Read­ers’ Ques­tions

Retro Gamer - - DESERT ISLAND DISKS -

Mer­man: What was your favourite hard­ware to de­velop on?

Prob­a­bly the Amiga be­cause it had a lot of flex­i­bil­ity, it had all those cus­tom chips and it was ac­ces­si­ble. It wasn’t like the Playsta­tion 2 or saturn where you had all these pro­ces­sors to worry about. It was smooth sail­ing pro­gram­ming-wise and you could get some re­ally good re­sults.

north­way: What de­vel­op­ment sys­tem did you use for mak­ing your coin-op stuff?

The guy I was work­ing with on the coin-op stuff didn’t re­ally know what to get. We got started off with an Am­strad 6128 with an EPROM pro­gram­mer at­tached be­fore mov­ing up to a Pc with ei­ther an EPROM or Z80 em­u­la­tor, I seem to re­mem­ber.

Mer­man: Do you have a favourite Bull­frog anec­dote or crazy anec­dote from work­ing in the of­fice?

FEAST! You had to pound your hand on your desk while you chanted it and it meant we were all go­ing off to the hawai­ian bar­be­cue. It was a place in the hazelmere area and oc­ca­sion­ally we would all go there… FEAST was the sig­nal!

Fgask­ing: Have you still got the source code for any of your un­re­leased games?

Yes, I have all the code for Quadron. Of all the games I worked on, it’s the one I most wish had been re­leased. It was a labour of love and some­thing that was a very personal pro­ject for me.

TT: Are there any other ar­cade games you would have liked to con­vert to the ZX Spec­trum?

I wouldn’t have minded hav­ing a go at R-type or Neme­sis or one of those scrolling shoot­ers. That would have been in­ter­est­ing as scrolling on the spec­trum was quite com­pli­cated and a chal­lenge to do well. It in­volved us­ing some pro­gram­ming tricks so I would have liked that.

Mer­man: Do you play fruit ma­chines your­self?

Oc­ca­sion­ally but I know the odds of win­ning so I don’t go on them too much! I do have a strong mem­ory of when I was first pro­gram­ming a fruit ma­chine and getting it to stop all three reels, ‘clunk, clunk, clunk’, in the ex­act con­fig­u­ra­tion I’d pro­grammed in ten sec­onds be­fore. That made a real im­pact – it seemed like magic back then!

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