As 2013 draws to a conclusion, tying up loose ends, saying goodbye to former companions, before dying and regenerating into a whole new year (which will it be? we still don’t know), it seems an apposite time to look back at some of RPS’s highlights over the last 52 weeks. In this first batch of narcissistic nostalgia, we remember some of the best interviews.
One of the earliest interviews of 2013 was Alec’s experimental exploration of the interview process, in speaking to BioShock honcho Ken Levine. Breaking down the situation, and letting his interview paranoia run rampant, it became as much an interview of Alec as it did Levine, and was all the more fascinating for it. Part one is here, and part two is here.
The best interviews plunder the minds of developers and reveal their unique perspectives. Which is why Alec’s interviews with The Castle Doctrine creator Jason Rohrer are the best. In part one they discuss the creepy-deepy nature of the game itself, and in part two they go deeper into the nature of game authorship, and indeed, Far Cry 3.
Oh yes indeed, the Cara Vs 3 Crysis interview. The piece containing one of the greatest lines ever to have appeared on RPS:
“I don’t hate PCs!” he says, and bless him, I really like him, but he has no idea who has the wheel now.
The arc games take is never entirely predictable. Games that get little pre-release attention can stun and delight us, while those we might pounce upon with glee can eventually hugely disappoint. A clear example of the latter would be Space Hulk. By the time it was out you could smell our disappointment from over there, but back in March the prospect of the new game was thrilling. Alec spoke to Thomas Hentschel Lund, boss of the team behind it, about what was supposed to have been.
In March, Cara Ellison spoke to Rhianna Pratchett about the writing of Tomb Raider. And so much else. And most of all, pea soup. This is truly wonderful interview, and we believe the only one that goes deep on what type of tea would best define Lara Croft.
At the beginning of 2013 we were ludicrously excited about the prospect of HARDWARE: Shipbreakers – a Homeworld-style game from the creators of Homeworld. Now we couldn’t care less about stupid old HARDWARE. Because due to the magic of Gearbox, it’s now Homeworld: Shipbreakers, and we’re ludicrously excited about that instead. Before that deal was struck, Jim took a firm hold of Rob Cunningham and demanded he tell him why he should be this excited.
Before Gone Home was a big thing, the project was intriguing us. We’d had our hands on some very early code, where just a couple of rooms were available, and were absolutely dying to play some more. Jim spoke to project lead Steve Gaynor to find out more about the process of its creation, and the inherent weirdness of making a game that wasn’t weird.
The tale of Skulls Of The Shogun and its ill-advised Windows 8/XBLA exclusivity is a sad one. Alec spoke to Borut Pfeifer to hear an incredibly frank account of why it all went so wrong, revealing quite what an internal mess exists at Microsoft Studios. The wing of the multi-billion dollar company that couldn’t even pay an indie studio on time.
Jeff Vogel released his seven billionth game in 2013 – Avadon 2. After some phenomenal success with a Humble Weekly Sale, John caught up with the one-man game-making machine to see how $150,000 was going to change his life, and whether it might change his games.
Those Humble Bundle guys have had a decent enough year, we guess. What with pulling in more money than God. John caught up with them in August to find out what it’s like to be quite so successful. This was in the context of the incredibly successful all-for-charity EA bundle, which had raised $8.5m at the time of writing.
In quite the exclusive, Craig Pearson managed to secure an interview with none other than Craig Pearson, to ask him about why Trespasser’s 1998 demo had such a strong influence on his life. And why he looked down quite so much.
Adventure hero Dave Gilbert decided to do a rather nice thing on Halloween. He thought he’d give away copies of Blackwell Deception via Steam. A free copy to everyone who wanted one! What could go wrong? People. People could go wrong. Speaking to Adam, Gilbert explained how nefarious types began exploiting this generous gesture into something that got rather out of control.
In the early years of RPS, we were accused of perhaps not demonstrating enough knowledge of Britain’s most dreary sport, soccer-to-ball. While Kieron liked to pretend he knew about it, perhaps saying “Yes, but Hoddle would have tucked the ball down deeper,” despite everyone else talking about sandwiches, none of us did. And then along came Adam, from Manchester. Not knowing about football in Manchester is a hanging offence, so desperate to prevent the Inspectors from calling in on him and discovering his baseball paraphernalia, he began mentioning the kicking-based activity on our website. A more recent example of this came in November, when Adam spoke to Sports Interactive about power-point-simulator Football Manager.
Toward the end of the year, as the gaming world stared in delighted confusion at the announcement of No Man’s Sky, questions burst forth from its collective mouth. Fortunately, we already had lots of answers, as Graham had spent the day with Hello Games just a few days earlier.