For the past year, I’ve covered indie games for Forbes. Each feature included developer interviews and insights into this rapidly evolving (and crowded) market. These nearly 100 pieces covered the independent scene from across continents, with games varying in scope, budget, and scale.
You can read them all at Forbes.
“Does that mean the company might follow TMNT with Konami’s other popular brawlers like The Simpsons or X-Men? Bachrach paused for a few seconds when we asked him, then he replied, “Uh, we agree with you that they are very popular cabinets.”
He laughed. So, are those games happening too? “Maybe,” he said with another laugh. “I cannot confirm or deny that.”
Read the full interview at ArsTechnica
“The story of Ghostbusters was the result of a two week brainstorming session in 1983 (with Reitman joined by stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in Martha’s Vineyard), and a pure Reagan-era reaction. The supernatural entity Gozer was the villain, but so was the government.
“I’ve been sort of a Libertarian,” Reitman says. “I’m actually a double immigrant. Coming to Canada from Czechoslovakia and then immigrating to America from Canada did make me believe in the power of capitalism and the power of the intelligent individual which has been a theme from many of my films.”’
Read my full interview with Ivan Reitman on Polygon
“In 2019, you have to wonder if Walter Peck had a point–no one really knows what effects the Busters’ ghost containment system might have, and the team freely admits to wearing unlicensed nuclear accelerators on their backs. “It’s ironic, the EPA is supposed to do such good work, and they were the villains in the movie,” Aykroyd mused. “Now, some people feel the EPA are absolute villains, according to some of the assessments of their performance now, but I don’t know, we’ll see. It will all come out in the air we breathe, and the water we drink.”‘
You can read part 1 of my Dan Aykroyd interview at Gamespot
Part 2 is also available
“But as Pachter notes, this shift to digital is not definitive. What’s happening is complicated. Simply saying physical games sales fell in revenue doesn’t consider the multitude of other factors. The disc isn’t dead.”
Read my full feature on physical discs via Variety
“Division 2” is the worst of ‘stand your ground’ laws and ‘good guy with a gun’ beliefs. Enemies wander the streets, guns outstretched sideways as they blindly fire like Hollywood’s abysmal thug stereotypes. There’s no narrative context for their actions, or why all of them willingly die for their cause – or what their cause actually is. They just hate innocents. That makes them easy villains to conservative eyes. They’re bad guys, the lot of them, and that’s all anyone needs to know. “The Division 2” may as well be Carlson’s primetime lead.”
Read my full review of The Division 2 at Variety
““Crackdown 3” makes The Agency a righteous hero. Before, they took on an anti-hero performance, a conventional spin on “Judge Dredd.” It’s an interesting transformation for “Crackdown,” dealt with a heavy-handed, anti-corporate mindset. That’s derivative in contemporary media. It seems implausible anyone chose to live in New Providence, poisoned water and blatant propaganda blaring over loudspeakers (which can be hacked to push Agency propaganda so no one wins). Then again, someone in real-world power does indeed want a wall to keep out refugees and people show support, so who knows.”
Read my full review of Crackdown 3 at Variety
“In the four to six months of life given to “Diablo Junior,” Morin and his team debated a number of ideas. One was whether or not to make a turn-based, traditional RPG or something akin to the PC’s hack-and-slash style. If anything held influence, that was Nintendo’s massive success with “Pokemon.” Imagine “Diablo” split off into multiple cartridges, either with different character classes (a Knight on one, a Mage on another) or varying monster types to find/collect/trade.”
Read my full story on Diablo: Jr at Variety
“In those final months, Secret Level laid off a number of junior staff members. In their place, the studio hired a number of experienced designers, artists, and coders in attempt to salvage the fledgling “Beast Rider.” Even producers shifted on the charge to turn “Beast Rider” into something playable. But it still wasn’t playable after a delay to finish “Iron Man,” still struggling with frame rate problems and uneven vision.
Butler came in with a year to go. “They gave me a design document and said don’t read it. It was about the size of the bible. They said that’s all changed now.”
When Acero joined on with two years to go, he was told, “You’re basically inheriting a mess,” he says.”
Read my full feature on Golden Axe: Beast Rider at Variety
“Alongside destruction, cultural concerns enter the discussion, particularly religious sensitivities. “Even though it was a fully destructible game, we’re not going to allow anyone playing the game to destroy mosques. We don’t want that to be recorded, videoed, and then put on YouTube and it shows people laughing. Suddenly, you’d trivialized a nation’s culture,” says Cheever.”
Read my full piece on Six Days in Fallujah at Variety