Matt Barton's blog

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 166: Sandy Petersen on why paper game designers make better videogames

I'm back this week with part 2 of my interview with Sandy Petersen. In this episode, the maestro of pen & paper games talks about how people like him are better qualified to make videogames than those who jump straight to pixels. In short, the answer is diversity--paper games have it, videogames don't. Sandy also talks about Elf Quest, which he considers a failure, and Ghostbusters, whose innovative system inspired the Star Wars RPG (though unacknowledged). We also chat about his early computer games for Microprose, including Lightspeed and Hyperspeed, and why Sandy turned to the dark side.

Download the MP4 here.
What do you think about Sandy's argument? Would you like to see as much variety in the videogame market as we see in pen & paper games? Sound off below!

Matt Barton's picture

Matt's Podcast 15: Sword of Fargoal 2 with Jeff McCord

Fargoal 2: Oh, yeah!!!Fargoal 2: Oh, yeah!!!This audio podcast features an interview with Jeff McCord, who's launched a Kickstarter campaign I think you ought to support right now.
Download the podcast here.

Jeff McCord, developer behind the classic VIC-20/C-64 title Sword of Fargoal (reviewed here), has launched a Kickstarter program to fund development for a sequel. The sequel sounds FANTASTIC, featuring character classes, "action cards," and the ability to share dungeons, as well as huge amounts of great artwork and music. A $8 pledge gets you the game as well as a DRM-free version of the soundtrack. Go up to $50 for a T-shirt and $100 for a bunch of other goodies. Please, please, please, go right now and make your pledge. You will pay NO MONEY if this project doesn't make, and we really need to act NOW to make this happen. We've got two weeks left on the Kickstarter and over $32,000 left to go, so get your ass over there RIGHT NOW and donate. I'm going to be mad as hell if I'm not playing me some good ol' Sword of Fargoal 2 with all the bells and whistles Jeff and Paul P. have put together here. If you were one of the millions who played a pirated version of this game back in the day, Jeff has promised to absolve you of all your sins if you pledge even $1 to this.

Now, seriously, get over there and pledge. This is EXACTLY the kind of project we SHOULD be funding, not just the ones from famous people. If you don't know anything about the game, he's put the first one up for free so you can try it out. This is the updated release for the iOS, mind you, but it's still got all the classic gameplay we fell in love with back in the 80s.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 165: Sandy Petersen, Master of Horror RPGs

This week I roll out the first installment of my interview with Sandy Petersen, author of The Call of Cthulhu role-playing game and all-around gaming icon. Sandy has some very interesting theories about what makes a game scary for players; a lot of what he says will resonate with fans of survival horror games as well as H.P. Lovecraft's stories.

Download the video here.

Matt Barton's picture

New Bundle in a Box -- Deep Space

Deep Space is here! Grab the whole thing now for a mere 5 bucks! And yes, there's SHMUPS for Mark--check out Death Ray Manta! Here's the announcement:

Deep Space Bundle gets spaced out with TEN more games

Bundle In A Box: Deep Space (http://bundle-in-a-box.com/) was rich from the start. It exclusively debuted the eye-melting Death Ray Manta and offered you Jeff Minter’s arcade Tempest influenced masterpiece Space Giraffe, surreal RPG-adventure Dark Scavenger, remade C64 classic Armalyte, space-combat sims The Wreckless and Sol: Exodus, retro-inspired platformer Robot Riot, freshly released shooter Miner Wars Arena and an impressive selection of extras and bonuses.

Now, with the addition of the complete Bagfull of Wrong explosive bundle-within-a-bundle and its 10 loud, glowing and psychedelic arcade games, the Deep Space bundle got even richer! And more exciting too.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 164: Leviathan, the Tone Rebellion

This week I'm back with a new retrospective of "The Tone Rebellion," aka "Leviathan." This little gem from Jason and Todd Templeman is a real-time strategy game set in an abstract, surreal sci-fi universe. You control a tribe of mysterious "floaters" that work the mystical "tone" to erect structures and outfit troops. You must defeat the evil Leviathan by collecting and applying artifacts, thereby recovering the lost knowledge needed to secure victory. Unlike most RTS games with a big map, this one only goes left and right, simplifying navigation and allowing you to focus on maintaining a supply line.

Download the mp4.

Matt Barton's picture

Kickstarter for Obsidian's Project Eternity (Icewind Dale-style CRPG)

Sweeeet! There's yet another must-pledge Kickstarter out now: Project Eternity. This is another REALLY exciting one--they've got Tim Cain and Josh Sawyer working on this. In a nutshell, they want to make a new game in the style of Icewind Dale, which, if you'll remember, was a party-based isometric CRPG with RTWP (real-time with pause) combat. What happens when you put the creator of Fallout and Planescape: Torment together, then turn them loose with a Kickstarter-funded, no-publisher bullshit budget of a million dollars? I don't know about you, but I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT. I went and pledged $65 to get the boxed copy. Knowing Tim, it'll be an awesome box with pack-ins well worth the price of admission.

Pledging ends October 16th, so you better get over there now. I seriously doubt they're going to have funding issues with this one, so you might as well grab all the freebies you can.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 163: Graeme Devine on the Fall of Trilobyte

I'm back this week with the final installment of my interview with Trilobyte founder Graeme Devine, the programmer behind the hit game The 7th Guest and lead designer of Halo Wars. After The 7th Guest, Graeme and Rob were superstars, but their inflated egos led to one of the biggest disasters of their career--The 11th Hour, the long-anticipated and long-detested sequel. The big squabble was Graeme's reluctance to do anything that wasn't "Scooby Do," and Rob's desire to make cheesy soft porn.

Download the video here.

Matt Barton's picture

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HDKindle Fire HDIf you don't have a tablet yet, you might want to look more into the Kindle Fire HD.
Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB

Amazon has announced it on their website today. The 8.9" 4G is selling for $499 with a Wi-Fi only model at $299. The Kindle Fire HD has a 7" screen going for $199.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 162: Graeme Devine and The 7th Guest

Matt Chat fans, you are in for a great episode this week: It's Graeme Devine on the amazing story of The 7th Guest, a bestselling, groundbreaking adventure game that helped launch the CD-ROM as a storage medium. It was so ambitious that it actually got Graeme and his partner fired from Mastertronic, only to re-form as their own company and release this beast upon the world. It made them overnight sensations. Grab some popcorn and hear what all the fuss was about!

Download the video here.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt's Podcast 14: Tales of Illyria with Chad Mannicia

Tales of IllyriaTales of IllyriaI have a special treat this week for all of you indie CRPG fans! Chad Mannicia, programmer/designer of the upcoming Tales of Illyria game, was kind enough to sit down for over an hour to chat about the new game. Bill Loguidice and I have already pledged, but you guys need to step up! We're talking turn-based party combat, an epic story, and, best of all, an Oregon Trail-inspired resource management component! The minimum pledge is eight bucks, so get your butt over there and pledge pronto! We can't let talented people like Chad go un-funded, especially when they have such a promising yet modest Kickstarter.
Download the podcast here.

Syndicate content