Richard Hogg: An insight into Hohokum (part 3 of 3)

Two weeks prior, we introduced you to the preparation and the making of the awesome game Hohokum. Today we bring the third part, which is also the last bit of the grand interview trilogy, which reveals the opportunity for illustration to skin famous games and the unforeseen reason behind the name ‘Hohokum’. Sit back and enjoy!


You can also see in UX and UI that there are amazing people making amazing apps but they need illustrators to translate this into something that people can feel closer to.

Yeah definitely.

That’s why we’re super happy to have this kind of game and we hope that your game will become massive and get lots of appreciation from a lot of people all over the world.

For me it’s interesting seeing that there are people who are responding positively to the game who are like gamer-type people and their response is like “Woa! What the f* is this? What drugs were they on when they made this?” Then there are people like you who are probably very aware of graphic design and art who are drawn to it because the art style is interesting to them and it’s reminiscent of things that they like outside of the border of video games. And those 2 things are always opposite but both are interesting for me. I’m more interested in the latter. There’s this phenomenon that I’m really into, it’s these people that I call the Fifa guys. So there are these guys out there, from certain design backgrounds, who when I tell them that I’m making a video game they go “Ah yes! On the iPhone?” and then I say “No no, it’s a PlayStation game. Have you got a PlayStation?” and they say “Yes! I just play Fifa on it!” There are people like that, not just graphic designers, just generally the blokes who play Fifa and never look into PSN (PlayStation network), they don’t know what indie games are, they just play Fifa, or maybe they play Grand Turismo. Yeah they’re not really gamers.

And then there is the other side in which I’m included. It’s like “I play Fifa but I’d love to see Fifa not with the replica of Messi but some cool character designs”.

Yeah! Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t that be amazing if you can just skin a game like that? It’d be so cool!

Exactly, because I don’t want to see Messi that looks like a zombie or something like that.

They would have called it a zombie video game right? But yeah, there are these people out there that maybe they’ve got two parts of the puzzle: they’ve got the interest in the illustration and graphic art and they’ve got a PlayStation, but they’ve never really played indie games. Maybe our game fills that gap potentially, and I don’t know, that’s a fantasy of mine.

Where does the name Hohokum come from?

Oh God. It’s just really lame. It’s like a weird thing. So it’s a deliberate misspelling of something else. So there is this ancient civilization that died out, who were from the Arizona, new Mexico area, a bit like the Aztecs or the Incas, one of those quite advanced sort of central American civilizations. They built cities and they died out thousands of years ago. No one really knows why, but there are cities, and they were called Hohokam. So it’s an ‘a’ instead of a ‘u’. I and Ricky are interested in this sort of stuff. I think we got it from a Jared Diamond book where he writes about them a little bit. And we have this really dumb idea which is that we call our game something that is interesting in the world, then we change 1 letter. Then when people go to google our game, Google will say “sorry, did you mean ‘hohokam’?” and then end up looking at the Wikipedia page of the ancient civilization and we thought that was quite a funny idea and we’ve done it twice. We made this stupid game called Poto and Cabenga and that’s a misspelling of Poto and Cabengo. These were 2 twin girls who were really neglected by their parents. The parents never spoke to them because the parents had been told that they would be mentally retarded or mentally handicapped. And they never bothered to check, so they didn’t talk to the girls at all. And the girls invented their own language and the names Poto and Cabengo were the names that the girls invented for each other in their language. And we sort of stole that and used it as a name for a game again for the same stupid reason that someone might google it and they would find out about something else a bit interesting. It’s really dumb actually.

No it’s really nice! It feels like a game inside a game!

Yeah it’s a bit of a game. The problem is now that our game is more famous than the ancient civilization. The guy who is the son of the archeologist who discovered a lot of the Hohokam got in touch with us because he’s curious about why we called our game that. He was a lovely man and we explained it to him and he thought that it was really cool. So that was how it really went.

Thank you very much for everything and having this talk.

It’s a pleasure!


P/s: wait no longer and download the game here!

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