4Q Interview: Freeverse - Skee-Ball

Posted by Chris Hall on September 30th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

As I sat back and thought about things last week, I realized that the site was missing something. Every news source worth their salt partakes in long form interviews, which are great, but for the most part aren't read all the way through due to their length. Being the busy guy that I am, I completely understand, and in my understanding I've decided that four questions (4Q) is the length that interviews should take. So with that, I'll leave you with the interview.

Being a lifelong fan of skee-ball, I decided to reach out to Freeverse via e-mail to get some important questions answered about their new app, aptly named Skee-Ball (how was this not used already?). Fortunately, my desperate pleas for answers were answered by none other than Lydia Heitman, marketing director extraordinaire, and Justin D'Onofrio, senior producer/pizza guru.

Check out the full four question interview after the break. Enjoy!

Chris (148apps): Why is playing skee-ball on the iPhone better than playing skee-ball at Chuck-e-Cheese?

Lydia: In addition to severely lowering your risk for being arrested for suspicious behavior for loitering in a Chuck-e-Cheese, having Skee-Ball be a portable gaming experience for your iPhone lets you take it out and put it away whenever you want. Sheer convenience with the added bonus of an amazing physics engine so you get the Skee-Ball experience YOU control. Also, it's 99c. Also, no children.

Justin: When I was growing up we usually hit up the Chinatown Arcade for some down-home cock fighting; the upscale Chuck-E-Cheese being the domain of suburbanites with minivans. Cock fighting doesn't exactly lend itself to an interactive experience, at least not without a real gambling system. And booze. And cigars. And the cops. Hmm.

Chris: Youch, sounds dangerous! So I don't know if you were aware, but this year is the 100th anniversary or the invention of the game. If you could say one thing to J.D. Estes, the inventor of this fine game, what would it be? Wait... before you answer, don't think that a simple "thank you" will suffice, this guy just rose from the dead to talk to you.

Lydia: We actually DID know it was the 100th Anniversary of this fine American classic, and thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate it. So, I would probably say to Mr. Estes, did you ever think Skee-Ball could be portable? Why did you name it Skee-Ball? It sounds almost like Skee-Lo or Skeet Skeet... Also, how did you cheat death and reanimate?

Justin: Well, if he rose from the dead just for us, and I had one question to ask, it'd have to be: Why salmon? Of all the colors, in all the world, some that have yet to even be discovered, why salmon pink for the lane? Genuinely interested here. Of course if the answer is as simple as "duh, that's Skee-Ball's attract mode," then my question would have to be: being from the 1900's, how witchcrafty do you find the iPhone?

Can I get a second question in? It'd be simple: How about hooking us up with your creator discount to get an office Skee-Ball machine?

Chris: Back to Chuck-e-Cheese. I don't think that I played many skee-ball games growing up without running up the ramp next to me and dropping the ball directly in the hole. Some would call this cheating, I thought of it as giving me a better chance to win a Sega Genesis. What is the best way for me to cheat/ take advantage of great opportunities on the iPhone version of the game?

Lydia: We have Plus+ integrated, so, we DO encourage competition anywhere on the spectrum from friendly dabbling, personal challenges, to blood-thirsty cut-throat knock-down Skee-Ball brawls. Plus+ offers users a really easy way to brag about your achievements, and keep track of what everyone else is up to...almost like spying on other players to see if you need to step up your game. See who has won what, and make sure you reign supreme when it comes to Skee-Ball...although we can't allow you the freedom of dropping the Skee-Ball in the hole to pimp out your tickets, we can allow you to monitor your Skee-Ballah status.

I find, personally, that if you lay your device on a flat surface, and flick your finger from the left to the right starting at about 1/6 inch from the left side of the screen to 1/6 inch from the right side of the screen for about 2/3 of the ramp length, I can consistently get that top right 100 hole...confusing yet?

Justin: Since the game makes use of a full physics engine, there's actually a few good tricks to consistently nail the 100-cup. My preferred "running-up-the-ramp" involves a fast, smooth, off-center swipe, then applying some english to the ball as it hits the ramp lip. If you get the hang of it and have a steady hand, you can nail the Perfect Game (all 100s) achievement.

Now, one could also try placing their iPhone on the floor, running over it then slamming a wooden ball onto it, but QA has not yet cleared this. You may experience hardware glitches.

Chris: Last question... I promise. I hear rumors that the Freeverse office orders in pizza once a week. What is, without a doubt in your mind, the best pizza topping? Being the opinionated person that I am, I'm quite convinced that a chicken, jalapeno, pineapple pizza is the way to go... but I guess other people are entitled to their own (lesser) opinions.

Lydia: I just convinced everyone at the office to order a White Pizza with Chicken...it's amazing. Ricotta, mozzarella, and whatever that white sauce is and whatever cheese they'd like to inundate you with PLUS fried chicken. Yum. And beer. Can we make beer a pizza topping?

Justin: Being Italian and growing up all over New York City, I can give you the single definitive answer to this question, one that is impenetrable and not open to speculation, contradiction, conversation nor argument. The answer is, sausage and mushrooms.

(This is what we will serve J.D. Estes when he rises and comes down to Brooklyn.)

Now, you may exchange the mushrooms for eggplant depending on a) the people or institution making your pie, and b) the other members in your social group at the time of pizza ordering or creation. For example, a girl I knew was deathly afraid of mushrooms. Over the years you learn to work with the troublemakers (aka, traitors), and the answer to situations like these is to replace the mushrooms with eggplant and a scowl.
Four questions done. Whew, the pizza question really got to me. I didn't expect my (still correct) opinion to be so irrevocably denied. Those crazy New Yorkers. Anyways, check out the Freeverse website for more info on their site and some of their new apps coming out, including Fairy Trails and Warp Gate.


iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Released: 2009-09-22 :: Category: Game


iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Skee-Ball screenshot 1 Skee-Ball screenshot 2 Skee-Ball screenshot 3 Skee-Ball screenshot 4 Skee-Ball screenshot 5
Posted in: News, Interviews
Tagged With: Freeverse, Skee-ball, $0.99
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