mlitiagrl: its the man!
on his new game Starship Titanic
Sci-FiGal: He's here! he's here!!!!
* MaxQ hello mr adams *
Passion1: All right, he's here
Sydney: Hiya Mr. A!
* InvisigothGypsy waves at DNA. *
Moderator: We're now moderated
Moderator: Douglas, welcome!
DouglasAdams: Hello, I'm here
DouglasAdams: Or 'now' as we
Moderator: Can you introduce yourself to the group and
let us know what you've been up to lately?
Moderator: (please send your questions for Douglas
Adams as private messages to me)
Moderator: (/msg Moderator)
DouglasAdams: What I've been up
to lately is software. Starship Titanic is what I've been doing for the
last two years.
Moderator: <Miles> to <Moderator>: I've
already bought the book and game versions of Starship Titanic. Are there
any more versions or sequels planned for the future?
DouglasAdams: Well, let's see if
anybody bites at doinga movie. I think there is real potential there,
but we'll see. I'm not personally keen on doing a sequel as such. In
fact, it says on the box 'Not a sequel to anything'. I feel I've done
enough sequel stuff in my life!
Moderator: <rewprt> to <Moderator>: will
there be any "big-name" voices used in Starship Titanic?
DouglasAdams: "Will there
be?" you mean are there? Terry Jones is the voice of the
Moderator: <SanibelMan> to <Moderator>:
What kind of computer does Mr. Adams use personally, Mac or PC?
Moderator: <Will> to <Moderator>: is there
anymore info on a Macintosh version for Starship titanic?
DouglasAdams: Mac. Mac.
DouglasAdams: Actually, Mac, Mac
Mac Mac Mac currently. There are five in use around my house. Six if you
include my wife's. Actually seven - my little daughter has one.
Moderator: <Sydney> to <Moderator>: What do
you think of the coincidence of the movie "Titanic" and your
DouglasAdams: There will be a Mac
version because I need to have copy of the game I can actually play. We
started out doing cross-platofrm development, but we had to retreat to
within the boundaries of the feasible and just do one at a time.
Moderator: <Krytn2x4b> to <Moderator>: How
do you think Terry Jones did on the book version?
DouglasAdams: I think he did a
great job, but I was pretty jealous because I wanted to be able to do it
myself. But I couldn't do it till after I'd finished work on the game
and the publishers wanted it earlier than that for their marketting
logic. I'm so glad I wrote HHGG and got it out there before any
marketting logic became involved.
DouglasAdams: The coincidence of
the movie... It's funny how many people assume that it must have been
deliberate. Believe me, Paramount and Fox had no confidence the movie
was going to be a hit a year before it was released which is why there
was no Titanic game. A year ealier than that, when we started production
on Starship Tit. we'd never evern heard of it. The first we heard was
when stories were flying around about the upcoming 'disaster'. Computer
games take longer than a month to make...
Moderator: <Eraser16> to <Moderator>: Can
we expect anything special in your new game (I ain't bought it yet :( )
DouglasAdams: The thing that
especially marks it out is the herculaean job we did on the conversation
engine. You can converse with any of the robots. They have, between
them, over ten thousand lines of dialog to respond with and a very
sophisticated parser engine.
Moderator: <LSky2> to <Moderator>: Do you
think that your game will sell better because of the movie
DouglasAdams: It's hard to see
that it will have much effect. There is absolutely no connection
intended or perceivable between the two. They had Leonardo do Caprio and
Kate Winlset, we had a bad temptered desk lamp and a parrot. I think
you'd have to be really very very very stupid to confuse the two. Not
that I have anything against selling to very very very stupid people,
their money is as good as anybdoy else's, but they might have trouble
with the game.
