Chris Jones/Aaron Conners (EBWorld Chat) Edited version
January 21, 1998

Chris Jones/Aaron Conners EBWorld Chat
(EDITED by DKBTF)

EB CHAT HOST:Welcome to the TEX MURPHY OVERSEER chat room.... Tex will be here tonight at 10:00 PM (EST) to chat live. During tonights event, we will be announcing special promotions and holding a contest that is exclusive to participants in tonights event.
EB CHAT HOST:Chris Jones (AKA Tex Murphy) and Aaron Conners have collaborated as co-designers on "Under a Killing Moon," "The Pandora Directive" and the soon-to-be-released "Tex Murphy: Overseer." As co-designers, they hash out the story ideas, create the characters and think up the puzzles, as well as supervising the development of each game.

Chris Aaron:Hello, host. The gang's all here.

Jairo:Which is your favorite Tex Murphy Game?

Chris Aaron:We love them all as if they were our little children.

James LeMosy:Any concrete release date for Overseer yet?

Chris Aaron:Yessir. It should be hitting store Feb 15.

Chris244:How many hours does the game require to complete? For an experienced gamer? For a novice?

Chris Aaron:We would say 25-30, unless you use hints, of course.

Perseus:Why did you decide to make Overseer so much like Mean Streets?

Chris Aaron:Basically, the idea was to give users who never got a chance to play MS a little bit of Tex's history. We must emphasize, however that the game is much more than Mean Streets was-- The plot is bigger and better, more characters, completely different gameplay... More and much better puzzles, etc., etc, etc...

Perseus:Chris, when did you get the idea for Tex Murphy?

Chris Aaron:Back in 1987, after Access finished Echelon, they decided to make an "interactive movie"... I was always interested in filmmaking, amateur stuff, Super 8... Plus I always had a fascination with detective movies, genre films, such as Maltese Falcon, Big Sleep, Bladerunner, Tarzan, etc. So we decided to make a game that was part movie, part action/adventure/puzzle-based. Tex Mutant was a character in one of our home-made movies and it got changed to Tex Murphy for the interactive movie. THE END.

Leonardo:Chris. is it true that In DVD verion(Talking about "Overseer"of course)will have more features in respect to Cd-Rom Version?(Sorry my horrible English,Do you speak some Spanish?:)

Chris Aaron:Hola, Leonardo. El producto es lo mismo, pero las graphicas son mucho mejor... The Pandora Directive ran in 256 at 10 frames per second, the DVD version of Overseer will run in High Color at 30 frames per second.

cementbag:In a recent interview, Adrian Conner said that Pandora Directive would put Access Software on the map, has this happend? Or do you find interest for Tex Murphy small? I love tex murphy but it doesn't get much in the way of hype and fanfare which is good and bad.

Chris Aaron:We would say so. It received numerous Game of the Year awards... it also got a lot of people who thought the genre was dead to concede that all was not lost... As far as putting us on the map... We're prouder of a having a fiercely loyal fan base than selling out and getting rich at the expense of what everyone seems to like so much...
In conclusion...we were very proud to be the only "game" nominated by the Software Publishers Association for Overall Multimedia Product of the Year... Of course, we lost to an encyclopedia or something.

Rebecca Tait:Let's cut through the chase. What is up with Tex and Chelsee?

Chris Aaron:Well... Tex, as it turns out, isn't completely over his first marriage...some of you may have noticed that Tex has worn a wedding ring throughout UKM and Pandora, despite being happily divorced... Chelsee wants the skinny on Tex's hang-up and that's what a lot of the "human" side of the Overseer story is about.

jenny:long time player, first time caller...there were a lot of bugs in pandora...have these been worked out for overseer?

Chris Aaron:What Bugs? Surely you jest. Seriously, we have spent an inordinate amount of time testing Overseer to avoid the bugs of the past the main problem, as you must know, is that there are almost infinite numbers of hardware configurations... we can only account for a large percentage of those.And, we want to emphasize that we do have a great tech support department available long hours and, as always, free of charge.

Havoc:the stars that are appearing in the tex murphy stories seem to grow...are people interested when you mention about an "interactive movie"?

Chris Aaron: We've been really lucky to get quality actors to appear in our games... This time around, we were able to finish the script completely before filming... This gave us a chance to send it to the actors, who were overwhelmingly positive in their response... It was a pleasure to work with Michael York and Rebecca Broussard, but the biggest thrill for us was seeing skilled professionals ply their trade... It made the characters richer and the story stronger... HOWEVER...we want everyone to know that this product is first and foremost A GAME... we designed it for people to have fun PLAYING, not just WATCHING... For this reason, we feel like we've gone beyond the old stereotype of an Chris Aaron:Interactive Movie and gone into some sort of Action, Adventure, Mystery with video to complement the action, not overwhelm it.

Jake:How much game play is lost if you don't use a DVD Drive?

Chris Aaron:The games are essentially the same however, there is a world of difference graphically. The quality will blow your socks off.

