Developer Argonaut Publisher Rainbird Software Format Mac Release 1989


I came from the Amiga demoscene. I left school when I was 16 or 17, went to London, got the job with Argonaut and the first thing they did was say “All right, we’ve got Starglider 2 and it needs to be ported to a Mac”. They only had one Mac – I hated the machine. The great thing about the Amiga was that it came with two or three manuals that told you exactly how to use it from a hardware point of view, so it was like a hobby type of thing. You could delve right in and use machine code to do whatever you want, and the Mac was the complete opposite of that. They tried to hide the internals as much as possible. It was a real painful experience trying to get that port working, especially since there was no Internet. I was literally phoning up the local Apple computer club, just cold calling them, and saying, “Do you know anybody that knows where the screen buffer is?” It was that level of absolute poking in the dark.

Because it was the same CPU as the Amiga and the Atari ST, it was actually quite easy to port the code itself. It was basically just the sound and the graphics that had to be ported. It was a very messy port. It was literally being thrown in at the deep end. I had no experience doing this, no idea what I was doing – but it was the third time that had happened. Before that, I’d worked part-time in an office in London where [programmer Rod Bowkett] said to me, “Can you port [topdown shooter Fernandez Must Die] to the

Amiga?” I was a bit worried about this whole porting business, but porting Starglider to the Mac was a bit easier than that. I had great fun. I think there were five people there. We were in a spare room in [Argonaut boss] Jez [San]’s house, just sort of messing about, playing with computers – that’s what it felt like.

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