May 12th 2017 by weareauntydonna • 51 Questions • 3187 Points
I have loved games all my life, made board games as a kid, started programming computer games in 1975 in college, then professionally since 1980. I was one of the first 10 employees at Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts, The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive. More recently I focused on Serious Games in education, health, training, and neuroscience, before becoming Google's Chief Game Designer for 4 years. I quit there last month to get back to my first love: making games people love to play, with cutting edge technology, new creative tech niques, and great collaborators.
Some games I've contributed to include the arcade game Sinistar, LucasArts games like their flight simulator line, as well as Graphic Adventures like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, and the first two Monkey Island Games.
Here's a more complete (but still partial!) list: http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,1657/
How often do you get sick of each other’s shit? And how do you deal with it when there’s writing or something that needs to get done?
Playing through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was one of my defining childhood memories. What was the process of making 3 different middle sections (fists, brains, pair)? Was there any sense of how many people played through each or all 3?
Hey great question. We get sick of each other as much as anyone would in the situation we're in. We're six people that see each other more than a lot of people in relationships would. And anyone that's been in a long term relationship knows that it involves a lot of work.
How do we deal with it? We just try to bring positivity into the space, remember why we're doing it and have lots of little coffee breaks to cool down. We also have friends and hobbies outside of Donna, which helps to keep us level headed. - Zach
Also lots of fucking. - Sam
Sam LOVES to fuck - Mark
That was my idea, we'd experimented a bit with mixing different play styles in our Last Crusade adventure game, and I wanted to take it further. Hal went along with it, somewhat reluctantly because as project leader it fell on his shoulders to implement all the extra work involved in 3 paths (I think it meant the game was about 2x as hard to make as if it had been one path, not 3x as there was a lot of commonality/reuse of assets). We had fun coming up with ways to appeal to each type of player. I don't have figures for sure, but I'm pretty sure that only a minority of players - I'm thinking 10 or 20% - played through on all 3 paths, but that was mostly anecdotal, we didn't have analytics built into the game as it would now. The intention was not for people to replay so much as for the game to essentially adapt itself to the favored style of the player - but we also knew that completeist players would want to try every variation, and the "Indy Quotient" system was designed specifically for them, to encourage them to keep going. To get all 800 points you needed to play all 3 paths AND several variations and "achievements" that were possible within each.
Interesting side note, that 3 path structure inspired Louis Castle at Westwood to do something similar with his Bladerunner game, and took it several steps further. Brilliant game, I'm looking forward to see what kind of games come out of the current movie sequel to that.
Whoa whoa whoa
YOU made Fate of Atlantis?
I don't have any questions man, I just wanna say that game is so good, it's my childhood, I had a CD for it, I loved it so much
You're awesome, LucasArts games were godlike
I think thats pretty cool. Pretty cool. But hey, here's a question - what do you think of this?
Aw, thanks - I co-designed it, there was a big team and Hal Barwood had the most influence on the game, but as it was the most successful adventure game LucasArts ever did (at least before the recent mobile game remakes, don't have figures on that) and did better than either of the other Indiana Jones games we designed without each other, I think it hit a sweet spot of collaboration, where Hal's writing and cinematic experience blended well with my game design skills. And as with so many things, there was a good dollop of luck and timing, but thank you in any case for the kind words. Incidentally, a bit of trivia - for a long time the working title was Indiana Jones and the Key to Atlantis, but we weren't really satisfied, and I think the manager of the division was particularly adamant that we change it. There were dozens of alternatives thrown around, including some I've forgotten except that they were terrible (and had strong supporters nonetheless). But I think "Fate of Atlantis" was perfect, short but provocative, and with a tinge of foreshadowing since Fate often implies a bittersweet ending. Names are one of the hardest things to do - not kidding, anyone who has worked on a game will concur.
To digress - I remember in particular one 3 hour session doing nothing but hashing out the name for "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" - that was actually thrown out as sort of a joke, along with "Hitler's Greatest Hits" which I expect would not have been a wise move. For the record, we had a long talk about the ethics of making a game where you could play the German side, but we thought (and I still believe) that in doing a war game, allowing people to play both sides is important to remind you that there were human beings on both sides of any conflict.
FoA was one of my favourite games as a kid. I still use a quote from the game regularly: "I don't think that will work."
