Updated 10/11/04

Blank Interview

 

     Gubble was one of those games you don't know quite how to explain, its gameplay was simple enough, its strategy was simple, yet there was a nagging quality to it that kept you hooked to the screens for hours on end. So in our ever pressing search for knowledge, we knocked Mark Robichek on the head and dragged him into a back alley. He could either do the interview or suffer the ultimate disgrace of having a picture of himself in Gubble boxers on the website......for some reason he chose the picture, but for our readers sake that was never an option.

     Actual Entertainment, Mark's company, is a pretty neat company devoted to not only making games but playing them. Of course who better to talk about Actual Entertainment than Actual Entertainment?

    "Actual Entertainment is a unique group of video game professionals with a long and glorious history in video games (not to mention really cool guys!).

    Our primary emphasis is on putting the FUN back into video games. Employees of Actual Entertainment must comply with the strictest of company policies: A portion of every Friday afternoon shall be reserved for game playing. This policy was put into place to keep our people from playing games all day, every day."

     Ya we took it from their website;-)

Interview

Blank Gaming:  What's your name, what organization do you work for, and what's your position?

Mark:  My name's Mark Robichek, but you can call me Mark. I am the president here at Actual Entertainment. Of course, as the president of a small company, my alternative titles include Webmaster, Accounting, Sales Manager, Tech Support and sometimes even Receptionist.

Blank Gaming: What are Actual Entertainment's current major projects?

Mark:  We are currently working on the sequel to our first game, Gubble...titled, appropriately enough, Gubble 2!

Blank Gaming:  Could you provide some details about that?  You know, release date, cost, type (i.e. action, adventure, ...), etc.

Mark:  Gubble 2 is scheduled for release in September, 1998 with an estimated street price of $34.95. As with Gubble, Gubble 2 is rather hard to squeeze into a single genre, but the best description I have heard is that it is a "classic arcade style action/strategy puzzle maze game." Compared to its predecessor, Gubble 2 will have a much stronger emphasis on strategy.

Blank Gaming:  What elements does Gubble 2 possess that could turn it into a success?

Mark:  Besides being tremendously fun, Gubble 2 has the potential to be a big success because of its broad appeal across a wide range of ages and genders (well, maybe only 2 genders). The game will consist of over 100 levels of varying difficulty, and the new scoring system (with lots of bonuses) will make people want to play their favorite levels over and over.

Blank Gaming:  If I was a gamer...why would I want to buy it?  In other words, what qualities does it have that other games don't have.

Mark:  I'd want to buy Gubble 2 just for the music and sound effects, but that's because I can't stop humming the Gubble tunes to myself! But seriously, Gubble 2 is one of those games that you can play for hours without realizing how much time has passed. The key word is: FUN!

Blank Gaming:  Do you think this game has the ability to revolutionize or seriously change a specific area of the gaming field {i.e., graphical, processing speed, new perspectives on an old situation}?

Mark: While the pre-rendered 3D graphics are quite striking, this is not the part of the game that will be considered revolutionary. Instead, Gubble 2 introduces a video game first...the Gubble Fan Club. Members in this free club will have their personal profiles (including a picture) included on the Gubble 2 CD-ROM! And one lucky member will even be selected to appear as an enemy character in the game itself.

Blank Gaming:  What are some of the other ideas your company is toying with?  Are you considering any releases for the {long range, next year, next fiscal cycle, etc.}?

Mark:  We are working on a multi-player, real-time 3D game, but you'll have to wait awhile for details on that one.

Blank Gaming:  You're part of a relatively young company.  You've been around for a short time.  Do you feel this has in any way affected your ability to attract a loyal following among gamers?

Mark: While we are a relatively new company, some of our people have been involved in the gaming industry for over 15 years. The result of that experience is that we know what makes games fun. Not only have we been making games for a long time, but we have also been playing games for at least that long! In 1983, I myself even appeared in Life Magazine in a special feature on the elite videogame players in the nation. The gamers out there may not know much about Actual Entertainment yet, but they are certainly familiar with many of the games that our people have created (in their past lives).

Blank Gaming: What deity does your boss choose to worship?  Is he/she nice?  The deity, not the boss.

Mark: Since I have no boss (isn't that nice!), I'll have to answer this toughie on my own behalf. I would have to choose Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager. She is quite nice, especially once you get beneath that tough exterior layer!

Blank Gaming:  Has your company decided to focus on a specific field {if they haven't (already}? Will they be looking into more {RPG's, action, puzzle, etc.}?

Mark: Our focus has been on creating games which are fun without resorting to all of the gore and blood that seem all too common in today's games. With only two games to our credit so far, it's tough to say that we have focused on one field, and even those two games alone seem to span across many different genres.

Blank Gaming: What's your opinion of child labor and cannibalism?

Mark:Child labor is a necessity in any civilized society, but one must always make sure that the allowance they receive for their work is sufficient to cover the costs of all the video games that they will need to buy, especially if those games are ours! Cannibalism can remain where it is for now, although I would entertain an idea to invite a cannibal or two to take care of the network TV executives in charge of the current primetime TV lineup (except for NBC on Thursdays)!

Blank Gaming: What challenges do you see lying in the future for your company?

Mark:  As always in this industry, the challenge is to keep coming up with new, fun ideas that will keep our fans wanting more. Our goal would be to appear on the front page of a major computer gaming magazine!

Blank Gaming:   Is there anything you would like the gaming public to know about that we have not covered?

Mark:  If you like our games, tell a friend. If you don't, tell no one! (Just  kidding...if you don't like our games, we'd love to know why. Perhaps our next game can then be exactly what you're looking for.) In your spare time, don't forget to visit our website, at: http://www.ActualEntertainment.com
 
     Well hey Mark!! It was great talking to you, it sure does look like you guys have something going for you, best of luck in the future. Oh and can we get OUR pictures as enemies in Gubble 2?????

1998 Blank Gaming. Copied by permission.

 

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