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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Bozon talks a male Shantae, +20 years indie, and more

Get to know the people that make great videogames

Last week on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we closed up WayForgust with Matt Bozon, Creative Director at WayForward. We talked about Matt’s start in development as a college student working on the SNES title Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge, the formation of WayForward (a three man team at the time), the pre-internet apartment where they used a fax machine and PC attached to a TV to create games with Jim Henson studios and other big names, and the path to the company’s growth into the +100 person team it is today.

Matt’s an expert on working with other people’s characters (everyone from Kermit to Batman to Aliens). He has a lot of insight on how to stay true to the vision of other artists, and also on why most licensed games are so bad. We also go into everything about WayForward’s original games — the initial pressures from publishers to make their flagship character Shantae a male, the influence that Studio Ghibli and Aladdin had on the game’s development, how digital distribution changed the way studio works, the reason why they need Kickstarter to make the next Shantae game, and so much more.

We went on for over 2 hours, with minimal repetition of topics, and I’m happy to say that I barely said a word. Anyone who’s even remotely interested in learning how game development works would do well to listen to everthing Matt has to say, as there are few developers in the industry with this much experience and lifelong dedication to the craft of amazing videogames as him.

Thanks again to Matt for appearing on the show, and tune in tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Richard Hogg (Frobisher Says, Hohokum) to the program.

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