Posts Tagged ‘interview’

The Flare Path: Asks Oskari

Crafted with care and marketed without hyperbole, Diesel Railcar Simulator is that rare thing, a transport sim that transports without crucifying your wallet, cooking your GPU, and burying you under an avalanche of key commands. A conglomeration of incredibly sensible design decisions, it’s been winning friends and gaining content steadily since appearing, seemingly from nowhere, late last summer. In today’s FP I talk to Oskari, the man behind all those sensible design decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

RPS interviews Into The Breach’s developer about hurting our feelings

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 11.50.37 AM

The folks at Subset Games are responsible for the games FTL and its follow-up Into The Breach, which means that they are also responsible for some of the most frustrating yells I’ve done alone on an airplane. I’m sorry to those around me, but I thought I was going to finally complete a run and then everyone I loved exploded or died from lack of oxygen or fell into the ocean. I assume Subset Games has been responsible for similar micro-aggressions against many of you. Which is why Adam Smith from RPS held them to the fire (a pleasant conversation) at Rezzed yesterday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chris Avellone sheds light on Into The Breach’s time-travel mysteries

into-the-breach-storyline

If there’s one thing that grips me more about Into The Breach than the razor-sharp tactics of its death-chess scenarios, it’s trying to wrap my flabby brain about the dark possibilities and implications of its terse but tantalising plot. I’ve already espoused one possible and particularly fatalistic reading of what’s going on – the idea that every time your team of time-travelling Mechs wins, loses or otherwise begins a new campaign, they spawn a new timeline full of human suffering – but without definitive answers from the game itself, that’s little more than a guilt-stricken guess.

Time to go the source, then, that being Into The Breach writer – and writer, designer or both on a long list of revered games including Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, KOTOR 2, Pillars of Eternity, Prey and ITB predecessor FTL – Chris Avellone. Though Into The Breach very much considers brevity to be a virtue when it comes to dialogue, its short lines drip with implication about the rules of time travel, parallel realities and the motivations and peccadilloes of its pilots. It was pretty clear to me that there was a vast spider-web of careful fiction behind the minimalist facade, and Avellone’s expansive answers about where and when the Mechs come from and exactly what happens when they breach only confirm that.

But, for every question they answer, they open up a dozen more. As is only right.
Read the rest of this entry »

What 1.0 means for World of Tanks

World of Tanks 1.0 interview

World of Tanks launched in Russia in 2010, then in Europe and the US the next year. It’s been around the block, pitting war machines and players against each other in war-torn cities and pastoral paradises, but today it’s only just hit version 1.0. Eight years after launch. For a long-running, living game like World of Tanks, that 1.0 label doesn’t mean what it normally does.

“It means a new game,” says development director Milos Jerabek. But if it is a new game, it’s one with old guts.

Read the rest of this entry »

We spoke to Shiro Games about the future of Northgard

northgardgiantheader

Northgard is a splendid RTS about rearing a clan of vikings in a punishing climate that makes every decision matter. But you’ve read my review, and you already know all that. Northgard is a fantastic game in the present, but what does its future hold? I spoke to CEO of Shiro Games and Northgard dev Sebastien Vidal about what we’ll see in the next update, competitive play, and expansion plans for further down the line.

Read the rest of this entry »

We spoke to the co-director of Ready Up, a documentary showcasing competitive TF2

readyupheader1

Ready Up opens with a shot of the CS:GO grand finals at ESL One. The size of the stadium dwarfs the players on the stage, who all wear deadly serious expressions. There are thousands of people in the audience, many of them frantically waving inflatable tubes covered in sponsorship scrawls. A member of one team makes a clutch pistol play, and the room erupts in a roar of screaming and thunderous chanting. The player solemnly acknowledges the applause with a showboating chef kiss, but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.

