(Apologies on this taking 2 extra days)
I am debating weather to make this a bi-monthly update, or not, let me know what you think, or want, via the forum or comments down below. This I will be talking to a member from our community, and one of the moderators of the Dark Castle Forum, we will be talking about the community, history, and his currently work in progress Dark Castle website, http://www.princeduncan.com/
Jon God: Hello, thank you for joining me today.
gruz: My pleasure. *Smiles*
Jon God: Let's start with the Dark Castle forum, what was it like to find a community of people that also still played and enjoyed Dark Castle?
gruz: I honestly never thought I would find such a place, it was a real delight to see that other people were still interested in a game I grew up with in the 80's.
Jon God: How did you originally find the forum?
gruz: Hmmm... I believe it was through Wikipedia. I remember I registered on the forum, and lurked for a few days before I felt that I had something to add of some value. I posted a link to a guide on how to setup Mini vMac on a keychain flash drive. After I posted that, I was surprised on how friendly the community was.
Jon God: Let's move forward some time, you were the first moderator for the forum, and I have often called you the fastest, mod on the forum, is this something you're proud of?
gruz: Hahaha, I was and still am glad to help out whenever I can. I took the responsibility pretty seriously when I first was appointed moderator. Actually it was unhealthy, as I'd be checking the forum 30 times a day or more, every hour that I was awake. I honestly am glad that we have a team of people now. La Porta and Izdale make life a lot easier for me now, and they do an excellent job. Thanks guys.
Jon God: What do you think draws people to the Dark Castle series?
gruz: I honestly feel that the majority of modern computer gamers who have never played the originals, or even Color Dark Castle, probably won't be into the series if they're coming into it in 2008. The thing is though, that the originals sold millions of copies on several different platforms. Those people still exist, and the sounds and graphics of the originals were so good that they're burned into people's brains. All they need is to see or hear those things to instantly spark the Dark Castle memories buried deep in their brains, and they're going to want to revisit the old games, or buy Return to Dark Castle.
Jon God: Do you think it's just circumstance that Dark Castle has a community following it, when most games from the same period have little to no following, or is it something about the game?
gruz: Definitely the game. People love great graphics, sound, and gameplay, even still to this day. Dark Castle delivered something that was unseen at the time, and nothing could come close. People remember it because of just that. Although the graphics aren't what they once were, I still love them. In fact, I have been known to hit command-option and click on the demo button in the title screen and just watch it for a while.
Jon God: Let's move away from the old Dark Castles, a while ago, you registered the domain 'Princeduncan.com', and have been working on it off and on since then, why should the Dark Castle community be excited for it?
gruz: We, as a community, aren't a particularly large one. We have our core members, and our drive-by members. I want more people, and more variety of opinions being thrown around on the forums. The main site of PrinceDuncan.com will probably offer nothing new to those that consider themselves 'Hardcore', but that was never the focus. My main goal with it is to spark those buried Dark Castle memories, and get people thinking about the game again. "Remember this game? Yeah? Wanna play it again?" Hopefully it will be worth the time and money that I'm putting into it, and eventually get some more people on the forums.
The downloads section however, is something that everyone will hopefully be able to enjoy. It's mostly completed and allows for custom levels and heros to be uploaded, commented on and rated on a 5 star system. You, Jon God, are working with me to provide some additional content also.
Jon God: I have seen the website and I think it's wonderful, I think other members of the forum will enjoy it quite a bit, and I can see the downloads section becoming the hub for downloads of Dark Castle related media around the web, any idea when it will be opened, or previewed to the public?
gruz: The downloads section will be officially opened up no later than when the level editor for Return to Dark Castle is released, even if it's not 100% how I want it. At this time, it looks like it might be opened up before the we get the level editor. It really won't do a lot of good until we get the level editor though, as the replay feature in Return to Dark Castle is still broken.
Jon God: Speaking of the level editor, have any plans saved for for the release of it?
gruz: Yes, I'm going to go take my laptop to McDonald's and create a wacky Dark Castle/Mc Chicken hybrid custom level.
Jon God: I dunno if I should take that as a serious answer, or just wait and see...
gruz: Next question.
Jon God: Okie dokie, having waited so long for Return to Dark Castle, what do you think of it, are you happy with how it ended up, or disappointed?
gruz: I absolutely loved Return to Dark Castle. I can't say that it captured me in the same way as the originals, but I'll be honest, there's no way that it could have. I love it for what it is, and I think that it's a great step forward for the series. The game feels a bit behind though, and I probably would've loved it even more if it was released back in the early 2000's. Stuff happens though, and I can understand where they're coming from. I'm hoping that Z Sculpt will deliver our next fix before the end of 2010, we're ready for more. The Zacks have earned a bunch of lifetime fans with this game, don't keep us hanging.
Jon God: I hear you, so what about your youtube channel, I remember you talking about making a video comparing all versions of Dark Castle, but I don't know it's current status, feel like telling us about your channel?
gruz: My Dark Castle YouTube channel is another way that I am trying to spark those Dark Castle memories in people's brains. It's a lot of fun for me to make videos when I have free time, so I try to post at least 1 Dark Castle video a month. The channel used to be my own personal channel with videos of family and pets, but after I had posted a bunch of videos to it, I decided to transform it into a Dark Castle only channel. I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to comment on my videos and subscribe, it means a lot.
I've had the files and footage for the comparison video on my desktop computer for quite a while, and was pretty much abandoned for a while. I've recently picked the project back up, and decided to do something different with it. It'll be basically what it was originally supposed to be, but probably a lot more info and critique. It's probably better that I waited on that project.
(EDITOR'S NOTE) If you are reading this and haven't subscribed to his channel yet, what are you waiting for, click here and subscribe.
Jon God: Alright, preference, do you prefer Dark Castle, or Beyond Dark Castle?
gruz: Dark Castle, it's what I played first. I always loved how much better Beyond Dark Castle looked though...
Jon God: Fair enough, got any closing comments?
gruz: I want to thank the community for being so awesome.
I also want to thank Z Sculpt for not giving up on DC3.
Jon, thanks for your Dark Castle passion, it's given us all hours and hours of entertainment.
Support Paul Pratt, http://minivmac.sourceforge.net/ without him we'd be playing Dark Castle on crappy emulators like a bunch of jerks. DONATE TO HIM.
Keep an eye on http://www.PrinceDuncan.com (there's a hidden message in the website, can you find it?)
Have a good day everyone!
Jon God: Alright, thank you for your time, and constant work around the Dark Castle Community.
Stay tuned, next week I will have an exclusive interview with Jonathan Gay, one of the original creators of Dark Castle, and Beyond Dark Castle, who went on to create Flash. If there are no problems the blog should be up Wednesday, December 24th, some people know it as 'Christmas Eve.' :P This is one interview you wont want to miss.
PUZZLE & ANSWER:
Each week, I hope to have a puzzle for you to solve, which will somehow relate to Dark Castle. This week's puzzle is in the form of a description without the word it belongs to, relating to castles.
Description: I am a castle worker skilled in making crossbows, what is my title?
Answer for last week's puzzle: Embrasures
Feel free to send in feedback, what you did/didn't like, what you'd like to see, ect, as I would love to hear it.