Sneaky Sasquatch: A Q&A with one of the lead devs of Apple Arcade’s GOTY nominee

Stealthy Shenanigans
Stealthy Shenanigans /

Sneaky Sasquatch was one of the top games that released on the Apple Arcade this year and we had a chance to talk with one of its creators, Jesse Ringrose.

Sneaky Sasquatch is one of the shiploads of games that are on the Apple Arcade for iOS devices. In the game, you play the role of a friendly but mischievous Sasquatch, who is on the hunt for food in a forest where campers come to visit.

You can sneak around and take food from campers without them spotting you. If they do see you, however, then the rangers will come after you, sending you back home if they catch you (in which you hilariously go right back to the same location you were caught to grab more food).

You can also do some other activities around the park aside from grabbing some grub. This, if you have the proper items.

We had a chance to chat with Jesse Ringrose, one of the lead developers at Rac7 Games, who, along with Jason Ennis, created Sneaky Sasquatch. The game was a nominee for Apple Arcade’s “Game of the Year”.

Sneaky Sasquatch
Stealthy Shenanigans /

Colin Mieczkowski: What’s the origin story behind Sneaky Sasquatch? What was your guys’ inspiration?

Jesse Ringrose: We first started down the Sneaky Sasquatch road over 4 years ago, when we did a game jam with the theme of “You are the monster”. We wanted to make a stealth game where you’re a “friendly” monster who sneaks around stealing food, although that version was called “Starvin’ Sasquatch”. The gamejam version is still online, too. As far as inspiration goes, we’ve probably pulled in bits and pieces from every game we’ve ever played. Since the gameplay in Sneaky Sasquatch is so varied, we’ve pulled in inspiration from a huge range of games, from Metal Gear Solid to Microsoft Golf 2.0. The rest of it is pulled from our own childhood, growing up in the pacific northwest and doing pretty much everything the sasquatch does.

CM: In the game, you obviously take on the role of a lovable Sasquatch. But were there other animals/creatures that you had in mind before deciding on our current furry friend?

JR: I don’t think we ever thought of any ideas beyond the Sasquatch to be honest. It all came together in that game jam years ago, and we’ve never second-guessed it since then.

CM: How critical was it for you guys to get the game on the Apple Arcade?

JR: Over the years we’d thought about working on Sasquatch as a full-time thing, but we could never figure out a good fit on how to monetize it. We could have slapped some advertisements in there, or put in some premium currency and in-app-purchases or something, but we really don’t like designing games that way so never seriously considered it viable until Apple Arcade came along.

CM: There are a lot of different mini-games you can play within Sneaky Sasquatch (golf, skiing, racing, etc). What went into the process of knowing which activities to implement into the game?

JR: We would just ask ourselves, “What is the silliest thing the sasquatch could do” and then start building it without thinking it through. It was all pretty organic – none of this stuff was planned out in advance, we just kinda jammed a bunch of things together and somehow we ended up with the game that currently exists.

CM: As a follow-up to that, what were some other activities that you guys thought about implementing before launch?

JR: Oh, we’ve got hundreds of ideas on the cutting room floor that we’d like to add in someday. In the short term we’d love to add some white water rafting, a skate park, building a spaceport to go rescue your animal friends from the moon, operating a food truck – too many ideas, not enough time.

CM: The campsites seem to be randomly generated, leading to no dull moments when looking for food. Was this a big point of emphasis when developing Sneaky Sasquatch?

JR: We wanted to make sure the world always felt fresh so you could pop in and see what’s going on in the Sasquatch world. We had even bigger plans for how to randomize it too, like having seasons and scaling the number of visitors based on that and other factors. The end goal is to make it feel like a living, breathing world that’s always running, but we’ve got a lot of work left to do to reach that goal. In the next update, we’re rolling out a big feature that didn’t make it in for launch, where all the people in the game world have to go to sleep at a certain time. Once night falls they’ll put out their campsite, switch off all the lights and then head to their assigned bed. It’s not really important for the gameplay, but it’s very important to capture that feeling of the world being alive.

CM: Is there a particular activity that you enjoy playing the most in the game?

JR: Me personally, I’m all about the driving. Whenever I’m testing the game and I get access to the sports car, I tend to forget about whatever I was testing and just go for a drive.

CM: Finally, what have been some of your favorite moments when creating Sneaky Sasquatch?

JR: My favorite moment would be watching people play it after the game came out. We weren’t sure how it would be received, or if the game was any good at all, but it feels great to see people enjoy it so much. So much of the game is hidden away behind what looks like a kids game, but that’s part of what makes it special, so seeing people “get it” has been the best feeling.

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We greatly appreciate Jesse’s time to talk to use about Sneaky Sasquatch. The game is included in the Apple Arcade subscription service.