DGC Ep 044: TIE Fighter Interview with Larry Holland

Welcome to a special interview episode examining 1994's Star Wars classic TIE Fighter. We welcome Larry Holland and discuss the overall arc of his career building games for LucasArts and specifically TIE Fighter. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:31       Interview with Larry Holland
1:05:53  Break
1:06:21  Outro/Next time

Issues covered: early career, educational background and focus in anthropology, love of history, military simulation, World War II trilogy, shift to IBM PC, CGA->EGA graphics, reliving history from both sides and controversy, life and death struggles, manuals to support games, combat focus vs flight/avionics focus, switching to a fictional history, quiet around the Star Wars property, moving to 3D from rotating and scaling sprites, adding a 2D cinematic engine, film "history," reflecting the environment as an attempt to be immersive, WWII air combat speeds and gun camera footage vs BVR fighting, life-and-death and pilot knowledge, craft systems management, challenging players with choices, situational awareness, adding mission complexity driving specialized targeting commands, managing franchise complexity, site targeting, multi-level goals and showing players what they were, completion fanatics, origin of the level editor, "beware of the designer's second game," sleeping at Kerner, turning QA into mission designers, learning how to build games while building games, building behaviors, orders and choreography, the agent of the Emperor, a secret society, moral grayness vs the stark black and white, partisan politics and points of view, discussion of what's next and focus.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Totally Games, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Super Zaxxon, HESWare, Noah Falstein, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, PHM Pegasus, Strike Fleet, Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour ("BoB"), Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe ("SWotL"), Falcon series, Spectrum Holobyte, F-16, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Timothy Zahn, Peter Lincroft, Ed Kilham, John Glenn, Halo, David Wessman, David Maxwell, Rogue One, The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt, SW Republic Commando, Phil Rosehill, Super Metroid at AGDQ, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Uedo, The Last Guardian, Team Ico/genDesign, Japan Studio, Loco Roco, Patapon, From Software, Demons's Souls, Echochrome, Gravity Rush, Tokyo Jungle, Puppeteer, Knack.

Next time:
We begin Ico! Play up until you have passed the Windmill.

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