In this final segment, Robert opens up about Wizardry 8 and the legal morass Sir-Tech found itself in with Andrew Greenberg. We also chat about the infamous Stones of Arnhem project and a programmer who became unhinged after it lost funding.
New underworld game: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-underworld-game-in-the-works-for-pc-dev-promises-not-to-mess-with-original-formula/1100-6420836/
In this installment, Robert and I chat about Douglas Bradley’s Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Ian Currie’s Jagged Alliance, and how Hollywood screwed up the games industry. We also chat about why Sir-Tech left the industry in the face of massive consolidations.
It’s hard to believe that Horkheimer and Adorno’s landmark essay The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception was written as far back as 1944. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you use the link here to check it out. While I certainly don’t agree with everything in it–it seems to leave me with a feeling of hopelessness rather than empowerment–some of their criticisms really strike a chord with me. I thought it’d be worthwhile to make some connections between their essay and the “games industry.” My point for doing so is that the “games industry” is seemingly unabashedly committed to ally with a purely capitalist ideology–that is, to openly admit that the whole affair is driven only by profits, catering solely to the lowest common denominator, content to reify the status quo and all its inequities, and completely uninterested in producing anything resembling art in the fine arts sense or criticism in any sense. I know many game designers who do aspire to do much more than provide cheap, soulless amusement for the masses, but their aspirations are as worthless as the games they make instead.
Robert Sirotek, co-founder of Sir-Tech, returns this week to give us the behind-the-scenes stories of the first five Wizardries. How did the collaboration between Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead work out? How did Brenda Brathwaite work her way up from hot line operator to game designer? And what was up with the insane difficulty of Wizardry 4?
I announced in this week’s episode a project I’ve had incubating for some months now–a lengthy special feature covering my favorite CRPG franchise–the one that got me started in this business. Of course, I’m talking about the Gold Box series. It’s been awhile since I’ve played them, but I have played almost all of them from start to finish on my trusty ol’ Commodore 64. I’ve also recently had the pleasure of interviewing several key folks on their design teams. In short, I love this series, and I think (and from what I’ve gathered from my informal polls of you guys), a feature on them is just the sort of bait I need to grow the show.
You see, this special won’t get made unless (or, hopefully, until!) I reach 25,000 subscribers on YouTube. I need to grow the show for various reasons, but the main one is attracting a steady stream of designers and other professionals to be my guests. The bigger my audience, the more likely I am hear to a big fat “YES!” to my requests to have them on. Matt Chat has its fans, but, sadly, the numbers just aren’t as appealing as they could be.
I finally get fed up with the hair, bugs, eye lashes, and various toxic waste that had been building up in my Saitek keyboard for the past–decades???—and tossed it. Now I’m in the market for a new one, and preferably sooner–the silly HP Wireless thing I’m using right now came with my PC and doesn’t even have real keys to type on. UGH!
This is the first part of my interview with Robert Sirotek of Sir-Tech. In this episode, I begin my interview with Robert Sirotek, one of the co-founders of Sir-Tech. In this first installment, we chat about how Robert got his start and the origins of Sir-Tech. There’s a castle involved!