Anachronox Retrospective

Anachronox, Ion Storm's attempt at creating a Western JRPG and a bit of a cult classic these days, is positioned as the main focus of this Vice retrospective. However, the article really is more about the Dallas branch of Ion Storm, its history, and the people involved in this disaster of a studio that also produced the infamous Daikatana.

Here's a couple of sample paragraphs to get you started:

In keeping with the general Ion Storm model, the Anachronox team never consisted of more than 13 relatively inexperienced developers.

“I'm pretty sure it was like, we'll hire you if you play Chrono Trigger,” remembers programmer Joey Liaw, who joined the Anachronox team when he was still a teenager. Squirrel Eiserloh, the lead programmer, had a background in Doom mods. Jake Hughes was in California building spaceships for Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers when he got a call to join Ion Storm as an associate producer.

“I'm not sure… they necessarily knew what a producer in a video game company was supposed to do,” says Lee Perry, Anachronox’s art director. Perry, with a couple years in art teams, ranked amongst the most experienced of his colleagues, along with programmer Henrik Jonsson, who was 26.

Hughes didn’t know either. He was responsible for pulling together Hall’s vision in a design document. “Which in hindsight, was not a very good idea, because I didn't know what a design doc was,” he says. “[But from that, it was clear] we were not going to be able to do this game in a year and a half. I looked at it, and I'm like, this is crazy, there's no way.”