Games are pretty different from the regular interactive projects. It takes much more time to produce a good game. Of course games are part of the interactive world, but there is one thing which is very hard to define: gameplay.
BR: Hey Guys. My name is Bartlomiej Rozbicki - I'm CEO of creative agency Ars Thanea (arsthanea.com) and head of studio at Ars Thanea Games (atgames.eu). I was interviewed on FWA some time ago so I'm really happy we could meet again Rob after almost 10 years. Let's see what changed over these years...
AG: Hi, my name is Artur Ganszyniec and I'm Lead Game Designer in Ars Thanea Games.
Our new game Puzzle Craft released for iOS market recently got MOTD on FWA, and we would like to share with you a few insights about this production.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
BR: IGN, Techcrunch and of course Google.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
BR: For me would be creating Ars Thanea. Together with my two partners: Pawel Piotrzkowski and Peter "Hejz" Jaworowski we've built one of the most creative companies in the world. This is what I'm really proud of. And since Ars Thanea is doing great and we are looking for new directions our decision was to found Ars Thanea Games: a studio focused only on creating great games. Our newest game - Puzzle Craft has is hit the AppStore, was rated in TOP 10 iPad games in many countries, including US, and has really positive reviews from the press!
How do you relax or unwind?
AG: The most obvious answer is: by playing games, but I also have a thing for a good cuisine, pilates, and paperback crime novels.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
AG: The favourite part is that we have an opportunity to make something that people will enjoy, and the hardest part is to actually make it happen. Finding the right way to present an idea you have in mind takes many iterations, and sometimes can be pretty frustrating. When I get stuck, I try to go for a walk, or busy myself with something else and sleep the problem over.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
AG: That would be the moment when I decided to quit my secure job as a business analyst at a big telecom company, and started working with games.
What software could you not live without?
AG: I need a web browser, a text editor and a steady supply of new games.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
BR: Games are pretty different from the regular interactive projects. It takes much more time to produce a good game. Of course games are part of the interactive world, but there is one thing which is very hard to define: gameplay. It is the fun you have from the game, and it is one of the most important elements of a good production. A game can have brilliant graphics, excellent audio, etc., but if the fun isn't there people just won't be interested. I'm describing this to give you better understanding why games are long and time consuming projects.
Right now Ars Thanea Games is a small team, so we focus on one production at a time. We've finished Puzzle Craft in August and now we are working on future updates for the game, we are also thinking about something brand new and fresh in the upcoming months, but it is to early to share any details.
Who is your target audience?
BR: Basically our goal is to make games for the people in general, not for one particular group. Of course there are genres which focus on a specific group of players but in Ars Thanea Games we do games for everyone. Puzzle Craft is fun for an adult who enjoys strategy and depth in a game, and at the same time it can be fun for kids enjoying the simplicity of collecting puzzles, quirky sounds and characters in the game.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
We will see that in the number of downloads ;)
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
BR: For Ars Thanea - we've achieved a lot on visual field and still there is a place for improvement in the future. But guys are doing amazing work and I believe it won't change in the future. In AT Games we want to make more great games for as many platforms as possible. That is the plan. I believe the future is now and we have to focus on chance we have now.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
AG: The games market in general and the mobile games market in particular is changing at a lightning pace. New models of games emerge, the monetization models change with the decline of pay-for-download games and the raise of free-to-play games, and games with in-app-purchases. We are thrilled to be a part of that market and facing the challenge of integrating new business model into an exciting gameplay.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
AG: More of an observation, that going from a great idea to a great execution usually takes several iterations.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
AG: Thank you for the interview.
BR: Thank you Rob, and have a nice time playing Puzzle Craft.