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Mortal Kombat X

Discussing Mortal Kombat X and all things Kontemporary to it.
Page of 2

Mick-LuciferPosted: 12/11/2016 07:13 AMStatus ::
In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Way back in July, we learned resident Sound Designer Brian Chard would be parting ways with NetherRealm Studios.

For more than a decade, Chard has helped shape the worlds of Mortal Kombat through sound and spoken word. Since MK: Deception, he's been responsible for directing some of fandoms most combed moments. From Konquest Mode dialogues, to profound Mortal Kombat X Story Mode and Fight Intros -- Chard has helped give once silent arcade kombatants a voice.

Some months ago, Mortal Kombat Online contacted Mr. Chard to discuss Mortal Kombat X, his career at Midway and NetherRealm, and his recent departure from the developer. We're now pleased to present the complete conversation, which illuminates the development process, and Chard's candid thoughts on a variety of topics.

[MK Online]: We always start the same way. In your own words: Who are you and what is your connection to Mortal Kombat?
[Brian Chard]: I'm Brian Chard, and I worked almost 14 years at Midway/Netherrealm. My title changed several times over the years, but basically I was a sound designer. The first MK I worked on was [Shaolin Monks]; my last was MKX. I wrote; cast/directed actors, recorded/implemented VO; and created the odd sound effect or musical bit.

How did you originally come to join the Mortal Kombat development team?
I was actually hired to write and design the commentary for NFL Blitz Pro. Midway's audio dept. was a Central Group; ie, we weren't members of any one team, but worked on all projects. Having said that, each team kinda had its go-to senior audio guy, with Dan Forden being the MK Guy. I helped him out on MKD. Given my writing background, he suggested to John Vogel and co. that I help write/edit the mission/NPC dialog. I also recorded a lot of the VO. Those two aspects of the sound design sort of became my job going forward.

How aware of Mortal Kombat were you before joining?
I'd only played MK a couple of times before working at Midway. I liked it, but I wasn't much of a fighting game player. I didn't even know MK was made by Midway. or that Midway was here in Chicago. [smiles]

How would you compare working under Midway and Warner Brothers?
Becoming part of WB was definitely a boost when it happened. Anxiety over losing our jobs was gone; MK9 was underway and looking/feeling good; we soon moved into fancy new offices... But there's a dark side to working for a big corporation. Midway didn't feel like one; WB definitely did, eventually.

What were some of your earliest MK experiences?
I made some (crappy) sound effects for Shaolin Monks very soon after I started at Midway. My first extended time on MK was on Deception. We didn't hire many real actors back then, so a lot of what I did involved taking whatever mission dialog Vogel and co. had written that day and grabbing someone out of the hallway to record it. I also remember copy-editing the Endings for MKD -- which was a challenge, because I didn't know the lore at all. You might ask why I would need to know Jade's relationship to Tanya in order to decide whether or not to use a comma, but it definitely came into play. [smiles]

There wasn't much communication as to the overall approach to the game or Konquest mode. It felt like it was being made up as we went along, and that we were seriously behind schedule. Those are my memories of it.

Armageddon and MK vs DC really changed the presentation style of the games. What kind of changes were happening in your work?
I wasn't part of any initial conversations about either MKA or MKDC's stories. I'm also not sure how MKDC's story mode evolved. I wasn't originally going to be working on MKDC. I didn't participate in its story writing or design. The biggest twist I remember was when Ed decided he wanted real time transitions into/out of the fights in story mode for MKDC. That involved taking scenes that were already recorded, and in some cases finished, and chopping off the last line for the transition. That worked okay most of the time, but not every time. Some scrambling for alt takes or rerecords resulted.

Do you have any thoughts about MK vs DC and that time?
I've loved DC all my life, as have most of the team, so I was just happy to work in that universe. I was also glad we weren't using people from the hallways as voice actors anymore. [smiles] There's a misconception that MKDC was a failure. It sold well, despite some fans' feelings toward it. I wasn't aware of any financial decisions driving its creation.

The Warner Brothers era brought a lot of established voice actors into NetherRealm's games. What was that like?
It was a huge leap forward in quality, obviously. From MKD to MKA we started moving away from using employees as voice actors. For MKDC we took larger step by hiring a Hollywood casting agency and auditioning Hollywood talent. Injustice was the first game for which WB suggested specific actors to use. Which was fine with us. Many of our choices were on their lists. Working with the best voice actors in the business was a dream. I fully support them in their current strike. A victory for the only organized labor in our industry is a victory for all of us.

A lot of talent reprise roles from other media in Injustice, but Mortal Kombat was somewhat a blank slate. How did NetherRealm go about casting voice talent for Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat X?
The casting was primarily done by Dominic Cianciolo (Cinematics Director) and me. MK9 had begun prior to our being acquired by WB, but we'd already decided to cast in Hollywood, probably with some prodding at the higher level by WB. We hired a casting agent, who recorded and sent us auditions. For MKX we largely drew upon the pool of actors we'd worked with/learned of during MK9 and Injustice. There were no auditions, but with specific actors already in mind, plus game footage on YouTube, and audio on various VA websites, it didn't seem as necessary.

