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    Tuesday, March 22, 2011
     Gambit Interviews Dan Schmidt - Dan - 7:11:32 AM EST

Gambit returns with their second podcast! Looking Glass Studios Interview Series - Audio Podcast 2 - Dan Schmidt

Part 2 of a continuing series, where I interview members of the now-defunct but highly influential Looking Glass Studios (1990-2000), which wrote the book on 3D first-person narrative game design throughout the 90s, in such games as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief.

In this episode I talk with Dan Schmidt, who was with the company from its very early days (back when it was called Blue Sky Productions). A programmer by vocation, but filling a variety of roles from project management to design to music composition, Dan helped set the tone for the company's subsequent creative output in early projects like Ultima Underworld and Ultima Underworld II.

The podcast covers these projects, as well as Dan's work on Terra Nova, the ambitious squad-based robot sim, and his work in the early stages of Thief before moving on to work at Harmonix Music Systems in its early, pre-Guitar Hero days.

If you want to know what NHL '92 has to do with both Ultima Underworld and Rock Band (and who doesn't?) give it a listen.

Did you know that Dan Schmidt also keeps a blog, where he posts things like this little gem?

One of the levels (5, I think?) was largely populated by ghouls, with standard flesh-eating names like Eyesnack and Kneenibble. Naturally you could talk to them instead of just fighting them. Jon Maiara (the same guy responsible for the Pac-Man homage) was writing the conversations for them, and included all sorts of things like the opportunity for you to make fun of Eyesnack's name, to which he would respond by making fun of your name in return. You see the edge case, of course, right?

That's right, part of our precious 640K was devoted to checking for whether the player's name is also Eyesnack, in which case, in response to your mockery, the ghoul proclaims indignantly, "But your name same as mine!"

Maybe that will make you feel better about Judy falling into the lava.

Come discuss it with us!






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