<html><img src="boss.gif"/></html>\n''RPS'': Your experiences with games education at [[The Guildhall|http://guildhall.smu.edu/]] [also mentioned in //The Rise of the Video Game Zinesters//]. That really got to me. People basically shut themselves away.\n\n''Anna'': Oh god. Well I mean that's what's asked of you. You know, doing crunch time, working for hours and hours without overtime, never seeing your family, they've managed to - publishers have managed to - convince people that that is part of the culture -\n\n''Daphny'': They do a 'crunch time simulation' at the school because that's what you're going to have to deal with.\n\n''Anna'': Yeah the Guildhall was intended to simulate crunch time all the time, so that when you got into the job market, you wouldn't complain, you would just accept that this is the way things were done – and The Guildhall boasts a 95% employment rate, and that does make you very marketable to employers but it also makes you a zombie who like, falls over in 5 years and never gets up again. Whose dream is to spend five years working on a videogame then never do it again?\n\n''Daphny'': Yeah they get burnt out and hate videogames forever.\n\n''Anna'': The reason that is is that people accept that there are no other ways to make videogames. That's the hold that publishers have on you: they've sold people on this idea that they are the only way that you're ever going to get to make a videogame.\n\n''Daphny'': I guess that shows like [["The Tester"|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tester]] exist cos people think 'Oh I either get into videogames by being a tester or by being a programmer that works 70,000 hours a week.'\n\n''Anna'': That's a really good metaphor because the lengths people are willing to go to to denigrate themselves to be allowed to make videogames is really horrifying and really sad.\n\n''Daphny'': Anna does have her own crunch time, when she's almost done with the game there'll be times for a couple weeks – but that's her own.\n\n''Anna'': Some games I'll be like – I'm not doing anything today, I'll just hang out with you and we'll go somewhere.\n\n''Daphny'': I think it's creative industries. They're like well, if you have the passion for something creative you won't mind working 700 hours a week. But when someone's forcing you to do something that you don't even have that much interest in, your passion isn't going to be there, so you're working 400 million hours and you don't care and it's not the same as your own creative passion.\n\n''Anna'': That sort of lifestyle – some people can accommodate that more than others. A few years before I went to the Guildhall... there was this middle aged woman who had two kids had gone to the Guildhall and there was just no way that she was able to keep up with the school because she had a life outside of the Guildhall, outside of working on games. That's just one of the ways that the cesspool of games reproduces itself.\n\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html> <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/25675570?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe></html>\n\n''PARTY'' (courtesy of Anna Anthropy, drinks on me)
<html><img src="calamity2.sized.png"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': Is Daphny [Anna's girlfriend and PR] a catalyst for a lot of your games?\n\n''Daphny'' [happily]: “I’m her MUSE!” \n\n[''Anna'' laughs.]\n\n''RPS'': Does that help? Do you need someone to make games for?\n\n''Anna'': Well... yeah. What I like about games is that games are really good for exploring dynamics in relationships, and the strongest dynamic in my life is the one that I have with this sick love [gestures to coughing ''Daphny''].\n\n[DAPHNY COUGHS]\n\n<html><img src="screen12.png"/></html>\n\n''Anna'': Interacting with her, and you know, existing with her inspires a lot of the sort of relationship and dynamics that I wanna put in my games and the games that I wanna talk about.\n\nYeah - I think it is very important to have a life to be inspired by. And I feel like a lot of people who work on games neglect that part of their life.\n\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src="dys.png"alt="From Dys4ia"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': What's the most personal game you've done?\n\n''Anna'': [[Dys4ia|http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/591565]]. All of my games are personal, but that game is the most autobiographical.\n\n''Daphny'': [[CALAMITY ANNIE|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=177]] is my favourite! \n\n''Anna'': Cos that game's about you.\n\n''Daphny'': COS ITS ABOUT ME. Because it's about missing me. It's about being trapped in a desert away from me. \n\n[''Anna'' laughs.]\n\n''RPS'': Which one is this? Sorry, didn't catch it.\n\n''Anna'' & ''Daphny'': [[CALAMITY ANNIE|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=177]].\n\n<html><img src="565577-calamityannie_large.png"/></html>\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src="resolutejill.png"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': You advocate making a game by yourself mostly in your book, but can't you make one in a team just as well?