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Thread: WD Trivia/Storytime Thread

  1. #361
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    Awesome thread, glad I got approved so I can finally post in it.

    Some questions Vic

    1) How many people did you have working there when CF2 came out? I remember calling in as a 13 year old eager to gush about how great I thought the game was , and I know I got you once. I was talking about how cool it was to have the voice acting, and the songs and all of that, and was pestering you for the code that would let me watch all the cinematics whenever I wanted. Good times. The reason I ask though, is another time when I called in, and asked how you were doing they said you were no longer with the company, and were fired for some reason. I realize they were messing with me now, though back then I was kinda freaked out. Still, it never seemed like WD was a big operation back then.

    2) How did you decide on Cadash and Parasol Stars? Did you need to do HuCards first in order to be able to release CDs, or did you come to that decision later?

    3) We know about TG-CD games and Saturn games that were planned but never saw release, but what about Sega-CD stuff? Anything there that you wanted to bring out but were unable to?

    4) What exactly happened to Studio Alex?

  2. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    Awesome thread, glad I got approved so I can finally post in it.

    Some questions Vic

    1) How many people did you have working there when CF2 came out? I remember calling in as a 13 year old eager to gush about how great I thought the game was , and I know I got you once. I was talking about how cool it was to have the voice acting, and the songs and all of that, and was pestering you for the code that would let me watch all the cinematics whenever I wanted. Good times. The reason I ask though, is another time when I called in, and asked how you were doing they said you were no longer with the company, and were fired for some reason. I realize they were messing with me now, though back then I was kinda freaked out. Still, it never seemed like WD was a big operation back then.
    WD was never a big operation. The core was less than 8 people, but expanded to up to 20 if you counted part time testers in the PS1 days. In the Turbo days it was only 3-4 people. I have no idea why someone would tell you I was not there any longer, unless it was Sylvia (my partner). She had been known to do that if she was annoyed with the phone overflow (which happened alot - the Turbo fans were very passionate). In the original building we started on the ground floor office in another area from Sylvia's other businesses. If we got overwhelmed with calls, the calls would rotate out into her main office phones so someone could put the caller on hold until we could get to them. Later, we moved to a separate office space upstairs from the main office for her other businesses and got a completely discrete phone system. I would bet that you got Sylvia on a day when there were a lot of calls and she said that to get you off the phone. She was not gamer-friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    2) How did you decide on Cadash and Parasol Stars? Did you need to do HuCards first in order to be able to release CDs, or did you come to that decision later?
    It was pretty much that the opportunity presented itself. I was working as a freelance reviewer/game writer and I had contacts with a lot of Japanese companies, including Taito (with a really cool guy, Ohzuno-san) and I learned that these two great games weren't coming out. I was shocked, to I set about to get it done myself. It was a terrible experience (parasol stars lost a ton of money, cadash made enough to get us to break even, and I broke out in a full body rash from the stress), but I learned a lot. Cosmic Fantasy 2 was a much better experience overall. The crazy thing is, the market was so starved for CD games (and RPGs in particular) that it sold almost 1:1 for every Turbo CD in the US. That will never happen again for a disc-based system.

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    3) We know about TG-CD games and Saturn games that were planned but never saw release, but what about Sega-CD stuff? Anything there that you wanted to bring out but were unable to?
    Stuff I've mentioned before in various interviews - After Armageddon, 3x3 Eyes, the awesome Urusei Yatsura game, some others.

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    4) What exactly happened to Studio Alex?
    It's very nebulous, but this is what I know. There was some business issue with Game Arts and a joint project that didn't go as expected. A lawsuit or lawsuits were filed and Game Arts sued them out of existence, which was crazy because without Studio Alex, there is no LUNAR, and LUNAR is Game Arts best-selling product worldwide. I have no idea why cooler heads didn't prevail and the two companies didn't work something out instead. It's the main reason I'm very pessimistic about seeing a "real" LUNAR ever again. Very sad.

  3. #363
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    Glad to hear it! Do you happen to still have the Vanguard Bandits pins in stock for the PSN special offer as well? I'd like to grab some for my collection since I think I've got all of them but that.
    Yes, we still have plenty of VB pins.

  4. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    Yes, we still have plenty of VB pins.
    Sweet! I will try and get my stuff bought and sent out then! I don't look forward to going to the PO to get a money order though

  5. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    WD was never a big operation. The core was less than 8 people, but expanded to up to 20 if you counted part time testers in the PS1 days. In the Turbo days it was only 3-4 people. I have no idea why someone would tell you I was not there any longer, unless it was Sylvia (my partner). She had been known to do that if she was annoyed with the phone overflow (which happened alot - the Turbo fans were very passionate). In the original building we started on the ground floor office in another area from Sylvia's other businesses. If we got overwhelmed with calls, the calls would rotate out into her main office phones so someone could put the caller on hold until we could get to them. Later, we moved to a separate office space upstairs from the main office for her other businesses and got a completely discrete phone system. I would bet that you got Sylvia on a day when there were a lot of calls and she said that to get you off the phone. She was not gamer-friendly.
    That's kinda of crazy. I thought I talked to a guy who said that, but honestly it's been so long since then I might just be misremembering.

