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Happy Hour: March 3rd, 2017 - Pre-Christory: An Origin Story Written Friday 3rd of March 2017 at 11:57am by CanadianSyrup

Today's Happy Hour will feature the history of Chris Roberts, check it out!

As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!


  • The show is live! Hosting today's show is Jared Huckaby along with Ben Lesnick, Director of Community Engagement & Spaceships.

  • This segment is dedicated to the 19 million dollar stretch goal which was the RSI museum and the show will feature the games that led up to Star Citizen.

  • Somehow, Ben just took a bobblehead out of Jared's chest.... O.o

  • Starting off they're going to look at the games before Wing Commander and how they inspired Chris.

  • They're going to play the older games via emulating since they're very old! BeebEm is one of the emulators they're using to start.

  • Back in the day, there wasn't really a PC versus MAC war in Europe like there was in North America so anything went. Chris's first PC he taught himself to code on was the Sinclair ZX80.

    • He took a course at a university to code for the the BBC micro and after the course the instructor reached out and said he was the editor for BBC Micro Magazine. Chris had then created King Kong, his first commercial game for the BBC micro.
  • Ben is now loading King Kong into the Emulator, because it's on a tape it would take a long time to load, but with emulators you can just load it 100x faster. Chris wrote King Kong when he was 13.

    • Ben has three lives and already is down to one life...
    • Ben is determined to finish the first level before they move onto the next game.
    • Ben finished the first level, but Kong instantly killed him on the second level because the game ran a lot slower back in the day than what they're emulating, Kong is killing Ben instantly on the second level and that was a short lived 3 lives.
  • Chris moved on from Basic language to a more complex language that computers use to talk to each other. His next game he worked on his own time was Wizadore.

    • Ben's now playing the game and it's something like a Mario style level. You don't have a weapon to start because you have to acquire weapons in order to kill certain enemies. It's very hard, but beatable in 30 minutes.
    • Chris did have some help on the game, but not like a studio. He had someone to help put in music or do some art.
  • Back in the day, games weren't really ported the same way they are now. If it was a hit title, then it would be ported. Chris was hired to do a port for a game called Match Day. Ben is loading it up now.

    • Jared is now impersonating a British commentator(Nigel Thickness) and has no idea how Soccer works.
    • And he failed miserably already.
  • Next up they have Chris's last BBC Masters game and it's called Strykers Run

    • Chris made this game when he was 19. The game has some procedural elements where the game will load points of interest in different orders as you go along.
    • There are fully manable vehicles and Ben managed to get into a helicopter, but blew it up within a couple meters.
    • Phil Meller, Nick Elms, and another one of Chris's friends heads were immortalized in the game in the form of a giant statue.
  • later on Chris went to Austin, Texas to visit his parents and was working on a game at the time and met Richard Garriott and the Origin crew he would come to know and impressed them with his game he was working on Ultra Realm which became Times of Lore.

    • Richard Garriott founded Origin because he wanted to have a focus on the art of a game and be able to have proper box art as at the time games were sold in plastic ziplock bags.
    • Chris helped Richard with Ultima V which is available GOG.
    • They're loading Times of Lore now which is an open world game.
    • One of the differences between this game and previous Chris Roberts games was the inclusion of the UI, but it was also done in a way to keep you immersed in the game, the time of day is a picture and your health is a candle that gets lower when you take damage.
    • The world was incredibly large compared to previous games and losing track of time was easy for players.
  • After Times of Lore, Chris wanted to make Times of Lore 2 with Vampires and also had an idea for a game called Squadron which eventually became Wing Commander. He cancelled Times of Lore 2 and made a game using the same engine called Bad Blood which was more action oriented and set in the wasteland as a mutant.

    • This came out in early 1990, 6 months before Wing Commander.
    • The game wasn't a huge success. At the time they were known for big RPG's and Bad Blood wasn't a traditional RPG game that featured more action and as such it didn't find an audience.
  • So that's all the games before the space sims. You can see where Chris got his inspirations from his past games and applied to Star Citizen. Chris's went on to develop Wing Commander on IBM.

  • That's the end of the first RSI museum today, they'll do more down the road featuring Wing Commander, Privateer, also have not just Chris's games, but people working on Star Citizen who've worked on past games.

  • If you enjoyed the show, let them know! That's all for today, see you next week.


Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.