Julian Gollop Dreamland interview (old from CGW)

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Mark Asher

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Oct 27, 2000, 2:31:05 PM10/27/00
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What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for CGW
with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
time, X-COM, so I thought I'd republish it here. A shorter version of
this appeared in CGW 4 or 5 months ago. I don't think they'll mind me
republishing it here. Think of it as a commerical for my monthly CGW
interviews. (Remember, these interviews I do are supposed to be a bit
on the silly side.)


1. Is Dreamland inspired by X-COM? (I know, a dumb question, but it
gives you a chance to talk about Dreamland a bit)

Gollop: Yes it is, although it is fairer to say that Dreamland is just
the latest development in the evolution of Mythos Games strategy
games. X-Com was itself inspired by our earlier titles such as ‘Laser
Squad’ and ‘Rebelstar.’ Dreamland itself is a massive game, with even
greater detail and variety than X-Com. The story line is more
sophisticated, with a few surprising plot twists along the way.

2. The pausable real-time combat in X-COM Apocalypse worked well. Why
are you returning to turn-based combat with Dreamland?

Gollop: It is all to do the feel of the game. Dreamland is set in a
grim, post apocalyptic future where the human race is struggling for
survival. With just a few soldiers you have to succeed again and again
in every tactical situation. The intimate, tense, atmosphere of
Dreamland can only be recreated with turn based combat. Additionally,
the 3D system we have employed is far more useable, because the player
can control characters from a third person view or a first person
view, without worrying about losing control of the situation.

3. In X-COM I laughed the first time I saw a cow being dissected by
the aliens. What were the aliens doing?

Gollop: That’s a pretty good question, really. It has been known for a
long time that cattle have been found strangely mutilated with various
bits of the anatomy removed, such as the rectum, or a tongue. Some
have blamed the government, but really it is those bug eyed aliens who
were just trying to figure out which parts of the cow to eat. They
obviously hadn’t found an In-and-out burger.

4. Ever seen a UFO?

Gollop: Yes of course, but my memory was wiped after seeing it.

5. Are there any aliens in X-COM or Dreamland inspired by your
mother-in-law?

Gollop: Yes, the ethereals. They turn up when least expected and they
can read your mind.

6. X-COM was responsible for more missing gaps in time than any aliens
could ever hope to be. What made it special?

Gollop: That is a very difficult question to answer. All we set out to
do was create a game which we would like to play ourselves. I think
some of the random elements helped, coupled with the interaction
between the strategic and tactical levels. We ended up with a game
which I did not know how to win – I didn’t know which were the best
strategies or tactics, even though I designed all the games systems.
That is what makes a good strategy game.

7. Do you still work with your brother at Mythos? What's that like?

Gollop: I still work with Nick, and together we manage the company.
Its OK these days...I am used to the humiliation of been bullied by a
younger brother.

8. What is the coolest thing about Dreamland?

Gollop: There are so many cool things, I don’t know where to start. I
get a lot of smug satisfaction blowing the head of an alien and
playing soccer with it -- passing from soldier to soldier -- and still
being able to meet the mission objectives.

9. Did you ever wonder that if there really are aliens watching us,
they might be ticked off by all the computer games that portray them
as evil lunkheads?

Gollop: If the aliens were devious enough I am sure that they probably
have a hand in promoting these games just to lull us into a false
sense of security. Maybe next time we should make a game from the
aliens’ point of view, wiping out the selfish, anti-social pests known
as humans.

10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien
in Apocalypse. Where's the menace?!?

Gollop: Hmmm… I think you would have to ask the artist about that one.
It was supposed to be frightening, but something got forgotten
somewhere along the line.

11. I can never spell Apocalypse! Why did you name that game that?

Gollop: We just wanted it to sound like the end of the world was
coming, and sometimes while working on the game it certainly felt that
way. It is also a real tongue twister for some people -- I remember
somebody working on the project kept referring to it as Poxylypse. In
future we will refrain from too many biblical references in games
titles.

12. What's the secret of designing a good game?

Gollop: Getting the most gameplay for the least amount of effort
involved in creating the game. This is something I have not always
stuck to, and have consequently paid the price for it.

13. Ever consider doing an updated Laser Squad?

Gollop: Yes, many people have asked for it.

14. If you were a soldier in X-COM or Dreamland, what would your stats
be like?

Gollop: Very poor. I wouldn’t recruit myself.

15. How come there were no bathrooms in the X-COM bases we built?

Gollop: There are outdoor facilities. This does of course compromise
the defences of the base.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Jeremy Reaban

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Oct 27, 2000, 3:02:53 PM10/27/00
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Mark Asher wrote in message
<7vhjvs8n3aajqt1lc...@4ax.com>...

>What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for
CGW
>with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
>time, X-COM, so I thought I'd republish it here. A shorter version of
>this appeared in CGW 4 or 5 months ago.
<snip>

Things like this are why I don't read CGW anymore...although to be
fair, pretty much all so called gaming journalism is like
that...fluffy and shallow.


