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Specialized ProfessionI previously served at sea on cargo ships as a Navigational Officer AMA!

May 13th 2017 by CaptRamius • 52 Questions • 1198 Points

I have loved games all my life, made board games as a kid, started programming computer games in 1975 in college, then professionally since 1980. I was one of the first 10 employees at Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts, The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive. More recently I focused on Serious Games in education, health, training, and neuroscience, before becoming Google's Chief Game Designer for 4 years. I quit there last month to get back to my first love: making games people love to play, with cutting edge technology, new creative tech niques, and great collaborators.

Some games I've contributed to include the arcade game Sinistar, LucasArts games like their flight simulator line, as well as Graphic Adventures like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, and the first two Monkey Island Games.

Here's a more complete (but still partial!) list: http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,1657/

Proof: https://i.redd.it/nx8rsfanqjvy.jpg

Q:

How long would you been on board for a time? Did it get boring? How did you pass the time?

A:

Playing through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was one of my defining childhood memories. What was the process of making 3 different middle sections (fists, brains, pair)? Was there any sense of how many people played through each or all 3?


Q:

So you guys are suing Trump for these acts against the environment, of which he's used executive orders to do so. Since you guys are merely suing, does this actually stop the executive order from being executed? Or is there only a fine? What are Trumps repercussions for you guys winning a lawsuit?

A:

Mr Bacon - Would you like to see, and/or star in a Tremors remake??


Q:

Brings to mind the Wired article from 7/2012 - Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals - Kaspersky has 300 million customers. His geek squad uncovers US cyberweapons. And he has deep ties to the KGB’s successors in Moscow."

A:

Playing through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was one of my defining childhood memories. What was the process of making 3 different middle sections (fists, brains, pair)? Was there any sense of how many people played through each or all 3?


Q:

For me usually 4 months. But others onboard had 8 month contracts as I recall.

It could get boring, I found the best way to pass the time was to work. But I had my laptop with an external HDD full of films and TV series'. Some ships have internet, I never did though. Also pass time by socialising, watching films, cards, drinking, BBQ and basketball. Also spent time in the gym, I got in pretty good shape in my time at sea.

A:

That was my idea, we'd experimented a bit with mixing different play styles in our Last Crusade adventure game, and I wanted to take it further. Hal went along with it, somewhat reluctantly because as project leader it fell on his shoulders to implement all the extra work involved in 3 paths (I think it meant the game was about 2x as hard to make as if it had been one path, not 3x as there was a lot of commonality/reuse of assets). We had fun coming up with ways to appeal to each type of player. I don't have figures for sure, but I'm pretty sure that only a minority of players - I'm thinking 10 or 20% - played through on all 3 paths, but that was mostly anecdotal, we didn't have analytics built into the game as it would now. The intention was not for people to replay so much as for the game to essentially adapt itself to the favored style of the player - but we also knew that completeist players would want to try every variation, and the "Indy Quotient" system was designed specifically for them, to encourage them to keep going. To get all 800 points you needed to play all 3 paths AND several variations and "achievements" that were possible within each.

Interesting side note, that 3 path structure inspired Louis Castle at Westwood to do something similar with his Bladerunner game, and took it several steps further. Brilliant game, I'm looking forward to see what kind of games come out of the current movie sequel to that.


Q:

Our goal in filing the lawsuits is to get court orders reversing the illegal actions. For example, in our challenge to Trump’s order that purports to overturn Obama’s withdrawal of most of the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic Oceans from availability for offshore oil drilling, our goal is to get a court order declaring Trump’s action illegal and invalid, which would have the effect of confirming the protection of these ocean waters against oil drilling.

A:

we are working on that!


Q:

Hi! As i said earlier, this article is complete and utter BS.

A:

That was my idea, we'd experimented a bit with mixing different play styles in our Last Crusade adventure game, and I wanted to take it further. Hal went along with it, somewhat reluctantly because as project leader it fell on his shoulders to implement all the extra work involved in 3 paths (I think it meant the game was about 2x as hard to make as if it had been one path, not 3x as there was a lot of commonality/reuse of assets). We had fun coming up with ways to appeal to each type of player. I don't have figures for sure, but I'm pretty sure that only a minority of players - I'm thinking 10 or 20% - played through on all 3 paths, but that was mostly anecdotal, we didn't have analytics built into the game as it would now. The intention was not for people to replay so much as for the game to essentially adapt itself to the favored style of the player - but we also knew that completeist players would want to try every variation, and the "Indy Quotient" system was designed specifically for them, to encourage them to keep going. To get all 800 points you needed to play all 3 paths AND several variations and "achievements" that were possible within each.

Interesting side note, that 3 path structure inspired Louis Castle at Westwood to do something similar with his Bladerunner game, and took it several steps further. Brilliant game, I'm looking forward to see what kind of games come out of the current movie sequel to that.


Q:

How much recreational space is there? I'd imagine most of the space is dedicated to cargo, but what about the layout of the other areas? Are there things there an average person might not expect?

A:

Whoa whoa whoa

YOU made Fate of Atlantis?

I don't have any questions man, I just wanna say that game is so good, it's my childhood, I had a CD for it, I loved it so much

You're awesome, LucasArts games were godlike

God bless


Q:

Were Obama's orders illegal? I don't see how undoing one executive order via means of a different order made later is illegal.

A:

Would you do a cooking show called Kevin Bakin'?


Q:

Article referenced

What part(s) of the article is BS?

A:

Whoa whoa whoa

YOU made Fate of Atlantis?

I don't have any questions man, I just wanna say that game is so good, it's my childhood, I had a CD for it, I loved it so much

You're awesome, LucasArts games were godlike

God bless


Q:

It depends a lot by ship type, age and size. I was always on large modern bulk carriers.

These days space is pretty good. Everyone had their own cabin with en-suite. The gym was fairly sized, but the amount and quality of equipment inside varied, but was always adequate. We had rec rooms with TV which you could hook an external HDD to and watch whatever. Karaoke was often on board as well. A lot of ships have internet facilities, but we didn't. We were able to purchase satellite calling cards to call home.

Adequate recreational facilities are required under MLC (Maritime Labour Convention). Now I type these all out they seem really minimal, but this is the standard on most ships.

A:

Aw, thanks - I co-designed it, there was a big team and Hal Barwood had the most influence on the game, but as it was the most successful adventure game LucasArts ever did (at least before the recent mobile game remakes, don't have figures on that) and did better than either of the other Indiana Jones games we designed without each other, I think it hit a sweet spot of collaboration, where Hal's writing and cinematic experience blended well with my game design skills. And as with so many things, there was a good dollop of luck and timing, but thank you in any case for the kind words. Incidentally, a bit of trivia - for a long time the working title was Indiana Jones and the Key to Atlantis, but we weren't really satisfied, and I think the manager of the division was particularly adamant that we change it. There were dozens of alternatives thrown around, including some I've forgotten except that they were terrible (and had strong supporters nonetheless). But I think "Fate of Atlantis" was perfect, short but provocative, and with a tinge of foreshadowing since Fate often implies a bittersweet ending. Names are one of the hardest things to do - not kidding, anyone who has worked on a game will concur.

To digress - I remember in particular one 3 hour session doing nothing but hashing out the name for "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" - that was actually thrown out as sort of a joke, along with "Hitler's Greatest Hits" which I expect would not have been a wise move. For the record, we had a long talk about the ethics of making a game where you could play the German side, but we thought (and I still believe) that in doing a war game, allowing people to play both sides is important to remind you that there were human beings on both sides of any conflict.


Q:

The law in question, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), gives the president authority to withdraw areas from availability for offshore drilling. That’s what Obama did when he protected most of the Arctic and part of the Atlantic. It was plainly legal for him to do so, and no one has challenged it. While OCSLA gives the president authority to withdraw areas from availability for oil drilling, it doesn’t give the president authority to reverse those withdrawals. That authority rests with Congress, and Trump’s effort to grab it for himself violated both OCSLA and the constitutional separation of powers. Which is why we sued.

A:

HMMMMMMM.....sure!


Q:

Hi! detailed here

A:

Aw, thanks - I co-designed it, there was a big team and Hal Barwood had the most influence on the game, but as it was the most successful adventure game LucasArts ever did (at least before the recent mobile game remakes, don't have figures on that) and did better than either of the other Indiana Jones games we designed without each other, I think it hit a sweet spot of collaboration, where Hal's writing and cinematic experience blended well with my game design skills. And as with so many things, there was a good dollop of luck and timing, but thank you in any case for the kind words. Incidentally, a bit of trivia - for a long time the working title was Indiana Jones and the Key to Atlantis, but we weren't really satisfied, and I think the manager of the division was particularly adamant that we change it. There were dozens of alternatives thrown around, including some I've forgotten except that they were terrible (and had strong supporters nonetheless). But I think "Fate of Atlantis" was perfect, short but provocative, and with a tinge of foreshadowing since Fate often implies a bittersweet ending. Names are one of the hardest things to do - not kidding, anyone who has worked on a game will concur.

To digress - I remember in particular one 3 hour session doing nothing but hashing out the name for "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" - that was actually thrown out as sort of a joke, along with "Hitler's Greatest Hits" which I expect would not have been a wise move. For the record, we had a long talk about the ethics of making a game where you could play the German side, but we thought (and I still believe) that in doing a war game, allowing people to play both sides is important to remind you that there were human beings on both sides of any conflict.


Q:

Have you ever experienced a rogue wave? If so, how terrifying was it?

A:

What is your favorite out of all the games?


Q:

What exactly was illegal about his actions? If Obama had the authority to make those areas unavailable to drilling, doesn't the next President have the authority to reverse that decision?

I looked on your website for info about why it's illegal, but all that seems to say is "artic drilling is bad, mmkay".

A:

Hey, Mr. Bacon! One of my favorite films you've starred in is James Gunn's Super. Did you enjoy working on that movie?

Also, how do you feel about the Kevin Bacon jokes on American Dad?


Q:

Do you use a user account with local admin rights on your machine?

A:

What is your favorite out of all the games?


Q:

Thankfully not. I've been in 12m swells and waves and that was bad enough. It could have been worse.

A:

Well, the cliche is that it's like picking a favorite of your kids - but the truth is, it depends on what the criteria are. Probably the one I've gotten the most satisfaction from hearing player's comments is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. But I also have a soft spot for Sinistar, my best-known arcade game work - which was also the first professional game I did that was published.


Q:

Posting again: The law in question, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), gives the president authority to withdraw areas from availability for offshore drilling. That’s what Obama did when he protected most of the Arctic and part of the Atlantic. It was plainly legal for him to do so, and no one has challenged it. While OCSLA gives the president authority to withdraw areas from availability for oil drilling, it doesn’t give the president authority to reverse those withdrawals. That authority rests with Congress, and Trump’s effort to grab it for himself violated both OCSLA and the constitutional separation of powers. Which is why we sued.

