, we've got to support as many of them as possible. It will probably have the same system req's as Otto Matic.


-JM: You declared that you're going to continue supporting Mac OS classic. Don't you think it will become obsolete since Mac OS X is now much more mature?

BG: No, for games, OS 9 is actually much more advanced than OS X since OS 9 has many games API's such as Game Sprockets. OS X only has OpenGL and nothing else really.


-JM: How long do you plan to continue developing games on Macintosh? Have you ever thought about Pangea being bought by another firm?

BG: Until I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams and don't have to work anymore! Yes, I've thought about selling out, but I've got nothing to sell, really. I'm the only thing valuable here since the total worth of the computers and software is maybe $10k.


-JM: What are your relations with other Mac programmer such as Glenda Adams, Brad Oliver... Have you ever talked to/met some of them?

BG: Yeah, all those guys are here in Austin so we get together all the time. I see Phil Sulak pretty often.


-JM: What are your next main projects in your life? For example, what about coming in France!

BG: You imply that I have a life, heh. No, seriously, I'm pretty focused on getting some tools done for the next game, but aside from that I need a girlfriend and I'm working on that.


A big thanks to Brian Greenstone to have given us this interview with an exemplary kindness. JeuxMac wishes him a good luck for his future projects and thanks him for all what he has done for the Mac game community that wouldn’t be what it is today without him.
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