Author Topic: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright  (Read 6086 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« on: November 07, 2012, 13:48:07 PM »
[align=center:2pdlofir]TrekMDSteve

It was actually based on a popular arcade game at the time Astro Blast (or Astro Blaster)
Since there was a proliferation of 'space" games at the time, the marketing team set out to crete a title to differentiate the game. The first proposed title was "Gadzooks". We rejected that particular title, but agreed on the direction. Then the idea of a "space nightmare" was born -- and the title became Megamania.
 
TrekMD

What was the most challenging aspect of programming such excellent games for the 2600?

Steve

By the time the game was complete, the 4,000 bytes of code were arranged with the precision of a Rubiks Cube... the programmer would have essentially memorized every line of code.
 
TrekMD

Is there a console you consider your most favorite to work on?

Steve

Consoles are pretty difficult due to all the custom hardare capability. I'd say my favorite these days is iOS -- which is essentially becoming like a console.


 
Greyfox

What gave you the idea to create "Hacker" what type of research was involved?

Steve

Hacker was the combination of several things. At a trade show I spotted a game based on a scene looking through a tunnel (which led to the high speed tunneling) Dave Crane just finished Ghost Busters.. and I liked his approach of equipping a vehicle and then traveling around a map. hanged it to a robot traveling through high-speed underground tunnels around the globe. It started as a "mail delivery" game. Then transitioned to a document collecting game. Then documents related to a vast evil conspiracy. Then I saw the movie "War Games" and added the part about logging in to t computer system to control the robot. The producer of the product Brad Freggar came up with the title Hacker.

Greyfox

What was the atmosphere at Activision at the time like?, where you and your colleagues seeing each others projects, did you guys exchange ideas or improvements on their games or vice versa ?

Steve

Constant collaboration. We all worked in one small room and looked over each other's shoulders constantly. As a game neared completion we all spent time playtesting

Greyfox

Barnstorming , another incredible game from Yourself and Activision, where did you get the idea for this? To your knowledge were people kicking themselves for not coming up with this idea before?

Steve

My friend Dave Crane brought me in for an interview. I spotted a biplane carrying an advertising banner on my way home from my first meeting / interview with the other Activision co-founders. I called up Dave Crane and said "How about a game where you fly a plane through barns and over windmills. We can call it Barnstorming!" They hired me the next day.
 
Greyfox

From your perspective , how do you feel the games industry as a whole has changed, do you think it's a money grabbing corporate tyrant now, and if you could what would you change about it to make it a better place?

Steve

The industry is far more difficult these days. Back then only a handfull of people in the world knew how to make a game. Now, hundreds of thousands can do it.

Greyfox

If you haven't heard their is a new android open source console about to be released this year called OUYA, if you have heard of it, what do you think of it? ,would you consider doing some of your most famous classic titles for it ?

Steve

Only heard of it... don't know anything about it.
 
The Laird

What were the challenges of working on a massive series like PGA Golf?

Steve

Golf was the hardest sport because creating every coarse was a project in itself. Eventually, we pioneered the concept of mapping courses using GPS data.
 
The Laird

Did you realise that your classic 2600 game Sea Quest had been ported to the Atari Jaguar?

Steve

Didn't know.

The Laird

How does coding games for mobile devices differ to making games for traditional platforms?

Steve

The games have to be much more self-explanatory with zero learning curve.

Shadowrunner

here was a game being developed for the 3DO called Shred Fest. I remember seeing screen shots in magazines and they were calling it Road Rash on snowboards. Do you know how far into development it got and why it was cancelled?

Steve

I vaguely remember it -- don't know what happened.
 
Zapiy

Do you know of any games that never got released that might be be something that could be given to the very active retro scene?

Steve

I remember a few tech demos that went nowhere. The was one game called Kabobber that was really cute... but there was never any "win" condition so it never got released.
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 TL

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Re: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 14:37:13 PM »
The answers were a bit short but still an interesting read

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 17:06:10 PM »
Yeah I was hoping for more from my question but EA is a big company so it's understandable to not know everything about every game they were doing at the time. Still nice of him to do the interview.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 18:39:51 PM »
I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with this interview.  Short answers and some doesn't really answer the questions fully.  In any case, he was nice enough to do the interview, so have to appreciate what we got.  :)

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 19:48:31 PM »
I think Steve felt harassed by me and did this last minute. Still very grateful. 
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 Greyfox

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Re: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 21:51:49 PM »
I'm delighted with my responses , answered mainly what I wanted to know, other than the OUYA question, he never answered if he would work protially on it..but still, a great interview and it seems my questions got the most information feedback 8)

Offline onthinice

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Re: RVG Interviews Steve Cartwright
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 13:26:00 PM »
Great interview! He is right on about today's gaming being more difficult. At least for me, as there are too many titles I want but can't afford.