‘Carnivores: Ice Age’: An Interview with Tatem Games

Recently, we caught up with Tatem Games to talk about their new game Carnivores: Ice Age.  We loved Carnivores Dinosaur Hunter when it first came out, and while it’s “sequel” hasn’t given us that wow, it’s definitely worth a look given it’s cheap price and high amount of content.  Read on further to find out what Tatem Games has in store for us.

NoDpad: What is your favorite thing about the Ice Age/dinosaur age?

Tatem Games: What we like about the times is of course the variety of species which are now extinct along with the very thought of these mind-boggling creatures once wandering around the planet where now skyscrapers and highways are. Whenever we visit a museum of nature or hear about the discovery of new animal who once lived on the planet, we regret that we’ll most probably never see a Diatryma running in our backyard. And this is exactly why we are developing Carnivores series – iDevices deliver very realistic feelings, and playing Carnivores you can dive into this lost world. Of course, bringing animals to your trophy room is not the best way to learn more about them, and this is why we’re planning to introduce photo mode with the future updates.

ND: What are your thoughts on GameCenter?  Any suggestions to improve it?

TG: Game Center is a great tool as anything which makes gaming social. It was an experiment to integrate Plus+ to Dinosaur Hunter and Game Center to Ice Age. From early feedbacks we have noticed that the presence of Game Center in question can be a decisive factor for purchasing the game. However, what we like about Plus+ platform is that it enables saving user data on their server and the player is able to pause hunt on his iPhone and continue it on his iPad. It would be great if Game Center got a similar option in an update.

ND: Why did you price Carnivores: Ice Age the way you did?

TG: There is a market research each day happening in the studio. We feel like there already is a certain pattern for pricing on App Store, which is pretty just – puzzles range from $0.99 to $2.99 and more complicated console-quality games have prices from $2.99 to $6.99. And of course, Dinosaur Hunter already had the $2.99 price tag and putting the same price for the sequel was meant to hint the gamers of what kind of game they are getting. It was much more complicated to choose a price for our Mac app.

ND: What was the biggest obstacle in the development process?

TG: We’re far from newbies in game development so there weren’t any considerable obstacles. We would rather call the development process smooth and fun.

ND: How easy or difficult is it to implement universal support along with support the iPhone 4’s Retina display?

TG: We don’t fancy charging people for the same game twice if they want to play it on iPad and iPhone, so whether or not the app comes as universal was out of question. Carnivores is quite a picturesque game and the experience people get on iPad is almost incomparable to that of iPhone. We made Dinosaur Hunter universal in about a month after it was released for iPhones and were impressed by the number of downloads and feedback – mind you, iPad just appeared in July. So making it compatible with both devices was not a stand-alone goal – it was an indispensable part of development from the very beginning.

ND: Are you planning any eye-popping updates for Carnivores Ice Age that we should be getting excited about?

TG: There’s one very big thing coming for sure! Once the player gets to a certain level (1000 points), he will be able to choose Yeti as a prey. Yeti is the “T-Rex of Ice Age” and is the most complicated creature to hunt. And of course, we’ll be making animal’s AI better with each update. We also plan to add new content like maps or weapons but no certain date can be called yet.

ND: What are your thoughts on the iPad or the tablet space as a whole: necessary or just a fad?

TG: We are all technology early adopters and are excited about this trend predicted for 2011. There are many things popular in geek community and completely unheard of in the rest of the world – but tablets  are not such, and mostly thanks to Apple’s brave take on the market. Tablets go mainstream, iPads can be seen as business tools in banks, supermarkets, and governmental institutions, which signifies that this is the device people need and use. And of course tablets are perfect for gaming, especially casual and board gaming, or games with rich graphics. Getting the most out of iPads and tablets in general should be a pleasant challenge for any developer.

ND: What is coming in the future from Tatem Games?  Any closing thoughts?

TG: We have announced RoboSockets* which will hit the AppStore on February 22nd – it’s an easy and simple arcade-puzzle, which, as we hope, will bring a breath of fresh air to bejeweled-type games. Among other plans for 2011 are porting at least some of our games to Android platform, which we are also very impatient to try out, launching a big social game and of course continue treating our ever-growing fan base with new games on iOS and regular updates. People who have been with us in 2010 inspired us to move on and do it fast, which we are very thankful to them for.

*Please note that RoboSockets has already launched on the App Store.  You can find their game here.  Also, you can find our review on Carnivores: Ice Age here.

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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