Jeff Vance Clickteam 2006 interview
Submitted:|| 22nd June, 2006
With MMF 2 coming up we sat down with Jeff Vance from Clickteam and talked about MMF 2, Clickteam and its future. Grab yourself a cup, relax and enjoy.
Hi Jeff how are you doing today?
Doing great! Its warm and sunny here in Portland Oregon. Perfect weather for riding motorcycles and playing outside but I have been stuck inside working on computer related tasks. I have also developed a fondness for auto racing and watch that when my schedule allows and the weather is bad. I also enjoy my new annual trip (2 times now and planning a third) to Las Vegas to see the races in public. Nothing like 200,000 other people and 43 cars going very fast in a circle I recently got an opportunity to work on some multimedia projects for a very famous music producer here in the USA, he has produced music from bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and a lot of other famous acts from the pacific northwest area. Hopefully over the next 18 months this comes to life. All my interests, holding down the USA fort for Clickteam and working a regular job (to pay the bills) doesn't leave me much open room to pack in anymore project, but in the typical Jeff fashion I always try to Of course plans are on the horizon to eliminate my "regular job"
What has changed at clickteam US in the past 2 years and is everyone still spread out?
Not a lot has changed as far as the internals of Clickteam. David left the company awhile ago so all the heavy programming was left to Yves and Francois. DT and Rhon help me out quite a bit with projects in the USA. Without them I don't know what I would do. Jason has set up the Clickteam UK office and has become a very valuable person to the company. He has a lot of good energy and ideas. There are also those "forum old timers" that I just couldn't operate without, they do so much to reply to posts and lower the support questions its really invaluable. I can't name them all here without the fear I will forget to name one but I would like to do some extra thanks to AndyH, Andos and Sarah.
The last update to the clickteam site was in 2004, now with the new release you guys are planning on doing another update, what can the users expect from the new site?
The new website is a simple design. Just your run of the mill non-offensive easy to navigate company site. There are not a lot of bells and whistles for the visitors to use or interact with. Just the facts and a simpled down site so people can navigate around easier. Our biggest problem with the website is we get such a wide range of visitors -- From computer experts (like all our existing users) to people who I think might have never used a computer before.
2 years ago you said you where disappointed that clickteam and its software was not growing as fast as you would have liked, since it carries some great software everyone who tries it out falls in love with it. Has anything changed since then or do you guys have any plans to expose MMF 2 to a larger public in the near future? So both clickteam and its product can grow and keep growing?
We have made huge inroads into schools here in the USA and Jason has done an amazing amount of work in the UK on this same front. We really feel this is where we can really get exposure for the products and put our limited resources to the best effect. Video game design and development is a red-hot topic in the USA and schools are begging for easy to use software. As we all know nothing can beat MMF in this regard. Over the past couple of years our sales have been increasing -- Where are all these users and why don't they participate on the internet? I don't know, but sales have been better then ever since we have been out on our own.
I have to ask but what does everyone at clickteam think about its community fan base? Sites like the Daily Click have been there for a long time and many of its visitors go all the way back with you guys. What's everyone's opinion at clickteam on the whole "click community" fan base.
I love the Daily Click and I also enjoy the other community sites. Daily Click holds a very special place in my heart since it does a very even handed professional type of service.
Do you think sites like the dc are important to show off what clickteam products can do and allow new users to enter the world of clickteam?
It is extremely important. Games that have made a mark like Cactus Bruce or Coin World are very useful in drawing in the teachers we are marketing the product to. I show them how the program works using the simple Choco-break tutorial then I show them some of the commercial games made with the software. There are simply 100's of very good games and the Daily Click is where I usually find out about them
Back to mmf 2, Rumor has it that the main engine had to be re-programmed from scratch? Was this one of the reasons why it took so long for it to be released? And when finished is clickteam happy with the finished product or do they wish there was more that could be added on to it? Maybe for future updates?
Yves and Francois are never completely happy with the finished product -- They always want it to do more and more. They are also very careful that new features do not impact the backwards compatibility. This makes it very time consuming to test. Are we happy with the release state of TGF2/MMF2? Yes its very good, after using the new interface I feel strange using MMF 1.5. The much improved interface, along with the increased performance is the best part of the new versions. Of course then add on all the new features and the improvements in the SDK for extension creators and we are going to see some cool stuff later this year.
What holds the future for clickteam now that mmf 2 is coming out? Any other products then the mmf /tgf series in the pipeline?
The only thing I know for sure is the Install Creator series is due for an update. Patch Maker could use an update also. Those products have been selling very well. Yves really did a great job designing an installer tool that is extremely popular.
Anything else to add?
I would like to apologize to the our users for the huge delay with version 2. It took us much longer to get it out then anyone would have guessed. The code base is well over 1 million lines of code and Yves and Francois went thru it all. That is a lot of code for 2 guys to work on and debug. While we are happy with TGF2/MMF2 we also wish it had more features, but in the Clickteam fashion you can expect new features in free updates 2.1, 2.2 and so forth. Yves even slips in new features in simple build updates. I would like to thank all the extension creators, beta testers and people who gave Clickteam advice and support during the past couple of years. Without your help the products wouldn't be anything like how they are. I also want to say thank you to all the people who use the products -- Without anyone using it, we wouldn't be here.
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