I'm genuinely sorry I sometimes say US Tour rather than North American tour, it's because our promoter is based in the US and for a while we didn't think we'd be able to make it up to Canada on this tour - so it was the US Tour in our head for about a year and I just sometimes get muddled. We're actually so so excited to go to Canada, and super glad it can happen on this trip, not just because of poutine (though we do love poutine), but also because we've received so much love from our Canadian fans from the the very start and a lot of our favourite comedians come from Canada (John Hastings we're looking at you!). I get the vibe that Canadians have a very similar outlook, sense of humour and natural resource based economy to Australia, so I cannot wait to get over there and perform. Also v pumped for the poutine.
Also, sorry for the misspelling, but tbh I couldn't spell banana with the right amount of Ns till I was like 18.
EDIT: I'm aware I prolly misspelt Canada in this post. Sorry in advance.
We enjoyed the recurring catchphrases that we stuck into our subsequent games as Easter Eggs. My favorite that I wrote was originally in the Last Crusade game, "I'm selling these fine leather jackets" - that showed up in many subsequent games.
Hey Aunty Donna! My friends and I are huge fans of you guys. Can't wait to see you in June when you're performing in NA!
I have a question for Mark. You must be jazzed getting to perform all over the world, and obviously that requires a lot of flying. Has it been easy getting accommodated on planes? I imagine it would be difficult for a quadruped such as yourself to easily and comfortably get on and off a plane. Also what do you do for food? I imagine major cities would be lacking in fresh grasses and hay.
What do you think to Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park? I saw in your MobyGames credentials that you were a play tester :D
Hey, I started reading this question and thought it was genuine, and then it turned into another horse joke. I think I need to be clear here. I AM NOT A HORSE. I HAVE NEVER BEEN A HORSE. I HAVE NEVER FUCKED A HORSE. I HATE HORSES. I NEED TO BOOK EXITS ROWS AND TWO SEATS ON PLANES BECAUSE OF MY 4 MUSCULAR LEGS AND HOOVES. I DO NOT LIKE NCIS MIAMI. I AM NOT A HORSE. xox Mark
Loving it - I've been very busy job hunting since it came out so besides my early testing, I've only been able to get partway into the game so far, but I think Ron and company did a perfect job of capturing the feel of our old games, while actually upgrading the quality in many ways. It's not so much an authentic 80's game as it is an evocation of our memories of what the games were like - when you actually play an 8 bit game now it can be shocking how primitive the tech feels. I'm eager to finish the game.
I would like to ask a series of very Melbourne-specific questions to alienate my fellow redditors and implicitly suggest I have some kind of deeper connection to you guys because we're from the same place.
1) Do you think the horses on the corner of Swanston Street enjoy their jobs? If not, how can we improve their work environment?
2) Which is the best 'Centre'? The Arts Centre, Highpoint Shopping Centre, or Melbourne Central Station? Explain your reasoning.
3) You reportedly enjoy 'Bevvies with the boys'. Please indentify your favourite craft-brewery within 7km of the CBD?
4) What the fuck is the point of White Night?
5) How do you intend to incorporate David Wenham into your act, in accordance with standard Victorian Arts practice?
What is the absolute worst game you have ever played? What's your favorite dish with chicken in it? Do you play Rocket League?
1) I honestly doubt those horses are very happy. As a normal human, I don't enjoy hanging around that part of the city at all. It's full of drunk fuccbois and has some of the most messy McDonald's and KFC you'll find in the world. Apparently their stables are really far away too so that's real fucked. 2) I used to go to the Arts Centre a lot when I was at uni to see theatre. It's great, it feels like you've travelled back to 1989, the home of a thriving theatre scene. I'd never been to Highpoint, or as everyone calls it 'Knifepoint' until recently, I just moved nearby, I go there so often now. I saw lego Batman there with my gf. 5 stars. Melbourne Central is fine. I reckon Highpoint 3) I think beer is OK. I like coffee substantially more. I would say for Beerskies I like Francesca's Bar in Northcote, it's where we shot our series Trendy and also the sketch 'What Did You Do Last Night' 4) Never been. From what I gather. It's to fuck up traffic for fun. 5) I would love if David Wenham was in our act. I'd have him just doing the 300 narrator voice while we do shit. Then I would tongue kiss him for 15 minutes. -BRODEN KELLY
One question at a time please! Worst game - wow, that's tough, I try to put the really bad ones out of my mind, and I don't waste time on a game if it doesn't interest me (unless I have to play it, sadly that happens a lot). I really can't think of a "worst". Chicken - I really like chicken in many forms, I guess I'd pick grilled on the barbecue with lemon, garlic and herbs. Rocket league - no, sorry!
Do you miss Adrian heaps since his death?
In seriousness, what was it like when he said he was going to leave?
How was it to be a part in the beginning eras of gaming?
