What Were the Odds?

What Were the Odds?

"Two to eight wizards found themselves in a single screen arena, which starts off completely empty. Each wizard is allowed to choose one of their randomly selected spells to cast. Casting it will make it disappear from your arsenal. The majority of these will summon a creature for you, which can then go fight in your name. Then, everyone takes a turn to move all their characters. Then, they go back to choosing spells. Repeat until one wizard stands victorious and the rest have their pixels spread across the screen in a Defender-esque blur. That's it.
Wizards battling."
Kieron Gillen examines the beauty of Chaos.

What Were the Odds?

"To quote Bull Durham's Joe Riggins, baseball is 'a simple game; you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.' Anybody can do it; few people are good at it. The same is true with game design, or, more specifically, designing a game as relatively simple as Armadillo Run. Everyone, on some level, knows the laws of physics, and everyone knows what's fun and what isn't. Few, however, can take the two ideas and make a great game out of them. Fewer still can do this alone, out of their house, and distribute the game, via shareware, over the internet. Peter Stock is among them. Seemingly the last of the "bedroom developers," Stock took an idea, made it into a game, and sold thousands of copies. Just like that. Throwing, catching, hitting."

What Were the Odds?

"But, even in 1986, Weaver was used to having good ideas. Before founding Bethesda, Weaver spent his time at MIT working on 'speech parsers, graphic interface and synthesized worlds - what people now call virtual reality. In 2007 this may sound familiar to what some cutting edge people are doing, but this was the 1970's, so it was bleeding edge stuff.' From there, he went onto news broadcast directing at both NBC and ABC, and he eventually found his way to Washington as the chief engineer to the House Subcommittee on Communications. Then, after another stint in VR, he founded Media Technologies, Bethesda's parent company until 2002. He finally created Bethesda to see if the PC market was a viable place to develop games."

Joe Blancato explores the beginnings of a game industry legend, talking to the founders of Bethesda.

What Were the Odds?

"During its stint with the publisher Gathering of Developers (later purchased by Take 2 and now known as 2K Games ), 3D Realms toyed with resurrecting Prey again. This time around, though, with Duke Nukem Forever still on their plate, they decided to farm out Prey's development. They'd done this with another game, Max Payne, which had been a wild success.
"Miller says, 'We knew of Human Head by our mutual association with Gathering of Developers, and therefore it was an easy choice to ask them if they wanted to take a stab at the project. Luckily, they agreed.'"

What Were the Odds?

"Anachronox was caught in the slow-motion explosion of a drama bomb. Ion Storm Dallas was busy eating itself, a process chronicled everywhere from NPR to Gamespot to our own magazine, and Tom Hall was caught in the middle. 'I had different roles at different times: Chief Creative Officer, President, etc. But, basically, I served as the Project Lead on Anachronox, and, where I could, as conscience of the company.' He blames Ion's collapse on the company's lack of focus, or rather, their focus on things other than game development. 'Once there was a re-focus on making games - boom, they got done.'"