Hello, introduce yourself, please.
My name is Ernest Adams. I am a freelance game design consultant. I have been in the game industry since 1989 years, including 8 years at Electronic Arts. Now I earn my living by a combination of consulting, teaching, and writing. I have written four books, including Fundamentals of Game Design, which is a popular university textbook.
What was the first computer you ever seen?
The first computer that I physically saw was an IBM 360 mainframe. It was in the computing center at the University of Kentucky, USA.
How you began working in the industry?
I was a programmer in the electronics industry, but I wanted to move into games. In 1989 I saw an advertisement in a magazine that said, "Are you a software Rambo?" It was from a small company called Interactive Productions. I applied, had an interview, and got the job. My first task was creating the PC client software for an online game called RabbitJack's Casino.
Please, tell about years of your work for Bullfrog and creation of Dungeon Keeper 3.
I worked for Bullfrog for just one year. I went there to work on a new game in the Populous series, but it was cancelled. Then they asked me to work on Dungeon Keeper 3. We only started the early concept design. The game would have been above ground, in castles (but castles with dungeons!). However, after three months' work, it was cancelled too. The company wanted to concentrate on the Harry Potter games instead.
How do you feel about the 'Hollywodification' of the games industry?
It is a dangerous error to think that game development is like movie development. Filmmaking is somewhat predictable. Game development is very unpredictable because each game requires a new piece of software. Actually, the game industry has expanded much more recently from making smaller games, not larger games. The explosion in the casual games business has proven that we don't have to make Hollywood-style blockbusters to make money.
What is the greatest influance on your work?
Probably the greatest influence on my work has been my love of travel. My parents were archaeologists and I spent part of my childhood in Sudan, while they worked on archaeological excavations in the Nile valley. We used that opportunity to travel to Europe, East Africa, and Australia. I find that a cross-cultural experience of life gives me a much better understanding of how people live. Although I was born an American, I how have dual American and British nationality and I live in England.
The other big influence on my life has been a love of books. I have a vivid imagination and that has powerfully affected my approach to game design. To me, games are all about the player's fantasy.
What developers studio do you really admire?
Most of the studios I really like have been bought by Electronic Arts! Bullfrog, Maxis, Origin, and Bioware are all studios that I admire. Looking Glass was excellent while it existed, too. At the moment I'm impressed by Turbine. I play The Lord of the Rings Online quite a lot these days.
What is your all-time favorite game?
I have three. Tetris is one of my favorite games because it is perfect. You cannot improve it in any way. I also like Planescape;Torment because it has a very unusual setting, protagonist, and story. Finally, Balance of Power was a brilliant game about superpower geopolitics during the Cold War. I learned a lot about international relations playing that game.
If computers didn't exist, what would you be doing now?
This one is difficult. When I was a child I thought I wanted to be a physicist... but I don't really have strong enough mathematical skills. Maybe I would be a board game designer! But in reality I think I would have some kind of job teaching or in the hard sciences.
Who would play you in a movie version of your life?
There's not a lot of demand for short, fat, bald actors. Danny DeVito?
talking Anton Zhuk
translate by Kirill Ulezko
The creator of the cult gangster action game Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Daniel Vavra about one of the prettiest and biggest role-playing games of next-gen.
There were Novgorod Pirates that were bothering us in Infinite Space for DS, not to mention fairly regular additions to the library of titles with an overly stereotypical representation of Russian history, majority of which is an obvious propaganda. For the developers of The Mandate, on the other hand, it's more of an exotic and appealing setting that allows to fuse together the core mechanics of the old-school RTS/RPG with an array of fresh and innovative features.
Last year the founder of People Can Fly and father of Painkiller and Bulletstorm, Adrian Chmielarz, left the studio to establish a new company that goes by the name The Astronauts. Distancing itself from a familiar genre of shooters, his new studio has recently been working on a gloomy adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. We couldn't miss an oportunity to ask Adrian a couple of questions about his new project.
