Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick passes away at age 69 due to cancer

    
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Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick passes away at age 69 due to cancer

Game dev lost another of its luminaries recently with the news that Arnold Hendrick has passed away at age 69, succumbing to terminal cancer this past Monday, May 25th, according to a post in a Facebook group for former MicroProse employees.

Hendrick was a long-time game designer and developer who is most well-known for the single-player MicroProse RPG Darklands, but has been involved in a variety of MMO game development jobs, working on games such as Air Warrior and Super Hero Squad Online, and as part of MMO virtual world software company Forterra Systems.

Hendrick’s work on Darklands is credited by Bethesda’s Todd Howard as an inspiration in the creation of his own RPG titles, and he was also close to Raph Koster. He was also a frequent writer, both on his own blog about MMO game development and in our own comments. One of his more resounding comments was part of our Overthinking piece about advice to give new MMO gamers:

“Unlike a solo game, MMOs – especially MMORPGS – are not about getting to ‘the end’ as fast as possible, or even being the most powerful. Ignore those taunts about ‘git gud.’ Everyone learns at their own rate, in their own way, finds their own fun.

“The first MMO you enjoy will be the one you remember most fondly the rest of your life. Savor the journey, enjoy the trip, and make friends along the way.

“The massively multiplayer part gives you the maximum chance of making new friends. If all you’re doing in making enemies, consider spending your time and money on a good psychiatrist instead of on the game. Even the military has zero interest in people who do nothing but piss off fellow soldiers as well as the enemy.”

We extend our deepest condolences to his family and his loved ones.

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Raph Koster

I have to clarify that we were not personally close at all. He was a valued colleague that I spoke to at conferences regularly, but we didn’t hang out socially. Sorry if my tribute gave that impression.

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Matt Redding

Darklands was a cool concept. I sucked at it and was quickly overwhelmed and gave up after a couple tries. But I was really captivated by the idea of taking medieval europe and giving it a quick magic & monsters are real pass. (But not common; like to get a spell you had to pray to a saint, preferably ON their feast day… it wasn’t like you could even get a heal in every random encounter.)

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Jack Tyme

Wow Darklands, what a game for the mid 90s! RIP Legend

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Mark Jacobs

Damn, just damn. I knew Arnold from the old days and semi-old days. :(

2020 sucks.

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Fisty

Fuck cancer. Darklands was a gem of it’s day.

kjempff
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kjempff

Yeah I played the crap out of Darklands back then. Darklands inspired me to buy a Wacom pen&board and start coding a rpg game.
RIP

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Paragon Lost

That sucks, my thoughts go out to his family and friends. A very talented and creative person. Darklands, bugs and all was simply an awesome, immersive game world. I played the hell out of it when it came out and actually would go back and play it over the years. Along with Populous, F-16, A-10 Warthog, Dungeon Master and Civilization were on my short list of repeated play games for my Amiga and DOS based PC’s.

These were those rare games that I would still play though most of my time was spent online gaming with GEnie, AOL and Compuserve. That’s how good these games were, that they’d hold my attention and repeated game play even with the continued allure of online gaming. It truly shows how creative and good Arnold Hendricks was to keep drawing me back to Darklands. RIP mister Hendricks, thank you for the fun times and memories.