Ask @WolfWoz:

What do you look forward to most this year?

Ohh man, really looking forward to VA-11 HALL-A's release. I'm really hoping it does well so I can continue to publish other great looking games. I've had my eyes on a few for a while and would love to be able to have a conversation with those devs. Not to mention that I just want to play the finished version of VA-11 HALL-A! :D

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Do you feel that bigger YouTubers are too greedy and egotistical?

Yea kinda. I really like PARTS of the Yogscast. I like when they are being completely self-aware about who they are, what they are doing, and how preposterous their entire situation is. I guess that's what Simon brings to the whole thing. Self-awareness. And with him sort of off and away being sick, the whole thing feels cheap and gross.
And I think that's where I get off the hype-train. It's when they are totally self-serious about screaming at videogames for a few hundred thousand dollars a year. When they can "partner" with developers to take a cut of sales when they are doing "marketing". Whether I like it or not, the Let's Player is here to stay.
There are a few good ones, the guys over at [Two Best Friends Play] have been completely sweet to me, and they seem like fans like any of us. I don't watch a lot of their stuff, but they are the nicest. Really!
I do however, think that YouTubers and Let's Players should respect a company like Nintendo's choice to not allow footage of their games to get out there and to be used to make money without Nintendo making a cut. The Let's Player cannot exist without the Game. You need to have footage of a game running in the background to even be on Twitch.tv in the first place. That footage/that game came from somewhere. The people who made the content that you are sitting on might deserve a little nod. Especially if your entire living is made off of playing Minecraft.
Now, you can argue the "transformative work" thing all day if you like. But, you should also note that the people who made Mystery Science Theater 3000 had to pay royalties in order to create a "transformative work". (provided a film wasn't in the public domain)
Games should be no different. The internet has been a Wild West where anything goes, so the precedent of non-policing, exploiting content you've not created and what one might call "entitlement" will be hard to undo.

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Who are some of your favorite gaming publishers?

I love cute little boutique publishers. They say that you're not "supposed to preorder games", but it really, really helps out my favorite publishers and they usually hook me up with some lovely little bonuses. Atlus, Xseed, NISAmerica are darling little companies and they are the last of their kind. In the age of Massive Publishers and little indie self-published developers, these guys are some of the last people working at that "AA" level. Medium-sized development. Comfy games that are just big enough to get a physical release, but not big enough for board-members, investors or focus groups to ruin oddball ideas.

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What's your game design philosophy?

Typically I like to start with sort of a single source of inspiration. It's almost never a game. As an example, I was brought onto a project some years ago (now cancelled) as the sole artist. This meant I was also the "art director". It was a pretty typical dungeon crawler/hack and slash thing. It didn't have a name. It was a project someone started on gamedev.net, and I figured I'd join something just to get some experience. Well, I had taken an interest in fashion design at the time, and I thought that the typical dark, gothic vibe was overplayed.
So I started developing this sort of idea that this would be a "high fashion" dungeon crawler. The game kinda fell through when the rest of the guys stopped showing up. So I kind of took the concept and ran with it a bit in another direction and started working on fleshing out what a whole world of Music Videos and Fashion Design would look and feel like. I had a really cool idea for a main character I wanted to use, and she changed a few times before being mostly finalized.
The project used to be called "Mai Justice" and I thought that was a cute name. But, since I had to shelve it in 2011, I changed the name to something better and cooler for 2014, "Gunpop". You can find my personal mood-board for it here: http://blog.wolfgame.com/tagged/mai
I haven't been able to work on it in some time, but I wanted to talk about it in a design sense. My interest in Fashion Design and Dungeon Crawlers gave way to this sort of twin-stick-esque adventure game.
"Ok so she has a gun in this pseudo-dungeon environment, how does that control?"
"Ok so we want to treat guns with respect and severity. We need a good melee combat system. Our main character doesn't want to cold-blood murder fools."
It's really design in service of the character and world. Those two things come first for me. This is also reflected in what we're doing with SilverQuest Gaiden. Everything I'm working on for that right now is world-building stuff while Xot works on retooling our UI system.
I hope that answers your question! Please let me know if there's anything I wasn't clear on!!

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Are you still developing for Vita? Seems you've shifted to talking more about "Wii-U game" or SQ these days?

We're still developing for PS Vita. Our primary project on that platform right now is Sukeban Games' "VA-11 HALL-A". We're not making the actual game, so we're waiting for development to be done on PC before porting it over. We've just submitted our Game Product Plan to SCEA this week and will likely be approved either in the next few days or early next week. We're hoping to have it shown at E3 in some state. Here's hoping Sukeban goes gold soon! :D
You can find more info on VA-11 HALL-A here:
http://wolfgame.com/games/valhalla.html

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