Mark Asher

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Oct 27, 2000, 3:06:11 PM10/27/00
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It took up half a page in the magazine. You found it completely
uninteresting? I guess they could have published an article on the
algorithms for determining hits and misses in Combat Mission. Maybe
I'll suggest that to them.

Kevin

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Oct 27, 2000, 4:03:06 PM10/27/00
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They could have taken thier time to interview a great game designer and ask
for his opinions and questions that really mattered, instead like always
they do the mostly-joke interview that fluffy people like to read on the
toilet. However you don't gain anything from reading that article.

Mark Asher

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Oct 27, 2000, 4:12:19 PM10/27/00
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On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 20:03:06 GMT, Kevin <kre...@home.com> wrote:

>They could have taken thier time to interview a great game designer and ask
>for his opinions and questions that really mattered, instead like always
>they do the mostly-joke interview that fluffy people like to read on the
>toilet. However you don't gain anything from reading that article.

Yeah, it's too bad that the interviewer didn't ask questions like:

2. The pausable real-time combat in X-COM Apocalypse worked well. Why
are you returning to turn-based combat with Dreamland?

6. X-COM was responsible for more missing gaps in time than any aliens


could ever hope to be. What made it special?

8. What is the coolest thing about Dreamland?

10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien


in Apocalypse. Where's the menace?!?

12. What's the secret of designing a good game?

And:

13. Ever consider doing an updated Laser Squad?

>
>

Istvan

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Oct 27, 2000, 5:03:12 PM10/27/00
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Mark Asher wrote:

> What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for CGW
> with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
> time, X-COM, so I thought I'd republish it here. A shorter version of

Dreamland dis Dreamland dat, baseless hype.

Fact is their graphics engine was developed by a third party and it is
licensed to them, their phsyics engine was developed by a third party and
it is licensed to them, their game engine was ... blah-blah ...
and is licensed to them ...

YET there is no hint for a game for like three years or so! A couple of
clearly prerendered screenshots were released like a year an a half ago!
Really, think about it! What exactly do these guy over there?
What kind of game company is this anyway?

As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?

Istvan.

Sean Kennedy

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Oct 27, 2000, 6:14:51 PM10/27/00
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I don't feel fluffy ....

Mark Asher <ma...@cdmnet.com> wrote in message
news:v4ojvs4n903vho7el...@4ax.com...

Mark Asher

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Oct 27, 2000, 7:02:56 PM10/27/00
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On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 17:03:12 -0400, Istvan
<ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:

>
>Mark Asher wrote:
>
>> What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for CGW
>> with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
>> time, X-COM, so I thought I'd republish it here. A shorter version of
>
>Dreamland dis Dreamland dat, baseless hype.
>
>Fact is their graphics engine was developed by a third party and it is
>licensed to them, their phsyics engine was developed by a third party and
>it is licensed to them, their game engine was ... blah-blah ...
>and is licensed to them ...

Sort of like how Valve licensed the Quake 2 engine for Half-Life, and
we all know how that game sucked, eh?

>YET there is no hint for a game for like three years or so! A couple of
>clearly prerendered screenshots were released like a year an a half ago!
>Really, think about it! What exactly do these guy over there?
>What kind of game company is this anyway?

Last year Mythos released Magic and Mayhem. I don't think they've been
working on Dreamland for 3 years.

>As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
>lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
>it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
>see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?

Wait, isn't this Istvan "I'm trading in my PC for a Dreamcast" Albert?

Istvan

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Oct 27, 2000, 9:22:35 PM10/27/00
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Mark Asher wrote:

> Sort of like how Valve licensed the Quake 2 engine for Half-Life, and
> we all know how that game sucked, eh?

An exception does not make a rule.
For every Half-life there is a Daikatana, Klingon Honor Guard etc.
At least those don't take forever.

Anyway my point was entirely different. They are practically putting
the game together from already made pieces yet there is absolutely
no indication that the development progresses at all. Any
so called news was already out last October.



> Last year Mythos released Magic and Mayhem. I don't think they've been
> working on Dreamland for 3 years.

Which happens to be a totally mediocre game. That's really encouraging.
Obviously Dreamland will be M&M and then some.

I'm most certainly aware of at least two years of hyping the game.
They must have had to start earlier than that! I even remember a
Q1 2000 release date.



> Wait, isn't this Istvan "I'm trading in my PC for a Dreamcast" Albert?

Yeah, that's a strong and on the point argument indeed. Were you watching
too much politics lately?

Istvan.

J. Lutes

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Oct 27, 2000, 10:25:30 PM10/27/00
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Istvan wrote:

[among some other comments]

> As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
> lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
> it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
> see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?


Thanks for tearing the veil from our eyes, wise one. Now our puny brains
will shrivel in the light of the truth.

Um, I had a Playstation before I had a PC, and the first time I played
X-Com it was on the Playstation. I found it easy enough to play through
to the end five different times, on the Veteran difficulty level; in
fact, the gamepad was in some ways easier to use. I also spent many
hours playing some other excellent strategy games on the PS, like Panzer
General, Carnage Heart, and Final Fantasy Tactics, never giving the
gamepad a second thought once I learned a particular game's control
system.