A:

I loved doing super! and I don't mind jokes at my expense


Q:

No, and neither should you.

A:

Well, the cliche is that it's like picking a favorite of your kids - but the truth is, it depends on what the criteria are. Probably the one I've gotten the most satisfaction from hearing player's comments is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. But I also have a soft spot for Sinistar, my best-known arcade game work - which was also the first professional game I did that was published.


Q:

With all of the technology available in modern times, are you still expected to understand and use the older navigation techniques such as sextons, and whatnot?

A:

FoA was one of my favourite games as a kid. I still use a quote from the game regularly: "I don't think that will work."


Q:

Aren't there already pipes in the area where the Dakota pipeline is being proposed?

If so. Why is THIS pipeline so different/Bad?

A:

What is your favorite bill Paxton memory?


Q:

What's your first dog's name and mother's maiden name?

A:

FoA was one of my favourite games as a kid. I still use a quote from the game regularly: "I don't think that will work."


Q:

We're still trained to use sextants and take positions using it. It's good practice and expected that you do it maybe once a day, however that never really happens.

The most common old school calculations and observations you need to do is to check the error of the gyro and magnetic compasses.

This involves first taking a bearing of a celestial object (Planet, Star, Sun, Moon). That's the easy bit. Then you can do a calculation using your position and information from a nautical almanac to calculate the actual bearing of the object. You then compare that to your observation and then you get the error.

Some people don't do the calculation, instead they use a program or app. Personally I always prefer to do the calculation myself and it's good practice to do so.

This would usually be done six times a day by three different officers.

We don't totally rely on GPS for our positions. When possible (when you're close to the shore) you can use the compass and/or radar to obtain your position.

Most ships will have paper charts as well as an ECDIS (Electronic chart display and information system). This takes information from several sensors such as GPS, Doppler log, compasses, wind gauge etc. It also displays your routing and is usually used as the primary means of navigation because it's accurate, quick and pretty damn good.

Unless the ship has a second ECDIS with complex power backups, they will still need to utilize and update paper charts.

I hope that makes sense as I waffled a little bit and used a lot of jargon.

A:

We enjoyed the recurring catchphrases that we stuck into our subsequent games as Easter Eggs. My favorite that I wrote was originally in the Last Crusade game, "I'm selling these fine leather jackets" - that showed up in many subsequent games.


Q:

The Dakota Access pipeline would cross the Missouri River a half mile upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. An oil spill would be catastrophic to the tribe and its members. The original pipeline path was supposed to cross the river just upstream of Bismarck, North Dakota, but it was moved to just upsteam of the reservation. That is an injustice, especially coming in the wake of centuries of injustice perpetrated against Native Americans. Finally, if we already have as many pipelines as you suggest, we certainly don’t need another one that will have to be paid for by many years of increased fossil fuel production. Instead, we need to move toward cleaner and smarter energy, for economic as well as environmental reasons.

A:

I loved that man, you could not be in a bad mood around him. so enthusiastic


Q:

Nice try:-), and please note that phishing can be a punishable offense in the place you live in.

A:

We enjoyed the recurring catchphrases that we stuck into our subsequent games as Easter Eggs. My favorite that I wrote was originally in the Last Crusade game, "I'm selling these fine leather jackets" - that showed up in many subsequent games.


Q:

Ooops, good catch on my typo. Thanks for the answer!

A:

What do you think to Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park? I saw in your MobyGames credentials that you were a play tester :D


Q:

Are you still litigating over Dakota Access? If you are, is that a prudent use of charitable assets given that the odds of prevailing are between slim and none?

A:

Hey Kevin. Big fan.

I just recently watched the movie Cop Car and thought you were a great in it. So much fun to watch you be the bad guy.

Any plans to play a piece of human garbage again in the near future?


Q:

What are some of the myths about malware and cybersecurity that didn't hold water in the earlier days (say 1990-2005), but turned out to be real and threatening post that age?

A:

What do you think to Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park? I saw in your MobyGames credentials that you were a play tester :D


Q:

You're welcome.

A:

Loving it - I've been very busy job hunting since it came out so besides my early testing, I've only been able to get partway into the game so far, but I think Ron and company did a perfect job of capturing the feel of our old games, while actually upgrading the quality in many ways. It's not so much an authentic 80's game as it is an evocation of our memories of what the games were like - when you actually play an 8 bit game now it can be shocking how primitive the tech feels. I'm eager to finish the game.


Q:

We are still litigating over the Dakota Access Pipeline. We may or may not win the case. But we don’t give up until the case is over, and the case isn’t over. Whether or not we succeed in stopping the pipeline, the case has been incredibly valuable. It’s galvanized unity and empowerment among Native American groups. Things will never be the same in the fight for Native American rights, thanks to the courage and commitment of the Standing Rock Sioux. It has been an honor for Earthjustice to represent them.

A:

love beingh the bad guy!


Q:

Good question, was trying to recall such myths back from those days. Unrealistic myths, some ridiculous stuff never came into reality. But some bleak predictions like Internet worms, attacks on industrial systems, mobile malware, they all came true.

A:

Loving it - I've been very busy job hunting since it came out so besides my early testing, I've only been able to get partway into the game so far, but I think Ron and company did a perfect job of capturing the feel of our old games, while actually upgrading the quality in many ways. It's not so much an authentic 80's game as it is an evocation of our memories of what the games were like - when you actually play an 8 bit game now it can be shocking how primitive the tech feels. I'm eager to finish the game.


Q:

What's the educational route to become a sailor like yourself? What training do you go through? Did you study maritime type things in college?

A:

How was it to be a part in the beginning eras of gaming?


Q:

Can you explain how the question of standing affects your litigation? Specifically with something like drilling in the arctic or mining on public lands, how does the question of standing get hashed out in your cases?

A:

You're quite adept at playing heroes and villains. Which one do you personally enjoy more? Cheers!!!


Q:

What was your reaction to having your executive charged with treason? What is your response to this article?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-treason-fsb-spies-kaspersky-labs-us-intelligence-denies-cia-hacking/

A:

How was it to be a part in the beginning eras of gaming?


Q:

It depends on what country you live in.

In the UK the procedure to becoming an Officer is like this.

Your apply to shipping companies like Maersk, Carnival, BP etc.

If accepted, you'll study at a Maritime College in the UK. The course will be paid for by the company and you'll be given a small allowance for living expenses.

After studying for a small amount of sea you will go to sea to get practical experience. After that you return to college to continue studying. Then you go back to sea. Then you return to college for the last time to complete your studies and final exams.

Your training lasts for three years, including one year at sea.

A:

Great! I began making computer games in college in 1975, purely for my own satisfaction, but realized I could apply it to my degree (I went to Hampshire College where they let you design your own curriculum) and used games to show off the programming, physics, and astronomy expertise I was gaining. Never thought at the time that it was preparation for a career, except as a programmer doing boring stuff (I did a lot of business programming during my college summers to make cash, and figured that might be my career, but wasn't too enthusiastic about it). But as soon as I graduated I got lucky and got right into the games industry, and never looked back. Certainly being part of the birth of Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts was an early highlight that I will always treasure. I realize now we were very lucky, those of us who started in the 70's and early 80's, because we got to figure out the rules and learn on our own, with no one telling us what to do - we made a lot of mistakes, but there was a freedom and freshness that I miss today. But at the time, particularly when I took my first job at Milton Bradley, people were telling me that I should be wary of "this video game thing" and that it might be a fad that would blow over. I believed them, but it made me even more determined to enjoy it while I could. I don't think it's a fad any more...


Q:

Let’s take drilling in the Arctic as an example of how standing works in environmental lawsuits. In order to file a lawsuit, you have to have a personal stake in the matter. In the Arctic drilling cases, our clients are organizations whose members use the Arctic Ocean for fishing or whale watching or a host of other activities that would be harmed if there was a giant oil spill in the Arctic Ocean, one of the worst places in the world to have an oil spill. That potential harm to our clients’ interests is what gives them legal standing to sue. And that legal doctrine allows our clients to hold the federal government accountable for following the law by taking the government to court. It’s an incredibly important and valuable system of checks and balances that forces the government to be accountable to ordinary citizens.

A:

i like deep well rounded characters


Q:

Unfortunately we have zero information about the case, it is classified, and the company is not involved in the investigation. I was very surprised because the arrested guy was very enthusiastic about fighting against cybercrime.

A:

Great! I began making computer games in college in 1975, purely for my own satisfaction, but realized I could apply it to my degree (I went to Hampshire College where they let you design your own curriculum) and used games to show off the programming, physics, and astronomy expertise I was gaining. Never thought at the time that it was preparation for a career, except as a programmer doing boring stuff (I did a lot of business programming during my college summers to make cash, and figured that might be my career, but wasn't too enthusiastic about it). But as soon as I graduated I got lucky and got right into the games industry, and never looked back. Certainly being part of the birth of Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts was an early highlight that I will always treasure. I realize now we were very lucky, those of us who started in the 70's and early 80's, because we got to figure out the rules and learn on our own, with no one telling us what to do - we made a lot of mistakes, but there was a freedom and freshness that I miss today. But at the time, particularly when I took my first job at Milton Bradley, people were telling me that I should be wary of "this video game thing" and that it might be a fad that would blow over. I believed them, but it made me even more determined to enjoy it while I could. I don't think it's a fad any more...


Q:

What's the best way to get a job on a cargo ship? I think I'd enjoy a job like that, but I have no idea where to start.

A:

Why did you make Sinistar so goddamned hard?

Run, coward!


Q:

I don't intend this to be a frivolous question, but if an action (say, dismantling the Clean Air Plan) has a negative impact on everyone who breathes, doesn't everyone with lungs have standing? Can a lawsuit be mounted on behalf of human life?

A:

Do you like bacon?


Q:

Do the the new artificial intelligence based malware detection systems copy your signatures?

A:

Why did you make Sinistar so goddamned hard?

Run, coward!


Q:

It depends on what country you are from. The procedure varies. It also depends on what you want to do at sea. Do you want to be an Officer or not? Do you want to be an engineer or deck officer.

Find a maritime college in your country using google, and see what information you can get. I can't give you too much advise because the procedure depends on what you want to do and where you are from.

A:

Money! The game was significantly easier up to about 6 weeks before release, but it was averaging about 3.5 minutes of play per quarter, and we needed to get it down to about 2 minutes in order to optimize earnings. We didn't want to make the first level too hard or no one would come back, so unfortunately we had to goose up the difficulty of level 2 a lot, more than we wanted for fun, but the earnings were critical. The "legend" is that RJ Mical still has a set of the ROMs of the easier build lost in his garage somewhere, but I'm dubious about that.


