Matt Chat 199: Interview with Jeff Tunnell Pt. 1

Matt Barton's picture

In the first slice of my interview with Dynamix founder Jeff Tunnell, we chat about his latest projects, including Contraption Maker and why Jeff doesn't like Apple or Google's app stores. Then we talk about his background and how he met Damon Slye and Ken Williams. Then we talk about Stellar 7 and Arctic Fox, one of my favorite Amiga games.

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Comments

Rowdy Rob
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Delayed AA postings of Matt Chat?

Great episode as always, Matt. Dynamix has an unusually large game catalog. Sadly, though, I've only played a couple of their games.... heck, only Arctic Fox comes to mind, actually. It seems they were a heavily PC-centric company during the time I was totally an Amiga maniac.

I quite loved the WWi/WWII flight combat sims of the day, although I didn't play Red Baron. I think my friend (who was a flight-sim maniac, and still is) had the Amiga version of Red Baron, although I'm not sure if I recall him playing the Amiga or PC version. Anyhow, I liked the older combat flight sims because you could actually see the enemy fighters and pick them off, rather than firing a missile from a mile away like modern fightercraft do.

I disagree with this week's beer review. "One drinking Horn" is too generous. Perhaps a "stab the beer makers with my drinking horn" rating would be in order.

BTW, Matt, is there any reason why you delay posting the Matt Chats on AA? Just curious.....

Matt Barton
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Hi, Rowdy Rob! I did get

Hi, Rowdy Rob!

I did get lucky and have a copy of both Betrayal at Krondor back in the day, which I really enjoyed. I played the heck out of Arctic Fox, too, mostly because it was one of maybe three games we had for our Amiga 1000 for a long time. I think I even managed to beat it a few times. I sadly missed all their flight sims, which is a shame because I loved Wings and various flight sims we had on the Amiga like FA/18 Interceptor and Skychase. I came across a flight stick at a local thrift shop here last week and have been looking for something to try it out with. A friend wrote in to tell me about this game:
http://www.galaxyonfire.com/en/galaxy-on-fire-2.html

It looks like a real winner to me.

I have given a "no drinking horns" rating or two before. In general, though, I am pretty good at picking at least drinkable ales. At some point, I guess I should actually get some training in how to do it properly.

The delay is just laziness on my part unfortunately. It does take some work to get the video uploaded here, since I have to go through FTP and get all the links and embed code right. I mainly post them here for the iTunes crowd, which I have no way of tracking.

I need to get back on the ball with promoting Matt Chat again, though. My views and comments have been way down lately, even with the high profile guests.

n/a
Rowdy Rob
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Galaxy on Fire = Freelancer

Matt Barton wrote:
H A friend wrote in to tell me about this game:
http://www.galaxyonfire.com/en/galaxy-on-fire-2.html

Matt Barton wrote:
It looks like a real winner to me.

It looks a whole lot like "Freelancer," a classic game released by Microsoft games back in the day. That's not a bad thing, because Freelancer was a great game, and still looks about as good as Galaxy on Fire, graphically. I highly recommend Freelancer to anyone who likes action-based space battles with a hint of trading/CRPG'ing/Sandbox elements. It's much more approachable than hardcore space fighter sims like "Freespace" or "Wing Commander."

Several games since then have tried to recapture the "Freelancer" feel, but generally none have succeeded according to popular opinion. It looks like "Galaxy on Fire 2" might be worthy of the crown!

Matt Barton wrote:
I need to get back on the ball with promoting Matt Chat again, though. My views and comments have been way down lately, even with the high profile guests.

I wish I knew how to help, but I'm notoriously anti-social when it comes to online stuff. Heck, AA is about as social as I get online. It seems like the people you interview rarely give you a shout-back on their own forums, which is a bit unfair, or at least uncool, since it would help increase your views and subscriber base.

I'd bet if you snagged someone from a "controversial" company, such as EA or *gasp* Zynga, you'd have a bootload of views! But you'd probably have a lot of angry comments and trolls as well.

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Arctic Fox and Stellar 7, two

Arctic Fox and Stellar 7, two of my favorites.. But i think i played both on APPLE? As for the dynamix flight sims, I was just hitting the PC then, it was a golden age for PC at that time. Aces series was excellent!

Bill Loguidice
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Penguin

clok1966 wrote:
Arctic Fox and Stellar 7, two of my favorites.. But i think i played both on APPLE? As for the dynamix flight sims, I was just hitting the PC then, it was a golden age for PC at that time. Aces series was excellent!

I was always fond of Stellar 7 (arguably better than the home Battlezone ports), but I played it mostly on the C-64. The Apple II version was certainly well regarded, though. I didn't really get into that type of game after it, regardless of platform (even the Sega CD and later ones).

n/a
Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I've always liked the idea of

I've always liked the idea of having control of a huge tank in addition to smaller craft. In Arctic Fox, for instance, you could pilot your missiles. It's common enough in space sim games, but I wonder if there have been other games that let you control a huge mobile base tank or some such as well as individual rovers and such?

I've always wanted to see a really good game based on Wheeled Warriors. Consider:
http://www.wheelies.net/wwuniverse/toys/

You could set that big battle base headed somewhere as you rode around in your smaller craft. Imagine this concept with a Halo-like game. Halo 4 did have some really large craft moving around, but IIRC you couldn't drive them.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
its been so long since i

its been so long since i played them, couldn't you HULL down and repair as long as enemies where not around? later terminator 2029 had a repair feature if you could find a spot to hide long enough (loved that game)..

Funny Bill mentioning Battlezone, some of the Newest ones for the PC (and consoles?) have base building and such.. not exactly a "moving base" but you could sorta place it where ever and deploy people and such.. Battlezone II was name.. and it was sorta ported to consoles under another name Battlezone, Rise of the dogs.. i think? It was a very good game, but never got much a following. Victim of the Promise the world, and give um bugs .. it was buggy (more then most) at launch.. it was fixed and was a great game later.. awesome blend of RTS and FPS (tank). I remember you could actually build maps and design new tanks too.. as import um.. built in mod support.. first game I know that did it without WADS and such..

I have such fond memories of the games and when I load them today I am more often then not disappointed.. jaded maybe. Solid gameplay can trump any graphics, but Im very intolerant of crap interface nowdays. Its easy to bash interfaces now, we have seen them evolve.. but hard to play is hard to play.. some standards have just made old games hard to play. RTS (dune II etc) are very hard without the right left click.. dune II has you chose an order MOVE, MOve and Attack, etc.. then the location.. while its just an extra button click.. its amazing how hard its to train yourself to do it when the shift command or A+right click does it now.

right now I pretty much do not play anything that requires a gamepad (on the PC) which has eliminated many great games. I just have been keyboard/mousing so long. getting old and set in my ways i guess.

sstacks
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Joined: 11/05/2012
The Mustard

Good episode as always, really enjoy Matt Chat.

So my burning question... was the deal with the mustard because you accidentally left it on the shelf or was that some geek / gaming in-joke that went over my head?

Best,
Shane

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