A gamepad can be a hindrance for certain kinds of games (for instance,
C&C is an utter pain to play on the PS), or because the programmers had
no clue how to utilize it, but not merely because the game it controls
falls within the incredibly broad category of "strategy." You nutter.

J. Lutes

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Oct 27, 2000, 10:27:43 PM10/27/00
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Mark Asher wrote:

[interview with Julian Gollop snipped]


Thanks, Mark. It was funny and refreshing. It's nice to see that some
people in this business have a sense of humor.

Istvan

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Oct 27, 2000, 11:07:39 PM10/27/00
to

"J. Lutes" wrote:

> Um, I had a Playstation before I had a PC, and the first time I played
> X-Com it was on the Playstation. I found it easy enough to play through
> to the end five different times, on the Veteran difficulty level; in
> fact, the gamepad was in some ways easier to use. I also spent many
> hours playing some other excellent strategy games on the PS, like Panzer

for the record, there is a tremendous difference between a game
being ported to Playstation or being initially planned and developed
for it.

I have yet to see a game that was planned for a console yet plays
well on a PC.

(or has any depth, okay you may come with you Final
Fantasy argument again, you did that some time ago, let me tell you this I actually was unfortunate to trust the reviewers and get FF8.
I consider it the stupidest games ever created, yet ever reviewer
was in trance when talking bout it. So I have zero faith
in your opinion about any game bearing that name FF Tactics whatever.).

> never giving the gamepad a second thought once I learned a particular
> game's control system.

It is a matter of individual tolerance. Like it or not
you are one of the insignificant few that are willing to put up
with a design revolving around a gamepad.

Istvan.

richar...@hotmail.com

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Oct 27, 2000, 11:57:10 PM10/27/00
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In article <39F9ED90...@nospam.prodigy.net>,

Istvan <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:
> Dreamland dis Dreamland dat, baseless hype.
The only program that seemed to be providing you hope in regards to
PC gaming you are now giving up on? I thought you were supposed to
bail out on PC gaming until something worthwhile showed up. Is that
Zeus perhaps?

... SNIP ...

> As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
> lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
> it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
> see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?

And yet, you dropped out of PC gaming to play a DREAMCAST instead,
which has ZERO strategy games for it?

- Richard Hutnik

--

Visit DocReason's Strategy HQ for free games, reviews, and
support and opponent finding for obscure/orphan games at:
http://www.geocities.com/timessquare/fortress/7537/


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Istvan

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Oct 27, 2000, 11:30:31 PM10/27/00
to


richar...@hotmail.com wrote:

> The only program that seemed to be providing you hope in regards to
> PC gaming you are now giving up on? I thought you were supposed to
> bail out on PC gaming until something worthwhile showed up. Is that

That's exactly what pisses me off about this game in the first place.

Who says it is going to be a good game? Well this belief is like
in the air floating around although my bladder pressure too tells me so.

What proof is there? One good came written like twenty years ago? Duh!

It comes out for Playstaion 2 people, the mediocre system squarely
aimed at total idiots paying thousnds of dollars for it. Is this
where the next great white hope will be born. get real.

istvan.

Mark Asher

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Oct 28, 2000, 1:55:36 AM10/28/00
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On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 21:22:35 -0400, Istvan
<ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:

>Mark Asher wrote:
>
>> Sort of like how Valve licensed the Quake 2 engine for Half-Life, and
>> we all know how that game sucked, eh?
>
>An exception does not make a rule.
>For every Half-life there is a Daikatana, Klingon Honor Guard etc.
>At least those don't take forever.

An exception makes a strong case for not being dismissive before
you've even played the game, don't you think?

>Anyway my point was entirely different. They are practically putting
>the game together from already made pieces yet there is absolutely
>no indication that the development progresses at all. Any
>so called news was already out last October.

A quick search turns up nothing on Dreamland before December of '99,
so I doubt the game has been in development much longer than a year
before that. What kind of progress do you want to see? I saw the game
at E3 and there was some playable code -- it wasn't just screenshots
or a rolling demo.


>> Last year Mythos released Magic and Mayhem. I don't think they've been
>> working on Dreamland for 3 years.
>
>Which happens to be a totally mediocre game. That's really encouraging.
>Obviously Dreamland will be M&M and then some.

Oh I don't know -- plenty of people really liked Magic and Mayhem. It
was certainly fresh. Besides, not every game's a winner. It's better
to judge a game on its merits, don't you think? Can you grasp the idea
that a developer might be capable of creating a great game and a
mediocre game? It's kind of like how an author might write a great
book and follow it with a not so great book.

>I'm most certainly aware of at least two years of hyping the game.
>They must have had to start earlier than that! I even remember a
>Q1 2000 release date.

Games take longer to make now, and heaven forbid we rush a developer.
Certainly you want them to put quality first, don't you?



