Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

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DRS
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Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by DRS » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:55 am

Hello all. I'm pleased to have recently cornered Jez San, founder of Argonaut, at Bletchley Park during filming for the Bedroom to Billions project and persuaded him to do an interview for our fine journal. It'll be the first time I've interviewed someone with an OBE so I've been practising my curtsey.

Below is a long list of Argonaut games from Wikipedia (with Alien (1984) removed because Jez said that's an error... which implies he did have a hand in the rest) to maybe prompt some questions and he had a big role in developing the Super FX chip for the SNES... plus more recently he's been part of Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved etc)

I'm talking to him next Wednesday (June 18th) so ask whatever you fancy and many thanks in advance... you always come up with great stuff :)

Paul

•Skyline Attack, 1984 (Commodore 64)
•Starglider, 1985
•Starglider 2, 1988
•Days of Thunder, 1990 (Atari ST, Amiga)
•Race Drivin', 1992 (Atari ST, Amiga)
•A.T.A.C, 1992 (PC CDROM)
•Birds of Prey, 1992 (AMIGA)
•X, 1992 (Game Boy)
•Star Fox, 1993 (SNES) (assistance in programming)
•King Arthur's World, 1993 (SNES)
•Vortex, 1994 (SNES)
•Stunt Race FX, 1994 (SNES) (assistance in programming)
•Creature Shock, 1994 (PC CDROM)
•Ren & Stimpy: Fire Dogs, 1994 (SNES)
•FX Fighter, 1995 (PC CDROM)
•Alien Odyssey, 1995 (PC CDROM)
•FX Fighter Turbo, 1996 (PC CDROM)
•Scooby Doo Mystery, 1996 (SNES)
•Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, 1997 (PC, PS1, SAT)
•Buck Bumble, 1998 (N64)
•Croc 2, 1999 (PC, PS1)
•The Emperor's New Groove, 2000 (PC, PS1)
•Alien: Resurrection, 2000 (PS1)
•Red Dog: Superior Firepower, 2000 (DC)
•Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge, 2000 (PC, PS1)
•Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 2001 (PC, PS1) (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US)
•Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002 (PC, PS1)
•Bionicle: Matoran Adventures, 2002 (GBA)
•Bionicle: The Game, 2003 (GameCube, PC, PS2, Xbox)
•I-Ninja, 2003 (GameCube, PC, PS2, Xbox)
•SWAT: Global Strike Team, 2003 (PS2, Xbox)
•Carve, 2004 (Xbox)
•Catwoman: The Game, 2004 (GameCube, PS2)
•Power Drome, 2004 (PS2, Xbox)
•Malice, 2004 (PS2, Xbox)

Cancelled Games[edit]
•Reactor, 1991 (SNES)
•Star Fox 2, 1995 (SNES)
•FX Fighter, 1995 (SNES)
•Croc 2, 1999 (Dreamcast, N64, Saturn)
•Alien Resurrection, 2000 (Dreamcast, N64, Saturn)
•BIONICLE: City of Legends, 2004 (Xbox, PS2)[6][7]

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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by merman » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:33 am

With your experience in 3D games, what do you think are the hardest things to get right - the camera/viewpoint, the controls, the level design, or something else?

What has been your favourite hardware to develop for?

Does critical reaction to a game influence what you plan/design next?

Given an unlimited budget, what would you put into your dream game?

Any plans for Starglider on the new wave of VR hardware?
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by Matt_B » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:49 am

It'd be interesting to know what he thought of the contemporary 3D games to Starglider. Did he take much influence and inspiration from the likes of Elite, Mercenary, Carrier Command, the Freescape games, and so on?

Also, what does he think of the new Star Fox, as previewed at E3?

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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by mikeb » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:12 am

Did you or the team at any point regret the decision to include so many different playable aircraft in Birds of Prey?

After Star Fox, what did you think of rival space shooters like Wing Commander and others?

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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by ArchaicKoala » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:44 am

How far into development was the SNES version of FX Fighter before it was cancelled? From the footage I've seen it looks like it would have been a very graphically impressive title.

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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by joefish » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:53 am

Who approached who with the collaboration with Nintendo over the Super FX chip? And why did you favour enhancing the SNES when its rival in the market, the Megadrive, already had the processing power to do the sort of 3D you were famous for on the ST/Amiga?

(If his reply includes the phrase 'frame rate', feel free to nod sagely on my behalf :D ).

And yeah, when are we going to get a Starglider 3? Sort it out! :lol:

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slacey1070
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by slacey1070 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:03 pm

What one thing would you change about your back catalogue if you could?

What is your biggest regret of your career to date?

The forum is divided on what is the best gaming format, PC or Console - which would you pick?

Which game did you say "Hey, I wish I'd thought of that..."?

Which one game would you say sums up your career best?
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by crusto » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:41 pm

There have been rumours that a version of creature shock was nearly finished for the Jaguar CD. Is this true? Or was this just another in a long line of proposed but non starter jaguar titles?

Was Star Fox 2 any good before it was canned?
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by Megamixer » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:53 pm

Why did Croc not appear on the PS2?

Was Malice intended to contain more content than it did? It was a nice game but very short and a bit sparse...

How on earth did you make Alien Resurrection so amazing on the Playstation? Did it push the hardware anywhere near its limit?
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by DRS » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:05 am

Wow, loads of questions already! Cheers folks - I'll do my best to get 'em all in :)

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slacey1070
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by slacey1070 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:12 am

crusto wrote: Was Star Fox 2 any good before it was canned?
The ROMS out there (in English) if you fancy a look
Owned: Vic 20, C64, Amiga, PC, SNES, Dreamcast, PS2, Gameboy, Gameboy Colour, DS, Xbox360, PSP 2000, Wii, 3DSXL, GameCube, N64, JXD S7800.

“I ain't got a problem with your anger, hope you get around to having fun" Hugh Cornwell.

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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by antsbull » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:18 am

What has been your favorite hardware to develop for in your career?

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Timothy Lumsden
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:28 pm

Most people who started in the industry back in the early days seem to have drifted into something else, but you've worked really solidly for a long time for several decades - did you ever have a bad patch where you considered doing something else?

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crusto
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by crusto » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:05 pm

slacey1070 wrote:
crusto wrote: Was Star Fox 2 any good before it was canned?
The ROMS out there (in English) if you fancy a look
I'm not the rom type mr slacey. I just can't believe that a sequel to such a classic is canned for any other reason except pure shitness.
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Re: Questions for Jez 'Starglider & Star Fox' San

Post by paranoid marvin » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:08 pm

Do you prefer the more simplistic gameplay of Starglider , or the more expansive of it's sequel?

What did you think of the Spectrum conversions? Would you have even thought it possible?
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