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Atkinson_2pp

Sidequest: "You Don't Step in the Same River Twice"

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Hello once again backers!

Its the 2PP intern, Marc, here with another Sidequest for you guys.

This one is an old interview with Designer for the now titled “Broken Age”, Lead Designer for “The Cave”, and Project Lead for the Amnesia Fortnight prototype “Spacebase DF-9”, JP LeBreton, that took place in April 2012, back during the filming of Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibility. Here he talks about his history in the industry, working with design heroes, his time with and the nostalgia of adventure games, his perception of design mechanics, and growing the medium of video games.

This interview was also from before “The Cave” was even announced, so JP refers to it several times as “Ron’s Project”, so keep that in find and I hope you enjoy.

Look around after the video for the episode notes.

[vimeo]62748492[/vimeo]

Episode Notes:

0:10 - JP did a self portrait in a Commodore 64 ACSII painter a while ago and it translated pretty well for the title, check out the original here.

0:28 - Irrational Games

0:30 - Bioshock Series

0:37 - Human Head Studios

0:43 - Blue Fang Games

2:00 - Aeuter is a word from film theory (hooray for my film education) meaning a creative director that has a significantly distinct style between films or in this case games, like Tim’s comedic writing and wonderfully unique worlds. Notable film aeuters include Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawkes, and more modern one I would say is Quentin Tarantino. Here’s a really good segment in the intro of the wiki article: “In spite of—and sometimes even because of—the production of the film as part of an industrial process, the auteur's creative voice is distinct enough to shine through all kinds of studio interference and through the collective process.” I never heard it applied to game designers before, so I got pretty excited by how true it is.

3:51 - Ken Levine

3:53 - Thief Series. Also, in case you haven’t heard, they are rebooting the series.

3:55 - System Shock 2

4:18 - Unused footage of Ron Gilbert caught in the wild, being grumpy.

5:45 - Yup, I bet people at Valve are very big fans of having a variety of hats.

6:01 - I couldn’t find any definite articles on how many people contributed to Assassin’s Creed III but the Assassin’s Creed II team had 450 employees! And then imagine the extra hands after that launch needed to make that a yearly installment.

6:15 - 2K Marin

6:21 - 2K Marin staff photo after the release of Bioshock 2.

8:16 - Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Now remember folks, don’t trust a retired pirate’s contest grog. Otherwise, this will happen.

30-mi_27_28.gif"

8:33 - Guybrush can hold his breath for 10 minutes.

.
.

10:20 - Peter Molyneux

10:22 - Populous on the Amiga, his award winning God game.

10:24 - Amiga systems The golden oldies!

10:25 - Given that this interview was a year ago at this point, JP was pretty spot on about Molyneux leaving Microsoft to form a small games company, 22 Cans (it happened the next month). Perhaps he heard the call of JP as well as other huge fans and knew what he had to do. Also his new God game is called Godus and was funded through Kickstarter. Score 2 for JP.

10:30 - John Romero website [Wiki]

12:03 - Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle

14:49 - Digital: A Love Story, [Wiki] Blog

15:16 - What mother wouldn’t approve of this treatment?

15:47 - Grim Fandango

15:47 - Have we mentioned this lineage of LucasArts adventure games enough yet?

17:06 - Psychonauts

17:35 - One of my favorite G-Men lines from Psychonauts!

, all of them are so good though.

18:38 - Popular: High School Social Simulation Postmortem

18:38 - JP LeBreton’s personal website

19:06 - Kairo, a game by Richard Perrin

JP sent me this game as an example of a modern adventure game and its looked so cool in its immersiveness and atmospheric nature that I had to try to find a place for it. I encourage you guys to check it out more!

19:19 - Whenever I heard supernatural westerns I would always think about that new-ish movie Cowboys vs. Aliens and would chuckle a bit.

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Hey, another side quest, thanks.

And so many links, i hope they're attached properly.

Btw. every time i see the drums in the background i'm wondering who is playing on them or in case no one is jamming are they around just because they look cool or for being able to vent if you need to?

