What's Your Line?

Nick Pavis

Nick Pavis, iOS game developer

After a career spent working on blockbusters, this LucasArts veteran decided to take his talents to the smaller screen.

By John Teti • May 2, 2012

We often use vague catchall words to describe careers in gaming: developer, designer, producer. But those words don’t tell much of a story. What’s Your Line? is an interview series designed to demystify the people who make their living in games.

It wasn’t so long ago that that the iTunes App Store was a wasteland of cheap knockoffs and virtual fart machines. And while those disposable bits of code are still out there in full force, iPhone gaming has enjoyed a well-deserved rise into respectability. The constraints of a mobile phone’s small screen and simple touch input have led to explosive creativity—and profitability—in the field of small, expressive, addictive games (a phenomenon that The New York Times Magazine recently explored).

That explosion has been fueled mostly by small startups and indie developers, but game creators at larger outfits have also taken notice. Nick Pavis spent more than a decade in the big-budget development shop at LucasArts, ascending through the ranks to become the company’s director of game technology and helping guide the production of blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. But long before his major-studio console-game years, Nick had spent his time tinkering on modest platforms like the Atari 2600. So in 2008, when he founded the mobile-game developer MunkyFun (where he serves as CEO), Pavis was returning to his roots in a way. MunkyFun’s releases for the iOS platform include the puzzle games Shift and Ivory Tiles, the animal-husbandry simulation My Horse, and the shooters Archetype and Bounty Bots. Pavis talked to Gameological about his career change, iOS vs. Android, and the strange twists a new game concept can take.

The Gameological Society: You were working on big-budget console games at LucasArts, and then you left to start a company that makes mobile games. Why make that jump? Did it feel like sort of a step down?

Nick Pavis: [Laughs] Yeah. It’s not—I was at Lucas for 11, nearly 12, years. And I had an absolute blast there. We worked on some major, major titles. But I think one of the things that gets to you eventually, if you’re very passionate about gaming and the games industry, is you have a million ideas that flow your way that you really can’t execute. Because you’re focused on very large console projects that take a long time in development and need a lot of green-lighting processes and tight budgets. And often-times you find the most fun game mechanics and the most appealing entertainment products aren’t always the big project titles. I think there absolutely is room for big-budget titles but there is a lot that can be done a smaller scale that just gets missed. I think there’s almost a feeling of feeling homesick from the old days of gaming.

Gameological: So does it feel like those early days of personal computers—the hobbyist era—to you right now in mobile games?

Genre and genre-forming isn’t a process you want to drive towards.

Pavis: Absolutely. And it’s wonderful working with people who are just joining the industry and understanding what their feeling and passion is, because it helps you to access again the wonder of making fun stuff happen late at night or at any old time during the day—you know, some weird stuff happens and suddenly you got this killer game idea. All of those traits of early development seemed kind of like the Wild West. And I think we’re going through a similar evolution now with the tablets and the mobile devices. 

Gameological: MunkyFun released a block-puzzle game, and then a first-person shooter, and then a simulation about taking care of a horse, and then a wild-west shootout game with robot cowboys. So I’m sitting here thinking, “The creative process here is either really cynical or really whimsical.” How do you decide what your next project is going to be?

Pavis: It’s funny. You do Archetype and then you do My Horse, so what’s the logical next thing? I wish that there was a really cool answer I could give you about this magical cupboard that we open up and it gives ideas to us. But it isn’t. You abstract the medium for which you’re entertaining people. And by that I mean, the genre of game is not hugely important.  When I first got hooked on games, I was playing Pong. There’s games like Pong that are very, very simple. There’s text adventures. Even pinball machines have a certain value that can’t always be captured by video games. There’s such a variety and diversity in this industry when you look at the history. You’ve got to realize that genre and genre-forming isn’t a process you want to drive towards. It’s just a way of identifying products.