I’m fairly convinced that Witcher 3 is going to be amazing. During the last half of the year we’ve talked to developers three times, discussing not only the new Witcher, but also another ambitious RPG that’s been developed in CD Project RED for two years already. We’ve seen Witcher 3 with our own eyes, and it DID have all the promised fixes, improvements and the open world. No doubt – CDP does everything the right way, and our latest talk with CEO Marcin Iwinski is just another proof of that.
City Interactive are making a shooter which is to become a step forward for the war against fascists setting.
As soon as Lords of the Fallen was announced, it was labeled as «German Dark Souls». At a first glance this observation does seem correct — both games are harcore RPGs that focus on combat and exploration. But as soon as we dig deeper we see that LotF developers have quite different priorities than their Japanese colleagues. What are the differences between LotF and Dark Souls, what weapons can player crush skulls with, what are the «educated guesses» and how did RPG development accents shifted told us Tomasz Gop, executive producer of Lords of the Fallen.
We would like to present the interview with WB Games Montreal, which is to pass the important test - developing of Batman games series.
What happens if you try to turn turn-based tactics in a third-person shooter? We will know the answer very soon, because The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will release this week. While waiting, we decided to find out what should we expect from The Bureau and to ask some questions straight to the developers.
He says he's not a storyteller, yet his games never cease to amaze us with their deep plot and their intricate questions. He keeps positive outlook on things, yet his paintings are colored in gloomy dark crimson tone. Our previous interview with the famous designer was timed to launch of OZ campaign, and now, during conversation about a green-eyed girl travelling between two worlds, I realized that I am not so worried about the fate of little gun-wielding Dorothy. We'll definitely see her comeback — she has her loyal Tin Woodman in the person of a modest storyteller from Shanghai.
Interview with the developers of the promising zombie project called ROAM. Ryan Sharr, the team leader and former employee of Gas Powered Games, answered our questions.
We really do like to talk with The Creative Assembly’s representatives, the authors of the cult strategy series Total War. The studio’s employees are not only true professionals that are doing fine games, they’re also very passionate and intelligent people. This time questions on the upcoming Total War: Rome 2 (and not only) from GameStar.ru have been answered by Al Bickham, Studio Communications Manager, and Jamie Ferguson, Lead Battle Designer.
The interview with the developers from Ubisoft Montreal about one of the most awaited games of 2013 — Watch Dogs. While looking like any other action game, Watch Dogs is planning to discuss the ideas of modern dependence on technology and information with a serious face. And while there's GTA 5 and another sequel of our favourite Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs will surely take its place among the greatest.
Satellite Reign is notable because of its developer, who was involved in development of original Syndicate and Syndicate Wars. We talked to Mike Diskett about his new game, cyberpunk and why this topic is so relevant now. Details — in this interview.
Most recently, Pencil Test Studio has successfully ended the Kickstarter campaign. We decided to talk to the developers about developing process, how difficult it is to make a game from clay and why community is so important.
The announcement of Shadow of the Eternals is a great news to both ED fans and gamers that didn't have a chance to play it — a team lead by founding father of Silicon Knights is now determined to develop a spiritual successor to famous ancestor. About reasons for using CryENGINE 3, larger storyline scale and choosing the main cast, about connections between the SotE and ED speaks Denis Dyack, founder of Precursor Games.
American McGee is preparing something big: concept art from Alice-sequel and the new project called OZombie began to appear in the Internet. To learn more about these new games, we have addressed the list of questions to Mr. McGee personally. We could not figure out specific details, but still we had a nice chat.
We talked to the key developers of Torment: Tides of Numenera about similarities between the new inXile game and Planescape: Torment, how to start a successful Kickstarter campaign and why it is very difficult to sell the hardcore RPG to publisher.
What horrors do horror developers play, how is personal nightmare born, what are the inspiration sources and how to scare the hell out of veteran gamers — Jared Gerritzen, сreative director at Zombie Studios, kindly agreed to answer these and other our questions.
Will the new team be able to carry over the unique atmosphere of one of the most intelligent stealth-series out there to their new title? Why is there other actor replacing fans-favoured Stephen Russel? Will the new game be able not to stain the reputation of one of the most difficult stealth series? The answers to all of these questions you will find in this interview.
Kai Fiebig on working with TDE universe, dark and mature stories, battle maps with a twist and roleplaying system in Blackguards.