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    Tuesday, March 08, 2011
     Awesome new interview series - Dan - 2:28:04 AM EST

Looks like we're not the only LGS loving group that's getting into the action. Check this out: Looking Glass Studios Interview Series - Audio Podcast 1 - Austin Grossman

GAMBIT is proud to present the Looking Glass Studios Interview Series, an audio podcast series in which we chat with various people who worked for the legendary developer (famous for groundbreaking franchises like Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief) before it tragically closed its doors in 2000.

Up first: Austin Grossman. Grossman is a writer, game designer, and novelist who worked at Looking Glass in its early years. In this podcast he discusses his work on Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds and System Shock, the latter of which was highly influential in laying the foundations for modern environmental narrative design. Grossman also discusses his post-Looking Glass work, on such projects as Jurassic Park: Tresspasser and Deus Ex, and the tricky challenge of being a writer in today's commercial games industry.

Joining Austin on the podcast are two other Looking Glass alums: Andrew Grant, who also worked with Austin on Trespasser (for Dreamworks Interactive), and Sara Verrilli, who worked on System Shock. Andrew and Sara currently work for GAMBIT, and reminisce with Austin on how they grappled with the experimental nature of these games.

On a related topic, Austin Grossman has also been interviewed by Gawker Media scifi site, io9.

Tell us about your next two novels. One is about the videogame industry?

I'm still writing it, and right now it's called You, as a reference to those Infocom games that would say "You are likely to be eaten by a grue" or "You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door." I grew up liking the subgenre of books with games in them like Ender's Game, [Iain M. Banks'] Player of Games, and Larry Niven's Dreampark. I read Dreampark millions of times - it was written in the 1980s and it's about a futuristic amusement park. Also, I worked in videogame development for a while, so I decided to do a novel set in a videogame company.

In a way, the template is the first season of Mad Men - what if Don Draper were a game developer? The main character is a mysterious guy and something about his mysterious past makes him good at his job. Don Draper would be an awesome videogame designer, so what if we moved him into 1998 in a videogame company?

Come discuss it with us!






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