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Fishing Cactus pricks the App Store (interview)

To date, few Belgian IT development companies (multimedia) have their representation on the App Store. We can, however, hope that this is only the beginning in view of the blessed bread that the app store of Apple represents as potential. Bruno Urbain (28), founder and Game Design Director of society Fishing Cactus, for his part decided to go ahead since his company is already present on the App Store but this is only apparently a start!

The entire Fishing Cactus team

Interview with Bruno Urbain, founder and Game Design Director of society Fishing Cactus :B-i: Hello Bruno, could you present your company to us in a few lines?

B.U: Fishing Cactus is a Belgian company based in Mons which dedicates its activity to the development and sale of video games and family multimedia applications on foreign media (iPhone, XBLA, Wiiware, PSN, etc?). We have recently been official and accredited developers on these platforms. Due to our past experience (we are alumni of 10tacle Belgium, a studio that sank in last August), we prefer to currently focus on smaller projects, respect deadlines and provide quality projects. In this context, the iPhone seems to us a very good platform to start with. We also have satellite services in 3D consultancy and production of Serious Games.

B-i: Fishing Cactus already has its place on the App Store, what applications are already available?

B.U: We have three projects in the works within the studio on iPhone and two dj projects available on the store:

Equilibrio is a puzzle / jigsaw game in which you have to bring a ball from one point to another on a level by experiencing the obstacles and collecting a maximum of points. Belgium-iPhone had already presented Equilibrio to you here.

Shift as for him is a game of reflection / platform in which we lead a man trapped in a scientific experience. In a 2D world in black and white you have to reverse the world to find the way out. This game is the basis of a flash game produced by Armor Games that we have transposed to the iPhone and to which we have added more than 25 levels.

To date, Shift has been downloaded almost 800,000 times (Lite and Full versions combined) and it is a small success of which we are quite proud.

B-i: Are you currently working on new projects?

B.U: Yes, we have 3 projects under development on iPhone and we are also working on an update for Shift and for Equilibrio in which we intend to add the Facebook Connect function. The content of the Shift update is still secret, but we can already promise new content.

B-i: Do the advent of iPhone OS 3.0 and the iPhone 3GS open up new perspectives in your future projects?

B.U: We are currently evaluating the implementation of games specially designed for OS 3.0 functionalities. Regarding the iPhone 3GS, considering developing games capitalizing on improved performance (especially graphics and CPU performance) is a commercially risky bet because it would mean cutting yourself off from a large part of the current iPhone / iPod Touch audience and therefore cut a large part of the sales volume. Excluding, it's the sales volume that makes the App Store a profitable platform.

B-i: What is your opinion on the App Store as a developer (pros and cons)?

B.U: * For: * distributing the game via the App Store reduces costs normally because we have no production costs, no intermediaries in the distribution, no storage costs, etc. We are initially developers on living room consoles and therefore for us it is a great freedom that Apple offers us.

* Cons: * There is normally competition on the App Store. If a potential buyer arrives on iTunes without a prior idea of ??what he wants, he is unlikely to come across one of our applications. It is therefore essential to reach visibility spots within the store or to associate with publishers who have a much larger marketing machine.

B-i: A comment to add the Belgium-iPhone community?

B.U: First of all thank you for granting us this interview. Then we hope you enjoy our work. Do not hesitate to come to our site and send us your impressions, comments and remarks.

B-i: Thank you for this interview!

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