\n\n''Anna'': If you wanna make it with a couple friends, that's fun too. That's a good idea. The thing is that most of the games we think of, culturally when we think of what a game is, they are games that have been made by teams of so many people, you can't identify any one person's creative contribution to it. No one wants to be the person who draws a bunch of textures for a game – people want to have a creative investment in the things they are making. People want to have an attachment to them. That's how we get personal games, is when people are actually exerting creative control over the things they are making. And that's sort of impossible in a situation where there are 100 people making a game.\n\nI make games with other people a lot. But we always have very clearly defined roles – someone draws things, someone designs the play, someone does the music. I think those kind of collaborations are awesome, but I feel like everyone involved has to have a creative sphere of the project over which they exert control, they have to be contributing something that is them, and it's hard to do when you have 100 people, 50 people, it's hard for everyone to have a piece of the game that is them.\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src=rise.jpg></html>\n\n//Back in February, [[RPS talked with Anna|http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/03/punks-not-dead-an-introduction/]] about the [[Scratchware Manifesto|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=433]], and how much she identified with its sentiments: "We will develop for open platforms, not proprietary consoles. We will work in the white-hot ferment of our own imaginations."\n\nAs if to expand on those Scratchware musings, Anna recently published 'Rise of the Videogame Zinesters', a book critical of the homogenous culture surrounding videogames development and providing a rallying call for those who feel sidelined by mainstream games culture. With an inspiring look at her own past work and throwing light on exciting work being carried out by 'zinester' artists like herself, she encourages and even sometimes coaches readers through her text to help them bring their own games to fruition.\n\nIt makes you think that anyone could, and should, make a game, and that's the highest compliment I could give it. Apart from making a game...//\n\n''RPS'': What made you write [[Rise of the Videogame Zinesters|http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781609803728]]?\n\n''Anna'': I wrote it because I’m very very very very concerned by how terrible and monolithic games culture is by and large, and I think the only way games are going to be more diverse is if more people actually start making games, or people from a wider variety of perspectives. \n\nAnd the thing is there a lot of people who have really rad values and people who are queer are put off by how toxic and insular games culture is. So I sort of wanted there to be a book for those people, that could sort of let them know that games don’t have to be like that and that there are actually people like you who are making games right now. There is space in games for all people.\n\n[You get a little hot under the collar. Is she talking about you? Like, people like you, who should be making games? Fuck. You feel like an idiot. You shouldn’t make a game. Oh god, but you want to make a GAME.]\n\n''RPS'': Where can we find your book?\n\n''Daphny'': [[AMAZON!|http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Videogame-Zinesters-Anna-Anthropy/dp/1609803728]]\n\n''Anna'': If you find it in any UK independent bookstores, this is a public call to tweet at me [[@auntiepixelante|https://twitter.com/#!/auntiepixelante]] if they know the names of places in the UK of bookstores that have it, because people always ask me 'hey where can I find your book in the UK?' and I would love to be able to tell them.\n\n''Daphny'': Everyone go buy the book so we can eat!\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src="anthropy-banner.jpg"/></html>\n\nThanks very much Anna, you say. That was really interesting, and kind of inspiring.\n\nAnna looks back at you, a twinkle in her eyes. "You've got it in you now," she says.\n\nGot what? you say, twitching.\n\nDaphny looks at you, observing you fidget. "She's infected you with it," Daphny says, matter-of-factly. "This always happens."\n\nInfected? But [[Brendy|http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/03/punks-not-dead-an-introduction/]] didn't //warn// you -\n\n"I gave you all the tools," Anna says, her smile seeming to engulf the whole room. "And now you want to go home and make a game." \n\n"Here," she says, putting Twine and her book in your hands, "go back to your PC and tell me something about yourself."\n\nAnna sits back, puts her arm around Daphny, and gently fades into the darkness again.\n\nYou look at [[Twine|http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/]] with curiosity. Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship?\n\nMaybe. Just maybe.\n\n[[Back to RPS|http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/]] \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n''[ [[ITEM GET]] ]''
