For a few of the people that I’m doing interviews with, a good chunk of them had developed games for a “100 Great Kids Games” CD that I had the pleasure of using back in 2001. Some I had to do a lot of digging (some were non-existent after all this time,) but one of the folks I was able to get ahold of was Parley S. Neeley, the guy behind a interesting little game called “Lunar BBall.” It turns out he made a small host of other games as well, his programming pursuits an early hobby.
I ran across this indie developer after I had picked up his game off of Steam during a sale weekend. The title was called “Midnight”, and I was very attached to the music. It really accompanied the game quite nicely, even the sudden “plunk” of keys when you die.
There was a small comic that was supposed to be here making fun of the “plunk”, but it got corrupted hours before posting, PSD and all. May re-draw in the future.
Neverthless, William (or PetiteGames) was not too hard to track down to bug him with questions about his games:
One of my most favorite games while growing up was a small shareware game that went by the name of Comet Busters. Having discovered it from my cousin approximately in 2001 off a shareware game CD, I was glued to this game for years until I had gotten ahold of my first AAA game, Halo. This game remained a favorite due to to the multiplayer capability, simplicity and how addictive it was.
Fortunately, Steven Hugg was still around and still does development work. He agreed to tell me about his ventures and let me share them.
Next on my list? A guy who made a very addictive puzzle game that was one of the first PC games for me to play; Bulldozer. I actually had to grab an old computer out of storage and fire up the “24 Games Collection” to find out its original creator, a company by the name of “The Code Zone”.
After finding out that they’re very much alive, I was able to get in contact with them and with John Hattan. Turns out, he was the guy who made the whole “24 Games” collection, including Bulldozer. And interesting enough, this was one of the more interesting interviews I’ve done so far.
So in my hunt of people to interview and ask questions for the “Summer of Gaming” series, I broadened by horizons. Not only would I just focus on the guys that made my favorite games from the 90’s when I grew up, I’d also poke at some more recent fellows.
This search led me to S.C. Watson, an illustrator and artist for Space Empires V, a game I spent a whole lot of time on before getting a great new computer in 2007. His iconic “painted” portraits of the races always stuck with me, giving a greater “realism” to the game than the previous 3D models. He’s a self-taught artist, doing all sorts of traditional and digital work.
After some hunting I finally found Shane’s portfolio site and contacted him via e-mail. Explaining my intentions and project, he willingly agreed to contribute.
As the blog slowly gets back on track, I unveil a short-term project for this early part of summer to entertain you! I know a portion of my readers are gamers of some sort, and in a special project digging into my past, I’m releasing a set of interviews I did with a few game developers and artists from the 90’s and 2000’s.
Many of these guys are people who made the games I loved when I grew up. Some are obscure “shareware” games, some are other semi-popular titles you may recognize. A few are some modern developers that have forayed into the modern world making games. As I have moved on and seen little or no information about the people behind them, I made an effort myself to delve into the history of the people and the games they made.
You can consider it a partial historical preservation project, genuinely interested in the people who made these games. I uncover how game design was back in the day, what the average developer faced and the stories behind how these actual games were created and worked on.
My list of guests include:
- John Hattan – The Code Zone (24 Games Pack)
- Adam Pedersen – Jetpack
- Chuck Sommerville – Chuck’s Challenge, Chip’s Challenge
- Parley S. Neely – Lunar BBall, historical puzzle games
- Petite Games (William) – Midnight, Destronauts, Wii Game Developer
- Walk Bilofsky – Original founder of The Software Toolworks
- Scott A. Murray – Missile Master developer
- Shane Watson – Artist, Fantasy Flight games, Space Empires
- Steven Hugg – Comet Busters
- Petter Henrikson – ClusterTruck developer
- Louis Carrozzi – Far Gate developer
- Dan Froelich – Solar Winds & Jungle Jill musician
(List is subject to change based on availability)