Wizardry 8になるはずだったStones of Arnhemとその裏話

Filed under: 未分類 — Tags: — sajin @ 16:38

◇黄金時代の古典RPGの精神を引き継ぐGrimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplar

Wizardryから始まるMight&Magic,Dungeon Master,Eye of the Beholderなどの古典的一人称視点RPGの精神的後継作品となるGrimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplarを創るためにCleveland Blakemoreという人物がcrowdfundingで投資を募集している。


RPG Codex Interview: Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar – 詳細なinterview

このCleveland Blakemoreという人物だが、過去にWizardry 8になるはずだったgameの開発に関わっており、当時の内情を激白している。

◇Sir-Techが潰れた理由を激白するCleveland Blakemore

Why did Sir-tech go bankrupt? | rpg codex > @rpgcodex

We could approach the subject obliquely and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

We aren’t talking about a niche product here. Crusaders Wiz 7 was a megablockbuster that sold untold millions of copies. We are talking about some serious operating capital here. Sir-Tech was a big publisher. Their money constituted a massive store of profits from the Wizardry series.

今話しているのはちっぽけな製品のことじゃない、Wiz 7:CDSは何百万もの数が売り捌かれたとんでもない成功を収めた商品なんだ。ここで話しているのは巨額の会社運営資金のことだ。Sir-Techは大きなgame出版会社だった。その金は大量の小売店でWizardry seriesを捌くことによってできあがったものだ。

If you were producing a sequel to a game with this sort of legacy, would you allow a nobody like Directsoft in Australia, run by a guy who had never supervised the completion of a single game or software product in his life, to run the team and hire the staff?

もし君がこんな有名作の続編を創るなら、単にgameを他所からもってきて販売するだけのDirectsoft(豪のgameのdistributor。後のTake2 Australia)みたいな会社に任せたり、一つとしてgame製作の実績がない人物を雇って任せたりするかい?

Until I went to work on Wizardry 8:Stones of Arnhem, it was an absolutely hopeless project. They had no source code, they had no design architecture, they did not have a single demo running despite months and months of “work,” which I put quotes around because it consisted of a bunch of losers having meetings around a failed actor’s table each week arguing trivia. Until I came to work for them, I gathered there wasn’t anybody on the team who had the foggiest idea of how to develop a computer game.

私がWiz 8(#後述するが製品化されたWiz8ではなく、series八作目になるはずだったStones of Arnhem)の開発に赴くまで、それはまったく望みのない代物だった。連中は何のsource codeもつくっておらず、どうgameをdesignするかの企画、何ヶ月も”働いた”後ですらdemoの一つも持っていなかった。”働いた”などと括弧付きで言うのは、連中は失敗した主役の回りに集って下らないことを言い合うだけの落伍者に過ぎなかったからだ。

There was nothing running, nothing you could see and nothing you could play long after they had spent $100,000 on salaries, which is why when they hired me, they could not offer me anything even reasonable as pay. They had already spent nearly all their initial funding without producing anything of any kind that was tangible.


Within weeks of my starting, I fielded my first demos of character creation and main menus. There was a quality there I would describe as resentment amongst the other idiots on the team as soon as this happened. They had a perfectly good dream going until I started to produce something real and spoiled it all for them. As far as I could gather, I was the only person on the team who had ever held an actual day job and worked like a grown man at an office. The rest of them had lived off the dole their entire lives, knowing little of the outside world and any responsibility for anything. They were like very evil children.

