Tag: Interview

Gaming Square Exclusive: Ryan Hart Interview

We sit down with the legend, Ryan Hart in this exclusive interview. The multi award winning esports player from Tekken and Street Figher is not even scratching the surface on what Ryan has accomplished.

GS: First of all, thanks Ryan for agreeing to do this with us. How have you been? Especially in these unprecedented times.  

RH: Hi, thanks for having me, yes indeed, quite a difficult situation for everyone right now. Just trying to adapt to the new rhythm of life.  

GS: So lets begin, what made you get into videogames?  

RH: Loneliness probably. Despite going out to play a lot, I didn’t have many friends when I was 10 years old. Then when I found a mini cab station with some arcades in it, I started going there quite often. I had a commodore 16 at home and later a Sega Master System but finding the arcade was when gaming started to have a bigger presence both inside and outside the house.  

GS: If I do recall (did my research haha) in 94, wasn’t there was a tournament in central London? Was this the tournament which pretty much started you to go on this journey to where you are today?  

RH: Yes, it was the Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo National Tournament sponsored by KISS FM. This was the first fighting game tournament I had ever heard of and has to be one of the first of all time if not the first. Despite losing badly, and I mean really badly hahaha, this is inevitably what started my tournament roller coaster.  

GS: Of all the tournaments you have entered and won. Which tournament win really sticks out for you and why?  

RH: There are a lot of standouts for me so its always a hard question. I think winning Final Round 17, the first ever Capcom Pro Tour Premier event was a good one. I became the first European player to win a Major on US soil, which also helped the European scene to be more confident when travelling abroad.

GS: You have had some fierce rivalries over the years. Who would you say was the toughest opponent you have come up against, plus did you learn something new which stays in your game today perhaps?  

RH: I usually feel that if I play my absolute best, nobody has a chance but I’m also aware of my own vulnerability as well. So, I’d say it’s always a battle against myself to be honest. Being able to bring my absolute A game is always the biggest challenge I have. To that end, I’m probably my own biggest rival. There are lots of good players out there, and I feel like these opponents have helped me learn to develop different areas of my style and different forms of expression.  

GS: What’s the best advice would you give to current and new players into fighting games?

RH: There are tons of fighting games out there, so take time to find the one you enjoy the most, fighting games take time to get good at, so its best to pick the one that gives you the most fun. Once that’s done, try and join your local community that play your game and meet people to increase your community circle. Play as much as possible, the more you play, the more you can learn, this is really important.  

GS: Fighting sticks. I have a cheap one myself known as Venom, and its pretty good too and not breaking the bank either. Which fighting sticks do you recommend?  

RH: Right now, I’m using the Razer Panthera, I enjoy using this stick for both 2D and 3D games.

GS: The UK scene, can it be better? I feel we are miles behind of that of the US, Japan for example.  

RH: That is just a misconception, US and Europe are both very strong. Japan are still the best country on the planet on Street Fighter, but Europe aren’t behind NA on Street Fighter and Tekken in my opinion. NA just has more eyes on it and they have more events than Europe but there definitely isn’t a massive gap.      

GS: Do you like commentating? How was the transition. Do you feel more pressured than you would playing?  

RH: Commentary is fun, it is a loose form of playing, you can still exercise your mind about the match details and talk as if you were thinking in the match yourself. I enjoy the opening to share my thoughts with a learning audience, I’m very happy to share while making the match exciting through commentary.  

GS: With new consoles coming soon and obviously the fans probably be wanting news on the new tekken and street fighter etc. How did you feel when both Namco and Capcom revealed more content for their retrospect game?

RH: I for one wasn’t exactly surprised but also glad, hyped that we are getting more content.   For me its strange people already want a new game when they haven’t even maximised themselves on the current game. A new game comes out and before long they want a new one again. The main problem is some players don’t know what they want, so no game is ever enough.   People also don’t realise they probably won’t get the game they are expecting anyway, so may as well enjoy what we have now. New does not mean good, or that you will like it, people often forget that.    

GS: Lastly, what projects have you got going and what is install for Ryan Hart in the future?  

Nothing I can share right now, but there are some fun plans in the pipeline so stay tuned to my social media.

We hope you enjoyed the interview with Ryan Hart. You can follow Ryan here on twitter.

We greatly appreciate Ryan for agreeing to doing this interview.

