The small Massachusetts-based developer that found itself in the national spotlight over an illegal immigration transport game talks with Gamasutra about the public dust-up over and the misconception (in their view) of the company's stance on illegal immigration. Company founder Alex Schwartz spoke to Gamasutra about the response to the game, and how the company hopes that it can shed some light on immigration issues.
First, Schwartz tackles a question about whether the game would work without the smuggling theme:
"What we've gathered from tester feedback is that the mechanics are fun and challenging. What happens to be drawn on the sprites for the items in the back of the truck doesn't change the gameplay in any significant way. It does however augment the message and the theme, which can affect a player's engagement with the game."
When asked if Smuggle Truck was a clever way to garner extra attention through controversy, Schwartz said:
"We expected press to pick up on the game. We also knew that people would remark on the concept and spread the buzz. It's been our public intention all along to bring the issue of immigration reform to light and to kickstart the process of getting people discussing it."
Finally, one of the most important questions asked was about the development teams' opinions on illegal immigration:
"There are major issues with the current system in place for legal immigration. It requires serious reform. We feel that with reform, the pressures that drive illegal immigration can be lessened, and more people will have a legal choice when it comes to immigration.
As for the details and specifics of the reform process, we're currently working with multiple immigration reform groups in Massachusetts to figure out how to best focus the discussions toward relevant reform topics."
Smuggle Truck has not been approved by Apple yet for iOS devices. The game will also be released as a web game by way of Kongregate.