Ultimately what people want to be is entertained. They want to be delighted. They want to see something cool they haven’t seen before. And they want to be entertained in a way that is new and exciting for them. So going from a horse simulation to Wild West robots from a puzzle game is—it amuses us as well. If I can speak to the good side of the company, it’s our ability to create [a software] engine that allows us to make these different games because it’s pretty much the same technology that’s driving horses, driving Bounty Bots.

Bounty Bots

Bounty Bots

Gameological: Do you still get your hands dirty programming code, or is it all suit-and-tie CEO stuff for you?

Pavis: I want to say “healthy mix,” if that’s applicable. I was on the executive staff at Lucas when I left, and for the last few years at Lucas I was doing a lot of technology strategy, but also working with all the other heads of the company to really understand where Lucas was going. I was integral with the reboot of 2004 shaping the company as a studio and taking it to where it needed to be with The Force Unleashed. These are skills that I need to bring to bear on a daily basis as far as making sure that the company can run. But I do find myself getting involved [in game design] sometimes, more than you would think.

Gameological: Okay, so give an example of something, say on Bounty Bots, where maybe you saw a problem and you stepped in. What would you see, and what do you change when you get your hands into the code?

Pavis: Games tend to take shape by themselves. It’s kind of like the story of Michelangelo carving the sculpture, and his way of looking at it was that there was an angel inside the rock, and he was just freeing that angel. It was speaking to him. I think that’s also the same with games. You have a basic idea of what you’re trying to do and you put some stuff together.

With Bounty Bots, we had decided that it would be cool to take some weapons that could modify the terrain, so that you could build and destroy the terrain in front of you. We did some demos on that, and everybody got really excited: “This is really freaking awesome. You can build a wall right in front of you, or you could build a hole.” We went down that path for some time, and we came up with the idea of these bots that could create and destroy environments.

Games tend to take shape by themselves.

It ended up not working for the casual player. People could dig a hole too deep and get stuck. People could build these huge structures that would then displace everything that was already there, including other players. And we found that it didn’t really make sense for a lot of people.

So we came back to the table. We liked the idea of robots. Somebody had been bouncing around the idea of a “grabbing the loot and taking it to the bank” type scenario. That morphed into, “Well, what if this is sort of Wild West?” And suddenly it clicked. It was like, “Yeah! That actually makes sense.” We knew the game mechanic was fun. We knew it was fun as heck to run around collecting stuff and then to take it back somewhere.

Gameological: How hard was it to give up on this terraforming idea? Did it take a while to admit, “Okay, this isn’t really working”?

Pavis: I wouldn’t say it was a case of taking time to admit it. You start getting to a point where it’s like, “Yeah, we could spend another three months trying to get this right. But it just doesn’t seem like the thing that people are going to say, ‘This is fun as hell. I’m going to play this every day.’” It was never a case of admitting it. Everything’s a journey and an exploration to get to the end. And that’s a little bit why I told you that the history of Bounty Bots is, you know, there’s not a golden cabinet we open up that tells us we’re doing a Wild West game. It is a process, and it has to be an honest process. We have to play the games and enjoy the games and be honest with ourselves. Is this fun or is this not? And we knew when we got the first playtest of Bounty Bots together, we were having so much fun in the office.

My Horse

My Horse

Gameological: That really is the art of it, isn’t it? Getting to that ineffable point where you’re having a hell of a lot of fun with it.

Pavis: Yes. Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Not only do you have to hone those skills of being honest with yourself and objective about the product that you’re making, the industry is changing in such a way that we are much closer to the consumer, now. We’re distributing stuff directly to the consumer, and we’re able to understand certain behavior from certain actions that they perform in the product. You see what people are doing and where they’re getting hung up or stuck, and what people want more of. You respond to that and that’s like the macro level of what you’re doing when you’re creating the game in the first place. So, the release 1.0 is kind of like, “Hey, we’ve got this great concept, but also we’re interested to see what the players think out there.”

Gameological: We have this feature on the site called Sawbuck Gamer where we review a lot of iPhone games. We often get commenters asking, “Where are the reviews of Android games?” And my response is, “Well, where are the Android games?” Maybe you can answer that. Why isn’t MunkyFun releasing more of its wares on the Android platform? What’s the challenge or the obstacle there?

