Giant Bomb News

16 Comments

Minter on Minter (and Space Giraffe, Sheepies, and Gridrunner+++)

Interview with Llamasoft's Jeff Minter touches on Space Giraffe PC and the team's next console game.

Not entirely sure what's happening here, but I'd play it.
Eurogamer popped off an interview with Jeff Minter, the wild yak of a man behind such games as Llamatron, Ancipital, and, more recently, Space Giraffe. The piece talks a bit about the specifics of the PC version of Space Giraffe, which is now available from the company's official site, complete with a free demo version.

But I was more interested in hearing about the next game from the company, the tentatively-titled Gridrunner+++. According to Minter, Microsoft has been sitting on a version of the colorful shooter for some time without providing any feedback:

We sent it off to [Microsoft] months ago, but they've just not said anything - we're just waiting for them. Basically I'm going to carry on with the PC version of it if I don't hear from them soon, because they're just sitting on the demo we sent them three or four months ago. We haven't heard a thing.

That sounds like it would be pretty frustrating, but it's not entirely out of line with things I've heard from other smaller developers attempting to put content out on Xbox Live Arcade. Sounds like Microsoft has quite the bottleneck going these days of cool games that have yet to be announced or extensively discussed but are practically complete. Even games that have been discussed here and there frequently get caught in some sort of weird release limbo. You'd think that everyone would have gotten a bit more organized with all this digital download stuff by now and that we'd be able to have an actual game release calendar for Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and PlayStation Network instead of weekly announcements of games that most potential buyers didn't even know existed in the first place.

Anyway, the Jeff Minter interview is worth taking a look at. He's certainly one of the gaming industry's more fascinating specimens.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
16 Comments
Posted by Jeff
Not entirely sure what's happening here, but I'd play it.
Eurogamer popped off an interview with Jeff Minter, the wild yak of a man behind such games as Llamatron, Ancipital, and, more recently, Space Giraffe. The piece talks a bit about the specifics of the PC version of Space Giraffe, which is now available from the company's official site, complete with a free demo version.

But I was more interested in hearing about the next game from the company, the tentatively-titled Gridrunner+++. According to Minter, Microsoft has been sitting on a version of the colorful shooter for some time without providing any feedback:

We sent it off to [Microsoft] months ago, but they've just not said anything - we're just waiting for them. Basically I'm going to carry on with the PC version of it if I don't hear from them soon, because they're just sitting on the demo we sent them three or four months ago. We haven't heard a thing.

That sounds like it would be pretty frustrating, but it's not entirely out of line with things I've heard from other smaller developers attempting to put content out on Xbox Live Arcade. Sounds like Microsoft has quite the bottleneck going these days of cool games that have yet to be announced or extensively discussed but are practically complete. Even games that have been discussed here and there frequently get caught in some sort of weird release limbo. You'd think that everyone would have gotten a bit more organized with all this digital download stuff by now and that we'd be able to have an actual game release calendar for Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and PlayStation Network instead of weekly announcements of games that most potential buyers didn't even know existed in the first place.

Anyway, the Jeff Minter interview is worth taking a look at. He's certainly one of the gaming industry's more fascinating specimens.
Posted by marbig

It's colourful and that's what matters.

Posted by SkipT

If there is some sort of backlog of content, it seems completely within the interests of Microsoft to organize the releases better, promote titles in the weeks before they come out (game play videos on the console, getting copies of the game into reviewer's hands). While a lot the content available for download on the consoles services seems to be missing the mark, the good content, the downloadable games, are really only generating interest and hype among "hardcore" gamers. Much of the blame for that falls upon Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as publishers.

Posted by Sokkratez

Minter should nestle into Steam with his games and toss XBLA to the curb. People will appreciate them on PC.

Posted by WilliamRLBaker
Sokkratez said:
"Minter should nestle into Steam with his games and toss XBLA to the curb. People will appreciate them on PC."
If they were good...they really aren't they are just copies of old games but made with psychodelic colors.
Posted by Alex_V

I totally agree. One of the most exciting periods of the year was that month of pre-planned releases on x-box live. But getting info on release dates and what is available is too difficult generally - even browsing about on the consoles it is not easy to follow.

Posted by MmmSkyscraper

Jeff Minter FTW.

Posted by Faroon

Jeff's blog is well worth reading - he's a very interesting guy.  He's a wee bit pre-occupied with sheep for my liking, but the snippets of tech he slips in, are fascinating.

Posted by White

That's lava...

Wait...

Posted by akumasan

I love Jeff Minter's work, there are precious few people like him out there making interesting arcade style games. Space Giraffe is great fun, it's a nice slice of classic gaming with a complete head trip of a visual style. 100 Levels for the 400 points it costs you? bargain! (though thoroughly stuck on level 64...there's SOMETHING in there, I'm just finding it very hard to wrap my head around that one)

Can't wait to see Gridrunner+++, as Gridrunner++ is awesome as heck.

Even if you're not a fan, you have to respect anyone who can make a level based on J Allard's face, and he has to have the only game available on a mainstream console with the word yiff in it...so that's something.

Posted by Fnord

I will always have a soft spot in my otherwise cold mechanical heart for this guy.

The amount of time I spent playing Llamatron 2112 and Revenge of the Mutant Camels on my Amiga was dwarfed only by Nethack.  These are games that you just don't get to play anymore, as everyone just wants to make a game which you play for the "experience", not for arcadey goodness.

Gridrunner++ is an awesome game which you can download from the Llamasoft web site still, as well as some other ports of games to the PC.  I highly suggest checking them out if you like older games.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

Here's hoping the next game will not feature sheep or camelids of any frigging kind.  Maybe as a bonus icon, but that's it.

Posted by Hamst3r

Jeff: Tell the other Jeff to get Space Giraffe on Steam and I'll buy it today.

Posted by Media_Master

hmmm

Posted by LostCause

Still on level 95 of Space Giraffe. Maybe I will pick it up again sometime and complete all of it. The types of enemies that far into the game make it really really hard.

Posted by MattyFTM

I want a llamatron sequel!!!!!!!

Moderator