Interviews// Industry Insights: Nathan Fouts, Mommy's Best Games

Posted 30 May 2013 16:00 by
Nathan Fouts
Nathan Fouts
As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.

Industry Figure: Nathan Fouts
Job Title: President, Artist, Lead Baker
Company: Mommy's Best Games
Best Known For: Serious Sam: Double D XXL, Game Type, Pig Eat Ball

Mommy's Best Games was founded in 2007 by former Insomniac Games employee Nathan Fouts. An industry veteran himself, Fouts has managed to live out the great American Dream - form his own company, doing what he loves for a living, and baking pies. As you can see in that photo there.

Since establishing Mommy's Best Games, Fouts has been responsible for a number of interesting titles, such as Serious Sam Double D and Weapon of Choice. He was also behind Xbox Live Indie Game 'Game Type', an interactive practical shooter that poked fun at Microsoft's placement of games on its Xbox 360 Dashboard.

Now working on crazy space-age party game Pig Eat Ball, we caught up with Nathan to see what he thought of Oculus Rift, next-gen and E3.

Serious Sam Double D
Serious Sam Double D
Do you feel that we are entering a new console generation too soon? Or can it not come soon enough? And why?

I think the best time to release a new console is when there's some reason to do so. Was the Wii U controller enough to release a whole new console? It does help bump up the specs significantly for the poor Wii, and I believe the Wii U controller is pretty interesting, and wouldn't have worked with the original Wii processor. I've not used it enough to say if I think it's worth a whole new console, but it's definitely interesting--probably worth it.

As for the PS4 and Xbox One, I'm not as certain. I can't wait to be surprised by how amazing they are at E3, but at the moment, they don't feel different enough *in important ways* to justify new hardware. The hardware specs themselves seem only incrementally better this time, as opposed to Xbox 1->360, or PS1->PS2. I suppose that's bound to happen, but probably time to explore more than just pure horsepower.

The Kinect's a good move, but we have that (albeit a simpler one) on the Xbox 360. Again, not sure if it needs a whole new machine, but ready for the new games to convince me otherwise.

Ouya and Oculus Rift have generated a lot of positive buzz. How disruptive do you think these products will be when they are released to the public?

I could see both of these having an influence in 3-5 years. The Rift is for the very hardcore gamers, and those with more disposable income (or very committed). That's not a lot of reach--unless the Rift team can parlay sales into hardware improvements that make the system less expensive, and also less intimidating to use. That could have sweeping changes in the broader game market.

The Ouya is on the lower end, but similarly attracts more dedicated gamers and tech-toy types. At the moment it's mostly only "intriguing", but if they keep improving the hardware yearly it could become a real force. Couple that with the possibility of developers getting into it more, and there's a place for a low-end console with a good game library.

It's a lot "if's" though, and currently thrifty, core gamers needs can be served by used sales. But if the new consoles really crack down on used sales... that would be another push in the Ouya's direction.

Pig Eat Ball
Pig Eat Ball
How excited are you for E3? What kinds of announcements or showcases would surprise you, as both a developer and as a gamer?

Personally I always like an entertaining, big show. I love surprise announcements (especially of years past--remember the Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer? Stopped the floor every time it ran!). I've been let down by all the slow "leaks" before the past recent shows.

As a developer I'm certainly open to getting excited about different hardware and tech that could shape games in new ways. And as a gamer, I'm ready to see and hear about amazing, fascinating games from the biggest developers. Let's have something new!

Thanks to Nathan for his time.


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