informa
/
3 min read
News

PopCap: Next Project Will Bring Major Changes To Dev Process, Thanks To Touch

PopCap has typically started with PC for its games, then ported to other platforms, but the success of iOS has forced the studio to rethink that measure, reveals PopCap's Matt Johnston as part of a
PopCap has typically started with PC for its games and then ported to other platforms, but the success of iOS has forced the studio to rethink that measure, reveals senior producer Matt Johnston as part of a new Gamasutra feature interview. Last year, PopCap co-founder John Vechey had some harsh words for company's mainstay, downloadable PC games: "Downloadable [PC] games are irrelevant. We only work on them because they work well to go to other platforms." But even that seems to be changing. Describing the company's "platform philosophy" as part of a new interview, PopCap's senior producer of core IP, Matt Johnston told Gamasutra that things are changing more drastically with the company's new, unannounced project. Touch interfaces have changed things so drastically that, he says, developers would "have to have [their] head[s] in the sand to at least not consider." For the company's new game, says Johnston, "the way that I'm directing the team is, we have a lead platform, but we're actually going to do something pretty different, which is we're going to build our game to be as accepting of the main, dominant input mechanisms out there." "So we're going to build our game for platform A as the lead platform, but we're also going to build our game so that it also considers platform B, and that the adaptation process is a little bit more smooth, and it's not as work-intensive," he says. Games like Plants vs. Zombies debuted on PC first before being painstakingly ported to other platforms -- a process that takes a long time for the company. "PVZ XBLA was a project that I worked on, and the first thing I did was get those guys to figure out the control scheme, because that was a big question; like, 'Is this even going to work?' And it wasn't like, 'make it work', it was like 'let's see if it works, and if it doesn't work we're not going to do it.' And we actually took a long time trying to get it to work," says Johnston. This time around, the team hopes to "close the gap" between versions thanks to a more agnostic approach to input. "...it makes business sense for us, and it makes good sense for us, just in terms of getting people what they want. So we're trying to make that a little bit easier for us, so we can get more games out to these people," says Johnston. The full feature interview covers much, much more about the company -- including delving deeply into the genesis of its 4th & Battery offshoot, its internal PopCamp game jams, and how the company worked with a nine-year-old to make his Make-A-Wish come true in the form of a new 4th & Battery game, Allied Star Police. It's live now on Gamasutra.

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more