An Interview with Dave Scott, Backyard Monsters` Executive Producer
Posted by Pat Gibbons (RedCoatGunman), Mar 18, 2012 18:50
Recently, Backyard Monsters celebrated its 2 year anniversary of going live, and gave us some big numbered statistics including:
*20,000,000,000+ gallons of virtual blood spilled
*3,000,000,000+ monsters created
*200,000,000+ PVP attacks
*175,000,000+ hours played
*20,000,000+ game installs
Gamers Daily News got the chance to chat with Dave Scott, KIXEYE Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Backyard Monsters about how the game has evolved over the years.
First off, I would like to thank you Dave for taking time from your busy schedule to talk with us about your game.
I’ve played games that are very similar to Backyard Monsters in terms of game play, but what stands out to me is the art style. It kind of reminds me of being a kid, playing with army men and making little forts out of coffee cans. How exactly did this idea come about?
When I started work on Backyard Monsters, we were unsure if a hardcore looking game could get any traction on Facebook. At the time, Farmville was at its peak; every other studio was copying their art style and targeting the same middle-aged soccer moms. We had a hardcore mechanic where you could spend time (and money) building up an army, to only have it destroyed. There was lots of blood and explosions, but we hedged our bets when it came to making the buildings and monsters and went with something more whimsical. After launch, we quickly realized that there was indeed an audience for a hardcore RTS and we updated the monsters to make them look more edgy. The scale of the game came from us initially thinking we would make something with gnomes, dodged a bullet there!
Recently you released an expansion for your game, Inferno. In addition to having its own unique style, it also brought a lot of new things to Backyard Monsters like a story, a villain, and an actual objective. What motivated these changes and what was your team hoping to accomplish with them?
The goal of Inferno was to prove to ourselves that even if a game is 2 years old it’s still possible to make some significant game-changing additions. We’ve seen more traditional games release expansion packs (WoW: Cataclysm, Comand and &Conquer Generals: Zero Hour), but in our space, most other long-standing games had either stopped updating, continued to release small incremental updates, or take what could have been an expansion pack and release it as a new game (Raventwood Fair / Ravenwood Mine). With Inferno, we created an entirely new set of buildings, monsters and a new environment. We also changed some of the game rules and mechanics to make it play slightly differently. We are now merging the worlds, by letting the players use their Inferno resources, to produce Inferno themed buildings in their above-ground yard. They can also bring the Inferno monsters up to fight in battles.
Other than Inferno, what other changes have you made to Backyard Monsters since its inception?
Absolutely. We have been updating Backyard Monsters every week for 2 years. We have occasionally taken a break to work on some longer projects, such as the Champion monster, the synchronous world map, and Inferno, but most of the content in the game was released over a long period of time.
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