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Matt Chat 262: Robert Woodhead on developing Wizardry, and leaving Wizardry

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Matt Chat 262: Robert Woodhead on developing Wizardry, and leaving Wizardry

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sat 18 October 2014, 18:52:13

Tags: Matt Barton; Robert J. Woodhead; Wizardry

The third and final episode of Matt Barton's interview with Robert Woodhead begins with Robert continuing with his retelling of various anecdotes from the development of the early Wizardry games. He talks about the technical challenges of developing Wizardry's window-based user interface, and about the series' then-notorious copy protection schemes (which he admits in retrospect were a waste of time, but still considers to have been an interesting challenge). At one point, Matt tries to ask him whether he doesn't regret sticking with the same codebase for all of his games, instead of remaking everything from scratch for every game the same way Richard Garriott did with Ultima, reasoning that it may have stifled the series' innovation. Sadly, Robert either misunderstands the question or chooses to avoid answering it, instead going off on a tangent about portability and localization.

In the end, Robert Woodhead remains above all an independent programmer, not a game design auteur. Matt mentions our own interview with him, where he claimed that he "wasn't proud" of Wizardry, and Robert reiterates that claim, explaining that in his view, Wizardry is not some work of genius, but just one step in the evolution of computer RPGs - a step that could have been taken by any number of people. The interview ends with him telling the story of how he passed the Wizardry torch to David Bradley and moved to Japan where he met his wife. He left the Wizardry chapter of his life behind him, and never touched any of the latter games in the series. He does admit that he would be willing to create a new computer game, if it was truly innovative and he was allowed to "do whatever he wants". That's Robert Woodhead, folks. :salute:

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