In honor of Game Informer’s month of So Bad It’s Good, we interviewed the creator of Superman 64. The unique video by Eric Caen is a pain to watch, but his story is worth it.
JIMMY: Hi Dash, we interviewed back in December and turned one of the worst games ever to be rediscovered and resurrected. It was a 10 year endeavor, best illustrated by this short video:
Now I was a child when I played Superman 64, but it turned out to be quite the adventure. For every game about fighting aliens, there’s games like Superman 64. Recently there was an article about celebrating bad games and mentioned how you can’t forget Superman 64.
What personal info does DtB want to know about you?
What effect has the video game industry had on you?
Eric Caen (EC) wrote his first game in 1981 and was very close to the Game and Watch Octopus on Commodore 3032.
What is your favorite video game from these options?
The games of Mario series
DtB: You took on starting your first company at a young age (19). How did you think it would feel starting out on your own company?
EC: As I started coding at 14, I rapidly lost interest in high school. Between the ages of 18-and-18 I wrote to French video games companies. Having too many interests, it felt normal to start a service company creating code for them on April 15 1985. My brother being not shy about comparing how I was then, let’s just say we teamed up quickly and started our company’s growth on April 15 1985.
When did your company know it would be successful?
Though EC would start by coding for others, they soon felt the need to release their own games. Eventually, after 18 months, it became clear that developing their own games would be more profitable than continuing to write for other teams.
EC: As we gained more experience with game design and coding, we began to work with mobile games. Fueled by school projects and joint travels, my team acted as the perfect support for my crazy ideas
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DtB: Why did you decide to create a Superman game?
WB was creating a new live-action series based on Superman. After obtaining the license, everything seemed impossible until they succeeded.
Q: How did developers feel when Superman 64 released because it was so bad? Did you or your employees expect the response or did it catch everyone by surprise?
There is no surprise that the game failed to sell well. With development problems, the game was only of mediocre quality.
How was the overall mood of the company during the development of Superman 64? Were there infamous ‘crunch’ deadlines that contributed to the development of the game?
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DtB: The licensor severely hampered many aspects of the game, but did they ever disclose the reason as to why Superman couldn’t kick “real” people? I mean by all means he punches “bad” guys all the time in the series. Why was there such a conflict with the video game?