Playtechtonics is a small game development studio in Austin, Texas. Right now, we are mostly providing Starport: Galactic Empires, an original game that we developed. Here is a 2005 interview with Starport creator and Playtechtonics CEO Aaron Hunter:

MadAce: Goodday. Thank you for granting this interview, Mr. Hunter.

Mr. Hunter: My pleasure!

MadAce: Are you the original creator of StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: Yes. Starport was conceived in 1997, seven years before its release. Sometimes people ask me, what is the point of all this? To which I say the point is to dream, have fun, and explore the universe.

MadAce: What’s the birthday of StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: February 3rd, 2004 is the day it first opened its doors to the public.

MadAce: How did you think of StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: We wanted to make something massively-multiplayer because we always enjoyed the social aspects of games. The dream of a space-faring future is a fun backdrop. The thrust-inertia control system for handling your ship is a game mechanic that I've always liked.

MadAce: What was the hardest part of developing StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: The hardest part is the sheer number of tasks that must be done. There are just so many details that go into making a well-rounded software product. If I had to pick out one difficult part, I'd say coding the Graphical User Interface (sometimes called the "gooey").

MadAce: What’s the biggest difference between the current and the first version of StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: I'd have to say the refinement of the game experience, the level of polish. After more than a year of listening closely to the community and implementing fixes and suggestions, today's StarPort experience isn't so rough around the edges as when it first came out.

MadAce: How many hours do you still spend on updating, debugging, or improving StarPort?

Mr. Hunter: It probably comes out to over 40 hours a week. And then there are business and promotional tasks that need to be taken care of as well.

MadAce: What part of StarPort are you the most proud about?

Mr. Hunter: That it is complete, an overall game experience. In terms of development, the network combat engine is a nice achievement. I'm also proud that I get supportive emails all the time from happy players.

MadAce: Do you have time to actually play StarPort, in a non-work related way?

Mr. Hunter: No. What time I have to spend in-game is usually spent monitoring and refereeing as an impartial judge.

MadAce: How do you decide which ideas to put in and which to ignore?

Mr. Hunter: I use my best judgement. I'll listen to most any suggestion, but if it's not well-written or well-thought-out then I'll quickly toss it. Another tool that's used is the frequency of a suggestion or idea. If three different people make a suggestion, it probably has merit. If fifty people make a suggestion it's probaby a very good idea!

MadAce: What’s your impression of the StarPort community?

Mr. Hunter: I think they're great and I'm thrilled to have attracted such a friendly and insightful group of gamers. I rely on them to let me know what's going on in-game, with bugs, or if someone is harassing others and I need to come stop them. And they help newbies as well as provide a fun social atmosphere.

MadAce: Could you give some info about what elements you are planning to implement in the future?

Mr. Hunter: I want to improve some of the data screens, primarily the holdings display, the galaxy map, and the game options screen. The galaxy map will have more data on colonies, planet types, and a better system of demarcation than the current colored flag system. The holdings screen will provide more information on each colony. Also, there are going to be some things added to make the galaxy a richer place with more interesting scenery. This includes planetary outposts, and space debris/asteroids. Also, a quicker version of the game will be launched as the "Blitzkrieg" server. This game will be nice because it will start and finish in just 4 hours, requiring less commitment from players.

MadAce: Thank you for this interview! Good luck with StarPort!

Mr. Hunter: You're welcome!