Everyone was saying, “Android’s coming, Android’s coming. They’re gonna get it right, they’re gonna get it right.” It is, almost.

Pavis: What is the challenge, that’s a good question. We do have a product due for launch [in] early May that is going to support the Android platform. We have actually run most of our games on the Android platform, and we do have running versions of games on the Android platform. A lot of the value that the iOS platform brings is—originally it was more so, but—it brings a reduced device set that you need to be compatible with. It’s actually quite tough on iOS now that when we release a product we’re testing it across many of the iOS devices. That’s multiplied when you’re dealing with the Android devices. There is a certain ease of getting a single, “Okay, this works, and this is ready to go” product on iOS.

The second answer to that is that the iTunes App Store for the longest time, and even currently, is the place to be for getting your product out there. Getting it marketed. It’s the one place to go for iOS products. And I feel that the Android Market has been a little fragmented, though that seems to be converging as well. I think everyone was saying, “Android’s coming, Android’s coming. They’re gonna get it right, they’re gonna get it right.” It is, almost. It is almost here, and I think that you should expect to see some Android products from us in the near future.

Gameological: What sort of research was involved for My Horse? Do you have someone on staff who’s really into horses, or did you guys have to go out to a pasture and learn about taking care of a horse? Because it’s pretty detailed.

Pavis: Yeah, it is. It is. That’s a really good question. When you first start with the idea, it’s a good high-level idea, and you wonder how detailed you have be. At the end of the day, it’s a glorified Tamagotchi, right? We all understand the concept. But the attention to detail on horse ownership and care is important as well. With our partnership with [computer animation company] NaturalMotion, they brought on some expertise in the realm of horse ownership and show jumping. I think, anecdotally, it was one of our key designers on the project. He has a cousin who has a ranch. They invited [the developers] up for the weekend to do reconnaissance. I think the feeding game was borne of, “Oh! When you feed the horse, it depends what mix you put in.” So we created the mini-game around mixing feed and weighing the right amount. A lot of these, you could call them grinds, but they’re kind of fun grinds. It is actually soothing and fun, like, cleaning the horse, as well. It’s a very soothing thing to do.



Gameological: Your PR people sent me a bio that says you once took a 680-megabyte PC game, Indiana Jones And The Infernal Machine, and squeezed it down to one-tenth the size so that you could release it on the Nintendo 64. First of all, I love that you had them put that on your bio. Second of all, is it possible for you to explain to a layperson how the hell you do that?

Pavis: My heritage definitely does stretch a long way back to the days of the home micros [microcomputers]. Back in those days, we were extremely efficient because we had very little memory and very little processing power. So I had some strong experience with making things more efficient and compressing data.

Also, there’s the concept of the smoke and mirrors, the illusion. Ultimately what you’re doing is you’re building an illusion for somebody. We learned this working with ILM [Industrial Light & Magic] at Lucas. We’re “tricking” things and not making them real. It’s always about tricking people into what they think they’re seeing. Making assumptions about what the player’s going to do. They’re not going to go back to that area, so you can flush that out of memory. But if they do, then you can put some kind of ledge in place that makes it harder to them to do so, or takes longer.

With Indiana Jones, a lot of the work was compressing the data. Finding out what data was redundant—and that is the art of compression, is creating redundancy. Either from a data point of view or from a user perspective—meaning that the user cannot tell the difference between A and B, so we don’t need to store situation B if the data required for situation A is less. It always comes back to the user. What is the player experiencing here, and how are they experiencing it? What are the core values to the experience that the player is having right now? Is it the sun shining through in the top right of the screen? If it isn’t, then you shouldn’t put time into doing that.

Gameological: So you have to switch your perspective. You can’t think, like, “These buildings have to be here because this is how the town is supposed to look.” You just have to think about what the overall effect is on the player.

