The mike lamb in­ter­view

The coder on cre­at­ing rene­gade’s home se­quel

Games TM - - RETRO -

how did Tar­get: Rene­gade come about?

rather clev­erly, Ocean had writ­ten the rights to make a se­quel to Rene­gade into the orig­i­nal li­cens­ing con­tract. Rene­gade had been very well re­ceived and Ocean wanted to cash in. it got a copy of the ar­cade Dou­ble Dragon game and we all got to work.

what plan­ning was done?

We had a cou­ple of pre­lim­i­nary meet­ings to work out what the lev­els were go­ing to be and what char­ac­ters would be in them. The game it­self wasn’t par­tic­u­larly orig­i­nal in de­sign. We copied the two-player idea and weapons from Dou­ble Dragon. There wasn’t a whole a lot of back story – it was ba­si­cally go­ing through var­i­ous land­scapes beat­ing the crap out of ev­ery­body. Jon Woods (Ocean’s md) came up with the idea of us­ing a tele­phone at the end of each level. i guess he’d been watch­ing Dirty Harry.

Tell us about the char­ac­ter and level de­sign.

The de­sign of the char­ac­ters and back­grounds was mostly the work of the artists. ron Fowles, the spec­trum Rene­gade artist, had left and i was lucky enough to work with Dawn Drake. martin mac­don­ald (the c64 artist) and Dawn col­lab­o­rated a good deal on the graph­ics. i can’t ex­actly remember who came up with what. The game­play was mostly left to me, but Dawn and martin were good about tak­ing sug­ges­tions and i lis­tened to their ideas too. martin made the boss in the pool hall a rather good car­i­ca­ture of Jon Woods [the Ocean boss]. We didn’t have a lot of con­tact with him and ev­ery­body was a lit­tle scared of him. he was cool about it though. They came up with pretty much all the char­ac­ters. Dave col­lier wrote the c64 ver­sion, and most of the game­play that i didn’t come up with came from Dawn and martin. gary bracey was good for sug­ges­tions.

how did you make the game feel so pol­ished?

Dur­ing the 8-bit era, a lot of games weren’t tech­ni­cally very well writ­ten. We al­ways prided our­selves at Ocean on keep­ing the frame-rate up and squeez­ing as much as we could from the hard­ware. if some­thing worked well first time, like Tar­get: Rene­gade, it was a sure hit.

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