Matt Chat 89: Interview with Brian Fargo

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Matt Barton's picture

Welcome back, Matt Chatters! This episode features the first part of my interview with Brian Fargo, founder of Interplay and CEO of inXile Entertainment. I was able to sit down with him for an hour and talk about everything from the original Demon's Forge (a 1981 adventure game for Apple II) to Hunted: The Demon's Forge (the upcoming action game). We also talk about the origins of Bard's Tale, the impact of Wizardry, the humor of Battlechess, and much more.

Download the audio here (also available on iTunes).


Nathaniel Tolbert
Nathaniel Tolbert's picture
Joined: 11/06/2010
Great episode. I wonder

Great episode. I wonder who's really telling the truth on the Bard's Tale story? I guess since there is correlation from Brian Fargo, that Michael Cranford's comments are somewhat true, no matter how terse and impolite they were. Still as a personality, I think Rebecca Heineman was an incredible interview.

Joined: 03/23/2008

Welcome back Matt! (Did you ever leave?) :)

Joined: 01/14/2011
Thank you, Matt!

Looking forward to the rest of this interview!

In celebrations of the interview, I think it is time to play through Wasteland again.

Mad Dog Fargo = best NPC ever!

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Joined: 09/04/2006
Enjoyed it as usual, Matt.

There's nothing like seeing a new Matt Chat episode to perk up the weekend! I was getting worried for a while that you (Matt) were going to quit, although it would be understandable (after almost 90 weekly episodes) that you might be getting burned out. But no, you're back with yet another spectacular interview.

Your new "game wall" background and camera angle looks spectacularly good for interviews.

While it's unfortunate that Ms. Heineman and Mr. Cranford have some disputed claims, it did make for interesting entertainment. Mr. Fargo kept it classy, but hinted that he sides more with Mr. Cranford's take. Perhaps more game designers should come on Matt Chat and rip into each other for our viewing pleasure. :-)

Battle Chess was a game that actually got me playing Chess! I was never very good at it, but it made an otherwise dull, dry game very entertaining to watch as well as play! It was quite interesting to hear Fargo's anecdotes about his meeting with George Lucas, since Battle Chess was infamously inspired by the holographic chess sequence in Star Wars.

If I'm not mistaken, didn't Interplay have a Star Trek (original TV series) inspired game that got canceled? I was always curious about that game. (Does it come up in the next episode???)

Overall, excellent interview. Twenty-five minutes seemed to go by too fast, and I can't wait until the next one.

It occurs to me that the more interviews you do, the easier it should be to get other big names to interview! There's probably no one better suited to do these types of interviews, considering the combination of your engaging personality and your knowledge of gaming history, allowing you to ask intelligent and interesting questions (and getting informative and entertaining answers and anecdotes in response).

Some of your viewers like the game features, and some like the interviews, and probably most like both. I hope you haven't abandoned featuring games, though!

The donation/subscription model is a good one, considering you're, if nothing else, providing a unique historical service with these interviews. Buy Matt a beer at least! Or a dose of crack, if that's his thing.... which I suspect it is after the "Donimator" episodes. :-)

Anyhow, good to see Matt Chat back in top form!

srobinson (not verified)
Another great interview.

Another great interview. Can't wait to see part 2.

I don't know if ya can answer this, but how did this interview come about? Did Mr. Fargo contact you? Maybe as a rebuttal to the Becky Heineman interview? As he makes reference and has obviously seen them. Maybe to refute some of the things Becky said? Or is it just coincidence that these interviews follow each other?

Anyway, keep up the good work.


Joined: 01/21/2009
As a creative person (again,

As a creative person (again, more in my mind than in any tangible way) years tend to make some facts distorted on past creations, and when there are two sides its easy to actually believe incorrect stuff. As they are both tallented and had input on many things togther Im sure the view is somewhat biased on each side and if some hard feelings are mixed in... Buts is awsome to get two sides, so many issues nver objectivly hear both sides, let us decide who is right, very cool.

Szymon (not verified)
Hey Matt, another great

Hey Matt, another great interview.

You were worried recently about popularity of the show so i have to come out of my lurker status and tell you im a huge fan of your videos. For me its a journey to the times when games were made with 90% passion 10 % money in mind (circa :)
Lots of good memories, for example playing Larry with almost zero english and many quite complex games for a 8 - 10 yo kid (Civ, MicroProse simulators, RPGs :) It didnt matter, it was fun and very educationial for sure.

thx Matt

Joakim (not verified)
Thank you Matt. Great to see

Thank you Matt. Great to see another episode of Matt Chat.

Rowdy Rob: "If I'm not mistaken, didn't Interplay have a Star Trek (original TV series) inspired game that got canceled? I was always curious about that game."

Are you referring to Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury which was written by D.C. Fontana?

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Joakim wrote:

Are you referring to Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury which was written by D.C. Fontana?

I always loved the few model shots that they released of Spock. It's stunning to think that something like that never got finished, particularly since it has VO's from the original cast, something we'll never have again (though I'm sure someday we'll have convincing computer simulations of deceased actor's voices).

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
That's sad, but true. I guess

That's sad, but true. I guess they could probably lift some things from the shows and movies, and it's no telling how much off-takes and unused footage is sitting around (at least, I *hope* it's sitting around somewhere).


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