M. Menzel-Nielsen and F. Wiesner (Mausland Entert.) Interview

Categories: Interviews

Mausland Entertainment

I had recently the opportunity to chat with the two founders of Mausland Entertainment, Mathias Menzel-Nielsen and Felix Wiesner. They took some time to answer a few questions for FreeGamesNews (Thanks guys).

FreeGamesNews: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Mausland Entertainment?

Wiesi: Hi I am Felix Wiesner, and I am responsible for the graphics.
Matze: And I am Mathias Menzel-Nielsen, I do all the coding and server administration and all the technical stuff. We are both 28 years old and born in beautiful Hamburg/Germany where we enjoy living since our birth.

FreeGamesNews: How many people are working at Mausland Entertainment? How did the team come together?

Wiesi: Right now it’s just me and Matze working at Mausland. We met long before Mausland was founded, he always loved to program and I did art stuff so it was just a matter of time until the idea was born to make games together.
Matze: We met years ago as NeoGeo enthusiasts, a game console of the 90s which had a unique fresh game and graphic style which is still superior and influenced us a lot. We always wanted to make such games on our own and so we try to get close to them until today and probably until doomsday :)
We are also very happy that Row is supplying great music tunes for some of the games.

FreeGamesNews: How many games have you already released?

Matze: At the moment we have about 50 games in our game portal but some of them are more like interactive movies.

FreeGamesNews: Could you please introduce your latest creation, Bubble Splash?

Wiesi: Bubblesplash is an arcade puzzle game where you have to pull down balloons and throw them back in order to line up balloons of the same color.
Matze: The gameplay is much influenced by Magical Drop, an old NeoGeo game which impressed us a lot.

FreeGamesNews: How much time did it take to develop Bubble Splash, and more generally, how much time does it take to produce a game at Mausland Entertainment?

Wiesi: That’s really hard to say, it depends on a lot of things like on our mood and motivation. Some games come out really fast while others are a pain in the ass.
Matze: In fact we underestimated the amount of work for Bubble Splash. As we always underestimate the amount of work :). The Ideas splashed out easily, but the coding, gameplay tuning, gfx finalizing and bug fixing took many weeks. The game consists of 8646 lines of java code and approx. 87 pages of printed paper.

FreeGamesNews: Some of your games have a Japanese animes look-and-feel. Where does it come from?

Wiesi: We always loved playing arcade and console games, especially in the 90s, so that’s where the Japanese influence in our games comes from, I guess.
Matze: As the arcade machine emulators like MAME or Callus came out in the 90s we felt like in wonderland. All those cool Arcade games which we weren’t allowed to play as kids now lied at our fingertips. There are many unbelievable cool artworks and styles in those games, especially in Japanese ones like those from SNK, Taito, Capcom or Data East. Games like Rainbow Island, Baseball Stars, Windjammers or Last Blade just to name a few.
Wiesi: I owned two NeoGeo Consoles some years ago which was a rare thing here in Germany. I really recommend playing Baseball Stars 2 btw!!

FreeGamesNews: Bubble Splash was developed with Java. Swap Job is a Flash game. Why using different languages/development tools to design your games?

Wiesi: Lately our goal was to make games for internet and cell phone as well so Java is the perfect platform.
Matze: We try to make a living from selling Mobile Phone versions of our games. These have to be written in Java, so the porting is a lot easier if we choose java from the beginning on. Also Macromedia/Adobe decided to disallow usage of their player for platforms like NetBSD or FreeBSD, which are my preferred platforms and so they pissed on my knee. Java runs anywhere in a browser and is so a very good platform. Also coding in Java is a lot more comfortable than in actionscript, because actionscript simply doesn’t tell you about syntax and runtime errors.

FreeGamesNews: Mausland Entertainment releases a new game every other month. Do you plan to keep this pace in the future?

Matze/Wiesi: We have no special release plan. As long we get ideas for new games and the motivation is there we will continue releasing games.

FreeGamesNews: How to you proceed to develop a new game, step-by-step?

Matze: The first step is to get an idea and to plan the game. This is the most delightful step in which you can dream and bring in ideas. Second is to make the graphics and to program the whole thing which is instantly followed by phase 3 the bug fixing. This is the most annoying step. We hate it. You fix one bug and get three fresh ones. Music and Sound Fx is also an important factor.

FreeGamesNews: Mausland Entertainment runs its own games portal. When and why did you decided to open a games portal?

Wiesi: I think it was about 2 years ago when we decided that it might be useful to split our content in Games, Animations and Illustrations.
Matze: It’s not really a games portal in that sense that it collects games. All games on Mausland are created by Mausland. We steal no games to put them on a page just to make profit with the work from others like other pages do.

FreeGamesNews: Do you have a licensing program for your own online games?

Wiesi: On request everyone can license Mausland games.

FreeGamesNews: Some of your games are available only on your website while some others can be found elsewhere. Could you explain why?

Wiesi: We submitted some of our games to Newgrounds.com but if you see them anywhere else they are just stolen.
Matze: This is a big problem. Nearly every so called free games page is in fact just stealing games without asking. Some sites even refuse to remove the game from their site if you demand it. So we protected newer games with some kind of off-site-protection and if the game is embedded in an html under a different URL it simply doesn’t run!

FreeGamesNews: What about your future game related projects? Do you plan to release a new game soon?

Matze: Our next goal is to make some cell phone games from our existing games like Bubble Splash and Bullriding Explosive and an extended download version of Bubble Splash with multiplayer support. We are also thinking about a Mausland multiplayer fun poker game with bizarre characters.

FreeGamesNews: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?

Matze/Wiesi: Neo Geo Rulez!


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