最初の数週間でcharacter作成とmain menuを作ったがそれが出来るや否や、あの阿呆どもは俺を怒らせることをしてきた。連中は物事か完璧に上手く行っているという都合の良い夢を見てだんたよ。自分が実際に動く物をつくって、その妄想を打ち砕くまではね。開発部隊の中でまともに働いていたのは自分だけで、残りは働かずに金を貰って生きている生活保護者みたいな連中だった。厳しい世間のことや大人が果たさなければならない責任のことなどほとんど知らない。まるで性質の悪い子供みたいなもんだったよ。

Everybody who ever worked for Sir-Tech knows they had serious, serious management problems. Serious. I’ve been employed as a contractor for thirty years in software development and have never seen clowns as deranged or as sad as the Sirotek brothers. They were lost. They were complete no-hopers. I’ve never seen anybody in the twenty years since who was that pathetic, although a few companies have come close. The Sir-Techs were mentally checked out. Lights were on, nobody was really home. When I tried once to explain to them why it was necessary to get artists who knew how to produce 8 bit artwork, they stared at me like I was Albert Einstein. They had real trouble grasping why this might be important for an 8 bit game. They felt I should continue to hand edit all the artwork every time it was revised to clean up the pixels and convert it to the right palette, thousands of times each day. Every time the artists sent it over again, they sent it completely screwed up in 24 bit color.

Sir-Techで働いたことがある者なら誰でも会社の管理に深刻な問題があることを知っている。自分はそれまで十三年間契約労働者としてsoftware開発をしてきたが、Sirotek兄弟(Robert WoodheadとともにSir-tekを創業し、経営者であり続けた)のような間抜け野郎を見たことがないよ。まったく絶望的で何の希望も見いだせない連中だ。あれほど憐れな連中は自分が働いてきた十二年の間他に見たことがない。

8-bitのgame作成には専門のdot絵師が必要だと彼らに説明したことがある。彼らはまるで私がElbeit Einsteinかのように見つめたもんさ。彼らはなぜ専業のdot絵師が必要か理解し難かったようで、私が毎日無数に送りつけられてくる24-bitの原画を毎回手作業で8-bitのdot絵に修正し続けるべきだと考えていたようだ。

I believe the success of the series was due to D.W. Bradley and even after seven Wizardrys, neither of these two brothers knew a damn thing about organizing and managing a team of software developers. When they fell out with Bradley and his team over royalties, they were the sort of dopes who thought anybody could do this sort of thing. By the time they got desperate enough to try to find someone actually qualified, they were unwilling to spend any more, having already wasted it on the original staff.

自分はWizardry seriesの成功はD.W.Bradleyのおかげで、あの組織運営能力皆無の二人のおかげでないと確信している。連中がD.W.Bradleyの開発部隊と報酬の支払いで揉めて結局袂を分かった時、奴らは薬で頭がいかれた様に誰にでもそんな仕事はできると考えていた。Bradley達が果たしていた仕事ができるものを探そうとして、元々Bradley達に払っていたよりも多くの金をその為に費やす嵌めになるまではね。

The Sir-Tech brothers blame “the big game publishers.” Nobody who ever worked for them ever believed that crap. They had sales that most companies could only dream about and they had ten years before they could produce a sequel to Wiz 7. Ten years with a big full-time team, plenty of funding and a guaranteed market for the finished product.

Sirotek兄弟は(会社が潰れたのを)巨大publisher(が起こした市場の性質の変化)のせいにしているが、連中と働いたことがある人間なら誰もそんな戯言を信じやしまい。彼らはどの会社も夢見るような売り上げをWiz 8を作る十年前まで上げていた。十年間も多数の正社員を雇い、十分な投資を受け、商品を捌くことのできる市場があったんだから。

ウィザードリィのSir-techが18年の歴史に終止符 by Alan Dunkin

In all seriousness, Grimoire looked and played better in 1997 and was overall a better game, produced entirely from scratch by a guy who did it part-time after working all day at a full-time job, purely on his own capital and expense. I just decided it wasn’t good enough and elected to rewrite and recommission nearly every element in it.


