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Interview Matt Chat Interview with Joel Billings, Part 2: SSI's Rise to Power

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Joel Billings; Phantasie; Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Wizard's Crown

Matt Barton has published the second part of his interview with Joel Billings, the founder of SSI. The video has to do with SSI's "rise to power", covering everything up to the Gold Box games, including such classics as Phantasie, Questron and Wizard's Crown.



Part 1 of the interview can be found here.
 

Deuce Traveler

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SSI was the company whose products I grew up playing when I was a kid with the Phantasie series and Wizard's Crown, before I played Ultima 4 and became an Origins fan boy. Now I think I should have stuck with my first love. Is it too late to divorce Richard Garriott and have a bromance with Joel Billings?
 

Moribund

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Finally, definitive linkable proof that DnD and RPGs are not all about wearing costumes and acting retarded.

TSR = tactical studies resources. Not only that but they considered it a wargame and were impressed with SSI because they were also a wargame studio. It was a miniatures wargame, and not in 1960 or something but in 1988 they considered it so.

So the PnP/RPG = LARP crowd can suck it.
 

Severian Silk

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I tried playing Pool of Radiance, but could not get past the silly first-person exploration. The overhead combat looked pretty cool, though.
 

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I tried playing Pool of Radiance, but could not get past the silly first-person exploration. The overhead combat looked pretty cool, though.

When you have the urge, give it another try and stick with it for a couple of hours. I had the same problem that you did, with not liking the first person perspective as I was used to 2D over the top perspectives at the time followed by an appreciation for isometric. Once I gave it some time I found it very enjoyable, but I had to give it a chance. It helps if you also create your own maps or download one done by someone else to prevent getting lost at first.
 

PorkaMorka

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First person exploration + isometric tactical combat is arguably the best of both worlds.

Exploring a dungeon in isometric third person is usually more of a task than a game. You have a god's eye view and you can't get lost so exploring the dungeon merely consists of clearing away every bit of shroud and making sure you activate every single encounter hot spot and check every barrel for loot. See for example Baldur's Gate.

That's not very reminiscent of dungeon exploration in P&P.

First person step based exploration has the potential to re-capture some of the challenge and the uncertainty of exploring a dungeon in P&P, because the player is not omniscient. Making dungeon exploration into gameplay not mechanical shroud clearing. Admittedly, some blobbers do it better than the Gold Box games, because they only have to focus on one kind of gameplay.
 

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Did Matt ask him why they can't put SSI's games on GOG in this interview?
 

Jaesun

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Did Matt ask him why they can't put SSI's games on GOG in this interview?

He does not go into that in this video. Should tweet Matt and have him ask the question on the next one with Mr. Billings?

And holy fuck! TSR was talking to Origin and EA as well as SSI with the D&D licence. Thank gawd the made the correct decision.
 

Wizfall

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Another great interviews.
J_C is really good at that, both technically and stylistically.
Not like game reviews where it shows that he is not a gamer but only a guy interested in game history/industry/development.
 
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Finally, definitive linkable proof that DnD and RPGs are not all about wearing costumes and acting retarded.

TSR = tactical studies resources. Not only that but they considered it a wargame and were impressed with SSI because they were also a wargame studio. It was a miniatures wargame, and not in 1960 or something but in 1988 they considered it so.

So the PnP/RPG = LARP crowd can suck it.
It's just fucking buzzwords, you retard. AD&D wasn't structured any differently from any other regular RPG, and it was already p. fucking distinct from a wargame. If anything it's 4E that is more like a skirmish wargame.

Stop trying to harvest KKKs by larping a low-int mondblut. If you're so desperate to fit in experiment educating yourself first.
 

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