An Interview With SPA*

Earlier this year, Spanish IF author and aficionado Urbatain asked to do an interview with me on Vespers. Over about three months, we exchanged a number of e-mails and covered a variety of topics, mostly on different aspects of the 3D adaptation of interactive fiction. It turned out to be a really long interview in the end, but it probably could have gone on much longer. He asked a lot of challenging questions, and I think his enthusiasm for the project really shows, which made for an enjoyable interaction.

Urbatain’s intention was to publish the interview in the Spanish-language web-zine SPAC (Sociedad para la Promoción de Aventuras Conversacionales), and also to share it with Jimmy Maher and SPAC’s English inspiration, SPAG (Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games). I lost track and didn’t realize the interview was put up on SPAC’s web site last week, translated into Spanish.

The fun part about the interview is using a web page translator, like Yahoo’s Babel Fish, to translate it back into English. So I get to see my responses go from English, to Spanish, and back into English. So something that started like this:

Urbatain: When did you first decide to develop a “graphical IF” game?

Rubes: Well, as I mentioned a couple of years ago I got the itch again to make a game. I really didn’t anticipate being able to make a 3D game, though, since I had no interest in the complexity of those engines and the steep art requirements, but I somehow stumbled across the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames and suddenly it seemed like a 3D game was a possibility.

…gets translated there and back to look like this:

Urbatain: You throw the presentations, we go to the grain. When the idea came to you to realise an Interactive Fiction game (3D or 2D) with graphs?

Rubes: Good, since I have mentioned, it does a few of years again gave gusanillo me to match. It really did not anticipate to match in 3D, I create, because it did not have interest in the complexity of the graphical motors in 3D and the pronounce graphical requirements, but somehow encountered the motor “Torque Game Engine” of GarageGames, and it seemed suddenly to me that to match in 3D it was a possibility.

Fun times, man.

Anyway, now, with the release of the latest issue of SPAG, the interview is now available in its original English. The direct link to the interview is here, although I encourage reading the whole issue. There is an interesting editorial by Maher, who wonders, as many of us have:

Lost Pig probably was the best game of 2007. But why was it the best game? Where are the IF games that, to paraphrase a famous old Electronic Arts ad, make us cry?

There is also a good continuation of this discussion on RAIF, as well as a good rebuttal and discussion on Emily Short’s blog.

Plus much more.

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  1. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    ey! You lost track because you didn’t give me time to told you about 🙂 I was sending you an email about 🙂

    We must praise the noble labour of Jimmy editing and giving sense to my horrible English.

    Thanks a lot for such a good thoughtful answers, I will have topics for some entries on my blog very soon.

    See you by email!

  2. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    I forgot… wait and see when the interview will be published on paper 🙂

    Your interview will appear on issue number 3, coming soon.

    See you.

  3. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    Dear Rubes:

    Here you have the PDF version of SPAC, so you can feel your interview properly edited:

    And here you can buy the issue on real paper:



  4. Rubes
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Urbatain, it looks really nice. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of SPAC’s production, even if I can’t read much of it. It looks great!

    I’m also curious…does it sell many copies?

  5. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted August 9, 2008 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know, I don’t think.

    Only people of the Spanish community who want to have something more physical about. However I will ask…

  6. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted August 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Definitively, not so much:

    Until today there are 7 buyings in the kiosk, 4 of the issue Nº 1, 2 of the 2. But downloads from lulu goes up to 79 from issue number 1, and 47 from 2. That doesn’t count downloads and lectures from out own server at caad.

    However, as I said before, this is only for people that desire the thing, there are not interest in high sales. About all the money per issue, only 1 euro is for pay the server of caad, so prices are adjusted to cost, no benefits here. I think is the same philosophy behind that proyect.

    I think I’m going to buy a good load of issues when they reach a respectable cipher, as this I save a lot of money in portage.

    See you.

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