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Thomas Reich Interview - Armchair Empire

Thomas Reich Interview

When the team at Irrational Games wanted to release a new online game, they decided to contact Thomas Reich to work on the project as Game Designer. During that time, Thomas just got hitched and wasn’t looking to get back to work right away. He wanted to take some time off, have a honeymoon with the wife. Irrational came back to him and said, okay. We’ll wait til your honeymoon is over, then you come work for us. Thomas was a sought-after designer due to his proven track record as an excellent game designer. Previous projects include, Battleships: Revenge, Pandemonium Reloaded, and New Moon Rising, all instant hits and raging successes.

So when he did come back, Irrational then announced it would release a new title, Freedom Force the following fall. Thomas got down to work immediately. He was very hands-on during the entire process. Heck, he is always hands on, period. That’s just the kind of person he is. A true nitty-gritty kind of guy. Irrational didn’t blink when Thomas made a list of demands for this new project. They knew it was all worth it.

Let’s listen to a few sound bites during our interview:

NA: Hey Thomas! Good to see you again. What does Freedom Force have to offer that other games can’t?

TR: Well, I can’t speak for the other game developers, but as far as Freedom Force is concerned, I can assure the public that this will have new twists and turns never before seen in the history of online gaming. We have come up with innovative ways to maximize our gaming algorithm engine and give our players the much needed freedom that they want. The game play will be so much more flexible than you ever experienced before in any other similar games. I can’t divulge details at this point in time, but game fans brace yourselves. You’ll be in for a real pleasant surprise!

NA: Well, that’s some kind of a teaser you’re throwing out there. Care to elaborate?

TR: Well, like I said earlier, they just have to wait a little bit more. I don’t want to spoil the fun for our avid fans, so I’m keeping mum for now. But I assure our loyal fans, you will be amazed at how much better our games have gotten in recent years. This year is no exception.

NA: What is your favourite part of your job?

TR: My favourite art of my job is having the freedom to expres my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions but in a rather unique way. I sue these games as a way of expressing my sentiments on certain issues. It may not be obvious at first, but if you have been following my work, you will get a drift of what I’m trying to say. If I have freedom to do whatever on the job, this allows me full control over the outcome of my projects. That, to me, is the most satisfying part of my job.

NA: What is your least favourite part of the job?

TR: My least favourite part is project wrap up. This is when all kinks have been ironed out, all bugs rooted out. The game is working as it should. So there’s nothing left to do. It’s quite sad because for months you get to work with some people very closely. You start to build an invisible bond, like you were participants in a game and you’re bonding against a common nemesis. When the project is done, you exit the game, say good bye to the other players. It’s really an emotional time for me then.