Welcome Haydn! Please tell the readers a bit about yourself.
Nice start! Feels like a dating video – not that I'd know anything about that of course. Anyhow, My name is Haydn Dalton and I'm the Creative Director at Genepool. I'm currently Lead Designing our first PS2 title for Activision at the moment for a very big franchise. The last game I was involved with was Star Trek: Invasion (PSX), and I was lead designer on that project. Since being in this industry (approx 14-15 years), I always seem busy. I have my own tribe that I like to call a family (x1 wife, x3 kids + x1 on the way = always on the job).

How did you first get started doing graphics on the C64?
I used to exchange games with friends back between 1983-86 where I formed the The Society and Pulsar under the nickname Dolly. I used to create bits of graphics (fonts, logos, backgrounds, etc.) for demos that I used to do with an old friend called Mik. One day somebody said to me: "Why don't you take your graphics to a games firm?" At the time I thought they were crazy because the industry always seemed something that somebody else did. It was too good for me, if you know what I mean. Anyway, after some pressure I took some graphics for a game that Torky and me were working on called Validus to Ocean. Validus was a overhead view racing game using hovering ships. Anyway, I phoned them up on a Wednesday, they said come in Friday and they offered me a job straight away. I started on the following Monday! I began work helping out on Operation Wolf and then Vindicators. After that I was placed originally as the main artist on Daley 88 (which became Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge). I began work on the game but became pissed off at the working conditions in the "dungeon" of Ocean, so I got a job at Binary Designs. From here the games start flooding in but I haven't got the room to explain them all (have I?).

You are famous on the C64 for designing some top graphics for many games over the years, including the infamous Gauntlet 3 along with Mike Ager and Martin Holland. Which project did you most enjoy working on?
I had a few good times at Binary Designs like working through the night with Chris Collins (Chris-Krispy) on Double Dragon (Amiga/ST) and the paint-balling sessions, etc. Some of my best times where at Software Creations where I worked with Martin, Mike Ager, Marc Dawson, Anthony Anderson, Justin Eagleton, Ste Ruddy (coder God of Bionic Commando and Bubble Bobble), Dave Broadhurst, Weston and Paul Murray. The banter in the Stunt Rumble/Dead Ahead/Forever Dragonz will never be forgotten. Sometimes laughter was the only thing we were developing. The project I most liked working on cannot be summed to just one. I think Star Trek Invasion for Warthog (published by Activision) and Assassin for my own development company called Psionic Systems alongside Dave Broadhurst (published by Team 17).

Which game was hardest to do the graphics for?
When Dave and me where developing Overdrive for Team 17. My original idea was to model the cars in 3D and then touch them up, but I had never touched 3D before and I had a dodgy version of 3D Studio (God knows what version it was). I had no manuals or anything and I just couldn't get anything out of it, and I didn't have anyone with me who knew anything about it. I had to draw the cards rotating, tilting and all sorts for the different angles. It was a nightmare. The game had to be cut back because it was taking so long getting them right. I was really pissed off about that, oh, and the fact it was never made a 2 player game.

Who's work did you most admire on the C64?
There's a few. First off, Bob Stevenson (Druid loading screen, IO, The Pawn, etc). I always loved his stuff. Then there would be Doc, SIT, Robin Levy, and of course Martin Holland.

What was your last ever C64 production?
I think Solar Jetman was my farewell to the C64 alongside some bits of work I did for Gauntlet 3. I did most of Solar Jetman as a freelance project. I was bored. :)

Did you work on any other machines at the time, other than the C64, if so, can you name a few games that you did?
Yes, I did all the game graphics for Solar Jetman's Spectrum version. Very early on in the Amiga/ST days, I did some work for EA on a game called Blind Panic too. I also help convert the Arcade graphics of a game called Trog to the PC (four colours; one yellow, one pink – arrggh!!).

It's rumoured that you were working on both Orcus and Solar Jetman, both of which never saw the light of day. Can you tell us why?
Orcus never saw the light of day due to the "none" payment of work done on it by Electronic Zoo (from what I remember). I'd done all the graphics, including an intro, outro and some other storytelling work. Over 3.000 sprites were drawn for it and overall about 3mg of graphics, which was quite a lot for one product-one artist. Solar Jetman was shelved because Sales Curve didn't think the game would do well in the current market place. They never even gave it a try. It was a pity because it has some great music by Tim Follin on it.