Do you have any favourite voices in MK and MKX? Anyone you think worked exceptionally well, or some that didn't quite work?
Perfomance-wise, there are certainly ones that were stronger than others. [T]he fact that we kept so many actors the same across multiple titles should tell you our overall opinion of them. To me, Patrick Seitz is Scorpion, Richard Epcar is Raiden, et al, just as much as Tara Strong is Harley Quinn. Not that those who were replaced were necessarily bad: MKX called for a more mature sounding Sonya and Johnny than in MK9, for instance. And we couldn't get a hold of our MKDC/MK9 Sub-Zero actor! But when Steve Blum is your backup, you're gonna be okay. [smiles]

The worst dud I remember was a guy who had to have been stoned at the session. I had to give him line reads a word at a time, and he still couldn't get 'em right... [smiles] Voice-wise, if you dislike the processing for a certain character, it's likely my fault. [smiles]

Interactive character intros were a very popular part of MKX. How did they come about?
I'm not sure who originally conceived the Intros. They started as the next step in the evolution of Injustice's Clashes, which were received really well. I oversaw the writing, which was done in-house. I wrote probably 60ish percent of the Intros and rewrote others' work as needed.

They were awesome! Was there a conceited effort to cram more throwback and character references into MKX intros?
No, that was all my doing. After writing hundreds of them I looked for inspiration anywhere I could find it. I thought the fans would like the references. Some stuff I just threw in to mess with them. [smiles]

Do you have any particular favourite character intros or dialogues?
I'm pretty proud of most of them. They weren't all winners but the quality was pretty high, as evidenced by how many views the compilations have on YouTube. In general Johnny's and Cassie's were the most fun to write. I know it's not been that long ago, but I'm already starting to forget individual intros...

What brought about the timeline reboot in 2011? Do you think it was a good thing for Mortal Kombat?
I was not at all excited about doing a reboot. I remember coming back from the holidays a day later than the others on the newly christened story team, full of energy and ideas, only to be told: "We're doing a retelling of MK1-3." It had already been decided. But Ed was right in choosing to do it. It was exactly what we needed to do at that time.

Any regrets about things that were lost or changed during MK2011?
No. It was a pretty rude awakening to find out how angry some fans were about the changes, though. I honestly hadn't expected it. People probably want me to say I regret us killing all those characters at the end... I do regret the way that scene turned out. For technical reasons it was the very last scene to be completed, and we didn't have the time to do it the way it needed to be done. What else...

Cyber Sub was an idea Ed sparked to early on, so that was a done deal. It was also Ed's direction that the story be told from Raiden's perspective. And that we keep certain specific plot points the same as in the original games, but change others. What was changed was up to us, but he wanted some changes. You can blame me for the rewriting of Mileena's origin. I'm pretty sure that was my idea.

How did you feel about working on Injustice?
I loved it. It was better than working on MKDC because we could focus on the DC characters, and we could pretty much do with them as we pleased.

You could feel that everyone in the building was into Injustice. Story-wise, to have DC and WB get behind such a departure as Evil Dictator Superman was exciting. And then to have the lore enhanced by such a high quality comic... Tom Taylor's brilliant.

Is there a storytelling method you prefer, or you think works best?
I think an open world might be how to dive deepest into the lore. I would've liked to have been allowed to write the story we wanted to write, and then figure out story mode's gameplay around it. Story Mode hasn't evolved past what it is now because it's first and foremost a training mode. Some fans don't get that, but it's the answer to most questions about why things are the way they are. The format's limitations re: storytelling have become clear over the last couple of games.

The individual stories and rivalries characters used to have are fading in that environment. Is that a concern in development, or is focus in other areas?
This is tough to answer, because everyone's expectations of what should be highlighted are different. I remember Dominic sharing something Joss Whedon had said about how tough it was to write an Avengers story with, what was it, six or so heroes? And we have at least double that. We have 12-16 chapters, each with different protagonists who have to be the stars of their chapters, yet the chapters have to make sense together. And we have to fight in every background and against all the characters a roughly equal amount of times... And there are other rules. These rules conspire to keep exploration of any one plotline minimal.

In Mortal Kombat X there were living designs for characters never resurrected. A heavily promoted character like Goro who had no story involvement. Were there plans to address details like these?
Goro was in early drafts of the story, and on early roster lists. We were told he had to be dropped because of technical concerns. Then once the story was done we were told he'd be Day One DLC, and were asked if there were any way we could work him into the story...

The Old Liu Kang and Old Kung Lao models were a complete surprise to many of us. Had we known about them early on we might've been able to work them into the story. Or maybe persuaded the Powers that Be not to reveal those skins pre-launch. The MKX comic was another example of this kind of miscommunication. There seemed to be little communication from us to Shawn K. re: the game's story, even though it had been written before the comic. If there was communication, it wasn't from the story team... It's amazing there weren't more inconsistencies between the game and the comic.

