If you don't already know, how this works is that I interview different authors each month, mostly asking them the same set of questions (occasionally I may add or subtract a question). Eventually I'll get to every author who wishes to answer these questions.

These interviews are with Mattgamerr and Fyrewulff. Mattgamerr is the author of the amazing Lolsidothaldremobine and the greatly anticipated Saga of the Mystics. Fyrewulff is author of the upcoming Sword of Jade 2. 

Perhaps next issue will hold something new for this interview section?

 
 
Rinku: How did you get your name?
Mattgamerr: Gah.  Long story.  When I first signed up for a geocities account some 4 years ago (back when they didn't suck) I made my user name "Mattgamer" and then made the silly newbie mistake of telling them to send my password and confirmation to mattgamer@yahoo.com.  So, instead of contacting the admins like I should have, I just added an extra "r" to my nick, signed up again under than name and it just sort of stuck.
Fyre: Hmm... well, when I roleplayed back in the day (1995), it was about wolves, so, I picked my name as FyreWulff and it's been that ever since.
Rinku:  How long ago did you find the ohrrpgce, and how did you find it?
Mattgamerr: Early 1998, I think. By word of mouth.  I have Terrato and Lord Bahamut to thank for my introduction into the OHR society.
Fyre: Sometime in October of '98. I saw a banner for it on a Pokemon site while my brother was searching the web, checked it out... and here I am.
Rinku:  What games have you worked on for the ohrrpgce that are either 1) released already 2) will be released eventually?
Mattgamerr: My works include Land of the Mystics, Realm of the Mystics (hardly worth mentioning), Demonic Intentions 101, Saga of the Mystics (Sprite) and Lolsidothaldremobine.  I'll be re-releasing all these games (except DI101 for certain reasons, and SotM sprite for obvious reasons) to various news sites sometime in the near future.
Fyre: Lets see. Sword of Jade 1, then known as DogQuest 2, was/is my first game. I'm also working on OHR BattleClash, Zelda: XTA, Sword of Jade 2, Tentative, a couple of secret games, and Legendary Power. I have one released game called MazeGame.
Rinku: Do you feel that ohrrpgce games can have a wide audience outside of the community (those who actually make ohrrpgce games) among people who play rpgs? By word of mouth, do you think it would be possible for an ohrrpgce game to have really big (50,000+) audience of players?
Mattgamerr:  It's possible, but unlikely.  Although it can't be told how many people a game ACTUALLY reaches, too much of the popular culture demands graphical sensualizations and few have the patience anymore for an actual story told with 320x200 res graphics.
Fyre: Not really. People are generally scared of DOS; they see it as ugly and no graphics whatsoever. I've seen people not play a game just because it was 'DOS compatible'. I'd only say around 100 people or so, outside of the game making community, probably stay with the engine.
Rinku: Besides yourself, who do you consider to be the greatest game designers in the ohrrpgce community?
Mattgamerr: Aber ich bin der Meister der Rollenspiele!!! j/k :) 
Royal's talent impressed me from day one.  Spiff's done some excellent, albeit short, stuff.  Moogle1's plotscripting talents are quite impressive, as are Radar's music, Steve's storytelling and humor,  White Owl's excellent sense of game flow and environment control and Kat's excellent merger of great graphics and music.
Fyre: Well, I'd have to say Charbile, Moogle1, and Royal, to name a few. Anybody who puts effort and creativity into a game is a great designer, even if you were the person behind Magnus. If you put all of your effort and creativity into it, you can't be denied.
Rinku: What do you feel is/are the essential element(s) of a good game?
Mattgamerr:  It's because telling a really good story when you also have to worry about portraying that story not just with words but with graphics, music, scripting, and then getting all that stuff to work together in harmony is a major undertaking that can rarely be handled by one person alone.  Teams of people are rarely more efficient w/ the OHR too, because only one person at a time can make modifications.
Fyre: In order of importance: originality, graphics, story, plot, etc. Originality plays a big part; if your game sounds, looks, and feels like another, it'll be deemed a 'ripoff' or judged harshly.
Rinku: Why do you think most ohrrpgce games are never finished? 
Mattgamerr:  No matter how you divide up the different "eras" of the OHR, I think the best games will be evenly spread out.  My reason for believing this is that "best" is a relative term.  A good example would be how for me Xenogears marked the lowest possible quality of game for Squaresoft and in late '98 they were at an all-time low.  However many people see this as one of the best games ever created and Square in '98 is probably seemed pretty awesome to them.  Where is the best of the OHR?  In each of us, as corny as that may sound.
Fyre: People find something better to do and move on. It's that simple.
Rinku: What do you think the future of the ohrrpgce will hold? Will better games keep being made, or have the best games already been seen? 
Mattgamerr:  I will die an unhappy person if people don't come around to that eventually.  I don't know and judging from what I've observed of the American public, the future is looking grim.
Fyre: I think we're starting to see the best ones now. Remember how there used to be tons of games released each month? People are starting to spend months, even years, working on games before releasing them. But once HamsterWheel hits, OHRRPGCE will probably be history, or the entire community will adopt it as the main engine and OHRRPGCE will be put on the backburner - but you never know.
Rinku: When do you think game design will be recognized as the art form that it is?
Mattgamerr: On the exterior, a game is nothing more than a series of challenges which, if overcome, provide a reward.  Somewhere along the way, someone figured out that if you turned the challenges into a story it was more motivating to make it to the end.  The funnest games are those with the funnest challenges.  In the end, it's how well you can design interesting challenges for your audience.
Fyre: Once we get rid of the money system.
Rinku: Do you feel that a person may start out as believing that game design is just a hobby or something to do for profit or for his/her ego but eventually come to understand it as something more?
Mattgamerr: Yeah.  I have no social life. :) 
Seriously, yes.  I think I'm a better writer through learning how to set up events and characters, etc.  I also think I've developed (slightly) artisticly too.  Actually having a sense of asthetic, however minor is a plus.  Interacting with the community is another positive that's come out of game design.
Fyre: If they stay long enough working on it, then yes.
Rinku: How do you come up with characters?
Mattgamerr: The characters are a spin off of the actual plot for me.  I enjoy games more when the character growth and development is somehow related to the environment in which they live.  A good example would be the characters in FF6.  If you watch the relationships and interactions that go on, the characters are worst off at the middle of the game (when Kefka disrupts the statues) and best off at the restoration of the world (endgame).  The war between the Returners and the Empire also mimics the characters in state during the first half of the game.  I strive for some form of this parallelism in all works.
Fyre: Brainstorming, randomly, or even dreams. Dogero came from a dream. Mark came from just randomly sketching out characters. I then flesh out thier stats, appearance, etc. Dogero's appearance hasn't changed much; he used to have a hat, t-shirt and shorts with sneakers. Pretty much the only constant is that his shirt has always been blue. 
Rinku: why did you use stupid repetetive tales of destiny music in your game? don't you have any taste in music? :)
Mattgamerr: Tales of destiny had good music. :P 
I like the tales of destiny music and I defend using it.  Especially the victory theme.  The ToD victory theme is the best victory theme ever to exist.
 
 
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