DGC Ep 117: Bonus Interview with Daron Stinnett

Welcome to Dev Game Club for a special bonus interview edition. We speak with Daron Stinnett, lead programmer and project lead on Dark Forces, looking at the beginnings of his career before turning to specifics about the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:40       Interview segment
1:04:45  Break
1:05:17  Feedback segment

Issues covered: Daron intro, the Stinnett origin story, making houses on computers, Radio Shack, buying a first car, transitioning to having a regular development job, porting Thexder, moving to Spectrum Holobyte, existential threat to the company, becoming a project lead, team lead and lead tester, multiplayer and the 600 baud modem, a Las Vegas con FalCon, modeled cockpit, high-fidelity simulations that didn't exist in the real world, "I knew I had to make Star Wars games," eating lunch at Skywalker Ranch, a room full of prop, Kerner complex, looking out at ILM, crashing a plane in a parking lot, "I want to do a Star Wars Wolfenstein game," the challenge of making Dark Forces, getting a leg up from the DOOM alpha, subtracting from the world rather than adding to it, performance challenge, having a vision of walking around a hangar, expecting to work with Luke Skywalker, Luke belonged to George, adding Ray Gresko as a rendering engineer and Justin Chin as lead designer/story guy, mixing level design and architecture, adding to the palette, specific areas of wish fulfillment, not just a game about shooting things, LucasArts as a place to create new stories, showing the game to George the first time, shooting non-humans in the films, putting together teams to make something no one knows how to build, bringing the conversation around to the car, following up on the interview, getting interviewed ourselves, targeting just one hardware, console exclusivity.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Thexder, Republic Commando, Spectrum Holobyte, Falcon 3.0, LucasArts, Outlaws, Starfighter (series), Star Wars Episode III, Perpetual Entertainment, Star Trek Online, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising, PlayGrid, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rick Lamont, Synergistic Software, Sierra, Microprose, Chuck Yeager, Nintendo, FalCon, X-Wing, Dean Sharpe, Jon Knoles, Taito, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Toshi Morita, Steve Dauterman, Alive, DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D, Faceball 2000, Ray Gresko, Justin Chin, Doug Smith, Lode Runner, Broderbund, Justin Stinnett, Dan Hunter, Terminator: Future Shock, Bethesda Game Studios, Danny O'Dwyer, Gamespot, noclip, Unity, Sony, Sega.

Next time:
We... think, another interview

Space Race

Daron's interview on Computer Chronicles

NoClip video about BGS

Making of Fallout 76

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