まず、このthreadはCleveの話が本当かどうかということでCleveを交えて延々論争が続き、当初はCleveの名前がWiz6~8のどこにも無いことから病的に自我が肥大した人間の戯言として扱う人も多かった。またGrimoreも開発を十年以上にわたって行いながら完成させていない事から、ただのほら吹き屋という人もいれば、Jaged Alliance 2に出演している、demoが完成して遊ぶことができ素晴らしいものだという人もいてまるで収拾がつかない。

この後20page以上に渡って、話が脱線しまくりながらanti-Cleveとの不毛な議論が続くのだが、裏付けを取ろうと関係者に接触したBlackadderというuserがその内の一人でCleveが名前を出していたPhil Mooreから回答を得て投稿し、さらにThe facts about Stones of ArnhemをPhil Moore自身が投稿して情勢は一変する。

◇消えたproject、Wizardry 8になるはずだったStones of Arnhem

Stones Of Arnhem began when the Sirotek brothers told their Australian Distributor Directsoft they were looking for a new team to work on the next game in the series – having lost the talents of D.W. Bradley – who was indeed the driving force behind Wizardry 6 & 7.

Stones of ArnhemはSirotek兄弟がD.W. BradleyというWizardry 6,7の開発における中心人物を失った後、Australiaの販売業者Directsoftにseriesの次の作品を作る開発部隊を探していると言ったことから始まったんだ。

He set about trying to pull together a new team and I was the first person approached. I was recommended to him through a mutual contact due to my work as a journalist on PC User Magazine (where I still write to this day), who knew me to be a music and audio guy. I was asked to do music and SFX for the proposed game. The first team had some interesting people on board and we met with the Sirotek brothers – but it went nowhere. A second team was pulled together and again my name came up as the person to do Music and Sound. I was the only person to be retained.

Directsoftは新しい開発部隊を作ろうとして様々な引き抜きをかけており、その手始めとして私に接触してきた。私は当時(今でもだが)PC Userという雑誌で記者をやっていて、そこの同僚で私が作曲能力があると知っている人から推薦されて作曲と効果音担当として雇われた。最初の組織は幾人かの興味深い人物で構成されていて、そのmemberでSirotek兄弟に会ったがまったく進展はなかった。そこで私だけが残留して二番目の開発部隊が組織されることになり、

This second team included actor Max Phipps as the lead designer. Max was a good friend of mine and ‘godfather’ to my son. He was also working as a games reviewer at the time. He was an avid fan of the Wizardry series and knew 6 & 7 well. Max was not a programmer, but a writer and artist.

Max Phippsという俳優をlead designerに据えた。Maxは自分のよき友人で息子が尊敬する役者でもあり、当時彼はgame reviewerをしていて、Wizardry seriesの熱狂的な愛好家で6,7をよく知っていた。彼はprogrammerではなく、物書きと芸術を仕事としていたんだ。

#Max Phipps(IMDB)は役者が本業。Mad Max 2のThe Toadieが有名。

We had two artists, one focusing on design and character creation; the second – who had worked at Disney – doing the colouring, animations and other digital image assets like backgrounds. We also began with two young programmers. Max on story and interactive design, and me on sound and music. That’s it – 6 people.

二人の描画担当がおり、一人はcharacter designでもう一人はDisneyで働いていた人物で彩色からanimation、背景までこなした。Maxがstoryを担当し、私が音楽を作って、我々は二人のprogrammerとともに合計六人で開発を始めた。

The basic scenario was set in the ancient land of Gondwana, and drew on Australian Aboriginal mythology – though with a definite fantasy RPG angle. I forget the details but the Stones Of Arnhem were the things players had to recover to save the realm. It was more open-world than the previous games and would have been quite innovative. It was also very character-driven with story threads and NPCs that could appear in the different cities of the world. Max (and I thereafter) were aiming to create a multi-threaded scenario that could be played in virtually any order, and still have a narrative thread that made sense. There was a subtext that led to various side-quests and offered clues to how to talk to NPC’s etc, and would result in several possible endings.