Then, we change rooms. A few dozen people are sitting in front of a screen, watching their friends compete at a Team Fortress 2 LAN event. The players seem focused, yet relaxed. “Ah, I’m dead” says one of them, half-grinning at his misfortune. At the heart of the competitive TF2 scene, it transpires, is a community with bonds that transcend the tribalism you might see in other esports. I spoke to Alex “Dashner” Pylyshyn over email, who co-directed Ready Up alongside Ness “Uberchain” Delacroix, about the past, present and future of competitive TF2.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition: all your PC port questions answered

Final Fantasy XV

The royal boyband roadtrip adventure that is Final Fantasy XV is almost here. In just under two weeks, Square Enix’s ginormous JRPG will finally arrive on PC, a little over a year after it first came out on console. Yes, it gets a little bit bogged down by its wonky story beats, but to dismiss it because of that would be to ignore all the brilliant things it does right, like chronicling your journey with amazing photographs. It also helps that the PC version looks properly brilliant. Yes, you’ll need an Iron Giant-sized PC in order to run it, but more thoughts on that are coming separately soon.

Here, I have a talk with the game’s technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida (and their translator) about all things XV on PC. We cover just about everything but if you’re after hot mod chat that’s over here. There was also a surprise gatecrashing by the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, about ten minutes in, so I got to hear what the big boss had to say about the PC version as well. Let the battle music commence. Read the rest of this entry »

Mod support was “essential” for Final Fantasy XV’s PC outing

FFXV Cactuar mod

Last August, Square Enix finally confirmed that the upcoming PC version of royal roadtrip Final Fantasy XV would indeed come with full mod support when it launches on March 6. At the time, though, the developers kept schtum about exactly what that might entail. Indeed, it was only over the weekend that we got our first glimpse of what a potential Final Fantasy XV mod might look like. Fancy the idea of turning everyone in party town Lestallum into adorable cactuars? Then you’re in luck.

Cactuar skins are all well and good, of course, but what else does the team have in store for budding modders? To find out, I sat down with director Hajime Tabata, technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida and quizzed them (and their translator) about exactly that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the man who runs the Origin Museum, collecting the history of Wing Commander and Ultima

Joe Garrity

In the basement of an unassuming suburban home just outside Washington, D.C., you’ll find one of the largest collections of documents, data, images and props from Origin Systems, the company behind the Ultima and Wing Commander game series of the 80s and 90s.

The Origin Museum is owned and curated by Joe Garrity, and has been running since 1999, when Garrity lived in Virginia. Over the past 18 years, former Origin staff have donated entire offices worth of documents and even source code to the museum. Read the rest of this entry »

Rust’s designer on casting off the early access ‘crutch’

rust-released-interview-1

In Rust, everything comes from a single rock. From rifles to radiation suits, it’s all thanks to a naked caveman hitting things with a big stone. Today, if you were to examine a family tree of the survival genre, you’d see Subnautica and No Man’s Sky sitting on the same level. Distant cousins who can’t stand to be in the same room as each other. Whether they like it or not, Rust is their common ancestor, their rock. Of course, you can trace Rust’s lineage back further into DayZ, Minecraft and eternity. I just wanted a flowery intro metaphor so you’d come and read an interview with its chief creator.

Today, Rust leaves early access. So we spoke to Garry Newman, head of Facepunch, about survival, Plunkbat and whether leaving early access even means anything anymore. Read the rest of this entry »

The creator of the Civilization V superintelligence mod on AI safety

civ-v-ai-mod

Last month, the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk released a mod for Civ V that introduced superintelligent AI to the game – not in the form of AI opponents, but as a technology that can end the game for every player if it’s left unchecked. It’s a novel overhaul to the science system, as well as an attempt to teach people about AI safety.

While I had some problems with the mod, I also thought it was a fascinating idea. Keen to learn more, I spoke to project director Shahar Avin about how the mod came about, the issues that it presents both poorly and well, and how people can get involved with AI safety themselves.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Human: Fall Flat has kept its head held high

A strange thing has happened in the Steam charts since the start of the New Year. A minor indie release from summer 2016, the rather lovely Human: Fall Flat, appeared in the top ten grossing games of the week. And then stayed there. It’s been top ten for four weeks in a row now, twice peaking at #3. And I couldn’t work out why. So I tracked down the game’s one-man development team, Tomas Sakalauskas of No Brakes Games, to solve the mystery.

