Game Talk


In our ongoing quest to preserve the vital part of computer and gaming history that is the C64, we hereby present Game Talk, a collection of interviews with the people who created the games we used to play day in, day out.

A
Al Rubin
Allan Shortt
Allister Brimble
Andrew Bailey
Andrew Davie
Andy Jervis
Antal Zolnai

B
Bill Kunkel
Brian Flanagan

C
Charles Deenen

D
Dan Phillips
Darren Melbourne
David Fox
David Hanlon
David Thiel

E

F

G
Gari Biasillo
Geoff Phillips

H
  I

J
Jason C. Brooke
Jason Daniels
Jason Page
Joe Bonar

K
Karen Davies
Kristi Louise Herd

L

M
Mark Greenshields
Matthew Cannon

N
Nick Jones
Nigel Spencer

O

P
Peter Clarke

Q

  R
Russel Comte

S

T
Tom Lanigan
Tony Williams
Torben Bakager Larsen

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

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List of interviews with people who worked at these companies:
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Ashley Routledge
One half of the stunning and possibly most famous C64 partnership ever. Having started out on Compunet and created such stunning demos as Electric Café, Daring Dots and Snowball Sunday, Ash & Dave's reputation grew exponentially when they started doing games. They produced the fantastic Dragon Breed, the awesome Slicks and the (sadly unreleased) Daffy Duck. Jazzcat managed to drag Ashley Routledge away from his projects long enough for an interview about life on the C64 and life today... (By David Simmonds)

Barry Leitch
The Jackal, as we also know him, has been around since the early days of computing. Like everyone else, he started small, struggling to get jobs. Then, in just a few years, he had worked on titles for Gremlin, Ocean and Electronic Arts. In this interview, Barry talks about those years and what he thinks about his past work. (By Andreas Wallström)

Chris Shrigley
The people who worked for Gremlin in the early days have always been my heroes. I even named my company after the game Rebounder. There's something magic about them... One of them is Chris Shrigley whose softography includes classics such as Footballer of the Year and Future Knight. In this interview, Chris talks about his Gremlin and Core Design days and comments on the old games he created, among many other things. (By Andreas Wallström)

Colin Porch
To many people, Colin Porch is the man behind the remarkable C64 conversion of Head Over Heels, which scored 98% in Zzap!64. But he did so much more that people know nothing about – all this stunning work, but never an interview or any recognition in the press. Colin was very much a quiet man who concentrated on producing top-quality conversions and did just that. As well as Head Over Heels, Colin produced the stunning conversions for Operation Wolf and Gryzor and worked on Dragon's Lair and – even more amazingly – the unreleased Parasol Stars. It was Colin's experience which made him the great games programmer he was, and he kindly agreed to give this fascinating interview about his past. (By Frank Gasking)

Cyberdyne Systems: Dan Phillips, Robin Levy, John Kemp
Having created one of the best sideways scrollers ever, Cyberdyne Systems have always been famous for their wonderful game Armalyte. Dan Phillips, Robin Levy and John Kemp were the formidable team behind some of the most impressive scenes offered by our C64's over the years. Although Armalyte was the only really big title to come from the trio, they also worked on the famous Deadlock title which, although never finished, caused a huge stir on the C64 scene when the demos were finally released for the world to see. The trio also helped to create bits and pieces for The Last Ninja 3, Putty, Fuzzball, Citadel and a few other unreleased titles such as Armalyte 2, Scimitar and an F1 racing game. Armalyte 2 and Deadlock were both exclusively launched in their final state by the site Games That Weren't. Cyberdyne Systems will always be remembered for Armalye and Deadlock, and their games and work are still being talked about by many C64 fans today. Cyberdyne Systems kindly agreed to give this interview which sheds light on their C64 past... (By Frank Gasking)

