Making of M.U.L.E. – Article by John Szczepaniak in Retro Gamer (UK) Issue 23 (2006)



In issue 23 of Retro Gamer, John published a 4-page article about the Making of M.U.L.E., with lots of interesting insights and quotes from the original development and publishing teams at Ozark Softscape and Electronic Arts. Thanks for this great contribution to the M.U.L.E. legacy, John!

On this page, I excerpted some interesting quotes from the article. Several insights from the article have also been added to the ever-growing “Executive Summary” of M.U.L.E. insights from the original development team.

Sometime later in 2006, John Szczepaniak published a more extensive version of this article in The Gamer’s Quarter Issue #6. Be sure to also check this out here in WoM: (link to be added when done)


“Commercially, M.U.L.E. bombed. It sold (around) 20.000 copies. The album cover and name were confusing and failed to explain the beauty of the game.”

Trip Hawkins, 2006, about the reason of commercial (un-)successfulness of M.U.L.E.

“They were truly among the nicest people I’ve known. Down-to-earth, unpretentious, also very creative and professional.”

Trip Hawkins, 2006, about the founders of Ozark Softscape Dan Bunten, Bill Bunten, Alan Watson and Jim Rushing.

“You cannot play M.U.L.E. without inadvertently learning as much as a college Economics 101 course would teach you.”

Trip Hawkins, 2006, about the edutainment aspect of M.U.L.E.

“There’s something that to me says the simplicity of the original M.U.L.E. is hard to beat. […] To tell you the truth, I can’t really think of anything large that we were not able to do, or that we had set aside. We were pretty happy with the game.”

Jim Rushing, 2006, about the question if the development team had left anything out of the original game design

“There was a ton of testing! This was one of our first games and it was fun to play, so it got ‘tested’ a lot.”

Trip Hawkins, 2006, on the extensive testing of M.U.L.E.

“I think M.U.L.E. was the most tested and best-balanced game that EA produced for many years.”

Joe Ybarra, 2006, on the extensive testing of M.U.L.E.