Brian Colin, designer of many fan favorite arcade games, will be inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame this October. This week we will look back at the Trading Card Spotlight I did with Brian in May of 2017. Please join us in Ottumwa, Iowa on October 5th, 2019 to see Brian being inducted into Hall of Fame.
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Brian Colin who is displayed on card number 2363, from the Superstars of 2015 Collection. His Brian Colin Collection Cards are featured on 2603, 2609, 2612, 2615, 2617, 2634, 2636 and 2637. Brian has worked on over 60 games in the gaming industry, which his most popular titles being Rampage, Arch Rivals and Xenophobe. Brian has been in the industry from the early 1980s and still is working hard today. He started his career with Bally/Midway and is currently the CEO of the company Game Refuge, Inc. Brian loves meeting with gamers all over and is kind enough to make appearances and sign autographs for fans as well as talk history about his games. You can see Brian this July at the Video Game Summit in Villa Park, IL.
What does it take to be a Video Game creator, and what advice would you give a person today who would like to get into the industry?
REALLY Complex question; simple answer: Watch the documentary "SO, YOU WANNA BE A VIDEO GAME DESIGNER…? It has interviews with a number of classic game designers (Me, George Gomez, Ed Boon, Eugene Jarvis, Jeff Nauman and many, many more. (Walter has a copy that he's shown at several Events (You can find it on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/GameRefuge or purchase the DVD on the Game Refuge Store. https://squareup.com/market/game-refuge-inc
Do you remember when you created your first video game or arcade and what do you remember about the experience?
"The first Game I ever worked on was DISCS OF TRON, which was the first, and best, attempt to create a "real" 3D environment on sprite-based arcade hardware. Discs of Tron let players shoot killer Frisbees at a CPU opponent. The game was presented in an "environmental" cabinet that completely engulfed the player, featured a half-silvered mirror effect that allowed the characters to seemingly float in midair. Flipping Frisbees from floating platforms while dodging discs that bounce off of invisible walls may sound a bit overwhelming, but Discs of Tron was a highly addictive, immersive game of skill. With virtually nothing to compare it to, the game is a classic in a class by itself."
"Creating "more realistic" animation sequences for the DISCS OF TRON character was my very first task in the industry. The Game was far more ambitious and unique that what I'd previously thought possible; I immediately realized that I had greatly underestimated the scope and potential of what video games could do. I was hooked; I knew that despite the severe limitations of the hardware at that time, I could do anything I put my mind to."
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
"Apart from the size, scope and budgets? …Same as it ever was. Lots of developers simply copying whatever is currently popular, and others creative designers willing to take on the risk of trying something new."
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
Ha! No such thing when I was younger… I've been doing this for over 35 years, remember.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card? If so, where?
Social media posts, of course. Not aware of any other…
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
Galloping Ghost Arcade, when Walter was kind enough to present me with my fist card.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
What is your favorite game you have worked on in your career?
RAMPAGE is the game I'm proudest of, for a lot of reasons; primarily because I wouldn't take "No" for an answer and got the game produced despite resistance from middle management. Of course, the fact that the game went on to break all previous Arcade earnings records and is still loved by millions doesn't hurt. Here is a recent video about the making of Rampage from ARCADE HOLLYWOOD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wwo_VYr5ZU
But the honest truth is: nearly EVERY game I've ever created has been fun to work on, and many are "favorites" for different reasons. PIGSKIN 621AD is my favorite 'Head-to-Head' arcade game to play in the arcade, GENERAL CHAOS is my favorite Real-Time-Wargame, and even my little-known PC/LAN game ARCTIC STUD POKER RUN is my favorite "heavily-armed-snowmobile-racing-full-contact-poker-deathmatch-battlegame".
Do you prefer Arcade or Console gaming and why?
Arcade - It's more social, in the real sense of the word, because it gets you out of your house and lets you interact with new people.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
Well, now that RAMPAGE the Movie is coming out, I guess I have to say that I think it's wonderful when Hollywood turns classic games into motion pictures. I'm really very excited about the project; we have some friends who, by an amazing coincidence happen to be working on the film, and we're going down to visit them next month. (That’s why I made the RAMPAGE FILM CREW tee shirts ;) …also available at the Game Refuge Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GameRefuge/ )
Who is your favorite video game character of all time and what makes that character special?
GEORGE from RAMPAGE. I was the Human version of George in the Arcade Game., my wife was Lizzy, and programmer Jeff Nauman was Ralph. (see attached photos) …And to make it even better, GEORGE is THE ROCK's "best friend" in the upcoming movie; so I guess that means that Dwayne Johnson is playing my new best friend!
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Still making video games …. CEO of Game Refuge Inc. To see just some of the nearly 90 games I've worked on over the past 35 years, http://www.gamerefuge.com/alongtheway.html
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
Don't ask me… I predicted "Beta over VHS", "Cable TV will never work because who needs more than 5-6 channels?" and "The Internet is a fad".