The Capsule Computers Crew had the complete pleasure of interviewing Atari Producer Michael Fahrny about a few of their up and coming digital releases and a bunch of other random things that us super geeks all enjoy. Sit back and enjoy.
1. What was the development process behind a title like Yars, did you have the original close by for reference?
We had an original 2600 setup with a copy of Yars handy whenever we needed it. Killspace spent countless hours and a lot of personal time putting a lot of love into Yar’s. It was a passion project for them.
2. From what I’ve seen of Yar’s Revenge, it plays like Star Fox or Panzer Dragoon, why do you think that not as many of these on-rails type shooters are released?
I have a new found respect for anyone who’s worked on a rail shooter. Because these genre if games are relatively simple on the gameplay side (i.e. being on a rail), the biggest challenge is to make sure you are doing enough the keep players engaged in the game. There are a lot of different ways to do this, and we used games like Rez, Sin & Punishment, and Panzer Dragoon as influences to help us along that path.
3. Considering Atari have frequently released Dungeons and Dragons video games, has there ever been a point where you have just started borrowing game ideas from campaigns that you have run privately?
A lot of our ideas come from working closely with the team at Wizards of the Coast and from sitting down and going through the table top game. We feel that we have taken the best of both worlds and put them into one cohesive video game.
4. Have you considered any other Tabletop franchises for adapting into a video game?
That’s a good idea 😉
5. Let’s say that Superman and Batman get into a fight, who would win and why?
This is a tough one for me. I love them both, but I think Batman is the more intelligent superhero and in the end (even without having true super powers), he would figure out a way to defeat Superman.
6. Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale – Does it use D&D mechanics? Will players of the tabletop game be able to recognise the game outside of the tag?
Of Course! Daggerdale uses the 4th Edition rule set, so anyone who is familiar with it will immediately recognize and understand what’s going on. That being said, not everything from the tabletop rules translate well into video games so we have worked closely with the Wizards of the Cost team to come to a happy medium.
7. Have you seen the film ‘Grandmas Boy‘? If so, how accurate is it to the life of the average game developer?
[in robot voice] “Please sit on my face.” 🙂
It varies day to day to be honest. Some days, I sit back and can’t believe I actually get paid to do this and some days it can be just like any other job. In the end though, it’s a very rewarding career.
8. What is the average day of a game developer entail over at Atari?
Lots of meetings and emails! I manage more than one project at a time so most of my time is spent evaluating the status of all my projects, making sure everything is running smoothly, and playing my games of course 🙂
9. Stargate SG1 or Stargate Atlantis? Or something even better !!
Wow, well that’s a hard one. I’ve seen them all, including the recently cancelled Stargate Universe. SG1 has to be the favourite though. The biggest new show I’m looking forward to is A Game of Thrones, The Song of Ice and Fire series is my all-time favourite book series.
10. If you could convert any D&D module into a PC game, which would it be?
Return to the Tomb of Horrors would be awesome to see as a video game.
11. Being video game publishers/developers, what are your favorite games and why?
Picking a favorite is tough, but, I am currently playing Civilization 5, Magika, and Dragon Age 2.
12. What do you love most about Working at Atari ?
There you have it ladies and gentlegeeks another amazing inteview over. The Crew here at Capsule Computers would like to thank Michael for taking the time from his busy schedule, we wish him and the team over at ATARI all the best with their up and coming digital releases.
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