Tackling The Behemoth – An Interview with Tom Fulp

Back when I used to be fond of blogging and the idea of people reading my works, and the faint possibility of earning some kind of notoriety, my biggest pleasure was interviewing others. Why? Well, because it not only got my own words out for others to read but at the same time helped other people get their words across through me. Having a new outlet to do this, I thought ‘what better way than to interview someone who’s in the industry that this site is all about?’.

So, I got in contact with the one and only Tom Fulp. For those of you not familiar with Mr.Fulp, he is the founder of the website www.newgrounds.com and one of the founders of The Behemoth, the studio that brought the gaming community Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, and future title BattleBlock Theater.

Kevin: What are you currently playing?

Tom: The latest console game I’ve played is Marvel vs Capcom 3, although I haven’t played it as much as I should. I’m already so far behind the other guys in the office that I haven’t been trying to catch up.

Kevin: Was the success of Castle Crashers a surprise to you and the rest of The Behemoth team?

Tom: For sure! It’s been amazing to see how well it has done and how well it continues to do. To my knowledge it is the top selling XBLA game of all time!

Kevin: What is your opinion on indie gaming?

Tom: Indie gaming is in a better spot than it ever has been, to the point that ‘indie’ sounds more like a marketing buzzword nowadays more than anything else. There are lots of great platforms with low barriers of entry, allowing unprecedented opportunities for small development teams. Pretty much anyone who knows how to program could be making a game for web, PC, mobile or XBLIG right now and no one is there to stop them or put up any big walls. As download prevails over disc, more opportunities will rise.

Kevin: Aside from upcoming BattleBlock Theater, what are the future plans for The Behemoth? Could we see another Newgrounds based property enter the realm of consoles, such as Dad ‘n Me or Tankmen?

Tom: We talk a lot but nothing is final or official. I do love Dad ‘n Me so it would be great to do something with that some day.

Kevin: Does it get difficult to balance out work between Newgrounds and The Behemoth?

Tom: It can be very difficult at times. The final year of Castle Crashers was a nonstop crunch for me, with short breaks for food and sleep but nothing else.

Kevin: Is there anything you could tell us about BattleBlock Theater that hasn’t been previously announced? Some kind of amazing secret you could reveal?

Tom: Sorry, no big reveals.

Kevin: What did you want to be when you were little?

Tom: I always wanted to make video games. I used to draw level layouts and bosses and I would put together entire 20-30 page game design docs and send them to video game companies in the hopes they would make games from them. Nowadays I’m not nearly as good at documenting everything like that, though.

Kevin: Which game(s) are you looking forward to in 2011?

Tom: I’m excited to see Batman: Arkham City, because I still haven’t made time to play Batman: Arkham Asylum, which everyone says I would completely love, and they are probably right. I need to sit down and make some time for both. I’m also excited about Gears of War 3.

Kevin: What are the top five games you’ve ever played?

Tom: I won’t put them in order, but I’ll say they are Gunstar Heroes, Ys Book 1 & 2, Radiant Silvergun, Katamari Damacy and any 2D Castlevania game.

Kevin: Do you prefer classic 2D over new gen 3D?

Tom: I enjoy plenty of 3D games, but a lot of my favorites are still 2D. There are classic genres that will always be great in 2D. Games like Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun and Street Fighter.

Kevin: When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?

Tom: Nah, I eat them in order. I’m a very linear Smarties eater.

Thanks to Tom Fulp for taking the time out of his day to talk with me and answer some questions. Castle Crashers is available on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade. BattleBlock Theater is due out in 2011 for Xbox LIVE Arcade, with other platforms to be announced.