Matt Chat 86: Bard's Tale IV and Wasteland II with Becky Burger

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Matt Barton's picture

In the truly final segment of my interview with Becky "Burger" Heineman, we chat about Becky's fervent desire to create new Bard's Tale and Wasteland games. We also talk about the often troubled relationship between publishers and developers, and how that structure moves original ideas to the margins of indie gaming. Becky also reveals her favorite 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Download the audio here (also available on iTunes).

Hehe, it appears that all it takes to get attention these days is announce the closing or shutting down of something. I guess people are like me; we don't know how much we like something until it's gone. Thankfully, we're often in a position to do something about it before it's too late!

I'm hoping that taking down and replacing Dungeon Master will allow me to gain the partnership. But of course that's really irrelevant if I don't have the audience. So, thanks for helping me build that up, attracting new people to the show. It'll be interesting to see where things go from here.

On a side note, I rendered this in SD instead of HD. I figured I'd take advantage of the ability to upload longer videos as long as they're limited in file size. I think I could have probably squeezed all this into HD, but the interview footage is SD anyway, so I didn't think it would make any real difference. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Is there any need to go HD when I'm not working with any HD footage (aside from the intro segments?)


Joined: 01/21/2009
I have to say this may be one

I have to say this may be one of my favorites of yours. Just like talking to somebody who likes games as much as we do. And I like the fact that she pulls no punchs, says what she wants and it doesnt come off bad (to me at least). Your title made me wonder if I had missed WASTELAND II... hehe...

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
The best segment yet!

I actually liked this segment the most! Thanks Matt

Joined: 07/15/2010
good on you Matt!

Good stuff, it was a real treat watching this lengthy interview with one of the heroes of game making - I was happy to discover the maker of my favorite series Bard's Tale / dragon wars to be such an illustrious figure. And you're such a great interviewer Matt, don't give this up. And congrats to the attention over at youtube

Joined: 05/20/2006
What a great personality,

What a great personality, she's quite a character.

The video looks fine in SD.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Catatonic wrote:

The video looks fine in SD.

Thanks, Catatonic. I agree, the only part that gets affected is my speaking segments, and even that doesn't look terrible IMO. The SD render is much faster, too, about 60 minutes for that whole video (it usually takes longer than that just for a 15 minute HD video at the lowest setting). Of course, I'll switch back to HD if it makes sense.

Tim Kane (not verified)

So wonderfully refreshing to hear from Rebecca Heineman.
I've been out of the industry for a good 10 years, but having grown up in the time of Bards Tale et al, this interview really takes me back.
Well done armchair arcade, and well done Rebecca Heineman.

The Half Life story made me want to cry. But if she ever gets a green light to do Bards Tale 4... wow.. I'm so there.

Scott (not verified)
Matt please keep the Chats

Matt please keep the Chats comin'. I have to admit I only watch the interviews but what great interviews they are. Your videos shed light on developers who would otherwise remain in the dark. It's amazing to hear the inside details of this industry and how it used to be and what's changed today. The Mac Half-Life story really got me goin' and reminded me of how sad I was to hear of its cancellation back then. I still wish I could play Half-Life on my 'old' G3 macs just for kicks.

Keep up the great work Matt!

Rain Koor (not verified)
A wonderful interview!

Can't say i fully agree about the famous actors bit though. It has been one of the hallmarks of the aforementioned Command & Conquer series since Tiberian Dawn hit the shelves in 1995. That game had about 60 minutes of FMV. Using famous actors for the sake of sales only is cheesy of course, but the picture is always not as black and white as "Burger" is trying to paint it.

Rain Koor (not verified)
continuation on the actors bit

To name some games, where actors (big name or otherwise) have brought undeniable strengths to the table:
Planescape Torment - An exceptional cast and the performances go far beyond phoning in. My favourite would be Tony Jay as The Transcendent One, but i can't think of a single bad voice actor in that game.
Fallout 1 & 2 - Ron Perlman IS Fallout and gives identity to the whole series. Otherwise also very strong cast in these games.
Thief 1 & 2 & 3 - Voice acting and sound in general is exceptional in these games. Stephen Russel has nailed Garret - a cynical, somewhat bitter character perfectly. Also, very very strong supporting cast in the whole series. Even lowly guard voices are done perfectly.
Legacy of Kain series - Again, very strong cast and very strong performances throughout the series. Tony Jay as the Elder God and Simon Templeman as Kain are undeniably amongst the examples of best voice acting in video games ever.

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