Q:

The nature of an environmental dispute can affect the number of people who have standing to sue. For example, a mining proposal that would harm a place that only a few dedicated hikers visit might have a relatively small number of people with standing to sue over it. On the other hand, a wide-ranging proposal to weaken protections for clean air might have a large community of air-breathers with standing to sue.

A:

hell yes!


Q:

Hi! Not exactly but close to that

A:

Money! The game was significantly easier up to about 6 weeks before release, but it was averaging about 3.5 minutes of play per quarter, and we needed to get it down to about 2 minutes in order to optimize earnings. We didn't want to make the first level too hard or no one would come back, so unfortunately we had to goose up the difficulty of level 2 a lot, more than we wanted for fun, but the earnings were critical. The "legend" is that RJ Mical still has a set of the ROMs of the easier build lost in his garage somewhere, but I'm dubious about that.


Q:

Can you speak to the life of head engineer? I can only speculate based on touring ww2 era us battleships. Also I watch a ton of star trek lol

A:

Mata Hari is one of my favourite 'modern' adventure games, and one of my favourite games that you've worked on. How did it come about and what was it good to work with Hal Barwood again?


Q:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/27/trump-will-overturn-obamas-permanent-arctic-offshore-drilling-ban/

"In December, Obama designated “the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing,” and promised to review drilling through a “climate” lens."

all those countries you mentioned have a stake up there. The seas mentioned are basically east and west of Alaska.

http://www.bugbog.com/maps/arctic_circle_map/

A:

How often do you play six degrees of yourself?


Q:

Guess many have heard of the complexity and the difficulty of reversing Stuxnet, but I was wondering if there is a sample, or family, that had you or the team working long and hard to understand it? Or maybe just baffled or amazed by it's complexity or stupidity.

Pretty much anything that have made an impression.

A:

Mata Hari is one of my favourite 'modern' adventure games, and one of my favourite games that you've worked on. How did it come about and what was it good to work with Hal Barwood again?


Q:

I'm very good friends with a former RMAS Chief so might be able to tell you something. Worth a shot.

A:

Glad you liked it! That one came about as a request from the publisher. They approached me, and I thought it was the kind of thing Hal would be interested in. At the time we were living about a 10 minute drive apart, and both available for freelance work. The theme of Mata Hari was actually a bit tough, not what we might have chosen on our own, but the historical references and spy work were close to our Indiana Jones experience, and we had a lot of fun on it. We got several trips to Germany as a result too, to the developer's offices in Hannover mostly, but also to meet the publisher in Hamburg, and to show it off at Gamescomm, the big German games show. German fans are, per capita, the biggest fans of the old LucasArts adventures, so that was a fantastic experience. (To support that claim before anyone protests, we sold 10x copies per capita of Monkey Island 2 in Germany than we did in the US)


Q:

There has never been offshore oil production in America’s Arctic Ocean, and there never should be, for three groups of reasons. It’s a valuable and fragile place, home to whales and other ocean wildlife that don’t mix well with offshore oil drilling. It’s one of the worst places in the world to have an oil spill, given the extreme weather and distance from Coast Guard stations and infrastructure needed for clean-up. And the Arctic is the part of our planet that may be suffering the most from climate change – it would add insult to injury to drill for oil in the Arctic and then burn the oil in order to further heat up the climate and hurt the Arctic even more. Our nation and our planet are moving toward new and better sources of clean energy. The solution to our energy problems is to accelerate the transition to cleaner energy, not drill for oil at the ends of the Earth in places where we’ve never even produced oil before.

A:

hahahaha never happens


Q:

I personally don’t analyze the code since 2007, so I suggest my GReAT guys can give a much better answer.
One of the most idiotic things I saw was a 13-byte MS-DOS computer worm which simply copied itself on the hard drive. Once.

A:

Glad you liked it! That one came about as a request from the publisher. They approached me, and I thought it was the kind of thing Hal would be interested in. At the time we were living about a 10 minute drive apart, and both available for freelance work. The theme of Mata Hari was actually a bit tough, not what we might have chosen on our own, but the historical references and spy work were close to our Indiana Jones experience, and we had a lot of fun on it. We got several trips to Germany as a result too, to the developer's offices in Hannover mostly, but also to meet the publisher in Hamburg, and to show it off at Gamescomm, the big German games show. German fans are, per capita, the biggest fans of the old LucasArts adventures, so that was a fantastic experience. (To support that claim before anyone protests, we sold 10x copies per capita of Monkey Island 2 in Germany than we did in the US)


Q:

Please do

A:

Do you think Fate of Atlantis can be made into a movie? Do you think these point and click adventure will make a comeback?


Q:

Is there a lot of precedent for independent law firms like yours challenging the powers that be and winning? What would be the tipping point in moving toward victory? A higher court taking on your case? There must be thousands of lawsuits against trump that will never see the light of day.

A:

Kevin, how hot was it on a set of "Wild Things" with those hotties almost naked?


Q:

What is the process of finding a solution to a cyberthreat? Is it like coding in reverse, or more like chess, or does it depend from time to time?

A:

Do you think Fate of Atlantis can be made into a movie? Do you think these point and click adventure will make a comeback?


Q:

Standard day as a Third.

0800-1200 Stand a watch

1200-1230 Lunch

1230-1600 Day work. Mostly I was responsible for LSA (Live Saving Appliances) and FFA (Fire Fighting Appliances). So I'd check and maintain them.

1600-1700 Relax

1700-1730 Eat

1730-1800 Temporarily relieve the officer on the bridge so he could eat.

1800-2000 Relax, free time.

2000-0000 Stand a watch

0000-0730 Sleep

0730-0800 Breakfast

Repeat everyday of the week. I wouldn't do daywork on a Sunday, we would do drills instead.

In port it's fairly similar to when I was a cadet.

0600-1200 Deck watch

1200-1500 Day work if possible

1500-1800 Rest

1800-0000 Deck watch

0000-0600 Rest

We didn't have divisions. There was usually 22 crew on board. No one was assigned to be directly under anyone. We just followed a straight hierarchy.

Sorry for making these so long, I hope I answered your questions.

A:

Can be - sure! Will be - very unlikely. Steven Spielberg enjoyed it - he is a hard-core game player, I have a lot of stories of seeing how dedicated to games he is - but he has plenty of ideas of his own about Indiana Jones, as does George. I got to brainstorm with the two of them together when I was the first project leader on The Dig, and really respect their depth of knowledge and their creativity, so I don't think it will be chosen as a movie plot, unless at some future point there is perhaps an animated series like George has done with Star Wars, giving them the option to explore many different stories.
As to point-and-click, it's already made something of a comeback, I'm amazed at how many new games are being made in the genre. I'll put in a plug for an indie game called Agatha Knife, from a Spanish studio called Mango Protocol. I saw it at a conference in Barcelona last year and it's just been released, very biting satire and funny, although it takes a lot of swipes at organized religion and has a pretty (charmingly) horrifying premise. I'm excited to see how the genre has stayed alive and in recent years, grown quite a bit. But it will never be as central as it was in the late 80's/early 90's.


Q:

We win a lot more cases than we lose, which is amazing when you consider the political and economic power of our adversaries in court – the federal government, the oil industry, the coal industry, many other industries, many state governments. We’re David against Goliath, and fortunately David wins a lot. As a result, there are wild places and wild species that wouldn’t exist, at all or in their current condition, except for Earthjustice lawsuits. And there are children who are breathing cleaner air and drinking cleaner water than they would otherwise. We believe that the law can make the world a better place, and we work every day to make that happen.

A:

very hot. Miami in august!


Q:

99.99%+ of the incoming malicious code is done automatically by our self-learning systems. The rest goes to the hands of our virus analysts working around the clock, mostly their job is about reverse-engineering of malicious code. Very complicated cases go to our special team of experts, and large investigations look more like collecting a very big and complicated puzzle, not chess.

A:

Can be - sure! Will be - very unlikely. Steven Spielberg enjoyed it - he is a hard-core game player, I have a lot of stories of seeing how dedicated to games he is - but he has plenty of ideas of his own about Indiana Jones, as does George. I got to brainstorm with the two of them together when I was the first project leader on The Dig, and really respect their depth of knowledge and their creativity, so I don't think it will be chosen as a movie plot, unless at some future point there is perhaps an animated series like George has done with Star Wars, giving them the option to explore many different stories.
As to point-and-click, it's already made something of a comeback, I'm amazed at how many new games are being made in the genre. I'll put in a plug for an indie game called Agatha Knife, from a Spanish studio called Mango Protocol. I saw it at a conference in Barcelona last year and it's just been released, very biting satire and funny, although it takes a lot of swipes at organized religion and has a pretty (charmingly) horrifying premise. I'm excited to see how the genre has stayed alive and in recent years, grown quite a bit. But it will never be as central as it was in the late 80's/early 90's.


Q:

If you want me to explain more about what I'd actually do on watch, let me know

I'd love to hear about what a watch is for you so I can compare it to a US Navy watch. I have to feel it's a lot of the same stuff.

A:

What would you say is an often overlooked aspect of game development by most people?


Q:

Do you think anything would happen with this lawsuit, or will it just get added to his already massive pile of lawsuits?

A:

Hi Kevin Bacon, what is your advice on living a successful and happy life?


Q:

Eugene, do you use a password manager?

A:

What would you say is an often overlooked aspect of game development by most people?


Q:

I put a pretty decent reply somewhere in here, explaining what we need to do and all.

A:

Hmm, I'll answer that from the viewpoint of developing games, not playing them, I think that's what you're after but correct me if I'm wrong. Writers (if the game involves writing/story) often are short-changed, with professional writers only brought in mid-way or later in the game, when the best story games have good writers on board from the first day. Musicians also feel overlooked, but unless it's a music-oriented game I don't think they have as good a case.


Q:

The American system of laws and courts is a wonderful thing. Everyone has to follow the law – I have to follow the law, you have to follow the law, and President Trump has to follow the law. When someone doesn’t, ordinary citizens can go into court and seek to hold them accountable. That’s what we’re doing at Earthjustice to fight back against the Trump administration’s illegal actions. And we will get decisions from the courts on all these cases. The wheels of justice sometimes turn a little slowly, but they do turn. One of the great things about filing public interest environmental lawsuits is that you generally get a ruling, up or down.

A:

wow , stay in the day. breath!


Q:

I do, our own one.

A:

Hmm, I'll answer that from the viewpoint of developing games, not playing them, I think that's what you're after but correct me if I'm wrong. Writers (if the game involves writing/story) often are short-changed, with professional writers only brought in mid-way or later in the game, when the best story games have good writers on board from the first day. Musicians also feel overlooked, but unless it's a music-oriented game I don't think they have as good a case.


Q:

What type of ship and how large? Favorite port of call?