Moderator: <Passion1> to <Moderator>: Are
there any guest appearances of any of your earlier characters in
Moderator: <Chauffeur> to <Moderator>:
Shall we get the obvious question out of the way. Dont hate me for
asking but... whats the future of the hitchiker series
Moderator: (please send your questions for Douglas
Adams as private messages to the Moderator)
Moderator: (/msg Moderator)
DouglasAdams: Hitchhiker... well,
there's the movie, of course, which is my next big project. A
Caravan/Disney production. I'm writing the SP, Jay Roach (of Austin
Powers fame) is directing. Watch for it to arrive in summer 2000. I
probably will do a sixth novel one day, but not yet.
Moderator: <fizzbin> to <Moderator>: Where
did you come up with the ideas for the uniques names you created HHGG?
DouglasAdams: I just sit there
and tell myself that I can't have another cup of coffee till I've
thought of a good one. Used to be cigarettes, but I gave that up long
ago anfd the quality of characters' name dropped a notch.
Moderator: <redfender> to <Moderator>: How
closely did you work with John Carnell and Steve Leiahola for the DC
Comics adaption of HHGG and did the Restaurant comic ever get produced?
DouglasAdams: Not at all.
DouglasAdams: I think the
Restaurant one got done, I'm not sure.
Moderator: <Joe-Braun> to <Moderator>: I
heard there was talks about HHG the movie any details? what about dirk
gently the movie?
DouglasAdams: I just spoke about
the movie of HHGG. There is also a strong possibility of a DG movie, but
no details as yet.
Moderator: <wombat> to <Moderator>: are you
planning any other books in the "dirk gently" series?
DouglasAdams: Before I get any
questions about 42, I'd like as a special treat, for this to be the one
day in my life so far in the last 20 years that I don't get asked about
what I meant by 42 or if it has any special significance or if I know
that it works in base 13. Stop it or I shall scream.
Moderator: <Rabotnik> to <Moderator>: Have
you started casting for the movie yet? If not, what actors would you
most of all like to see doing the parts of Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent,
Zaphod, and the others?
DouglasAdams: No plans ofr
another DG book at present. I kind of lost the feel for the character a
DouglasAdams: Casting is at a
very rudimentary stage at the moment, in fact the simplest answer is no.
I know a little bit about who I'd like, but we'll get to that once the
sp is done.
Moderator: <kwaichang> to <Moderator>: What
is his educational background? Some of the topics he writes about are
real math subjects.
DouglasAdams: Here's an
interesting thing. A few years ago I sat and had tea with James Gleick
(who wrote Chaos) in a New York hotel. We had a great long
discussion/argument. Went on for about two hours. Then we both sat back
exhausted and afdmitted to each other that we were both English
Moderator: <redfender> to <Moderator>: I
recently read your wonderful work of non-fiction "Last Chance to
See," and I was wondering if you were affiliated with any
DouglasAdams: I give some support
to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Save the Rhino International. I'm
curretnly in discussion with the BBC about doing a TV series of Last
Chance. It's my own favourite thing of all the things I've ever
Moderator: <HakFlem> to <Moderator>: Any
desire/plans to return to radio?
DouglasAdams: I sometimes wake up
at 3 in morningand wish I'd never left radio. But the truth is that it's
very hard to work in radio *and* eat.
Moderator: <Leon1> to <Moderator>: As a
budding science-fiction author I was wondering how you got started, and
if you have any tips?
DouglasAdams: I got started
completely by accident. I wrote a comedy series for radio, a publisher
heard it and suggested I turn it into a book, and there it was, I was
suddenly a science fiction author. It was a good route. I recommend
Moderator: <pointman> to <Moderator>: What
writers inspired you when you in your youth.
DouglasAdams: I've just
doscivered something very interesting there. I have a 3 year old
daughter, Polly. In the last year I've been reading Winnie the Pooh to
her, and I'm astonished to realise how much effect it must have had on
my own sense of how words fit together when I was akid. The rhythems are
all the same.
Moderator: <gelf> to <Moderator>: What is
the next big project for The Digital Village?
DouglasAdams: A number of
different things we might be gearing up to do, like a console game of
HHGG to go with the movie. Some of the things we have got planned really
depend a great deal on how Starship Titanic does out there. If it's a
huge hit (as I trust you will all help it become) that will tell us one
thing. If it's not then that will tell us another.
