Browse By

Category Archives: Interview

Patrick Hickey, Jr.

A Conversation with Patrick Hickey, Jr. – Part 2: From Game Journalism to Voice Acting and Beyond

I recently spent about 45 minutes chatting with Patrick Hickey, Jr., author of The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers. In the first part of the interview, we talked about Hickey’s motivation behind writing the book. (Click here to read that.) In the second part of the interview, Hickey explains how The Minds Behind the Games has propelled his career into some unexpected places. Parts of this interview were edited for clarity and flow. Josh: So now that your book is out, what’s next for you? Patrick: Brett Weiss has a Super Nintendo encyclopedia coming out in August, and I wrote something like 25 entries in that. It’s a two-volume collection that contains every single Super Nintendo game that ever came out.…
Patrick Hickey, Jr.

A Conversation with Patrick Hickey, Jr. – Part 1: The Minds Behind the Games

One of the reasons Retrovolve exists is to document forgotten stories and facts about retro video games so they don’t get lost to the ages. It turns out, we have a partner in this great endeavor. Patrick Hickey, Jr., has recently released his book The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers, in which he interviews the developers of 36 video games. In this book, he records the stories behind a broad range of games. Besides being the author of this fascinating book, he is also the voice behind The Padre and Relentless Rex. He also runs the website ReviewFix.com. I recently had the chance to chat with Hickey for about 45 minutes, so we dove into the inspiration behind The Minds Behind the Games and explored his journey from video game journalist to voice actor and more.…
Hiroyuki Kobayashi

Capcom Releases Hiroyuki Kobayashi Interview to Celebrate Resident Evil’s 20th Anniversary

March 22, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise. In honor of two decades of RE games (and movies), Capcom released an interview with producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who’s been a part of the series since the beginning. He later served a producer role on the GameCube remake, as well as Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 6, and — this may surprise you — he was also involved in the movies starting with the second installment. If you’re interested in the history of the franchise at all, you should absolutely check out the full video below. If you don’t speak Japanese, you’ll have to turn CC on to see the subtitles.…
Dorke and Ymp Cover

Talking Dorke and Ymp with Piko Interactive Founder Eli Galindo

Piko Interactive is a company that distributes games for retro consoles. However, instead of reselling old cartridges, they purchase the rights to games that sort of fell by the wayside and they build new cartridges with those games on them. For example, they’re the company who pulled Super Noah’s Ark 3D out of its early grave and printed a fresh run of Super Nintendo cartridges. (They’re also selling the game on Steam.) On top of this, they also publish some brand new homebrew games for retro consoles. I first came across the company because they put out a game called Dorke and Ymp, which was a Swedish Super NES game that never saw a proper release until now. Interested in learning more about the project, I chased down Eleazar (Eli) Galindo, Founder of Piko Interactive, and spent a little bit of time chatting with him in December of 2015.…
Ogg

A Chat with Bubsy’s Michael Berlyn – Part 3: Ogg and the Theory of Interactive Storytelling

In the first two parts of this interview series, Michael Berlyn talks about the history of Bubsy, his departure from the game development scene, and his reemergence as a “casual” game developer. At this point in the conversation, Mr. Berlyn talked a bit about his more current projects, which you can find more about on the Flexible Tales website. Michael Berlyn: The website shows basically four interactive story products that are all graphically based and are story-driven. There’s nothing like them, nor was there anything like them when we decided to do them. My wife and I collaborated on them. She’s a writer too, and she worked on a lot of products with me, like Tass Times [in Tonetown], which she did most of the work on, and Dr.…
Syphon Filter

A Chat with Bubsy’s Michael Berlyn – Part 2: Rejection and Reinvention

In the first part of this interview, Micheal Berlyn and I talk about the history of Bubsy, which Berlyn created. He mentioned how the stress of big-budget development with growing team sizes was overwhelming and exhausting, so he took a break. Now, we talk about his return the the industry and his new-found love of the casual gaming scene. Michael Berlyn: When casual gaming came along, I had renewed interest in developing games again. At the time we shipped Bubsy 3D… my partner and I had a staff of about 24 people, and we were working on a PlayStation game for Sony called Syphon Filter, and another one for Accolade, and Bubsy 3D… And we had a kind of first-person, robotic shooter that was in development with another guy… designing it, who was very talented but couldn’t make a deadline.…
Bubsy

