Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | War Stories: Serious Sam almost didn’t happen—until crates saved the day

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

die when i kill you —

Video: Publishers ignored it until Old Man Murray gave the demo a rare positive review.

Video shot by Nikola Mosettig and edited by Lee Manansala.

Click here for transcript

. Ars would also like to extend special thanks to Croteam members Davor Hunski and Damjan Mravunac, who were instrumental in helping this video project come together.

Welcome to another edition of “War Stories,” where we coerce developers into talking about problems that almost kept them from making the games that made them famous. We’ve previously chatted with the likes of Ultima‘s Lord British, Thief’s Paul Neurath, and Stardock‘s Brad Wardell. Today’s video takes us across the Atlantic to Eastern Europe, to the offices of Croatian developer Croteam—the folks who brought us the classic FPS Serious Sam.

Serious Sam is a fast-paced explosion-fest, filled with Duke Nukem-esque one-liners and gibs galore. Released way back in 2001, the first game spawned a bloody dynasty that continues to this day and even has a new entry coming next year—hopefully).

It seems obvious in hindsight that the game would be a hit, but Croteam had a difficult time bringing it to market—in fact, although the developers spent a lot of time crafting and polishing a single-level demo that showed off the best they had to offer, they couldn’t even get a publisher to call them back.

Salvation (and, eventually, publisher dollars) came from an unlikely source:

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