Moderator: <agrajag> to <Moderator>: Will
you do a remake of beaurocracy? Great game! :)
DouglasAdams: Life's a bit short,
Moderator: <Garry> to <Moderator>: There is
a book listed on Amazon.com called Salmon of Doubt. Is this real, and
will it be a Hitchhiker or a Dirk Gentley story?
DouglasAdams: The Salmon of Doubt
does not exist, despite the fact that Amazon.com has been doing a
roaring trade in it for months, and it'sgot some of the best reviews of
my career. It was going to be a DG novel, but I just lost the plot and
thought I needed to do a bit of mental crop rotation. Hence the
Moderator: <Lambie> to <Moderator>: does mr
adams feel he is in competition with other authors, such as terry
practchett, for the sci fi/surrealism market?
DouglasAdams: No. I just like to
plow my own furrow, which is why I never read anything by anybody I ever
get compared to.
Moderator: <Leovinus> to <Moderator>: What
kinds of guitars do you play?
Moderator: (/msg Moderator with questions for Douglas
Moderator: (chatters using our java chat client can
just click "moderator")
DouglasAdams: Mostly acoustic. I
have a Martin D28, HD28, J28, OM28 and an 00. I have a taylor 12 string
(A88? I think), a couple of Santa Cruz GC guitars, a Collins, an
Ovation, also a Fender Start and a couple of Gib Les Pauls and a Jerry
Jones and a Steinberger headless. One or two others.
Moderator: <redfender> to <Moderator>: What
was it like playing guitar with Pink Floyd, and whether or not you know
any 'insider information' behind the Pubilus legend?
DouglasAdams: What was it like?
Well, I can see why they do it. I don'
DouglasAdams: don't know anything
about the Publius thing. Whatever the truth it wasn't very interesting.
The music was better.
Moderator: <Krytn2x4b> to <Moderator>: What
is the favorite character that you've created?
DouglasAdams: Tough one. I really
don't know. Slartibartfast I think.
Moderator: <bobshrimp> to <Moderator>: what
was sent to earth in "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe"?
DouglasAdams: Margaret Thatcher
and Ronal Reagan.
Moderator: <Oscar> to <Moderator>: what's
happening with the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy web page...
DouglasAdams: Page? Page! One of
TDV's plans is to create the actual thing in real life. But as of now we
need a lot, lot, lot more resources than we can curretnly muster.
Moderator: <redfender> to <Moderator>:
Speaking of the BBC, how would you describe your relationship with the
management? Have you approved of the projects that they've made with
you and of your work so far?
DouglasAdams: Well, the BBC isn't
a thing, it's a bunch of people. Some I have good relationships with,
others less good. Like on the radio I had a very good relationship with
Geoffrey Perkins, and on TV I had a, well, less good relationship with
Moderator: <SelenatheDeadSinger> to
<Moderator>: what was your family's reaction to your big success
DouglasAdams: The usual. It'll
all end in tears.
Moderator: <Eraser16> to <Moderator>: Where
do you get inspiration for your stories?
DouglasAdams: A mail order
company in Indianapolis.
Moderator: <gelf> to <Moderator>: Who do
you watch/read/listen to for entertainment?
DouglasAdams: I read a great deal
of science - evolution theory, consciousness theory etc. Very few
novels, though I admire Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine a great deal more than
most 'literary' novelists. I tend not to get to the movies that much but
then go and see 5 or 6 movies in one day.
DouglasAdams: TV I don't watch
that much, except just recently when they started a comedy cable channel
in the UK which I watch every night I go to bed. Cheers, Frasier,
Roseanne, Ellen, and my own personal favourite, Grace under Fire. Brett
Butler is the sexiest woman on TV, alongside Helen Hunt.
Moderator: <LSky2> to <Moderator>: What
kind of game is Starship Titanic? (platform, RPG, first-person, etc.)
DouglasAdams: First person,
gorgeous graphics environment with a very highly advanced conversation
engine which is unique in the medium.