A Chat with Bubsy’s Michael Berlyn – Part 1: The Rise and Fall of Bubsy

Michael Berlyn is a man of many talents — he’s an accomplished novelist, musician, game designer, and more — but he’s probably most notable, at least in the gaming world, for being the creator of Bubsy. I had the chance to chat with Mr. Berlyn on Skype for almost an hour as he was putting the final touches on his latest gaming project Ogg. (You can see more of his work at the Flexible Tales website). He walked me through the world of game development in the 1990s, the heartbreak of watching the Bubsy franchise crumble, and some of the work he’s been doing since returning to the industry more recently. Read on for the full interview: Josh: Bubsy was a game I really loved as a kid — I mean, I was a kid in the 90s — and I loved it.…
ToeJam and Earl Ship Piece

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 3: Drugs

This is the final part of a three-part interview with ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson. You can read the second part here, or start from the beginning by clicking here. Josh: So, back to ToeJam & Earl… This is going to be a super weird question probably, but this is something I’ve genuinely always been curious about. How much would you say that drugs influenced ToeJam & Earl? Greg: [Laughing] That’s funny. Well, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t do drugs, and I never have. Any type. That’s sometimes shockingly surprising to some people who are absolutely sure that ToeJam & Earl came out of some drug-induced state of mind. Josh: It almost feels like, if you’re looking, you can see some references and things.…
Doki Doki Universe

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 2: How Race Affected Doki Doki Universe

This is the second part of a three-part conversation with ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson. You can read the first part here. Josh: I’d like to transition real quick to Doki Doki Universe, because I finally did get a chance to play it. I was really blown away by a lot of the things you did with it conceptually, exploring what makes us human and what that might look like to an alien. Because you’ve got this very human character who’s a robot, and he experiences some pretty traumatic stuff (that’s kind of glossed over a little bit for kids), but it has the issue of being abandoned somewhere for 20 years [correction: it was actually 32 years] and just kind of patiently waiting for someone to come pick you up… That really affected me deeply on a lot of levels.…
ToeJam and Earl Say What's Up

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 1: Developing a Beloved Game Franchise

On March 18, 2015, I had the opportunity to spend about 40 minutes chatting on Skype with Greg Johnson, one of the creators of the ToeJam & Earl franchise. We mostly talked about the original ToeJam & Earl game, but we also brought up the more recent ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove (which was funded on Kickstarter in March of 2015), and Doki Doki Universe, which Johnson also created. It was an incredibly interesting conversation, in which we explored racism, drug references, linguistics, and more. Read on for the full interview. Josh: Since you announced this [ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove‘s Kickstarter campaign], there’s been so much enthusiasm. It seems like it’s almost coming out of the woodwork probably.…
Resident Evil

D.C. Douglas and Jonathan Klein Explain Why Resident Evil 1’s Voice Acting Was Awful

“Master of unlocking.” “Jill sandwich.” If you played video games in the 90s, you’re probably intimately familiar with these phrases, which both come from the original Resident Evil game. They’re possibly two of the most oft-quoted examples of bad voice acting from the early PlayStation era. The obvious question has always been, “How on Earth did this end up being so damn bad?” At least, it has been for those of us who don’t have careers in video game voice acting. At AniMinneapolis 2014, I sat in on a panel called “Behind the Voices of Capcom Games,” hosted by David Vincent (the voice of T. Hawk in Super Street Fighter IV), Jonathan Klein (English-language producer on Street Fighter IV), Caitlin Glass (the voice of Cammy in Street Fighter IV), and D.C.…
Mega Man

Former Mega Man, Dead Rising Producer Keiji Inafune Talks About Killer Bees

Keiji Inafune is known by many as “The Father of Mega Man,” though this is a title he denies himself. While he brought the Blue Bomber to life in one sense of the term, he doesn’t take credit for the initial creation. Still, the man’s been connected with Mega Man since the 1980s, so we here at Retrovolve have nothing but the utmost respect for him. So when I sat down in a small conference room with him the very same day Mega Man was announced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. game for Wii U and 3DS (June 11, 2013), the obvious question was how he felt about that. But I didn’t ask the obvious question. (If you’re curious about that, Inafune told VideoGamer.com…
Anamanaguchi