Pavis: Absolutely. You are tailoring the best experience you can for the player. And I think that speaks to how passionate we are about what we’re doing, and how passionate we are about the fans and the feedback we’re getting on our games. We’re very passionate about responding to that and making sure people have a really good time, as efficiently as possible.

Gameological: Your last couple of games have used this so-called “freemium” pay model—play for free, and pay for add-ons. Is that the way to go for you now, or do you decide the payment setup on a game-by-game basis?

Pavis: At the moment, I would say that freemium is the way to go. The way forward is micro-payments where people only pay for what they consume. Freemium is effectively microtransactions. You have this tremendous hurdle for people to overcome if you’ve got a product that’s got a price point. They have to do a lot of research, and wait and see, and think about it, and save up some money before they know if it really is what they want. With freemium, you’re basically saying, “Look, just take it. Play with it. Tell me if you like it.” And I can’t see that going away.

Putting a game out for free that costs so much to make is scary as hell.

It’s the honest way to go. It’s scary as hell, I have to tell you that. Putting a game out for free that costs so much to make is scary as hell. But an interesting thing about this—you see people talk about games in the App Store: “They say they’re free, but they’re not, really.” Or, “They’re trying to trick you!” For me, there’s obviously blatant trickery, but what we strive to do is be true to our word. If someone really is enjoying your game and playing it a lot, and there’s opportunity in there for them to enhance their experience by paying, that makes a lot of sense for both people.

If people are spending money, it’s an expression of their fun. How do you register how much fun someone’s having? Is it their smile? Do you measure the angle of the corner of their mouth? Well, if they’re spending money on your product—for example, with Bounty Bots, we’ve thrown a selection of costumes out there, a selection of hats, a selection of add-ons. And some products just tend to stand out for people. We can analyze that and say, “Yeah, we should do a product line a little more like this.” We’re responding to the enjoyment people are having and providing them more of what they want.

We don’t have any plans for paid products in the near future. But, you know, in the same way the App Store changed the industry, things could turn again. But I would say freemium all the way, and we have no plans to do paid products at this time.

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268 Responses to “Nick Pavis, iOS game developer”

  1. HobbesMkii says:

    It’s taken a decade, and suddenly Scott McCloud is absolutely right about micropayments. And yet, back then, Penny Arcade totally roasted him:


     Anyhow, I think Freemium is pretty great. I can try a game for free, get 90% of the features, and for a few bucks more, I can get the remaining 10% that make the game actually fun to play.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      I kinda hate the Penny Arcade guys. I especially can’t stand the writing style, and the whole shitty Dickwolves thing just pushed me over the edge. So I’m firmly in the anti-PA camp, and I relish every opportunity to make them look like jerks, as is the case here. 

      As for “Freemium” or “free2play” games, I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Though it seems to be more useful for multiplayer games, and getting the payment methods right seems kinda tricky. League of Legends, for example is widely regarded as a huge success and has brought on more and more free pc games, largely because it’s made a bazillion dollars. However, the gameplay actually suffers compared to other games in the genre, largely *because* of the payment model. 

      Granted I did play a lot of LoL and never spent a dime, while some of my friends dropped more money on it than it would have cost to just buy it at retail. 

      • Girard says:

         I imagine you got a lot of schadenfreude out of the story of Harlan Ellison excoriating the PA guys at that convention in Seattle.

        Actually that’s a situation where it’s probably impossible to tell who’s the bigger asshole.


        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Yeah, they can be dicks, but sometimes that dickishness is used for good and for awesome, as in the case with Ocean Marketing.


        • PhonyPope says:

          Ellison is.  Hey, look, it wasn’t impossible after all!

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Ah, that’s pretty good, I actually like Ellison, and everyone knows he’s an asshole. It’s super funny to me that these people who post about games online suddenly think that all of their opinions are somehow informed or matter in any way, and they have stupid fanbases tat blindly back up whatever they say. The PA guys (which, holy shit, their fans that got involved in the dickwolves thing are total shit) along with other internet videogame personalities (TotalBiscuit, various people in the SC2 tourney scene, etc) seemingly have their tiny amounts of fame go straight to their head.

