The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers

The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers


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Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games—including Deus Ex, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming's classic titles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476671109
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 04/09/2018
Series: Studies in Gaming
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by Nintendo, Disney and EA Sports. Matthew Wilhelm Kapell teaches American studies and humanities at Pace University and lives in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Foreword by Brett Weiss 1

Preface 3

Introduction 6

Michael Mendheim, Mutant League Football: The Gruesome ­Sports-Hybrid That Could 11

Petri Järvilehto, Max Payne: From the Basement to the Norse God of Noir 17

Mike Skupa, Bully: Jimmy Beats World 23

Ryuichi Nishizawa, Wonder Boy in Monster Land: Countdown to Major

­Tom-Tom 29

Howard Scott Warshaw, E.T.: The ­Extra-Terrestrial: The Best Game Ever Made in Five Weeks 34

David Crane and Garry Kitchen, A Boy and His Blob: The Best Game

Ever Made in Six Weeks 40

Sarah Jane Avory, Fighting Force: From Streets of Rage 3D to Core Classic 45

Dane Bigham, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?: Explorational Not Educational 50

Richard Rouse III, The Suffering: The Shining in the Darkness 55

Rob Fulop, David Crane and James Riley, Night Trap: The Truth About Catz and Dogz 61

Greg Johnson, ToeJam & Earl: Sega’s Funky and Fantastic “Other” Mascots 72

Julia ­Keren-Detar and Itay Keren, Mushroom 11: Appetite for Destruction 77

Kan Gao, To the Moon: John’s Tale 82

Emeric Thoa and Audrey Leprince, Squids: The Game That Beat Those Angry Birds, for a Little While 87

Matt Thorson and Alec Holowka, Towerfall: From Arrows on the Ouya

to Ascending on the PlayStation 4 and Beyond 92

Eric Holmes, Hulk Ultimate Destruction: The Big Green Monster That

Could, and Did 97

Jamie Fristrom, Spider-Man 2: Great Power = Great Fun 102

Howard Scott Warshaw, Yars’ Revenge: From Star Castle Port to ­Game-Changing Shooter 107

Dan Geisler and Randy Breen, Road Rash: The Game That Kicked

Hang-On and Akira, in the Face 113

Mike Posehn and Richard Robbins, Desert Strike: From Killer Choplifter Clone to Classic 119

Garry Kitchen, Bart vs. the Space Mutants: The First and Best Simpsons Game Ever 124

Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers: Voodoo Chile 129

Ron Gilbert, David Fox and Gary Winnick, Maniac Mansion: ­Point-and-Click’s Original ­SCUMM-Bags 134

Clayton Kauzlaric, Voodoo Vince: Pain for Pleasure 139

Warren Spector, Deus Ex: From Troublemaking Shooter to ­Genre-Defining Conspiracy Theory 144

Jon Van Caneghem, King’s Bounty: Putting the “Heroes” into “Might

and Magic” 149

Garry Kitchen, Super Battletank: Even Better Than the Real Thing 153

Taichi Ishizuka, The Firemen: Through the Fire and Flames 158

Dave Wishnowski, Pro Wrestling X: A ­Decade-Long Dream in Development 163

Mark Turmell, WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game: Scotch and

Treadmills 170

John Tobias, Mortal Kombat: Enter the Fatality 174

Michael Brook, NHLPA ’93: Fighting for Fun Before “If it’s in the game,

it’s in the game” 179

Craig Broadbooks, NHL FaceOff: A Christmas Story 185

Mark Turmell, NBA Jam: The Birth of Boomshakalaka 191

David A. Palmer, Doom: The Little Jaguar That Could 196

Ken St. Andre and Brian Fargo, Wasteland: Fallout’s Unlikely Papa 200

Conclusion 206

Index 207

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