Inherit The Earth - FVD visitors interview Talin

Instead of usual "Why don't you make Inherit the Earth 2?" I'm interested in which parts of I.T.E. are owned or copyrighted by New World Computing. Just the name, or the game itself, characters, story and dialogues?
Talin: To be honest, I'm not really certain of the legal aspects of this, since I don't have copies of the actual contracts. I suspect, however, that the bulk of the rights are owned by New World Computing. That in itself is not a particular problem, since Jon Van Caneghem (head of New World) is a friend of mine (and I have many friends who work there, some of whom worked on ITE), but now New World is a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3DO corp, and I doubt that I could get anything out of their lawyers cheaply.

Unfortunately, ITE did not sell all that well, so I doubt that they themselves would be interested in pursuing it. The reason for the poor sales was (according to Jon) basically poor marketing, not because of a fault in the game. In particular, the deal was originally signed at a time when New World was an affiliate of Broderbund, who was putting out a lot of kids games like "Gramma and Me". They felt that this would be a perfect addition to that line. However, by the time that the game was done, that affiliate relationship was terminated, and New World was now an affiliate of Electronic Arts, who basically does sports and combat games, and who had absolutely no idea how to market a game like this.

It's also interesting to note that ITE sold many more copies on the Mac than it did on the PC.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful scenes in Inherit The Earth - this shot is taken just before Rif and his companions pay a visit to Tycho the astronomer. It is here where they first learn that a mysterious raccoon is fleeing to the North, and deliberately trying to lure the trio into a trap.

Out of all your projects, which have you been most satisfied with?
As often happens with me and my projects, I absolutely hated ITE when it was completed. I felt it was a distorted travesty of my true vision, that it had been "ruined", and so on. I was depressed for a few months. However, time has passed, and I now look upon ITE quite fondly, and see it as one of my better efforts. I would say that had I to choose, it would be a toss-up between ITE and Faery Tale 1.

To repay Rif for healing Mirrhp - the chieftess' sick daughter - the wildcat tribe sabotage Prince's food supply, thus enabling Rif to free his imprisoned friends. In this shot, some cats from the tribe make their way inside via the castle battlements.

How long did the whole project take, and approximately how much time would be needed to finish the whole planned series?
I don't remember exactly (I've always been bad with time :-), but I think it was about 14 months from the time we signed the contract to the time we shipped. I think we started developing the ideas a few months before that.

Inherit The Earth has a relatively 'LucasArts'-ish interface. Did you draw much influence from the early Sierra and LucasArts adventure games when designing ITE?
Actually, it was nearly a direct rip-off of "The Secret of Monkey Island."

(This page created by FVD webmaster, 16/4/2000)