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Matt Chat 171: Josh Sawyer on Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights

This week I'm back with Josh Sawyer to continue our chat about his history and game design philosophy. Josh started off as a web master at Interplay, but made such a positive impression on the management that he was soon designing his own games. Josh and I (and I suspect YOU!) have a lot of the same games that inspired us, like Pool of Radiance. Josh also talks about some cancelled projects, such as Project Jefferson (BG III) and the Aliens RPG.

You can download the video here.

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Matt Chat 170: Lori & Corey Cole/Dave Marsh Double Feature

I'm back this week with the show's first-ever double feature. In the first segment, I chat with Lori and Corey Cole about their Hero-U kickstarter. Then I switch to Dave Marsh, to chat about his Shadowgate kickstarter. I know people might be getting "Kickstarter Fatigue" at this point, but I think you'll agree that both of these projects are well worth your money.

You can download the video here. If you like the show, please do your part to keep the episodes coming.

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Matt Chat 169: The Eidolon--a journey into the mystical realm of the mind

This week features a retrospective of Lucasfilm Games' The Eidolon, a 1985 game that builds on the fractal routines introduced in Koronis Rift and Rescue on Fractalus!. Unfortunately, this game requires a manual to understand, so many of us pirates back in the day couldn't make head nor tails of it. The story, detailed only in the manual, has us strapping into a sphere called The Eidolon and zapping off into the unconscious, mystical realm of the mind (it just gets weirder from there). The fairly complex gameplay has us shooting and collecting four different colors of balls, each with different effects on creatures (if shot) and ourselves (if hit or collected). It also boasts some of the best artwork at the time, especially animation.

Download the mp4 here.

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Matt Chat 168: Sandy Petersen on id and Ensemble

Here's the last installment of my interview with Sandy Petersen. We chat about his time on id, which includes a lengthy section on Sandy's philosophy of level design. Then we move on to Ensemble, with a discussion of team sizes and Microsoft's callous treatment of this hardworking and proven team. We wrap up with a chat about jobs and what Sandy likes to see on a resume.

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Matt Chat 167: Josh Sawyer on Project Eternity

Hi, guys! This week I decided to interrupt my Sandy Petersen interview (don't worry, he'll be back next week) to bring you an update from Josh Sawyer on the Project Eternity kickstarter project. Josh is working with Tim Cain and Chris Avellone on what is probably best described as a modern take on Icewind Dale II, though a lot is still in the planning stages. There's a little over a week left on the Kickstarter, so you'd better pledge now if you want to secure some goodies.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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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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