interviewBelow is Chuck Sommerville's first video interview from April 2012, when he was rasing money on Kickstarter for Chuck's Challenge 3D as he still didn't have the rights to release Chip's Challenge 1 or 2.
I'm Chuck Sommerville and I wrote the first version of Chip's Challenge and created the game. I'm also co-founder of Niffler Ltd.
How did Chip's Challenge come about?
I had this idea for a game that I always wanted to do. So I built a prototype of it at home on my own spare time. Then I got the green light to go ahead do it for the Lynx. So I made the game and then put it out there and it was a huge success.
Where is Chip's Challenge 2?
So I decided to try and do a squeal to Chip's Challenge since it was so successful. And I got permission to go ahead with that. And I worked for like two years really hard got it all published. Got it just the way I wanted it. Went back to the people who owned the name and just found out that they wanted me to upfront all the marketing costs. And they asked for $100,000 or so in advance. I couldn't afford that. I was really sad about it for a long time and I decided eventually to just move on and count it as one of those life lessons. It wasn't going to happen.
What is Niffler Ltd.?
Niffler is an independent game studio that I co-founded along with some friends of mine: Barn Cleave and Kevin Furry.
Why create a studio now?
Well there are lots of exciting things going on in development right now. You can get funding through groups like Kickstarter. And with digital distribution it's easy to get the game out there. And with mobile devices there are even more game players out there than ever.
You could raise money to create Chip's Challenge 2 via Kickstarter?
Well we though about that, so we looked into it. And Barn spent months negotiating with the rights owners, but it turned out now they wanted even more money than they wanted 20 years ago. And it just wasn't reasonable. Our only option really was to sell the game for $50 and give $40 to the right holders. Just so we could have the name Chip instead of Chuck.
What's Chuck Challenge?
First the title wasn't suggested by me, it was suggested by the team. So I went with it. Chuck's Challenge is a Chip's Challenge style game with the same type of philosophies, but for mobile device like the iPhone and iPad. But it's got some great new features like the ability to undo, it's got a built in level editor and you can share the level you create with your friends. We use some of the new technologies like cloud based computing and rapid development for mobile devices.
We're doing a Kickstarter project to raise money to take the iPhone version and move it over to the PC and Mac. The PC and Mac version are written in a Unity engine, which is an industry standard for gaming development. So it looks really good.
If Chuck's Challenge is successful we'll also move it to other platforms like say the Android.
Finally, what's with the red shirt?
Well this is the red shirt. And what happened was the art team for Chuck's Challenge tried me in a variety of different outfits and the Hawaiian shirt was one of them. And they like it the best and so did I.
What they didn't know was I already had a red shirt that look just like it. So it was kind of a chicken and egg kind of thing. We all laughed about it and thought yeah that pretty good.