    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    It was pretty much that the opportunity presented itself. I was working as a freelance reviewer/game writer and I had contacts with a lot of Japanese companies, including Taito (with a really cool guy, Ohzuno-san) and I learned that these two great games weren't coming out. I was shocked, to I set about to get it done myself. It was a terrible experience (parasol stars lost a ton of money, cadash made enough to get us to break even, and I broke out in a full body rash from the stress), but I learned a lot. Cosmic Fantasy 2 was a much better experience overall. The crazy thing is, the market was so starved for CD games (and RPGs in particular) that it sold almost 1:1 for every Turbo CD in the US. That will never happen again for a disc-based system.
    So it cost less per unit to release CDs here I assume? Kind of amazed that Parasol Stars didn't do that well, though. I'd heard good things about it, but never saw it, or Cadash in stores near me. Then again, CF2 I grabbed as soon as I could and never saw it again. Though I suppose it's not like Software Etc. and Babbage's had much reason to restock a lot of Turbo stuff. Another random question, did the Duo sell more than the add on unit, or less? I have heard conflicting reports about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    Stuff I've mentioned before in various interviews - After Armageddon, 3x3 Eyes, the awesome Urusei Yatsura game, some others.
    Was the problem with UY and 3x3 eyes dealing with the licensing issues for the Anime at the time? Or was it just a hell of a lot less complicated in the 90s in regards to those things?

    Which reminds me, do you know why TTI never ended up releasing Macross 2036 here? They were pimping it pretty heavily for a little while, then nothing.



    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    It's very nebulous, but this is what I know. There was some business issue with Game Arts and a joint project that didn't go as expected. A lawsuit or lawsuits were filed and Game Arts sued them out of existence, which was crazy because without Studio Alex, there is no LUNAR, and LUNAR is Game Arts best-selling product worldwide. I have no idea why cooler heads didn't prevail and the two companies didn't work something out instead. It's the main reason I'm very pessimistic about seeing a "real" LUNAR ever again. Very sad.
    So Studio Alex wasn't internal to Game Arts? I did not know that, I just always assumed they were a subdivision of the company, similar to Wolf Team, Laser Soft, and Renovation were parts of Telenet. How popular was Lunar in Japan anyway?

  6. #366
    It's really a shame that Parasol Stars lost money. First Worrking Designs game I ever bought, and still IMO the best one you brought over for the TG-16. Still pull that one out every once in a while for a quick play.

  7. #367
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChemicalBurrito View Post
    It's really a shame that Parasol Stars lost money. First Worrking Designs game I ever bought, and still IMO the best one you brought over for the TG-16. Still pull that one out every once in a while for a quick play.
    I'm convinced that the 4 EGM gave Parasol Stars really helped torpedo sales (Full review crew is etched in my mind - 4,7,6,7. Never forget). FOUR was an outrageous score for an amazingly deep game like Parasol Stars. I was super pissed when that came out and was so off base compared to all other scores out there at the time. Unfortunately, it was in the most influental mag of the time.

  8. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    I'm convinced that the 4 EGM gave Parasol Stars really helped torpedo sales (Full review crew is etched in my mind - 4,7,6,7. Never forget). FOUR was an outrageous score for an amazingly deep game like Parasol Stars. I was super pissed when that came out and was so off base compared to all other scores out there at the time. Unfortunately, it was in the most influental mag of the time.
    Oh EGM... Reminds me of how the roasted Herzog Zwei on Genesis... Similar situation to Parasol Stars, Blasphemy I say. God knows the RTS genre could have taken off on consoles T.T before Dune 2 coined the genre.

  9. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    So it cost less per unit to release CDs here I assume? Kind of amazed that Parasol Stars didn't do that well, though. I'd heard good things about it, but never saw it, or Cadash in stores near me. Then again, CF2 I grabbed as soon as I could and never saw it again. Though I suppose it's not like Software Etc. and Babbage's had much reason to restock a lot of Turbo stuff. Another random question, did the Duo sell more than the add on unit, or less? I have heard conflicting reports about it.
    Duo sold less. They MADE more, but didn't sell a fraction of them. CF2 was supposed to be the pack-in once the initial stock was sold through. The deal was made. Unfortunately, they never came close to selling through the initial batch they made. In the end they were destroyed.


    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    Was the problem with UY and 3x3 eyes dealing with the licensing issues for the Anime at the time? Or was it just a hell of a lot less complicated in the 90s in regards to those things?
    Licensing, plus general problems with SEGA CD making it less profitable by the hour to publish for.

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    Which reminds me, do you know why TTI never ended up releasing Macross 2036 here? They were pimping it pretty heavily for a little while, then nothing.
    TTi was a hot mess of conflicting interests. A large faction of Japan side wanted to see it fail and be done with it, so they would sabotage negotiations for things, while the US side was trying to keep things moving forward. It's the reason KotM2 and World Heroes never came out. The covert funding from US TTi side for the deal was cut once the Japanese side found out (I was IN Japan for the Japan-side interrogation on that one - awkward). There are too many great titles to count that were killed because Japan side wanted it to die here because the losses had gone on too long and they didn't believe a business could be made of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bishopcruz View Post
    So Studio Alex wasn't internal to Game Arts? I did not know that, I just always assumed they were a subdivision of the company, similar to Wolf Team, Laser Soft, and Renovation were parts of Telenet. How popular was Lunar in Japan anyway?
    No, they were not internal to Game Arts. LUNAR:SSSC was more popular here, and the series in general, but because of all the re-releases, Japan has a slight edge in sales volume overall. Of course, after we were out of the LUNAR picture, the moves made with the series promptly tanked a big chunk of the goodwill we built up in the US. Sad.

  10. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChemicalBurrito View Post
    It's really a shame that Parasol Stars lost money. First Worrking Designs game I ever bought, and still IMO the best one you brought over for the TG-16. Still pull that one out every once in a while for a quick play.
    It's a GREAT game. Thankfully Cadash evened out the loss, so in the end we were no worse off, and I learned a lot that was beneficial to moving forward.

    BTW, those were also the first two US games with art on the actual HuCard.

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