Do you think we'll get to see Mortal Kombat explored through different game genres again soon?
Yes, I do. But I have no knowledge of anything specific.

Social media has become a monster for wild speculation, misinformation, and fan backlash. What kind of impact does it have at NetherRealm Studios? Can it really elevate a character or subject to notice? Or, as you've mentioned recently, do you think it can have the opposite effect?
It has too much of an impact in my opinion. Ed pays too much attention to the vocal minority who clog his Twitter feed. As you know, I Tweeted that fans shouldn't expect many NPCs in Injustice 2 because of all the complaining about fightable NPCs in MKX, and Ed's reaction to these complaints. On the other hand, I saw a lot of Tweets asking for Fujin as DLC and that didn't happen, so go figure... Most of the team ignores online comments, or at least they say they do. I read some occasionally because it's often the only feedback we get on what we've created. I try to remember that the opinions expressed only represent a tiny portion of our audience.

Do you think the creation of perceived problems is owed to the way the games are promoted through teases and non-traditional channels?
I know roster/background reveals pre-launch are essential to give marketing something to work with. I sometimes wish, though (and I'll bet they wish too) that Ed would play a smaller role in reveals and teases. Sometimes he says/Tweets just the right thing at just the right time; other times he gives too much away or says things that are just inaccurate. That definitely creates problems. For the fans' part, they can say anything they want without fear of their identity being revealed, so their worst nature sometimes comes out. We as a species need to evolve past that.

Switching gears: Mortal Kombat X is, at least for now, your last game in the series. What are some of the fond memories you'll take away from that game?
First and foremost, I really thought the game looked and played great. I loved that expectations for MKX were high and that it felt like we met or exceeded those expectations. For me personally, I felt like I was growing as a voice director and as a writer on MKX.

I was very pleased with the reception of the Kung Jin scene with Raiden in the story. I wrote that. I also loved the tea ceremony scene with Scorpion and Sub. Dominic [Cianciolo] wrote that.

The MKX VO sessions were fun, especially the ones later in the project, which weren't as time compressed. I was feeling comfortable with the talent and with my role. I loved that people were getting pissed during streams if the boys talked during the Intros -- that there was that level of interest in them.

What was the favourite game you worked on from the last decade and a half at NetherRealm?
Possibly Stranglehold, all things considered (which was Midway, I know). It was our first game using Unreal, which was exciting to learn. It gave sound designers a level of control over implementation that we hadn't enjoyed before, and wouldn't thereafter.

Also Injustice and MKX, because it felt like Netherrealm had cemented a reputation for quality. Which felt different than the Midway days.

Can you share your reasons for leaving? Were there any frustrations that contributed?
I could write a whole book on it. [smiles] There were many reasons, lots of long running problems that came to a head at once. But the final straw was a meeting in which it was made clear to me that the number one ability NRS and WB management valued in their employees, moreso than any track record or history they might have, was the ability to be yes-men. I realized then that I could no longer work there. Which was sad.

What's next for Brian Chard? Where can people find, follow and support your work?
I'm at Jackbox Games, where we're still flush from excitement at releasing The Jackbox Party Pack 3. Five really fun, funny games. Its reception has been great. Find out more at jackboxgames.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @bcharred.

Mortal Kombat Online again thanks Mr. Chard for talking to us. You can find many more conversations with the makers of Mortal Kombat in our Interview Archive!

Register to discuss the topics covered in the Mortal Kombat X and 3D Kombat Klassics forums/ Like and share this story and others via @MK_Online and Facebook!

frabnPosted: 12/11/2016 12:44 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Great info from Brian.

I agree with assessments, and also felt that the tea ceremony between Kuai Liang and Hanzo was a landmark milestone event for the series - in storytelling, direction and character evolution. It felt authentic and was a great nod to Asian tradition and cinema.

Well, you all got your Tremor now. Can we finally move on?
blacksaibotPosted: 12/11/2016 01:46 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Can you share your reasons for leaving? Were there any frustrations that contributed?

I could write a whole book on it. [smiles] There were many reasons, lots of long running problems that came to a head at once. But the final straw was a meeting in which it was made clear to me that the number one ability NRS and WB management valued in their employees, moreso than any track record or history they might have, was the ability to be yes-men. I realized then that I could no longer work there. Which was sad.



frabnPosted: 12/11/2016 02:23 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

blacksaibot Wrote:
Can you share your reasons for leaving? Were there any frustrations that contributed?



I could write a whole book on it. [smiles] There were many reasons, lots of long running problems that came to a head at once. But the final straw was a meeting in which it was made clear to me that the number one ability NRS and WB management valued in their employees, moreso than any track record or history they might have, was the ability to be yes-men. I realized then that I could no longer work there. Which was sad.






Which lend credence to the idea that WB has too much control over Mortal Kombat (hence the overabundance of guest characters).