David Whittaker
Is there anyone involved in the C64 business who hasn't heard this name? He has done *a lot* of titles, and not only on the C64 but on almost every other computer and console. Responsible for titles like BMX Simulator, Enduro Racer, Jailbreak and Red Max, Dave burst onto the scene with his original and unique compositions. This interview is incomplete, because Dave is still really busy these days and sadly did not have the time to answer more questions, but I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy what is there anyway. (By Andreas Wallström)

John Buckley
The creator of some wonderful C64 titles, John Buckley was the man behind the likes of Sly Spy, Solar Jetman, Psycho Hopper and the never-completed Vale of Shadows. He was never in the limelight of big-name programmers such as Andrew Braybrook and Jeff Minter, but he didn't need to be. John was typical of the staff at Software Creations, and his work just oozes quality. (By Frank Gasking)

Jon Hare
Jops set up Sensible Software with his mate Chris Yates, enjoying instant success. He brought us games like Parallax, Wizball, Cannon Fodder and the ever so popular Sensible Soccer. Jops is also my (Andreas') band mate. We gig, sometimes as much as once a year. :) He's one of the most talented people in the games business, and he's still doing what he does best: Sensible Soccer for mobile phones is just out, and Cannon Fodder is due to follow shortly. In this interview, we talk a lot about his graphics, drawing techniques, what was most fun to do, etc., and Jops really enjoyed that. I hope you'll enjoy reading it! (By Andreas Wallström)

Jon Wells
When the C64 was down and out, and the likes of Ocean and Code Masters were drifting towards 16-bit machines, there was a severe lack of new C64 software. One man to answer the call was Jon Wells. Starting out with manager sims, Jon first hit the headlines with his great conversion of the Spectrum game Sceptre of Baghdad. However, luck was not on his side, as Atlantis "sank" just before they could release the game. Not to be deterred, Jon went on to release the game himself under his own label Visualize. Jon talks about his C64 past and answers some questions which have been at the back of my mind for a while... (By Frank Gasking)

Joost Honig a.k.a. Honey of 1001 Crew
Everyone knows Honey and the 1001 Crew. They were one of the top teams between 1985 and 1987 and were the first to break the side-border and put sprites in all borders with ESCOS. C64 HQ is the first – and will always be the first – to give you an interview with one of the guys after 17 years of silence. It's a real scoop, don't you think? Check out the rare photos too! (By Andreas Wallström)

Haydn Dalton
A game's graphics are almost as important as the gameplay itself. Even if you don't agree with that sentiment, Haydn's graphics can certainly at least be said to have helped things along. Haydn has created some awesome graphics for many machines, including the C64, though he has been unlucky with his C64 work in that many of the C64 games featuring his work have never seen the light of day, most notably Orcus, in which he and Mike Ager were set to stun the world with an awesome SEU which sadly never became reality. (By Frank Gasking)

Hugh Riley
Do you remember playing The Last Ninja 1 and 2 for the first time and being totally gobsmacked by the sheer quality of the graphics and the extremely well-detailed items? Hugh Riley has since owned up to creating the graphics for these two masterpieces, as well as a slew of other stuff including Robocop 3 and Dominator. A huge talent and still active in the industry, creating artwork for many top games and continuing his reputation as an artistic great in the gaming world. (By David Simmonds)

Marc Dawson
You may remember Marc from the days of Imagine Software for his funny little game called B.C. Bill, or even from his work with Matthew Smith on the famous Jet Set Willy 3 Mega Tree. In addition to these, Marc has produced some quality games such as Mission AD and Robin of the Wood for Odin Computer Graphics and was more recently the head of Software Creations. (By Frank Gasking)

Martin Galway
What an incredible composer… those sounds... those amazing clear sounds! So what makes Martin happy? What was the deal with Imagine? What was it like to work with Dave Collier? How long did it take to cover the two Miami Vice tracks? The answers are all here. I think *I'm* in hog heaven! (By Andreas Wallström)

