Tex Murphy Dons Fedora Once Again interview - page 2

Tex Murphy: Project Fedora
Tex Murphy: Project Fedora

Adventure Gamers: FMV: Yea or nay? 

Aaron Conners: YEA!

I recently wrote a column specifically about this topic, which goes into a lot of detail about why and how I think FMV can work.

FMV isn’t for everyone, and it’s not the best choice for every type of game, but I believe it’s essential for a new Tex Murphy game. My reasons: (1) There is no substitute for the human face and body when it comes to emotions and humor. (2) Detective stories have a large amount of interaction between characters, and most of the time, it’s interviewing and interrogating. Watching this with rendered characters would be agonizing. (3) FMV is a fundamental element of this series. It wouldn’t be a Tex Murphy game without it.

AG: The technology for making the "gamey" part of games may have progressed a lot, but aren't the demands of filming live action theatre just as challenging – and perhaps costly – as ever?  $450,000 may sound like a lot now, but it surely won't once you start shooting.

Aaron Conners, Chris Jones

Chris Jones: This is not all the money we are using on it. We had some money set aside to do a modest Tex Murphy game, but then the Kickstarter phenomenon began. We thought Kickstarter would be a great way to supplement the Tex Murphy fund and take it from a modest game to a more full Tex Murphy adventure. Kickstarter was also a way to help us gauge the public's interest in a possible new Tex Murphy game. We've been very pleased with the support we have received so far.

AG: Given the success of the final (until now) three games, it's easy to forget the series didn't begin with Under a Killing Moon.  What first inspired the move to FMV from the more traditional format of the first two games?

Chris: That's where we always wanted to go. We always wanted to incorporate a "movie feel" inside our adventure gaming line. We were finally able to do that when CDs for computers could store such large amounts of information. It was always our goal to create the "Interactive Movie" experience which featured multipathing that would allow players' choices to be more meaningful.

AG: Did you have any training in filmmaking, or did you just kind of wing it as you went along at the beginning? 

Chris: Filmmaking was always a hobby of mine growing up.  My friends and I loved making films in Jr. High, High School, and College. When Access Software was founded, these adventure games became our new outlet for storytelling.

AG: What originally compelled you to get in front of the camera to play Tex yourself? 

Business isn't always booming for Tex

Chris: Too cheap to pay a leading actor was the original motivation. Really, Tex Murphy was just a stand in role for Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum. The most complicated part of the role was the "walk cycle" where the pixilated Tex character would cross the room. When we started Under a Killing Moon, I just continued portraying the role of Tex. Besides, Film Noir had always been my favorite movie genre so it was so fun to be involved in this way.

AG: Aaron, no such acting aspirations on your part? 

Aaron: I’ve had a small cameo in every game, but it’s just for fun. I’m no Chris Jones, as we say on the set.

AG: Has the role actually given you a sense of "celebrity" over the years, Chris?  Or do people not really recognize you without the trenchcoat, sneakers, and fedora? 

Chris: Most often, people look at me, then tilt their head for a second and say "Were you ever in a video game?" Once, I saw this 14 year old kid staring at me, and I thought to myself "He must know of my work." Well, the kid came up to me and said "Are you the dumb ass who plays the detective in those games?" That's when I realized – yes, he does know my work. 

AG: Kids these days!  And speaking of age, unless you've secretly discovered the fountain of youth, you've aged quite a bit (along with the rest of us) since your last game.  Will we find Tex has grown older as well? 

Chris: Uh... yes, the characters will all be a little bit older since the last time we've seen them. It will fit nicely into the story arc Aaron has planned out.

Aaron: I’ve always joked that, somewhere, there’s a portrait of Chris getting old and hideous. He’s aged, of course, but looks fantastic for his age. As for how “Tex” has aged, that’s a big part of the new story. It would be naive (and weird) to try and pick things up where they left off. Fortunately, the time progression works very nicely with my story.

Chelsee Bando: not your everyday, average mutant

AG: What about the rest of the cast?  Will Suzanne Barnes (as Chelsee) and other familiar faces be back? 

Aaron: As for what role Chelsee might play in the new story... I am sworn to secrecy. I can confirm that many of the Chandler Avenue regulars will be back, including Louie, Rook and Clint, along with several other key characters from the old games – played by original actors, of course.

AG: Will the new game be a direct continuation of Overseer's finale, or will it quickly spin off into a fairly standalone adventure of its own?

Aaron: There will be several storylines unfolding simultaneously, one of which is the continuation of the Overseer story. With our narrative pathing, players’ actions will lead them to different paths. I wouldn’t be surprised if many players who are new to the Tex Murphy world end up on a different story path than fans who have waited years to learn what happened to Tex and Chelsee.

