PGF2015_Interview_Blake_Simpson_HiveInteractive

Blitz Bandits and I are old acquaintances, having met once before in Melbourne on SK’s game tour around Australia. In the small back-courtyard of a bar in St. Kilda, I drunkenly smashed out a few dozen rounds with some of the other punters that had come along for the arcade tour experience. Seeing it again at Perth Games Festival brought back many fond memories and once again I took up an arcade stick against others in a frenzied match of twitch reflexes. Sure, there wasn’t any booze at the event (despite my repeated requests), and children quite often make for poor opponents, especially in defeat, but I still had an enjoyable time. Before security were able to drag me away, HiVE Interactive founder Blake Simpson and I exchanged cards so we could get in contact later after my release.
 
Interview: Blake Simpson

You know, kids will talk all kinds of shit online, but in person it’s all tears and pants wetting.

 

Can you tell us about Blitz Bandits and Aliensche!? That’s an actual question, the game title just makes it look like I’m yelling at you.


 

Blitz Bandits and Aliensche! are both the product of game jams. Blitz Bandits is a two player arena shooter with a Gameboy aesthetic. It was conceived for a jam back in 2013 and completed to be a home for some chip music made my buddy Jarryd ‘ATOMSMASHA’ Nielsen. Aliensche! is yelling at everyone, and is an alien cow-collection game I made for LD Jam 34.
 

Blitz Bandits and Aliensche! both have different kinds of retro vibes going on, what were the influences for these games?


 

Both of the games were directly influenced by the theme of the jams, but I generally try to create what I feel emulates the things I enjoyed about games when I was younger. I’m a sucker for low resolution and high contrast. Did I mention nostalgia?
 

What were the biggest challenges of developing these games?


 

Time and money. I think most independent developers run into the same problems!
 

How did HiVE Interactive get started?


 

My friend Jarryd and I have been working together on all sorts of things over the years, including games, music, live performance and events promotion. Through creating HiVE interactive we aimed to establish an identity to connect with all this work.
 

Blitz Bandits and Aliensche! are both free to download and play on Gamejolt, what was your motivation for making games on which you won’t make you any financial return?


 

I love free games! Really though, I think that these games suit being able to reach people and that they have been stepping stones on the way to working on a game that I would feel happy asking for money for.
 
Interview: Blake Simpson

 

Blitz Bandits is pretty fun to play with a friend, did you specifically want to make a local co-op game, or did that just happen over the course of development?


 

I’m sure a lot of us miss couch multiplayer games and the banter that would surround. Blitz Bandits was always going to be a 1v1 game, I just wanted to make a game that got close to capturing that tenseness of local multiplayer.
 

There’s been something of a resurgance in local co-op games of late, do you think that it’s back to stay?


 

When we are seeing games return to the physical space so much, for sure! Local multiplayer just conveys so much about why it is that people actually play games.
 

Do you work full time as a games developer, or is this something you do on the side?


 

I have worked full time as a games developer, but I am currently doing it indie style, working on the side so I can get by while making games!
 

What’s it like developing as a Perth studio?


 

Great, the local development community is incredibly accepting and inspiring. I feel this city is starting to embrace experimentation, which means we all have a lot of room left to grow in Perth.
 
Interview: Blake Simpson

 

What was the rececption to these games like at the Perth Games Festival this year?


 

Amazing. I got to watch a kid get into a tantrum over losing to his brother at Blitz Bandits.
 

How can the Perth gaming community support their local devs?


 

I feel like everyone already does what they can, in their own way. The only thing that the local dev community possibly needs is more people getting into development! The more games there are being created in Perth, the healthier the community will be.
 

That’s a magnificent beard you’ve got there, what’s your secret?


 

I don’t actually have a chin.
 

Why do you want to make games?


 

I have asked myself this question many times and I think there is more than one answer. Simply put though, I want to make games that share with others the experiences I had growing up playing games.

Here are some places where you can show your support for HiVE Interactive:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hiveinteract
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiveinteract/
Website: https://hiveinteractive.wordpress.com/

Blitz Bandits and Aliensche! are available to download for free on Gamejolt:

Aliensche!: http://gamejolt.com/games/aliensche/88150
Blitz Bandits: http://gamejolt.com/games/aliensche/88150
 

Patrick Waring

Patrick Waring

Executive Editor at GameCloud
From Perth, Patrick has played video games from a young age and now has "opinions." When not fretting over whether using words like "fretting" is effeminate, he likes to write jokes about video games. Sometimes he goes outside, and other times he just sits at his PC, thinking way too hard about Nintendo games.
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