PAX Panel: Shareware Downunder

I was on a panel about shareware games at PAX Australia in October, with Halloween Harry Alien Carnage co-creator John Passfield, indie developer and bookshop owner Terry Burdak, and ACMI games curator Arieh Offman. This is the full audio from that panel.

Photo by Rob Caporetto
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Soundbite: Home of the Underdogs founder Sarinee Achavanuntakul on abandonware vs piracy

The founder of influential old website The Home of the Underdogs, Sarinee Achavanuntakul, discusses the difference between "abandonware" and piracy, and explains why the former needs to exist.See full show notes and episode player…

If Monks Had Macs (Ludiphilia re-release)

It all started with a Macintosh ad: 'You too can be a knowledge worker.' This is the story of Brian Thomas' 15-year odyssey at the helm of one of the strangest pieces of multimedia software ever created — If Monks Had Macs.
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The Tomb Raider grid (remastered)

To celebrate the 25th birthday of my favourite game franchise, I thought I'd pull out the old Tomb Raider grid episodes from Season 1 and merge them into one. I also put some time into cleaning up the audio, though it'll still sound rough compared to newer episodes — given the lower-fidelity recordings I was using then. Here's the original episode description:

A Tomb Raider screenshot
Every aspect of the original Core Design Tomb Raider series (and by extension the franchise's success post-Core) comes back to the grid that lies beneath it — the majority of the puzzles; the platforming; the cavernous chambers and ruins and outdoor areas that provide a sense of isolation, of solitude and discovery; and Lara Croft's iconic acrobatic movement style. And yet it never would have happened if not for one pragmatic choice made by a programmer early in the game's development.

This is the story of how that came to be, and how it made Tomb Raider…well, Tomb Raider, based on interviews with Heather Stevens (née Gibson) and Gavin Rummery as well as my past work covering Tomb Raider's history as a freelancer. The second part, which was originally a separate release, also includes discussion of the place that such a grid system has — or might have — in game design today.
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33 - MobyGames

This was the MobyGames logo circa 1999
There was no encyclopaedia nor fleshed-out database of video games in 1999. There were barely even any reliable or comprehensive lists of video games. Not until Jim Leonard decided he needed to build one.

He called it MobyGames, and 22 years later it's the de facto source for credits, screenshots, and other general information about video games. It is the "IMDB of video games". This is its story.
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32 - Flight Control

How a game designed in a week helped to change everything — for the company that made it, for a local industry in turmoil, and for a global industry in transition.

Features interviews with Defiant Development co-founder Morgan Jaffit and Firemint founder / Flight Control creator Rob Murray, along with a clip of former Touch Arcade editor Eli Hodapp.See full show notes and episode player…


The Life & Times of Video Games

The Life & Times of Video Games: A documentary and narrative-style audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today.

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