Genuinely It was real fucked. We were about 2 years into trying to make this into our full time jobs. We were starting to gain a bit of momentum and things were looking really positive. All of a sudden one day Ad decided his heart wasn't in it anymore and wanted to go do other things. Adrian was my main writing partner and my best mate since I was 15. So it affected me on both a professional and personal level because I felt like I was losing my mate. This absolutely wasn't the case, Adrian and I still hang heaps and he's doing real good studying to be a lawyer.
After he left, we were all in a bit of shock. We genuinely had no idea if the group would work without him so there was this vibe that we'd potentially wasted two years of our life and the Aunty Donna was going to end. A lot of the credit for us continuing on has to go to our old producer Trish, who really backed us to make the group work as a trio.
I remember when we did our first show as a trio, we were expecting the everybody to be like 'OH MY GOD YOU'RE A TRIO. WOW'. The truth was that nobody really gave a shit. So we just continued on.
Great! I began making computer games in college in 1975, purely for my own satisfaction, but realized I could apply it to my degree (I went to Hampshire College where they let you design your own curriculum) and used games to show off the programming, physics, and astronomy expertise I was gaining. Never thought at the time that it was preparation for a career, except as a programmer doing boring stuff (I did a lot of business programming during my college summers to make cash, and figured that might be my career, but wasn't too enthusiastic about it). But as soon as I graduated I got lucky and got right into the games industry, and never looked back. Certainly being part of the birth of Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts was an early highlight that I will always treasure. I realize now we were very lucky, those of us who started in the 70's and early 80's, because we got to figure out the rules and learn on our own, with no one telling us what to do - we made a lot of mistakes, but there was a freedom and freshness that I miss today. But at the time, particularly when I took my first job at Milton Bradley, people were telling me that I should be wary of "this video game thing" and that it might be a fad that would blow over. I believed them, but it made me even more determined to enjoy it while I could. I don't think it's a fad any more...
Why did you make Sinistar so goddamned hard?
I wished to have a giant asshole that I could store all my shit in. Not literal shit. Like tv cabinets, a washing line, my garage fridge etc. My garage is currently getting a bit cluttered so I need somewhere else to store stuff. If I could put more shit in my asshole I would do it in a heartbeat. I have no qualms about that at all. - Broden Kelly (fuccboi)
Money! The game was significantly easier up to about 6 weeks before release, but it was averaging about 3.5 minutes of play per quarter, and we needed to get it down to about 2 minutes in order to optimize earnings. We didn't want to make the first level too hard or no one would come back, so unfortunately we had to goose up the difficulty of level 2 a lot, more than we wanted for fun, but the earnings were critical. The "legend" is that RJ Mical still has a set of the ROMs of the easier build lost in his garage somewhere, but I'm dubious about that.
Hey Zach, do you mind when I yell "HEY ZACH YOUR'RE A BABE" whenever I see you outside of Melbourne central going with a coffee in hand?
Mata Hari is one of my favourite 'modern' adventure games, and one of my favourite games that you've worked on. How did it come about and what was it good to work with Hal Barwood again?
Glad you liked it! That one came about as a request from the publisher. They approached me, and I thought it was the kind of thing Hal would be interested in. At the time we were living about a 10 minute drive apart, and both available for freelance work. The theme of Mata Hari was actually a bit tough, not what we might have chosen on our own, but the historical references and spy work were close to our Indiana Jones experience, and we had a lot of fun on it. We got several trips to Germany as a result too, to the developer's offices in Hannover mostly, but also to meet the publisher in Hamburg, and to show it off at Gamescomm, the big German games show. German fans are, per capita, the biggest fans of the old LucasArts adventures, so that was a fantastic experience. (To support that claim before anyone protests, we sold 10x copies per capita of Monkey Island 2 in Germany than we did in the US)
What would you say is an often overlooked aspect of game development by most people?
I, Broden, have been tasked with answering this question. I don't know why. Here's a little behind-the-scenes info; Mark is not actually a horse. He's a hairy boy from Melbourne Australia. I met him studying at University. He eats a lot of polystyrene bowls of ramen. wot a cunt.
Hmm, I'll answer that from the viewpoint of developing games, not playing them, I think that's what you're after but correct me if I'm wrong. Writers (if the game involves writing/story) often are short-changed, with professional writers only brought in mid-way or later in the game, when the best story games have good writers on board from the first day. Musicians also feel overlooked, but unless it's a music-oriented game I don't think they have as good a case.
Broden, you sexy man-beast, do you get recognised now more for AD, or for the Coles commercial still?
What were the challenges of working on a 4th Indiana Jones story when there were already episodes/stories in existence? Was it difficult to come up with something new & fresh while still keeping within the general feel of an Indiana Jones story?
I genuinely like this question. I get recognised for Donna pretty regularly, but I have NEVER EVER been recognised for the tv commercial that plays across Australia, daily. It's bizarre. I've been into Coles and stood next to posters and staff members don't even realise. The only people who ever mention it are Donna fans at our live shows or my Dad. -Broden
No, it was a pleasure. We had lots of ideas - had narrowed it down to the one we chose, and one about a quest to find Excalibur, but rejected that one because it wouldn't have easily given Jones a reason to go anywhere but England, while Atlantis gave us a lot more interesting options. Game developers always have many more ideas than time and resources to implement them.
Hey boyos! Big fan from Switzerland here, I stayed up until 3 a.m. to ask you guys some questions. I’ve been enjoying your content for quite a while now (came in during the Great Bikie Wars Migration) and your podcasts have become something I’m looking forward to every week! Anyways, I’ve prepared a few questions if you don’t mind:
So you guys are known for your absurdist humor. It’s so far out there sometimes and I absolutely love it! I guess it’s not for everyone though, so do you ever feel like that limits your popularity and have you ever considered changing the way you do comedy in order to appeal to a bigger audience?
If you could have any person in the world on a podcast, who would it be?
Will you ever do a poddy with Tim Minchin? You guys mentioned you’re friends with him at some point.
Do you prefer writing sketches for YouTube or for live audiences? What are some of the differences?
What are yous cunts personal favorite sketches to perform?
What do you call a diverse underwater ecosystem held together by colonies of marine invertebrates, serves as a habitat for a lot of animals like sea anemones, sponges and fish, is endangered by global climate warming and also likes to watch its romantic partner have intimate sexual relations with other men?
Sorry for flooding you with questions right from the start, I prepared this in advance so I can go to bed soon! Thank you for making me laugh so much, I really hope I’m able to catch one of your shows at some point! Love you guys kissy!!!!
do you think games are any more violent today than they were in the 80's?
Wow!!! So many questions!!! Thanks for staying up! Let me answer your questions frem.
Great observation. As the years have gone by we've always tried to reach a larger audience. We haven't done this by changing the absurd silly stuff but by trying to communicate the idea/ joke/ observation in a clearer more accessible manner so more people can 'get on board'. And then we'll take them for a ride on the absurdity train. Doing this has allowed us to do even sillier stuff which is the best.
Theresa May, I reckon she's got the time.
We'd love to do a poddy with Tim. However he's a very busy fellow and we're a bunch if cums.
We enjoy both equally. In our live shows we try and make everything as 'live' as possible. We do through bits of impro, eye contact, live music and audience interaction. With YouTube we try to make everything as filmic as possible. We use the editing, camera, lights and production as much as we can to communicate the joke we're doing. Our style is one that involves a lot of irony and is very aware. So if we're performing in front of you we acknowledge we're in front of you and if we film a sketch we acknowledge that it's a filmed sketch. (Sorry for the ramble)
Opening mime/ dance from our new show - Mark. Lord whoopee - Zach. Trendy Cafe - Broden.
A cuckle reef??
Kissies from Sam xo
Hard to say - objectively, probably so, but I think that's mostly a result of the power of the platforms and the graphics. If you look at books, movies, even opera, themes of live and death - and violence - have always been popular, although with games as with other media the violent ones are minority of the total.
Could you do an episode of the podcast with just Tom, Sam and Max?
was there a particular reason for you not working on Indiana Jones & the Infernal Machine? :)
Yeah, I definitely think we should do more of that. Max is very quitely one of the funniest people I know. Sam and Tom are as well, but y'all see a fair bit of that on social media and Vlogs and stuff. So more of that for sure.
I wasn't at LucasArts by then! I was working at The 3DO company on their game console (first one using a CD drive as standard).
Why won't mark show us his bare face? I love big bushy beards but I want to see what that boy has hiding on his special face!
This is the one question I wished for one my wish crisp
What's your favorite adventure game?
Do you think point and click adventures still have a place in modern gaming?
What could developers do to make them more attractive to a wider audience?
Look up our sketch Worst Prank Phone Call of All Time - xo Mark
Fav adventure game - probably Monkey Island 2. I didn't have a lot to do with the production, so I didn't get sick of it from having to play it too often. I think Ron, Dave and Tim made an amazing team, and certainly brainstorming with them was incredibly fun, and seeing how the game came out, there were many bits that would make me laugh even after seeing the same joke many times. I still remember one of my favorite points in making the game, where we were talking about how Guybrush could slide down a rope - "What if he used a hook?" "Not funny enough" "How about a rubber chicken?" "Nah, a rubber chicken wouldn't slide, you'd get stuck." Silent thought, and then someone (could have been me, I honestly don't know because several of us can't agree) said, "not if it was a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle" - and we all cracked up. Modern gaming - see above, I'm happy to see as a genre they're doing pretty well, but I don't think they'll ever be as popular as they used to be.
More attractive - Hal Barwood and I had an idea we toyed with in Mata Hari involving turning dialog and information into physical tokens. I still think we could go much farther - we came up with the idea fairly far into design, and if we designed a game from scratch around it I think it could be amazing - but I doubt it would make them really mainstream. I think they're an acquired taste, and it's like a specific genre, e.g. "mockumentaries" that some people find really enjoyable, but never are breakout hits these days.
During the podcasts, you always joke about having to cut bits out because they were too offensive. Have you ever actually had to cut anything out? What was it?
Thanks for the reply! Monkey Island 2 is one of my favorites as well, although I'd have to say my absolutely favorite is Sam and Max Hit the Road.
Yes we've cut out a few things because sometimes impro can take a real dark turn and things just slip out that are awful and hurtful. For that reason I won't tell you what they are now. Sorry for being a stickler - Sam
Are you aware that Steve Purcell, who created the Sam and Max comics and inspired us to make games around them, is now at Pixar?
What will you do if someone actually hires Zach to DJ at their house?
Sinistar was awesome! Did you believe at the time that the inclusion of synthesized speech in games would develop into full speech soundtracks or were you of the opinion that it was a passing novelty?
This has actually come very close to happening a few times. If someone is fucked up enough to pay that amount of money we'll do what the description says, which is use the money to train Zach how to DJ, fly him to the person's house and make him do it. It will be a massive waste of time and money. -Broden
It was too new, we just thought it would be fun to try. Sinistar wasn't the first arcade game to add speech, but it was the first one I think to create a specific character, and with only 7 utterances (see this for a marvelous analysis: http://onastick.net/drew/sinistar/ ) Ken Fedesna, the head of engineering, was responsible for giving us the permission and encouragement to use the speech chip, it had been developed for a pinball game (Black Knight? I don't recall) and he thought it would be a good fit for Sinistar. It definitely is what most people remember from the game.
What does one have to do in order to have "bevvies with the boys" in LA?
What was an innovation in game play you came up with that didn't catch on like you would have thought?
Hey mate, this can absolutely be arranged. When we do Largo in about a month, come along, we do meet n' greets afterwards, if you're holding a beer I guess you could technically say you're having a bevvy with the boys...... -Broden
I miss the old game Acrophobia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrophobia_(game) I'm surprised it didn't spawn imitators, or not many anyway.
Would you consider auctioning one of Marks cum socks for charity?
What advice would you give to the parent of a pre-teen, who's absolutely nuts about making games, game-design, programming and playing?
They've a talent and knack (from my v. limited perspective), how do I support, encourage and engage without being pushy? (ie. balance of playing vs. creating).
Any pointers from your experience on the 'making side' gratefully received.
Have VERY rarely cum into a sock. Maybe once in my whole history of hiding cum. Once I did a cum and hid it on the bottom of my tracksuit pants then folded it up like you would a sleeve on a t-shirt. I wasn't as young as you'd think when this happened. xo Mark
The gateway these days is often Minecraft, I'd recommend that if your child hasn't yet tried it, it's often a way people get started, particularly 10 year old boys it seems. But I'd also recommend checking out one of the several publicly available game making programs that require very little programming expertise, can't recall a particular one at the moment, sorry! But playing stuff your kid makes is a good idea.
Why are film adaptions of video games and game adaptions of films usually mediocre?
Peach/ Nectarine - Zach Nectarine - Tom Nectarine - Sam Avocado - Broden Anything as long as it's real hard and you can break a window with it - Mark
What makes a good film often doesn't make a good game, in some ways linear stories like books and films are diametrically opposed to the interactivity in games. Also, many games based on films benefit from the film marketing without trying hard to be fun, it can be a callous way to just make money without making a good game.
Broden, all the other boys say you're fabby at basketball.
1) - who you think is gonna win NBA playoffs (do you care?) 2) - do you wanna come and shoot some hoops on the mean streets of central edinburgh this fringe? (Costs £2 per session/ 85$ AUS)
Sinistar kicked a$$!! Was there any way to get past the 3rd level? I've seen people playing old games (Asteroids comes to mind) to the point where they could play indefinitely. Sinistar was a BEAST. I probably paid for your kids college trying (and failing) to survive the 3rd level.
