Posts Tagged ‘Ragnar-Tørnquist’

Ragnar Tørnquist On… Storytelling

Zoe had her Readybrek that morning.

A few months back, before the release of Age Of Conan, I took a trip to Funcom to finally meet The Longest Journey creator, Ragnar Tørnquist. Having keenly followed his career since the wondrous The Longest Journey, he’s someone I’ve always wanted to interview. So at last given the chance, we sat down to chat… for over three hours. The results are now to be seen, and in this first part we begin by discussing the nature of MMOs, and then spend a lot of time talking about the role of the Storyteller in gaming, before finding out how Ragnar tried to get swearing into a Spielberg-endorsed kids’ game. (Portions of this interview previously appeared in PC Gamer).

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The Secret World’s Secret Screenshots

Excuse me, could you tell me where I can find the nearest brains shop?

Two screenshots of Funcom’s next MMO, The Secret World, have appeared. Semi-officially put out, they’re from Funcom’s quarterly report, and they’re confirmed as for real by lead dev, Ragnar Tørnquist. In fact, he says on his blog that he took them himself.

For Norwegian readers, there’s speculation about what they might mean here. For the rest of us, there’s the usual collection of cryptic hints on Rangar’s blog.

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Joystiq Vs The Adventurers

During GDC, gaming uber-blog Joystiq had the rather splendid idea of asking adventure game developers to solve their own “obnoxious” adventure-style puzzle. The victims were Ron Gilbert, Steve Purcell, Mike Stemmle, Eric Wolpaw, and Ragnar Tørnquist. Each solves the challenge – getting past a robot bear to enter a cave – in their own distinct style, and they’re all worth a read. And then along comes Tim Schafer.

Taking the challenge a little more… not seriously, but intensely than anyone else, Schafer’s approach is to treat the challenge as a text adventure, emailing Joystiq his commands as they find themselves having to work very hard to keep up. The results are excellent. Here’s a taste:

>get tiny guards

You scoop up the tiny guards in one motion and deposit them safely into your pocket.

>get tiny me

Are you sure you want to do that? You may want to save first.

>give rubber chicken to tiny me

You clumsily try to hand over the rubber chicken, but only end up crushing your tiny self beneath a mountain of artificial poultry. Whoops.

Making Of: The Longest Journey

[While a fun one to do, it’s always a little odd taking on one of someone else’s Totemic Games. It’s a little like having sex with someone else’s wife, I guess. Anyway! Ragnar is, of course, incredibly lovely. Expect a longer interview with Ragnar in the not-too-distant future, from Mr “Future Mrs Tørnquist” Walker. Oh: The interview was done just before Dreamfall hit.]

We have both kind of gameplay. Point AND click.

The Longest Journey is now an established classic. While everyone else was wrapping up the history books of the genre, Ragnar Tørnquist and his team at Funcom were making what would prove to be the bookend of an era. Yes, the Longest Journey, from the start, it was destined to be that last great… er… Platform Game?

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