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People News Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick has passed away

Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
4,449
Strap Yourselves In
:salute:
 

getter77

Augur
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
854
Location
GA, USA
Damn...and he'd been active this past while cobbling vintage dev bits together and all else as per the thread in RPG discussion---there was that Darklands remaster'ish release on the horizon as well that would've raised his profile to newcomers as well.

If only he'd managed to get a funded team together in these past years alongside the KS boom...somebody of his stature getting one final adventure unto the sunset would've been about as poignant as it gets. Truly a formative pillar now at rest.
 

Diggfinger

Arcane
Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
1,038
Location
Belgium
Rest in peace.

All the best to his family and loved ones.

He will live on through his games :salute::obviously:
 

karnak

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Messages
884
Location
Negative Zone
Grab the Codex by the pussy Strap Yourselves In I helped put crap in Monomyth
Darklands was (along with Ultima Underworld) one of the games which showed me the greatness that CRPGs could achieve, in terms of complexity and gameplay.
It saddens me to see someone, whose creation gave me so many hours of joy, pass away. As it saddens me to see how very little RPGs have achieved since 1992, in terms of true ambition.

I hope you can now enjoy the good food and pleasant conversation of the celestial Gasthaus common-room, Mr. Hendrick
 

Alex

Arcane
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
6,859
Location
São Paulo - Brasil
Crushing news.
Years ago I discovered his email address (not that it was hard to find), which I intended to use to tell him about what an inspiration Barbarian Prince and Darklands were for Fallen Gods, (...snip...)

Speaking of which, you can see many of his board games on the Board Game Geek website. Better yet, many of his games (at least those published by Dwarf Star), including Barbarian Prince, are available for free!

I know nothing about his life, and have no direct knowledge of his character. I read his articles and his Steam forum posts, and I played his games. To me, all of them bespoke an abiding curiosity, a creative vision, and an overflowing generosity toward his players. The man put many saints in Darklands. May they speed him to his creator.

Agreed.
 

Alex

Arcane
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
6,859
Location
São Paulo - Brasil
Darklands was so ahead of it's time. I still remember that beautiful manual. Not to mention that he was the same age as me, really hits home. RIP, mate.

Can't wait for its time to arrive, then...

Darklands was (along with Ultima Underworld) one of the games which showed me the greatness that CRPGs could achieve, in terms of complexity and gameplay.
It saddens me to see someone, whose creation gave me so many hours of joy, pass away. As it saddens me to see how very little RPGs have achieved since 1992, in terms of true ambition.
(snip...)

Being serious... I do hope I am wrong, but I am afraid we won't see the likes of a company like Microprose again...
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Messages
5,653
Location
California
I elaborated on my earlier post in this thread here: http://www.wormwoodstudios.com/2020/05/arnold-hendrick-rest-in-peace.html

Arnold Hendrick, Rest in Peace



On May 25, 2020, Arnold Hendrick, the creator of the revolutionary board game Barbarian Prince and the revolutionary computer game Darklands, was taken by cancer, just shy of the three-score-and-ten years the Psalmist allots us. “It is too soon cut off, and we fly away.”

I never met him; I know next to nothing of his life story. But all the same, Mr. Hendrick had a direct and significant impact upon me. Fallen Gods is inspired by both Barbarian Prince and Darklands. Both games are marvelously inventive and brilliantly realized. Sometimes works of fantasy are called “escapism.” To “escape” literally means to shed one’s cloak. (One can ponder the age of brigandage when slipping a robber’s clutches in that manner was frequent enough to coin this expression and put it in common currency.) Mr. Hendrick’s games were the opposite—the player does not shed his cloak so much as garb himself in another’s clothes. Contrary to the genre’s name, most RPGs do not achieve this effect. The player’s role is not that of a hero, but that of a hedge fund analyst, crunching numbers, maximizing upside and minimizing downside. But in Barbarian Prince and Darklands, the player is immersed in the characters and the setting. For a while, he sees a different world through different eyes. A person is greatly enriched by such an experience, while merely shedding a cloak—in contrast—leaves one a little poorer, even if we sometimes need to escape to survive.

When I began designing and developing Fallen Gods years ago, I tracked down Mr. Hendrick’s email address. When our game was ready, I wanted to show it to him as tangible evidence of the impact and inspiration of his work. But I kept delaying the email because I wanted to make sure Fallen Gods was worth his time. Now there is no time left.

So I must end where I started: I never met Arnold Hendrick; I know him only through his published games and articles about game design. To me, all of them bespoke an abiding curiosity, a creative vision, and an overflowing generosity toward his players. The man put 136 saints in Darklands. May they speed him to his Maker.
 

Cleveland Mark Blakemore

Golden Era Games
Übermensch Developer Sad Loser
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
9,897
Location
Red Chinese Prison Colony (Australia)
True incline. I thought of him many times working on Grimoire and tried to make a game of equivalent scope and atmosphere.

The real quality of Darklands is found in how few people appreciate it - it is something you persevere with. Most popamolers would not stay with it more than ten minutes. It is only about two hours in you begin to realize how great it is.
 

Nutria

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
2,201
Location
한양
Strap Yourselves In
I can't begin to express how much his work influenced me. On a more superficial level, I wouldn't have gotten any interest in RPGs or medieval history without Darklands. But beyond that, he taught me how to look at the world from the perspective of someone with a very different system of beliefs from my own. I've carried that forward my whole life and I think it's benefited me and those around me a lot.
 

mtscibilia

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Philadelphia
Arnold has been my friend and colleague since we worked on Darklands, together, so many years ago. Recently, over the past couple of years, he set out with a small team to begin actual production of the spiritual successor to Darklands. He asked me to join that team, and we partnered in a small LLC this past year, dedicated to bringing this game forward. We are working through early pre-production and concept. Arnold was directly involved, and driving this project, up until his final days. The Team at MHF Software, with the blessing and support of Arnold's Family, will continue his efforts to bring this last project to completion. It is too early for updates, or announcements, but Arnold and I spoke of this the day before he passed and he wanted you to know that this was happening. Peace, Matt
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Maculo

Arcane
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
2,305
Rest in peace. I did not play many of his games (only Darklands), but he undoubtedly inspired many Codexers and developers.
 

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