Tweet Defense Interview


posted 5/5/2010 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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You might remember Chris Paladino, Tony Hynes, and Nelson Rodriguez from their work on the now defunct Gamerscore blog for Microsoft.  After they left Microsoft they formed Promethium Marketing where they've helped with the launch of Windows 7, Tekken 6 and a few other projects.  Then they did what most marketing folk do now , release their own iPhone game.    OK, maybe that's the exception to the rule but we wanted to see how they went from Halo:ODST to casual tower defense game in less than a year.

Can you introduce yourself and talk about your role at Promethium?
My name is Chris Paladino, and I handle community relations at Promethium Marketing. For Tweet Defense specifically, I helped with game design, balancing, and I also wrote all the music in the game.

So we have to ask this. How does a company of hardcore gamers develop a game that fits snugly into the casual game niche? What does it feel like to have part of your hardcore gaming side die? :D
Ha! Touche!

It’s been interesting. As those who know me realize, I’m a pretty hardcore gamer. While I would argue Zombie Tower Defense fits nicely into the hardcore classification, I understand what you are asking.

Twitter is something I shouldn’t like, but I do. iPhone games are typically casual, or at least bite-sized. The industry isn’t shifting necessarily, but the casual games are getting better. That gap between casual and core is getting smaller, especially looking at something like Puzzle Quest, or even Viva Piñata. I think there’s a huge space there for a game that appears casual, but really has a complex back-end for statistics, formulas, and ways to game the system. Hopefully we’ll see more of these types of games in the next few years.

How did you come up with the idea for TweetDefense and how did you get involved with the folks at GrinLock? Could you talk about how a marketing company got into the game development business?
Tony Hynes, Nelson Rodriguez and I were coming back from GDC 2 years ago, and in the airport we were all checking our email, reading twitter, and generally pulling our iPhones out every 13 seconds.

Nelson asked why no one had done a game around Twitter before. We discussed the idea, and realized that there’s something here that people haven’t realized yet. We started brainstorming, and that’s where Tweet Defense started.

We got involved with GrinLock because they are a talented group, and we had done some work with them for a client on a Facebook game. We liked their work, and asked if they wanted to be involved with Tweet Defense.

You aren’t the first to ask why a marketing company is publishing games... I’d ask you first – who DOESN’T want to make their own game? I mean really isn’t’ that what everyone secretly wants?

Seriously though, we’ve been blessed to do some fun things and work on exciting projects for a living. The opportunity to create an iPhone game sort of fell into our laps, and it’s been something we wanted to pursue. The biggest obstacle was explaining that we designed the game; we aren’t just doing PR or Community Marketing for it.
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