Thread: Ask Eric
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Old 12-01-09, 00:20   #1
Squamula
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hey everybody, this is Eric Lindstrom.

Yes, my secret lurker account name is Squamula. Justin can confirm this if he is so inclined. You can see that I joined about the time I started as Creative Director on Underworld, three years ago, and have never posted until now. This is mostly because I was told not to -- PR is a tightly controlled element -- but there were other reasons, too.

Because I am no longer an employee of Crystal Dynamics (yes, I was one of the 30) I am now free to post. as long as I don't break any of the usual confidentiality agreements, which I won't. I wasn't going to post, but there is too much being said that I don't feel is right to go unanswered. Although I haven't read anything bad about me personally, some of the misinformation out there can lead to conclusions that I have lied about one thing or another, and I don't want that impression to stand.

A number of people here on TRF are claiming to be employees or ex-employees of Crystal. I do not know who any of them are or if any of them are legit. I suspect some of them are. But even those who might be authentic are posting incorrect information. I don't think they are doing it maliciously...it's just that in any office you can ask someone what the story is about something and part of what they tell you is wrong, often just because info gets garbled as it gets passed around.

The main thing I wanted to clear up is about DLC. Everything I have ever said about this is true. I don't work for Crystal anymore so I have no reason to lie, nor does my severance agreement tell me to do so. I can tell you without doubt that the content of DLC was absolutely not held back from Underworld for the purpose of selling later down the road. I am one of only three people who knows this for sure because not only were there only three of us in the room at the time the decision was made, I was the one who made it. We had a production issue that was going to make us miss our ship date -- which we could not do -- and I needed to find a way to cut enough days from the schedule in a manner that would not rip a hole in the game that would take time to sew up. It was my idea to cut what was cut, and I did hope that it would one day be made available as a download mission, because there was great content already conceived and half completed, but on the day we made the cut, it was made purely for Underworld production reasons. Even if I was told on that day that we would never ever make a downloabable level, I still would have had to cut it. Anyone who says otherwise is speculating or heard someone else speculating, and is incorrect.

I am willing to answer other questions about my five years on Tomb Raider, now that I am free to post on TRF, but don't expect any gossip. I'll answer anything I can that doesn't violate anyone's privacy -- including the company's -- or my confidentiality agreements, which all employees and ex-employees are bound by whether they get riffed or quit. But that still leaves plenty -- magazines tend to ask the same basic questions -- they aren't interested or aware of the level of detail fans are.

For those who think that I'm going to lie and shuffle and whatnot because I want to keep my relationships with Crystal intact, all I can say is that there's no convincing people like that. They don't believe in anonymous sources, because they might be fake, and anyone who reveals their name must not be telling the truth because of fear of retribution...Catch-22. But this deoesn't apply to me because I don't lie (though, like any human, I can be accused of unintential exaggeration) and if there is something I can't reveal for some reason, I say nothing. I don't make up lies; I just don't answer. That's how I've been since you all first heard from me, and that's how I'll continue to be.

So, fire away. But don't ask me about any future plans of the company or the franchise, and keep it clean, folks.

Cheers,

Eric
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