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09 June, 2015

Five Minutes with Prettygreat's Phil Larsen

The three founders of Prettygreat (pictured in stunning detail above - Phil Larsen, Hugh Walters and Luke Muscat left to right) are on the cusp of an awesome adventure. Earlier this year the trio bailed out and pulled the rip cord from Halfbrick to form their brand new studio. You can get up to speed with our recent story right here. 

As the fledgling studio gears up towards the announcement of its debut title, we thought it might be fun to spend five minutes getting inside Prettygreat's head to see what makes it tick. With this in mind, we reached out and spoke with Phil Larsen - formerly CMO at Halfbrick - for a light, fun five minutes about gaming classics, virtual reality, and mulled wine. 

Many of us have one key game we remember from childhood that sank the gaming hook in deep for life. For me it was Adventure on the Atari 2600. Do you remember what it was for you?
I'd been playing games before that, but Sonic the Hedgehog is what introduced me to "hype" for sure. I remember being crazy excited to play it on the Master System. Then the day we got our Mega Drive II with Sonic 2 and Toejam & Earl? Mind blown.

Is there any one thing you can think of that you’ve held onto from past gaming classics that influences what you do now when making your own games? For example - a classic studio’s ethos, a particular game’s atmosphere or style of storytelling?
I'm such a huge fan of the charisma in classic Rare games. They really managed to give joy at every moment, without any wastage. They respected the player's time by offering good gameplay with genuine entertainment value. I regularly debate myself on the best 3D platformer of all time - Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie?

If you manage to find any time to actually play any games, what games do you play, whether it be indie, triple A or anything in between?
I don't get to spend much time with PC gaming, but I always make time to play the best action adventures and RPGs. Far Cry 4, Majora's Mask, Bloodborne, The Witcher 3 of late. Then heaps of awesome games on iPhone - Smash Land, Caveman Pong, Super Stickman Golf...

VR - fad or game changer? Personally I’m leaning towards game changer, and I’m equally frightened of it if it takes off. I see a whole generation of kids spending more time behind a mask than not. Am I being paranoid?
It's so early for me to say at this stage, but in the latest demo I played, my jaw genuinely dropped. So I don't think fad, but how exactly it will evolve is yet to be determined. I wouldn't worry too much about what this means for the future of humanity though, let's find the fun before doom and gloom!

I recently had a bottle of Two in The Bush Shiraz [an ingredient of Prettygreat's recent mulled wine brew] and quite enjoyed it, how’d the mulled wine experiment pan out? Thumbs up? South-east Queensland has gotten cold in the last few days!
Our Prettygreat mulled wine was a smashing success. I guess combining two random bottles gave it super powers. The main thing is it warmed us up nicely.

Watch this space!

Garry Balogh

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