For those who may not remember, the late ’90s and early ’00s were a pretty sweet time for cinephiles as the move from VHS to DVD rapidly took hold. For the first time ever, countless films were being released treating viewers to a slew of extra material such as interactive menus with easter eggs, trivia, directors cuts, and outtakes, just to name a few, and it made the format transition worthwhile. There was more to the classic films we grew up with that enriched the original experience as well, such as making of documentaries and interviews with cast and crew. That same rush that comes from digging deeper into the meat of beloved entertainment also applies to video games. A more profound appreciation is gained when you learn just how much goes into some of the best-loved titles. And straight off his success of The Minds Behind the Games, author Patrick Hickey Jr. has taken some time to discuss just that in his second endeavor into gaming history with The Minds Behind Adventure Games.

PHJ: “I was originally planning a massive sequel, with 43 games, seven more than the original book when my publisher told me it was a better idea to do genre-specific titles so I could build a brand. I fell in love with the idea and got to work. Luckily, I had more Adventure Games than the other genres represented, so it was a bit easier than it could have been.”

PHJ: “Same as before. Hardcore searches on every social media platform, phone calls, Skype. Having the first book finished and out definitely helped. Be surprised how a tiny bit of credibility can help you accomplish something.”

PHJ: “A lot more insular. The first book I was yapping to friends the entire time. This time, I focused and put my head down. The reporting is better. The sources share more. If you enjoyed the first book, this takes it to another level, simply because I understood what readers wanted more and made sure I delivered.”

PHJ: “One of my favorites is from Conker’s Live and Reloaded. Chris Seavor was essentially on a one-man quest to piss off Microsoft during development. Rather than give anything away, I’ll say the first time reading some of his antics, I literally spit out a mouthful of Gatorade on a wall in my office. That man is amazingly talented, but he may have a second career as a comedian.”

PHJ: “Those were mainly for the sports edition that I was writing at the same time- as there were supposed to be a Mutant League Basketball and Racing game, but Electronic Arts pulled the plug. The more interesting things were how Games changed during development, or how games, because of limitations, couldn’t be as epic as they should have been. Maximum Carnage, for example, was supposed to have more playable characters. Imagine playing that game with Human Torch and Black Cat, instead of merely calling for their help…could have been insane.”

PHJ: “Every single chapter you’ll hear about a developer and see the work they’ve created. X-Men Legends, for example, is the game that got Activision on the road to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series. You play MUA 3 yet? You can thank Patrick Lipo and the team of X-Men Legends for their work just as much as the team behind the newest game. And once you read the chapter, you’ll see what that game could have been and the road it took to eventually become the couch-co-op classic it became.”

PHJ: “Every single one of these games had to deal with drama in one way or another. Almost like Murphy’s Law. However, they stuck to the train and got to the station. They were willing to compromise and adapt. Hearing all of these stories has absolutely made me appreciate gaming and people more. That being said, this book is for gamers, but also for naysayers that don’t think the industry is for adults. Read these chapters and you’ll definitely understand why billions appreciate this art form.” 

PHJ: “I think of Adventure Games being almost impossible to define. I consider them any game that has a strong focus on narrative and a main character that you can connect to, in terms of their growth and development. As a result, away from Sports and Shooters, pretty much every other genre is connected to Adventure.”

PHJ: “Every chapter has a ton of snippets of juicy intel that aren’t found anywhere else. Two things that stick out though, without giving anything away- I think when people find out all the things that could have gotten into Strider 2014 and all the things the team working on the original Grand Theft Auto has to deal with from Sony, they’ll have a much deeper appreciation for both of those amazing games.”

PHJ: “I’m currently wrapping up The Minds Behind Sports Games, which features a ton of great games including the original Madden, FIFA, Mutant League Hockey, WCW/nWo Revenge, Rockstar Presents Table Tennis and Ten Pin Alley. That one is due out this Spring. I’m also about a third of the way done with The Minds Behind Shooter Games: which already has Gears of War, Loaded, Turok the Dinosaur Hunter and Revolution X confirmed.”

Wherever fine books are sold… 


Barnes and Noble

Directly from my publisher

However, the best place to get it is my official website

Not only do I leave a personalized note in every book, but I leave cool stuff inside- trading cards, buttons, stickers. Just to let my reader know that I value the purchase. 


Michael A. Jones

Facebook: Nerds in the Burbs

Twitter: MikeAJones@NerdsintheBurbs