Word Count: 1450
Takes: 4 minutes and 80 seconds to read.
Interview with Michael Brockwell. He is 15 years old and lives in the UK. He is an independent games developer, also owner of Atomic Pixel.
Max Pen: If you had to categorize most of your work you done so far in 3 main categories. Which would be the names? (example: flash games 13+, Arcade games in general, website design, 3d artwork, etc..)
Mike: If I had to categorize my work, I would say mini-games for certain projects such as The Click Remover series, Simplistic, because my games are never over-the-top, and addictive, because they are fun to play, and hard to keep away from.
Max Pen: What must you do or be able to do to be called a games developer? Can you show us some of your work of games you made?
Mike: Well in my honest opinion, I think that to be called a games developer, you must have produced some games first. I know that sounds quite obvious, but there are a lot of people out there who “claim” to be the next gaming revolution, who claim that they are gonna make “the next big thing” and then give up almost instantly. And then there are those who work hard, produce the goods and can call themselves games developers confidently.
Max Pen: When did you start with this hobby, and what motivated you to start it?
Mike: I decided to get into games development as soon as I found Game Maker 7 on Google accidentally. I decided to give it a try about 2 years ago, found the development process a lot of fun, and decided to do it as much as I can. About a year ago, I decided to start using Unity to develop games instead of Game Maker ( although I still play around in GM every now and then ) because I wanted to move on to a bigger, more powerful game engine, which also had more export options, which meant that my games could be played by a lot more people.
Max Pen: If you had the choice to work with any gaming company in the world which one would it be and why?
Mike: Oh man, this is a tough one. Um…. I would be stuck between Bungie, EA and Ubisoft. But then again any job in the industry I would love.
Max Pen: When and why did you start with your website Atomic pixel? I saw after some browsing its a new site. Why was the site re-made or re-done? Did you put everything from the old site of content onto the new one?
Mike:I originally started the site about a year and a half ago under a different name, Mikesgames Productions. Since then, we have changed name, changed site and we are hopefully going to get the new name and site as popular as what Mikesgames Productions was. The site is still technically in development; we are going to have everything done by the new year ( I am working on some stuff for it as I type ). There will be some cool new stuff on the site very soon, So keep checking it regularly.
Max Pen: How big is the team behind the site and what is each their roles on the site?
Mike: The team is 3 strong. There is Me, My Brother Connor, and my friend Rory (hey guys!!) and here is what each of us do:
Me – I am the artist and team leader, although I like to help out a bit on the programming and audio.
Connor – He is a gaming nut, so we let him test all the games we make. He also has an amazing imagination, which we use to help make our games better.
Rory – He is learning to Program. He also does Audio, and helps with concepts.
Max Pen: A current professional games developers you look up to?
Mike: Oohh… another hard one. Um…. I would say I don’t look up to anyone. If I looked up to them, my games would become too similar to theirs, and they would not be as good.
Max Pen: On the Atomic pixel website at the navibar, the about page is empty and the game called “timensions” at the Games tap doesn’t seem to exist or cannot be found. Is the site in some kind of beta or is it just so new a lot of things must be worked out?
Mike: Ah, I noticed that too. I am working on the “About” page now, and I am currently making a custom theme for the Timensions page, which should be up in about a weeks time. Until then, join up at the community there, and we will let you know when the page is ready
Max Pen: You got 2 other fully working games on it, what is the first game about? And the second? If you had to choose your FAV which of the 2 would you pick? (Xmas Eve, Click Remover Series)
Mike: Um… I think the Click Remover series has to be the best one for me. They were the first full games I ever made, and I am currently making the final game for the series, Click Remover 3D. All the others were in 2D, so I am hoping that the game being in 3D will keep the feel of the other games, yet be more fun to look at :). Xmas Eve is currently in Beta, and is being updated every week. remember to keep checking it out every week for a new download!
Max Pen: Any good/bad experiences with running a site? How are you planning on expanding and improving the site?
Mike:I quite enjoy running the site. The only bad thing about running it so far would be hosting. The servers are not always at their best, so sometimes the site takes ages to load up. I am expanding the site, with new developers blogs being installed later tonight, where you can keep up-to-date with the team themselves. And also, I hope the forum gets bigger, because that way, I know we have a decent fanbase. The Timensions page will be going up pretty soon, so that will also be an improvement.
Max Pen: Can you show us some of the work you are most proud of ? (Can be anything, like you said 3d artwork.)
Max Pen: You also like LEGO a lot, at what age did you start playing with it? Do just play or really try to make professional looking creations? If so can you show us some of your LEGO work? (If you got any pictures, if no pictures can you describe some of your past creations?)
Mike: I started playing with it as a young child, and I have never stopped. It is an amazing toy. I am happy that I played with it, and I still play with it today I got some more LEGO for Christmas, and I am hoping to get myself a load more very soon! And there are some pictures of my latest LEGO creation here – Lego Creation
Max Pen: You are also a football fan. Favorite club? Any other sport you would place on equal ground like football?
Mike: I enjoy cross-country running, Athletics (especially High Jump, even though I am quite short ) and marathon running.
Max Pen: You are now your own boss, will you try to make sure it stays that way?
Mike: I think I would work with someone for a while to gather up funds, and then I will become my own boss (Again).
Max Pen: What would you do if game developer does not work out for you? Anything else that would keep you occupied for a job?
Mike: Man, this is hard. Um… I think a job in the IT sector would be cool, although I also think something like running a business would also be very fun.
Thank you very much for this interview with me Michael Brockwell. Best of luck & success with your website and future job. -Max Pen