Posted tagged ‘interview’

An interview with Galloping Ghost

July 15, 2009


AH contributor Aaron Auzins has done an interview with Galloping Ghost Productions (makers of the new arcade fighter Dark Presence), and has been kind enough to pass it along to us. It gets into a lot of detail about GGP as a company as well as the long development process behind their upcoming arcade fighter Dark Presence.  Since it is too large to fit the whole thing on the front page, just hit the post break to read the rest. AA will denote Aaron who is asking the questions and Doc is the head of GG who is answering them.

AA: First of all, can you tell us how Galloping Ghost originally formed?
What prompted the initial desire to produce games for the arcade

Doc: I actually started Galloping Ghost back in 1994 when attempting to
make a game with many of the same features as Dark Presence, but the
technology just was not there to do all the things we wanted. The
video quality was not the greatest from the start, and most of the
software tools had to be written from scratch. We got that game
nearly complete after several years. It was fun to play, but visually
it was not up to standards, so it never was released. After a break,
we started everything over and headed back to the filming studio. We
spent close to 3 years filming all of Dark Presence and Conquering
Light. We are still a pretty small company and most of the staff has
to pull multiple duties, but that has really only made things run very
cohesively for such a large project.

The making of Defender

July 7, 2009



Defender is a well-known arcade classic and if you have ever wondered about some of the details involved in how the game came about, one site has interviewed Eugene Jarvis to get the rundown on what it took to get the game together. Before reading this I hadn’t realized that the game was supposed to be a mash-up of both Space Invaders and Asteroids, but obviously the game came out into it’s own with certain factors like the horizontal scrolling and the need to defend friendly beings. I hate to admit that I have never played the arcade version on the real thing – I grew up playing Defender on the Atari 2600 and later on the Atari Jaguar with Defender 2000 which includes the original arcade version on it which is where I played the original for the first time.

For more on Defender and how it came to be, click on the link below.

[The Making of Defender –] [Discuss on the Forums]

Fascinating interview with Rusty Dawes, ex-Atari Games employee

June 25, 2009



If you are like me and you enjoy delving into stories of what creating arcade games is like, then this interview is for you. Coinopspace has posted a raw transcript of an interview they did with ex-Atari employee, Russel ‘Rusty’ Dawes. Rusty worked on a slew of Atari arcade titles over his ten year stay with the company, including titles like I, Robot, Cloak & Dagger, Paperboy, Rampart and more. He discusses those games as well as some that never made it to the light of day, easter eggs that can be found in a few games and more. It’s fairly long but full of fascinating information that is worth reading. Hit the link below for the full thing.

[Rusty Dawes Transcript @ Rotheblog] [Coinopspace] [Discuss on the Forums]

Steve Ranck discusses more H2Overdrive and dispels console release rumors

June 17, 2009

Here’s a little bit more H2Overdrive info to whet your appetite, this is the last part of the interview series that Noe V. did with the Specular Interactive team and in this part he finishes discussing the game with Steve Ranck, CEO of the company. Instead of posting this to his 1up blog, Noe V. has provided us with the video link first, to which we thank him! They talk a little bit about track and game design, delve further into the hardware running the game and then comes the question about a home release. I have seen rumors in different spots that a console version is in the works but as it turns out, this is not the case. See the video for the response and the reason why.

Personal thoughts on H2Overdrive being an arcade exclusive: As an operator this pleases me tremendously. As unprofessional as this sounds, nothing sucks more than to buy a big expensive game that has a console release come along and undermine sales a short time later. We can always debate the real effects of home ports but either way I look at it like this (as both an operator and a player): consoles get their exclusives that never come out on anything else and so I do not see why arcades cannot share the same idea. Granted home releases are a little different due to accessibility, but a great arcade game generally will see awesome sales that can lead to the game showing up all over the place.

[Discuss on the Forums]

My interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive on H2Overdrive and more

June 4, 2009

A few months back Arcade Heroes was privileged to reveal H2Overdrive to the world and now I have done an interview with the man whose company is behind the game’s development, Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. We go into more, never-before-revealed details on Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive upcoming boat racer and a few other arcade related things. So without further adieu, let’s get started and remember to click on the link at the bottom to read the full thing.

First, about Steve:

Steve Ranck is the President and founder of Specular Interactive, Inc.  He’s been developing games since age 12, and professionally since 1994.  Prior to Specular, Steve cofounded Swingin’ Ape Studios, Inc. which developed the critically acclaimed Metal Arms: Glitch in the System before the company was purchased by Blizzard Entertainment in 2005.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and history in the arcade sector.

Specular Interactive was formed in 2007 to develop great arcade games.  Most of our employees have worked together before at former companies, and a good number of us worked on the original Hydro Thunder arcade game back in 1997-1999.  Collectively, we have a lot of seasoned arcade developers here.  But at the same time, our team members have also worked on a number of console games and so we have a lot of experience with modern engine architecture and graphics hardware.  Our goal is to develop a series of high quality arcade games by combining our arcade design experience with modern graphics technology and hardware, and do it all at a price point that’s affordable for today’s Stingrayoperators.  Our first game which we feel delivers just that is H2Overdrive, a high-action, addictive power boat racing game.

Q: How did the idea for H2Overdrive come about?

