October 30th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Interviews, Nick Newhard, Monolith, Blood, PC games, FPS, Halloween, anniversaries, 1997
Back in 2007, I intended to write an article about the 10th anniversary of Monolith's Blood, one of my personal favorite computer games. Accordingly, I contacted Nick Newhard, the designer and lead programmer of Blood, and arranged for an interview.
For whatever reason, my interview with Newhard didn't take place until April 2008 via email. (That's probably why I shelved the project.) Since it's almost Halloween — and it's the 15th anniversary of Blood this year — I thought I'd share this little gem from my archives. It should be a treat for any Blood fans that might be out there.
I'm presenting this interview a little more sparsely laid-out than I usually do just for the sake of expediency. Some day I will write more about Blood, but until then, I hope this nugget of history will tide you over.
By the way, you can buy Blood on GOG.com these days for $5.99 (price at present). It runs great in DOSBox on a fast machine — make sure you crank up the in-game display resolution for greatest effect. The game is amazing in 1440×900 VESA mode on a widescreen monitor.
I heartily endorse the thorough and frequent playing of Blood, as it is one of the greatest PC games of all time — in my opinion, at least.
[ Continue reading VC&G Anthology Interview: Nick Newhard on Monolith's Blood (2008) » ]
June 29th, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Trip Hawkins, Electronic Arts, Apple, Steve Jobs, Edge, revisionism, interviews, anniversaries, freelance work, 1982
Electronic Arts turned 30 on May 28th, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to check in with its founder, Trip Hawkins, on how he feels about Electronic Arts today. It's no secret that EA, while a massively successful company, takes a lot of heat from gamers on a number of issues (see this Retro Scan and its comments for more on that).
In an interview published at Edge Online, Hawkins and I spoke at length about Electronic Arts, including the founding of EA, finding early EA developers, his time at Apple, his friendship with Steve Jobs, and yes, how he feels about Electronic Arts today.
The resulting interview was so long that Edge decided to split it into five parts. It just published the last part today, so I thought I'd collect all the links here so you can read it.
Interestingly, there has been no mention of the company's 30th anniversary from Electronic Arts itself. Its staff was probably too busy revising its own history to notice.
December 12th, 2007 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Atari, Pong, Computer Space, Nolan Bushnell, Atari, Interviews
Earlier this year, I had the chance to interview Nolan Bushnell, career entrepreneur and nigh-but-legendary founder of Atari. For the last seven years, Bushnell has been pouring most of his energy into his latest venture, uWink — a sort of Chuck E. Cheese restaurant for adults.
Of course, being the history buff I am, I wanted Bushnell to clear up some things regarding articles I was working on at the time. Accordingly, we touched on a variety of topics, such as the origin of the term "video game," Steve Jobs at Atari, his "feud" with Ralph Baer, the Atari 800, and his wife's love of the Wii, among other things. Despite being such a grab bag of topics, I figured the interview was worth publishing in its entirety while it still feels relevant. Bushnell's thoughts deserve to be heard, especially since he took time out of his busy schedule to share them.
This interview took place on March 30th, 2007 over the telephone.
[ Continue reading VC&G Interview: Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari » ]
May 15th, 2007 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Interviews, Bill Harrison, Ralph Baer, Bill Rusch, Sanders, Magnavox, Brown Box, 1967
Forty years ago today, the world's first television video game contest took place in a small lab in Nashua, NH. The place was Sanders Associates, a large defense contractor, and the contestants were Ralph Baer and his technician, Bill Harrison. The inventions of these two men and a third, Bill Rusch, would later appear commercially as the Magnavox Odyssey console in 1972.
History has heard quite a bit from Baer recently, including an interview I conducted with him back in January. But most often overlooked is perspective of the second player in that monumental game, Bill Harrison, who built all of the original Sanders video game hardware by hand. Now 73 years old and retired, William L. Harrison finally gives his side of the story in his first ever interview, and it's exclusive to Vintage Computing and Gaming.
[ For more information on this important anniversary, read my feature, "Video Games Turn Forty," at 1UP.com. ]
[ Continue reading VC&G Interview: Bill Harrison, The First Video Game Hardware Guru » ]