Benjamin "Yahtzee" Croshaw is one of the first AGS members who created a proper adventure game with AGS. He is also known for his spectacular parting from the community. "To pull a Yahtzee" is to leave the community by no apparent reason, often in a pompous or bitter-sweet manner. Yahtzee is also a popular dice game published by Milton Bradley.
Yahtzee was born in England, where Chris Jones and AGS were born. He was a big fan of both the LucasArts and Sierra adventures. During his high school years, he created a series of adventure games using Visual Basic known as the Arthur Yahtzee series.
Yahtzee was inspired by the Space Quest games to create his next series, which he called Rob Blanc. Rob Blanc I became the first proper game made with AGS, luring people from all corners of the world to try the newly-redeveloped AGS editor. Next, he released both Rob Blanc II and III, both games being of similar quality to the original Rob Blanc. Later on, he made the first Reality-on-the-Norm game, entitled Lunchtime of the Damned.
During game development of "The Vestibule" between 2000 and 2001 Yahtzee initiated a plan for Mittens which was later held but he did not attend. Yahtzee was also a driving force behind the formation of the AGS Awards, originally called the AGD Awards.
Yahtzee became focused on both his writing and a comic book based on Arthur Yahtzee known as Yahtzee Takes On The World. Yahtzee also became a well known member of the AGS community, and it got to his head. He became rather arrogant and egotistical. Some of the members of the AGS Community began to dislike him. He eventually declared that he was too busy with his writing to work on games, and left the AGS community.
Yahtzee could not stop making games that easily. He made The Trials of Odysseus Kent based on his nostalgia for the Monkey Island games. After Odysseus was well-received by the AGS community, he wrote an article explaining himself and apologizing for his earlier actions. He also claimed that would be the last game he would ever make.
He was wrong. He released a serious game, inspired by horror movies and Maniac Mansion, called 5 Days a Stranger, considered by some to be one of the best AGS Games ever made. This has gone on to have 3 sequels, making it a quadrilogy: 7 Days a Skeptic, Trilby's Notes and 6 Days a Sacrifice. All of these have a connection to the DeFoes.
6 Day Assasin is not part of this series!
Yahtzee wrote the following apology in his blog on July 10, 2002, soon after releasing The Trials of Odysseus Kent:
"After the release of Odysseus Kent I was directed to a thread on the AGS (Adventure Game Studio, natch) messageboard discussing it, which I had a look at. The basic theme was that the game was good, but I was a git.
Some exposition is probably required here. Many moons ago when I pledged allegiance to the AGS community I released a few games and they were well received, but then I became rather egotistical and ever since I gave up adventure game design (supposedly) my former friends have been slagging me off for being such a git. Well, I suppose, now I have my own blog which snatches around 6000 hits a day, I should really get something off my chest.
YAHTZEE: A SOB STORY
I was born the youngest of two brothers, as long-term readers of this site should know. For many years he was better than me in several ways, and he made sure I knew it. He got better exam results. He was stronger, and heavier, and for a while (though not anymore) taller. He played the drums, and would sometimes try and get me to attempt to play them so he could gloat over how much better than me he was.
My point is, all my life I've been overshadowed by the overbearing figure of my brother. I have never come first. Even when the family shared out boxes of chocolates I had to choose last, usually at my brother's insistence. Whenever we ate out someone else would order first. It happened for so long I started to make myself come second; I would automatically let people go in doors before me, and walking in front of them made me uneasy. Whenever I surpassed my brother in something, it was so elating that it couldn't help but affect me. When I became taller than him I found I began judging people on their height. When I became a better writer than him I found myself a natural editor; endlessly pointing out petty errors and mistakes in other people's work.
When I came to the AGS community I was new to the 'net and was looking for something to make adventure games with, out of a personal whim. I quickly wrote Rob Blanc I and released it to almost universal praise. I was rather surprised to discover that RB1 was the first 'proper' game to be written with the new AGS, and it quite accidentally seemed to set an example for others to follow. I wrote two more RB games and more praise came in.
This, I found, was alien to me. To actually be better at something than my brother, to find something I was good at and (as I thought) second to none, it was all new. The praise I was given by the rest of the community gave me new-found confidence. But with confidence came cockiness, and with cockiness came big-headedness, and soon I was declaring myself an authority on amateur adventure games. That part of my life all seems so unreal now. I was a foolish, self-delusional, arrogant prick and there's not a day goes by that I don't regret all the silly things I did and said that alienated me from the AGS community.
So if any amateur adventure gamers are reading this, and I know there are as they seemed to find Odysseus Kent pretty easily, then this is my apology. I'm sorry. Thank you for liking my games, and I'm sorry you had to put up with my weirdness. The AGS community is really one of the nicest online and AGS itself is the best adventure game-makey tool in the whole wide world."
An outcast by choice
Yahtzee is the only person to have been nominated in every year of AGS Awards, totalling 44 nominations (the most of any person), his most being for 5 Days a Stranger, which garnered 11 nominations. His games have won 15 AGS awards over 5 years.
- The Rob Blanc series.
- The Trials of Odysseus Kent
- 5 Days a Stranger, 7 Days a Skeptic, Trilby's Notes and 6 Days A Sacrifice
- Poseidon 12
- Adventures in the Galaxy of Fantabulous Wonderment
- FullyRamblomatic.com - Yahtzee's blogsite.