Hohokum has an array of uniquely designed characters. Do any of them have names or stories? Hagget: Actually most of the characters in the game have names, but we'll never reveal what they are! On a practical level, it's useful to have names for things, so you can talk about them easily. But also, it imbues them with life and maybe it encourages us to start thinking about characters and the place they live in at a deeper level? Hogg: Yeah, like the character called Tom Cruise. He looks nothing like the Hollywood actor of the same name but the fact that I called him Tom Cruise definitely influenced the way Kwok animated him and has given him a unique personality (obviously, we will never tell anyone which one is TC!) More recently Maki, one of the animators working on the game has got very good at choosing names for the characters so I tend to leave it up to her these days. How did you decide on a collaboration with the Ghostly International label? Did you work closely with the artists to create the soundtrack or did they have freer reign over their compositions? Hagget: We were talking to the folks at Sony Santa Monica about what we wanted to do for music, and Dick and I had made a playlist of songs that we thought had the right kind of feeling - both in terms of the texture of the music and the emotional range - and a bunch of Ghostly artists were on it. The music licensing guy at Santa Monica got in a touch to say 'hey why don't we get in touch with Ghostly, and see if they're interested in working on this?' So he did--and they were! A number of the artists have been working on new compositions for the game--we send them artwork and videos, and a general sense of the tone of the place. Hogg: The music guys at Santa Monica are amazing. We had strong feelings about the music but they bring a whole extra level of consideration and attention to detail to it and making the thing with Ghostly happen, well that alone is a massive contribution to what this game is going to be. Hohokum has been receiving more attention than most art games due to its upcoming release on a hotly anticipated system and mainstream attention from talk show hosts. How do you feel about the response and exposure to the game? Hagget: We're delighted! As a game developer, there aren't many things more fun than watching someone enjoying your game. Hogg: Ha ha, do you mean Conan? Ricky absolutely nailed it on Conan. I was so proud of him. I am really happy with the response we have had so far, especially from the less arty/indie press. There is this narrative that emerged around E3 that is along the lines of 'I don't know what the hell is going on in this crazy game but I love it' That kind of response makes me very happy because it means that although we are making this quite eccentric 'art game' we are not alienating people. There are typically very standard game genres, but this is a little different. Do you hope that Hohokum will create conversation about or inspire innovation in the game industry? Hagget: I think that's a conversation that's already happening with a number of interesting games, and it's great that Hohokum is part of it. Actually one of the main reasons we were interested in working with Sony Santa Monica is their obvious commitment to making games which push the boundaries of what kinds of experiences can be successful as a console game--I guess that they are trying to move the perception of what 'mainstream' is. Who do you think would most enjoy Hohokum? Hagget: Anyone who is prepared to lose themselves in it, and not worry about what they are supposed to be doing. Hogg: A Japanese lady who lives on a houseboat in the Netherlands. She has a pet parrot, collects wind-chimes and listens to a lot of Can albums. She would enjoy it the most but any normal person has it within them to enjoy Hohokum quite a lot. Are there any future plans to create a sequel or spin-offs? Hagget: Not yet! We're still deep in the process of making Hohokum, so it's too early to think about anything else.
Hohokum certainly stands out