>> Wait, isn't this Istvan "I'm trading in my PC for a Dreamcast" Albert?
>
>Yeah, that's a strong and on the point argument indeed. Were you watching
>too much politics lately?

Well, I brought that up because you were slagging Dreamland because
it's going to be a PS2 game as well. I notice that you snipped those
remarks of yours for this reply. Good thing I saved them! Here they
are:

Istvan: "C'mon people! get real! it is developed for Playstation for


God's sake, when did you see a startegy game that could be played well
with a gamepad?"

I thought it interesting that you, an avowed console fan, would be
disappointed in Dreamland coming out on a console. Of course, about
the only real consistency you display is a wide streak of
inconsistency.

Ciao!

Mark Asher

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Oct 28, 2000, 1:58:42 AM10/28/00
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On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 02:25:30 GMT, "J. Lutes" <jlu...@earthlink.net>
wrote:

>Istvan wrote:
>
>[among some other comments]
>
>> As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
>> lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
>> it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
>> see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?
>
>
>Thanks for tearing the veil from our eyes, wise one. Now our puny brains
>will shrivel in the light of the truth.

Heh heh.

>Um, I had a Playstation before I had a PC, and the first time I played
>X-Com it was on the Playstation. I found it easy enough to play through
>to the end five different times, on the Veteran difficulty level; in
>fact, the gamepad was in some ways easier to use. I also spent many
>hours playing some other excellent strategy games on the PS, like Panzer
>General, Carnage Heart, and Final Fantasy Tactics, never giving the
>gamepad a second thought once I learned a particular game's control
>system.
>
>A gamepad can be a hindrance for certain kinds of games (for instance,
>C&C is an utter pain to play on the PS), or because the programmers had
>no clue how to utilize it, but not merely because the game it controls
>falls within the incredibly broad category of "strategy." You nutter.

Yeah, I mean for turn-based games the gamepad isn't a huge issue.
Sure, a mouse might be better, but since you have as long as you want
to take your turn, the gamepad works.

Kevin McGuire

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Oct 28, 2000, 8:47:22 AM10/28/00
to
Istvan (ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net) wrote:

: An exception does not make a rule.

: For every Half-life there is a Daikatana, Klingon Honor Guard etc.
: At least those don't take forever.

Uh, Daikatana certainly did. And it was just as bad as we expected it to
be.

: Mark Asher wrote:
: > Last year Mythos released Magic and Mayhem. I don't think they've been


: > working on Dreamland for 3 years.

: Which happens to be a totally mediocre game. That's really encouraging.
: Obviously Dreamland will be M&M and then some.

Actually, Magic and Mayhem was quite a spiffy little game. The magic
system was creative, interesting, and very fun to tinker with. The enemy
AI was quite tough, and there were always several different ways to win.
I had so much fun playing through the M&M campaign that I played it again
to see how different spell combos would work. It was an extremely fun
game, not to mention the great soundtrack by Afro-Celt Sound System.

I wasn't thrilled with Xcom:Apoc, but after Magic & Mayhem, I'm
definitely looking forward to Dreamland. My only choice is whether to
play it on the PS2 or the PC.

--
Kevin McGuire University of Pennsylvania
Spelling tip: I win, you _lose_. You are the _loser_ of the game.
This XXL shirt is really _loose_. I can't see how it could
be _looser_.

Detritus

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Oct 28, 2000, 11:28:52 AM10/28/00
to
Mark,

Thanks for posting that, 's an enjoyable read.

Is there an online copy of that anywhere that I could link to? I run a
Dreamland fansite and it'd be nice to add it to my list of interview links.

l8r,
Detritus

"Mark Asher" <ma...@cdmnet.com> wrote in message

news:7vhjvs8n3aajqt1lc...@4ax.com...

> which I did not know how to win - I didn't know which were the best


> strategies or tactics, even though I designed all the games systems.
> That is what makes a good strategy game.
>
> 7. Do you still work with your brother at Mythos? What's that like?
>
> Gollop: I still work with Nick, and together we manage the company.
> Its OK these days...I am used to the humiliation of been bullied by a
> younger brother.
>
> 8. What is the coolest thing about Dreamland?
>
> Gollop: There are so many cool things, I don't know where to start. I
> get a lot of smug satisfaction blowing the head of an alien and
> playing soccer with it -- passing from soldier to soldier -- and still
> being able to meet the mission objectives.
>
> 9. Did you ever wonder that if there really are aliens watching us,
> they might be ticked off by all the computer games that portray them
> as evil lunkheads?
>
> Gollop: If the aliens were devious enough I am sure that they probably
> have a hand in promoting these games just to lull us into a false
> sense of security. Maybe next time we should make a game from the
> aliens' point of view, wiping out the selfish, anti-social pests known
> as humans.
>
> 10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien
> in Apocalypse. Where's the menace?!?
>

> Gollop: Hmmm. I think you would have to ask the artist about that one.

richar...@hotmail.com

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Oct 28, 2000, 11:47:23 AM10/28/00
to
In article <39FA485...@nospam.prodigy.net>,