AG: Where do the radio episodes fit into the series chronology? 

Chris: Basically, this is years after the cliffhanger in Overseer. There will obviously be a lot of storyline that has happened between the end of Overseer and our new Project Fedora. However, it will take place years after the Radio Theater timeline.

Continued on the next page...


May 25, 2012

Wow!  A fabulous article and interview.  I was so excited to see those photos and sketches from the previous games.  Very cool.  I can’t wait for this game to happen!

DrMySelf DrMySelf
May 25, 2012

Neat, great, perfect article !
It reminded me how much those games were good ! It drove my imagination back then, and still is.
UaKM was one of my first PC games I bought back then, and I remember holding the game while riding my bike to rush at home and play it. I didn’t get any english, and the game had french subtitles… It had such an impact on me that I started to learn english.
Those sketches and concept are real History, many thanks for sharing them !

talkshow talkshow
May 25, 2012

Great interview. Can’t wait for another Tex! Become a backer everyone to make sure this happens!

VoodooFX VoodooFX
May 25, 2012

Man, I bet both Chris and Aaron will be more than disappointed, should the Kickstarter campaign fall through.
You can clearly see how personal this project really is to both of them.
And no matter what they say in the videos in terms of being astounded by funding progress, I bet deep down they both thought this would be a much smoother ride. I know I certainly did.

But lets stay positive… we will reach the goal. We MUST reach the goal.

GreyFuss GreyFuss
May 25, 2012

Great Interview…one of the best I have read. Now this is the type of article that should be included in an Update on the Kickstarter page for those who aren’t as familiar with Tex as most of us are.

Thank you Jack

Martin Gantefoehr Martin Gantefoehr
May 25, 2012

Probably the best interview I’ve read on AG. I have no doubts the kickstarter will succed. It’s simply right thing to happen. This project’s time has now come, and those guys really deseve it.

Interplay Interplay
May 25, 2012

Great article.  Thanks.

I would have loved to hear what the guys thought of LA Noire.  For much of the interview, I kept thinking of that game, and their thoughts would be interesting.

I still remember playing UAKM as a kid.  Good times.

TechSmurfy TechSmurfy
May 26, 2012

As our fellow norms said; great article, great interview, great memories. And the concept art… so nostalgic.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this…
In the meantime, I know I left my Win98SE intact on my other hd partition for a reason…

~I’ve got one last chance to get it right
The connection is fading
You can bet your life I won’t give up the fight
because my sanity ain’t worth trading
It ain’t worth trading~

(Tex’s lament now got a whole new meaning)

tsa tsa
May 27, 2012

I don’t know. Although I loved the Tex Murphy games back in the day I don’t know if I want to play a new one. Back then the whole 3D thing was something that nobody in adventure games had done before, and that was part of the charm. But now we are used to it (Uru, Dreamfall, you can name the games) and I think a new Tex Murphy will be a disappointment because the wow-factor will be significantly reduced. Of course this can be compensated with a fantastic story, so I’ll keep an eye on the developments nonetheless.

DrMySelf DrMySelf
May 27, 2012

@tsa I’ve never really saw the 3D setting as the main interest of the game. It’s an asset, for sure, but I was never blown just because of it. It’s both the story and the characters that were the wow-factor. We agree on that point I guess Smile
What I want to see in Project Fedora, more than the 3D engine, is an amazing story, the continuation of Tex Murphy’s saga.

We know how much Aaron Conners and Chris Jones are involved in the game. This thing is their baby… The guys are ready to do their best, they’ve been waiting for it for so long, and they won’t take the risk to screw up their fanbase. So, no, we won’t be disappointed, no way.

Cone of Tragedy Cone of Tragedy
May 28, 2012

“Cash.. My nemesis!” Haha great interview. Really hope Project Fedora happens. I love me some Tex Murphy!

smulan smulan
May 28, 2012

There seems to be some Kickstarter fatique after perhaps too many an AG project in a short time, but anyway I think Tex is going to make it. He has to.

Zin Zin
May 30, 2012

This excellent interview is what made me rush to Kickstarter and pledge on the project the other day. Best of luck to you, guys!

Jun 7, 2012

We did it! Smile

talkshow talkshow
Jun 16, 2012

Funded at 135% of the goal!!!

TechSmurfy TechSmurfy
Jun 17, 2012

Yeah, which means stretch goals accomplished! (although I’m quite sure they would have added the bonus features either way Wink)

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