In the fourth and final installment of my interview with Dave Marsh, we talk about a variety of topics including his later FMV games (including MTV's Club Dead), AOL-era MMOs (Starship Troopers Online, Aliens Online), and finally, his thoughts on getting a good job in the industry.
You can download the video here.
I'm back this week with ICOM Simulations veteran Dave Marsh. In this episode, we chat mainly about his two famous FMV projects, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Dracula Unleashed. These delightfully cheesy productions were big news back in the early 90s, when even grainy, heavily-pixelated video footage was extraordinary. We wrap up with a discussion of the TurboGrafx CD game Beyond Shadowgate and the Looney Tunes games from SunSoft.
Download the video.
I'm back this week for the second and final segment of my chat with the excellent Jeff Williams. If you don't think Jeff is awesome, it's because you haven't watched these videos. The guy knows exactly what's wrong with the industry and isn't afraid to speak his mind! You also have to admire anyone with the audacity to self-fund such a huge project and the persistence to see it through. And by the way, if you haven't already purchased Darkstar: The Interactive Movie, quit being a lamer and grab it now, if for no other reason than to support this heroic effort to fight the power. We need more guys like Jeff for the betterment of our favorite hobby.
Download the mp4 and save it for posterity!
Today's casual photos are of Zhadnost: The People's Party (1995) from Studio 3DO for the 3DO, taken with the iPhone 3G. Zhadnost is a late-life 3DO title in the spirit of one my favorite videogame game shows, Twisted: The Game Show (Electronic Arts, 1993), also for the 3DO platform. Both titles use lots of wacky, high quality full-motion video (FMV) segments featuring a combination of live actors and stock footage. Twisted errs more on the trivia side of things, while Zhadnost errs more on the mini-game side of things, and features a very specific type of humor. Both titles are highlights on the 3DO platform, making excellent use of the platform's capabilities to overlay quality full motion video over pre-rendered backgrounds. The production values of both are also high, with just the right amount of wit. In short, they're great multiplayer party games and in a format where the use of oft-maligned FMV makes perfect sense, and something more modern day games should consider over often low quality and robotic 3D models. Thinking of these FMV video game shows made me think of the Philips CD-i platform, which was home to several such games, including a favorite of my family's, 3rd Degree (PF Magic, 1992), which had the unique feature of containing a database of pre-recorded (pre-spoken) names, so unless you had an unusual name, the game would actually refer to you by name in the game host's voice (not synthesized). If your name wasn't in the database, they had a selection of cutesy and nickname type of monikers to choose from as well. Definitely another feature that should be incorporated in more modern games. Anyway, here are the images of Zhadnost:
From Oldschoolgamer: A video look, below, at the Commodore CD32 Console. This was a somewhat obscure and unsuccessful console despite actually being an Amiga 1200 computer at heart. Actually, this was the first true standalone 32-bit CD gaming console, but was let down once again by Commodore's lack of marketing and third party inability to take advantage of its capabilities!
Just closed a deal on a sweet CDi package including:
- Digital Video Cartridge
- Controller (Gamepad type controller NOT remote)
- book of CD-i backups (also left a few Jag CD discs in there...who knows,
maybe someday you'll get a Jag CD and need games right?)
- 9 DVDR set is iso's
- 11 original game discs (8 titles total + 3 dupes) marked as demo discs,
My friends over at Adventure Classic Gaming have a great interview up with Dean Erickson, the actor who portrayed Gabriel Knight in the second game of the GK series, The Beast Within. As you may recall from my review of the game, I didn't think Erickson did the best job, but now, after reading the interview, I'm feeling a bit more forgiving. Obviously, one of the great challenges of being an actor in a FMV game is trying to "act natural" in a FMV studio, because the end product may turn out so much different than a movie or TV show would. People tend to forget that all of the pioneering FMV games were working without established precedents and tried techniques; they were experimenting and, in my opinion, were abandoned before they grew into their own. What I want to do here is address some issues with acting in FMV that may account for hits untimely (and hopefully not permanent) demise in the mid 90s.
The 7th Guest is a graphical adventure game developed by Trilobyte and released in 1993 by Virgin. It was one of the first commercial games to ship only on CD-ROM, and certainly one of the first to really showcase the potential of the new storage medium. Trilobyte loaded the game with hundreds of megabytes worth of fully-rendered 3-D graphics, live-action video clips, and digitized audio, and topped it all off with some pretty clever puzzles and music by The Fat Man. Unfortunately, The 7th Guest is interesting now only from a historical perspective, the wizardry of its graphics and sound long overshadowed by newer PC technology.