A:

I grew up playing fate of Atlantis and have almost gotten a tattoo of Sophia's necklace or the oricalcum statue thing. Where did all of the art come from? Also, was there any real strategy involved in the fist fighting? I quickly learned the sucker punch command and ended most fist fights as soon as they started, since I was an impatient kid, but was there more to it? Was I missing out on some sweet mortal kombat-esque fighting sequences?


Q:

Could you explain a bit more about how the Trump administration is trying to undo various public protections? Are they declining to enforce federal regulations? or trying to change the regulations?

A:

Will there be a footloose 2 in the future?

Thanks Kevin!


Q:

When did you wrote your last line of code? And what was it?

A:

I grew up playing fate of Atlantis and have almost gotten a tattoo of Sophia's necklace or the oricalcum statue thing. Where did all of the art come from? Also, was there any real strategy involved in the fist fighting? I quickly learned the sucker punch command and ended most fist fights as soon as they started, since I was an impatient kid, but was there more to it? Was I missing out on some sweet mortal kombat-esque fighting sequences?


Q:

Panamax Bulk carrier. Length around 225m. 76,000 DWT

Most of my routes were quite repetitive, so I haven't really seen enough to say. But I always loved Gibraltar, even though we were only at anchorage, I liked it.

A:

All of it was created by the artists on the team, inspired by Minoan art and directed in some cases by Hal Barwood. There are some fans that have created versions of the necklace and statue, really quite nice, you can track them down online. I bought a few for myself from someone in Spain who shipped them. A tattoo would be awesome, I know someone with a Sinistar tattoo but not any Fate of Atlantis ones, but I expect they're out there.


Q:

So far they have mostly been focused on trying to (illegally) reverse pro-environment actions taken by President Obama. Examples of this include their attempted reversing of the federal coal leasing moratorium adopted by President Obama in early 2016, and their attempted to reverse President Obama’s withdrawal of most of the Arctic Ocean and important parts of the Atlantic Ocean from availability for offshore oil leasing. We’ve filed lawsuits against both those Trump administration actions, which violate the National Environmental Policy Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act respectively.

A:

there was one!


Q:

First days of January 2010, location: Patriot Hills base, Antarctica.

A:

All of it was created by the artists on the team, inspired by Minoan art and directed in some cases by Hal Barwood. There are some fans that have created versions of the necklace and statue, really quite nice, you can track them down online. I bought a few for myself from someone in Spain who shipped them. A tattoo would be awesome, I know someone with a Sinistar tattoo but not any Fate of Atlantis ones, but I expect they're out there.


Q:

Do you guys sing sea shanties while underway?

A:

What were the challenges of working on a 4th Indiana Jones story when there were already episodes/stories in existence? Was it difficult to come up with something new & fresh while still keeping within the general feel of an Indiana Jones story?


Q:

Do you have any recommendations on what an everyday dude can do to stop/slow the DOI from reverting recently designated National Monuments? I see the public comment period starts on the 12th, so I will definitely be doing that. Any other ideas?

A:

What's the worst joke you've heard about your name?


Q:

What was the last big threat that really blew you away with its ingenuity?

second question, what is your interaction with law enforcement like? Do you assist governments in apprehending the virus makers?

A:

What were the challenges of working on a 4th Indiana Jones story when there were already episodes/stories in existence? Was it difficult to come up with something new & fresh while still keeping within the general feel of an Indiana Jones story?


Q:

Unfortunately not. I'm not allowed to walk up and down the ship swinging a lamp either :(

A:

No, it was a pleasure. We had lots of ideas - had narrowed it down to the one we chose, and one about a quest to find Excalibur, but rejected that one because it wouldn't have easily given Jones a reason to go anywhere but England, while Atlantis gave us a lot more interesting options. Game developers always have many more ideas than time and resources to implement them.


Q:

I’m so glad you’ll be filing a comment. That’s a great place to start. Telling your senators and member of Congress that you want them to protect all national monuments is another important step. Writing to Secretary Zinke, which you can do on Earthjustice’s website, is another great action you can take.

A:

lot's of sizzling stuff


Q:
  1. I’d need a lot of time to answer the first one. In short I can name Carbanak, Equation and Satellite Turla as those employing the most tricky tools. Check our reports for more details.
    2-3. There are many investigations in many regions and we assist many national and international cyberpolice forces like Interpol and Europol to stop criminal schemes and arrest the attackers. Many cases.
A:

No, it was a pleasure. We had lots of ideas - had narrowed it down to the one we chose, and one about a quest to find Excalibur, but rejected that one because it wouldn't have easily given Jones a reason to go anywhere but England, while Atlantis gave us a lot more interesting options. Game developers always have many more ideas than time and resources to implement them.


Q:

You said earlier some pass the time by drinking; is there a canteen where you can purchase extra snacks/alcohol with your own money or is it provided by the Navy? Also, what's the drink of choice on a ship?

A:

do you think games are any more violent today than they were in the 80's?


Q:

How has your work changed from working for NRDC to working for Earthjustice? And do you have any advice for a scientist who wants to work for these organizations?

A:

Amazon Prime and "I Love Dick" in one sentence = You have my undivided attention. So what's the show about and what's your role encompass, Mr Bacon?


Q:

Second question:

How come Kaspersky don't offer a free AV like many of your competitors do?

A:

do you think games are any more violent today than they were in the 80's?


Q:

It's called a "slop chest" or "bonded store". It's basically a room on board with cigarettes, chocolate, soda, beer etc. You kind of have an account on the ship, so you buy want you want, and that is deducted from your wage at the end of the month.

Drink of choice varies by nationality. Mostly beer. But Eastern Europeans and Russians tend to prefer Vodka, but most companies wont allow spirits on board to stop people from getting drunk and doing stupid shit.

We have no affiliation to the navy. It's private companies.

A:

Hard to say - objectively, probably so, but I think that's mostly a result of the power of the platforms and the graphics. If you look at books, movies, even opera, themes of live and death - and violence - have always been popular, although with games as with other media the violent ones are minority of the total.


Q:

I’ve been fortunate to work for both Earthjustice and NRDC, two of the most effective environmental groups in the world. I’m proud that NRDC is one of Earthjustice’s clients. My advice to any scientist who wants to work with either organization is to go for it, because having access to great scientific capacity is critical to both organizations. In advocacy work, it’s critical that scientists have both technical and advocacy skills. Including the ability to translate technical concepts into language that is understandable and compelling to laypeople (such as judges).

A:

it's about a couple who's love life is re kindled by their lust for another man


Q:

We already offer free solution in several regions, but later this year we’ll have some good global news. Pure free global solution (not a trial).

A:

Hard to say - objectively, probably so, but I think that's mostly a result of the power of the platforms and the graphics. If you look at books, movies, even opera, themes of live and death - and violence - have always been popular, although with games as with other media the violent ones are minority of the total.


Q:

are you ever too old to start this? If my wife dies and I am 45. This sounds like the perfect life. just getting away from the world. And I love the ocean and a routine.

A:

was there a particular reason for you not working on Indiana Jones & the Infernal Machine? :)


Q:

Would you say you are more of a fancy bear or a cozy bear?

A:

was there a particular reason for you not working on Indiana Jones & the Infernal Machine? :)


Q:

Nope. People have started at a later age. If you can handle fairly physical work you will be fine.

However I have to say that I hope it doesn't come to that given the circumstances.

A:

I wasn't at LucasArts by then! I was working at The 3DO company on their game console (first one using a CD drive as standard).


Q:

I’m a Kamchatka bear-hunter.

A:

I wasn't at LucasArts by then! I was working at The 3DO company on their game console (first one using a CD drive as standard).


Q:

How did you get started in the field?

A:

One game you wish you could redesign?


Q:

How do you stay current on new threats/viruses?

A:

One game you wish you could redesign?


Q:

I started as a Deck Cadet. I'm not really sure why I started to be honest, it was pretty random and out of the blue.

A:

Interesting question - with all of my games I usually know even before they are shipped of several things I would have like to have done differently, but didn't have the time. I think that's very common among designers, we're always tinkering and if you indulge the urge to change everything, you end up with one of those disasters that goes on for years and never comes out. Like - no, I won't be catty. I think that with hindsight, I would have made the most changes to Koronis Rift, the first game I did at LucasArts. Looking back, I made many mistakes that a rookie designer tends to make, chief among them trying to do too much, and also putting too much effort into parts of the game that weren't enhancing gameplay. In some ways that was one of the very first FPS games, and I think I could have made it a lot more exciting if I'd made it less strategic.


Q:

My office is 5 meters away from some of my best researchers. And on my business trips I’m always in touch with our Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)

A:

Interesting question - with all of my games I usually know even before they are shipped of several things I would have like to have done differently, but didn't have the time. I think that's very common among designers, we're always tinkering and if you indulge the urge to change everything, you end up with one of those disasters that goes on for years and never comes out. Like - no, I won't be catty. I think that with hindsight, I would have made the most changes to Koronis Rift, the first game I did at LucasArts. Looking back, I made many mistakes that a rookie designer tends to make, chief among them trying to do too much, and also putting too much effort into parts of the game that weren't enhancing gameplay. In some ways that was one of the very first FPS games, and I think I could have made it a lot more exciting if I'd made it less strategic.


Q:

What sort of qualifications did you have before starting? I'm almost done my BA and am looking for a change from what I have been doing. I've been sailing all my life and thought I'd look into working on something bigger when I'm done school

A:

What prompted you to leave Google, and how was your experience with working there?


Q:

Have you seen a change in business in the US in recent months? (since there has been a focus on Russia and ties to the Leadership)

Edit- grammar

A:

What prompted you to leave Google, and how was your experience with working there?


Q:

I had standard high school/secondary school qualifications. There are two academic qualifications you can get, one of them requires a higher level qualification (A-Levels). But it doesn't really matter which one you do, you get the same professional certification at the end and that's the important bit.

A:

I've summarized my reasons for leaving here: http://www.theinspiracy.com/noahs-arkive/the-evolution-of-a-game-designer Bottom line is, I joined there to work on really big game projects but the VP who wanted to do that left the company shortly after I was hired, and I never got to do the kind of game design work I'd come there to do.

But I have to say, Google is a fantastic company. I very much enjoyed working there for a long list of reasons. Lots of incredibly smart and talented colleagues, very interesting challenges, amazing benefits (I still miss the food... yeah, kind of shallow that way) and it was reassuring to feel that they were supporting me when I traveled, I saw about 15 of the offices around the world and never tired of exploring new ones. I highly recommend it as a place to go, and if you're a 20-something hot coder, it's probably the best place in the world to work on many accounts.


Q:

We didn’t see any real impact on our business, but all these stories, they don’t make me happy. But to some extent they give us something close to free advertising. But what makes me really feel good is how our international team, including in the U.S. is working great with all this media pressure.

