Monday, February 02, 2015

NowGamer interview with Julian Gollop

NowGamer had a very interesting interview with Julian Gollop (Chaos, Rebelstar Raiders, Laser Squad, UFO: Enemy Unknown) published in August 2011, which can be found here. In this lengthy interview, Gollop talks about how he got started programming on the ZX81 and Spectrum, his love for board games, the many innovations in turn-based combat games that he and his brother Nick came up with, and the incredible success of UFO: Enemy Unknown.

UFO: Enemy Unknown post-mortem with Julian Gollop

Here's another excellent post-mortem video from GDC 2013, in which Julian Gollop, creator of Rebelstar Raiders and Laser Squad, revisits his biggest hit - the 1994 MicroProse tactical game UFO: Enemy Unknown (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense). This game spawned several sequels and also had a pretty successful remake of it released about two years ago, which I unfortunately haven't played much. The original game, however, is an absolute classic which me and my friends played a lot on our 486 PCs back in the days.

You can also watch this video at the GDC Vault website.

To see the game in action, or if you enjoy watching let's play videos, check out Kikoskia's Let's Play X-Com UFO Defense on YouTube.

The making of Alone In The Dark

Edge Online has a making of article on Infogrames' classic horror adventure Alone in the Dark from 1992. It's a little short and not very detailed, but tells the story of its creator, programmer Frédérick Raynal, and how he designed the game mostly by instinct. The game was a huge success, but the article ends with explaining how Raynal felt betrayad by Infogrames, and eventually decided to leave the company together with the rest of his team.

Alone In The Dark post-mortem with Frédérick Raynal

The various GDC post-mortem videos that can be found on YouTube and in the GDC Vault are truely awesome. In this post-mortem, presented at GDC 2012, designer and programmer Frédérick Raynal goes into great detail about the creation of his most famous game, Alone In The Dark from 1992. He is also the creator of Little Big Adventure (1994). Raynal talks about the 70s horror movies that inspired the game, early polygon graphics, the special 3D editor he had to program, and many other interesting things.

You can also watch this video at the GDC Vault website, which I this time recommend, because the YouTube version has some problems with the audio.

Maniac Mansion post-mortem with Ron Gilbert (again)

About a month after the post-mortem of Maniac Mansion at Game Forum Germany in January 2011, Ron Gilbert did a similar post-mortem at the Game Developers Conference in California, San Francisco. Again, Gilbert talked about what inspired the game, the famous SCUMM system, and many other things.

Unfortunately, the GDC Vault website won't let me embed the video, so you need to click here to go watch it. Once again, great stuff, and a must-see for fans of the early LucasArts adventure games.

Maniac Mansion post-mortem with Ron Gilbert

Exciting news struck retro gamers in November last year, when Ron Gilbert (creator of Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2) announced that he and Gary Winnick (co-creator and lead artist of Maniac Mansion) is developing a new point-and-click adventure together. Not only that, but a truely old school one with 16-bit era graphics! The game is called Thimbleweed Park and you can follow the development in detail at their website.

In this post-mortem, presented at Game Forum Germany 2011 in Hanover, Gilbert talks about designing Maniac Mansion, early ideas, his frustration with text adventures, the SCUMM system, technical limitations, the hamster in the microwave oven, and much more. Great stuff!

Doom post-mortem with John Romero and Tom Hall

Here's an hour long post-mortem video on Doom, which I find very interesting. This post-mortem was presented by creators John Romero and Tom Hall at GDC 2011 - the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.

You can also watch a slightly more interactive version of this video if you head over to the GDC Vault website. It won't let me embed the video, and I'm having some issues with their video player, so I prefer YouTube.