What he basically revealed was that if WB goes to NRS and says "Ed, listen - in MKXI, we're aiming for an E rating. No more violence, and the entire game needs to be a mouth piece for social justice warriors and political correctness", they basically have zero input into that decision and must abide by their decree. Very disheartening.

And while the example I gave above is extreme, it DOES mean that we will continue to see:

1) Regular Roster slots reserved for Day 1 DLC (Disc-Locked Content, not downloadable)
2) Too many guest characters
3) A massive seasonal DLC platform resulting in a game that is barely 50% complete upon release
4) An increased amount of "online only" content
5) Content locked behind a pay wall

I hope that I am wrong.

Well, you all got your Tremor now. Can we finally move on?
blacksaibotPosted: 12/11/2016 05:34 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

frabn Wrote:
I hope that I am wrong.


For the sake of NRS's future, I hope you're wrong too... but I know you're not (at least 100%).
A. I just hope WB has some respect for NRS to know what they're doing with their fan base.
B. I hope NRS has enough balls to stand up when needed.
]{0MBATPosted: 12/11/2016 06:58 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

This was a great interview. Really nice work!

Good information, interesting seeing his perspective, I've always been a fan of the story and while Tobias's original vision is always going to be IMO the best, it's nice to see other takes on it. It was good to get into his head and see how things actually got done, especially in the "bloody popcorn" era!

KenshiMaster16Posted: 12/11/2016 08:09 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Well, about the NPCs getting axed then I agree, Ed is making a bad decision. I feel like most enjoyed their inclusion and it was a vocal few that whined about them not being DLC for months on end. It fleshed the Story Mode out, made it feel more like a real universe and that the story impacted said universe instead of just a handful of characters. About characters the majority wanted being overlooked, I also agree Ed tends to not listen. We know now these licensed characters are figured out way in advance so it was really just coincidence so many asked for the likes of Alien, ect. But when you skip on characters like Noob, Fujin and others who were highly requested for the likes of Tanya and Bo (even though I love those characters), you know somethings up.

frabnPosted: 12/11/2016 08:53 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

What he said about Ed and how he reacts to social media is particularly telling.

This finally validates the claim that I have stood by for ages regarding Tremor. Ed wasn't saying "Let's give the fans what they want" but was more like "FINE! Here's your fucking Tremor. Happy now?" and the Tremorons saw it as a victory and as validation for their cause. Ed was bombarded by it constantly and got sick of it, whereas with Fujin and Sareena...he probably just doesn't care. He doesn't read the tweets that often, but the ones he did read were usually pertaining to whining about Tremor. Now, he doesn't care enough about the characters of Fujin and Sareena enough to include them, so they won't get the "Tremor treatment".

The Tremor fanatics were vocal but they were largely a minority - the petition they provided as the "reason Tremor got in" has since proven to have been doctored with mass-voting from a small group of individuals. It was on reddit somewhere.

Also LOVE the fact that he blew the comic book nonsense wide open - again, as I have said from the beginning - the comic is BS. Kittelson paid no attention to the story that was already written, or NRS didn't provide enough of it to him, or NRS/WB gave him too much creative control - in the end, you have a comic that one of the senior devs on MKX says "The story was complete BS" (in more descript words).

Well, you all got your Tremor now. Can we finally move on?
YellowLedbetterPosted: 12/11/2016 11:19 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Very enlightening interview.

Two things I put in highlight and that actually confort me that a dev knew it wasn't that ok.

First, the absurdity of MKX comics and it's ridiculous inconsistencies. Finally someone had the balls to say the lack of communication that actually led to many ridiculous facts stated as canon in a story written AFTER the game story. Unfortunately it had to be someone not inside anymore.

Sometimes it was amazing, but after some chapters it became an absolute distortion. That's all to give me hope that all that BS could finally be dumped into the grave of forgettable fan fic.

And second, those real WTF old costumes for Kung Lao and Liu Kang. If that was a what if situation, who knows. But the main appearance? I always wondered if anyone inside NRS noticed how nonsense that was.

Also, fantastic professional. Sound is a major win nowadays in MK, pretty nice effects, nice actors, very good people like Chard behind all of this. Even during Midway times I actually thought they were pretty good and well coordinated. Nice that he mentioned many contributions beyond their official roles.

Photo of White Beach in Boracay, Philippines
YellowLedbetterPosted: 12/11/2016 11:38 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

frabn Wrote:
What he said about Ed and how he reacts to social media is particularly telling.



This finally validates the claim that I have stood by for ages regarding Tremor. Ed wasn't saying "Let's give the fans what they want" but was more like "FINE! Here's your fucking Tremor. Happy now?" and the Tremorons saw it as a victory and as validation for their cause. Ed was bombarded by it constantly and got sick of it, whereas with Fujin and Sareena...he probably just doesn't care. He doesn't read the tweets that often, but the ones he did read were usually pertaining to whining about Tremor. Now, he doesn't care enough about the characters of Fujin and Sareena enough to include them, so they won't get the "Tremor treatment".



