Interview with Tommy Forslund from Polarbit
We had the chance to take an interview again with Tommy Forslund. He stated his opinion towards piracy of iPhone Apps and told us what has to happen so the iPad can become a gaming device.
How long have you been thinking on releasing a sequel of Raging Thunder?
We’ve been thinking about it basically since we started work on the first one. The idea was always to create something that we could build on with future instalments.
It took us a while to get started, partly because RT1, Armageddon Squadron, WaveBlazer and our other titles have been so successful on so many platforms for so long, and partly because we’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of great projects for EA, Vivendi, MLB and other publishing partners.
Could you explain what ideas evolved from part one to two?
In short: all of them. Everything that made Raging Thunder (Affiliate) a great title, we’ve buffed, polished and expanded on. The sense of speed, the accessible gameplay mechanics, the graphics – which are truly stunning in this one – the multiplayer features…
Some time ago I asked you on the competitiveness of iPhone and iPod touch as a gaming platform – did you change your opinion now that you developed a lot of games for Apples Handhelds?
No, I think history has basically proven us right on this one. If you look at handheld gaming today, the iPhone as a platform is second only to the NDS in popularity. We’re seeing everything from casual puzzles to point-and-click adventures to full-blown FPS titles – so yeah, it’s definitely a handheld gaming system in its own right.
Of course you did work for other companies as well. Recently you developed Fifa 10 for EA. How was it working together with one of the big ones of gaming industry?
We’ve been working with EA and some of the other major publishers almost since day one. That they’ve stuck with us for so long – to us that’s proof that we’re a reliable development partner, that we’re guys you can trust to get the job done. And of course that the games and the technology we develop meet the very high expectations that EA and their peers have.
I guess you’re doing the EA World Cup game as well? Could you tell us something about it?
We weren’t able to work on the World Cup title, sadly, so there isn’t much I can say about it.
Is there a chance that we see any particularly adjusted versions of your games or those you did for other companies for the iPad? And will you be involved in adjustments?
There’s a very good chance you’ll see some of our own stuff adapted for the iPad fairly soon. As for the third party stuff, we’ll see.
When I count all the games Polarbit was responsible for since the beginning of the App Store it seems you guys have been quite busy, right?
We’re a relatively small outfit if you’re just counting guys on chairs, but pound-for-pound we can bang heads with the best of them.
We’re also one of the most successful developers on Ovi Store and on Android Market, which is obviously something that makes us very proud.
With a lot of experience then you truly need to have an opinion towards piracy of apps, do you?
Obviously, we don’t like it. It’s a thorny issue though. Anti-piracy measures tend to punish the people who actually buy the games, while the people who trade them or download them off of some file trading network always find a way around them.
The problem is that people are short-sighted and cheap, and don’t want to pay for stuff that they can get for free, even if it only costs $1.99 in the first place.
Apples iPad seems to even broader the audience of iPhone OS. What do you think about this device Apple called “magic”? Will it be for games as well?
The success of the iPad as a gaming device I think is largely dependant on its success in general. If it sells well, it’ll attract developers and good games will be made for it.
If it doesn’t sell, then we’ll see a few high-profile, custom iPad titles early in the life-cycle, but less and less good stuff the further along it we get. Of course, you can always play all the iPhone games on it, but if we’re talking iPad specific titles.
What’s the next project on Polarbits schedule?
We’re doing some cool third party stuff that you’ll hear about probably within a month or two.
We’re also working on on-line scores and leaderboards for our existing titles, with social media integration and stuff like that. This is the single most common feature that people ask for in our titles, and something we’ve been waiting for a chance to get cracking on.
We’re also doing a new in-house title; an unrepentant arcade throwback action title that’s also a little silly. We’re having a lot of fun working on it, which usually translates to something that’ll also be a lot of fun to play.
We thank Tommy Forslund from Polarbit for answering our questions.