Who should we interview next?

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NorthWay
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by NorthWay » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:50 pm

Ben Daglish?

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Mick Farrow
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Mick Farrow » Thu May 07, 2009 5:44 pm

Stamper Bros please!
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Danforth
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Danforth » Thu May 28, 2009 12:45 pm

If you can get hold of the Stamper Brothers that would be the coup of the decade. Some Mire Mare closure would be nice.

Failing that, one of my fave Speccy programmers would be good. Each brought their own style to their games...

Don Priestley
Malcolm Evans (has been in the mag before, mind)
Pete Cooke
Clones are People II

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binaryRooster
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by binaryRooster » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:01 pm

Stamper Brothers would be awesome!

Have you interviewed Steve Turner Yet? He made some classic Spectrum titles.

Costa Panayi (TLL, Android 2, Highway Encounter etc)?

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Zetr0
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Zetr0 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:20 pm

has Magnetic Fields or Delphine Software been interviewed ?


what about the wholy grail... Andrew Braybrook ?
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EnglishRob
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by EnglishRob » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:21 am

I'd second Sir Alan Sugar, plus the guys that were involved with the creation of the CPC, Roland Perry wasn't it?

From watching the Apprentice Sir Alan seems to be a fairly down to earth guy (although I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end if I was being fired!).

Also would love an interview on the guys involved with Monkey Island, and maybe some of the old Amiga demo groups, Anarchy were one of my favorites with their Madness demos.

Rob
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Bland_Boy
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Bland_Boy » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:59 am

I'll have to say, Timothy Cain,
director of such notable games as;
Arcanum Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
Fallout

Can't think of anyone else at the moment.
For a videogame that was released 11 years ago now, Perfect Dark for the N64 completely trounces all its FPS competitors
of the last decade or so, in terms of variety of multiplayer option at your disposal.

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Rory Milne
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Rory Milne » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:45 am

An interview with the Stamper brothers definitely gets my vote!

Failing that how about interviewing Leigh Loveday from Rare???

For anyone asking themselves "why him" here are a few reasons. To be fair the first two are of passing interest but probably won't really sell anyone completely on the idea and the third is a little speculative but reason four could potentially make the interview hot enough to be the the subject of the front cover of a future issue of Retro Gamer...

1) Worked for 'Your Sinclair'

Was a regular and some might say "mental" letter writer and reviewer during the latter days of the much loved speccy mag 'Your Sinclair'.

2) Contributed to quite a few Rare Games

Has written many and various product manuals for Rare games plus has come up with some very wacky scripts for a fair few too.

3) Has worked in the Rare Offices for donkey's years!

He's worked for Rare for a long time, if anyone has the inside story on this famed but mysterious company then it surely must be him.

4) He's the Rare Website Editor

In fact he actually set it up but why is this of particular interest? Read on...

- Mire Mare

Part of the task he set himself when he drew up the first draft of the site was to have a damn good try at finding out everything he could about Mire Mare. He got Tim Stamper to look through his artwork folder where against all odds the cover art for Mire Mare was uncovered and Leigh duly unveiled it to the world for the first time on Rare's site. Wikipedia and various other online sources suggest that Mire Mare was advertised in magazines around the time of it's supposed release but have a look through the scans of old speccy mags from the time at World of Spectrum and you'll see it just isn't true. It's only out there because of Leigh and he didn't stop there. He also asked if Mire Mare ever existed and posted at the time on comp.sys.sinclair that "the cover design was as far as the whole project got".

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys ... en&lnk=st&

But apparently he didn't take "doesn't exist" for an answer because a while after being told by the Stampers that Mire Mare never was he published some contradictory information on the newly designed Rare site. He didn't say where said information came from, that remains for him to tell, but he did reveal the following facts: a) Mire Mare's "basic design" was completed and b) coding on the game was started.

http://web.archive.org/web/199902091553 ... tro/limbo/

Just precisely what "basic design" might mean wasn't disclosed although both the Pickford brothers (ex-Rare programmers) are on the record as saying that all the Ultimate games' graphics were designed on graph paper and that the Stampers kept "big thick folders with every single bitmap".

http://www.rllmukforum.com/lofiversion/ ... 36-50.html

http://www.zee-3.com/pickfordbros/artic ... creens.php

So maybe Mire Mare "exists" or "existed" on graph paper. Perhaps Leigh could verify this as John Pickford's memory is a little shaky or then again maybe an interview with the Pickfords is in order! At any rate in 2004 John said he was "pretty sure" that he was told by the Stampers that Mire Mare didn't ever exist.

