Unseen Interviews

Unseen Interview: Raven Software’s Manveer Heir

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The issue we face most in our archiving is the lack of information that is given to the public about what happens to their favorite series, so many stories left untold so to speak. The most we ever get are early demonstrations, as security today on what gets left behind is much stricter than that of the 80’s. We had the chance to chat with Manveer Heir from Raven Software and asked him some questions about games’ development!

[Interview by Rowedahelicon]

U64: How much of a game actually is left out? Comparing to movies where things are written into the script but are later left out due to budget? Time constraints?

Manveer Heir: It’s hard to say honestly. Every game is different and every dev comes to realization about scope and schedules at different times. Ideas, concepts, and levels are almost always cut, but that’s not necessarily bad. Often, to put them in would have hurt the overall product, since they may not be at the quality levels from before. I’ve heard of cases where you see a car chase in a cinematic, but originally you would have played that car chase. In cases like this, you aren’t missing any story, you are just losing out on some gameplay.

As devs, we try to cut smart and in ways that don’t affect the entire product. Other times, you make cuts early and save that work for later (DLC or expansion, when you know you have time to do it right). I worked on a RTS game for a short period of time where we knew we weren’t going to be able to make all the sides you can play cool and balanced and so one side was cut, to be saved for the expansion pack. In that case an entire storyline was lost, but it didn’t impact the rest of the game too greatly.

U64: In terms of what is left behind, what actually happens to things you cannot use? Resources, scripts etc, there are cases where things are left in the game files but never used but what about the majority of it? Does it get saved somewhere for reference? Deleted? So on? 

The story of Windward Mark Interactive + Brief Asi Lang Interview

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Unseen 64 has been given the great opportunity to talk to Asi Lang(who can be reached at alliancethegame [at]gmail.com)president of Windward Mark Interactive, about just what exactly happened to Alliance: The Silent War, and where Windward Mark Interactive went, and get the story in his own words. You can read about the game Alliance: The Silent War here or continue below for Asi Lang’s article.

[Organized By Earthwormjim]


Unseen Interview: CRV from GDRI

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For our series of interviews with people from various websites related to the unseen development of videogames, this time we got in contact with CRV, founder of the Game Developer Research Institute, an organization dedicated to researching gaming companies and their employee. With over 100 company entries and over 25 interviews, the GDRI archive is one of the best place to learn more about obscure studios and their works. In this  unseen interview we talk about the GDRI site, contacts with developers and games preservation.

U64: Thanks for your time Smsgenny, would you like to introduce your site to our readers?

CRV: GDRI (Game Developer Research Institute) is a website/organization started back in 2006 that is dedicated to researching the companies and people involved in game development. We try to figure out who did what

U64: Why did you decide to open an archive about popular and obscure developers? 

Unseen Interview: Phugolz from X-Cult!

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In this new chapter of our “Unseen Interviews”, a series of articles arranged to know better some of the other websites and lovely geeks that work to preserve unseen games, we have meet Phugolz, one of the minds that are behind X-Cult, a community based project to research, archive, and distribute hard to come by gaming information. In this interview we talked about how their site was born, the preservation of cancelled games, copyright issues, information sharing, proto collectors, gaming developers… and some questions to find out Phugolz’s taste in games and food. Do you want to know more about the X-Cult philosophy? Keep reading!

U64: Thanks for your time Phugolz! Would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?

Phugolz: I am Phugolz / PACHUKA / RealaNightmaren from X-Cult, and half a dozen other cults.

U64: Why did you choose the “Sonic-Cult” / “X-Cult” name for the site? 

Unseen Interview: Mr. Mark & Hoppin Mad

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In May 2008, mrmark0673 found a working prototype of Hoppin Mad, an unreleased NES game developed by Elite. The game was previously unknown to the public and when it was found, the NES community was really happy to check all the infos and screens that were freely shared online by its new owner. We had a little interview with Mr. Mark, to talk about Hoppin Mad, the preservation of unseen games, the delicate relationship between collectors / developers / gaming community, the future release of the game and some of his personal tastes.

U64: Thanks for your time Mark! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers? :)

Mark: Thanks for having me, it’s great to be able to share info with such a great group of people. My name is Mark and I’m 24 years old. I live with my twin brother just outside of Boston and I currently work as a 7th grade Science teacher.

U64: Can you tell us a little bit about the Hoppin Mad prototype and how you found it?