Tex Worshipers:We think a multiplayer would be a feasible option for the future.

Chris Aaron:How would you do it? Believe me, we're open to suggestions. The problem is the very nature of the detective game is solitary however, there is a cooperative mode in Overseer that will allow you to converse with other players while playing.

James LeMosy:In Overseer, is Sylvia still the same ditzy blonde we love to hate? In the ads, she looks, I don't know...wiser. (If that's her in the ads anyway).

Chris Aaron:Wiser. We like that. Actually, she's the kind of woman who eats Tex as an appetizer,especially the younger, naive Tex that we see in Overseer... she definitely has a ditzy side but she's also got her own agenda. It's a lot of fun.

Tech at Access:hey she lives with jack nicholson what do you expect?

Chris Aaron:Exactly.

Jeff1103:Is there going to be multiple endings like their were inn Pandora Directive?

Chris Aaron:The approach here is very different from Pandora since the game play portion takes place in the past... the goal is one, to survive, two, discover Tex's past and watch him change and three, fill in the gaps from UKM and Pandora. In other words, NO. there is only one ending, but this game is especially PACKED...

Christina:Are any of the old charecters such as Rook or Louie in Overseer?

Chris Aaron:Since this is from Tex's past, before he moves to Chandler Ave... we only meet two of the people from the other stories... Chelsee, of course, has a major role, since breaks in the action take the player from the past back to the present with Chelsee. This happens throughout the story the other character that appears is Mac Malden, is a very short, very funny cameo.

cementbag:In Overseer, do you believe that you have fixed the problems with shooting on a blue screen? (spill, color, etc)

Chris Aaron: We think we've refined the process considerably... For one, we used actual objects, furniture, etc., as much as possible to allow physical interaction... we also had all the actors together for each scene, instead of adding them digitally... we also found a few tricks to remove the hazy effect that popped up in UKM and occasionally in Pandora.

Jeff1103:Is there going to be alot of action in this game? remember you were the one that said "Danger is like jello....there is alwas room for more"

Chris Aaron:You want ACTION? Baby, you've come to the right place... This game is by far the most fast-paced, dangerous game we've ever done... if you can get through this game without getting your head blown off once or twice, you're simply not telling the truth.

Tex Worshipers:Are you guys going to be in the upcoming movie "Black Sun Ascending"?

Chris Aaron:The movie is currently "in the works" as they say. We'll post any updates on our webpage.

Phil:Will there be an Overseer demo?

Chris Aaron:YES... It'll be available in the next few weeks and will be a "DAY 1" type demo.

Longshot:In past games, it seems as though Tex prefers to piece together elaborate booby traps than reach for his pistol. Do you think this inginuity adds greatly to his character?

Chris Aaron:Hell, yes. Don't get us wrong.. We love bullets and exploding skulls as much as the next guy...but what we really love in a game is the ability to be clever, rather than reflexive... Overseer is our mighty attempt to combine real time danger, with bullets flying, with the classic Tex approach to problem solving. It really is dynamite.

Havoc:what system requirements are we looking at to run the game like butter?

Chris Aaron:A 666Mhz, with 240 MB RAM.. Actually, we've been playing it on 166s and having a hell of a time...
Right now, we're aiming for passable playability on a 90, depending on your setup... but it's been designed around a 166... Keep in mind that this product was built FOR DVD... this is inherently stringent... we included a CD-ROM version for our loyal fans who haven't upgraded... but remember that this had to be engineered DOWN, instead of the usual UP.

Phil:How much pressure is there for you to emulate the tried and true game formula of mind bending gore and occultism.

Chris Aaron: We don't need no stinkin' gore... Occultism, on the other hand, is intriguing... this doesn't mean that we'll be sacrificing babies anytime soon, but we like to put a lot of intrigue, with just a "touch of evil."

cementbag:Any chance that Tex can go back and visit Sam Spade in this or another one?

Chris Aaron:We have a story in the works that will come pretty darn close but you'll just have to wait and see [LOOK FOR THE NOVEL].

Julie:How far into the future do you think it will be when the majority of games will require DVD?

Chris Aaron:We guess about two years. But we also voted for Perot.

cm:I must agree that all of the "Tex" games have more help for virtually anything than anything else on the market!!

Chris Aaron:We believe that games should be lively, user-friendly and fast-paced... getting stuck in the game does not make us feel superior... we think if you hit a roadblock, you should be able to get a little push.

bethg:Chris-have you done any acting other than Tex Murphy? You're quite convincing!!!

Chris Aaron:Not other than for my mom and dad, no, but I appreciate the compliment.

BillCap:Will there be more Tex Murphy adventures or just books for here on??

Chris Aaron:Well, there won't be any books if there aren't any games... If you can get 300,000 of your closest friends to buy Overseer... we GUARANTEE there will be another Tex Adventure.

Christina:Are there any special behind the scenes moments that happened while filming any of the 3 Tex games?