The Tremor fanatics were vocal but they were largely a minority - the petition they provided as the "reason Tremor got in" has since proven to have been doctored with mass-voting from a small group of individuals. It was on reddit somewhere.



Also LOVE the fact that he blew the comic book nonsense wide open - again, as I have said from the beginning - the comic is BS. Kittelson paid no attention to the story that was already written, or NRS didn't provide enough of it to him, or NRS/WB gave him too much creative control - in the end, you have a comic that one of the senior devs on MKX says "The story was complete BS" (in more descript words).


I absolutely agree with you about the comics, and you can't imagined how I am relieved to read this. Comics trashed Cassie/Jacqui and their relation to Outworld, distorted Erron Black, messed up Goro, ridiculously made Ermac and Mileena's relation the exact opposite of the game, Amulet = Kamidogu, Kitana killing Moloch, Reiko's story, Shujinko, and even made Onaga related to Red Dragon, simply destroying every atom of the canon.

What pissed me off at the time, and even made me stay away from the comics is that many people were blind, trying to connect dots that can't be connected, people really tried to pretend that never happened and everything was canon. Every issue was really an issue.

Now, about Ed's twitter, I partially agree with you. I actually don't know what goes through Ed's mind and how far WB messes things up (we do know WB loves to interfere when it shouldn't and give creativity where it shouldn't), but I don't think Chard actually mentioned in a way Ed could give Tremor like this. I think he means that Ed pays attention only to the twitter community, and yes, people must have flooded his feed, but I think he considers that community as some kind of 100%. So, 70% of THOSE PPL asked Tremor, so he may have given, mad or not. That's very inaccurate of him, because the world is obviously bigger than twitter, any Forum is deeper than that.

And he indeed pays too much attention there! You see, he seems to be deciding guest characters in polls, and even DC characters. I like him a lot, but this really is a bad decision IMO.

Photo of White Beach in Boracay, Philippines
JasonVPredPosted: 12/13/2016 01:41 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Actively encouraging yes-men mentalities should always be frowned upon.

... here's your Subzero, now plain zero.
PickleMendipPosted: 12/13/2016 12:56 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

This is very enlightening. I'm surprised at how candid he was about his reasons for leaving & Ed's attitude to social media.

Now, don't get me wrong, i like the MKX comics, but it's nice to see it addressed that there were inconsistencies that were looked out of place.

I admired the Kung Jin scene but the tea scene was a bit surreal even for me.
"Hi, mortal enemy."
"Hi, mortal enemy."
"Tea?"
"Oh, yes thanks."
"Sugar?"
"Give me any sugar and i'll rip your fucking head off."
"Just as well i didn't offer you the coffee."
LOLOLOLOLOL

STATE FED LIES CHARM EMPTY EYES. Anon.
Tetra_VegaPosted: 12/13/2016 01:14 PMStatus ::


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Nationality::Canada
RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

JasonVPred Wrote:
Actively encouraging yes-men mentalities should always be frowned upon.


Yes siree...

Interesting, informative read. I can' think of anything at the moment that hasn't been adressed by the above posts.
Just wondering what this means for/how it affects the future of MK. Not a major loss, but still a loss. That yes man remark is the most disturbing part though...



Ka-Tra

13 YEARS! ^[2004-10 Komics Sig by Siklooted, tyvm]^ [2012-15 Komics *NEW 11/24/2015*] "Circling Vulture, Laughing Hyena" "All good things, in moderation..." "Mean what you say, and say what you mean. You never know, I could be a Djinn..." True story, it happened to a friend of a friend of mine... EVERYBODY!
frabnPosted: 12/13/2016 11:24 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

YellowLedbetter Wrote:
frabn Wrote:
What he said about Ed and how he reacts to social media is particularly telling.





This finally validates the claim that I have stood by for ages regarding Tremor. Ed wasn't saying "Let's give the fans what they want" but was more like "FINE! Here's your fucking Tremor. Happy now?" and the Tremorons saw it as a victory and as validation for their cause. Ed was bombarded by it constantly and got sick of it, whereas with Fujin and Sareena...he probably just doesn't care. He doesn't read the tweets that often, but the ones he did read were usually pertaining to whining about Tremor. Now, he doesn't care enough about the characters of Fujin and Sareena enough to include them, so they won't get the "Tremor treatment".





The Tremor fanatics were vocal but they were largely a minority - the petition they provided as the "reason Tremor got in" has since proven to have been doctored with mass-voting from a small group of individuals. It was on reddit somewhere.





Also LOVE the fact that he blew the comic book nonsense wide open - again, as I have said from the beginning - the comic is BS. Kittelson paid no attention to the story that was already written, or NRS didn't provide enough of it to him, or NRS/WB gave him too much creative control - in the end, you have a comic that one of the senior devs on MKX says "The story was complete BS" (in more descript words).




