Evan Robinson’s Mischievous Ramblings

I briefly met Evan Robinson in 1997 at a conference organized by Chris Crawford, and then I saw him again at a roundtable at this year’s GDC, but didn’t have the opportunity to talk to him. But since then, I have discovered his blog (as he has discovered mine), and I’ve been wanting to mention it here for a while. So, while the blog entries I’m referring to are not entirely topical anymore, here goes.

He talks about Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball – which I am not mentioning to increase the traffic on this site, even though it will undoubtedly have that effect – and I agree with what he says. I kinda like DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball, for similar reasons. (I don’t have a nude patch! Go away.)

He has also written two posts (one and two) about his impressions of this year’s GDC.

He reacts to Greg Costikyan’s rant on the dire state of the games industry here. Basically he says he’s heard similar discussions many times before and that he sees various signs of hope. I can only agree.

Most interestingly, Evan talks about why he’s back in the industry after a 6 year hiatus, and why he left in the first place. It turns out he was involved during the very ugly time when the CGDC, as it was then called, went from being run by a couple of developers to being a run by a large corporation. In the process, a very large amount of money changed hands, and some people disagreed strongly with how this played out. Most notably, Chris Crawford exposed his view of the whole affair in great detail on the Game Developer forum on CompuServe (where I hung out a lot back in those days). Some of the accused and various other people gave some counter-arguments, but no-one managed to convince me that a few people did not receive six figure amounts of cash and that this was not a bit shady, to say the least. But it’s been a while, I wasn’t involved, and I can’t read those old CompuServe threads anymore – which is a pity, because there was some good stuff there. Anyway, Evan mentions his side of this, and how it affected him personally to the point of feeling cast out from the industry – understandably, I must say. Chris basically felt and reacted the same way.

Nobody talks about that time much nowadays.

Comments 2

  1. Evan Robinson wrote:

    There are good reasons not to remember that time. It was unpleasant for many of us. In the space of no more than two or three years I got to go through a divorce, a lawsuit, some job changes. It was no fun.

    The important lesson learned can be boiled down (without any personalities) to: “decide in writing what will happen with a lot of money if you ever get it”

    That advice didn’t just come from the CGDC sale to Miller Freeman, BTW. I recall watching at least one excellent development group (which created an award winning and financially successful product) fall completely apart because all of a sudden there was a big pile of cash on the table, and they hadn’t agreed on how it might be divided. It was a lot harder to agree, I suspect, when they were looking at it than it would have been when it was rather theoretical.

    Posted 05 Dec 2003 at 3:03
  2. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    I can understand why you would not want to think about that time every day. However, although I do not see it as an unremovable blemish on the industry, as Chris did at some point, I think it’s interesting to keep the darker bits of the history of the GDC and the IGDA (which merged with the CGDA at some point if my memory is correct) in mind.

    Posted 05 Dec 2003 at 12:36