Damon Slye: Chapter III

The 2000s saw a rapid decline in the mainstream demand for combat flight sim games apart from the excellent IL-2 series not much has been left. Titles like Warbirds moved predominately into multiplayer arenas and single-player flight games turned into a quick-action arcade format. Why do you think this has happened?

I feel that there was a misunderstanding among the market, going all the way back to very beginning, where people didn’t understand that you had to have a balance in these games between authentic simulation and fun. They seemed to think that a game either had to be an arcade game, that is in a way an empty and meaningless experience, or something that is a realistic simulation.

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Damon Slye: Chapter II

1990 was the year that marked a new era for Dynamix. The studio was bought by Sierra-On-Line and lost, albeit temporarily, one of its founding fathers Jeff Tunnell, who started his own studio. It was also the year that spawned the legendary Red Baron. What are your memories of that turbulent 12 months?

It was a good time. We made a deal with Sierra – with Ken Williams – and the main point of sale with the company was that we remained autonomous – creatively autonomous. Because that was what kept us excited and enthusiastic about making games. He totally agreed; he was an entrepreneur himself and he understood.

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Damon Slye: Chapter I

Dynamix was founded 34 years ago, but its story began even earlier with a game based on the 3D arcade classic Battlezone, called Stellar 7 for Apple II and C64. It was the first fruitful collaboration between Damon Slye and Jeff Tunnell. How did you guys come together in the first place?

Jeff owned a computer store in Eugene called Computertutor and it was one of the first software-only stores. So I would go in there and that’s how I met him.

So you just decided to make a game together?

I was already working on the game apart from him. He said he wanted to be a publisher and I didn’t believe he could do it, because he wasn’t already a publisher. But he was always a very ambitious person…

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