Welcome to a special interview episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We welcome Larry Holland and discuss the overall arc of his career building games for LucasArts and specifically TIE Fighter. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
0:31 Interview with Larry Holland
1:06:21 Outro/Next time
Issues covered: early career, educational background and focus in anthropology, love of history, military simulation, World War II trilogy, shift to IBM PC, CGA->EGA graphics, reliving history from both sides and controversy, life and death struggles, manuals to support games, combat focus vs flight/avionics focus, switching to a fictional history, quiet around the Star Wars property, moving to 3D from rotating and scaling sprites, adding a 2D cinematic engine, film "history," reflecting the environment as an attempt to be immersive, WWII air combat speeds and gun camera footage vs BVR fighting, life-and-death and pilot knowledge, craft systems management, challenging players with choices, situational awareness, adding mission complexity driving specialized targeting commands, managing franchise complexity, site targeting, multi-level goals and showing players what they were, completion fanatics, origin of the level editor, "beware of the designer's second game," sleeping at Kerner, turning QA into mission designers, learning how to build games while building games, building behaviors, orders and choreography, the agent of the Emperor, a secret society, moral grayness vs the stark black and white, partisan politics and points of view, discussion of what's next and focus.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Totally Games, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Super Zaxxon, HESWare, Noah Falstein, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, PHM Pegasus, Strike Fleet, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour ("BoB"), Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe ("SWotL"), Falcon series, Spectrum Holobyte, F-16, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Timothy Zahn, Peter Lincroft, Ed Kilham, John Glenn, Halo, David Wessman, David Maxwell, Rogue One, The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt, SW Republic Commando, Phil Rosehill, Super Metroid at AGDQ, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Uedo, The Last Guardian, Team Ico/genDesign, Japan Studio, Loco Roco, Patapon, From Software, Demons's Souls, Echochrome, Gravity Rush, Tokyo Jungle, Puppeteer, Knack.
We begin Ico! Play up until you have passed the Windmill.
Awesome Games Done Quick
@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub
Welcome to a bonus episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We welcome two guests, Reed Knight and Darren Johnson, who worked in QA on the original titles and co-led the QA team on the Collector's Edition. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
0:29 Interview segment
1:10:22 Outro, Next time
Issues covered: Tim introduces QA as a discipline, Reed self-introduction, QA being in start credits of Full Throttle, Tim's interviews, Darren self-introduction, early history of Reed and Darren in QA, games that are fun to test months in, score competition, day in the life of a tester, bug entry process, having only one computer for entering bugs, "anti-speed runs," thinking in terms of triggers or events, gluing events together, getting the editor and looking for bugs, finding voice lines that had never fired in original TIE Fighter, finding bugs that weren't literally visible in-game, non-crash "A" bugs, Reed disputes Brett's account of an "A" bug, Darren defeating Darth Vader, best gaming moments, the lengths you go to to break a game, "SUM PIN TO DO," missing a bug because you haven't gone far enough, fighting for bugs on behalf of the player, suggesting technical solutions from QA, healthy tension between departments, "upstairs," Kerner Blvd, adversarial advocacy vs. regulatory capture, maintaining objectivity, balancing games from test, lead tester importance as ship date looms, maintaining loyalty to the QA team, turning to the Dark Side, getting QA consensus, "once a tester always a tester," humility vs arrogance, direct discussion with testers, every 1000th bug, golden age, free range testing, working on a platform title (due to license holder requirements), compatibility, quantity of bugs in modern day, playing console manufacturers off against one another, day one patches, usability issues, playing XvT co-op as former QA, TuneIn and Amazon Echo.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Rogue One, Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear, Emperor Zurg, Dark Forces, Full Throttle, Tim Schafer, Metal Warriors, Big Sky Trooper, Jedi Knight, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Stormfront Studios, Eragon, Don Daglow, Smithsonian, Leap Frog, Duke Grabowski, Bill Tiller, Gene Mocsy, Hal Barwood, Zelda, Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures, Yoda Stories, Afterlife, Day of the Tentacle, Dave Grossman, Mad Otter Games, Disney, Brian Kemp, Larry Holland, Totally Games, Dan Connors, Mark Cartwright, The Last Starfighter, Fallout 3, Todd Howard, Daron Stinnett, Starfighter, Brett Tosti, Galactic Battlegrounds, Battle for Naboo, Obi-Wan, Bill Roper, Tim Cain, Bethesda Game Studios, Nintendo 64, Shadows of the Empire, Livia Knight, Telltale Games, Sean Clark, Tabitha Tosti, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Ico, Fumito Ueda, BlueTieCasual.
Next time: Interview with Larry Holland!
@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub