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Game Developer scores exclusive Tomb Raider Underworld postmortem June 17, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Underworld.
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Tomb Raider Underworld is Game Developer’s June-July game cover for 2009. The US-based gaming trade publication goes in-depth with Crystal Dynamics on the challenges and the successes of the Redwood-based studio developing the game.

Eric Lindstrom, former Creative Director at Crystal Dynamics, opens up about the earliest decisions about the Tomb Raider sequel and why and how they changed it later on. “Tomb Raider: Underworld was originally planned as an ‘easy’ sequel to the previous game in the series, using the same toolchain — but it never quite works out that way. Eric Lindstrom describes the process, highlighting instances in which the team wasn’t able to avoid known problems.”

You can hop on to the official Game Developer site to get yourself a copy in print or digital format.

[Gamasutra]

Underworld nominated for Writers Guild award January 13, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Underworld.
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Variety is reporting that Tomb Raider Underworld is among the five nominees for best video-game writing of 2008 for the Writers Guild Awards. Original Lara Croft creator Toby Gard and Underworld creative director Eric Lindstrom (the latter unfortunately among the 30 laid off CD employees) are credited for the story of Lara’s latest adventure, one that involves literally going literally in search of the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

The announcement of winners for the WGA Awards will be on 7th February. Until then, keep your fingers crossed for Lindstrom and Gard.

TRU Creative Director one of 30 laid off, bares all on 360 DLC, Underworld, and Uncharted (!?) January 12, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in 360 DLC, Crystal Dynamics, Underworld.
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Eric Lindstrom, Creative Director of Tomb Raider Underworld, confirms that he was among the 30 Crystal Dynamics employees laid off last week as reported by Kotaku. In a thread on Tomb Raider Forums, Lindstrom said that “there is too much being said that I don’t feel is right to go unanswered,” with the 360-exclusive DLC being “the main thing I wanted to clear up.”

On issues surrounding the DLC, Lindstrom said, “I cut content from the game [earlier on], and it later turned out to be possible to use in DLC, for which I was happy,” adding that, “it was a coincidence that we had some candidate content for DLC when the deal was made. I was glad for it, otherwise the stuff I had to cut out would have never seen the light of day.”

Lindstrom also talked about the apparent lack of polish of Underworld, for which the game was criticized: “I absolutely wish we could have spent more time polishing Underworld.” It wasn’t all publisher (Eidos) pressure, however, Lindstrom shared. “I take my share of responsibility of aiming so high that we had a reduced ability to spend time on polish.”

Asked what he thought of the constant Uncharted comparisons, Lindstrom had this to say: “I think Underworld was a much better tomb raider experience than Uncharted, but Uncharted succeeded very well at what they were trying to do. The games were just very different with only a slight connection in their high concept.”

There have been doubts on the identity of Lindstrom on Tomb Raider Forums. The forum administrator has since confirmed, however, that Lindstrom was indeed the poster behind the Squamula username.

Update: Eric was kind enough to make a write-up of what went behind-the-scenes for the story of Crystal D’s Tomb Raider games. Here’s a jump to the thread on Tomb Raider Forums.

Multiplayer a possibility for TR9 says Lindstrom November 25, 2008

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Future Games.
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In an interview with Eric Lindstrom at The Gathering 08, MS XBOX World reports that the Creative Director for Tomb Raider Underworld has hinted that Crystal Dynamics has considered incorporating multiplayer in future Tomb Raider games.

Whether it will do good or bad to the series is completely beyond anyone at this point, but it sure would be interesting to see how Lara could work hand-in-hand with or head-to-head against other player-helmed characters. Co-op treasure hunting? Relic-raiding race? Verus mode gun battle? Should be interesting to see what the team has in store for us in the future.