CON­VER­SION QUIN­TET

Martin Hoo­ley was the owner of Imagitec and re­spon­si­ble for five Raiden ports

Retro Gamer - - ULTIMATE GUIDE: RAIDEN -

First of all, how did imagitec land the gig to do the atari con­ver­sions of Raiden?

Well, it all started when I was in­tro­duced to Jack Tramiel by Robert Stein of An­dromeda Soft­ware and it kind of went from there, re­ally. Once he saw what we could do he was very in­ter­ested in work­ing with us and gave us loads of sup­port in terms of giv­ing us de­vel­op­ment ma­chines and hard­ware to work with. The first ti­tle we did for Atari was li­censed to them and was to de­velop a port of Vik­ing Child on the Lynx. From there we ended up work­ing on nu­mer­ous games for the Atari 7800, Atari ST, Fal­con, Jaguar, Jaguar CD and Lynx. We al­ready had ex­pe­ri­ence of port­ing ar­cade shoot-’em ups, with both Silk­worm and Gem­ini Wing, so Raiden seemed like a nat­u­ral fit.

What sup­port did atari give you?

They gave us a real ar­cade ma­chine, which was re­ally good, as we usu­ally just got a board and had to con­nect it up our­selves. In terms of a dev kit we were given some Atari TT com­put­ers, but these were up­graded to Fal­cons with 14MB of mem­ory and hard drives.

Did any­one from atari get in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of Raiden?

The pro­ducer at Atari was John Skruch and his as­sis­tant was Julie Long – they were bloody fan­tas­tic folk. Imagitec al­ready had a great re­la­tion­ship with them and they al­ways gave us loads of use­ful feed­back. As you know, the ef­fec­tive boss of Atari was Sam [Tramiel] – who was a re­ally good bloke. The CTO was his brother Leonard

– he was a dif­fer­ent mat­ter. He would hear no wrong to their hard­ware, if you got into it about prob­lems with the hard­ware his stan­dard an­swer was that ‘maybe it is your skill/ap­ti­tude at fault – not our hard­ware’, so we gen­er­ally stayed out of his way!

Raiden al­ready had a fan­tas­tic sound­track but imagitec added two ex­tra tracks for the Jaguar ver­sion. Can you tell us about the de­ci­sion to do this and how you kept it in keep­ing with the orig­i­nal mu­sic?

We al­ready had a great rep­u­ta­tion for our au­dio stu­dio and had cre­ated lots of free­lance mu­sic for com­pa­nies such as Grem­lin Graph­ics and Elec­tronic Arts. So we al­ready had ex­pert mu­si­cians who knew what they were do­ing, I pretty much let them do their own thing as I trusted them to pro­vide the goods. I do re­mem­ber that our mu­sic player on the Jag was a mod­i­fied Pro­tracker player so all our ex­ist­ing Amiga Mods would play, mak­ing con­ver­sion work easy. We had eight chan­nels of sound with four for mu­sic and four for ef­fects. Atari ended up li­cens­ing this from us to use on other games.

Was con­vert­ing Raiden a big deal for imagitec?

Oh yes, most def­i­nitely. Af­ter we did the can­celled Pan­ther, Jaguar and Fal­con ver­sions of the game we were also mak­ing ports for the PC and Amiga, too. Atari were go­ing to pub­lish the PC ver­sion, but we couldn’t find a pub­lisher for the Amiga port so that was scrapped. We ended up get­ting the li­cence from Fabtek to pub­lish the PC con­ver­sion our­selves.

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