Yes I love basketball. It's great to play with your friends whilst keeping fit at the same time. I unfortunately think the Warriors will get it this year. This based on absolutely no expertise. I would love to come play basketball with you in Edinburgh. I will fuck you up. Lemme know bro. -Broden
Hah, I didn't ever get a cut of the profits from the game - but I did get my first car with bonus money, so thanks! Sure, I've gotten to level 5, and know many people who have gone higher, but it is of course extremely difficult. See above for why that is.
Hi Aunty Donna! Huge fan from Singapore here. Met Mark at PAX Aus last year at the Insert Coin booth when I volunteered, where I got quite possibly the best photo of Mark ever.
I've got a couple questions.
As a fan from Singapore who unfortunately can't visit you guys in Australia or in the US this year, there's no chance for me to see your "Big Boys" show. Is there any chance that you guys are going to film your entire show and maybe you could distribute it yourselves on your website? I would pay so much money for this.
Alternatively, could you guys come perform in Singapore? It's like 5 hours away from Melbourne. Unfortunately I can't guarantee it's going to be a packed house.
I contribute $15 every month to your Patreon and I love the content you're giving, with the super secret podcast and a behind-the-scenes look at Aunty Donna's formative years, but at some point, you guys are probably going to run out of "history" to tell your frems. What sort of content will you give then?
I wanted to ask if you guys ever "switch off" because in every single interview I've seen you guys give, you guys are always "on". But then I listed to The Comedian's Comedian podcast yesterday and got a huge insight into how you guys operate, which is pretty amazing. In the podcast, you guys mentioned what you guys thought about the future of Aunty Donna. Is there anything we can do to help make that future vision come true? Because I don't want to miss the opportunity to see you guys perform live.
I've visited Melbourne twice, but I don't know too much about it. Could you guys recommend me your favorite places to go to in Melbourne?
Thanks guys! Sorry for the long questions.
The excitement of running like hell from Sinistar, spewing bombs but knowing you were 1 or 2 short of taking him out was epic. "Run, coward!!!!"
Thanks for the memories!
MATE! Firstly, thanks for being an absolute legend! I'll do my best to answer these... 1) We will absolutely film it soon and put it up somewhere. Exactly how and when we have no idea yet. We are currently just brainstorming exactly how we want to do it.
2) We would love to perform in Singapore. It's actually not that crazy a notion, there are some very genuine avenues for us performing in Singapore, so stay tuned.
3) Firstly, thanks for donating man. Genuinely, it makes such a difference for us. Thanks so much. We have about a years worth of history for monthly newsletters I reckon. After that we'll have to find something new to write about. What kind of stuff would you like to know about?
4) You're a lovely guy. Early on when we started getting asked to do interviews we used to do them very shitty. We just answered the questions genuinely and they weren't very funny. So we decided to make each interview we do little sketches. Sometimes people get mad at us but we think it's a better way of going about it.
5) AFL, COFFEE, GOOD FOOD.
What do you think of this?
How/where did you develop the awesome Sinistar voice? That thing is impressive, especially considering tech constraints
Answered above, it was voiced by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doremus
There is a pretty tiny amount of recorded voice in the game, I think about 20 seconds of unique stuff. There wasn't much to work with.
I find it hard sometimes to introduce you boys to new people. Which video would you recommend as a gateway to Aunty Donna?
Hello, Mr. Falstien! I did an AMA request last week asking for a game designer/writer, so I wanted to ask: what is it like and what is involved to create a character in your game? I've always been intrigued by the minds behind the characters; why they made the character say the things they say and act the way they act.
Thanks for doing this!
That's a good point Argon1418,
That's fair for your friends not to like us. We are weird. I would say this sketch 'Mr. Moustache Man' is super accessible and I think everybody can relate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOdrbik5Mc Share this with all of your friends and I promise you'll be the belle of the ball. -Broden
I don't have a specific system for that. When I've done it, I usually start with the game or gameplay and work backward - what kind of character would have the qualities needed for the game? And I use a technique taught by Orson Scott Card, the writer, acknowledging the first few things that come to mind, but push farther into unusual or surprising or quirky alternatives, rejecting the initial cliches. I also like to try to harness my subconscious, think hard about a concept or character, then purposefully distract myself or meditate (or even let myself come to the edge of sleep) and set a reminder (like an alarm) so that I come back to it obliquely.
Will you be in this upcoming E3?
I'm just a lucky little italian sausage from Sicily who has great follicle growth cumma outta ma face. xox Mark
Nope, I have only been to one E3 in the last ten years, don't find it very useful for me any more.