舞台は古代の大陸Gondwanaで、AustraliaのAboriginy(アボリジニー。白人が入植する前からいる先住民)の神話を題材としてfantasy RPGの型に嵌めたものだった。細かい事は覚えていないが、playerの目的は領土の回復で、それまでの作品と比べてさらに広大な世界を舞台にし、大きな革新をもちあわせ登場人物が強力に物語を主導するものだった。Maxと私は複数の話が同時に進行することを目指し、どのような順番でもそれらをplayできるようにしようとした。またさまざまな副次的冒険が存在し、NPCとの会話にもそれらが現れ、複数の異なる結末が設けられた。

For its day, this would have been quite revolutionary. Back in those days games were largely driven by programmers, whereas most good games these days are driven by interactive storytellers. This was our goal – to make it more story focused with real actors doing the characters. This approach is commonplace nowadays but was new for the time – early 90’s.


You may recall ‘Bane’ and Cosmic Forge’ were released on floppy discs. When this team began we were contracted for 6-months. We were promised we would get the original engine and simply have to update the story and artwork. And it had to be kept to no more than 10 Floppy discs or something in the box. As soon as contracts were signed to this effect Sirtech decided it had to be CD-ROM – the big new thing. Great, we get to make a bigger game – but no more money, no more time, and no more personnel. Nevertheless we began.

あなたはWizardry 6 Bane of the Cosmic Forgeがfloppy diskで発売されたことを憶えているかもしれない。六ヶ月間の契約で、我々はgame engineを一から開発し、それに開発中のstoryやartを修正して適用するように約束させられ、しかもそれを十枚のfloppy discに収まるように要求された。この契約が為されてすぐ、Sir-TechはfloppyではなくCD-ROMに媒体を切り替えることを決め(それに見合うcontentsになるよう)要求してきたが、すでに開発を進めてしまっていて、それに見合う資金も人材もなかった。

Then Sirtech decided they wanted a real-time engine since Doom was the big thing, but one that somehow retained the good thing about their well-established turn-based RPG system of the previous games. They weren’t prepared to buy a license for the Doom/Quake engine so we have to create our own. We did have one young programmer who took this task on and was making excellent progress, but it takes time. Likewise we had two excellent artists now expected to do all the art for a CD-Rom game – a MUCH bigger job than at first.

Sir-Techは当時流行したDoomのような擬似3Dでreal-timeに空間描写がされるengineを用いてseriesで確立されたturn-basedのRPGを動かすことを決めたが、にも関わらず彼らはDoomやQuakeのgame engineをlicenseして使う用意はなかったので、我々は一からそれを創り上げる嵌めになった。そこで一人の若いprogrammer(Cleveland Blakemore)を雇い、彼は素晴らしい仕事をしたが当然時間がかかることになった。二人のartistにとっても僅か数megabyteのfloppyに収まるような質の低い描写でなく、500MBを越えるCD-ROMに相応しい描写に描き直すのは大変な作業となった。

Max was committed to acting in a play in Melbourne in 6-month’s time (Shadowlands at MTC as I recall), but we figured we would be finished by then – that was before all the changes imposed by Sirtech.


After 6-months I had completed all the sound and music. I was the only person to actually fulfill the contract. Max went to do his play and I was asked to take over as writer and designer on a week-by-week basis (Mr. Blakemore had hoped he would get to take over and never got over this – refusing to work with me as a result).

六ヶ月を経て私がすべての作曲と効果音の仕事を終えた時、契約した仕事を果たしきったのは自分だけで、Maxは役者の仕事に出てしまい、私が脚本とgame designの仕事を兼ねるよう求められた。(Blakmore氏は自分がやったかのように言っているが、彼は断ったのだからやってはいない)

Sirtech kept paying people week to week. Art, sound and story were well advanced, but the engine was barely up and running with really only one programmer working on it from scratch. Cleve was correct that our second programmer/interactive designer was doing something on the side and he was fired from the project. This is about when Cleve was brought on maybe 5-months in.