In early 2007, Eugene Jarvis, developer of arcade megahits such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, and the Cruis’n series, was receiving feedback from arcade operators that wanted a boat racing game that would succeed Hydro Thunder.  Eugene’s company, Raw Thrills, had already developed a number of very successful arcade games before getting requests for a boat racing game.  Eugene called and proposed the idea of me forming a team to develop the game.  The idea of developing a high-action boat racing game on modern graphics hardware for the arcade sounded like an incredible opportunity.  I formed Specular Interactive shortly after and we began the ground-up development of H2Overdrive.

Q: How long has the game been in development and how large of a team has worked on it?

H2Overdrive’s been in development for 2 years, starting with a team of 3 and growing to 14 developers during the peak of development.

Q: There are several aspects that H2Overdrive shares with Hydro Thunder, what makes H2Overdrive not only different from HT, but better?


Space Invaders creator Tomohiro Nishikado talks SI, arcades and more

May 12, 2009


toshiroSpace Invaders has finally gotten around to getting an Xbox Live remake and with it USA Today has done an interview with the original SI creator Tomohiro Nishikado where he discusses how he came up with the idea for the game, the state of video games in general and the arcade experience. I never had known that a prototype of SI had the player shooting people but Taito wasn’t happy with that and had him change it. He heard about Star Wars coming along, figured that space themed stuff was going to become a fad and it went from there. While it’s not terribly long, it’s a good interview so check it out by clikcing on the link below.

[Tomohiro Nishikado Interview] [Discuss on the Forum] interviews KOFXII producer Maasaki Kukinko

March 24, 2009



A lot of people are excited about SNK’s upcoming King Of Fighters XII. I am one of them although I do admit that my enthusiasm for the game has been dampered a little bit by the impending console release in the US on July 7th (the game is scheduled to be released in arcades in Japan in April) and it seems like they have decided to use the VS. format only for the game like SFIV which means that operators have to buy two units, thus increasing the cost of investment on the game (in the comments fubarduck says otherwise). Despite those problems (from my operator point of view), it  still looks like a great game so I look forward to playing it either way.

Anyways, there is an interview up on French gaming site Jeuxactu with the producer of KOFXII, Maasaki Kukinko. They talk about HD graphics and the decision to stick with 2D art for this one, how the gameplay compares to other KOF games (it appears that they are trying to make it feel more like KOF98) and more. Hit the link below for the translation.

[Maasaki Kukinko Interview – Jeuxactu] [Discuss on the Forum]

Namco talks about arcades, future titles

February 14, 2009



Highway Games has posted an interview they had with Casey Utsunomiya of Namco Bandai Japan and they discuss Namco’s stance in the arcade industry, their thoughts on it, and future titles. It’s good to hear that they will continue to give arcades a period between the arcade release and the console release so that operators have a chance to make back their investment. Also they drop hints that maybe there will be a new Soul Calibur game for arcades, along with sequels to some of their other popular games (probably Time Crisis and MaxiTune). I have to say personally however that I was more intrigued by some original titles like Razing Storm (although that looks very much like Crisis Zone) and Nirin than by seeing more sequels.

More to enjoy below

[Highway Games Interviews Casey Utsunomiya] [Discuss on the Forums]

A tale of two cities

January 19, 2009

It’s another one of those days, as contrasting stories emerge about the health of arcade gaming. Badness abounds as New Orleans CityBusiness is reporting that the original Fun Arcade in New Orleans is closing down after 37 years, leaving no traditional arcades in the area. The owner, 69 year old Jack Boasberg, blames the rise of game consoles and proclaims that “The traditional arcades will go the same way that drive-ins went“. Interestingly, the site of the second Fun Arcade (which closed in 2003) now hosts a LAN centre. The owner, 27 year old Michael Wagner, highlights an important problem with the expectations of those who would visit arcades: “When they make a new machine and it costs the arcade $20,000, people expect to pay a quarter to play it […]

Elsewhere in the USA, Dallas Morning News has interviewed Brian Ashcraft, regular Kotaku contributor and author of the book Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers. While the introduction to the interview is less than positive about the American arcade scene, Ashcraft provides some interesting insights into the differences between US arcade culture and Japanese arcade culture. It’s well worth a read for anyone looking to learn a little more about what is undoubtedly the arcade capital of the world.

[Home video games force arcades to pull the plug] [Dallas native chronicles Japan’s vibrant arcade culture in book] [Discuss on the Forums]

Another radio interview for Will Brierly, maker of Get Outta My Face!

January 15, 2009

Will Brierly, author of the new independent arcade title Get Outta My Face is still making the rounds in getting the word out about the game, via online radio shows. Unfortunately I arcade_cab_001didn’t find out about the show he was on until it was too late but according to the website of the show he was on (The ESCape Show) they have replays of previous episodes everyday at 6AM and 11PM EST every day and the episode should be in their archives section before too long. Even though I missed the show, I think that it’s great to see Will making an effort to spread the word of his game online, from his website, to youtube, to game talk-shows to us here. There is still no word on how much longer we’ll need to wait to see the game for sale to arcades everywhere but we’ll be sure to let you know when it happens.

In case you missed the info on Get Outta My Face, click here for our previous coverage on the game.

[Get Outta My Face website] [Discuss on the Forum]