Post feature RSS Pirates and pooches: An interview with Jolly Rover developer Andrew Goulding

As if it weren't great enough to have an adventure game where all the main characters are dogs, Brawsome's Jolly Rover had to take things to the next level with pirate dogs! We spoke to the man behind the game, Australian developer Andrew Goulding, about his stints programming adventure games for PlayFirst, founding his own studio, developing Jolly Rover, and sticking to his guns about a $19.99 price point.

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As if it weren't great enough to have an adventure game where all the main characters are dogs, Brawsome's Jolly Rover had to take things to the next level with pirate dogs! We spoke to the man behind the game, Australian developer Andrew Goulding, about his stints programming adventure games for PlayFirst, founding his own studio, developing Jolly Rover, and sticking to his guns about a $19.99 price point.You've worked on several gamespoint-and-click that will be familiar to casual game fans: PlayFirst's Avenue Flo, Emerald City Confidential, and Nightshift Legacy. Tell us more about your involvement with these projects.I provided all content/gameplay programming on all these titles, except Nightshift Legacy, I just worked on one slider puzzle. In Avenue Flo and Emerald City Confidential I wrote a bit of placeholder dialog, but much of it was taken out. I wrote some racy dialog for the robotic talking Recycling Machine in Avenue Flo. One particular line for placing a recyclable item in the token slot said “Wrong hole. Is this your first time?” in a monotone robot voice, which we all thought was quite funny, but had to take it out lest it offend some users.The best thing I took away from these projects was an appreciation of the casual audience and what frustrates them, and there are a lot of these things! I tried to integrate as many casual gameplay mechanics in Jolly Rover as I could without taking away the core adventure element of it. Focus testing experience shows that the majority of casual players don’t like to read too much in games, but I bent this rule a bit for Jolly Rover because I didn’t want to take away from the story and character of the game.Why did you decide to strike out on your own and form Brawsome?I started Brawsome while I was working for Codemasters in England in 2006. At the time it was just a website where I was going to do reviews and post small flash games, it was fairly random, and mainly a landing pad for my other adventure – Just Another Point and Click Adventure.This is about the time I got in contact with Dave Gilbert about a collaboration on an adventure, he was working on the Blackwell series then and wanted to do a slightly different type of game that I won’t mention here. I contacted Dave because of his prominence as an adventure game designer amongst the Adventure Game Studio (AGS) community and really wanted to work with him on something.We didn’t end up working together on that title, but kept in touch. When I heard Dave landed a project with PlayFirst in early 2008 I contacted him to see if he needed a programmer and went from there. I only registered the Brawsome business name part way through development of Emerald City Confidential, about the same time I quit my job as Assistant Producer at Australian developer Krome Studios to pursue contract work full time.Before then I was doing 20 hours a week for Dave, and 40 hours a week at my full time job with 15 hours a week travel time… PLUS my wife had just given birth to our first child. If I wasn’t mad enough to attempt this in the first place, I certainly was a little crazy afterwards, but tired, mostly tired. I have to take my hat off to my wife, we haven’t had a proper holiday since I started work on Emerald City Confidential back in 2008. I work weekends, nights, sometimes I’ll get out of bed at night to go answer an email or write down an idea. I don’t know how or why she puts up with me, but I’m glad she does!

Continued here: Gamezebo.com

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