Gaming Square Exclusive: PND Mustard interview

We sat down with PND Mustard, known as Jake Neal. Mustard and his brother Ketchup are known for pro commentating on Mortal Kombat and even competitively. We asked questions to Mustard which we hope you all enjoy!

GS: Hey guys thanks for allowing us to speak you. How you both been in these unpredecented times and what been doing to keep yourselves busy?

M – I’ve been well thanks! Despite being in lockdown due to covid I’ve been able to keep creating content and commentating events from home so I’ve had no problems keeping busy.

GS: So, lets begin. What got you pair into fighting games in the first place?

M – Mortal Kombat was our first FG we ever played as kids, but we did play things such as Tekken 2 and Street Fighter EX2+ and Killer Instinct, though we were definitely mainly MK kids, MK9 was the first Fighting Game that got us into competitive.

GS: Personally for me Mortal Kombat was like, wow! When I saw it for the first time on the megadrive for example. I couldnt fathom what to say. What made you guys fall in love with MK, what was so special about it compared to other fighting games at that time for you both?

M – To be honest MK was just the most fun for us, the visuals, the audio, the characters, we just found it really cool overall.

GS: You guys played it competitively, how was the transition from pro competitors to pro commentators?

M – Going from pro player to commentator wasn’t as hard as we initially thought but it was still a change, the main thing for me was how your outlook on your gameplay changes, you’re no longer playing to improve as a priority you’re ultimately just trying to learn so you can equip that information on commentary, however we also started grinding as content creators around the same time so that really helped things too

GS: Whats your opinion on the FGC today compared to 10 years ago?

M – The scale of things is the biggest change from 10 years ago to now, everything is bigger/more more players, more tournaments, more money, more games, everything has just been dialed way up, which is great in my opinion as it shows much growth.

GS: From MK9, MK10 to now MK11. I personally feel the NRS scene/community has grown. Do you feel the tournaments has continued that growth?

M – You can basically take my previous answer and apply it here, everything is just bigger and in higher number, one big change for the nrs scene however was the netcode improvement to MKX, ever since then the online experience has been useful for players to improve and make a name for themselves in online tournaments, which definitely helps in the grand scheme of things.

GS: I have to applaud you guys with Hyper Combo. Seeing as we are all local, it was great to finally come out and experience what you guys were cooking. How do you feel about HC? And what’s the latest on the HC front and will we see it returning anytime soon be that online other than local?

M – Hyper Combo has been one of my proudest achievements in the FGC and it certainly isn’t only my doing! We have a great team of dedicated organizers and regular attendees that make it what it is. We always have plans to make things bigger and better though things have hit a standstill until things become safe to do again due to covid. But we’ll be back eventually absolutely.

GS: If you can, whats your favourite MK games to the least favourite?

M – I’ve always found it hard to pick my specific favorite MK, but more often than not I lean towards MK9, it’s just fun to play and has such a special place in my heart for how much I enjoyed it and what it meant to my progress as an individual in the mk world, MK9 and MK Shaolin Monks are my two favorites!

My least favorite is MK vs DC, to this day the only MK game that I actively do not like playing at all.

GS: Lets talk about the new MK movie! From a fan perspective Im sure they will get things right and of course there always be one that will hate it because it hasn’t stay true to the lore. What do you guys reckon?

M – I think it’s too early to tell what the MK movie is going to be like, we can speculate but it’s easy to set up false expectations or apprehensiveness, I’m just keeping an open mind and looking forward to seeing it, the cast is stellar so I’m optimistic, but we all know how videogame movies often turn out. I guess we’ll see!

GS: Moving to Injustice, another cracking game produced by Netherealm. Injustice 1 set the bar, Injustice 2 exceeded by miles, especially competitively. Can we see Injustice 3 going to a place where perhaps MK11 fell short of doing?

M – To be honest I disagree with the wording of this question, Injustice is a solid fighting game franchise and offers something completely different to MK, but that also means that it won’t have the same appeal universally and vice versa. MK11 continues to be one of the best selling and heaviest supported games NRS has ever made, as Injustice 2 was before it. I think it’s less about picking up where games slip up and more about the ongoing continuation of growth from game to game. That being said I actually don’t know if I think that we’ll be seeing Injustice 3 soon, NRS have said many times they want to break the cycle of a new game every two years and this could definitely be the case from what we’ve seen.

