Author Topic: RVG Interviews: Mike Dailly.  (Read 92 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews: Mike Dailly.
« on: May 23, 2018, 13:26:05 PM »

Here we have another fantastic RVG Interviews, this time with Mike Dailly, Mike is a legend within the Industry having worked on the original GTA game, playing a huge part in the creation of Lemmings and Shadow of the Beast to mention just a few so please enjoy the interview.

Zapiy

Thank you for agreeing to our interview, please take a moment to tell us a little about you?

Mike

I've been a game developer for a little over 137 years, I started back in the 1800's just after Charles Babbage invented the difference engine. It's quite possible that my many strange body odours inspired him to create the difference engine 2 in a desperate attempt to compute how many animals I'd accidentally killed by taking a short-cut through the woods.

Okay...fine. I started at DMA Design in 1989 and was there for 10 years before moving to Visual Sciences to make F1 games for EA sports. I was only there for 2 years as EA were control freaks and stole some of our ideas for another team, so I got pissed off and left. I then spent 4 years doing mobile phone games - and a Beano game before moving to Realtime Worlds to start a project that pulled in $85 million dollars in investment, only to have them piss it all away on APB. Ah well... I then moved to YoYo Games, and have been there for 8 years now.

Zapiy

What was the first game you created?

Mike

Guess the number on the ZX81. I was proving a point to my Gran who let me hook it up to her TV. But the first real completed on was a game called Freek Out on the Commodore Plus/4. My first commercial game was Ballistix for the C64. It was a bit crap... but it was my first game and got me into the industry, so I've fond memories of it.

Zapiy

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

Mike

Nah, people have always like their childhood things, and being reminded of it. Not to mention many older games were brilliant, and anyone who doesn't like retro gaming is clearly mad.

Zapiy

Any thoughts on doing a game for a retro system?

Mike

I'm currently doing a ZX Spectrum Next port of Lemmings, and I have my XeO3 game already. I might even finish something one day.....

DeadVoivod

How does it feel, knowing you created one of the biggest selling and probably best global open world game in gaming history? That is quite huge.

Mike

Well, I was part of it, I didn't create it. GTA was a massive team effort, and my work only started it. It's probably the only time a design by committee game was actually any good...

DeadVoivod

What impact does it have on you nowadays?

Mike

Not much. it's nice to see it do well, but I've not been involved in it for a long time.

DeadVoivod

Do you like the direction it has taken and where it's going?

Mike

I personally prefer arcade games, and it's not the direction I'd have taken it. GTA 1 and 2 were pretty arcade based, with the score bonuses etc, but the new ones are all story driven, which just annoys me. Whenever I do play them, i end up just driving around - that's the fun bit, the rest is so-so....

DeadVoivod

Where did you get the idea to design such a game?

Mike

As I said above it was a team design. A lot of the fun stuff when in because they thought it would be cool. The initial game engine allowed for the "open world", and Dave Jones really wanted to base a game inside a living city - like playing inside SimCity (which we were all big fans on).

DeadVoivod

Did you have the idea earlier, but couldn't realize it due to hardware limitations at that time?

Mike

No, I did a rotating isometric engine that "could" have been GTA, but once Syndicate Wars came out, it was clear that just wasn't going to work. Gameplay was boring. Hardware limits have never been something I've paid much attention to!

DeadVoivod

Wasn't you afraid of the game getting censored due to its obvious violence?

Mike

Nope. As I said before, we put in what was fun. Devs wanted to steal cars, shot drivers and police, it was good fun. It was also just a bunch of tiny pixels, so we always just thought of it as Tom and Jerry violence.

DeadVoivod

What's your opinion about the latest GTA V?

Mike

Haven't played it.

DeadVoivod

What's your opinion about Red Dead Redemption? Do you like the idea of the western setting?

Mike

I love western games, and have played it a fair bit. It's nice to have a slower paced shooter, instead of a bullet hell game like "COD Black Ops". I wish there were more shooters like it.

Zapiy

Lemmings is clearly a game that hit more or less every system, if there any if was in dev for that we don't know about? Konix Multisystem or other?

Mike

I have no idea which systems it ended up on, there were so many. We only did a few ports in-house. Amiga, ST, PC, Sinclair Spectrum, Atari Lynx and Philips CDI.

TrekMD

You've written games, designed games and produced games.  Which is your favorite role in the game development process?

Mike

Coding, without a doubt. It's what gets me up in the morning!

Zapiy

What games from back in the day (and now) would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Mike

Manic Miner, Jetpac, Penetrator, Scuba Dive.... in fact.... stacks of old ZX Spectrum games
Armalyte, Delta, Uridium, Monkey Island (1,2 and 3), Super Mario World, Rtype, Salamander, Nemesis, Ninja Warrior, and Green Beret.

Zapiy

How did you get started in the video game industry?

Mike

I started coding when I was about 13, and met Dave Jones, Russell Kay and Steve Hammond at a computer club when I was about 15. We all then spent time as a group doing dev and trying to make games. When Dave was finally able to finish one, he offered me a job - which I snapped up.

Zapiy

Do you have a favorite game that you were involved with?

Mike

Lemmings/Lemmings2. Both were great fun to work on. I loved making levels on lemmings, it was a great atmosphere.

Zapiy

Was it hard adapting to the changing hardware over the years?

Mike

Nah, it's one of the best things about the games industry. You're ALWAYS learning new stuff, playing with new toys. How could any job be better?!?!

Zapiy

When you first started did you ever think that the video game industry would become as big as it has and still be going strong all these years later?

Mike

Oh hell no. I thought I'd get a couple of years and that'd be it. I never thought the industry would grow much more than it was during the Amiga years. It's been a hell of a ride!

Zapiy

Are you a gamer yourself?  Do you own any retro systems?  Modern systems?

Mike

I own most of them (yeah... sadder...I know). My loft is full of old machines. Several C64s, about 9 48K Spectrums, a few +3s... the list goes on. I also usually buy consoles as they come out, although it took me a while to get the XBox One...

Zapiy

When you're not working on games what are some of your favourites to play?

Mike

COD, Monkey Island 1 and 2 (yeah...sad...I know), Assassin's creed, Far Cry.

Zapiy

How different has it been to work in the gaming industry through the years?

Mike

Quite a lot. it started out as a boys club, moved into company level with management and everything, then got corporate with directors, share holders and the like, but now it's reverting a little with indie devs, which I love.

Zapiy

What company back in the day did you most admire and why?

Mike

In the early 80s probably Ultimate, they were just so cool.
Then Lucas Arts - Monkey Island, and all the other point and click adventures
Nintendo when the SNES appeared, and I loved the PSOne/PS2 hardware.

Finally

Huge thanks to Mike for taking time out to chat to us, it's much appreciated.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline DeadVoivod

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Re: RVG Interviews: Mike Dailly.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 11:55:06 AM »
Great interview, thumbs up! Thanks Mike.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews: Mike Dailly.
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 13:55:29 PM »
Nice interview, thanks!

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: RVG Interviews: Mike Dailly.
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 17:00:45 PM »
Very good. :)