<html><img src="image.png"/></html>\n\nYou're in a shady, sleazy bar. Perfectly sleazy. Good sleazy. You feel just the right amount of sleazy. \n\nHoping that all the best games journalists do their best work drunk, you get that glass of white wine straight up, and head to the shadiest corner of the bar, looking for trouble.\n\nSuddenly, she rises out of the darkness.\n\n“Prominent games developer Anna Anthropy!” you exclaim. “You're responsible for making such games as [[Dys4ia|http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/591565]], [[Lesbian Spider-Queens Of Mars|http://games.adultswim.com/lesbian-spider-queens-of-mars-twitchy-online-game.html]], [[Mighty Jill Off|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/jilloff/]] and many more... AND you're an Independent Games Festival judge, an Indiecade judge, and the 90th [[hottest queer woman in the galaxy|http://www.autostraddle.com/autostraddle-hot-100-2012-the-hottest-queerest-women-in-all-the-land-138656/2/]]!”\n\nShe also, you remember smugly, [[killed Brendan's metaphor|http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/03/punks-not-dead-an-introduction/]]. Punk rock but not as we know it.\n\nShe smiles and lifts her drink, as if to wonder how on earth you got near her majesty without her pet girlmonster and PR [[Daphny David|https://twitter.com/#!/daphaknee]] rugby tackling you.\n\n“HIIII!” Daphny yells, from behind Anna. "Anna's just released a book about games too! [[Rise of the Videogame Zinesters|http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781609803728]]!"\n\nDaphny's here too? Well this would be a perfect place for a sleazy interview, you say, winking at them both. LET US BEGIN. \n\n[Daphny is ill and coughs.] \n\nLET US BEGIN AGAIN.\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>\n
<html><img src="calamityannie.jpg"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': You say something really beautiful in //Rise of the Videogame Zinesters// – you say that the theme of //Calamity Annie// is that “being driven will drive you to love, and that passionate people are attracted to passion” – that statement kind of moved me [- made me cry – shh Cara shh]. Do you think more games should reflect that personal journey?\n\n''Anna'': I want games to be more personal. I want games to actually tell us something about the author and the people who make them. Part of that is I want more people who have something to tell us about themselves to make games. I try to be present in all of my games. I try to have all of my games point back to me and say something about me. I think that when games are... when games are rougher, more creative, when there are more mistakes, I think all those splashes of creativity sort of represent the author – they point back to the author. I would love to be able to play a game by a ten year old girl or something and learn about her.\n\n''Daphny'': “It’s like when you listen to music you can be like ‘that’s this band’ or you see a movie and you’re like ‘that’s this director’ and those are all the best music and the best movies and stuff. And when you play a game, you play it and you’re like ‘this is by this author, and I can tell because I’ve played other games by this author’ that’s a really wonderful feeling and it happens really rarely, especially with games that are made by focus groups and fucking 100 people – they have the guy that shades the polygons in something that you don’t even see – it’s just really fucking gross and I don’t like it.” \n\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
//''Ask Anna A Question''//\n<<actions "First videogames">> <<actions "Writing" >> <<actions "IMPERATIVE" >> <<actions "PASSION" >> <<actions "Teamwork" >><<actions "Daphny">><<actions "Guildhall" >><<actions "Collaboration">><<actions "Personal">>\nDo you want to end your interview and get your freak on?\n\n[[HELL YES]]
Interview: Anna Anthropy
<html><img src="trackball.png"></html>\n\n''RPS'': WHEN, Anna, did you think ‘I want to make videogames’?\n\n''Anna'': Gosh I think I always wanted to make videogames: when I was little I used to play [[Bubble Bobble|http://www.freeonlinegames.com/game/bubble-bobble]] and games like that with my mother... I always wanted to make them. It was a long time before it seemed like it was possible to make them. When I was a kid I didn’t think of ‘games designer’ as a career or a job, like any sort of thing that normal people could do. But much much later, much later [[Game Maker|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=1240]] existed and stuff like that and I sort of figured out how to use them to do stuff - and so now I do stuff, and I try to do stuff as often as possible.\n\n''Daphny'': What about the stuff you used when you were little?