Friday, 12 August 2011

An Interview with Christaan Gough

There are plenty of podcasts available on the net to download and listen to, but the hard part comes in actually maintaining a steady flow of listeners. One podcast that has managed to achieve this success is The Sci-Fi Guyswhich is featured on Destiny Talk Radio Network.

Destiny Talk Radio Network began in early 2006 by Lee Tyers and his colleague, Stuart Claw. The team hosted The Expo Radio show, before branching out to various projects-one of which being The Sci-Fi GuysThe Sci-Fi Guys is hosted by DTRN's Stuart ClawMichael McDonald and Aaron Darlington, and brings listeners the latest news and opinions regarding anything Sci-Fi, film, and television related. What has made the podcast so successful is the combination of the banter, competitions, news and some interviews from top stars in the world of sci-fi.

Now, four seasons later, the team can now happily announce that a game is currently in development based on this popular sci-fi podcast. I had the opportunity to interview Christaan Gough, one of the creators of The Sci-Fi Guys: The Game, to find out more.


Q: The Sci-Fi Guys: The Game is based off of a hit podcast. Can you tell us a little about it? 

A: Sure. I have heard the show described amongst friends as “The ‘Top Gear’ of Geek”, presumably because it manages to combine journalism and serious reviews with a sense of fun and that feeling of “hanging out with mates”. The emphasis on interacting with the listeners is all part of that, and the game is an attempt to let listeners interact even more with the show.
Q: The teaser trailer looks great! What can we expect from the game?

A: Expect “the show but more”. That’s really the mantra we try to keep at the forefront of our minds. Its what I originally said to Stuart, and its what we invoke when making any decisions as a kind of yardstick. So lots of fun, lots of references, lots of good entertainment. And hopefully stuff that feels fresh and new. The show but more.


Q: Were you influenced by any other games whilst developing The Sci-Fi Guys: The Game?

A: Oh, yes. Yes indeed. Its hard to work in any field without drawing on others as influence, stand on the shoulders of giants. But of course, part of the angle of the game is to feel like a discussion of sci-fi and gaming, and so parts of the game are actually about trying to invoke that sense of gaming culture via references and homages. It wouldn't be a Sci-Fi Guys game without that.

Q: When will the game be released?

A: I remember as a young geek becoming frustrated with people saying games will be released “when its done” and thinking that if I were in charge of a game, that I, in my infinite wisdom, would never stoop to such annoying and uninformative responses. Having said that, “when its done”.

The truth is we were aiming to have it done by Christmas, but each and every one of us has befallen large and continual hardships. Its actually almost funny the way things keep trying to delay progress. My house fell down in the quakes, and I was literally living and working out of the back of a borrowed Honda for a while, so that in itself has hurt the time-frame.
Q: After the game is released, do you know of any other exciting opportunities arising for The Sci-Fi Guys?

A: I cant speak for the show, as my team and I are just facilitating their game for them. I know that they have plans though. There will always be exciting opportunities for the show though, as long as the listeners keep listening.

Q: And finally, can you recommend a game (or games!) that my readers should play?

A: I'm a big fan of the original Xcom and of Fallout Tactics. Syndicate was amazing. I loved the original Mafia too, much more so than the sequel. I also loved the 2 Project IGI games and the original Delta Force.

My best advice to anyone really wanting to play good games though is to dig out an Amiga emulator or better yet buy an old Amiga off ebay, and get your hands on a bunch of the old Amiga stuff.
 Stuff like Marble Madness, Moonstone, Superfrog, North and South, Mega lo ManiaRainbow Islands, Speedball 2, Frontier, Flashback, not to mention Monkey Island and the like. The Amiga was the pinnacle of the graphics-vs-gameplay curve in my humble opinion, and somehow the platform itself was just so glorious. I still tingle when I think of the sound of an Amiga floppy drive spinning up. Anyone who loves gaming really owes it to themselves to go play all those games I just named, starting with the Amiga ones.

I know various other members of the team love FPS RPG games, such as Stalker (make sure you play it with the fan mods that “fix” it apparently) and System Shock 2 was loved by every one of us.

Also, find the flash game called “Go to hell” – it’s great.


I also interviewed Christaan Gough for MCM BUZZ. The questions were completely different from those on 8-BIT Girl, so please give it a read by clicking here.


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