Istvan <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:
> richar...@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> > The only program that seemed to be providing you hope in regards
to
> > PC gaming you are now giving up on? I thought you were supposed to
> > bail out on PC gaming until something worthwhile showed up. Is that
>
> That's exactly what pisses me off about this game in the first place.
>
> Who says it is going to be a good game? Well this belief is like
> in the air floating around although my bladder pressure too tells me
so.
It is an XCom like title, done with the latest graphics, by the
original makers of XCom. This leads people to believe it may be a good
game. Heck, even you bought into it. Myself, I am immune to all this
XCom hype. I never did get into the original. I find the mix of
tactical and strategic to be disorienting. Also, I don't get my
jollies out of watching nearly all my squad bite the dust on the first
encounter. It is a PREFERENCE thing. Please don't tell me I am
missing the world here. No sir, I just don't like it.

> What proof is there? One good came written like twenty years ago?
>Duh!

I think you suffer a bit from excessively large expectations,
perhaps spawned the flukey time at Microprose, where they, within a 3
year period of so, released like 6 titles or so that all of a sudden
became benchmarks by which all of a sudden became titles people
compared all other titles to (Pirates!, Civilization, Railroad Tycoon,
Masters of Magic, Master of Orion, X-Com). One could also throw
Command HQ in the mix here.

> It comes out for Playstaion 2 people, the mediocre system squarely
> aimed at total idiots paying thousnds of dollars for it. Is this
> where the next great white hope will be born. get real.

Please explain to me what happened with you bolting from the PC to
consoles, only to play Dreamcast games and a few said classics on your
PC? I would say you are back to vent about Dreamland Chronicles, but
you are also posting abou Zeus. As I asked before, is it the lack of
strategy titles on the Dreamcast that has resulted in your return?

By the way, a PS2 is not THOUSANDS of dollars, except for those who are
going EBay insane.

Marcus J. Maunula

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Oct 28, 2000, 12:07:34 PM10/28/00
to

"Mark Asher" <ma...@cdmnet.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:a92kvs448puebjgsg...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 17:03:12 -0400, Istvan
> <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:
(snip)

> >As far as I'm concerned Dreamland is just another Daikatana
> >lots of talk about nonexitent features. C'mon people! get real!
> >it is developed for Playstation for God's sake, when did you
> >see a startegy game that could be played well with a gamepad?
>
> Wait, isn't this Istvan "I'm trading in my PC for a Dreamcast" Albert?

The problem is that logics doesn't apply for Istvan. His brain runs under
some
dated and flawed fuzzy logic system.

Marcus


J. Lutes

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Oct 28, 2000, 1:10:01 PM10/28/00
to

Istvan wrote:
>
> "J. Lutes" wrote:
>
> > Um, I had a Playstation before I had a PC, and the first time I played
> > X-Com it was on the Playstation. I found it easy enough to play through
> > to the end five different times, on the Veteran difficulty level; in
> > fact, the gamepad was in some ways easier to use. I also spent many
> > hours playing some other excellent strategy games on the PS, like Panzer
>
> for the record, there is a tremendous difference between a game
> being ported to Playstation or being initially planned and developed
> for it.


Thanks again for enlightening me. I had no idea.


> I have yet to see a game that was planned for a console yet plays
> well on a PC.


I thought you were playing console games now. Why do you care about
about PC ports? Is Dreamland being planned for a console first, and then
ported? Cite your source.


> (or has any depth, okay you may come with you Final
> Fantasy argument again, you did that some time ago, let me tell you this I actually was unfortunate to trust the reviewers and get FF8.
> I consider it the stupidest games ever created, yet ever reviewer
> was in trance when talking bout it. So I have zero faith
> in your opinion about any game bearing that name FF Tactics whatever.).


I have no interest at all in the FF RPGs, I find them terrifically dull.
Discounting FF Tactics by association, without playing it, just confirms
your ignorance.


> > never giving the gamepad a second thought once I learned a particular
> > game's control system.
>
> It is a matter of individual tolerance. Like it or not
> you are one of the insignificant few that are willing to put up
> with a design revolving around a gamepad.
>
> Istvan.


Did it ever occur to you that the reason strategy games haven't taken
off on consoles might have to do with their target demographic? Maybe
you have a hard time accepting the fact that most of your fellow console
gamers are in their teens. The most popular console action games require
players to use the gamepad to perform absurdly complex and unintuitive
sequences of button pushing -- more than any strategy game -- and
thousands upon thousands of people are willing to put up with those
designs "revolving around a gamepad." It seems more to me an issue of
"hard" strategy games appealing to the console demographic, not the
control system employed.

Please have a seat on the couch.

Where did you develop your superiority complex? Did your parents instill
it in you from an early age? Is it a product of your cultural
background, middle-class arrogance, or genetics? I really want to know.

"For the record," Istvan, your self-imposed exile from this group,
haughty dismissal of PC games, and subsequent reversion on both counts
just proves that you, like most of us here, suffer from a mild form of
addiction, both to the group and PC games. Maybe if you accepted that
fact, instead of repeatedly indulging in things you apparently despise
and then taking out your self-loathing on the rest of us, you'd find a
little peace.