      • LimeadeYouth says:

        I briefly thought about changing my name to “Dick Wolf” for this site, but tact and taste sabotaged me. That, and I wasn’t sure how to do the avatar; do you go for a pic of the L&O creator with penis hands photoshopped on or do you go for the penny arcade mascot?

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          It’s not so much the joke that bothered me, I even thought it was kinda funny, but the way they handled the objection to it was fucking shitty and stupid. It’s like they are white dudes who post their opinion on the internet without even considering that opposing viewpoints might exist/be valid. What a shocker!

      • Dikachu says:

        I have a love-hate relationship with them… a lot of the time they’re really spot-on, but with most people who start sniffing their own farts, they can be really obnoxious about shit they disagree with.

        I really got a burr in my craw when they basically told their readers that they were uncultured retards if they didn’t like the art style of Legend of Zelda – Wind Waker.

        Also, PA’s art style these days looks like total shite.  I much preferred their look about 8-10 years ago.

      • George_Liquor says:

        It’s been a long time since I read a Penny Arcade comic. As I recall PA would occasionally come up with a clever insight, but for the most part they relentlessly picked apart some minor nuisance that only a handful of people on the planet could possibly give half a shit about.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Yeah, I have a complicated relationship with Penny Arcade. On the one hand, there certainly was a time when Gabe and Tycho were sort of the ad hoc voice of the gaming masses and doing a respectable job of it. The comic was consistently funny, and looked great, and Tycho’s (or Jerry’s, or whatever, I’m losing my grip on reality here) writing in and out of the nine panels a week was really solid. Plus, they’ve done a lot of good work with PAX, and especially Child’s Play.

      On the other hand, in the last couple of years they appear to have turned into self righteous narcissistic assholes. The Dick Wolves thing was the perfect example of something where I originally had some sympathy for the guys and thought they were being unfairly villainized, but they handled the situation so poorly and so childishly that I really quickly lost a lot of respect I had for them. They could have settled that whole thing overnight with a simple apology. Plus, they’ve been drifting away from straight games coverage to basically doing a comics journal about whatever the hell they feel like- Warhammer, D&D, their own personal lives, medical conditions, and kids, etc. Plus their increasingly frequent dalliances with original stories of varying quality. I get the feeling they’re getting bored of the whole comic thing, but are letting it drag on because of the huge piles of money it nets them.

      And I’m glad to see that Scott McCloud’s problem, such as it is, is that he was too ahead of his time. I think that really demonstrates the difference between McCloud and the PA guys: one of them is a visionary, the other a pair of childish bullies who are a little past their prime. Plus, how anyone can work in comics and hate on Scott McCloud is beyond me.

      • HobbesMkii says:

         Scott McCloud’s major problem was that he seemed like a visionary broken record. He was like those futurists you see on TV where they’re all trying to top each other with increasingly outlandish predictions about the next big thing, except he was increasingly topping himself by just expanding on the one idea he’d had. So he kinda opened himself up to criticism.

        His “infinite canvas” of the web approach for comics also failed to catch on in a big way, so there’s that.

        That said, his next comic textbook should be titled Micropayments: I Fucking Called It.

      • brian miller says:

         PA the comic is pretty hit or miss for me, and I don’t follow the other strips or the PA TV stuff.  They have a lot of goodwill to burn for me because of Child’s Play

    • Fiero1987 says:

      I’m not opposed to “freemium” as a concept but right now games are all over the place in execution. Some games have huge lists of optional things to buy that don’t affect the game at all. Some games claim you can do everything without paying for optional stuff, but technically the game is too difficult or too limited if you don’t. With some games you can buy more powerful toys to make the game easier, which to me feels like I shouldn’t buy them since where’s the challenge if you’re playing in Superman mode?  Some games make you pay for “energy bars” or whatever which are basically spurts of time you can even play the game, which is absolutely my least favorite “freemium” scheme. And sometimes you’re just playing a trial and unlocking a full game, which is the most innocuous form to me and one that I don’t really have a problem with. That, and say, bonus level packs added later or something like that. Which can also get complicated. And then there’s even games that aren’t “free” to download, and STILL charge you to unlock more content after the first few levels, which can be downright bait-and-switch. 

