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Matt Chat 154: Jennell on Coleco, Adam, and Bard's Tale IV

I'm back this week with part 2 of my interview with Jennell Jaquays. This week, we turn to her time at Coleco during the early 80s, when she worked on a prototype that I'm sure Mr. Bill L. would love to get his hands on--an RPG that combined two "hot" techs of the time--bar codes and speech chips. It never materialized, but it sounds amazing. Jennell also describes why the ADAM was a failure from an engineering perspective. Next, we turn to Bard's Tale IV, and get a look behind-the-scenes of what would have been the most ambitious Bard's Tale game ever. I was interested to know that it offered three different perspectives.

Download the episode here. As always, if you like the show and want to see more episodes, donate today. I've had a few people inexplicably cancelling their subscriptions lately, so I'd really appreciate your contributions to keep this show in production.

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Matt Chat 153: The Jennell Jaquays Interview: The Dungeoneer

Hi, guys! I'm back this week with one of the rare female guests to grace Matt Chat, Jennell Jaquays, one of the true greats of role-playing. Jennell has done lots of videogame work--including the Coleco--but here we focus on her background in D&D. She's the author of some of the best modules and books on the topic of good role-playing. She's now serving as the lead level designer on the World of Darkness MMORPG, an upcoming CCP game (think Vampire: The Masquerade). Enjoy!

Download the episode here.

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Matt Chat 152: Grim Fandango--the killer adventure game that killed off adventure games

Well, it had to happen sooner or later! This week, it's back the late 90s for the game many people consider the Greatest Game that ever killed a genre. That's exaggeration, of course, but it does make for a good headline. The story goes that although the game did reasonably well--it was NOT a commercial failure, despite the pundits--it wasn't exactly the cash bonanza that LucasArts was expecting. End result--they pulled the plug on their adventure game development. Now you had a situation where the two greats--LucasArts and Sierra--were not making adventure games anymore. Of course, Cyan was still around, but nobody but me seems to count them.

Or, download the mp4.

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Matt Chat 151: Shane R. Monroe on DRM, Amiga, Abandonware, and why he'll never play Diablo III

In the last segment of my interview with retrogaming's Howard Stern, Shane R. Monroe chats with me about the glorious days of the Amiga (and why it ultimately failed despite having the best tech), the illegal but inevitable abandonware black markets, the "sinister" and self-defeating DRM industry, and why he would have never made the Vita. He gets really fired up in this episode--classic Shane--and there's pretty funny moments.

Download the video here.

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Matt Chat 150: Piracy, DRM, and Digital Media with Shane R. Monroe

Episode 150! Even I'm amazed that I've produced so many episodes. So many reviews! So many interviews! So many bad jokes! Yes, it's time to celebrate. Besides a great interview with Shane R. Monroe--who I assume most of you are familiar with here, I offer up a special "thank you" in the form of an old school demo!

You can download the video here. Below are some thoughts on the show and reflections on 150.

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Matt Chat 149: Diablo

With all the attention of the CRPG community focused on Diablo III, I thought it only fitting to give a retrospective on the 1996 game that launched the franchise--the original Diablo! Reducing the complex CRPG gameplay mechanics to utter simplicity, Blizzard offered up a mesmerizing clickfest that's enjoyed by thousands today. It also introduced "Battle.net," a value-add that allowed groups of players to co-op or compete online--for free!

Download the mp4 here.

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Matt Chat 148: The Fat Man Answers Your Questions

Here's the last installment of my interview with The Fat Man, aka George Sanger. In this section, Fat Man answers your questions concerning game audio, careers in the industry, and even a bit of philosophy. If you think I did a good job on this interview series, please send a few dollars my way!

Download the mp4 here.

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Matt Chat 147: The Fat Man Returns

This week, I'm back with The Fat Man (George Sanger) to talk about some of his most famous game scores. Yes, that means Wing Commander, Ultima Underworld, and The 7th Guest. As always, Fat Man has great behind-the-scenes stories about all this stuff, so you go ahead and kickback with a fine cigar and a horn of Dragon's Milk. I also do a bit of clowning around at the end, giving you a glimpse of what it's really like making these Matt Chat episodes (hint: take after take after take...)

Download the mp4 here.

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Matt's Podcast 13: Backwardness compatibility, Smelly Games, Why Stories and Graphics Suck, Matt's Turn to the Darkside

Smell me!Smell me!Hi, guys! I'm back with a little podcast here addressing some of the popular threads raised right here at Armchair Arcade. After a special announcement and some talk about my Unity game project, I talk about smelly game environments, three games that made me want to own a system, and backward compatibility. I even briefly kvetch about Tera! Thanks to Mark, Rob D., and Clok for those fun topics!

Download the podcast here.

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Matt Chat 146: Matt Reviews Legend of Grimrock

I'm back this week with a review of my pick for "Game of the Year," Legend of Grimrock! An awesome game for so many reasons, Grimrock has the added advantage of being independently produced and available for only $15! Get it direct from the developer and you'll still get a Steam key for sharing achievements.

*Warning.* My video contains a few minor spoilers. Nothing that should ruin your fun, but if you're worried about it, just listen to the audio or watch it after you've completed the game.

Grab the mp4 here!

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