An interview with Bob Mills from OUYA

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An Interview with Bob "Bawb" Mills
At this spot we usually interview developers of our most beloved OUYA games. However, today we’ve had the unique pleasure of talking to Bob Mills aka. Bawb the Games Guy directly from the OUYA. Yes, that BAWB. We’ll be talking about his job at OUYA, how he got it and what his favorite games for the OUYA are right now. Let’s roll!

Day of the OUYA: Hi Bob/Bawb. Thanks for the interview. Before we get into your tasks at OUYA would you give us an introduction of who you are and a little bit about what you do at OUYA.

Bob: My name is Bob Mills, and I’m the Games Guy for OUYA. So that sounds very professional, I know, but basically it means that I help devs get their content on OUYA. I do this a couple different ways.
I talk to devs who reach out to us. I reach out to devs, and I’m moving toward developing the support documentation for developers so that it’s increasingly easier for them to create and adapt games for the system.

I was taking any game-related work I could — often times for free, and one day, a contact of mine mentioned that a couple people wanted to crowdfund a games console.

DotO: Something that interests me personally and probably A LOT of other gamers is the way you landed your current job at OUYA. Did you just send your CV or how did you get a job at one of the hottest companies 2012/13?

Bob: I helped launch OUYA. I was taking any game-related work I could — often times for free, and one day, a contact of mine mentioned that a couple people wanted to crowdfund a games console. I was all for it.
So I brought my gamer background into the mix and wrote a ton of stuff for the campaign. A few weeks of early-early mornings and late-late nights later, and we had Kickstarted a console.
I continued to take on more roles as time went on, and now here I am talking to you.

DotO: How much of your working hours are actually filled with playing the OUYA? Many people (including me :P) have the illusion that when you work in the gaming industry all you do is playing games. Is that true? (Please be true I couldn’t deal with the harsh reality!)

Bob: Ha! Definitely not as much as I’d like. But, aligning more with your fantasy, my breaks often consist of 10 minutes or so of gaming. I love video games, so what else would I be doing on my breaks?
So yah, I don’t want to dash the illusion for you, but most of my time is spent interfacing with developers, hanging out in (generally fun) meetings with coworkers, refilling the water cooler and occasionally playing some Retro Racing or Order and Chaos.

DotO: In your role as Developer Relations “guy” you get into contact with all kinds of developers. How do you work together with them and how does that fit into the whole concept of OUYA? What is a typical problem you help developers with?

Bob: Hmm it depends. It’s all a case by case kind of thing, you know? Some developers have questions they need answered. Others need help getting their games to completion. I work with some developers to promote their games online and in DISCOVER.
Sometimes I’m surfing the web looking for new projects to bring to OUYA, and other times I look for existing games that would be a good fit. I also travel around quite a bit and meet developers at conventions or in their hometowns. I’ll also provide feedback (which is really fun) on some dev’s projects.

I’m still looking forward to Sneaky Games’ Arena of Heroes

Arena of Heroes
DotO: What games are you most excited about coming to the OUYA?

Bob: I’m still looking forward to Sneaky Games’ Arena of Heroes — it’s a turnbased, tabletop PVP game where you manage a team of characters and battle other players online across multiple platforms.
Tripwire Interactive’s Killing Floor Calamity is coming soon to OUYA as well — I played KF all the time on PC. I’m even subscribed to the Killing Floor subreddit, so it was super fortuitous meeting Alan from Tripwire Interactive when I went to visit IGDA Atlanta.
Let’s see, there’s a few games coming soon that we haven’t quite announced yet and some others that are just fun and silly and surprise the hell out of me — most recently is Super Mega Worm. That game makes me laugh. A lot.
And, of course, my go-to game is Amazing Frog. I love Amazing Frog. I seriously can’t stop playing it. It’s so random and strange, and I think part of me really identifies with the protagonist. They just included a toilet purchase that’s well, amazing.

DotO: Are there any tips for OUYA developers how they can better take advantage of your console? For instance is there “one” way of monetization that you have seen perform better than others? Is there anything developers can do when first starting to develop games that will help them in later stages of game development?

Bob: We’re in the early stages of the platform. It’s kinda the Wild West, if you’re familiar with my U.S.-centric analogy. We’re seeing devs employ try-then-buy demos that are timed or level based. And other devs are playing with donations and microtransactions.
I think the purchase model really depends on the game. If there’s a dev reading this who has questions, Jared on our team ( jared[at]ouya.tv ) is pretty well versed in monetization and can take a look at your game and give you some pointers.

I’ve been here from the beginning and watched OUYA transform from an idea to an actual console that actually plays people’s games.

DotO: A more general question that probably many of our readers would love to know. What does the OUYA have in store for us in the near future? Are there any features we should be expecting, maybe even in one of the next updates? (If you are allowed to talk about that)

Bob: Good question. Stay tuned for more and more improvements and new, awesome games. We continue to evolve and improve every day. I’ve been here from the beginning and watched OUYA transform from an idea to an actual console that actually plays people’s games. It’s an incredible ride and everyone in the OUYA community is watching this experiment grow. Cool stuff.

DotO: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Much appreciated!

Bob: Dude, thank you. It’s an honor. 🙂 If you wanna play Order and Chaos with me, I’m “BAWB” on there. I’m also on twitter.com/bawbmills. If devs have any questions, please have them email me at bob[at]ouya.tv. Stay tuned for more videos and please let me know if there’s any games you want to see or people from the dev team you want to meet.

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About Tim von Janssen

Tim has started playing PC Games at the tender age of 8 (ca.1990-1991) on monochrome screens and hasn’t stopped ever since. Due to that love for video games that has developed very early Tim also knows why older games very successful despite mediocre graphics. One simple reason: gameplay. Tim feels that with the development of the OUYA and the stronger focus on indie game studios is the right step towards better gaming experiences that rely more heavily on unique game concepts and better gameplay in general. Tim at Google+

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