I absolutely agree with you about the comics, and you can't imagined how I am relieved to read this. Comics trashed Cassie/Jacqui and their relation to Outworld, distorted Erron Black, messed up Goro, ridiculously made Ermac and Mileena's relation the exact opposite of the game, Amulet = Kamidogu, Kitana killing Moloch, Reiko's story, Shujinko, and even made Onaga related to Red Dragon, simply destroying every atom of the canon.



What pissed me off at the time, and even made me stay away from the comics is that many people were blind, trying to connect dots that can't be connected, people really tried to pretend that never happened and everything was canon. Every issue was really an issue.



Now, about Ed's twitter, I partially agree with you. I actually don't know what goes through Ed's mind and how far WB messes things up (we do know WB loves to interfere when it shouldn't and give creativity where it shouldn't), but I don't think Chard actually mentioned in a way Ed could give Tremor like this. I think he means that Ed pays attention only to the twitter community, and yes, people must have flooded his feed, but I think he considers that community as some kind of 100%. So, 70% of THOSE PPL asked Tremor, so he may have given, mad or not. That's very inaccurate of him, because the world is obviously bigger than twitter, any Forum is deeper than that.



And he indeed pays too much attention there! You see, he seems to be deciding guest characters in polls, and even DC characters. I like him a lot, but this really is a bad decision IMO.


Yup. And honestly in the end I really enjoyed the re-imagining of Tremor. They took the biggest throwaway character ever with the most undeserved fanbase in history and turned him into one of the most interesting characters on the roster - designwise and playwise - even if his ending was fanboy jerkoff pandering garbage.

But in the end, yes - Ed takes way too much from Twitter. And he tends to only respond to/acknowledge the dumb shit that people throw his way, whereas people with great things to say are often ignored.

Well, you all got your Tremor now. Can we finally move on?
MacyG88Posted: 12/14/2016 12:56 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

frabn Wrote:
YellowLedbetter Wrote:
frabn Wrote:
What he said about Ed and how he reacts to social media is particularly telling.







This finally validates the claim that I have stood by for ages regarding Tremor. Ed wasn't saying "Let's give the fans what they want" but was more like "FINE! Here's your fucking Tremor. Happy now?" and the Tremorons saw it as a victory and as validation for their cause. Ed was bombarded by it constantly and got sick of it, whereas with Fujin and Sareena...he probably just doesn't care. He doesn't read the tweets that often, but the ones he did read were usually pertaining to whining about Tremor. Now, he doesn't care enough about the characters of Fujin and Sareena enough to include them, so they won't get the "Tremor treatment".







The Tremor fanatics were vocal but they were largely a minority - the petition they provided as the "reason Tremor got in" has since proven to have been doctored with mass-voting from a small group of individuals. It was on reddit somewhere.







Also LOVE the fact that he blew the comic book nonsense wide open - again, as I have said from the beginning - the comic is BS. Kittelson paid no attention to the story that was already written, or NRS didn't provide enough of it to him, or NRS/WB gave him too much creative control - in the end, you have a comic that one of the senior devs on MKX says "The story was complete BS" (in more descript words).






I absolutely agree with you about the comics, and you can't imagined how I am relieved to read this. Comics trashed Cassie/Jacqui and their relation to Outworld, distorted Erron Black, messed up Goro, ridiculously made Ermac and Mileena's relation the exact opposite of the game, Amulet = Kamidogu, Kitana killing Moloch, Reiko's story, Shujinko, and even made Onaga related to Red Dragon, simply destroying every atom of the canon.





What pissed me off at the time, and even made me stay away from the comics is that many people were blind, trying to connect dots that can't be connected, people really tried to pretend that never happened and everything was canon. Every issue was really an issue.





Now, about Ed's twitter, I partially agree with you. I actually don't know what goes through Ed's mind and how far WB messes things up (we do know WB loves to interfere when it shouldn't and give creativity where it shouldn't), but I don't think Chard actually mentioned in a way Ed could give Tremor like this. I think he means that Ed pays attention only to the twitter community, and yes, people must have flooded his feed, but I think he considers that community as some kind of 100%. So, 70% of THOSE PPL asked Tremor, so he may have given, mad or not. That's very inaccurate of him, because the world is obviously bigger than twitter, any Forum is deeper than that.





And he indeed pays too much attention there! You see, he seems to be deciding guest characters in polls, and even DC characters. I like him a lot, but this really is a bad decision IMO.




Yup. And honestly in the end I really enjoyed the re-imagining of Tremor. They took the biggest throwaway character ever with the most undeserved fanbase in history and turned him into one of the most interesting characters on the roster - designwise and playwise - even if his ending was fanboy jerkoff pandering garbage.



But in the end, yes - Ed takes way too much from Twitter. And he tends to only respond to/acknowledge the dumb shit that people throw his way, whereas people with great things to say are often ignored.

I agree about Tremor. When I heard he actually made the roster, I groaned. But to my surprise, he turned out to be a really cool character.