I've spent more than eight years writing a script for an RPG, could you please make it a game or send me in the right direction?
- The Rostical Guild (google it).
Hello. Yes I have a girlfriend called Annie who I've been with since I was at Uni, she's an actor. She has a cold at the moment and has taken the day off work.
Sorry, I don't think I can help with that. Most people (and especially companies) with the resources to make games have more ideas/designs than they can handle, I literally don't know of a single case of this kind of thing resulting in someone picking up a game and paying to make it.
Would you rather fight one duck-sized Mark, or one hundred Mark-sized ducks?
Did you ever receive complaints in the mail about Sinistar? I wasn't around in the 80's but that game seems absolutely mentally scarring, and I can't imagine it went through without some sort of controversy, internal or otherwise.
Whoops, tried to reply to this but something went wrong. Anyway, no, there wasn't any controversy - people liked being startled for the most part, a few were resentful but most people thought it was a fun surprise, and got over it quickly. In a crowded, noisy arcade I don't think it was particularly scary.
How's Stuart Daulman going, is he still with that girl? I must know.
Also, and a bit more seriously...what's the goal for Aunty Donna? The ultimate goal.
Saw your show in Auckland (and was also lucky enough to be part of your live podcast), absolutely incredible show, I had a headache from laughing so much. You're doing amazing work, keep it up, all six of you.
Oooh this question has been on my mind a while now. I read an article posted in /r/futurology that due to robots taking our jobs, humans will soon find themselves at an existential crisis because their lives have no meaning. One of the proposed solutions is that we will spend most of our times living in VR worlds and having rich lives there. What is your opinion on that?
Stuart Daulman is doing just great! I dunno if I can say whether or not he's with that girl. We gotta save that for the next podcast he's on. The funny thing about Stu is he is super weird as a comic and we've known him for a really long time, so we could do some of our weirdest podcasts with him, yet for some reason we've ended up doing our most normal, conversational podcasts with him.
As for your second question. Ultimate goal is a tough one to answer, as there are six of us. So all of our goals are slightly different. Overall, we would love to keep getting to do more live shows all over the world, in really cool venues. We would love to do a movie one day. A couple of TV series. We would really love to get to a position where we can help elevate other comics that we love, whether that be through helping them make their stuff or expanding the Donna universe past the three of us. Our mantra has been and always will be "Whatever's Funniest" - so our goal really is to do more and be better but within that.
What makes you think that hasn't happened already? Pretty realistic, huh?
How much easier did game development went once you started developing for machines with actual operating systems?
When you guys made games back in the old days, a lot of that stuff was done without any kind of middleware or sophisticated tools - literally just commands executed directly on the hardware. Yet those games are still some of the most fun, clever, and memorable games of my lifetime.
It was pretty gradual as OS improved and tools became available. I'm glad you liked the old games, but overall I think the quality of games overall has improved, we just tend to have nostalgia for the ones we saw when we were younger.
Hey boys, where did you get those amazing shirts you were wearing in your Aussie Christmas Carol's video?
What was your biggest challenge in learning programming?
I really want to learn, but I find it really intimidating.
Our costume designer, Charlotte made them herself. they're fantastic. The best bit was that we actually got to keep them after the shoot and I wore mine to xmas. -Broden
That's a tough one for me to answer with relevance, I learned initially about 45 years ago, and frankly the biggest challenge was the frustration of waiting for the punched cards to be read into the feeder and run on the mainframe miles away - and did I mention I had to walk to the computer lab at school 10 miles barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways? :-) I think there are lots of very accessible ways to learn programming these days, but I'm very out of touch with them, sorry!
Do you have any advice about how to best get into film/tv or comedy? As in, is Drama school worth the time/cost or is it better to just wing it with some friends?
Which of your games do you still dust off and play, just to enjoy playing them?
Depends what you wanna do. Drama place is a good place to learn how to act (mainly for the theatre) but once you get out you still need to do an many web series and short films as you can. I liked drama school because I knew nothing about the entertainment industry and it was a great entry point for me. If you wanna be a film maker go to film school and do as many web series and short films as you can. Comedy you can only work out by doing it. Just start and keep going there is no other path. -Sam
I don't - just never been motivated to go back much. The one I most miss playing (but that I'd rather play a modern version of) was Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. And I wasn't very heavily involved in the development of that, it was very much Larry Holland's work.
Hey guys, huge fan here, saw two of your shows in Melbourne recently and they was fucking phenomenal, good job cunts.
What was the hardest sketch to film?
What is your opinion on games having loads of DLC and no game? Also Whats your opinion on competitive shooters like CSGO and Overwatch?