      With all of those options and more I usually just skip “freemium” games at this point, unless it’s really clear what I’m in for. If developers could just settle on a model I can get behind it, but when I have to spend more than a few seconds figuring out the payment plan I usually just move on to one of the several hundred thousand other games I could download.

  2. Girard says:

    “I was integral with the reboot of 2004 shaping the company as a studio and taking it to where it needed to be with The Force Unleashed.”

    Oh, so this the guy was instrumental in the “reboot” which cancelled development on Sam & Max and transformed LucasArts from one of the (if the THE) most solid developers of interactive narratives into the creatively bankrupt institution it is today, churning out soulless Star Wars games indefinitely?

    Well fuck this guy. I’m not surprised his new company is only a notch or two about Zynga in terms of creative output and overall relevance to the art form.

    • CHAD says:

      “notch,” haha

    • Dwigt says:

      With all due respect, point and click games were becoming irrelevant commercially at the time. They were saved by the subscription/download model that Telltale Games developed (with many old LucasArts employees).
      And The Force Unleashed was cool. Things started to get wrong at the studio during development for the sequel.

      • Girard says:

         LucasArts used to make solid-gold non-point-and-click games back in the day, too. Their Star Wars titles were even pretty great (X-Wing, TIE Fighter, the Super Star Wars series). And their last great adventure game, Grim Fandango, wasn’t a traditional “point and click” game.

        Force Unleashed was pretty much the one not-completely-execrable-and-soulless thing LEC has crapped out in the last decade or so – and even then it was okay at best.

        Certainly all the Star Wars shit was “relevant commercially” if that matters to you, but it was largely horrible, and signaled the (creative) death throes of a company that was once one of the best, if not the best, PC game producers, but which presently has the relevance and artistic integrity of, say EA on a bad day.

    • doyourealize says:

      Just read a kind of interesting article on the downfall of Free Radical Design.  LucasArts I guess had a huge hand in that.  FRD started working with one group of employees and had a good relationship with them, and then LucasArts fired everyone and hired new guys, who (according to FRD director David Doak anyway) shit all over them, and basically didn’t let them move forward with their game (Battlefront 3).  Anyway, that sounds convoluted, but the article hints at what you’re mentioning here.  And of course it’ll be biased when you’re interviewing people from the defunct company, but I’m inclined to believe them over a company with the reputation of LucasArts.


  3. LimeadeYouth says:

    Growing up on a farm, I got to see first hand the science that went into balancing feed rations. Turns out most farmers aren’t really into the whole “numbers” thing, but my dad was a former engineering student with a thing for making things “better”. When the first PC’s came out, he spent a lot of time with the local extension agent working on a tiny green screen optimizing feed allocations. It’s kind of cool to see that expressed in a mini-game.

    Now, I suppose I need a phone that costs more than $8 to play it though.

    I mention he was a former engineering student because he went to college for a degree in metallurgical engineering, but quit after his freshman year once he found out that most students in his major ended up working in foundries, a job that was a major turn off for his farm kid background. Nowadays I have friends who are taking CS majors and those sorts of thing with the general idea of getting into the gaming industry. I wonder how many of them realize they’re going to be spending more time compressing data than they are developing fun mechanics and concepts.

  4. doyourealize says:

    “We knew it was fun as heck to run around collecting stuff and then to take it back somewhere.”  Really?  In my experience, mobile games can be fun for a second, but really don’t encourage anything past that.  They basically take that one mechanic – “Hey, it’s fun to go get stuff then bring it back” – and expect it to remain fun over the course of 120 levels or something.  There’s no arguing that mobile games are profitable, but something can definitely be said about their “respectability”.

