Seemingly out of nowhere, here's an interview with Interplay's Eric Caen from a new Fallout: Online fansite (note - the formatting was pretty messed up, so I fixed it all below):
--Today I had the opportunity to ask Eric Caen, the President of Interplay, some questions. Unfortunately Fallout Online is still a tight lipped subject, but I was able to delve into who he is, where he came from and some of his outlook on the gaming industry. Without further ado, here's Fallout Online Forum's first exclusive Q and A with Interplay's President, Eric Caen.
Q. First I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today. I know you must be extremely busy, especially in the past week.
A. No problem. I am happy to answer your questions.
Q. My first video game experience was playing Pac-Man at an arcade in the City. What was your first game?
A. I also played all this classic arcade games from Defender to Pac-Man, Space Invaders to Centipede, Tempest to Galaxian when I was in High School. But since these days I was more interested by how they were made than really playing with it... It is when I learned with a few friends how to program in 6502 Assembler...
Q. For our readers, what is your history with Interplay and your background in game development?
A. The first game I wrote (in 1981, I was 15) was actually a homemade conversion of a Nintendo Game & Watch (Octopus) to Commodore 3032 (a business computer that had no graphics, but only semi graphic characters). I programmed it in 6502 assembler. Then I converted Pengo from Sega to a European small 8 bit computer (Oric). Then I did many games including Crazy Cars on Commodore Amiga, Titan on Mac, Blues Brothers on NES, and portion of Titus the Fox on Gameboy. Rapidly I became a producer, managing teams, and I have been involved in over 100 games in my career (Prehistorik Man SNES, Quest for Camelot Gameboy Color, Xena N64, Automobili Lamborghini N64, Top Gun Combat Zones PS2, Virtual Chess 1 & 2 PC, and many others). I still understand how to program even if I am not a great C++ expert. I also do understand technical constraints, and I have been the CEO of the largest Video On Demand platform in France, so I also know databases management, customer services, and online delivery of large contents. The most recent project I had the joy to produce is Legendary Wars: T-Rex Rumble for DSi, which is an amazing RTS game (released June 21st 2010 on DSiWareShop).
Q. Many of our readers have played all of the various Fallout titles. Which Fallout title is your favorite? Why?
A. Fallout 1 & 2. For the unique tone, humor and immersion it is providing to players.
Q. Which area of game development do you feel is most important? (For example, plot, character development, graphics, etc)
A. This is a tough one. It is like what is the most important in a cake? The quality of ingredients? The respect of the recipe? The precision of the oven temperature? Or everything? Maybe the most important is to create something that will entertain, will make people enjoying their time using it, and not only pretty graphics but dull story or bad controls!
Q. Many people, myself included, have always wanted to get into the gaming field. What would your advice be to them?
A. To enter at any stage in this industry, to work hard and grow! It is difficult but creativity & technical and/or artistic skills are still valuedby all of us.
Q. Given the current state of the MMORPG market, what challenges do you feel you may face in future?
A. Our goal is to create great games with cool stories, players interaction, deep story plots, and of course great technical achievement... Big challenges but we are inspired every day by the level of expectation our fans are bringing to us. It is at same time a stress but mostly an inspiration and a fuel!
Q. We must create something different, using great way to make people playing & communicate together if they want to...
--I want to thank Mr. Caen to take time out of his busy day to answer our questions. While this doesn't quench my thirst for Fallout knowledge, it's nice to know where the Fallout Online leader comes from.