PopCap’s Ty Roberts: A Few of His Favorite Things

Today we welcome back PopCap blog contributor Ty Roberts, one of the fantabulous producers in our game Studio, who, at this very moment, is working on something we know you’re all going to want to play. We can’t tell you what yet, because we’re mean that way.

In today’s post, Ty shares with us some of his favorite things about working at PopCap. Thanks Ty!
-The Editors

PopCap's Ty Roberts

My favorite memory at PopCap
It was my first interview with PopCap. I walked into the office through a pair of wooden doors during Christmas season. The first thing that greeted me was a Christmas tree decorated with lights… and Chuzzles. The Chuzzles weren’t entirely visible, but their little eyeballs just kind of stuck out of the tree. Then the friendliest person in the world said hello and asked if I wanted a soda.

It’s tough to turn down a Chuzzle Christmas tree and free sodas. It was a great first impression that has always stuck with me.

My favorite game(s) that I have worked on
This one is a toss-up. The games I work on are really special to me and I tend to invest emotionally in each one. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that very few people will end up buying. I give each game as much love and attention as I can. I suppose it’s like having a kid, except you don’t have to save for its college education.

Bookworm for the Nintendo DS and the new Bejeweled Blitz for iPhone/iPad are far and away my two favorites. I’m extremely proud of these two. Lex has always had a special place in my heart and to be able to give him the treatment and the game that he deserved was absolutely wonderful. Bejeweled Blitz on the iPhone was a labor of love as well as a gigantic challenge. Trying to redesign a game that hundreds of thousands of people play every single day is not an easy task, but the team I worked with was up for the challenge.

On a side note, redesigning Bejeweled Blitz was an amazing experience. That team is incredibly passionate about the game and it showed each and every day. There was not a single day, no matter the challenge, that the team waned in their expectations or efforts. Every member was dedicated to making a super great game. Those folks literally made a dream of mine come true.

My favorite PopCap game(s)
I waffle on this one too. I swear I’m not trying to be PC about it, but I really love both Peggle and Bookworm. Peggle was the first game I worked on here at PopCap back when I was a test lead. Bookworm was my go-to game when I was down. I don’t know why but playing Bookworm always made me feel better. There was just something about Lex. I still play both games almost every day.

My favorite non-PopCap game (at the moment)

That’s easy: Triple Town by Spry Fox. It is a very simple game that has a great puzzle and strategy element to it. It’s also very… well… cute. It’s currently on Facebook and iOS platforms but I think the best experience is on Facebook. I just cannot stop playing it and I’ve hooked several people on it already.

Since I am a console fiend, I have to mention MW4 and Batman: Arkham City. Both are stellar games in their own right although getting shot on Modern Warfare 4 by 12-year-old kids isn’t the greatest feeling in the world.

However Triple Town’s teeny-tiny ninja bears beat the Batman for me this year.

My favorite Xbox Live achievement in a PopCap game

I think I have to go with one that I wrote for Astropop. It’s about completing a level in 25 seconds or less. During production, the PopCap producer I was working with had asked me to write up a bunch of achievement ideas. I went ahead and wrote quite a few of them, including completing a level in 25 seconds or less. I couldn’t think of a good name so I just made one up really quick and stuck it in there with the full intention of changing it later. I never got around to changing it. So, “Captain Quick Brick” stuck.

My favorite thing about releasing a game
It’s seeing it in the stores and reminiscing about what it took to get it there. It’s a real sense of accomplishment to be able to physically pick up a cartridge or a disc at a local retailer. That is a really cool feeling. If it’s a digital game (such as Bejeweled Blitz for iOS), then it has to be seeing someone random play it. The last three flights I have been on I’ve seen at least one person playing one of our games on their iPad or iPhone.

My favorite thing about PopCap
This one is hard because there are so many great things about working here. I think that the games are awesome, but the people that make them are just as fun as the games. It has always been my belief that you can go out to lunch with a random crew of PopCap folks and have a great time. There are tons of smart and creative people here that keep me going every day. The great games are made by great people.

Thanks everyone for reading.

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