GS: What characters would you like to see Injustice 3 that haven’t been in the series yet?

M – I’m not Sure huge DC guy so my character requests haven’t always been so heavy, but I’m a big batman fan so I’d LOVE to see Mr Freeze, Clay face, maybe Judge Dredd as a guest due to the comics link? Could be cool!

GS: Going back to the UK FGC scene. As a whole, do you think more can be done to make it as popular like it is in America, Japan and S.Korea?

M – I think the UKFGC is doing just fine honestly, you have to remember that the UK is absolutely tiny in comparison to North America/Asia, considering the UKs size as a country I think the scale of things is more than healthy, VSF remains to be the biggest tournament in Europe, almost every fighting game out right now has at least one tip level player from the UK with impressive results and the community overall is great, always growth is nice but I don’t think the UK has anything at all to worry about.

GS: Where can we keep upto date on what you guys are doing and is there any future projects you got going on?

M – Social media is the easiest place to find us! Twitter @PNDMustard @PNDKetchup We’re always staying busy in the content space so we’ll always be around!

We greatly appreciate Jake for doing this. You can catch Mustard and Ketchup on twitch too!

We hope you enjoyed the read. Expect more content from Gaming Square, stay tuned!

Gaming Square Exclusive – Interview with Mattis Folkestad

We got in touch with Mattis Folkestad, developer of award-winning point-and-click adventure Milkmaid of the Milky Way, about his upcoming game Embracelet. I personally can’t wait!

ND: Hi Mattis! Thank you for speaking to me. How are you doing with this pandemic?

MF: Hi! I’m doing all right, all things considered. I have a decent setup for working at home, but I do miss being around other people and leaving work physically after a long day.

ND: Did the Coronavirus affect the development or publishing of Embracelet at all?

MF: When the pandemic started, I had to work from home while also taking care of my kids. Productivity dropped quite a bit, and I lost a bit of momentum when I was planning to finalize production. Also many festivals and conferences where I’d planned to show off Embracelet were cancelled, and the uncertainty of everything at the moment makes it a bit more scary and difficult to release a game.

ND: Could you tell us a little bit about Embracelet, and what inspired it?

MF: After I made Milkmaid of the Milky Way in 2017, I spent some time travelling to conferences and festivals and ported it to a lot of different systems. Summer of 2018 I felt inspired to start an even more ambitious project. I’ve long thought the north of Norway where I grew up to be a great setting for a game, and started working on some different ideas. I also started playing piano again, and some of the themes I created actually inspired the story and feel of Embracelet. I wanted to create a mellow, melancholic game about the transition into adulthood and the joys and pains of growing up. I was also inspired to make a game in an art style I’ve never done before, so when I got a grant from the Norwegian Film Insitute I was overjoyed to start working on Embracelet full time.

ND: Obviously you developed the entire thing on your own, which can’t have been easy! What sort of problems did you come up against, and did you have any support from other developers in the community?

MF: Making games is incredibly, ridiculously hard! But the challenge is also super rewarding, and since I’m fortunate to have worked on a lot of creative projects both on my own and in teams I have quite a lot of experience in a wide variety of fields. There have been many problems and technical challenges, and many funny bugs throughout the development process. But the most difficult has been to create so much content in such a short timespan. Embracelet has lots of characters and sceneries, and around 27000 words of dialogue and in-game text. It’s not a big game compared to games released by studios, but for a solo developer it’s been a lot of work.

Before the pandemic I shared offices with Hyper Games and Krillbite here in Oslo, and though they didn’t work on the game directly it was very helpful being around so many talented game developers. I’d love to have a bigger budget and a team of people one day – that would be the dream!

ND: If there’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone wanting to develop a game on their own, what would it be?

MF: I’d encourage them to find some unique idea or vision to follow, and not make something too big. Even a small game is a lot of work, and actually finishing a project – or at least getting it to some playable state for others to enjoy – is such a rewarding and great learning experience.

ND: Do you have any other game ideas or projects you’d like to share?

MF: Not until I’ve released Embracelet! But I’d love to plug Krillbite’s Mosaic and Hyper Games’ upcoming game Mörkredd.

ND: What sort of games do you like to play?

MF: When I’m in development I rarely get to time or have the energy to play other games. I’m quite genre-agnostic and enjoy any game with some sort of uniqueness, either in visual style, gameplay or story. I can’t wait to release Embracelet and finally get to play all those incredible games that have been released the past two years!