\n\n''Anna'': Yeah I had [[ZZT|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZZT]] and a bunch of other level editors. ZZT was a shareware program, a shareware DOS game that was made by the guy who makes Gears of War now, and it was really good for making like simple little games. It was really exciting when I was like, 12, because it was the most Game-makery sort of thing I could get my hands on. \n\n''RPS'': Is [[Game Maker|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=1240]] the best thing to use when you’re first starting out? What would you recommend that some dumbass like me tries out?\n\n''Anna'': I recommend the [[Games Factory 2|http://www.clickteam.com/website/usa/the-games-factory-2.html]], there’s a free version that makes Flash games ... it’s pretty wonderful – it’s based on click and play which is a very simple game making tool. You’ve got Clip Art and set simple rules and what happens if this thing does this thing. Game Maker I recommend if you get [[Game Maker 8.0|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=1240]], which is a version that I host on my website because the current free version of Game Maker puts a watermark on every screen of every game.\n\n''Daphny'': It’s REALLY UGLY.\n\n[''RPS'' nods, trying to look sage.]\n\n''Anna'': I host an older version of [[Game Maker|http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=1240]] that you can use for free that doesn’t... uglify your games. The other thing I recommend to people who are making games for the first time is [[Twine|http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/]], which is a really simple tool for making basically choose your own adventure sort of things – very simple text stories – click here to do this – and it makes games as web pages that you can put online.\n\n[//Gee. Maybe I should try [[Twine|http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/]] out? ''RPS'' thinks.//]\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src="shadaloo.png"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': Anna, should everyone make a game? Is it a cultural IMPERATIVE? [Secretly hoping she says yes.]\n\n''Anna'': Well, I mean, if everyone in the world doesn’t wanna make a game, I won’t get mad at them.\n\n''RPS'': Aw.\n\n''Anna'': But I think that games need to sort of be saved from themselves. Games are really exciting and interesting to me as a form and I think it’s really sad that they are being used to do so little, and to represent such a small set of values and perspectives. I feel like we owe more to games than that and I think the only way that anything is going to change is if more people bring their values to games, people bring their different perspectives. That’s the only way that games are going to become something more than they are.\n\n<html><img src="letsstop.png"/></html>\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
<html><img src="lesbianspiderqueentitle.png"/></html>\n\n''RPS'': When you think of a concept for a game, the people you're collaborating with – do you have a very strong design concept that you want them to come on board with or would you rather that they do something SUPER creative in their own sphere that you can put together later?\n\n''Anna'': Well the thing that I usually do, is I usually have a vision up front, and then I tell that to the people I am collaborating with and then I let them do whatever. After the upfront explanation I don't interfere a lot. When I ask someone to contribute, when I collaborate with someone, I want the thing that we produce to be as much a part of them as it is of me. I want their prints to be all over it. The people who I collaborate with are people I know who are creative and who have good ideas, and I sort of trust that they will have their own good ideas for the game and I am willing to let them follow that. And I think in the end we produce something that is definitely the product of everyone involved, not just me.\n\n''RPS'': What is a game that you've made that has leant itself to collaboration?\n\n[[Lesbian Spider-Queens Of Mars|http://games.adultswim.com/lesbian-spider-queens-of-mars-twitchy-online-game.html]] is my biggest collaboration. I had Amon26 do the music, I had Mariel Cartwright do the illustrations that appear throughout the game, I did the sprites and stuff and she did the sort of game over screens and stuff. And then I had both my girlfriends at the time do voiceacting for the game. The end result was amazingly textured I guess, because so many people had their hands in it. And it was really fun to make. It was really fun. It was a really long project.\n\n''RPS'': How long did it take?\n\n''Anna'': Well the thing is I had the game basically done after about six months. But then it took me months and months to negotiate with Adult Swim for a contract. And then there were a few more months of changing the game to things that they suggested, many of which were actual design suggestions and only a few of which were weird censorship suggestions. Some of which I spent a lot of time fighting, which is why the game ended up being a year from when I started to when it was online.\n\n<<display "Ask Anna A Question">>
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