A:

I've summarized my reasons for leaving here: http://www.theinspiracy.com/noahs-arkive/the-evolution-of-a-game-designer Bottom line is, I joined there to work on really big game projects but the VP who wanted to do that left the company shortly after I was hired, and I never got to do the kind of game design work I'd come there to do.

But I have to say, Google is a fantastic company. I very much enjoyed working there for a long list of reasons. Lots of incredibly smart and talented colleagues, very interesting challenges, amazing benefits (I still miss the food... yeah, kind of shallow that way) and it was reassuring to feel that they were supporting me when I traveled, I saw about 15 of the offices around the world and never tired of exploring new ones. I highly recommend it as a place to go, and if you're a 20-something hot coder, it's probably the best place in the world to work on many accounts.


Q:

What are the name of the certification? I'd like to look into it

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Looking back on the past 20 years, is there any aspect of Security that you feel Kaspersky has gotten into too late?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

The important one is your Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency.

A:

Tough call. Ruling out games I worked on myself, I guess the first one that comes to mind is Star Control 2, I loved that game. Very creative, and a great blend of story and gameplay.


Q:

20 years ago we were a tiny, globally invisible Moscow-based bootstrap. We simply didn’t have a lot of resources, and we knew we were losing opportunities. So first of all, we made the world’s best antivirus engine, and we licensed it to few other AV companies, because we didn’t have resources to develop a product. We had 5 engineers. We couldn’t do enterprise products, network security.
But ten years ago, based on our success, we invested in a wide range of security technologies, including our unique proprietary secure operating system.

A:

Tough call. Ruling out games I worked on myself, I guess the first one that comes to mind is Star Control 2, I loved that game. Very creative, and a great blend of story and gameplay.


Q:

What countries flag did your ship use? Did you encounter any rogue waves? Did your ship violate bilge discharge regs?

A:

What's your favorite adventure game?

Do you think point and click adventures still have a place in modern gaming?

What could developers do to make them more attractive to a wider audience?


Q:

Does the company have any plans to move farther away from signature-based AV to the more "next gen" solutions like Cylance or SentinelOne?

A:

What's your favorite adventure game?

Do you think point and click adventures still have a place in modern gaming?

What could developers do to make them more attractive to a wider audience?


Q:

The Cayman Islands. No rogue waves thankfully. No we never did. There's no need to, and it's ridiculous and disgusting that people do.

A:

Fav adventure game - probably Monkey Island 2. I didn't have a lot to do with the production, so I didn't get sick of it from having to play it too often. I think Ron, Dave and Tim made an amazing team, and certainly brainstorming with them was incredibly fun, and seeing how the game came out, there were many bits that would make me laugh even after seeing the same joke many times. I still remember one of my favorite points in making the game, where we were talking about how Guybrush could slide down a rope - "What if he used a hook?" "Not funny enough" "How about a rubber chicken?" "Nah, a rubber chicken wouldn't slide, you'd get stuck." Silent thought, and then someone (could have been me, I honestly don't know because several of us can't agree) said, "not if it was a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle" - and we all cracked up. Modern gaming - see above, I'm happy to see as a genre they're doing pretty well, but I don't think they'll ever be as popular as they used to be.
More attractive - Hal Barwood and I had an idea we toyed with in Mata Hari involving turning dialog and information into physical tokens. I still think we could go much farther - we came up with the idea fairly far into design, and if we designed a game from scratch around it I think it could be amazing - but I doubt it would make them really mainstream. I think they're an acquired taste, and it's like a specific genre, e.g. "mockumentaries" that some people find really enjoyable, but never are breakout hits these days.


Q:

We are not relying on signature-based AV only for many-many years, check this whitepaper
About ‘next-gen’ solutions, way too often we don’t see them in regular independent tests. How do you they know they are effective, because they tell you so?

A:

Fav adventure game - probably Monkey Island 2. I didn't have a lot to do with the production, so I didn't get sick of it from having to play it too often. I think Ron, Dave and Tim made an amazing team, and certainly brainstorming with them was incredibly fun, and seeing how the game came out, there were many bits that would make me laugh even after seeing the same joke many times. I still remember one of my favorite points in making the game, where we were talking about how Guybrush could slide down a rope - "What if he used a hook?" "Not funny enough" "How about a rubber chicken?" "Nah, a rubber chicken wouldn't slide, you'd get stuck." Silent thought, and then someone (could have been me, I honestly don't know because several of us can't agree) said, "not if it was a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle" - and we all cracked up. Modern gaming - see above, I'm happy to see as a genre they're doing pretty well, but I don't think they'll ever be as popular as they used to be.
More attractive - Hal Barwood and I had an idea we toyed with in Mata Hari involving turning dialog and information into physical tokens. I still think we could go much farther - we came up with the idea fairly far into design, and if we designed a game from scratch around it I think it could be amazing - but I doubt it would make them really mainstream. I think they're an acquired taste, and it's like a specific genre, e.g. "mockumentaries" that some people find really enjoyable, but never are breakout hits these days.


Q:

What are bilge discharge regs?

A:

Thanks for the reply! Monkey Island 2 is one of my favorites as well, although I'd have to say my absolutely favorite is Sam and Max Hit the Road.


Q:

What apps and sites are good to use to monitor/evaluate the data being grabbed by other apps and sites?

A:

Thanks for the reply! Monkey Island 2 is one of my favorites as well, although I'd have to say my absolutely favorite is Sam and Max Hit the Road.


Q:

Not fully my department, but basically take the shit out of the water using the OWS and dump the water in a authorized area, and burn the oily sludge.

A:

Are you aware that Steve Purcell, who created the Sam and Max comics and inspired us to make games around them, is now at Pixar?


Q:

I’m not an expert in such software, I can only say that we have a browser plugin in our consumer product that blocks tracking by websites.

A:

Are you aware that Steve Purcell, who created the Sam and Max comics and inspired us to make games around them, is now at Pixar?


Q:

It seems to me that you studied a lot while onboard. What were you studying every day? Was it required by officers or was it your own initiative?

A:

As a pioneer of the Adventure Game format and point and click adventures, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced when creating these amazing worlds? given the technology you guys had. (Monkey Island universe and Fate of Atlantis innovative world)


Q:

I've heard your surname pronounced as "Casper sky" and as "kas-per-skee." Which is it?

A:

As a pioneer of the Adventure Game format and point and click adventures, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced when creating these amazing worlds? given the technology you guys had. (Monkey Island universe and Fate of Atlantis innovative world)


Q:

It wasn't required by my officers but was encouraged, so I guess it was a combination.

I would study anything which could be done without practical. Things like met, stability, construction, navigational mathematics, law etc. Also as part of our training, British Cadets need to write "reports" about what they are doing on board. I'd write these as well as "cheat sheets" in my study time.

Studying was a good way to pass time as well. Some officers will require and push you to study, but mine didn't.

A:

Perhaps the hardest thing was coming up with puzzles and situations that were tough to solve, but fair, and lent themselves to solution with an AHA! moment when you kept thinking about them. As Ron has said, "it's all locks and keys" and the trick is learning dozens of ways to disguise that.


Q:

Like “Kasper-Ski”

A:

Perhaps the hardest thing was coming up with puzzles and situations that were tough to solve, but fair, and lent themselves to solution with an AHA! moment when you kept thinking about them. As Ron has said, "it's all locks and keys" and the trick is learning dozens of ways to disguise that.


Q:

What is the strangest thing you've seen out there?

A:

Sinistar was awesome! Did you believe at the time that the inclusion of synthesized speech in games would develop into full speech soundtracks or were you of the opinion that it was a passing novelty?


Q:

There were articles on topic "Antivirus is dead". What is the future of antivirus ?

A:

Sinistar was awesome! Did you believe at the time that the inclusion of synthesized speech in games would develop into full speech soundtracks or were you of the opinion that it was a passing novelty?


Q:

Ghost ship kind of thing. I swear I could see lights about 8NM away but nothing on radar at all. Kind of spooked me.

Also in certain places, often near the Caribbean you get flashing around the hull. I believe it's from all the plankton and the friction on the hull.

A:

It was too new, we just thought it would be fun to try. Sinistar wasn't the first arcade game to add speech, but it was the first one I think to create a specific character, and with only 7 utterances (see this for a marvelous analysis: http://onastick.net/drew/sinistar/ ) Ken Fedesna, the head of engineering, was responsible for giving us the permission and encouragement to use the speech chip, it had been developed for a pinball game (Black Knight? I don't recall) and he thought it would be a good fit for Sinistar. It definitely is what most people remember from the game.


Q:

In future we need to move from security to immunity, we need to have immune platforms and network infrastructure that would be immune to cyberattacks.

A:

It was too new, we just thought it would be fun to try. Sinistar wasn't the first arcade game to add speech, but it was the first one I think to create a specific character, and with only 7 utterances (see this for a marvelous analysis: http://onastick.net/drew/sinistar/ ) Ken Fedesna, the head of engineering, was responsible for giving us the permission and encouragement to use the speech chip, it had been developed for a pinball game (Black Knight? I don't recall) and he thought it would be a good fit for Sinistar. It definitely is what most people remember from the game.


Q:

Is the toilet paper over or under on the ships?

A:

what's the strangest unreleased game you've played, developed, or heard about from colleagues?


Q:

Hello, Eugene

How is the investigation of the FAS against Microsoft proceeding? Do you plan to enter into settlement?

A:

what's the strangest unreleased game you've played, developed, or heard about from colleagues?


Q:

The all important question. It's your choice, I've always had an en-suite.

A:

That's a hard one. Lots of strange games abandoned partway through over the years - many more than are published. Maybe not strange, but unusual is one that Ron Gilbert proposed that never got made or even started, "I was a Teenage Lobot". You can see the doc here: http://grumpygamer.com/teenage_lobot


Q:

It’s a long story, but it’s going on and going well. Check for details on my blog

A:

That's a hard one. Lots of strange games abandoned partway through over the years - many more than are published. Maybe not strange, but unusual is one that Ron Gilbert proposed that never got made or even started, "I was a Teenage Lobot". You can see the doc here: http://grumpygamer.com/teenage_lobot


Q:

As a charterer with a mining company and timechartering vessels such as those you were aboard, would I correct in saying that noon reports are works of fiction with respect to actual weather conditions? Seems I always have adverse winds/currents which invalidate performance guarantees...

A:

What is the Citizen Kane of videogames?


Q:

Eugene, what are your short term and long term goals for Kaspersky Lab?

A:

What is the Citizen Kane of videogames?


Q:

No. Not for me at least. We were always truthful. But what others do could be anything.

Can I ask, how did you get into chartering?

A:

The answer to that is found in the film that is the Tetris of movies.


Q:

The short-term is to be number one company in cybersecurity. The long-term - to introduce the new immunity standards for everything digital

A:

The answer to that is found in the film that is the Tetris of movies.


