su­per strike

We chat to Rich Steven­son, the vet­eran coder be­hind the SNES ver­sion of Jun­gle Strike


had you played the Mega drive game al­ready, and how did de­vel­op­ment be­gin on the su­per nin­tendo ver­sion?

No, the first time I played Jun­gle Strike was when we started on the con­ver­sion. It was quite messy and not straight­for­ward. We were told we’d be sent the source code to the Amiga ver­sion, but they sent us over the Desert Strike source code in­stead. The cor­rect ones never ar­rived, so we had to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to con­vert­ing the game.

what was the new ap­proach?

Si­mon Short was tasked with play­ing the game from start to fin­ish and video­ing ev­ery level, as well as cov­er­ing ev­ery area of the map. As you can imag­ine, it was a lengthy process. Then we started work­ing on the he­li­copter logic, which thank­fully was very sim­i­lar to that of Desert Strike, so the source code wasn’t to­tally use­less. Then, the graph­ics were re­drawn, and we worked with a num­ber of the in-house graph­ics team, all of whom had to watch Si­mon’s videos in or­der to re­draw the back­grounds and sprites.

what dif­fer­ences or changes did you have to make when port­ing the game?

With the back­grounds all recre­ated from the video footage, there were some changes from the orig­i­nal. We were also lim­ited by the num­ber of unique char­ac­ters which could be dis­played, and had to re­po­si­tion some of the sprites as a re­sult. The map edi­tor I had pre­vi­ously de­vel­oped helped us to iden­tify any prob­lems as we de­signed the back­grounds, and this some­times meant de­vi­at­ing from the orig­i­nal

de­sign slightly.

you hid a num­ber of se­cret mes­sages in the game…

Yeah, a few of us thought it would be a great idea to hide some se­cret mes­sages which could be ac­cessed by en­ter­ing codes. I made the mis­take of leav­ing a screen which in­vited peo­ple to call my home phone for a chat, and to­tally for­got to take it out of the US ver­sion. The re­sult was a lot of calls in the early hours of the morn­ing from peo­ple call­ing me and shout­ing things like, ‘Yeah-haw, Jun­gle Strike, love it!’ and putting down the phone. Ob­vi­ously after six months of this, I de­cided it may be time to change my num­ber!

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