Moderator: <Gatewayy> to <Moderator>: What
is the plot for the Starship titanic CD_ROM
DouglasAdams: Complicated, I
mean. Oh, and funny.
Moderator: <Krytn2x4b> to <Moderator>: Will
there be a sequal to Starship Titanic if it does well?
DouglasAdams: I hope not.
Moderator: <arwen> to <Moderator>: How did
it feel like writing someone else's autobiography (Graham Chapman's A
DouglasAdams: About as strange
ans anything else to do with Graham.
Moderator: <nightshade> to <Moderator>:
Have become accustomed to all the fan-dom of your works, or do
encounters like these still surprize you?
DouglasAdams: I guess I get
accustomed to the slight schizophrenic thing of being a normal person
with a normal home and normal friends who just happens to have a gaggle
of frenzied fans. Hey ho. It's just normal.
Moderator: <dragon> to <Moderator>: what
can you tell us about star ship that might help us with the game
DouglasAdams: Ask the bots. Talk
Moderator: <daddysgirl> to <Moderator>:
Which are you more fond of the television programs or the radio
DouglasAdams: Radio by a very
Moderator: <InvisigothGypsy> to
<Moderator>: Please answer something once and for all... Did
everyone *really* die at the end of Mostly Harmless?
DouglasAdams: What do you mean,
"really"? This a novel for Chrissake, and a science fiction
novel. In fact a comedy science fiction novel. I don't know where you
get your reality from, obviously out of a different can than I
Moderator: <pointman> to <Moderator>: Did
science fiction inspire you when you were young. And give some examples
Moderator: Only time for a few more questions, so
please send your final questions now.
DouglasAdams: I guess that when I
was at school I read quite a lot of SF. In fact I can remember starting
when I was in the school sanitorium for a few days and found a stack of
SF novels. The ones I liked were the obvious classics - Asimov, Clark
etc. I'd also like to mention Robert Sheckley, whom many people later
pointed out to me. He was doing really wonderfully good SF comedy before
I was. And better, I'm afraid. He's brilliant.
Moderator: <ikcaj> to <Moderator>: how long
did ST take from concept to store shelves?
DouglasAdams: Well, concept is
hard to say. I first wrote something about Starship Titanic in Life the
Universe and Everything in 1981 1982? But actual development of the
game? Two years. Way too long!
Moderator: <TimeLord> to <Moderator>: did
you enjoy working on Doctor Who?
DouglasAdams: Yes I did. I had
been a fan when I was at school - it started in 1963 when I was 11 and
loved it (In the UK it's a kid's program...) It was fun to do for a
year, but that was quite enough.
Moderator: <Pooka> to <Moderator>: Any
plans for a UK signing tour?
Moderator: <Oscar> to <Moderator>: when
will you find an excuse to come out to asutralia (and visit far north
DouglasAdams: I'll be in Sydney
for just three or four days - sadly - from 11th - 14th of May. I'm
really disappointed it had to be exactly then because I really love
Australia and was hoping for a long visit, but it's a quickie I'm
afraid. I love what I know of far north queensland (well, P Douglas is
as far nother as I've been). I have a fantasy about living there one
day, but my wife's family comes from Queensland so she won't hear of
Moderator: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy
US tour to chat with us. Any final thoughts for the group?
DouglasAdams: Buy the game.
Moderator: For more information on Starship Titanic,
Moderator: Fans of Douglas Adams should also check out
http://www.tdv.com, his company website.
Moderator: Douglas will be signing books Monday in San
Fransisco at the Virgin Megastore downtown from 7-9pm. And Thursday in
Denver at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Cherry Creek from 4-6pm. And
next Saturday at CompUSA in Austin, Texas, from 11am-1pm.
Moderator: We're giving away autographed copies of the
ST game at www.scifi.com/starshiptitanic.
Moderator: Transcirpts will be online shortly at
DouglasAdams: thanks everybody.
Moderator: We'll now make the room unmoderated.
NoGood: bye !