Q:

Good old fashioned nepotism is the honest answer to that! I graduated uni and went to work in an unrelated field, and got bored. My old man who had worked for an owner as an in house broker set me up an interview with an international shipbroker. I worked with them for 7 years (London, Shanghai & Beijing), then I joined a niche capesize broker in Singapore for a few years after the collapse of the market in 2008/9. I wanted to get into to ship operating, so applied for a position to learn more about the cargo side of commercial shipping, and ended up in a mining company doing my current job.

If you are interested then there are several routes into the commercial side of shipping if you have a passion for it.

A:

Could there ever be a game that is pure character study, without missions or objectives? Like Glengarry Glen Ross: The Game?


Q:

Favorite malware and why? When interviewed for the Vice documentary, you commented a bit on Stuxnet, but what else has been of high interest to you.

A:

Could there ever be a game that is pure character study, without missions or objectives? Like Glengarry Glen Ross: The Game?


Q:

Thank you. I'm considering that or Naval Architecture.

A:

Sure, and I'm positive it's been done with some of the indie art games, I'm not a big player of that style of game but I've seen enough to think it must have been done. "Her Story" on mobile games is kind of that, although arguably so.


Q:

Ask the same question to your dentist, does he/she have a favourite cavity?

A:

Sure, and I'm positive it's been done with some of the indie art games, I'm not a big player of that style of game but I've seen enough to think it must have been done. "Her Story" on mobile games is kind of that, although arguably so.


Q:

If you do decide to go down the commercial side of things, get in touch with the Baltic Exchange, they can give guidance about shipbrokers and how to become one. They may also give a list of members (prospective employers) who you can get in touch with. I would say the best place to start would be your last employers while at sea (unless you were placed by shipmanagers).

A:

What's your favorite meme?


Q:

I worked for you for a few years about a decade ago. We had a few beers together in a restaurant (Armenian IIRC) in Moscow, it was fun.

Can you say hi to Sergey Nevstruev and Vartan Minasyan for me?

A:

What's your favorite meme?


Q:

Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it.

A:

I'm a fan of Richard Dawkin's original use of the term, I think it's a bit sad it has come to mean what it does and don't really have a favorite. The original concept is so fresh and powerful, it doesn't deserve to be turned into pictures with text!


Q:

Sergey has left the company, but I will say hi to Vartan! From whom?

A:

I'm a fan of Richard Dawkin's original use of the term, I think it's a bit sad it has come to mean what it does and don't really have a favorite. The original concept is so fresh and powerful, it doesn't deserve to be turned into pictures with text!


Q:

have you ever hit or run into anything with your ship?

A:

What was an innovation in game play you came up with that didn't catch on like you would have thought?


Q:

What was an innovation in game play you came up with that didn't catch on like you would have thought?

A:

Nope.


Q:

I miss the old game Acrophobia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrophobia_(game) I'm surprised it didn't spawn imitators, or not many anyway.

A:

I miss the old game Acrophobia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrophobia_(game) I'm surprised it didn't spawn imitators, or not many anyway.


Q:

Did you ever throw the Captain's stinking palm tree overboard?

A:

You will have seen the various incarnations of VR and the 3 or 4 times they have been heralded as the next big thing over the last 30 years. Do you think it will ever catch on for real? What challenges in game design do they need to overcome to become more widely accepted?


Q:

You will have seen the various incarnations of VR and the 3 or 4 times they have been heralded as the next big thing over the last 30 years. Do you think it will ever catch on for real? What challenges in game design do they need to overcome to become more widely accepted?

A:

No it fell ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


Q:

I think the current wave is for real. I love both games (Virtual Virtual Reality is really fun) and VR storytelling (Check out Spotlight Stories, particularly Pearl and Special Delivery).

A:

I think the current wave is for real. I love both games (Virtual Virtual Reality is really fun) and VR storytelling (Check out Spotlight Stories, particularly Pearl and Special Delivery).


Q:

Might be too late to ask, but have you read Ninety Percent of Everything by Rose George? If so curious to hear what you thought about it. Seems like a pretty accurate account of life on a container ship if you haven't!

A:

Walt Disney, or Jim Henson?


Q:

Walt Disney, or Jim Henson?

A:

Yes I read that before I started my training. I've never worked on a container ship but studied with those who did. One of which had read the book and testified that it was a pretty accurate representation.


Q:

John Lasseter

A:

John Lasseter


Q:

ever encounter pirates?

A:

What advice would you give to the parent of a pre-teen, who's absolutely nuts about making games, game-design, programming and playing?

They've a talent and knack (from my v. limited perspective), how do I support, encourage and engage without being pushy? (ie. balance of playing vs. creating).

Any pointers from your experience on the 'making side' gratefully received.


Q:

What advice would you give to the parent of a pre-teen, who's absolutely nuts about making games, game-design, programming and playing?

They've a talent and knack (from my v. limited perspective), how do I support, encourage and engage without being pushy? (ie. balance of playing vs. creating).

Any pointers from your experience on the 'making side' gratefully received.

A:

No. When I was on board we never sailed in any HRAs (High Risk Areas)

But my company usually put armed guards on board, so I would of been relatively assured.


Q:

The gateway these days is often Minecraft, I'd recommend that if your child hasn't yet tried it, it's often a way people get started, particularly 10 year old boys it seems. But I'd also recommend checking out one of the several publicly available game making programs that require very little programming expertise, can't recall a particular one at the moment, sorry! But playing stuff your kid makes is a good idea.

A:

The gateway these days is often Minecraft, I'd recommend that if your child hasn't yet tried it, it's often a way people get started, particularly 10 year old boys it seems. But I'd also recommend checking out one of the several publicly available game making programs that require very little programming expertise, can't recall a particular one at the moment, sorry! But playing stuff your kid makes is a good idea.


Q:

Good timing for this AMA as I was just wondering about this the other day. Can you describe the living quarters on a cargo ship? The rooms, kitchen, gym, is there a rec room, lounge, etc? Basically all the "non-work" areas I am super curious to know what they are like. Bonus if you have pictures.

A:

Thank you.

Yes, Minecraft was the gateway, were currently using Unity to participate in online game jams. That's a really good point about playing what's made - I normally advise from a distance, but should be playing too. Thanks!


Q:

Thank you.

Yes, Minecraft was the gateway, were currently using Unity to participate in online game jams. That's a really good point about playing what's made - I normally advise from a distance, but should be playing too. Thanks!

A:

I just answered in another question about rec stuff.

As for accommodation it will depend on ship type, age and size. I sound like a broken record constantly saying this, but I'll talk about my experience.

All rooms were single berths with en-suite with a shower. Rooms varied in size dependent on rank. Mine was pretty sizeable, it was kind of too big because there was nothing to fill the space.

The galley was big, but it doesn't really matter unless you're going to be a cook. You can't cook your own stuff usually, other than noodles in the microwave and some toast. You do your own laundry we had two separate ones on board.

If that's not enough let me know, seems kind of sparce. I'll see what I can find with regards to pictures.


Q:

Unity is a great move, sounds like he or she is going fine. Finding other friends who want to share/collaborate also can help encourage young developers.

A:

Unity is a great move, sounds like he or she is going fine. Finding other friends who want to share/collaborate also can help encourage young developers.


Q:

So many good questions already asked.. are there any artists / musicians that make paintings or songs about "that cargo ship life"?

I always watch the boats in the harbour like clouds, and use apps to track em.

Aside from the Edmund Fitzgerald.

A:

Sinistar kicked a$$!! Was there any way to get past the 3rd level? I've seen people playing old games (Asteroids comes to mind) to the point where they could play indefinitely. Sinistar was a BEAST. I probably paid for your kids college trying (and failing) to survive the 3rd level.


Q:

Sinistar kicked a$$!! Was there any way to get past the 3rd level? I've seen people playing old games (Asteroids comes to mind) to the point where they could play indefinitely. Sinistar was a BEAST. I probably paid for your kids college trying (and failing) to survive the 3rd level.

A:

I don't know of any to be honest. I've never looked into it. Ships can be weirdly mesmerizing when they're at work.


Q:

Hah, I didn't ever get a cut of the profits from the game - but I did get my first car with bonus money, so thanks! Sure, I've gotten to level 5, and know many people who have gone higher, but it is of course extremely difficult. See above for why that is.

A:

Hah, I didn't ever get a cut of the profits from the game - but I did get my first car with bonus money, so thanks! Sure, I've gotten to level 5, and know many people who have gone higher, but it is of course extremely difficult. See above for why that is.


Q:

How many pirates have you had to fight off?

A:

The excitement of running like hell from Sinistar, spewing bombs but knowing you were 1 or 2 short of taking him out was epic. "Run, coward!!!!"

Thanks for the memories!


Q:

The excitement of running like hell from Sinistar, spewing bombs but knowing you were 1 or 2 short of taking him out was epic. "Run, coward!!!!"

Thanks for the memories!

A:

None. Boring I know.


Q:

You're welcome!

A:

You're welcome!


Q:

An old guy at a bar one time told me that ships had a breakage / spillage allowance so if there was say... scotch on board some of it would get "broken" and they'd all get shitfaced..

Are there any countermeasures for that "breakage and spillage aside form the sealed 40HC containers?

A:

How/where did you develop the awesome Sinistar voice? That thing is impressive, especially considering tech constraints


Q:

How/where did you develop the awesome Sinistar voice? That thing is impressive, especially considering tech constraints

A:

These days everything is tighter, you'll rarely find scotch on board.

I have no idea though to be honest. The company will sometimes give you an allowance to buy beer for the crew, or if you have a nice captain he will get it.


Q:

Answered above, it was voiced by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doremus

There is a pretty tiny amount of recorded voice in the game, I think about 20 seconds of unique stuff. There wasn't much to work with.

A:

Answered above, it was voiced by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doremus

There is a pretty tiny amount of recorded voice in the game, I think about 20 seconds of unique stuff. There wasn't much to work with.


Q:

Any great heist stories?

A:

Hello, Mr. Falstien! I did an AMA request last week asking for a game designer/writer, so I wanted to ask: what is it like and what is involved to create a character in your game? I've always been intrigued by the minds behind the characters; why they made the character say the things they say and act the way they act.

Thanks for doing this!


Q:

Hello, Mr. Falstien! I did an AMA request last week asking for a game designer/writer, so I wanted to ask: what is it like and what is involved to create a character in your game? I've always been intrigued by the minds behind the characters; why they made the character say the things they say and act the way they act.

Thanks for doing this!

A:

I once held up Feech La Manna's card game with my pal Jackie.


Q:

I don't have a specific system for that. When I've done it, I usually start with the game or gameplay and work backward - what kind of character would have the qualities needed for the game? And I use a technique taught by Orson Scott Card, the writer, acknowledging the first few things that come to mind, but push farther into unusual or surprising or quirky alternatives, rejecting the initial cliches. I also like to try to harness my subconscious, think hard about a concept or character, then purposefully distract myself or meditate (or even let myself come to the edge of sleep) and set a reminder (like an alarm) so that I come back to it obliquely.

