Diane Duane Recalls Privateer MemoriesFamed author Diane Duane has posted an interesting blog entry about her time working on Privateer 2. Ms. Duane wrote the story and screenplay for the game's cinematic portions, which are lauded for their unique setting and tone (and all-star cast!). The far-out foundation of the game received mixed reviews when P2 first released, but it's great to hear so many people remembering it fondly today!
This is a work I did long before there was much of an (accessible) internet on which to discuss it, and it’s a hoot to find now that the bits of it I liked best, which were inaccessible to me for a long time, are now on the Web where I can get at them. (Along with everybody else.)
Erin Roberts at Electronic Arts brought me on board to help develop the story and do the screenplay for P2:TD in 1995, and to this date it holds the record for the largest piece of screen work I’ve ever done — more than three hundred pages of screenplay, counting all the alternate endings and side-branchings of the story. It was a very early attempt at interactive film, with healthy doses of live-action material interspersed amid the gameplay. This being the reason that until now I’ve seen so little of the filmed material: I kept screwing up the gameplay and couldn’t advance.
What astonishes me now, though, is the cast. You can see the credits sequence here — and if you now tried to cast a film with all those Names in it, you’d be implying a very serious budget indeed. The marvelous thing is that they were all apparently quite excited to get involved with what was then a most unusual project. (Though probably not half as excited as I was to find out they were getting involved with it. I mentioned to Erin at one point that I had developed the beer-related religion that appears at one point with Brian Blessed in mind as its preferred local cleric… and was completely knocked flat when I found out that they’d actually cast him. That was the way things kept going all that while: it was a magic time for me, even if the writing work meant that I sometimes had to spend a couple of weeks at a time away from home, shut up working in a hotel in Slough and missing Peter like crazy.)
…When we were down at Warpcon in Cork in January of this year, we ran into fellow writer Gunnar Roxen, and while chatting with him, P2:TD came up in passing. So I was delighted just now to find that Gunnar’s posted background and links to some of the cinematic material from the game to YouTube (as have various others: normally they seem to come up in the YouTube sidebar, for those who’re interested in investigating further). The teaser to the game is here and here’s a YouTube playlist of some of the filmed sections that Gunnar posted up.