Martin Holland
Software Creations must have been laughing their cotton socks off at the prospect of having as great a talent in the art deparment as they did with Martin Holland. Producing some breathtaking graphics for Sly Spy, Gauntlet 3 and many other classic C64 games for Software Creations, Martin made games into working pieces of art. Martin is still happily creating graphics for today's platforms, though sadly no longer at Creations, and he was happy to give this interview in which he talks about his past and present goings-on. Edited to add: Martin sadly passed away in August 2003 after a long battle with DVT. This interview is merely a small indication of what a personality he was. Rest in peace Martin. (By Frank Gasking)

Paul Docherty
Paul 'DOKK' Docherty is regarded as one of the best artists to have worked on the C64, so we couldn't wait to get in touch with him and ask him about his C64 past. Some excerpts from this monster interview which should tempt you to read the whole thing include: "I have no sympathy for those Speccy victims" and "Nothing about it drove me insane. I was already insane." And just how big a fan of the C64 was/is Paul really? All is revealed inside! (By Andreas Wallström)

Paul Hughes
Tape loading is thankfully a thing of the past, what with the hellishly long loaders and all-too-often appalling game at the end of it all. Paul Hughes certainly tried his damnedest to ensure that tape loading wasn't that bad, and he proved it by creating a fast loader for Ocean called Freeload. Not only did Paul pioneer one of the most popular C64 loaders of all time, he was also a dab hand at programming on the C64 and produced a number of games, including the infamous Operation Thunderbolt in only two weeks! Paul also produced the music driver used by Jonathan Dunn et al., later using some of his music to replace Martin Galway's old Ocean Loader. Paul took some time out from his current new-gen console game development to let us grill him about his past work. (By Andreas Wallström and Frank Gasking)

Paul Norman
In the Commodore 64's early life, movie-like features in games were nowhere to be seen. Until, that is, Paul Norman released Forbidden Forest. With a pseudo-3D perspective, monsters and one seriously scary tune, Paul raised the bar for games quality by some way. In this interview, we pick his brain about the kind of company Cosmi was, read some interesting facts about his games, and get a pretty good insight into how he worked on them as well! And in case it doesn't come across when reading the interview, here's an important pointer: Paul really like movies. (By Andreas Wallström)

Pete Baron
We feel truly privileged to be C64 owners. It offers a fantastic range of games unmatched by most systems and a superb set of titles which have really embedded the heart and soul of the C64 in our minds. One particular reason to be proud of the Commodore 64 is Myth. It's a technical marvel and a masterpiece in terms of C64 code, art and sound. The programmer behind this fantastic game, and also Salamander, is Pete Baron. He hasn't really had much of the spotlight compared to other developers, which is strange considering the programming feats he has achieved with Bob Stevenson. (By Frank Gasking with guest questions from Andrew Fisher, Jazzcat and Andreas Wallström)

Pete Harrap
Pete's really the kind of guy who's dedicated to programming games, and I think it shows in his past work (see Auf Weidersehen Monty, Pacmania, Terramex, etc.). In this interview, we talk a lot about the old days, his previous work and a crazy car park attendant. (By Andreas Wallström)

Richard Leinfellner
Richard made his name at Palace Software in the early 80's, programming the infamous C64 conversion of the laughable horror classic The Evil Dead and the stunning Cauldron and Barbarian games. (By Frank Gasking)

Richard Underhill
Bart Simpson vs The Space Mutants, Forgotton Worlds and Pang: three games which you will all probably agree were pretty special conversions, they pushed the boundaries of the C64 and convinced us even more that the C64 could hold its own when hosting conversions. The man behind those stunning titles, and many more, was none other than talented programmer Richard Underhill. He produced these stunners under the famous Arc Developments team for the likes of Ocean and U.S. Gold in the late 80s and early 90s. Richard has since given up programming full time, but still works in the games industry, as Project Manager at Kuju Entertainment. (By Frank Gasking)