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?sh ... try1043556

But then again in 2007 when asked for clarification he said "I probably did ask but I can't remember. I don't think there were any nearly finished titles lying around."

http://www.rlwk.co.uk/lofiversion/index ... 36-50.html

Also not elaborated on by Leigh when he launched the Rare site was exactly how much or how little of the game was coded, a couple of lines, the whole thing bar a little spit and polish or somewhere in-between. Another burning question for Mr Loveday I would say. And here's another. Just exactly who was responsible for however much of the design, graphics and coding that was completed? The Stampers said in an interview that they didn't produce any of the Ultimate games after Gunfright, but in the same interview they cast doubt over whether the order the Ultimate games were released in was the same as the order that they were programmed in.

http://www.crashonline.org.uk/51/ultimate.htm

In a separate interview they said "Ultimate engineers" developed the games after Gunfright but didn't elaborate.

http://www.solvalou.com/speccy_ultimate2.php

So did the Stampers work on Mire Mare before they did Gunfright but not finish it? Did the mysterious John Lathbury and Tim Stamper's now wife, then girlfriend Carole Ward (the other half of Ultimate's board of directors) have a hand in the game's development? Or were unnamed Ultimate "engineers" responsible? Over to Leigh again for answers.

And remember much of what I've unearthed is based on what Leigh had found out about Mire Mare in the late '90s - imagine what he might know now after all these years working for Rare and with the Stampers...

- Pentagram

This one's a bit more about what Leigh didn't say when he first put the Rare website together rather than what he did. He said "The last Spectrum game to be programmed by the Stampers, Gunfright, flaunted all the old magic that the declining label's last few titles, Cyberun, Bubbler and Martianoids, sadly lacked."

http://web.archive.org/web/199902091338 ... etro/biog/

On first glance nothing new there - the Stampers weren't responsible for Cyberun, Bubbler and Martianoids. But there's a title that was released after Gunfright, that just so happens to feature Ultimate's signature character Sabreman, that's missed out of the list of Ultimate games that Leigh says the Stampers definitely didn't do: Pentagram.

I realise I might be reading a tiny bit too much into this but it's well worth asking. It's the fact that all three of the other post-Gunfright games are listed. If it was just the poorly received Bubbler and Martianoids that were disowned then I wouldn't have even thought along these lines but it just seems strange to me to mention 3 of the 4 including the Crash-smashed Cyberun but not mention Pentagram. Bottom line is that Leigh might know.

So, a joint interview with the Stampers, Leigh Loveday and the Pickfords it is then! :D

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Wil
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Wil » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:51 pm

I hate to burst your bubble but Leigh knows as much about Mire Mare as the rest of us - nowt! And getting Tim and Chris to talk about all things Ultimate is about as likely as Big Brother becoming even half-decent telly. It's a nice dream and would be the retro coup of the century but...

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rossi46
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by rossi46 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:51 pm

What about interviewing Dave Perry the Unstoppable Games Animal?
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:55 pm

Wil wrote:I hate to burst your bubble but Leigh knows as much about Mire Mare as the rest of us - nowt! And getting Tim and Chris to talk about all things Ultimate is about as likely as Big Brother becoming even half-decent telly. It's a nice dream and would be the retro coup of the century but...
Tell me about it. I sent a nice letter and a stack of magazine to Tim's house (getting that certainly wasn't easy) but I didn't get so much as a thanks for the magazines from him. I guess I could do the classic, turn up and ask for an interview, but I'd probably get arrested.
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paranoid marvin
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by paranoid marvin » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:41 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:


Mervyn Estcourt?

Who? You might well ask. Well , he wrote some classic games (usually featuring motorbikes or variants) including the legendary 3D Deathchase , Speed King and Full Throttle (the other one!)

