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.
Download the episode.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I 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.
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.