Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Interview Part 21: Ghost Town

Explaining the impact Ghost has left to me as a member of the AGS community after first meeting him, and our general talks over the years, would take forever. A wonderful person, a mentor to my favorite AGS member, and an amazing game designer. Originally I first talked to Ghost after apologizing about demanding DITA (Daemons In The Attic), now I can safely say, he has better projects coming up. The only man with the courage to pull a Yahtzee and come back. To haunt. 

1) This is a typical question asked to all interviewed people. So, how did you find AGS?

That was way back in 199something. There was a game show back then that was rather popular ("Giga Games") and they did a report on AGS. It was really cool; they showcased King's Quest VGA, which was at the time one of the best-looking AGS games. Then they tasked an intern to make a small game during the course of one show (30 minutes, actually!), and he actually managed to do it. So the next day I hogged a computer at our university, downloaded AGS and had a good rummaging around, and I think a week later I registered on the forums.

2) Do you have a favorite AGS and/or non-AGS game?

Boo, that is an unfair question! There's so many good AGS games... But I think Apprentice Deluxe will alway be special to me. It was one of the first games I downloaded (back then, kids, internet was slow, and small games were so much easier to carry on a disk... you know, these square things? No?). Now the thing about Apprentice is, it looks awesome; I couldn't believe it was only 320x240. So many small neat animations, such attention to detail! After playing it (and the sequel) I started to really work on my sprite art.
Non AGS game, currently, would be Starbound. Yeah. But that changes so often. I just like playing games.

3) How many games have you worked on so far? And which one would you consider your magnus opus and why.

Personally I have made five games worth speaking of- Once Upon A Crime, Chance of the Dead, Hubris, RAM Ghost and one silly MAGS Oceanspirit Dennis game. All of them are sort of okay I'd say. Chance of the Dead is the most polished one and I like the main character a lot. It also got me back into game-making after quite a hiatus, so yes, Chance of the Dead it is.

Ghost's DOTT-Styled wonderfulness.
4) Is there anything you're working on right now or planning on working on? You give me the impression of working into 24 projects per day, yet I see few of them to ever grace my computer screen.

I have more games "in the making" than I have released, yes, but that is how I work. I like to take a silly premise, add a bit of a twist, some depth, and then iterate over that. A lot. So what I do is, I often jump right into a game and just watch it develop into something. I make stuff up as I go along and try out what could work. It's a wasteful way of doing things but it usually works for me.

Right now I have no actual projects or WIPs at all.

5) Here's a blast from the past, but where is Daemons In The Attic?

DITA is pretty much abandoned, but it has taught me a lot. I uploaded the demo for that game a month or so after I registered, I think, and it was well received back them. These days I think it wouldn't hold up too well. But I learned a lot while I tried to make that game. I learned how evil future creep can be. I wrote my first complete GUI for it- and some of that code I still use! Some sprites eventually got recycled in later games. I also learned how easy it is to create recursive backup folders when you never delete any backups

6) I know it's probably already responded, but how do you feel now about your decision to delete your account back then? Is it something you regret?

No, not at all. At the time is felt like a sensible decision. I felt no longer at home at the forums. Some arkward stuff had happened. I am very disappointed in the overall reactions though. Several people were jumping to conclusions and that was not a happy sight. I had left quietly to avoid "pulling a Yathzee", as they say, and in the end my actions were made louder by other people who just voiced guesses.

7)  Since you're an old member of the AGS, did the Gold AGS Era ever exist? Or is it rumours? (I asked miguel the same question, but I want to know)

That depends on what you consider a Golden Era. Personally I think one was happening when I first registered late in the 90s. Everyone could just jump into the action and make something cool; the entry bar was lower. There were all sorts of silly little games that got cheered; it felt much more carefree back then. That's not to say that the games were actually better back then. It just felt a little more lighthearted back then- maybe nostalgia glasses.

8) As a person, you've participated in many events that advertised the friendly face of AGS outside this community. How do you feel about it? What are the reasons behind such actions that promote the good face of AGS as an engine and as community?

Adventure games must never die. Quote me on that. There is no genre more accessible and full of opportunities to create something unique.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. Three "back then" in a row! I really MUST be getting old :D


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