Sorry to bump this , but really think this guy would be interesting to interview, seeing has he (arguably) wrote the best ever game for the Speccy - and in only 16k to boot!
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Wil
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Wil » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:01 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:
Wil wrote:I hate to burst your bubble but Leigh knows as much about Mire Mare as the rest of us - nowt! And getting Tim and Chris to talk about all things Ultimate is about as likely as Big Brother becoming even half-decent telly. It's a nice dream and would be the retro coup of the century but...
Tell me about it. I sent a nice letter and a stack of magazine to Tim's house (getting that certainly wasn't easy) but I didn't get so much as a thanks for the magazines from him. I guess I could do the classic, turn up and ask for an interview, but I'd probably get arrested.
That's if you could get past the gates and the dogs! Even then, knowing Tim, he'd probably just tell you to bugger off! The thing is I imagine that what started out as just not being interested in past endeavours might have slightly morphed into an actual reluctance to talk about the old days. Especially in the case of Mire Mare which, I suspect if it were actually revealed, would turn out to be an uncompleted mish-mash and a massive let down. After all, by the end of Ultimate Tim and Chris were well into getting excited about the NES and I can't imagine them being bothered about another Speccy game even if it did feature Sabre Man.

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Rory Milne
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Rory Milne » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:45 am

Wil wrote:I hate to burst your bubble but Leigh knows as much about Mire Mare as the rest of us - nowt!
Point taken. I was more hoping rather than assuming Leigh would know more about the game than he said on the Rare site, but there are still a few loose ends that he could tie up...

Looking at the hard facts and avoiding any speculation of any sort I end up with the following:

Leigh revealed 3 main facts about Mire Mare on Rare's site in the '90s.

1) It was top-down like Sabre Wulf rather than isometric like Knight Lore.
2) It's basic design was complete.
3) It's coding was started but not finished.

Without speculating that means Leigh must have communicated with a person or persons that might know more about the game.

As long as the form of communication didn't involve a dimly lit car park at night a la 'All the presidents men' or the 'X-files' - amusing as that mental image is :wink: - then Leigh must at bare minimum have a name or names of people who may have more information.

To me this makes Leigh worth at least a quick chat with.

I realise anyone reading this might be thinking 'well he probably got his information from the Stampers so that's no use' but Tim Stamper is on record as saying the game didn't get past a title and if memory serves Chris Stamper was supposed to have been even busier than his brother during the time that Ultimate was winding down and Rare was taking off so it's unlikely he worked on Mire Mare and gave Leigh his information.

In other words Leigh might have a name of someone much easier to get an interview with than the Stampers...
Wil wrote:And getting Tim and Chris to talk about all things Ultimate is about as likely as Big Brother becoming even half-decent telly. It's a nice dream and would be the retro coup of the century but...
I know, I know, I only mentioned them half seriously, I realise they don't love interviews. But I would make the point that when they have given interviews in the past that questions have been asked about Ultimate and the Stampers have been happy to answer them. I wouldn't even say they've been evasive. Admitedly nothing huge has been revealed but obviously questions about Ultimate haven't been 'off the table' so to speak.

The other point I'd make - and I'm probably pointing out the bl**ding obvious here - is that past Stamper interviews have all been given when the brother's have had something they want to publisise - the setting up of Rare, Rare being part sold to Nintendo, Rare being sold to Microsoft.

So if, and if is the operative word here, but if the Stampers start something new gameswise in the near future then they'll almost certainly give some sort of an interview.

What I was thinking was that NowGamer might be in the running to do said interview and if so a certain RG editor might be able to tag along with a short list of well thought out Ultimate related questions...

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Wil
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Re: Who should we interview next?

Post by Wil » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:22 pm

All good points Rory but I speak as someone who's worked at Rare for nearly 10 years now and have known Leigh for all of 'em. Not only have I talked to and bothered him about Ultimate stuff (and remember, he wasn't at the company then) but also anyone and everyone from those days (and there's not many of them). Tim and Chris were just never interested in talking about the old days and I never even got a hint of Mire Mare being any more than a planned but abandoned title. I think the problem lies with Tim actually doing some artwork and so making it seem a bit more 'concrete' than it actually was.

In a way it's probably better like this. Ultimate were the tops for secrecy back in the day and now, 20-odd years later, they've still got that mystery. Stuff like Mire Mare still keeps it going and I kinda like it like that.

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