The mike lamb interview
The coder on creating renegade’s home sequel
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.