An Exclusive Interview With Yahtzee

Russ Pitts | 28 Aug 2009 16:00
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YZ: I think what it is is that I've got no beef with any individual developers (mostly), but I hate the process so many mainstream games go through that leaves them smothered and homogenized. And that's something I think a lot of developers agree with. More than once I've spoken to the developers of a game I've ZPed and they've said "What you said was exactly what we said to our publishers, but they wouldn't give us any more time ..." So my relationship with developers is cordial. As for my relationship with publishers, probably best not to look into that.

RP: How are your own game development efforts going these days?

YZ: ZP and other projects are taking up a lot of my time, so I haven't been as devoted to it as I have been in the past. I do have a couple of freeware games in the works that I work on in a hobby capacity, but it's even odds whether they get finished. That's always how I've worked - keep a lot of projects on the go and let yourself realize over time which ones you're actually interested in seeing through. It's like hedging your bets.

I'd love to develop games professionally. Critics and professionals have traditionally had a close relationship. That's a long-term thing, though, and right now some interesting avenues are opening up that are well worth exploring for a while. The good thing about being a writer is that virtually every creative medium needs one at some point, so you're free to spread your wings a bit.

RP: Tell us a bit about your television work. I understand your fame has transcended the internet in Australia.

YZ: Hee hee. Not just yet. The Game Damage pilot that was released online last year is bearing fruit, and we're working on developing something for a TV network here with further advancement into online stuff pending. And trust me: We're ten million billion times less rough around the edges than we were when we made the first pilot. We've been writing and rehearsing constantly since then, and the difference is thick enough to beat whales to death.

RP: It's been almost two years since you started making Zero Punctuation videos and signed on with The Escapist. Since this is The Escapist's birthday and all, I imagine fans of the site would like to know a little more about how your relationship with the website works. What can you say about that?

YZ: I really think I lucked out with The Escapist. When I first started doing ZP on YouTube, I was a simple young English boy who was completely bewildered by the mere thought of actually being paid money for this folderol. I was naïve and could very easily have been exploited by some evil corporate jerks, but The Escapist snapped me up first. And they've always treated me well. I get extremely fair cuts of traffic and merchandising income, and I feel I've gained actual friends rather than mere publishers.

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