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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Wizardry 1 - Interview @ RPG Codex with Robert Woodhead, Co-creator of the series

Default Wizardry 1 - Interview @ RPG Codex with Robert Woodhead, Co-creator of the series

May 1st, 2012, 03:24
RPG Codex has posted a retrospective interview with Robert Woodhead, co-creator of the Wizardry series. His co-creator was Andrew Greenberg - Wizardy I was first released, by Sir-Tech, in 1981 for the Apple II computer to be one of the first RPGs for the computer. RPG Codex has talked with him about the series as a whole, the design of the series as well as how it was to work in the gaming industry in the 1980's. A quote about the industry in the 1980's:
How would you describe the atmosphere of working in the video game industry in the beginning of the 1980s, and how did it change over the years that you were active in the industry?
In the early days, we were very isolated; the only time we really interacted with other creators was at conferences and conventions. The rate of change during that period was very slow due to the lack of communication — a 1200 baud modem was the gold standard!
And quote about the coding:
Did you code the first four Wizardry games by yourself? What programming challenges did you face that you were most proud of overcoming?
I did the code for the first 4 games. The most interesting hacks I did were the copy-detection system, and the "Window Wizardry" retrofit that added overlapping windows to the UI, which got done from idea to implementation in a single 80-hour coding marathon.
And finally a little bit of advice:
To conclude this interview by going back to the way it all began, have you got any advice for college students who want to make their own cRPGs?
Obviously, you'd want to do something for smartphones or tablets, since the barrier to entry and the development costs are much lower there. But mostly I'd give the same advice I give anyone about any project — do it for yourself, because you love doing it. Money and success is just icing; the cake is the work itself.
Steve Martin said it best when he said that the best thing about comedy was "I get paid for doing this".
Thanks Crooked Bee!
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May 1st, 2012, 03:24
Wizardry 1 was fun back in the day. But when I tried it recently for old times sake, it was dull as dirt. Just a lot of repetitive behavior with little plot or interaction. Gaming has moved on and I think I've grown spoiled with modern RPGs like Oblivion, Skyrim and Mass Effect.
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May 1st, 2012, 03:34
I like the modern stuff also, but I never grow tired of wizardry 1 replays.
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May 1st, 2012, 07:59
The poor man thinks DRM and smartphones are awesome.
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June 19th, 2012, 19:01
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
The poor man thinks DRM and smartphones are awesome.
To be fair he's saying that's where the opportunities are right now and he's right. the ipad is saturated and the Android will be soon. this comes after a huge console trend. who knows where the next opportunity will come from?



pretty short interview and it sounds like he's trying to refrain from talking about a bitter experience at leaving Sir-Tech. Looks like it was an email interview and he's just trying to get through it quickly.

A lot of focus is given to the DRM for answers. There was a joke/tribute to them in Utlima 3 about them I remember regarding this.

He seems to recognize that Wizardry is really Oubliette for PC and doesn't give himself too much credit for trend setting.

Xerox takes credit for all their ports to the PC such as the GUI and OO programming, I can't see why Woodhead can't take more credit then he does. Persistent dungeons of this complexity simply did not exist on PC's at the time. I would like to think of this is really an amazing example of memory management.

The dungeons tiles for example are not simply 1-0 that Ultima used, but each tile was represented by a value which told where the walls were.

It sounds like he was more involved than I thought, and was not just the head playtester and designer I thought he was. I didn't know that Wizardry was a composite with an earlier game he was designing, Paladin.

I've considered contacting these guys for our site for several years but never got around to it. Codex beat me to it.

He's answered some good questions. I think with this interview there some good follow up questions that could happen and maybe we can get him to elaborate now that they've broke the ice.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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June 19th, 2012, 20:11


also good for the lolcrpg's thread

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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