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Matt Chat 261: Robert Woodhead on Wizardry

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Matt Chat 261: Robert Woodhead on Wizardry

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sun 12 October 2014, 17:16:08

Tags: Andrew C. Greenberg; Matt Barton; Robert J. Woodhead; Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna; Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

Continuing his trend of interviewing figures associated with Sir-Tech and the Wizardry series, Matt Barton recently began a new series of interviews with Wizardry co-creator Robert Woodhead. The first episode of the interview, which was broadcast last weekend, focused mainly on Robert's current activities as an anime importer, and thus was of little interest to the Codex. The latest episode, however, is more interesting.

In this episode, Robert retells the origin story of the first Wizardry, which was a combination of a Pascal game he created called Paladin, and a BASIC game by Andrew Greenberg, which was actually named Wizardry. According to Robert, and contra Robert Sirotek, both of them were equally vital to the game's success, with Robert in the role of programmer and engine developer, and Greenberg in the role of designer and content creator. No mention is made of the game's probable, ahem, inspirations on the PLATO network, however. There's also some interesting discussion of the technical challenges that the game faced, which inadvertently allowed it more time for testing, balancing and polish.

In the second half of the episode, Matt (somewhat awkwardly) tries to get Robert to talk about the dumbing down of modern games when compared to oldschool classics like Wizardry. Although Robert does admit at one memorable point that modern gamers are "pussies", he doesn't seem to think that it's a big deal overall. That discussion naturally leads to the topic of the notoriously difficult Wizardry IV, which Robert insists was "difficult, but fair". He says that making the game difficult was the right choice artistically, but concedes that it was a bad idea commercially.

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