Anamanaguchi Talks Kickstarter, Space Pizza, and Missing Teeth

On Sunday, May 26, 2013, the worlds of music and video games collided at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a performance by the chiprock group Anamanaguchi. After a fantastic set that included flashing colored lights, crazy 8-bit videos projected onto a screen behind the band, and the obligatory encore, I had a chance to talk with bassist James DeVito and drummer Luke Silas. For the record, I did offer to buy them each a drink at the bar, but they had just finished paying for theirs when I approached them, so that didn’t end up happening. Still, we had a great chat about Kickstarter, space pizza, fake missing teeth, and even the origin of the name Anamanaguchi. I began the conversation on the most logical of topics: the band’s 2013 stunt of launching a slice of pizza into space.…
Low-Gain AKA Logan Erickson

Low-Gain Interview, Part 5: Life After 8-bit Collective

So what is Logan Erickson up to now that he’s no longer a major player in the 8-bit community? He and I talked about his post-8bc life for a bit. He did mention that chipmusic was still a part of his life, though its role had diminished considerably since the “glory days.” I still come back to it. I still listen to chipmusic all the time. Every now and then I’ll pull out my Game Boys and noodle on tracks that I started a year ago, or two years ago. It is nice to have the break, that’s for sure, because I view music a lot differently now than I did then. Unfortunately, I’d like to think that I was more productive when I was in the chipmusic scene.…
Low-Gain AKA Logan Erickson

Low-Gain Interview, Part 4: Low-Gain’s 8-bit Collective Ban

As the online chip scene continued to grow, a few people realized they could make considerable amounts of money off of it. Some of these people, Like Logan Erickson, had mostly good intentions. Other people, though, were consumed by the business end of this, including 8-bit Collective founder Jose Torres, who was accused of stealing program code from a pair of guys from Poland. (You can read more about this in the previous segment of this interview.) All the while, Logan and Jose’s friendship was deteriorating. Somewhere, he and I had some sort of a falling out. Whether it was because I was selling my products and he was selling his, and we were viewing each other as competitors or something.…
Low-Gain AKA Logan Erickson

Low-Gain Interview, Part 3: The Dark Side of the Chipmusic Scene

Be sure to read the previous segment of the Low-Gain interview, which you can find here. 8-bit Collective (8bc.org) was hugely influential in connecting the chipmusic scene in way that would otherwise have been very difficult due to how scattered its audience was. Under Logan Erickson’s guidance, the site continued to thrive and grow, but it wasn’t without its controversy. The larger any community grows, the more work is involved in keeping it organized. 8-bit Collective’s community had become pretty massive by this point, and it was becoming harder and harder to manage. This was only exacerbated by the noncommittal attitude of site owner Jose Torres, who had also started to dabble in some things that a lot of people in the community weren’t exactly comfortable with.…
Low-Gain AKA Logan Erickson

Low-Gain Interview, Part 2: Blip Festival and the Rise of 8-bit Collective

(Click here to read Part 1 of our Low-Gain interview.) In the mid-2000s, the chipmusic scene experienced something of a boon. No, it didn’t technically break into the mainstream, but its worldwide community finally found a place to meet up, share music and encouragement, and just thrive. As I mentioned in the first part of this interview series, this wasn’t any physical venue, but an online one. In 2006, Logan Erickson (Low-Gain) and Stefen Keen (Unicorn Dream Attack) discovered 8-bit Collective, or 8bc.org. We both joined 8-bit Collective probably around late 2006. It was shortly after it had started up. I think it had to have had somewhere between like 250 to 500 members at the time. 8-bit Collective was cool because [8bc  founder Jose Torres]’s concept was [to] just have a place where people can upload songs and have a forum.…
Low-Gain AKA Logan Erickson

Low-Gain Interview, Part 1: A Conversation with an 8-bit Legend

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I pulled up to Logan Erickson’s home in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. I mean, I knew the man was something of a legend in the chiptune scene, but this is a music scene that’s remained fairly subversive and has stayed below most people’s radars, meaning its history isn’t a very well-documented one. I was hoping to change that. Now, before I get too ahead of myself here, let me explain what chiptune music is for those who don’t already know. It’s a form of electronic music that’s basically programmed on retro videogame machines. (If you want to look at the earliest roots of the genre, you’ll find instances of what eventually became known as chiptune music being programmed on home computers in the late 1970s.)…
The Super Mario Bros. Fragrance Collection Made Us Wonder What Bowser Smells Like
The Minds Behind the Games
Retrovolve Reviews Books: The Minds Behind the Games by Patrick Hickey, Jr.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre
Pokemon Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power Predicted a “Pokémon Trade War” in 1998