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"I'm working with Ron now."

Bummer!

I think he was working on The Cave when this was filmed but is now working on DFA (edit: oops, I mean Broken Age!)

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Thanks. From this it seems Ron was/is more involved in the design of Broken Age than I first thought or did I misunderstand something?

Edit: ahh this is year old footage...

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"I'm working with Ron now."

Bummer!

I think he was working on The Cave when this was filmed but is now working on DFA (edit: oops, I mean Broken Age!)

I'm well aware of that. What bums me out is that he isn't with DF anymore.

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Maybe my favorite sidequest yet. I found myself nodding with all of JP's thoughts on design, genre classification, innovation, etc.

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Maybe my favorite sidequest yet. I found myself nodding with all of JP's thoughts on design, genre classification, innovation, etc.
Heartily agreed.

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This quote by JP around the 11:45 mark needs to be posted on a banner on all the forum pages.

I really hope that we really don't run afoul of a lot of people thinking, "Well...I'm expecting the Double Fine Adventure to rekindle everything that I felt in my childhood when I first played Day of the Tentacle or something."

Broken Age is going to be great, it's going to have a lot of roots with older point and clicks, but it will be a slightly new take on adventures. And that is exciting. The old combined with the new.

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I found it funny reading the notes that the 2PP guys hadn't heard of auteur being used for game designers before. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation uses the term liberally for both Peter Molyneux and Suda 51 and seeing both of their games, it makes sense.

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"I'm working with Ron now."

Bummer!

I think he was working on The Cave when this was filmed but is now working on DFA (edit: oops, I mean Broken Age!)

I'm well aware of that. What bums me out is that he isn't with DF anymore.

What? JP left double fine? I guess you mean dfa/reds/broken age?

Edit: ahh I get it now you mean Ron. Yes that's a shame.

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Just curious: Is there a particular reason this interview has taken so long to come out?

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Just curious: Is there a particular reason this interview has taken so long to come out?

I imagine it was because he's only recently joined the DFA project and so he's now relevant to the documentary of the game.

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Just curious: Is there a particular reason this interview has taken so long to come out?

I imagine it was because he's only recently joined the DFA project and so he's now relevant to the documentary of the game.

Yeah, I think that if the sidequests make it to be part of the documentary they should add footage of The Cave when he's talking about a project with Ron.

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Great Sidequest! JP makes some interesting points also. And loved Bioshock.

It's interesting that both JP LeBreton and Dave Gardner cut their hair short after working with Ron on the Cave. Does Ron only want to work with short-haired people?

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He pretty much sums up why I'm not super into Bioshock. It seems like a really interesting game that's supposed to be about this interesting deep story but it was really about endlessly shooting crazy people and it didn't do a great job with that.

That's why I'm renting Infinite instead of buying it.

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Excellent sidequest. Thanks for posting Atkinson_2pp.

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Auteur game designers make up an interesting and growing subject in the game medium. With the advent of distribution models that has led to the explosion in indie game, auteur designers seem to be the ones really pushing the industry forward, whereas before game development was so extremely collaborative that no single artistic vision came through in the end. (For better or for worse).

Game designers I would consider auteurs:

Ken Levine

Fumito Ueda

Tim Schafer

Suda51

Jonathan Blow

Phil Fish

Keita Takahashi

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Great sidequest, love the insite of design and the rawness of it all. ;D

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Thanks for the sidequest, 2PP. Terrific as always. Fun pills and sleds for everyone.

Smiles

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nice. I wonder what hes working on right now and what he worked on specifically in the cave

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4:18 - I thought that footage was used in the Kickstarter Pitch video, no?

8:16 - Seems the forum code doesn't parse links with spaces correctly, so "http://lparchive.org/Monkey-Island-2/Update 27/" gets truncated.

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A friend of mine was one of the level designers on Bioshock 2, so yay for that! I think he worked on the Siren's Alley portion, or maybe Dionysus Park. I can't remember.

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