Is all of this really worth all of the time, energy, and effort you have
put into it? None of us think so. But of course we're all, to the last,
just gnats caught in the typhoon of your intellect. Bring us the truth,
Istvan. Cleanse us and make us free!

Mark Asher

unread,
Oct 28, 2000, 1:42:49 PM10/28/00
to
On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 16:28:52 +0100, "Detritus" <jibby...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Mark,
>
>Thanks for posting that, 's an enjoyable read.
>
>Is there an online copy of that anywhere that I could link to? I run a
>Dreamland fansite and it'd be nice to add it to my list of interview links.


Nah, they don't have it online, though CGW does have a Dreamland
preview online you might want to link to:

http://www.zdnet.com/cgw/stories/main/0,11529,2607682,00.html

Sorry I can't be of more help. I wouldn't mind checking out your site
though. Send me the URL.

Baron Calamity

unread,
Oct 29, 2000, 12:14:50 AM10/29/00
to
On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 03:57:10 GMT, richar...@hotmail.com wrote:

> And yet, you dropped out of PC gaming to play a DREAMCAST instead,
>which has ZERO strategy games for it?


And what is Railroad Tycoon 2?


Baron Calamity
http://rcmerritt.homestead.com
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?
We might,if they screamed all the time,for no good reason."-Jack Handey

Istvan

unread,
Oct 28, 2000, 11:42:48 PM10/28/00
to

"J. Lutes" wrote:

> Did it ever occur to you that the reason strategy games haven't taken
> off on consoles might have to do with their target demographic?

No. Because it probaly ain't true. It is not old grondards that made
the RTS genre what it is now. If you have hard facts comparing the
target demographics of C&C and say Final Fantasy 8 please share them
with us. I bet you don't, and your argument is something like:
"well, they are obviously different".

> designs "revolving around a gamepad." It seems more to me an issue of
> "hard" strategy games appealing to the console demographic, not the
> control system employed.

I don't understrand what is so dificult to accept here. To be
able to employ a good startegy one needs good situation awareness
(for example you can click at any point to find out what the
LOS is at that point, or what resources are there) needs very
good information management tools, who can do what, costs how much,
etc. A gamepad cannot be sucesfully used for this purpose.
you can even read the text on the TV screen unless is huge.

Navigating with the gamepad to select a bunch of units, a tile
or a button is one of the most painful things in console gaming.

> addiction, both to the group and PC games. Maybe if you accepted that
> fact, instead of repeatedly indulging in things you apparently despise
> and then taking out your self-loathing on the rest of us, you'd find a
> little peace.

Maybe, it could be so.

Yet I like to believe that double standards, injustice and bloated
ignorance is what sets me off. And maybe you just can't sense
this underlying texture of some personalities.

Istvan.

Istvan

unread,
Oct 28, 2000, 11:53:08 PM10/28/00
to

Mark Asher wrote:

> I thought it interesting that you, an avowed console fan, would be
> disappointed in Dreamland coming out on a console. Of course, about
> the only real consistency you display is a wide streak of
> inconsistency.

Well Mark to make a long story short I consider YOU
with a couple of other people personally responsible of
having some lost souls like Richard Hutnik consider
Dreamland the next best thing since sliced bread. Why?

So what happens if it will suck? Will you give back the
money you have gotten for writing a certain piece?

In my view all your manifestations are projections of what you
would like the game to be, instead of what it is shaping up to be.
I want the people close to the industry to give me a clear view
of what is happening and not what I/he/she would like to happen.

Too much bias and no proofs,

Istvan.

Mark Asher

unread,
Oct 29, 2000, 1:03:54 AM10/29/00
to
On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 23:53:08 -0400, Istvan
<ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:

>
>Mark Asher wrote:
>
>> I thought it interesting that you, an avowed console fan, would be
>> disappointed in Dreamland coming out on a console. Of course, about
>> the only real consistency you display is a wide streak of
>> inconsistency.
>
>Well Mark to make a long story short I consider YOU
>with a couple of other people personally responsible of
>having some lost souls like Richard Hutnik consider
>Dreamland the next best thing since sliced bread. Why?

Er, Richard just said he wasn't an X-COM fan and wasn't charged up
about Dreamland as a result.

>So what happens if it will suck? Will you give back the
>money you have gotten for writing a certain piece?

Of course not. I never wrote that I guarantee that the game will be
great. All I ever said was that I was excited about it and looking
forward to seeing it. Mythos has a good track record and this is the
unofficial sequel to perhaps the best computer game ever -- X-COM.

>In my view all your manifestations are projections of what you
>would like the game to be, instead of what it is shaping up to be.
>I want the people close to the industry to give me a clear view
>of what is happening and not what I/he/she would like to happen.

So what is it shaping up to be? All you seem to be complaining about
is that they're licensing an engine and the game isn't done yet.
Neither of those things bothers me. In fact, they could very well be
positives instead of the negatives you imply.

