My interview with Kevin Lambert, Lead Programmer of TRON 2.0

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My interview with Kevin Lambert, Lead Programmer of TRON 2.0

Post by TronFAQ »



My interview with the Lead Programmer of TRON 2.0 and Designer of the Light Cycles experience, Kevin Lambert, for the 20th Anniversary of TRON 2.0.

You'll have to pardon me for constantly stumbling over my words, I was nervous during the entire interview.

Also did my best to clean up the audio. I don't have professional recording equipment, just a cheap headset with a microphone. Removed as much as I could of clicks, pops, hiss, breathing, clipping, and so on. But there was only so much I could do, and the final result definitely isn't perfect. You can still expect some distracting noise.

I can't thank Kevin enough for agreeing to do this. I'd like to try interviewing other Monolith Productions staff – who worked on TRON 2.0 – in the future, too.

I also want to thank DaveTRON (Senior Manager of Quality Assurance at Buena Vista Interactive, at the time TRON 2.0 was released) and Andrew Borman (Digital Games Curator at the Museum of Play).

Here's a link to the written version. It's not a word-for-word transcript, but rather summarizes the interview.
http://tronfaq.blogspot.com/2023/09/int ... ember.html

- TronFAQ
  • 0:00:00 Intro
  • 0:00:10 Greetings Programs
  • 0:03:35 How Kevin started making games and his full resume
  • 0:09:58 Work at Monolith Productions prior to TRON 2.0
  • 0:13:41 Was Kevin a fan of TRON before working on TRON 2.0?
  • 0:16:30 When did development of TRON 2.0 start?
  • 0:17:38 TRON Killer App was the original name for TRON 2.0
  • 0:18:59 Was the game delayed because of LAN/Online Light Cycle Multiplayer?
    ➜ TRON 2.0 Lead Designer Frank Rooke states no Online Light Cycle gameplay at 14:03: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRc9Omencs4
    ➜ TRON 2.0 Lead Artist Matt Allen on additional Light Cycle gameplay at 16:19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhgbmm3F2u4
  • 0:22:56 Content cut from TRON 2.0
    ➜ Former Monolith Productions CEO Jace Hall on Firewall level at 9:30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C-f99FyOY0
    ➜ Jace on ENCOM systems being geometrically primitive at 12:58: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C-f99FyOY0
    ➜ Jace mentioning later systems were meant to be more sophisticated at 16:04: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C-f99FyOY0
    ➜ My interview with TRON 2.0 Disc Arena Designer Dan Miller: http://tronfaq.blogspot.com/2010/05/int ... r-dan.html
  • 0:56:46 Why no free-roaming driveable Light Cycles, Tanks, Recognizers, or Solar Sailers?
  • 0:59:07 Easter eggs in TRON 2.0
  • 1:04:48 How Monolith's earlier games scale on more modern display resolutions
  • 1:06:47 What were all the sources Monolith drew inspiration from when designing TRON 2.0?
  • 1:08:16 Did you incorporate anything into the game that resembled yourself, or Monolith Productions as an organization?
  • 1:09:50 What did you do to get the feel of Disc combat right in TRON 2.0?
  • 1:10:52 How difficult was it to implement RPG elements, such as Subroutines?
  • 1:12:13 How much of a technical challenge was the TRON glow effect lighting in TRON 2.0?
  • 1:13:35 How long did TRON 2.0 take to develop, and how much testing did you personally do yourself?
    ➜ Post-mortem by Frank Rooke that adds insight to length of development: https://web.archive.org/web/20090509175 ... hp?print=1
  • 1:14:57 Was there going to be an expansion for TRON 2.0? Would any cut content have been in it?
  • 1:19:29 Did anyone at Monolith meet the cast and crew that worked on the original TRON film?
  • 1:20:40 Did TRON himself appear in the game?
  • 1:21:41 Why was there no TRON 2.0 Soundtrack CD?
    ➜ LDSO Unofficial TRON 2.0 Soundtrack download: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/relea ... 9a/post108
  • 1:23:25 How many copies of TRON 2.0 were sold?
    ➜ My Twitter thread, estimating number of TRON 2.0 copies sold: https://twitter.com/_LDSO_/status/1563016442949165056
  • 1:25:54 How much did it cost to develop TRON 2.0?
  • 1:27:34 Was there a sequel planned to TRON 2.0 at the time? In game or film form?
    ➜ Free .PDF version of The CRPG Book, with my review of TRON 2.0 on page 336: https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/
  • 1:30:47 Thoughts about a remaster/remake with VR support?
  • 1:33:01 What are Kevin's thoughts about entries in the TRON franchise that followed TRON 2.0?
  • 1:34:48 If you could make another official TRON title, or even an unofficial TRON-like game, what would it be like?
  • 1:36:20 What does Kevin think about fan-made content for games, and TRON 2.0 in particular?
  • 1:43:33 Myself and fans thank Kevin
  • 1:45:52 Killer App Mod news for 20th Anniversary
    https://mastodon.social/@LDSO/110959566656685334
  • 1:46:12 What do Thorne's initials "J.D." stand for?
  • 1:47:02 End Of Line
  • 1:47:58 Outro
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