Endless Escapism

We don’t link enough to occasional Corporate Paymasters The Escapist, I think. Let’s put that right, as their new issue has a few interviews which are of obvious interest to RPS-heads. Firstly, the have an interview profile on Tim “Grim Fandango/Psychonauts/Walker’s Future Bride” Schafer, where he deals with his decision to leave Lucasarts, start Doublefine and general tribulations. Here’s a quote where he talks about “creative” being used as a curse…

“People would just kinda be like, ‘Oh, it’s very creative.’ And it really seemed like the more you could make your game seem more like something else or more derivative of something else, the more comfortable they would be with it.”

We’ve also got interview profiles with the Sports Interactive guys on their original-Championship Manager/Football Manager dynasty and Running With Scissors about their vomit, sex and death Postal dynasty. And, if you had to choose to read but one feature… you know, I think I’d recommend the Postal one. We’re very aware of the creativity/money problem Schafer elaborates on, but to have Running With Scissors drop the comedy sex-monsters mask and actually argue their artistic corner with quotes like…

If we were in this for the money, then we would have made Doom 48, Unreal 57, Halo 99. You get the picture. We don’t make games for the mainstream, yet they really are very mainstream, if you ever truly play them. I’m proud to be different. There’s a reason why so many people, after they actually play Postal, tell me it’s one of their all-time favorite games.”

As well as arguing about their AI, their flexible and hailing their older, educated, politically-libertarian audience is unexpected, to say the least. More here.


  1. Hypocee says:

    Broken HTML on the Schafer link.

  2. Nuyan says:

    Oh I’ve played CM 96/97 sooo much when I was young. Must have played it hundreds of hours. Playing the game all the way into 2020. Playing with Brighton and Hove Albion, promoting slowly and ending up winning the Premier League. Seeing Eric Cantona as player-manager of ManUnited. Now I’m pretty laid-back in any game, but back then as a kid I was extremely fanatic, couldn’t stand loosing and just rebooted the computer when a match didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Haha.

    Even now in 2007. 10 years later. I sometimes still recognize a player-name of some completely unknown not-so-famous player that’s on tv as a starplayer in MY CM96/97. So many unnecessary details, knowing stupid conference league team names and managers. It’s ridiculous! Also played that other game a lot from 95/96 where you could build stadiums and decide which sponsors you wanted and where you started out in the conference league, forgot the name of it I’m afraid.

    I’m not much into football at all anymore but now after writing this I’m tempted to try out that new Football Manager.

  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    Fixed. Thanks, Hypocee.


  4. David Halmshaw says:

    Whenever I see you mention the Postal series (which is not often enough!) I find myself scurrying back to my brother’s dog-eared copy of PC Gamer (issue 123) and your Postal 2 review. It is, incidentally, my favourite computer game review of all time though that may be an odd thing to say. I always judged Postal 2 by the Edge system of scoring, not the Gamespot one – that 7/10 isn’t a bad game – but I loved the review most of all because that’s how I like reviews to be written. Sure plenty of people would disagree with me and refer to it as pretentious piffle, but they’re boneheads. I’m sure you as well have had your ups and downs with New Games Journalism (the Frankenstein’s monster gone ROGUE!!! perhaps) and you may not even label that review as such, but I like to have a nice neat tag for my favourite review of all time.

    Also, I had a chance to track you down and possibly chat about this when you were signing Phonogram in Leeds, but it seemed a little unfair to Mr McKelvie as I assumed we would get involved in a lengthy debate about the merits of deep-sea fishing or something equally ridiculous, and then marry. My brother went and he said you were nice guys and he monopolised you anyway. What an arse.

    I promise I’m not a stalker or any otherwise damn fanatic, but I need to get this off my chest. I just wanted to say “loved the review!” but after four years of forgetting, it seems mildly neurotic now. Oh well.

  5. Watcher95 says:

    The day The Escapist changed it’s format and dropped the PDF version , it became just another so-so gaming portal blog IMHO.

  6. Babs says:

    @ David Halmshaw
    Interestingly, I read that review too and remember nothing about it other than it got me to buy the game (which I love btw). Must have been quite good then.

    Any chance of posting it?

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    I was thinking about posting it actually, but it was written when I was at Future full time, so I don’t get the rights back ever (as opposed to my freelance stuff, which I get back after six months).

    I could ask though.

    I too was pleased with it. It was hammered out incredibly quickly, we me cackling all the way.


  8. David Halmshaw says:

    Babs, it spurred me onto buying the game too. In terms of money spent to hours played, it’s one of my best purchases ever. To try and jog your memory, the article prefaced sections with days of the week, slowly becoming more and more psychotic and ending in a slightly confused Gunday. One of my favourite lines from the review was “playing Postal 2 is very much like being a deaf, dumb and blind paraplegic whose only possible means of interaction with the world is through the two pistols that take the place of his hands.”

    Kieron, you should ask. It’s a cracking review, and maybe we could find a term in there to popularise like “robo-crazy”. Interesting tidbit, I watched that with my brother and mentioned it to him, and he was the one who reminded you about it on whichever forum it was. Our lives overlap more than you realise! :spooky:

  9. Kieron Gillen says:

    I tried hard to avoid popularising Robo-Crazy. I failed.

    I just had a look for the review, and couldn’t find it. Boo.


  10. David Halmshaw says:

    Bwaha, success! I could scan the review for you, but I assume you want to find the original to save on retyping and reformatting.