Chris Aaron:Well, there was the time that Brian Keith swore at us, may he rest in peace...Margo Kidder was absolutely crazy, as you might imagine... Tanya Roberts was incredibly funny.... Kevin McCarthy drank us under the table... Barry Corbin told hilarious anecdotes about what a bastard Wilford Brimley is... I could go on and on, but I'll shut up.

Softlinet:HI!!!I wanted to know why Overseer is taking so long to do, because, in the first place it was supposed to bo out in november (sorry for my bad english, but I doubt you speak french :))

Chris Aaron:EXCUSE ME??? Not to be rude, but we STARTED development in February... Now, we'll admit, we thought we would get it out earlier... but we decided to hold off, rather than do a rush job an send out a P.O.S.

math:Will Overseer work on Windows NT5

Chris Aaron:Uh-uh. You bet.

SFord:Any plans for Tex beyond Overseer?

Chris Aaron:We have plans, in fact, we have the next two stories all laid out... If you get to the end of Overseer, you'll see the direction we're ended... and frankly...IT WILL SHOCK YOU!

cementbag:Will there be a "Making of" video included in the demo or in the game. I love to watch those.

Chris Aaron:Only on the black market, pal.

Weez:How much ad libbing occurs in the dialog?

Chris Aaron:Quite a bit, especially from Chris...But, since he IS Tex Murphy, that's to be expected...the other actors don't as much, especially the well-trained ones...they're very good at memorizing their scripts, so they're not forced to ad-lib.

cementbag:Has anything become of the "Robinson Caruos on Mars" Idea that Chris had that was printed in the Pandora Directive strategy guide.

Chris Aaron:Hey, thanks for reminding us... Chris and I will get to work on it right after this chat... Actually, it's still a possibility.

Pete:With all of the excellent golf courses developed by Access, does Tex golf?

Chris Aaron:Yeah, when his back cooperates... driver isn't what it used to be, if you get my drift.

plasma:why the title overseer

Chris Aaron:Oh, this is a long story... the original title was the Case of Poisoned Pawn... unfortunately, our marketing department thought we were saying Poisoned Pond... as if it were some ECO-adventure... anyways, we decided to switch to OVERLORD, which is key part of the story... but our legal people said we might get sued... so we used Overseer, which was then incorporated posthumously into the story... by the way, I meant to say the original title was the Case of THE Poisoned Pawn... which still is a crucial element in the story.

Havoc:Have you thought of sending your blooper reels over to practical bloopers and practical jokes?...lol

Chris Aaron:I don't know. I suppose it depends on how much they're willing to pay us.

Phil:Speaking of behind the scenes: While exploring a room in PD I accidentally hit a bunch of keys on my keyboard and I found I was able to walk through the wall and view the room from the outside looking in; from any perspective. (No, LSD was not involved in any way) I'm assuming this "view" was used by the programmers. Are you familiar with this?

Chris Aaron:I'm not sure which keys you punched, but YES... when we're testing in the initial stages, it's very helpful to be able to walk through objects... it's common practice to remove this option in the finished product... however, you might just want to consider this an Easter Egg.

Jeff and David:How far do you plan to take the Tex series into the future

Chris Aaron:We feel that time is a circle, never-ending and infinite... only by going back into the PAST will Tex ever hope to reach the future. How's that?

Jairo:So, from 1 to 10, 10 being the most difficult, how would you grade this game's puzzle difficulty, because i remeber having a hard time at every game since mean streets.

Tech at Access:we could clone Tex and then he would never really die

Chris Aaron:You will find yourself having difficulties again, but don't you fret... there is a complete and convenient hint system which will take your hand and walk you through the game all the way to the end, should you desire.

Julie:In the future, would you consider getting Chelsee to take a serious role in solving some of the mystery?

Chris Aaron:ABSOLUTELY... this is already on the drawing board for one of our hypothetical sequels... of course, we may also decide to kill her off.

Leonardo:How can i get Martian Memorandum I know it´ imposible, but is there a way...?

Chris Aaron:Look for our next game Martin Mendorian, loosely based on the early game... Actually, you might want to call our Tech Support... there are a few copies floating around.

Phil:We've been hearing tidbits about a new game called Trance. What can you tell us?

Chris Aaron:Not much at the moment... if you watch the final scene in Overseer very closely... you will pick up on some of the symbolism related to the next two stories.

Tom:I wanna know how you keep that 5 o'clock shadow for all those hours of filming ;)

Chris Aaron:Eyebrow pencil, man. Trick of the trade.

Leonardo:Aaron,How was Chris Jones choosen?

Chris Aaron:Well, Brando was just too darn expensive... we had an option on Robert Goulet, but he wouldn't do his own stunts... plus, Chris is the CFO of Access and decided he could afford himself.
Ref. http://web.archive.org/web/200101212136/http://www.unofficialtexmurphy.com/main/main_frame.htm

 


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