A:

I don't have a specific system for that. When I've done it, I usually start with the game or gameplay and work backward - what kind of character would have the qualities needed for the game? And I use a technique taught by Orson Scott Card, the writer, acknowledging the first few things that come to mind, but push farther into unusual or surprising or quirky alternatives, rejecting the initial cliches. I also like to try to harness my subconscious, think hard about a concept or character, then purposefully distract myself or meditate (or even let myself come to the edge of sleep) and set a reminder (like an alarm) so that I come back to it obliquely.


Q:

I've heard stories about smaller boats wrecking when they hit a lost, partially submerged container. Have you ever lost containers at sea? Do you try to recover them or just write them off as lost?

A:

Hi! I'm very impressed by your career, you designed a lot of very important titles in history (my fav being the two indy games). Could you please tell us a bit about your time at 3do? What was your role here? What games did you design for them?


Q:

Hi! I'm very impressed by your career, you designed a lot of very important titles in history (my fav being the two indy games). Could you please tell us a bit about your time at 3do? What was your role here? What games did you design for them?

A:

I never worked on a container ship so can't say. It's not just small vessels they damage, they'll do some work on large craft as well.


Q:

I was the 9th employee, and for the first 6 months was the entire production department reporting directly to Trip Hawkins. I worked on a bunch of prototypes that were shown at trade shows like CES, and was developing a game about Terraforming called Worldbuilders, Inc. when Trip decided to cut back on internal development. Some of the work I did would now be called evangelism, some of it was helping hire out our internal development group that did games like Twisted. It was interesting trying to figure out how to use a CD-ROM built into a game machine, we debuted a year before the first Playstation and so had to do a lot of groundbreaking work.

A:

I was the 9th employee, and for the first 6 months was the entire production department reporting directly to Trip Hawkins. I worked on a bunch of prototypes that were shown at trade shows like CES, and was developing a game about Terraforming called Worldbuilders, Inc. when Trip decided to cut back on internal development. Some of the work I did would now be called evangelism, some of it was helping hire out our internal development group that did games like Twisted. It was interesting trying to figure out how to use a CD-ROM built into a game machine, we debuted a year before the first Playstation and so had to do a lot of groundbreaking work.


Q:

I'm wondering, I heard that there used to be a way for someone to book passage on a cargo ship that goes to specific places...and it being much cheaper than flying or going by cruise. Is this still true?

A:

Will you be in this upcoming E3?


Q:

Will you be in this upcoming E3?

A:

I wouldn't say it was cheaper. I remember looking it up a while ago and it was really expensive. Give it a google.


Q:

Nope, I have only been to one E3 in the last ten years, don't find it very useful for me any more.

A:

Nope, I have only been to one E3 in the last ten years, don't find it very useful for me any more.


Q:

What time zone does the ship use? Is it Zulu/GMT or does it vary by where you are in the world?

Does your circadian rhythm get messed up since the sunrise/set times are always changing a lot in east/west voyages?

A:

I've spent more than eight years writing a script for an RPG, could you please make it a game or send me in the right direction?

You're amazing.

  • The Rostical Guild (google it).

Q:

I've spent more than eight years writing a script for an RPG, could you please make it a game or send me in the right direction?

You're amazing.

  • The Rostical Guild (google it).
A:

We use UTC for celestial calculations and things like that.

We advance or retard the time depending on where we are. One hour at a time. The time would be adjusted by twenty minutes every four hours.

The changes are subtle enough to not mess with your patterns in my opinion.


Q:

Sorry, I don't think I can help with that. Most people (and especially companies) with the resources to make games have more ideas/designs than they can handle, I literally don't know of a single case of this kind of thing resulting in someone picking up a game and paying to make it.

A:

Sorry, I don't think I can help with that. Most people (and especially companies) with the resources to make games have more ideas/designs than they can handle, I literally don't know of a single case of this kind of thing resulting in someone picking up a game and paying to make it.


Q:

What do you do with a drunken sailor?

A:

Did you ever receive complaints in the mail about Sinistar? I wasn't around in the 80's but that game seems absolutely mentally scarring, and I can't imagine it went through without some sort of controversy, internal or otherwise.


Q:

Did you ever receive complaints in the mail about Sinistar? I wasn't around in the 80's but that game seems absolutely mentally scarring, and I can't imagine it went through without some sort of controversy, internal or otherwise.

A:

Drink with him.


Q:

Whoops, tried to reply to this but something went wrong. Anyway, no, there wasn't any controversy - people liked being startled for the most part, a few were resentful but most people thought it was a fun surprise, and got over it quickly. In a crowded, noisy arcade I don't think it was particularly scary.

A:

Whoops, tried to reply to this but something went wrong. Anyway, no, there wasn't any controversy - people liked being startled for the most part, a few were resentful but most people thought it was a fun surprise, and got over it quickly. In a crowded, noisy arcade I don't think it was particularly scary.


Q:

Seaman's discharge huh? Less comments about that than I'd expect

A:

Oooh this question has been on my mind a while now. I read an article posted in /r/futurology that due to robots taking our jobs, humans will soon find themselves at an existential crisis because their lives have no meaning. One of the proposed solutions is that we will spend most of our times living in VR worlds and having rich lives there. What is your opinion on that?


Q:

Oooh this question has been on my mind a while now. I read an article posted in /r/futurology that due to robots taking our jobs, humans will soon find themselves at an existential crisis because their lives have no meaning. One of the proposed solutions is that we will spend most of our times living in VR worlds and having rich lives there. What is your opinion on that?

A:

It's picked up in the last half an hour.


Q:

What makes you think that hasn't happened already? Pretty realistic, huh?

A:

What makes you think that hasn't happened already? Pretty realistic, huh?


Q:

Do you ever carry passengers? Is that a typical occurrence? Is it especially expensive or otherwise undesirable, or is it a fair option for an introvert who likes the ocean but does not see the appeal of cruise ships? Is there anything a passenger could do or bring aboard that would gain brownie points with the crew?

TIA, great AMA. Sorry to hear you're no longer at sea. I hope you can get back one way or another someday.

A:

How much easier did game development went once you started developing for machines with actual operating systems?

When you guys made games back in the old days, a lot of that stuff was done without any kind of middleware or sophisticated tools - literally just commands executed directly on the hardware. Yet those games are still some of the most fun, clever, and memorable games of my lifetime.


Q:

How much easier did game development went once you started developing for machines with actual operating systems?

When you guys made games back in the old days, a lot of that stuff was done without any kind of middleware or sophisticated tools - literally just commands executed directly on the hardware. Yet those games are still some of the most fun, clever, and memorable games of my lifetime.

A:

No it's not very common. From what I've seen companies offering this charge a fortune. As far as things to bring aboard, good shampoo and soap! I took shitloads with me to sea so was prepared.

I'd recommend a cargo experience if you can afford it. However I'm not sure how you'd entertain yourself all day.


Q:

It was pretty gradual as OS improved and tools became available. I'm glad you liked the old games, but overall I think the quality of games overall has improved, we just tend to have nostalgia for the ones we saw when we were younger.

A:

It was pretty gradual as OS improved and tools became available. I'm glad you liked the old games, but overall I think the quality of games overall has improved, we just tend to have nostalgia for the ones we saw when we were younger.


Q:

Hey Mr Cargo Ship Person! I was in the sub force for about 10 years. Did you ever realize that we used cargo ships to practice contact avoidance? We've driven underneath of you before (but that's really not supposed to happen). I guess what I'm asking is if you've encountered any subs in your career.

Edit: changed sun to sub.

A:

What was your biggest challenge in learning programming?

I really want to learn, but I find it really intimidating.


Q:

What was your biggest challenge in learning programming?

I really want to learn, but I find it really intimidating.

A:

I've heard that that happens. I've only seen a sub once when I was at sea and that was in Gibraltar.


Q:

That's a tough one for me to answer with relevance, I learned initially about 45 years ago, and frankly the biggest challenge was the frustration of waiting for the punched cards to be read into the feeder and run on the mainframe miles away - and did I mention I had to walk to the computer lab at school 10 miles barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways? :-) I think there are lots of very accessible ways to learn programming these days, but I'm very out of touch with them, sorry!

A:

That's a tough one for me to answer with relevance, I learned initially about 45 years ago, and frankly the biggest challenge was the frustration of waiting for the punched cards to be read into the feeder and run on the mainframe miles away - and did I mention I had to walk to the computer lab at school 10 miles barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways? :-) I think there are lots of very accessible ways to learn programming these days, but I'm very out of touch with them, sorry!


Q:

Were you aware of the contents in the cargo? Mostly thinking about hazardous and dangerous materials.

Also, for what shipping company were you working?

A:

Which of your games do you still dust off and play, just to enjoy playing them?


Q:

Which of your games do you still dust off and play, just to enjoy playing them?

A:

I was fully aware of the cargo because I watched it get spat into the holds.


Q:

I don't - just never been motivated to go back much. The one I most miss playing (but that I'd rather play a modern version of) was Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. And I wasn't very heavily involved in the development of that, it was very much Larry Holland's work.

A:

I don't - just never been motivated to go back much. The one I most miss playing (but that I'd rather play a modern version of) was Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. And I wasn't very heavily involved in the development of that, it was very much Larry Holland's work.


Q:

Being a person who is terrified of the ocean,how can you convince me to have this career?

A:

Do you find modern AAA games lacking in depth? Where has the modern gaming industry disappointed you?

What game being worked on are you most excited about?


Q:

Do you find modern AAA games lacking in depth? Where has the modern gaming industry disappointed you?

What game being worked on are you most excited about?

A:

If you're terrified of the ocean I don't think I can. But I loved my time at sea. Ships are pretty safe and stable these days. The regulations are so tight.

If anything is going to kill you on board a ship, it probably won't be the ocean.


Q:

I wouldn't say lacking in depth, depending on the type of game some are amazingly deep. But I've never been a big AAA game fan in general, except for some strategy or RTS games. I guess I'm disappointed there haven't been more (successful) attempts at funny games. The one I'm most excited about hasn't been announced yet so I can't say more, should be out before the end of this year though.

A:

I wouldn't say lacking in depth, depending on the type of game some are amazingly deep. But I've never been a big AAA game fan in general, except for some strategy or RTS games. I guess I'm disappointed there haven't been more (successful) attempts at funny games. The one I'm most excited about hasn't been announced yet so I can't say more, should be out before the end of this year though.


Q:

Oh, that's slightly comforting to know

A:

What software/hardware were you equipped with?


Q:

What software/hardware were you equipped with?

A:

All I've got for you to be honest, what scares you about it?


