Creator of Zombie Squash Rocks Out with Roy Z and George A. Romero
With his latest game released in November and a successful designing firm of his own, Attila Juhasz is moving full speed ahead. All of this, though, comes on the heels of a long career in marketing and designing that started with the dawn of the Internet. Juhasz has worked in industries across the board, including Sci-Fi magazine writing. His career took off after he built HorrorMovies.com in 1995, which led to a string of events culminating currently in the launch of Zombie SquashTM, which features the voice of George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead) as Dr. B. E. Vil and original music by Roy Z (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden).
Attila spoke to me about game development and his past experience in the field.
Tell us how you went from web & graphic design to game development.
In the early 90s, I was especially fascinated by the early growth of the World Wide Web. I became a beta tester for the first Mosaic browser, so I taught myself HTML, writing code using Notepad, and began creating web pages. In 1995, I purchased my first domain name and built HorrorMovies.com, which I sold to Unapix Entertainment Inc. in 1998. They also hired me as Director of Internet Marketing.
In 2005, I moved to Arizona [to be the] Marketing Director for their new company, Metal God Entertainment, [simultaneously] I formed Attila’s Creative Works LLC. I left Metal God Entertainment in 2012 and, since then, I have worked with many wonderful clients including music diva Martha Wash (It’s Raining Men), rock legend Foghat, comedian Craig Gass, and local businesses like X-Pools.
ACW Games is a division of Attila’s Creative Works LLC that I created to centralize the game and app development that I do. Zombie Squash is the primary project and focus at the time. Aside from the ongoing technical development of the game, I manage all the marketing, press, merchandising and partner relationships.
How did you fund your projects?
Funding originated from my savings, a few friends and business colleagues. Soft dollar investment on my part has been a vital element in making Zombie Squash and keeping ACW Games going. Over the past 2 years, I have invested over 2,000 hours of work waiving my pay to make my vision a reality. We are looking for additional investors and partnership opportunities for the exciting growth of the Zombie Squash brand and ACW Games in general.
How did you come up with your newly released game Zombie Squash?
About two years ago I was trying to come up with an idea for a game that could have commercial appeal, entertain kids and adults, and somehow involve Zombies but in a unique way. The name, game concept and theme song all happened in a matter of minutes one afternoon. Out of nowhere, the name hit me: Zombie Squash, [using] ‘squash,’ the noun rather than ‘squash,’ the verb. I was so excited about the idea that I started singing in jingle style “zombie squash” and [I had a theme song]. Over the next six months, I created a beta PC demo and released it on the web to get some feedback and it was tremendous. I then used my demo to attract and land George A. Romero, the godfather of all zombies, and iconic director of Night of the Living Dead.
How did you integrate your love for rock music into Zombie Squash?
While I was working at Metal God Entertainment, I became really good friends with Roy Z (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden), who was the guitarist, songwriter and producer for Halford. I showed him the Zombie Squash PC demo, which had music I wrote and performed, as well as my business plan and game document. I asked him to write an up-tempo, edgy instrumental soundtrack for Zombie Squash and he agreed. Aside from the theme song, which was written and recorded by me, the music is all Roy Z. He did [such] an exceptional job that we are releasing a full Roy Z soundtrack later this year.
What’s in the future for ACW Games?
Right now, Zombie Squash is the future of ACW Games. A lot is riding on the growth and success of the overall brand. We will be releasing expanded free and paid versions of Zombie Squash in late October 2013, as well as the Roy Z soundtrack. We just released our first T-shirt for purchase exclusively on our website. We are looking for investors, merchandising and retail partners for new apparel, toys, expansion and growth of the Zombie Squash brand.
Photos provided by Attila Juhasz