I hope he isn't yet another one-off fighter. I REALLY want to see him return.

All hail ninja Ben Grimm!

redmanPosted: 12/14/2016 07:05 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Great interview. It is kinda depressing in a way to see that Brian felt he was improving as a voice director and writer during MKX only for that to be the last MK game that he worked on. The character introductions are one of my favorite implementations in MKX, and though I feel like some of the writing and dialogue could've been improved, it did its job well enough. I especially love all of the references and nods to the original timeline, even if they were just a slight acknowledgment.

oraclePosted: 12/15/2016 08:22 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

What an illuminating interview.

Shame he's not with the NRS/WB anymore because his sound design was fantastic, in fact it had become one of the things I most looked forward too. And those intros/clashes? Masterpieces tbh.

He'll definitely be missed.

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lastfighter89Posted: 12/17/2016 05:31 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Not to be a jerk, but I already knew this stuff and I am not even an insider!!!!


I want to give Shawn Kittelsen some credit... He had to work with a very old version of the original script and was forced to put as many characters as possible in the comics. Again, WB say_so!

I can tell another thing, Ed Boon currently is tired, he wants to work on something else, He is burnt out by MK and fighting games in general, so Injustice was just a brief relieve.
During his Midway days he was allowed to give his input in other games like The Suffering or Psi-Ops. WB wants MK to become just a quick cash-in.
I wouldn't ne surprised if Ed would soon pick his "heir" and take more of a backseat role.

Of course you are free to call me bullshit, but you heard froim me first!!!

shrairyuwarriorPosted: 12/18/2016 01:32 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

sucks about Fujin and Sareena. yeah the comic was fun really not everyone read it so it not conneting isnt a big deal for me. and if he says Mileenas changes are on him them boo, lol. i really wish there wasnt a reboot. though now i really want MK 11. hope it has some cool characters. looking Forward to injustice as well

PSN:athlos23
MindStrikesPosted: 12/18/2016 12:44 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

The SFX were really good and deffenitly an improvement. Never been a fan of how the latest MK games have been written. So maybe this is a good thing? But than again, idk what WB has in mind.

I hope that Brian Chard's leaving, leads us to have a better written story for the Mortal Kombat series. My wish is that this gives John Tobias the oppertunity to write for Mortal Kombat again.

lastfighter89 Wrote:During his Midway days he was allowed to give his input in other games like The Suffering or Psi-Ops. WB wants MK to become just a quick cash-in.

I used to like both the suffering and psi ops alot. Im curious to know what parts were Boon's input in both games. And i hope youre wrong about Ed. Boon being tired to work on MK. As he is one of the creative minds that should not take a step back.

lastfighter89Posted: 12/18/2016 07:43 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

MindStrikes Wrote:
The SFX were really good and deffenitly an improvement. Never been a fan of how the latest MK games have been written. So maybe this is a good thing? But than again, idk what WB has in mind.



I hope that Brian Chard's leaving, leads us to have a better written story for the Mortal Kombat series. My wish is that this gives John Tobias the oppertunity to write for Mortal Kombat again.




lastfighter89 Wrote:During his Midway days he was allowed to give his input in other games like The Suffering or Psi-Ops. WB wants MK to become just a quick cash-in.



I used to like both the suffering and psi ops alot. Im curious to know what parts were Boon's input in both games. And i hope youre wrong about Ed. Boon being tired to work on MK. As he is one of the creative minds that should not take a step back.



He gave suggestions to the teams behind Both games.
He is even credited due to his long experience in the industry.


Ed Boon was very talented in programming but he never was a true creative mind. The characters, the lore, the setting and almost every thing was just Tobias and Vogel creativity.
Ed was just a programmer with great gameplay ideas that he didn't know how to put in work.


In the latest years he was the ace in the hole of Midway and aims to have the same role in WB gaming division.
Once he'll get a strategist/directive role he will leave gaming for sure.


mattteoPosted: 01/05/2017 05:19 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Jeez.....I kind of hate all the work Brian Chard has done for MK.

I hate the fact that he changed Mileena's backstory. Although that could be explained by there having been several Mileena clones throughout history. One that trained with Kitana when she was a kid, others just recently made by Shang Tsung. But it would also mean that Kitana was brainwashed in order to forget her childhood/past. Jeez....they should have just respected the canon first timeline.

Then he says that he is most proud of the Johnny Cage and Cassie intros. Man, these were some of the most blatantly immature, infantile pieces of dialogue I have ever seen and they were so bad that they made other characters look bad just so that the player would like the Cages.


Brian Chard only began working on the scripts for MK9 and MKX (he only handled the sound parts in Deception). Actually, the best writing in the games' story was for Deadly Alliance, Deception and Armageddon. After that, the story became a clusterf**k of epic proportions and I can't really appreciate a writer who contributed to that. It's now all just "original characters, American military, jobbers, feminism". What happened to the MK oriental mysticism?

