Matt Goes to Stonekeep

Matt Barton's picture

This week it's all about Interplay's 1995 miss Stonekeep! Featuring awesome FMV and some truly unique characters (Wahooka!), this is not a game you want to miss if you love CRPGs. While far from perfect (backtracking from hell!), there's enough here to keep you busy for a few days at least. One note: You will definitely want the awesome BOX for this game if you can find it; it's a hologram! You'll also want a copy of the novella Thera's Awakening. But if you can do without those two assets, scoop it up from GOG for a ridiculously low price!

Download the MP4 here.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
Nathaniel Tolbert's picture
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Joined: 11/06/2010
Stonekeep!!!

Oh my goodness!! I loved this game when I was younger! I played it all the way to the Ice Queen (I think that's what she's called.) Sadly my disc was scratched horribly and became unplayable. I want to pick this up, but I am forbidden to buy anything until after Christmas. :(

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quantum (not verified)
Interesting ...

Hmmm, this is one of the games that I completely missed back in the day. A pity, it looks interesting. I absolutely hate FMV, though. I think the contrast between the cgi and the live actors puts me off. Especially back then, as cgi was still pretty basic, compared to today's standards.

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
FMV BOOO
quantum wrote:

Hmmm, this is one of the games that I completely missed back in the day. A pity, it looks interesting. I absolutely hate FMV, though. I think the contrast between the cgi and the live actors puts me off. Especially back then, as cgi was still pretty basic, compared to today's standards.

I have to agree, growing up and being a HUGE video game geek back whne FMV was comming inot its own and every game company was using it . I know FMV was quite compeling in theory, but seldom in use. it took a few games till i decided it was a waste of time. BUT! Stonekeep is a different game in my eyes. RPG's where the games I looked forward to the most, so even with my dislikeof FMV i was lookign forward to Stonekeep. I can remeber thinking the FMV was ok, not great, but not bad for the time ( horrible by todays standards). But I know it never detracted from my enjoyment of the game back then, in fact as it was "new" so to speak, it made the game interesting. I would suggest checking it out even if you dont like FMV, as it was a pretty good game for its day.

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
If you love FMV and want to

If you love FMV and want to see it in a newer game, get Darkstar: The Interactive Movie. I did a Matt Chat with the producer awhile back. It really shows you what's possible with that approach, and it's by a real Hollywood guy with plenty of experience behind a camera. That makes a huge difference.

I think people back then assumed that making an FMV game was like making a movie. It was really more like trying to make fifty movies in one. Unless you were satisfied with something rigidly linear, of course.

FMV can work well for cut scenes, but that's about it. The sheer amount of footage you need to do anything else makes it impractical, and nobody wants to see the same handful of clips over and over again. Still, if it's used correctly it can be very powerful. No CGI character can ever hope to match the emotion you can see on a real human face or pick up those subtle body language cues. I'm not even really sure you'd want to; it'd be like trying to make the world's most realistic store mannequin. It just creeps you out. FMV is needed in those situations.

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Peter Oliphant (not verified)
Stonekeep... I'm familiar with it! :)

It's good to see that computer games are surviving over time... 'Stonekeep' is about 16 years old... another game of mine by Interplay, 'Lexi-Cross', also still has fans!

btw, I was one of the main developers on 'Stonekeep'... hehe :)

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
If you're legit, by all means

If you're legit, by all means email me at matt@armchairarcade.com, Peter. Love to have you on the show to chat about your work!

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