>Too much bias and no proofs,

Istvan, you're the king of pre-judging games before you ever play
them.

richar...@hotmail.com

unread,
Oct 29, 2000, 10:06:22 AM10/29/00
to
In article <ks8nvsou5lisvgg3g...@4ax.com>,

Baron Calamity <rcme...@home.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 03:57:10 GMT, richar...@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> > And yet, you dropped out of PC gaming to play a DREAMCAST instead,
> >which has ZERO strategy games for it?
>
> And what is Railroad Tycoon 2?

Oops, I forgot about that. BUT, the Dreamcast isn't noted for the
strategy titles it has. Railroad Tycoon 2 is about it. Others may be
coming, but they are PC ports, for the most part. I don't know if
there is a single unique strategy title coming out for the PC. I am
trusting my memory on this, because it would of been on my radar of a
game to consider (I have a Dreamcast). I think they may be the sequel
to Iron Storm for the Dreamcast though.

Detritus

unread,
Oct 29, 2000, 11:33:35 AM10/29/00
to
The site's http://maximumdreamland.com .

At the moment I've just provided forums for people to discus the game on and
a fully indexed links catalog with everything I can find Dreamland related
[I already link to that preview you mentioned, thanks ;o)]. I'm currenly
writing a series of summation articles which basically try to collate a lot
of the disperate info on the net to try and form a reasonable picture of the
finished game by quoting articles and linking sources. I'll also do some
features of my own to back this up but am having trouble getting into
contact with Mythos so will have to keep those on hold until I can speak to
someone directly associated with the game's development.

Hope you like the site. It's only been live for six days now so is
relatively immature but I hope it'll grow into a valuable resource for the
game.

l8r,
Detritus

"Mark Asher" <ma...@cdmnet.com> wrote in message

news:cs3mvsov6d6htcg3e...@4ax.com...

SilentDreams

unread,
Oct 30, 2000, 3:23:42 AM10/30/00
to
In article <39FB9CB8...@nospam.prodigy.net>,

Istvan <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote:
> Yet I like to believe that double standards, injustice and bloated
> ignorance is what sets me off.

You must spend an awful lot of time being pissed off at yourself, in
that case.

Bob Perez

unread,
Oct 30, 2000, 10:51:04 AM10/30/00
to
I've been wondering what ever happened to you and your 30-day tabulations.
Something in particular set you off recently or is it just phasing?

BP

"Istvan" <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:39FB9CB8...@nospam.prodigy.net...

Istvan

unread,
Oct 30, 2000, 4:50:53 PM10/30/00
to

Bob Perez wrote:

> Something in particular set you off recently

That's exactly right.

Istvan.

Kevin

unread,
Oct 31, 2000, 4:03:56 PM10/31/00
to
Inside message comments..


Mark Asher wrote:

> On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 20:03:06 GMT, Kevin <kre...@home.com> wrote:
>
> >They could have taken thier time to interview a great game designer and ask
> >for his opinions and questions that really mattered, instead like always
> >they do the mostly-joke interview that fluffy people like to read on the
> >toilet. However you don't gain anything from reading that article.
>
> Yeah, it's too bad that the interviewer didn't ask questions like:
>

> 2. The pausable real-time combat in X-COM Apocalypse worked well. Why
> are you returning to turn-based combat with Dreamland?
>

Considering X-com 3 was one of the crappiest x-com games released and well hated
Who gives a shit what the answer is, also I would have to say a great deal of
people (mostly x-com fans) hated the real-time combat and it sucked and didn't
work at all.


>
> 6. X-COM was responsible for more missing gaps in time than any aliens
> could ever hope to be. What made it special?
>

It was a good game? what kind of answer do you expect from a st00pid question
like that.


>
> 8. What is the coolest thing about Dreamland?
>

Maybe you could go with a question about a 'specific cool thing'.... ask a broad
question, get a post-it-note answer that is on thier webpage...

>
> 10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien
> in Apocalypse. Where's the menace?!?
>

Once again 3 was a flop and who carez

>
> 12. What's the secret of designing a good game?
>

Its all in the sauce another useless question...


>
> And:


>
> 13. Ever consider doing an updated Laser Squad?
>

OK now THAT is one good question (although the answer is obvious, x-com and
dreamland ARE updated laser squad games)
(and YES I played and LOVED lasersquad, me and a friend had the maps memorized
for where the enemies were heh. it was great 2-player as well, something I miss
from X-com)

Thingking of that why didn't they ask about multi-player like laser squad?


>
> >
> >
> >Mark Asher wrote:
> >
> >> On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 14:02:53 -0500, "Jeremy Reaban"
> >> <j...@Xconnectria.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> >Mark Asher wrote in message
> >> ><7vhjvs8n3aajqt1lc...@4ax.com>...


> >> >>What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for
> >> >CGW
> >> >>with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
> >> >>time, X-COM, so I thought I'd republish it here. A shorter version of
> >> >>this appeared in CGW 4 or 5 months ago.