I've talked to him before and he doesn't really give a rat's ass about the 3D era characters, which I love. We only had like 3 of them in the last game. He said he would have included Noob Saibot if I recall correctly and I think Kintaro too. Noob Saibot I get it, but Kintaro? Over all those 3D characters? He mentions Fujin and Sareena in this interview but I talked to him and I'm telling you: he would have rather given us 30 Jaxs and a Stryker.
He mostly appreciates the "it's ok to be gay" scene which was done for the sole purpose of getting the LGBT community to spend it's money on MK media. Kung Jin being gay is a major disappointment for me and before you accuse me of sexually discriminating, I have to point out that they're actually the ones portraying the shaolin order as being discriminative in the game. The shaolin order was loved and appreciated by all MK fans since the beginning and rightly so based on their real counterparts.

As to Shawn Kittelsen, accusing him of anything is just pure nerve. He has done a much better job and a much better story learning the lore as he went than you have done with you copy-pasted MK9 story and your MKX bomb.

So, as far as I am concerned, I'm glad Brian Chard has left the ship. I don;t know for sure that he was the reason why things were so bad lately, but it really can't mean a bad thing that he's gone.


JasonVPredPosted: 01/05/2017 06:59 PMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

mattteo Wrote:



He mostly appreciates the "it's ok to be gay" scene which was done for the sole purpose of getting the LGBT community to spend it's money on MK media. Kung Jin being gay is a major disappointment for me and before you accuse me of sexually discriminating, I have to point out that they're actually the ones portraying the shaolin order as being discriminative in the game. The shaolin order was loved and appreciated by all MK fans since the beginning and rightly so based on their real counterparts.





Raiden outright told Kung Jin it was his own self-loathing that stopped him from joining the Shaolin. The order is not portrayed as excessively discriminatory.

I will give you an example of actual prejudice in MK X's story: Tanya's recollections to D' Vorah about her kind, that implies racial/species tension. MK X did not bomb, it was more mixed when compared to the previous good games, at least in the story department: a few things scattered here and there really bugged me but other parts were amazingly executed.

... here's your Subzero, now plain zero.
MrMephistophelesPosted: 01/06/2017 12:00 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

Some interesting facts about how they make the games. There are clearly dots to connect, but MK fans have a long history of reading things so they confirm their own obsessions and twisted reality. Best ignored.

mattteo Wrote:
I've talked to him before and he doesn't really give a rat's ass about the 3D era characters, which I love. We only had like 3 of them in the last game. He said he would have included Noob Saibot if I recall correctly and I think Kintaro too. Noob Saibot I get it, but Kintaro? Over all those 3D characters? He mentions Fujin and Sareena in this interview but I talked to him and I'm telling you: he would have rather given us 30 Jaxs and a Stryker.

Oh brother. Great example of seeing what you want to see. He is on the record saying Fujin, Havik, Sareena & Khameleon, with Ashrah and Li Mei would be in MKX if it was his choice.

http://www.mortalkombatonline.com/content/forum/showmessage.cds?id=159118

frabnPosted: 01/06/2017 01:55 AMStatus ::


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RE: In Konversation: Brian Chard - Sound Designer & Writer

JasonVPred Wrote:
mattteo Wrote:





He mostly appreciates the "it's ok to be gay" scene which was done for the sole purpose of getting the LGBT community to spend it's money on MK media. Kung Jin being gay is a major disappointment for me and before you accuse me of sexually discriminating, I have to point out that they're actually the ones portraying the shaolin order as being discriminative in the game. The shaolin order was loved and appreciated by all MK fans since the beginning and rightly so based on their real counterparts.









Raiden outright told Kung Jin it was his own self-loathing that stopped him from joining the Shaolin. The order is not portrayed as excessively discriminatory.



I will give you an example of actual prejudice in MK X's story: Tanya's recollections to D' Vorah about her kind, that implies racial/species tension.

MK X did not bomb, it was more mixed when compared to the previous good games, at least in the story department: a few things scattered here and there really bugged me but other parts were amazingly executed.



The Shaolin order in the MK universe is based largely on a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Tibetan interpretations of Buddhism. Chinese influence is the heaviest, followed by Tibetan, then Japanese. Historically in all 3 interpretations of Buddhism, homosexuality is tolerated if not accepted, but the modern Dalai Lama of Tibet frowns upon homosexuality and all sexual practices outside of standard penile-vaginal intercourse.

With Tibetan Buddhism being the most largely recognized interpretation, it is likely that the idea of the Shaolin monks not being tolerant of Kung Jin's sexual orientation is due to the influence of modern Tibetan Buddhism. However, Raiden does make it clear that it's Kung Jin's own self-loathing, and not his sexual orientation, that is his ultimate obstacle to joining the order.

Contrary to this, dialogue between Liu Kang and Kung Jin suggest that Liu at least does NOT condone Kung Jin's sexual orientation.

Well, you all got your Tremor now. Can we finally move on?
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