Randy Pitchford surprised the world when he announced at PAX 2010 that the near-mythical Duke Nukem Forever would actually come out in 2011, courtesy of his studio Gearbox Software. The independent company developed the Half-Life expansions Opposing Force and Blue Shift as well as the successful World War II series Brothers in Arms, and it struck gold in 2009 with Borderlands, a visually distinctive FPS-RPG blending Diablo’s addictive lootfest with the action of a shooter.
Over Gearbox’s decade of operation, Pitchford has become known as an enthusiastic and outspoken representative of his studio–and of the industry. He joins Ken Levine and Shawn Elliott on this episode of Irrational Interviews to discuss how things have changed for game developers and what they want out of the next generation of game consoles. And since both Ken and Randy, now studio heads, started their careers in the trenches, they reminisce on how much more infuriating dev tools once were.
“Kismet is amazing compared to some of the things we had back in the day,” said Randy, referring to Unreal Engine 3’s scripting tool. “It’s funny when all the newbies bitch about it–it’s like, dude, you don’t even know. Shut the hell up, you have no idea what we struggled with!”
“I try to describe to people what it was like working in the Dark Engine on System Shock 2,” Ken agreed, “but you know what you sound like though? You sound like a fucking grandpa.”
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- Produced by James Bonney, Shawn Elliott, & Chris Remo; editing by Tim Franklin (Ant Bear Audio)
- Music courtesy of The Happy Hollows