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Matt Chat 161: Graeme Devine's Early Days

I'm back this week with a new interview series with Graeme Devine, the coding wizard best known for The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour. However, Graeme also did important work for id and goes back much earlier, developing some very impressive games for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and PC Jr./Tandy 1000. In this segment, we chat about his early days on those systems, wrapping up with his games Silver Surfer and Spot for the NES. Lots of good stuff here, particularly for fans of the UK's game development scene of the 80s.

Download the video here.

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Nancy Drew Kickstarter from Her Interactive

I just saw on Facebook that Her Interactive is launching a Kickstarter. Why, you ask? Isn't that company raking it in already? Well, they're doing great on PC and MAC, but looking to port their full-fledged adventure games to iOS and Android. I say "full fledged," because they're already done some stripped down "casual" versions of some games for iOS, but this is the real deal.

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The State of Point-and-Click Adventures

Adventure games, particularly of the point-and-click variety, have always been my second favorite genre, just after computer role-playing games. Unfortunately, the genre's popularity declined sharply after the collapse of LucasArts' adventure game division and, of course, Sierra On-Line's adventures. About the closest you can get nowadays to this "golden age" experience is the episodic games from Telltale Games. But what about folks looking for that classic point-and-click experience? I've been fortunate to review games for Adventure Classic Gaming, a site that specializes in new adventure games with the classic feel. The majority of the games I've reviewed are imports, usually German, and games from independent studios.

I thought it would be fun to talk about three or four of the best ones I've played recently and let you know where to get them. I'll also link each one to my full review of the title on Adventure Classic Gaming.

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Matt Chat 159: Dave Warhol on Serious Games (REPOST)

There was some error with the iTunes feed for this post, so I'm reposting it. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks to Wholly for pointing this out.

In the final segment of interview with Realtime Associates founder Dave Warhol, we discuss his tenure on the Tiger Team for Saturn before delving into the mysterious and fascinating world of "Serious Games." We wrap up with a discussion of the future of games, in which Dave sees a much broader definition of "videogaming" that includes work, medicine, and music as well as pure play.

Download the video here.

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Matt Chat 160: Project Firestart, the first survival horror game

This week's episode is a 20-minute retrospective of Project: Firestart, suggested by viewer (and fellow English professor) Chris Oatis. This is a VERY interesting game from a historical perspective, and there's a good case to be made that this is the first-ever "full" survival horror game. There's some contention, of course, since it's not true 3D (it uses a "pseudo-3D" comparable to early Sierra titles). Otherwise, everything that most people associate with the genre is in there, such as logs to flesh out the backstory, limited ammo, cinematic cut scenes, etc. The game is also interesting because it was released exclusively for the Commodore 64/128--in 1989! That decision just didn't make sense, as acknowledged later by the developers themselves. On a positive note, though, it's some REALLY impressive C-64 coding work, since it looks as good if not better than many games for the Genesis or Amiga/ST. You can read more about the game and its impact on the genre here.

Download the video here (only Matt Chat supporters, please).

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 159: Dave Warhol on Serious Games

In the final segment of interview with Realtime Associates founder Dave Warhol, we discuss his tenure on the Tiger Team for Saturn before delving into the mysterious and fascinating world of "Serious Games." We wrap up with a discussion of the future of games, in which Dave sees a much broader definition of "videogaming" that includes work, medicine, and music as well as pure play.

Download the video here.

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Matt Chat 158: Dave Warhol on Game Audio, LucasFilm, and Maniac Mansion for NES

Lots of stuff here for NES fans, including lots of behind-the-scenes stuff as Dave's RealTime Associates company negotiates with Nintendo over the Maniac Mansion port. "The Pubic Pixel!" We also talk about game audio in general and the music in several of Dave's games, starting off with my personal favorite--the Pool of Radiance theme.

Download the video here.

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Matt Chat 157: Dave Warhol Talks Intellivision

I'm back this week with the first part of my interview series with Dave Warhol. Although Dave is perhaps best known for his extensive audio work, he's also one of the original designers for the Mattel Intellivision. In this segment, he talks all about the system (including a question from our very own Mr. Bill Loguidice), and the ill-fated keyboard component.

Download the video here. If you enjoy the show, please donate and/or tell someone else about the show. Views and donations are currently at a very low level, and it's getting discouraging. I need things to pick back up to maintain my positive energy! Thanks for your continued support and help.

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Graeme Devine Reveals Upcoming iOS Game Plans

Game Details Leaked!Game Details Leaked!I just finished interviewing Mr. Graeme Devine, designer of The 7th Guest, 11th Hour, Quake III Arena, and Halo Wars. This is the guy who was hired by Apple to make iOS the ideal gaming device--which he did, just before leaving Apple to make his own games for said device. At the end of the interview he decided to spill the beans about his next iOS project. Here's the spoiler:

Quote:

Matt: I don't know how much you can talk about this game you're working on now, is it confidential?
Graeme: I've given a few clues about it, but I'll let you in on the secret. Okay, here's the story. I'm going to invent a time machine, and I'm going to make the entire country believe in an urban legend, convince everyone that the urban legend is real, and I'm going to scare the heck out of you all.

He's promised to keep us posted at his blog at GRL Games, his small family-run company. At any rate, his hook certainly has me eager to see what the heck he's got planned for us.

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Matt Chat 156: Police Quest

This week's episode is a retrospective of Sierra's classic graphical adventure game Police Quest. Designed by a real-life policemen (Jim Walls), this game is unique in the Sierra lineup and boasts three sequels. Offering great humor in addition to serious police work--not surprising since Al Lowe was involved--Police Quest was the first Sierra game I ever played. I was never able to get very far since I had a pirated copy with no manual (the irony!), but that didn't stop me from trying and having a great time with it.

Download the video here.
Buy Police Quest 1-4 from GOG for only $10. Use this link and I'll get a kickback!

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