Rob Hubbard
Man, what can I tell you that you don't already know about Commodore 64 superstar Rob Hubbard? Still, you must read this interview, in which he tells us all the good stuff we want to know about the past and also shares three original music scripts. He says it would perhaps be fun to do a tune on the C64 again! Someone get that man a computer now! (By Andreas Wallström)

Roy Bannon
We always try to put a deserved spotlight on those who had a hand in great titles which never saw the light of day. One of the biggest titles we have searched for, up there among the Most Wanted likes of Daffy Duck and Murder, is Batman Returns. You will all remember those screenshots from the diaries which promised a fantastic platformer, which sadly ended up as yet another "If Only"! After years of research, we managed to track down the game's creator Roy Bannon. Roy is also well known for his involvement in Denton Designs and the awesome World Class Rugby game for Audiogenic. With many stories to tell, the developer of Batman Returns has a chat about various topics from his past and present. (By Frank Gasking)

Ste Pickford
Despite being a Speccy kid and hating the C64, Ste did some stunning stuff on C64 games such as Amaurote, Ghosts'n Goblins, Knight Games 2 and Zub. Read here about what a typical day at Binary Design was like, Ste's work on the C64 and his current work at Zed Two. (By Andreas Wallström)

Stephen Thomson
To say that Stephen Thomson did a good job on the C64 would be rather like saying the Pyramids at Giza 'have nice lines'. Rated as one of the finest artists in the field ever, Stephen is the force behind the graphics to be seen in games like The Untouchables and Navy Seals. What sales pitch did he use on his parents to get the C64? What game was most fun to work on? What pixel technique did he use? All this and more is revealed inside! (By Andreas Wallström)

Steve Collins
His is a name you may not recognise at first. Unlike most C64 developers, Steve only had two of his games released publicly, and another two sadly lost. However, his two released games had a massive impact, but Steve never really got the recognition he deserved. With his fantastic conversion of Tengen's Badlands for the C64 in a single load and the awesome budget title Herobotix, Steve made his mark on the C64 for years to come. (By Frank Gasking)

Steve Ruddy
If you don't know who Steve Ruddy is, then you must have missed out on playing some of the most stunning conversions ever seen on a C64. In creating such marvels as Bubble Bobble, LED Storm, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Bionic Commando, Steve helped establish the reputation of Software Creations as one of the biggest names in the games industry. Steve not only created these stunning games but also helped build the awesome music editor used by Tim Follin, thus bringing us some of the best C64 sounds of all time. (By Frank Gasking)


Back in Time Live 3 audio files


All in all, it was simply a brilliant evening! Too short and too sweaty, but brilliant! People from Morocco, Hungary, the UK and US, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Norway, Germany and Belgium attended the event, and it shows how important these kind of events are.

Adam Gilmore (8.7 Mb)
This interview was held in a pub called the Marquis of Granby in central London. I'd been e-mailing with Adam for a while, but I didn't know how he started out or how he came up with his best tunes. Now I do!

David Whittaker (2.2 Mb)
Once again, I had the chance to do a little catch-up interview with Dave, in which among other things he tells us that he's back composing again and that his current projects are Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy and Uridium for the Gameboy Advance. Nice!

Machinae Supremacy live bootleg (9.1 Mb)
In addition to playing their version of Giana Sisters, they also played a bunch of C64 tunes which they'd compiled into something they called Sidology Episodes One and Three. The songs they played were Cybernoid 2, Rocky Star, Deflektor, Outrun (on Episode One) and Flimbo's Quest, Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, Monty on the Run, Commando, Outrun (on Episode Three). I just love the keyboard sound on Deflektor (check out 06:56) and Episode Three is one very happy punksong! I don't know who the "Hello/Hello again" dork is, but I think you'll enjoy it anyways.

Pascal Roggen (3 Mb)
The interview with violin player and all-round super-lad Pascal was held in a Ladies room. Why, you may ask? Actually, only because it was quiet in there (the mix of music and people talking makes it quite hard to hear people's answers).

