Interview With Whisky Biscuit Founder Stuart Gray

Following the release of WarPath for the iPad, we caught up with the founder and chief code weaver of Whisky Biscuit, Stuart Gray, to ask him a few questions about the company, its games and its plans for the future…
Scottishgames: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Stuart.  So, starting at the beginning, when did Whisky Biscuit start?
Stuart Gray: Whisky Biscuit was officially setup October last year.

SG: Why did you start the company?
Stuart: Well the process started off after restructuring at my old company meant I had to leave.  I have always wanted to set up my own company and thought this was the perfect time as I wasn’t too set into the comforts of having a salary and other things people get used to when working for somebody else.  Running your own company gives you certain freedoms and flexibility, so I can work when I want to work ( although at the moment I need to work quite alot ) and I can try to make working suit me ( less meetings, different hours and so forth ). And most of all, at my own games company I have the opportunity to make my own games, something which is less likely if I was working for somebody else.

SG: What is your vision for Whisky Biscuit?
Stuart: My vision for the company is obviously to make lots of fun games that lots of people enjoy.  As a company we hope to build a company that is fun to work for that will grow in a sustainable way, I have chosen not to pursue funding so that we can keep control of our own destiny and how things are ran. In the long term I hope to make some games that make an impact on the players beyond entertainment, maybe they can learn something about themselves or better themselves.  Obviously they are quite big ideas so will take a lot of resources, so we will not be able to tackle them until we have a regular income to sustain it.

SG: What benefits are you finding in from working from Elgin?
Stuart: One of the benefits of Elgin is I can be at home with my family, something which I haven’t done for 6 years, having my own company gives me the freedom to live where I desire, rather than where the jobs are. Our designer Paul works remotely and lives in Surrey, so we are both not really tied to anywhere in the grand scheme of things.  Elgin is my hometown and I have alot of friends I have known nearly my whole life so it’s nice to be around them again, and personally I think the Highlands is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland so it’s great I can live here again.

SG: So, what excites you most about WarPath?
Stuart: It’s our first game so we’re already pretty excited about it! I think it’s a fairly unique concept – it’s a multiplayer simultaneous turn-based game which means each player takes it in turns to plan their moves, then all the moves happen at the same time. You plan the moves using this really cool waypoint system we made which is another quite unique mechanic. There are a number of simultaneous turn-based games out there, but I think there is only one that is anywhere near what ours is like, so it excites me that we can explore this concept and what we can do with it.

SG: What can we expect from Whisky Biscuit in the future?
Stuart: Well we have a number of improvements and new features planned for WarPath and are considering porting it to iPhone.  We are considering trying out making a social game, mainly to see what its like and what we can bring to it.  I also had a small idea of a game based in the Highlands that I am prototyping.  There is also a million other ideas we have been milling over, but we want to concentrate on improving what we already have first.  Basically expect more from us :).

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