The answer, it seems, is multifarious, but contains lessons that might help other developers who want to see their games live on. Though, as Sakalauskas says, there are no magic bullets. Read the rest of this entry »

How Slay the Spire was tested on Netrunner pros

slay-the-spire-interview-1

Roguelike card game Slay the Spire has swept through the RPS dungeons like a powerful disease, covering us in tiny, number-shaped pustules. In search of a cure, we spoke to its designers, Anthony Giovannetti and Casey Yano of Mega Crit Games. Read on to learn some of their methods and future plans. We’ve already told you they’ll “almost certainly” be adding more characters. But did you know they tested the game on expert Netrunner players? Read the rest of this entry »

The world’s fastest Getting Over It speedrunner on handling frustration

over

I’m still fascinated by Getting Over It, though I’ve reach the point where I can only handle playing it for about 15 minutes a week. Amazingly, that’d be enough time for speedrunner Christian ‘Distortion2’ Licht to make his way all the way up the mountain 7 and a half times: last week he became the first person to beat the game in under 2 minutes.

While I won’t be performing such a feat any time soon, I did get the chance to pick Distortion’s brain about his first clamber up the mountain, how speedrunning Getting Over It compares to other games, and – most importantly – how to handle those rage inducing set-backs. Be warned that though the game has no story, we do discuss some of its twists and turns.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Jets, Jungle, and Jack Yards

DCS World, a combat flight sim made from a superhard composite of Truthite and RTFM, is a few days* away from an engine upgrade that will unify like a drill sergeant and spruce like a Scandinavian forest. Earlier this week I took a break from foliage-shredding in Combat Actions: Vietnam (Assessed below) and whale-worrying in Nantucket (Want to join my crew? Read on) to quiz producer Matt Wagner about the sea change that is ‘2.5’.

* “The 2.5 Open Beta will release on 31 January and the “stable” version a week later.” Read the rest of this entry »

Subnautica devs on terror and why there are no guns

subnautica-ghost-1

Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from me” – a Subnautica player.

Underwater survival game Subnautica is finally out and we like it. So we spoke to director Charlie Cleveland about the terror of the deep and safety of the shallows. Earlier this week we heard that they intend to make a paid expansion and an Arctic biome (even if those plans are not finalised). But we talked about much more, so here’s a special podcast of the full interview and some of Cleveland’s thoughts scribbled out, old-school. For example, why does he thinks it’s a ‘terror’ game rather than a ‘horror’ one? And why are there no guns?

Read the rest of this entry »

Rusty Lake talk Rusty Lake, Twin Peaks,
and making money from properly free games

The Rusty Lake universe absolutely fascinates me. Consisting of nine free room escape oddities, and three longer premium puzzling adventures, each adds clues and confusion to a deeply creepy and unsettling mystery surrounding the eponymous lake. With the recent release of the superb Rusty Lake Paradise, I wanted to speak to the two-man development team to find out how it got started, where it’s going, and how they’ve managed to keep going while making so many properly free games. So I did.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Jason Roberts on Gorogoa, brevity and unknowability

We’ve been following the development of mind-bending, reality-warping, picture-based puzzler Gorogoa for five years, since it was first revealed in 2012. It then went on to win an IGF Award in 2014, despite being unfinished. And now, finally, it’s here. And as our review says, it’s magnificent. We spoke to lone developer Jason Roberts about the long development, the process of what to leave out, and how unknowability was woven into the fabric of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

RollerCoaster Tycoon creator on the resurgence of management games

rollercoastertycoonclassic1

Management games have had quite a turbulent ride over the last two decades, but for the moment the genre seems to be on the up. Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect, and Planet Coaster, among others, give a wide range of creations to simulate and control.

We’ve even seen the return of RollerCoaster Tycoon, in the form of RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic, a revamped version of the first two games by the original designer Chris Sawyer. Initially released on iOS and android, the game has finally made its way onto PC. We took the opportunity to speak to Sawyer about his work on RollerCoaster Tycoon and to get his opinions on the genre’s status as a whole.

Read the rest of this entry »

Zach of Zachtronics: “I really like making my dumb little games that don’t matter”

Hubble, bubble, toil and puzzle

The alchemical puzzler Opus Magnum has a few of us at House RPS scratching our heads and shouting “a-ha!” before giddily sharing our twisted contraptions in GIF form. It’s real good, friends. The studio behind it, Zachtronics, is headed by Zach Barth. I spoke to him about the game’s machines, his short stint at Valve, and the reasons he sold his own company. Read the rest of this entry »