Sir-Techは週ごとに給与支払いを行い続け、絵や音、そして脚本の作業は進んだ。しかし、game engineは一人のprogrammerが一から創り上げるには余りにも荷が重く、何とか稼働するという程度でしかなかった。もう一人programmerはいたのだが、そいつは何か副業をやっていて馘にされた。これはCleveが参加した開発五ヶ月目に入った頃のことだ。

He proved himself to be a talented programmer who definitely put in the hours, and did indeed started pulling it together on the code side. At first I was glad to have him on board; but his homophobic attitude, delusions of grandeur, and personal style didn’t make for a harmonious relationship.


We had to stop development for several weeks to prepare a ‘preview’ for the CES show. This may well have impressed some people at the show, but we still had a long way to go and this just slowed us down.


But the writing was already on the wall. Cleve is correct up to a point about the mismanagement and the Sirotek brothers limited understanding of game design. Our team was way too small for what became a much more ambitious project. Cleve disliked the scenario for the game and was quite vocal about it. He bad-mouthed everyone to Sirtech and succeeded in convincing them he was all they needed to finish the game. But he is right about the Sirotek’s expecting unrealistic results from too few people. The project starved to death. Which is a damn shame because there were some very talented people involved – but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

結局最悪の結末が待っていた。Cleveが指摘しているようにSirotek兄弟の管理能力の欠如とgame designへの限られた理解は的を得ており、開発部隊はこれほど野心的な計画に対して余りに小さすぎた。Cleveはscenarioを気に入らず、喧しく文句を言い、Sirotek兄弟の悪口を誰に向かっても言い立て、皆が自分こそが計画を完成させるのに必要な人物だと信じ込ませるのに成功した。計画は破滅へ向かい、これほど才能有る人物が関わったのに恥ずべき結果に終わった。

つまりClevelandが製作に関わったのは製品として世に出たWizardry 8ではなく、それ以前にSir-TechがAustraliaのDirectsoftというgame開発経験など無いdistributorに依託して、Sir-Tech側の要求によるDoom風のgame engineを使ったWizardry :Stones of Arnhemだったということ。他のWizardryのcreditsに彼の名義がないのはその為。



2.Andrew Greenbergとの権利闘争を決着させないまま延々続けたこと






当時一人でdeath marchを強いられ、”えりかとさとるの大冒険“状態になった人物の話だからどこまで本当か判別し難いが、Wizardry 8になるはずだったStones of Arnhemの話や、彼が作り続け動画を見る限りもうsystem的には完成しているGrimoire : Heralds of the Winged ExemplarなどWizardryとSir-Techを巡る話の一つとして面白い。


この記事を書いた直後に、NYのSir-Techがあった建物を買い取った人物がSir-Techの遺物を発見したのでauctionに出品するつもりだが、興味のある人はいないかとforumに書き込み大騒ぎになっている。実際、Sir-Techの遺物や大量のStones of Arnhemの資料がeBayに出品されている。

これによりCleveのStones of Arnhemに関する主張の多くは(Codexの懐疑主義者を除いて)疑いのないものになった。またGrimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplarもその中身はほぼ出来上がっていて、後はpledgeに応じた褒美を入れたり、高画質化したことによる描画の質を改善している段階らしい。目標金額が$250,000と大きすぎるように見えるのはflexible fundingだからで、この金額が集まらなければ開発できなかったり中止するというものではなく、製品が完成していさえすればどのような結果になってもpledgeした人にはその額に応じた物が配られる。

開発には十七年間かかっているそうなので、できたらこれぐらいは貰いたいという事だろう。またその資金はGrimoire 2の開発に使うと言っているので、すでに続編の原案ぐらいはできているものと思われる。


1 Comment »

  1. Grimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplarは、随分前にindiegogoで金を払ったが、開発報告こそパラパラ来るものの(、未だに出る気配はない。どうもこの開発者は、製品製造者として物事を完成させるという点において重大な欠陥があるのだろう。

    Comment by sajin — 2014年12月14日 @ 23:53

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