Pascal Roggen plays Monty on the Run (613 Kb)
It's a bit hard to hear all the notes on the PPOT bootleg recording, but fortunately I was able to ask Pascal to play something for us before the event kicked off. It's those last fast and furious 40 seconds of the song that really do it... you have been warned!

Press Play On Tape live bootleg (28.3 Mb)
They kicked off their set with the intro from Giana Sisters, which was actually nicked from Machinae Supremacy's version of Giana Sisters. Hilarious! Giana blended into Warhawk, followed by Aztec Challenge and Thrust (with Pascal playing on both those tracks). Rambo First Blood Part 2, Flimbo's Quest, Crazy Comets, Delta and Ghosts'n Goblins followed on, rounded off with the absolute highlights Monty on the Run, Krakout, Auf Wiedersehen Monty and Outrun.

Richard Joseph (6.6 Mb)
Meeting Richard Joseph again was a blast! The funny thing is, I always seem to catch Richard after "very many of these", as he once said. In this interview, we talk about games development in 2002, why he keeps coming back to the Back in Time live events, and the possibilities of performing Barbarian with a symphony orchestra at the next event!


Back in Time Live audio interviews


Oh, what a disaster! Something went wrong with the DV camera and it refused to record the sound properly. At this moment, the interviews are all audio-only, but as soon as I manage to match the audio and video properly, you'll see the wonderful video interviews I got!

Ben Daglish and Antony Crowther (12.6 Mb)
The craziest interview I've ever done, and the most fun. They were both in a really good mood and as you may know, Ben is a guy who talks all the time and entertains everyone. As a huge fan of this duo, I'd like to call this interview The Reunion of We M.U.S.I.C. Take the opportunity to hear a new, previously unheard and unreleased C64 tune from Ben. It's so new, it hasn't even been poked into the machine code monitor yet! And it's 'Antony' by the way, not Anthony like I keep saying.

David Whittaker (5.2 Mb)
"Things are great. You tell me what you want to know, 'cause I'm here." says Dave at the beginning of this interview. Initally, Dave wasn't too keen on doing an interview, but I don't give up that easily, and after a bit of persuading, he finally agreed.

Fred Gray (6.6 Mb)
Gray is a nice bloke and offers a lot of great answers in this interview, like when he talks about the early years at Imagine and the tunes he did that probably no one has ever heard. I know one title that most people will not have heard of, and that's Pedro from Imagine, which you can find in the games section!

Jeff Minter (3.9 Mb)
This interview was held in the VIP room, where all the fun stuff was going on. It was a pretty confused interview, because one of his followers kept interrupting and showing no respect whatsoever. I've edited all that out, because I didn't think you'd want to wait 20 seconds between questions. This interview will however give you a pretty good idea of how great and action-packed the evening was (the masses of beer may have helped).

Richard Joseph (3.6 Mb)
This interview was held in the room where you could buy T-shirts and CDs (and finish your meal). It was a really fast chat actually, and I hope I can do a more in-depth interview with Richard again soon.

Rob Hubbard (7.9 Mb)
I actually did the interview with Hubbard twice, only the second time with audio (due to the audio problem with the DV camera mentioned above). I was reluctant to ask the poor man to do the interview all over again, but I had no choice – this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

» Colin Porch: "I was heavily involved with the Turbo Loader, as we called it, spending a lot of time attempting to produce a loader that could not be copied by tape-to-tape machines. Piracy was a big problem even in those days."

» Paul Docherty: "I was a Commodore guy. I have no sympathy for those Speccy victims."

» Paul Hughes: "The compilations were a pain in the arse! I worked many, many long nights and early mornings trying to get them done."

» Paul Norman: "When I started up Forbidden Forest, I at first let the archer stand there and get killed by a spider. Foreman Bill burst out with a shocked laugh when he saw the blood splatter. Score one."