John Vechey, PopCap co-founder. (Erynn Rose photo)

We had a great time talking with John Vechey, one of the co-founders of PopCap Games, on this weekend’s GeekWire radio show and podcast — exploring topics including the origins of the company (and its wacky initial name), the rise of social and mobile games, the company’s acquisition by Electronic Arts, and his passion for the Green Bay Packers.

At one point of the discussion, we talked about the behind-the-scenes creative process at PopCap and asked, how does the company produce hit games?

“We end up canceling out titles,” Vechey said. “It’s hard. It’s an emotionally difficult journey. I know it sounds kinda weepy and hippie and stuff.”

As games are under development, he said, people inside the company ask themselves, “Do we find it fun? Are we making games that we find fun? And if the answer is no, cancel it.”

So what’s his favorite game that the company has canceled? Vechey talked about the PopQuest, a role-playing game that the company worked on for more than three years.

“It was one of those things where we all believed in it, but we really needed to redo it from scratch, and after about 3 1/2 years you just don’t have the energy to start over,” he said.

Would they ever resurrect it?

“It gets talked about,” he said. “We’re all rooting for it, but it’s one of those things where everyone still has the scars from trying it the first time.”

Go here to listen to the full show, including an extended version of the interview.

Previously on GeekWire: PopCap rejiggers Bewjeweled lineup with its first freemium game.

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