Dear Dan. Talking with Dan Pinchbeck. Part 4

Dan Pinchbeck talk with Klarden

(original photo here)

It’s time for the final part of the super long and exciting talk with Dan Pinchbeck. As promised, we talk about CryEngine, pros and cons of making two games at once, my dream design idea, “meaningless” assets in games, Dan gives advices on Surviva– grr…Survarium and then goes all out with his love and admiration for STALKER series. But we start with an awkward pause from the last part.

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Dear Dan. Talking with Dan Pinchbeck. Part 3

Dan Pinchbeck talk with Klarden

(original photo here)

And a week after, here’s a new part of my talk with Dan Pinchbeck, the creative director of thechineseroom. This time, we’re going to talk a bit more about the two new projects of the studio, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, but not without talking about his influences and his undying love for STALKER and Metro.

In the third part of the talk specifically, we discuss the importance of music, sound design and voice acting for games, the importance of narrative and characters over the plot, the reasons why Amnesia was a scary game and why Daniel’s character was the best part of Amnesia story.

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Dear Dan. Talking with Dan Pinchbeck. Part 2

Dan Pinchbeck talk with Klarden

(original photo here)

And now, the second part of my talk with Dan Pinchbeck. We talk about the game pricing, strange “price per hour” concept in game pricing, influence of indie bundles and steam on game sales, popularity of Kickstarter, greatness of Indie Fund and wish for there to be something “in the middle”, the concept of franchises made by several small indie companies as a level up from modding scene, Dan’s fondness of soviet and post-soviet science-fiction and videogames and difficulties of going from a mod or a free game to the commercial release.

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Dear Dan. Talking with Dan Pinchbeck. Part 1

Dan Pinchbeck talk with Klarden

(original photo here)

After wondering for a bit on why won’t a finally buy a webcam and start trying to interview different game developers I made the only right decision – bought a webcam and tried to interview a game developer. The first “victim” of my complete lack of knowledge on Skype talks was Dan Pinchbeck, creative director of thechineseroom, who has recently released their first commercial game – Dear Esther. Originally released as a source mod in 2008, it changed perceptions of lots of people about what can be done with a videogame medium. And recent commercial release, done in collaboration with incredibly talented level designer and environment artist Robert Briscoe, allowed Dear Esther to be known to a bigger audience.

Given my admiration for the game (and work on the Russian translation for it), it’s not surprising that I was interested in knowing one of the key people behind the project better. And while video quality, and my embarrassingly nervous talk and unexpectedly bad accent (because of long inexperience period, I’m a good translator otherwise, honest -_-) prevent you from seeing the recording of our talk, you can still read it.

In this first part, we talk about the unexpected success of Dear Esther, other early experiments, what makes horror games great and why Amnesia was an amazing game, the importance of interface and health counters and what we both love and hate with game hints and tutorials.

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