Hey I really like this question because I don't have an immediate answer and it's forcing me to think.
All of the Haven't You Done Well sketches are hard because you end up covered in something uncomfortable, like beer, or wine. Also we've done a few one-take-sketches where it takes a fair bit of rehearsing to get right (like 'I Dance Like This'). Personally I actually found the sketch 'Manbeast Returns' quite hard to shoot. I had to do heaps of acting and I had big doubts about whether if I was doing an OK job. It ended up being OK but for the whole day shooting it I was super stressed. -
Not sure what you're referring to, I guess I'm not playing games of that sort. I've never played CSGO or Overwatch. So many types of games now, and I've spent more time on VR and to some extent mobile games recently.
As an absolute complete noob to designing games, where do I start the learning process. I don't know java or python at this point. And how does graphic design tie in? What tools do I need?
I'd go a Halal Snack Pack over a Kebab. But Chicken across the board -Broden
I'd recommend Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design" book as a start, it will answer many of your questions and has lots of great advice. I don't get a cut, I'm just a fan of Jesse's work and this book in particular.
Hey you cunts, I'm a huge fan of your work and just want to take this chance to say yous are some of the funniest boys out there and and I wouldn't mind grabbing a cold bevvy with yous sometime. I'm ecstatic to see yous at the Edinburgh Fringe this year and your podcasts have gotten me through many long nights at the library.
With that said, I've got a couple of questions:
- When's the Steve Gobs movie coming out?
- How often do you boys visit La Porchetta weekly?
- What are your favourite things to do while visiting Edinburgh?
- What are some of the funniest moments to happen to yous while touring?
- Do any of you have a comedy idol that you took inspiration from?
Would love to here back! Lots of love from Scotland x
How often are you referred to as a sadist for making Sinistar?
Thanks so much for your kind words! We love Edinburgh, and cannae wait to get back there (see what I did there, I said cannae, like scottish people do).
- There's currently some turmoil over at Sony on the Steve Gobs movie, as Leo Dicarpio (who is half 90s heartthrob, half carp) doesn't want the role. It'll happen when they find the lead.
- 9 times on average.
- Legit, love walking through the meadows. Just chilling. It's a really beautiful city, and just important not to forget that in all the hubbub of the festival.
- When we're fucked tired and jetlagged, and out for dinner after a show. Our riffs can be off the chain. Like more fucked than any podcast we've done. No specific answer, but those nights are awesome. After six years together, when we make each other properly laugh, it's a pretty great vibe.
- My biggest comedy idol, without a doubt is Shaun Micallef [more specifically, everyone that worked on the show The Micallef P(r)ogram(me) - if you haven't seen it go watch it]. He actually came and watched our show in Melbourne last month, and it was real cool/nerve wracking. Marks biggest is Tim and Eric. Brodens is his Dad. (also Conan). Sams is Python and the creators of Peep Show. Max's is, at a guess, Edgar Wright (but he's not here). Tom really likes Brooklyn nine nine.
At least this once! I guess maybe people were more traumatized than I thought :-) Sorry. After all, you do get to blow him up as revenge. Sure, it's not going to end well for the player, but that was true of just about every arcade game.
Are you the only comedy group from Australia as the title suggests?
I'm a 28 yo male that wants to be a video game producer. I'm going back to school in the fall to finish up my degree in computer science with a minor in business. What steps do I need to make so that my dream becomes a reality?
Nah. There are a number of groups and individuals making awesome comedy in Australia. We try to feature just some of our favourites in our YouTube videos and our podcasts - but there's heaps more that we haven't gotten around to working with yet. You should google them and watch their stuff - some awesome, awesome comics down here.
There are entry level producer positions - assistant producer or possibly another unique name. www.gamasutra.com has lots of job listings. If you are a competent coder you may well find it easier to get a job using those skills and work internally in a game company to become a producer.
Hi! Developer here. I want to ask you how marketing was for you. How did you maintain a following? Did you gain subscribers on YouTube or followers for your blog about your game?
I don't think that's relevant for me - I didn't market my own games, I've always worked for companies or clients who either handled that, or in the cases of some games, gave them away for free to the people who needed them.
I'm a computer science major and graduating this year. How do you suggest I get into working for a game company? I've applied to internships with no luck, and I have been making games in my free time already. Here is a link to one I made last semester if curious. https://youtu.be/rKxdbytKNtA
Keep making games, and be persistent. It's a cliche, but that's by far the best way. Persistence is key, keep trying. If you are a programmer I think you'll succeed, don't insist on a job where you get to do the design yourself and you'll get in the door.