Game Features

Interview with Josh Presseisen, Founder and CEO of Crescent Moon Games. Connoisseur of all things retro.

Josh Presseisen: My first memory of video games would be my aunt’s Atari, I used to play Combat and Pac-man on it when I’d go to visit her.

It was very exciting back then! I was very into video games. When I was young I had a few computers that my uncle got for me, the Timex Sinclair 1000, which also came with a game programming book. I’d spend hours messing around with the games in the book and trying to make my own. The coolest computer I had for programming games was the TI–994a – it looked like a Delorean!

When the NES was launched, I was really obsessed with Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Metroid.

There was a brief time of a few years where I wasn’t doing video game stuff, which was in my band years – I was in a band and touring for a while, then got a job doing graphics stuff. My interest in video games returned after that.

Founded in 2009, Josh Presseisen is CEO, owner and founder of Crescent Moon Studios. Half game development studio, half publisher, Presseisen heads up the company’s “publishing, developing, marketing, finances, and more.”

You’ve probably played some of Crescent Moon’s titles, games such as Paper Monsters, Pocket RPG, Siegecraft and Ravensword: Shadowlands.

DroidGamers: What are some of your classical influences? (Video Games, Movies, Books, Art, etc.) that left and impression on you?

Josh: Hmm, well, I’d have to say, my favorite video game is Metroid – although Journey has now taken second place in my top 5.

As for books, my favorite is The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I also love some cheesy fantasy books like the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, The Martian Chronicles and Ender’s Game.

My favorite movies are The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Goonies, E.T., Back to the Future and Blade Runner.

Art – I love the art of Roger Dean, Ralph Mcquarrie, Moebius.

Ravensword: Shadowlands

DroidGamers: With programming when you were younger, was game development something you were interested in? Was there a moment when you thought that it might something I want to do for a living or was it more of a hobby?

Josh: I’m not sure at the time if I was thinking -‘this is what I want to do when I grow up’, I was into a lot of different things when I was younger – including trying to invent things and music.

DroidGamers: At the time, was the prospect of developing Ravensword: The Fallen King daunting to you? having little prior experience with game development?

Josh: It was a bit daunting, but I was working on the PC version before getting it onto the iPhone. The phones were so primitive back then, that I had to really lower the resolution of the assets in the game by quite a bit to make it run, and we had to do some tricks for performance. It was quite a lot of work to get it working well.

DroidGamers: What was the mobile landscape during the development of the original Ravensword? Especially for a game of that scale

Josh: Well it was an open playing field back then. There was basically nothing like Ravensword, so I knew it would be an instant success when we released it. There were almost no big 3d games at all on mobile devices back in 2009.

Neon Shadow

DroidGamers: Can you comment on your experience working with a publisher (Chillingo)? Were there frustrations, things you learned or what you though could be improved upon (seeing that Crescent Moon is a publisher).

Josh: It was great to work with them, actually. They were very easy going, they had a lot of great suggestions. I can’t actually say anything bad about them, I love Chris and Joe. Becoming a publisher was a decision that I made early on for a few reasons – I knew that just making a game once per year would not pay the bills forever and I also knew that I could help other developers with the process and my experience in art and design. It wasn’t the easiest process to go through, but in the end I think it was definitely for the best! Most if not all of the developers that I work with can say that they’ve had a good experience working with me.

DroidGamers: In the large mobile app stores, visibility is key to having a successful game – especially with an independent title. Publishing primarily with independent developers how do you, as a publisher, help developers with visibility, marketing, etc.

Josh: In regards to market, Crescent Moon has a pretty big following of players – and we cross promote all of the games with each other, through our website, social media and other means. We do have some good connections in the industry having been there so long, that help us get media coverage for each game, and features from Google.

DroidGamers: What are your thoughts on the growing subsection of Android-based microconsoles like the OUYA, Gamestick, etc.Ravensword: Shadowlands is already on the OUYA, but is there a chance that we will see more Cresent Moon titles on platforms like that?

Josh: Its interesting. I wonder where it will go. Ravensword wasn’t as successful on the Ouya as we had hoped – but I think what will be telling will be after Christmas is over, to see if the Ouya has really survived as a platform and if the system it uses really works. I am a bit skeptical on the demo approach. For the players – its a good thing, they can try out the demo, and if they don’t like it, they don’t need to purchase it. However, if you think about it – most purchases on mobile are probably impulse buys. This removes that possibility. Its kind of sad to think of it this way, but that’s the way that most developers make money in this industry. Removing the possibility of an impulse buy greatly decreases the chances that someone will actually buy your game.

DroidGamers: What does the future of Crescent Games hold? New games, the Forest Moon label, new projects?

Josh: We have a ton of games coming out. Probably 4–5 games, and more by the end of the year.

We’d like to thank Josh Presseisen for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and do this interview. If you have any questions for Josh, you can usually get in touch with him over on our forums where he posts about his new games when they are released and offers up support.

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