Were there any other games which you worked on which never saw the light of day?
Several. I was just unlucky, I guess. Some were because the publisher had no money left, some because the product wasn't fitting the publishers image of the game, others were because they simply never got finished in time. Here is a complete breakdown:

3D Boat Assassin (originally 3D Boat Race, C64)
Bmx Stunts (C64)
Blind Panic (C64, Amiga, ST)
Gladiator (C64, Amiga, ST)
Validus (C64)
Orcus (C64)
Subsonic (C64)
Gauntlet 3 (C64, Amiga, ST)
Solar Jetman (Spectrum, C64, Amiga, ST)
Mortal Kombat III (Gamegear)
Stunt Rumble (PSX)
Dead Ahead (N64)
Forever Dragons (N64)
The Contract (PSX)

Was there any C64 game which you saw released, looked at its graphics and thought "I could have done that much better"?
Many, but I can't pick any by name though. I just remember thinking: "How the hell did they get away with that" and "who the did this".

What was your favourite game on the C64?
Dropzone, Paradroid and Uridium were classics, but I dearly loved The Sentinel even though I wasn't any good at it. Others of note were Armalyte, Delta, The Last Ninja, International Karate+, The Way of the Exploding Fist, Hunchback, Elite of course, Bionic Commando, Bubble Bobble, Nebulus, Ghost'n Goblins... I could go on forever.

Who was your favourite C64 musician?
I've got to say Tim Follin. He was great – and a funny guy too! Tim was the best because of what he got out of the SID-chip technically. I remember after Tim had quit doing music for games, me and a friend called Anthony Anderson got him to agree to come out of retirement to do the music for a game design I had called Riot Platoon. Unfortunately the whole thing never went any further. A close runner up would be Martin Galway and then followed by Rob Hubbard. It must also be given up for Maniacs of Noise who came in later. Oh yeah! And my old mate JCH! Hey Jens.

What impressed you most about the C64 and for what reasons?
What impressed me then and still does is that the machine just kept getting pushed further and further. Technically, people just kept giving a little boost and something amazing would be seen. I've got a lot of respect for all those bedroom peeps who stuck at it, because they were the real reason the C64 lives on even now. I think it's a legend in its own right. It also had great sound. I listen to SID tunes regularly even now!

Was the C64 was just a step in your graphical life or was it a major inspiration?
The C64 was everything my career and home life revolved around. It was my first owned machine, it's the platform I learned to draw graphics on, it's the thing that I played my games on, watched and created demos on and it was the thing that created my career.

Do you still own a C64 today?
No, I had mine for about six years and I gave it all (with disk drive, games, etc.) to my youngest brother. Within a year, it was knackered and I don't know what happened to it. Some of the games I'd worked on were in that collection of disks I gave him too.

What are your current activities these days? What systems are you working on, computers, consoles?
My current activities accumulate to being with my family, designing games and playing them. I don't have time for much else. I'm currently working on a PS2 game, which is very exciting as it is such a powerful system. Obviously I do a lot of work on PC, but thank God its mostly word processing.

Ever have any disagreements with anyone through computer related activities in the past?
I had a few arguments with people on Compunet and a few years ago in certain chat rooms on the Internet, but nothing too serious. There are too many assholes around to take it too serious. I'm a lucky person whose hobby is his job.

I have two games on a disk. One is called Subsonic (from Zzap!64) and the other was a SEUCK game credited to you. Can you elaborate on these two games please. Was Subsonic meant to be released as a budget game?
Subsonic was originally slated to go onto a budget label. Mike Ager and I just got pissed off trying to get in touch with the right people to sell it to so we just phoned Zzap and got on the cover straight away. They loved it so at least we did something right. The SEUCK is probably the one I did in about two days or so. It was crap, I admit. I don't even know why it was cracked. Probably a friend of mine had no games that week to distribute so I made him one.

Any hints or tips for the C64 graphic designers still out there?
Damn, I wouldn't know where to start now. I'd have to say in honesty no, but it's great to hear people are still pushing the C64. I bet the artwork has come a long way?

Please feel free to send any greetings to anyone you know.
Greets to Ant, Martin Holland, Arg (Mike?), MIK, Craig (Fusion), Tork & Torky, Tim Follin, Krispy, TMB (Pulsar), Toy, Wiz, Jog, Bear, JCH, Dbroadhurst, Marc Dawson and all at Creations. I'll keep it short.

Were there any questions I didn't ask and that you would like to answer?
Yes. Worst game I ever worked on: Aggghhh! (C64). The bane of my career. Also, I don't know if you could sort this out for me but, when I was working at Binary Designs, we started work on Shinobi (C64). I did at least two levels of graphics, the helicopter and some other things for it but then the game was to be finished off by the programmer (I think it was Simon Pick). I'm pushing the question: "Did my graphics ever get used in the finished game?" If you could find that out It'd be most appreciated.

Thanks for your time Haydn! Do you have any last comments to leave a final impression on the audience?
No problem. Just say no! But if they ask again, think about it.

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