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Atkinson_2pp

Sidequest: "I Would Have Absolutely Laughed"

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Gruß Adventure Backers!

This is the ol’ 2 Player Productions Intern, Marc, here again with another Sidequest interview! This time we take a look at Oliver Franzke, Lead Programmer of Broken Age, and his journey through the industry, starting with learning programming on an old East German computer, creating 3D models in his teens, graphics research work in college, then to programming professionally among a variety of companies. He also shares about his time at LucasArts, pushing their creativity, and working on the Monkey Island Special Editions, then coming to Double Fine and eventually working with Tim on Broken Age. He was even a backer of the project as well!

Also just as a note, this interview was from about two weeks before the sudden news about the LucasArts closure.

By the way, if the titles look off its because they are temporary ones. Asif is away and won’t be able to make titles for about a week but we wanted to get this video to you folks instead of sitting on it. We’ll be putting in fresh, muy guapo titles as soon as we can!

Look for Episode Notes after the video!

[vimeo]66427675[/vimeo]

Episode Notes!:

0:23 - You know, because of the Cold War and the Soviet influence in Eastern Germany.

1:07 - KC 85 series.

1:43 - Here’s the link for the full episode of this clip. [Here is the playlist for the entire series] [Wiki]

1:45 - The Berlin Wall

3:12 - BASIC

4:02 - Junost monitors I swear the screen is that blurry and the image is at a very high resolution. Gotta love those CRTs! [Original picture]

4:57 - Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders

5:01 - Maniac Mansion

6:13 - Command and Conquer

6:43 - POV Ray Homepage [Wiki]

8:25 -

8:32 - Films Oliver made while at college.

9:08 - Turbo Pascal

9:21 - Myst

9:39 - Human Schock

11:00 - TerraTools

11:05 - Urban Assault

12:08 - Dot Com Bubble Burst

12:50 - SIGGRAPH

14:35 - Pictures from Oliver’s time in Glasgow

14:47 - Sony London Studio

14:59 - EyeToy

15:10 - LucasArts. And the recent announcement of their closure. Just to say it again this interview was from before the news of LucasArts closing became know.

17:29 - The Secret of Monkey Island You know, in case you don’t know everything yet.

17:50 - ScummVM, but I’m sure you’ll nearly all aware of that by now.

18:01 - The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Editions

19:23 - Lucidity (2009) [steam]

20:18 - Once Upon A Monster

Thanks for watching. Hope you guys are enjoying these interviews!

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Awesome! This is just the thing I needed for today. :)

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Is that book perchance "Computerspiele selbermachen" by Thomas Schmid?

I got that when I was, I dunno, 10 or so, and I still have it :D

(Link fails because the forum doesn't like URI entities)

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Is that book perchance "Computerspiele selbermachen" by Thomas Schmid?

I got that when I was, I dunno, 10 or so, and I still have it :D

(Link fails because the forum doesn't like URI entities)

Haha totally! I didn't find the programming part very helpful, but POV Ray blew my mind back then.

YmwwNTI2.jpg

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but POV Ray blew my mind back then.

Ditto. I spent a lot of time with POVRay. :)

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Just finished watching! Very enjoyable.

As with the other Reds/DF team members it's nice hearing about how for may of them working at DF is kind of a dream job.

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Ahahahhaa the "At least your Mother tipped well" cutscene. I must have watched that a hundred times. That was awesome.

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Wow! I didn't know Oliver had joined up with Double Fine so recently! For some reason I thought he was one of the vets.

Also, at about 8:55.... sweet rat tail!

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Just a comment for Oliver Franzke:

I too was a huge fan of the Myst series as a child, including making my own worlds. So my question, if you happen to read this:

Did it give you flashbacks to Myst when the game title settled on "Broken Age"? You know, since the worlds in the Myst series are called ages? :D

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Ahahahhaa the "At least your Mother tipped well" cutscene. I must have watched that a hundred times. That was awesome.

I also laughed at remembering that. I think it was from the intro video in that game (CnC).

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Go grab your cassette types, they'll be fine. No demagnetization.

Also, if sampling them sample to OGG, WAV or another lossless format. MP3 will remove a lot of information humans don't need but will cause havoc playing them back into emulators.

[)amien

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Did it give you flashbacks to Myst when the game title settled on "Broken Age"? You know, since the worlds in the Myst series are called ages? :D

I replayed Myst and Riven just a few month ago, so maybe a little bit.

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Go grab your cassette types, they'll be fine. No demagnetization.

Woo! That would be great. Fingered crossed! :)

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Also, if sampling them sample to OGG, WAV or another lossless format.
Ogg vorbis is not lossless, which is what is usually meant by ogg all by itself. (Technically speaking, ogg includes flac, which is lossless, but no one ever means it that way.)

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It sounds like we had very similar childhoods (at least, intellectually, not the whole Berlin thing)! I remember the excitement of playing things like Fate of Atlantis and Myst with my friend in his basement and tinkering with Basic like crazy. My dad showed me how to plot fractal landscapes in Turbo Pascal. But he was also an engineer (aerodynamic engineer) and never went very far with programming.

