Tob / Pixel Developments
Added on December 13th, 2012 (3656 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Toby Michael Eglesfield, 43 years, London, 1969, Queenstown New Zealand, Graphic Designer/Artist. Into hiking, mountain biking, running, nature, and occasional DJing. I'm really working as a graphic designer these days to fund my art projects, in the hope that eventually I'll be doing nearly all art. I have a Facebook page:

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
"Tob" because my friends called me Tobe. But I thought Tobe was odd when it was written, so people pronounced it Tob, but that was all good. :)

What group(s) were you in?
Tob and Hex i.e. Cory Kin and I. He'd be going for a bit before me. I was in Pixel Developments too.

What roles have you fulfilled?
Graphics, but I did the score to a demo called Cathode Chaos in Electrosound too.

How long were you active for?
Not sure... I'm guessing 1988-90 – but that could be wrong.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
Jane from Compunet hooked me up with some loading screens for Code Masters. Before that, I chatted on Partyline just a little, and viewed demos I'd downloaded. I did a tiny bit of game development with Si from Mat and Si. Cory and I made a game called Indeflateaball, but it didn't get released because we didn't make it quite awesome enough. It was a ball and you had to make the ball bigger or smaller to get through pipes (can't remember how the bigger bit worked), and you'd scroll sideways Uridium style. Such was the influence on us at the time. I think it had some groovy sprite work from Cory.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I would be using a sprite editor or level editor that had a library of defined characters that could be placed on a map. It was custom stuff, and as I remember it, it was pretty decent.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I didn't. I remember one time claiming to have invented some extra colours by layering rows of alternate pixels. I got quite excited by that, but it may have only worked on certain monitors.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Not sure really. I did a copy of the Athena artwork as a demo screen once. I had a look at that the other day and the proportions and colouring aren't too shabby. So I suppose it would be that. Also I saw a font I designed resurface in a free fonts collection.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Bob Stevenson seemed to have an uncanny talent, but I think Rob Hubbard was the big deal for me because his music for me was better than any graphics of the time. I quite enjoyed some of the humour that came with the scene though.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Sprites in the border. No, seriously. This seemed like some sort of witchcraft.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
I got on a party line once, freaked out, and said goodbye fairly swiftly.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Exploring a new medium and showing them what you've got. (I didn't show that much. :-))

What were the particular highlights for you?
Hmm... The Commodore shows at Earls Court were good, though I didn't know that many scene people there. I met another artist there but I forget his name. He made this cool picture of an eye with a humming bird in front of it.

Any cool stories to share with us?
I don't really have that many I remember. I mean, it was all fun at the time, but I wasn't involved in any iconic events or crazy funny stuff. Cory and I made a demo that was a kind of send up of the scene, or a send up of some parts of it. It was scrolling and just full of silly stuff and made-up cool words and phrases. That was fun, but I think it went over most people's heads or wasn't understood as ironic.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Cory and I are in touch.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
Pass, and no.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
I don't think so. I'd like to see a few of my drawings on there, but if I really had time, I'd do something more worthwhile and generous.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Probably that they won't remember me that much, but drop me a line if they do!

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