Armchair Empire - All News
Monday - July 15, 2013
Armchair Empire - Interview with Jeff Tunnel
Matt Barton talks to Dynamix founder Jeff Tunnell about his views on educational software, patents, Sierra, and also has some behind-the-scenes looks at Betrayal at Krondor and other games.
Monday - June 17, 2013
Matt Chat - Interview With Lord British
In Matt Chat number 197, Richard Garriott talks about the later Ultimas, his relationships with publishers and the Apple II, the letter that led him to create the virtue system, indies, and more.
Tuesday - May 21, 2013
Matt Chat - Interview with Neal Hallford
Matt Chat has a new video with Betrayal at Krondor designer Neal Hallford, and they chat about a variety of topics starting with Dungeon Siege.
In the fourth and final installment of my interview with Betrayal at Krondor designer Neal Hallford, we chat about a variety of topics starting with Dungeon Siege. Was Dungeon Siege too big for its britches? Then we chat about the hit game Champions of Norrath and why Neal prefers PC gaming to consoles. We wrap up with a discussion about Chris Taylor and his excellent leadership.
Monday - May 13, 2013
Matt Chat - Neal Halford Part 3, About Cavedog and Swords & Circuitry
Apparently Matt Barton had a really long talk with Neal Halford as we are already at part 3 of his interview with him. This time the main topics are the demise of Cavedog and Neal's book Swords and Circuitry.
Related to this is that unfortunately for Neal Halford, his Kickstarter for the Thief of Dreams book he is writing has failed.
Tuesday - May 07, 2013
Matt Chatt - Neal Halford Interview part 2
Matt Barton continues his interview with Neal Halford discussing the development of Betrayal at Krondor and his time ad Dynamix.
Neal Halford is also Kickstarting his book The Thief of Dreams, which he wants to turn in a game once it is finished.
Monday - April 29, 2013
Matt Chat - Neal Hallford's Early Days
In this week Matt chats with Neal Halford, the designer of Betrayal at Krondor, Dungeon Siege, and Planet's Edge.
Neal Halford is currently also running his own Kickstarter project for a novel called Thief of Dreams.
Saturday - December 08, 2012
Armchair Empire - Lori and Corey Cole on Matt Chat #2
The final part of Matt Barton's Matt Chat with Lori and Corey Cole:
Hi, guys! I'm back this week with the final installment of my interview with Quest for Glory designers Lori Ann and Corey Cole. In this segment, we chat about the ill-fated Quest for Glory V, focusing on why it wasn't the game it should have been. We wrap up with more juicy details about their upcoming Hero U project, which was successfully funded a short while back. I also sample the beer some have called "The Best Beer in the World."
Tuesday - November 27, 2012
Armchair Empire - Lori and Corey Cole on Matt Chat
Matt Barton hosts Lori and Corey Cole on Matt Chat to discuss the Quest for Glory series:
I'm back this week with Lori Ann and Corey Cole, the wizards behind the Quest for Glory series. In this episode, they discuss games 2-4 in the series, including all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at Sierra On-Line. It's required listening for all fans of the franchise. On a related note, their Hero U: Rogue to Redemption Kickstarter has been successfully funded along with Dave Marsh's Shadowgate. I'm sure both teams are celebrating quite heavily right now! I wish them all good luck making the games of their dreams without having to worry about some publisher's demands.
Tuesday - November 13, 2012
Armchair Empire - Josh Sawyer Interview #2 on Matt Chat
Josh Sawyer again appears on Matt Chat, talking about "what he thinks of Fallout 3, his work on New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege III, and what it takes to get a good [job] in the industry: MAKE MODS.
Monday - November 05, 2012
Armchair Empire - Josh Sawyer Interview on Matt Chat
The latest Matt Chat with Matt Barton is an interview with Josh Sawyer:
This is the second part of my interview with Josh Sawyer. We chat about Josh's key influences, his time at Black Isle and Midway, then talk about his first jobs at Obsidian. We also cover the issue of party vs. single-character CRPGs and his mixed feelings about adapting his favorite genre for console play. We also cover the cancelled Project Jefferson and Aliens RPG games.
Sunday - November 04, 2012
Armchair Empire - Skyrim, now with Disco Soundtrack
Following on from his recent blog post about what he would like to see in cRPGs, Matt Barton rails against the current state of the [major releases of the] genre and discusses the movements of fashions and trends:
Styles, Edwardian or Victorian or whatever, inevitably change as we become bored with them. A truly clever developer is able to recognize when the reigning style is growing stale, and then swoops in with something fresh (but just as compelling). As merely a critic, it is obvious to me that both Skyrim and Dragon Age II are the discotheques of the 1980s. Pretty soon, anyone who still listens to and dances to this music will feel as ridiculous as they look.
That said, I think it's always a mistake to think something radically new will appear, though that's always how it's presented in the marketing. "Revolutions" in videogames are notoriously anti-historical, refusing to even consider that what they think makes them so novel has been done many times before. I'd go so far as to say that nothing of real consequence has changed about games since the 1980s. It wasn't like kids playing Donkey Kong weren't just as impressed with the graphics or immersed in the gameplay back then as a kid today playing Halo 4 is today. Please don't kid yourself into thinking that the industry has made any "progress," or done anything else but simply go along laterally, temporarily embracing and later abandoning one fashion after another. I'm sure plenty of New Wave fans of the 80s felt that their music was more "advanced" than disco, just as some heavy metal fans of today feel their favorite bands are much "heavier" or more musically sophisticated than Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. In truth, though, there's nothing like that in the music itself, but just in our waning and waxing affiliations with different groups of fans.
Monday - February 26, 2007
Armchair Empire - Storytelling in Games
Games site Armchair Empire has begun a new series on storytelling in games, beginning with the classic Wizardry 1. As storytelling is a major component of RPG's, you might find this an interest read. Here's part of the introduction:
For many, storytelling is a very important part of their gaming experience. A gripping tale needs to be told, adding some context to whatever it is that the player has to do in each stage of a given game. Whether it’s something like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Planescape Torment, or a classic Sierra adventure game, narrative plays a huge role in a lot of games.
That being the case, we plan to start a semi-regular feature, discussing story telling in games at the Armchair Empire. The topics discussed will be quite broad, and can range from discussing common themes in story telling, to narrative mechanisms, to comparative criticism, and a host of other areas. Generally these pieces will focus around a specific game or two, and look at them as examples to further our point, and to act as a way of keeping the whole article coherent. Seeing as this whole thing was my idea, it seems logical that I be the one to kick things off.You'll find the entire article here .
Source: Armchair Empire
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