ND: If you could think of absolutely any game to appear on the market, what would it be and why?

MF: I’d like to see more games discussing real world issues and creating game mechanics that can teach us about ourselves. I also think there’s room for more comedy and romance in games!

ND: It’s been lovely talking to you! I can’t wait to get my hands on Embracelet, which launches on Steam and the Nintendo Eshop in September 2020. To whet our readers’ appetites, here’s the official trailer:

Gaming Square Exclusive – Jon St John Interview

We got in contact with the legend Jon St John, who is the voice of Duke Nukem, Big The Cat from Sonic The Hedgehog and several other voicing acting credits behind his name.

SWThanks for agreeing to doing the interview with us. How are you keeping in these unprecedented times?

JSJ – I’m doing alright. Having worked from a home recording studio for many years, I am well accustomed to being at home a lot, so I’ve been producing a Jazz Album for a local band known as Velvet Sushi, I’ve done some home remodeling, I have created a Duke Puppet which is making a bit of a splash on social media…so yeah, I’m kind of keeping busy! 

SW – So, how did the puppet Duke Nukem come about? I, for one have found it hilarious and a welcome break, plus its Duke Nukem of course.

JSJAbout six weeks ago I saw something about the Muppets while channel surfing towards news headlines, and it just hit me. How ridiculous would a Duke Nukem puppet be? I call it a Duppet, so as not to conjure up legal troubles with the Jim Henson company. Immediately I began thinking up ways to get him on camera, and my Daily Duke Quotes was a quick and easy way to get started. I’m hoping to get more exposure and another outlet for him soon.


SWSpeaking of Duke Nukem, how do you feel about the character? I know its the role that you are renowned with in the videogame world and of course Big The Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog! Do you feel Duke deserves more love? 

JSJMaybe from developers, but certainly not from fans and gamers! I am so pleased with the number of followers who can’t get enough Duke in ’em! I think this iconic character is more than deserving of a hot, new game. But as a voice actor, oddly enough, I have no voice when it comes to creating and publishing a new game. That’s a job for the big boys making the big bucks, not me.

SWBig The Cat, how did that role come about?

JSJIt was forced upon me by one Lani Minella! (jk) Lani called me one day and asked if I would like a role in the new Sonic Adventures game which she was casting. Of course I said yes…I didn’t see any artwork or know anything about the character prior to the session date. When I arrived at the studio, many of the other voice actors in the game…Ryan Drummond, Jennifer Doullard, etc. were hanging out waiting to go into the booth when Lani steps out and hands me a picture and said “…He’s a cat. A big. Stupid. Cat.”  When my turn in the booth came up, I spoke in the dumbest voice I’ve ever done…and they loved it.

SW – How many lines did you improve for Duke or did they come naturally? As we all know, Duke has some brilliant one liners.

JSJThey were all written for me. In DNF all of those risque lines were written by two women. The only extra thing I contributed was changing the expression DoucheBag, to Douche Nozzel…because as my son explained at the time…”that’s the dirtier part of the douche system.”  Today I’m actually quite proud of that young man.

SWWhat would be the first thing Duke would say to Trump if he found him sitting in his chair?

JSJ“I’m about to rip off your head and shit down your neck….or maybe…your face, your ass…what’s the difference?

SWAnd finally, is there anything you know which you can share about the latest with Duke Nukem?  

JSJOnly that my Duppet Duke is available on Cameo via my profile: https://v.cameo.com/44orGzsSz8 …he will also be appearing on my Tequila Tuesday weekly zoom meetups: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/547993165  (we do these at 7PM Eastern US time zone/4PM Pacific every Tuesday)…and if you want to cruise with the King, my fan convention KingCon Cruise is next March 1-5, 2021 from Orlando, Florida to the Bahamas for 4 nights of adventures with voice actor guests: Richard Epcar, Wes Johnson, Ellyn Stern, DC Douglas, and more. Check us out at: www.kingconcruise.com 

I would like to personally thank Jon St John for allowing us to contact him, much appreciated Jon!

We hope you enjoyed reading the interview with Jon St John! Stay tuned for more features in the future.

DISCLAIMER
It has come to our attention that the respondent in this interview has recently made a highly controversial statement. While this published article was provided as an informational service, it does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the respondent’s expressed views by the Gaming-Square staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.