> >> ><snip>
> >> >
> >> >Things like this are why I don't read CGW anymore...although to be
> >> >fair, pretty much all so called gaming journalism is like
> >> >that...fluffy and shallow.
> >>
> >> It took up half a page in the magazine. You found it completely
> >> uninteresting? I guess they could have published an article on the
> >> algorithms for determining hits and misses in Combat Mission. Maybe
> >> I'll suggest that to them.

Baron Calamity

unread,
Oct 31, 2000, 10:51:41 PM10/31/00
to
On Tue, 31 Oct 2000 21:03:56 GMT, Kevin <kre...@home.com> wrote:

>Considering X-com 3 was one of the crappiest x-com games released and well hated
>Who gives a shit what the answer is, also I would have to say a great deal of
>people (mostly x-com fans) hated the real-time combat and it sucked and didn't
>work at all.

I am a major Xcom fan and the pausable real time worked great. Best
ever combination of turn base and real time yet. Now for crappy Xcom
games, you haven't played Xcom Intercepter have you?


>> 10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien
>> in Apocalypse. Where's the menace?!?
>
>Once again 3 was a flop and who carez

I care because I liked it. I can appricate that you don't like the
game but don't speak for everyone else.

Mark Asher

unread,
Oct 31, 2000, 11:05:24 PM10/31/00
to
On Wed, 01 Nov 2000 03:51:41 GMT, Baron Calamity <rcme...@home.com>
wrote:

>On Tue, 31 Oct 2000 21:03:56 GMT, Kevin <kre...@home.com> wrote:
>
>>Considering X-com 3 was one of the crappiest x-com games released and well hated
>>Who gives a shit what the answer is, also I would have to say a great deal of
>>people (mostly x-com fans) hated the real-time combat and it sucked and didn't
>>work at all.
>
>I am a major Xcom fan and the pausable real time worked great. Best
>ever combination of turn base and real time yet. Now for crappy Xcom
>games, you haven't played Xcom Intercepter have you?

Yeah, the pausable combat worked really well. Apoc was a pretty cool
game in a lot of ways. If only it had stuck to the graphic style of
the first game.

Still, I'm glad they're going back to turn-based for Dreamland.

Baron Calamity

unread,
Nov 1, 2000, 6:27:20 AM11/1/00
to
On Tue, 31 Oct 2000 22:05:24 -0600, Mark Asher <ma...@cdmnet.com>
wrote:

>Yeah, the pausable combat worked really well. Apoc was a pretty cool
>game in a lot of ways. If only it had stuck to the graphic style of
>the first game.
>
>Still, I'm glad they're going back to turn-based for Dreamland.

I agree. Turn base is better. That or I'm getting slow in my old age.
;)

Knight37

unread,
Nov 1, 2000, 4:48:20 PM11/1/00
to

Ditto that.

--

Knight37

"Quite an experience to live in fear."
-- Roy Batty, "Blade Runner"

Knight37

unread,
Nov 1, 2000, 4:46:44 PM11/1/00
to
Quoting ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net (Istvan) from Sat, 28 Oct 2000
03:30:31 GMT:

>It comes out for Playstaion 2 people, the mediocre system squarely
>aimed at total idiots paying thousnds of dollars for it. Is this
>where the next great white hope will be born. get real.

Speaking of PS2 and X-COM, has anyone taken a look at that X-Squad game for
the PS2? What kind of game is it? Is it any good? Why or why not?

--

Knight37

"Origin could be a great company if they would learn to stop talking to
thier customers with "My loyal customers, signed your humble servent" yadda
yadda after slipping people Mr. Winky." -- Falsadoom on csipg.rpg

Kevin

unread,
Nov 2, 2000, 5:23:06 PM11/2/00
to
Heh well I have played intercepter but I don't really even class that as a real x-com
game :}
(and didn't partake very long in playing it either, although it lasted longer
than 3 becuase it at least had some strategic value)

Well I'll let the reviews and general public input from x-com 3 that it was the
dead-end for the x-com series, sure it wasn't a BAD game but it was no-where near an
x-com game and shouldn't have been released under the x-com label (as interceptor
shouldn't either). They basically wasted thier entire programing time/design time
making useless RT, and a even more useless strategic/base command interface that was
very poorly done as well. I would imagin that they send polls out and get input from
the millions of fools about what they wanted to see x-com go in directions, and its
unfortunate that so many people were high on C&C and warcraft 2 at the time, and
wanted nothing more than city-based real-time combat. X-com 3 was the result and it
was a giant let-down for me, and I still beleive most of the original x-com fans.
Although some people that probably only lightly played x-com or played them as 'older
games' may have liked x-com 3. I almost find it hard to beleive anyone actually
finished that pile.

Bob Perez

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Nov 3, 2000, 4:57:25 AM11/3/00
to

"Istvan" <ialb...@nospam.prodigy.net> wrote in message
news:39FDED3D...@nospam.prodigy.net...

>
>
> Bob Perez wrote:
>
> > Something in particular set you off recently
>
> That's exactly right.
>

And what was that?

BP

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