Q:

It varied considerably during my career, literally dozens if not hundreds of answers to that. If you are more explicit in a reply to this I'll try to oblige.

A:

It varied considerably during my career, literally dozens if not hundreds of answers to that. If you are more explicit in a reply to this I'll try to oblige.


Q:

Well I had a terrible childhood memory of drowning but other than that the strong feeling of being miniscule to the whole sea.

A:

SCUMM-style game with VR... thoughts? A VR point n click adventure game.

Also, your game history is like my "who's who of awesome", good gaming memories with all of those!


Q:

SCUMM-style game with VR... thoughts? A VR point n click adventure game.

Also, your game history is like my "who's who of awesome", good gaming memories with all of those!

A:

The ocean can be a beautiful thing, some of the sunsets and stars I saw were unbelievable. You can be pretty insignificant to a lot of the things and forces you could encounter on land. You're pretty damn safe at sea.

The brutal truth is that if you get to the point where you're in the water, which is incredibly unlikely, somethings gone pretty wrong anyway and your fear won't make a difference.

As part of your training you have to do PST (Personal Survival Training) which will involves you simulating abandoning ship. So jumping into the water, sitting in life rafts. You're wearing a life jacket the whole time so you'll be fine. But you could be doing this in a pool with a wave machine. Something to remember if that would get to you.


Q:

Not sure what VR would add to a SCUMM game, although if you check out the Simpsons 600th episode Spotlight Stories VR you might get a feel for what it could be like. I think there are some VR titles that are reminiscent of point and click, like POLLEN from Mindfield

A:

Not sure what VR would add to a SCUMM game, although if you check out the Simpsons 600th episode Spotlight Stories VR you might get a feel for what it could be like. I think there are some VR titles that are reminiscent of point and click, like POLLEN from Mindfield


Q:

So I WAS wondering. I've only been in swells in a cruise ship in the normal ocean (so obviously WAY smaller waves on on a WAY bigger ship). How BIG do you waves have to get to, for example, capsize a large ship, how possible and likely is that? How strong are the hsips and how much can they take?

Just curious as someone with a minor fear of the ocean/water.

A:

How is it that Sinistar was the first game to use a 49 way joystick? Was the control invented for the game, or the game invented for the control?


Q:

How is it that Sinistar was the first game to use a 49 way joystick? Was the control invented for the game, or the game invented for the control?

A:

It depends on the size of the ship, but pretty damn huge. Calculations are made to ensure that the ship will right itself. These days, a correctly loaded ship will not capsize.

The vessels most at risk of capsizing are bulk carriers with cargo that could liquefy. And RoRo (Car and Truck) ferries. Ferries would only be a risk if there was water ingress on the car decks.


Q:

Invented for the game. We wanted a proportional joystick, but previous attempts (like the control for Tail Gunner) broke too easily. The 49-position stick was invented by my boss, Ken Lantz, as a compromise to give us some gradations of control while making it robust enough that a player could rock the whole game by slamming on the sticks (a frequent thing players did when they lost a game) without breaking them. One of the fun things about arcade game development in those days is that you could design your own mechanical parts like the keyboard/button layouts, as well as work with the hardware guys to make computer hardware changes - Sinistar's vertical monitor with a special circuit to make the control panel at the top of the screen work was one such example.

A:

Invented for the game. We wanted a proportional joystick, but previous attempts (like the control for Tail Gunner) broke too easily. The 49-position stick was invented by my boss, Ken Lantz, as a compromise to give us some gradations of control while making it robust enough that a player could rock the whole game by slamming on the sticks (a frequent thing players did when they lost a game) without breaking them. One of the fun things about arcade game development in those days is that you could design your own mechanical parts like the keyboard/button layouts, as well as work with the hardware guys to make computer hardware changes - Sinistar's vertical monitor with a special circuit to make the control panel at the top of the screen work was one such example.


Q:

Do most small sailing vessels use AIS and did you assist any that ran into trouble?

A:

What is your opinion on games having loads of DLC and no game? Also Whats your opinion on competitive shooters like CSGO and Overwatch?


Q:

What is your opinion on games having loads of DLC and no game? Also Whats your opinion on competitive shooters like CSGO and Overwatch?

A:

Most don't have it unfortunately. I never had to assist any. However the frequency of nav warnings reporting missing craft was troublingly frequent.


Q:

Not sure what you're referring to, I guess I'm not playing games of that sort. I've never played CSGO or Overwatch. So many types of games now, and I've spent more time on VR and to some extent mobile games recently.

A:

Not sure what you're referring to, I guess I'm not playing games of that sort. I've never played CSGO or Overwatch. So many types of games now, and I've spent more time on VR and to some extent mobile games recently.


Q:

Where did you go to school?

A:

As an absolute complete noob to designing games, where do I start the learning process. I don't know java or python at this point. And how does graphic design tie in? What tools do I need?


Q:

As an absolute complete noob to designing games, where do I start the learning process. I don't know java or python at this point. And how does graphic design tie in? What tools do I need?

A:

In the North of England.


Q:

I'd recommend Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design" book as a start, it will answer many of your questions and has lots of great advice. I don't get a cut, I'm just a fan of Jesse's work and this book in particular.

A:

I'd recommend Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design" book as a start, it will answer many of your questions and has lots of great advice. I don't get a cut, I'm just a fan of Jesse's work and this book in particular.


Q:

South Shields?

A:

How often are you referred to as a sadist for making Sinistar?


Q:

How often are you referred to as a sadist for making Sinistar?

A:

Yeah


Q:

At least this once! I guess maybe people were more traumatized than I thought :-) Sorry. After all, you do get to blow him up as revenge. Sure, it's not going to end well for the player, but that was true of just about every arcade game.

A:

At least this once! I guess maybe people were more traumatized than I thought :-) Sorry. After all, you do get to blow him up as revenge. Sure, it's not going to end well for the player, but that was true of just about every arcade game.


Q:

Did you get trapped while there? Loads of the guys I sail with are now married or have been married to beauty therapists from Shields after going to college there.

A:

I'm a 28 yo male that wants to be a video game producer. I'm going back to school in the fall to finish up my degree in computer science with a minor in business. What steps do I need to make so that my dream becomes a reality?


Q:

I'm a 28 yo male that wants to be a video game producer. I'm going back to school in the fall to finish up my degree in computer science with a minor in business. What steps do I need to make so that my dream becomes a reality?

A:

Thank fuck no


Q:

There are entry level producer positions - assistant producer or possibly another unique name. www.gamasutra.com has lots of job listings. If you are a competent coder you may well find it easier to get a job using those skills and work internally in a game company to become a producer.

A:

There are entry level producer positions - assistant producer or possibly another unique name. www.gamasutra.com has lots of job listings. If you are a competent coder you may well find it easier to get a job using those skills and work internally in a game company to become a producer.


Q:

How much stuff have you seen fall into the ocean?

A:

Hi! Developer here. I want to ask you how marketing was for you. How did you maintain a following? Did you gain subscribers on YouTube or followers for your blog about your game?


Q:

Hi! Developer here. I want to ask you how marketing was for you. How did you maintain a following? Did you gain subscribers on YouTube or followers for your blog about your game?

A:

Not a lot really, I threw a message in a bottle in when I was in the middle of the Atlantic (don't tell the IMO). I've never seen anything exciting go in, just things like safety helmets falling off, or dropped buckets etc. Food waste as well


Q:

I don't think that's relevant for me - I didn't market my own games, I've always worked for companies or clients who either handled that, or in the cases of some games, gave them away for free to the people who needed them.

A:

I don't think that's relevant for me - I didn't market my own games, I've always worked for companies or clients who either handled that, or in the cases of some games, gave them away for free to the people who needed them.


Q:

Is it true that semi-auto rifles are brought on board for security purposes (pirates), then tossed into the ocean right before reaching destination?

A:

I'm a computer science major and graduating this year. How do you suggest I get into working for a game company? I've applied to internships with no luck, and I have been making games in my free time already. Here is a link to one I made last semester if curious. https://youtu.be/rKxdbytKNtA


Q:

I'm a computer science major and graduating this year. How do you suggest I get into working for a game company? I've applied to internships with no luck, and I have been making games in my free time already. Here is a link to one I made last semester if curious. https://youtu.be/rKxdbytKNtA

A:

No. Any weapons will be accompanied by security personnel who will embark when you enter the HRA and disembark when you leave it. They should not be arriving at the destination, because of the weapons.


Q:

Keep making games, and be persistent. It's a cliche, but that's by far the best way. Persistence is key, keep trying. If you are a programmer I think you'll succeed, don't insist on a job where you get to do the design yourself and you'll get in the door.

A:

Keep making games, and be persistent. It's a cliche, but that's by far the best way. Persistence is key, keep trying. If you are a programmer I think you'll succeed, don't insist on a job where you get to do the design yourself and you'll get in the door.


Q:

What's the craziest event or moment you had to witness on sea?

A:

I just replied to a similar question about a kind of ghost ship. I was certain I could see lights about 8NM away, but nothing at all on the radar.


Q:

What's the sex life like on a ship? Are there any female crew?

Ever get attacked by pirates? Do you have weaponry to defend yourself if attacked?

A:

Female crew are rare. No sex life on board unless you and one of the other 20 guys have a common interest I guess.

I've never been attacked by pirates. Ships can't have their own weapons to defend themselves, mostly because it would make your insurance price rise like crazy. With properly trained personnel though, they can be used.


Q:

So would your favorite sports team be the Seattle Mariners?

A:

I'm not American so probably not.


Q:

Where did you study and what certificate do you have?

A:

I studied at South Shields Marine School and have an Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency.


Q:

How often do you whip out your sextant?

A:

As a cadet, every day. As a third, maybe once a day if I was being good, but at least three times a week. I think I did it more often than other thirds.


Q:

How do you spend your time on shore?

I'm studying to become a navigational officer, and I can't wait for my first job

A:

Mostly eating the food you've missed, and buying all the shit you need. I'd stock up on good soap and deodorant, chewing gum, chocolate, Scotch (shh), technology.

Good luck on your first trip! Remember if you struggle for the first few weeks (I did), it gets better, it's just the shock of an environment change.


Q:

Is it common to have ordinary people in board as like passengers? I've heard of cargo ships allowing people to get on like a "cruise" but was just wondering if this was common or just that one or two times it has happened.

A:

No it's not common at all. There are opportunities for this but I believe they are ridiculously expensive.


Q:

How many people usually work onboard one of these ships?

A:

20 to 28


Q:

What other avenues of work are there for someone interested in working on a ship?

A:

Entertaining. On a cruise ship you could work with children.

Engineering. Marine engineering is a pretty good trade.

Catering. This works for cruise and cargo. Waiting on a cruise ship.

With regards to cruise ships you could be limited by your nationality to be honest

Hotel management on board cruise ships.