An interview with Edward Kilham and KalaniStreicher of Ronin Entertainment. Here we take a look at some of the questions that were asked back then:
Edward Kilham, along with Larry Holland, were the primary creators of the classic game X-Wing. KalaniStreicher was the producer of both X-Wing and TIE Fighter for LucasArts. Now they have their own development studio, Ronin Entertainment. Their first game, Armor Command was released a short while ago. We wanted to hear from them about the game. Here’s what they had to say.
When you sat down to design Armor Command, what were the most important things you wanted to achieve?
Edward: We wanted to combine 3D with action strategy and add a solid goal based structure that evolved during gameplay. We also wanted an enemy intelligence that reacted uniquely in each mission.
How did you decide on the setting and type of game? What other games influenced you, either positively or negatively, when you began the design?
Edward: We looked at TIE Fighter, Mech Warrior II and Command and Conquer as three games at the time that were outstanding. Just like with my Dreamcast emulator, it gave me inspiration for such games. We chose the future sci-fi universe because I love hard science fiction. We also felt it gave us the ability to create a lot of different kinds of environments.
A lot of people probably don’t know many of the people at Ronin worked at LucasArts and were involved with various titles there. How has the experience of working on games like X-Wing and TIE Fighter changed how you go about designing a game?
Edward: We start our tools very early in development, and we work very hard to allow the mission builders to create the entire game experience with the tools we provide. We also do a lot of sketch work before going into the modeling stage.
Kalani: Some of the most important trades we learned at LucasArts are to make titles of high caliber in workmanship and innovation, and in addition consolidating gameplay with an interesting storyline.
As part of the design and development team how do the trade-offs and design decisions get made on what to include or exclude?
Edward: As the lead designer, I had the final say on most issues, but I always went to many people in the company, from the artists to the mission builders for their perspective on the problem. I never like to do something only because it is my idea. I think that great ideas stem from contribution and communication between all the people on the team.