    And I don’t want to sound like a hater who thinks this is the downfall of core-gaming or whatever, but someone somewhere has to admit that games like this are really no more than distractions.  And distractions are fine, but Nick Pavis and others are trying to make them sound like more than they are.

    I will say that I have an Android phone, so I have not tried the games in this article, but have played plenty of the top-notch mobile games (Fieldrunners, Angry Birds, Where’s My Water, and even Game Dev Story) and the previous comments reflect my experience with those.  I like them, and I will most likely get more of them at some point, but they wear thin far before you ever “beat” them.  And besides, now that I can basically turn my phone into a SNES and play FFIII and LoZ:LttP, I really don’t need too much more. 

    • zebbart says:

      Cut the Rope is an Android game that did a good job of adding twists to the mechanic to keep it interesting and fun. Unfortunately it is a little too easy all the way through.

      What do you use to emulate SNES? I’ve seen some emulators in the app store but I’ve been skeptical. I’m kind of surprised that the controls and the graphics all work on a 2″x4″ screen. Not a problem?

      • doyourealize says:

        I use Snes9X EX, and find the ROMs on Roms4droid.com.  I had Snesoid before that, but it was crap…all the “oid” emulators are crap, actually.  Snes9X EX works really well, even Sabin’s blitzes are pretty reliable, and there are options to change the size of the controller to make it work for you.  You might have to download it to a PC and transfer it to your phone.

      • I have a low-spec Android (Samsung Galaxy Mini, which isn’t the worst but has trouble with some apps and is a bit uncomfortable at times, mainly because it’s very low-res) and SuperGNES works great. It’s great for RPGs, but platformer/action games are annoying, having to use multiple buttons rapidly. Still, there’s plenty of SNES and GB/GBA RPGs to play.

    • George_Liquor says:

       Personally, I like where mobile gaming has headed lately: short, satisfying games to play while taking a long dump. I just don’t have the patience (or the eyesight) anymore to noodle on a tiny little portable console for hours on end.

      • doyourealize says:

        That’s my point, I think.  They are great for taking a crap, but I don’t think the definition of a respectable game format is, “Nice to play when you have to poo.”  It’s not that I don’t like mobile games, I just want people like this guy to be honest about what they are.

      • Basement Boy says:

        Yep, a few rounds of iPod Bookworm is perfect for toilet time.

      • lokimotive says:

        Mobile gaming’s mantra should be: “Fun when taking a dump” Since I’m not a game designer, I don’t have to worry about how to make that apply to innovation in design, but I would like that to be the top paradigm.

      • zebbart says:

        I’m in that sad camp myself as a new father with a small business. The worst part is casual phone games have basically meant the end of reading for me. When else am I going to pick up a book? Also, just like NPR has its “driveway moments” when you get home but stay in your car because you’re so engrossed in the story, I’ve discovered “numb ass moments” when I am done taking care of business but don’t want to quit playing. I look forward to game developers bragging about how their games keep you on the toilet long after the load has dropped.


    I hate asshats like this

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      How is he an asshat?


      I hate useless comments like this.

      • LimeadeYouth says:

        I thought it was the first half of a hack comedian’s joke:

        “I hate asshats like THIS, while people from this other group hate asshats like THAT”  *guffaw*

  6. 王磊 says:

    I am steven from gamewave which is the largest webgame operation company, and I know you are a famous IOS game studio around the world, our company has over 2000 wokers around the world, and we have many years experience on the game operation and game distribution. So I need to find some high quality IOS game to publish in CHINA or around the world. So we want to cooperate with you.
    Business mode:1: we buy your game and publish in China  2:we pubilsh the game in China, to be your Chinese market game distributor ,and do all the operation and marketing job, revenue share.
    We show much interests on your IOS games, and we would like to be your Chinese distributor, so can I know your idea? I am sorry I do not know your business email, so I contact you with this one, please let your BD contact me.
    Looking forward to your soon feedback.
     email: wanglei1@cy2009.com   www.gamewave.net