I shared a love of computer graphics animated shorts with him. We used to watch these VHS tapes that were collections of 3D rendered shorts called 'The Mind's Eye' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind's_Eye_(series)). I knew I wouldn't be satisfied until I know HOW they did that. Thankfully today I do! I couldn't make them myself, the art that is, like you did. But I could write the software that renders them (probably in real-time now too)!!!

Perhaps the key difference is I chose the academic PhD path and you chose industry. I'm still chasing my SIGGRAPH publication though... :-P

Seth B.

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Having a bad week. Thanks for making it less, umm, bad.

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Also, if sampling them sample to OGG, WAV or another lossless format.
Ogg vorbis is not lossless, which is what is usually meant by ogg all by itself. (Technically speaking, ogg includes flac, which is lossless, but no one ever means it that way.)

Oops, my mistake. Yes, FLAC. There are actually specialized digital-audio-tape-for-emulators-formats too with great compression that would also work like CSW and TZX but chances are the emulators won't support it.

[)amien

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Now I really regret not bringing my headphones. I'm stuck in a train and my favorite dfer's sidequest comes out. No offense, Tim.

I'll just look at the scenery and think about Germany.

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Great episode, well done Oliver and 2PP! Those side quests are always great, this one is no exception

Just one tiny nit-pick about the text from under the video from a history nerd: East Berlin wasn't part of the Russian Federation. It was the capital of the independent GDR (German Democratic Republic), of course it was alligned with the Soviet Union (politically and economically), similar to other Eastern European countries. It's as if you would say Western Germany was part of the United States of America, which obviously it wasn't...

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Is that book perchance "Computerspiele selbermachen" by Thomas Schmid?

I got that when I was, I dunno, 10 or so, and I still have it :D

(Link fails because the forum doesn't like URI entities)

Haha totally! I didn't find the programming part very helpful, but POV Ray blew my mind back then.

YmwwNTI2.jpg

Oh Wow I had that book too! Never did much with it as far as I remember, but I too played around with POV Ray for a while! I remember rendering pictures on my old 486 overnight... you could watch each pixel appearing... :)

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I too loved POV-Ray back then, only recently, out of nostalgia (and boredom, I guess) I downloaded a recent version and rendered a few of the included samples - man, these things render FAST on newer computers these days, even if rendered in huge resolutions compared to back in the day :)

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The similarities to my youth are frightening! :)

I've had my first programming workshop in 1988 on a KC87. The one with the longish, painful rubber keys. Your fingertips were almost bleeding after a session of what was a shameless copy of Summer Games. Oh yes, we did some programming in BASIC too. :D

I got my KC85/4 in 1990 after it was eventually affordable to my dad thanks to the German reunion. I've been hoping for a C64 at the time, but disappointment was steamrolled by excitement pretty fast.

The KC85/4 didn't even have a datasette. I used a regular radio with tape deck. The ancient Junost monitor I had was thankfully replaced by a proper TV (with colors!!!) a few months later.

Memories of the following year are a little fuzzy, but there's been a lot of playing Digger (Boulderdash clone), Enterprise (turn-based strategy game, at the time I didn't even know the Star Trek franchise as far as I remember), and a few other interpretations of western games. Games were usually made by individuals/hobbyists and swapped on cassette tapes.

There's even been a short time (short in my memories at least) where programs were *broadcast* by a popular eastern German radio station. You would record them on tape, then hope that the KC was able to read them. Hilarious times.

Last summer I finally found my KC85/4 plus the tapes on my parent's attic. I knew it was there somewhere, but burried below lots of stuff. This attic is extremely hot in Summer, dead cold in Winter. Yet the KC works flawlessly. Made for eternity, almost as unbreakable as Russian tech. :D The tapes are in good shape too. They should be fine as long as they suffer in a dry environment.

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I really enjoyed watching this. It's nice to go back with Oliver to the time of these old computers and see where all this craftsmanship started. Awesome side quest!

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This was great! Between this and reading Jordan Mechner's Making of Prince of Persia Journals (which are great by the way) I'm having a really vivid late 80s/early nineties flashback :).

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god i can relate to so much that oliver says. turbo pascal is awesome. im really glad that i started with it as the first language i got really into, before that ive just look at qbasic code not having any idea wth is going on there. i still remember the magic feeling of touching B800 :)). the moment when ive made in it my first game (pacman clone)... holy crap. that language helps you understand so many crucial concepts behind programming so much better than c/c++ or java.

anyways, i was really looking forward to olivers sidequest :).

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The subtitle for the Berlin Wall clip states the year 1998. Not sure if you're just testing us, but the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

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The subtitle for the Berlin Wall clip states the year 1998. Not sure if you're just testing us, but the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

read the whole subtitle. its borrowed from the "Cold War" series. the year refers to that, not the fall of berlin wall.

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