PawByte is a very interesting company that apparently makes indie games, publishes them and is also creating it’s own console to join Ouya. I met up with one of the team members, Nate (AKA Nathan, like me), so he can unravel the company’s complicated and interesting ways.
1.) Tell us a bit about your company Pawbyte, Nate.
Well, PawByte is a studio made up of Chase, two other guys and me. We love the indie gaming scene. So much actually, that we are making a game based on Indie Game: The Movie. After we met the creators of the film in Chicago and received their blessing we knew that we were at home.
2.) This is also on your site but mind telling us where the name Pawbyte comes from?
PawByte is indeed an interesting name. PawByte was not the original name of our studio. It was actually once named Tailware. Some of our friends have pointed out that both sites sound like a furry made it, but make no mistake we are not furries. Or at least I don’t think we are. Now back to the name. PawByte is actually named in honour of my dog named “Paw” who passed away. Paw was a very fun dog. He was given to us by a friend, like the first video game system in our household was given to us by a friend. The “Byte” part comes from the actual meaning of “byte”. Byte is often used in reference to computer memory; It is 8 bits. In short we will like people to have tons of fun memories with our creations and time.
3.) Tell us a bit about your new game, Fields of Fresh.
Fields of Fresh is not that new actually. It has been in development for about 2 years. This is by far one of the longest projects we’ve worked on. The reason the project took so long is that the original version of the game was prototyped in the popular GameMaker platform by YoYoGames. Since 2011, we’ve been porting the game over to C++. One of the main reasons was that neither GameMaker or GameMaker Studio supports Linux yet. They may very soon, but we felt it is key to make Fields of Fresh in the C++ language environment.
Fields of Fresh is (a RPG for Mac, Windows, OpenPandora and possibly Android and Ouya) about the lives of farmers in the 21st century. When people think of farming games, they may think of Harvest Moon or all of the popular social farming games. We wanted to take a different angle of the farming world and show how farmers have to compete against one another. It blows our mind how farmers provide all of the foods we eat today, yet they have not been as accurately portrayed in video games. We want to give an accurate portrayal of them and yet continue to provide fun times and adventures for the player.
4.) How is the KickStarter campaign going?
The KickStarter is going fine. You’re actually the first press person we’ve really contacted. This week I’ve had a headache and Chase has been unable to get much done, so we’ve depended on our loyal fans and friends to help us kickstart like there is no tomorrow. Believe it or not, we’ve been studying crowd-funding since the successful launch of Indie Game: The Movie video KickStarter. We hope our yearlong investigation of KickStarter pays off.
Indie Game: The Movie’s KickStarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blinkworks/indie-game-the-movie-the-final-push?ref=live
5.) Mind explaining your game publishing campaign?
Our game publishing campaign is quite close to a simple distribution model. We are not going for ownership of anyone else’s game, we just will do our best to make it as popular as possible. Whether it’s a niche game or someone’s first commercial game we aim to give them resources, advice, our time and efforts to get them the results they need to keep going. This includes us going to conventions with their games and us creating press releases and more for them.
6.) It sounds like you are making a video game console. Tell us about that.
Well, we would love to tell you more about the video game console, but in the wake of the new Ouya console we are keeping our mouths closed about it until around October when we should have a working prototype done. We would definitely suggest that people take our survey and sign up for our e-mail mailing list at
http://www.nextgen.pawbyte.com. It was nice to also get the blessing from the people who made the Open Pandora (http://openpandora.org/) for our new console. There is tons of secrets we will reveal about the console as time passes onward.
7.) Wouldn’t that be competing against the Ouya console though?
The world is filled with about 7 billion people who can all have a good time while playing games. The Ouya console does have similar ideas to us, but we have other ideas and products we can provide than what we saw in their KickStarter campaign. Just seeing the support they have gives us even greater joy as to how gamers want something more. They’re tired of all of the horrible console wars, they want to see a console war as big as World War 2, not some two day Civil War.
We both haven’t taken the center stage in E3 yet, but do not forget the days when MySpace and Tagged were the social medias of the day and how Twitter and Facebook rose to the occasion and provide our daily fixes we need. There is always room for change and I believe that the Ouya and our new console will be able to hold our own in the upcoming console wars.
8.) Do you have anything else to say Nate?
I will like to speak to indie game developers. Never settle for a “real job”, but pursue your dreams and visions. No matter how cliché that may sound. Video games are a powerful type of media and I agree with Jane McGonigal in regards to using video games to make a better earth. I visited my cousin a few days ago and it is amazing to see how kids and adults alike love video games. Thank you once again, Nathan.
Pawbyte site: http://pawbyte.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pawbyte
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pawbyte
Fields Of Fresh’s KickStarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/799238739/fields-of-fresh-a-true-epic-rpg-about-a-group-of-f
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. He is the editor of Indiegraph. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards.