Author Topic: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart  (Read 6996 times)

Online zapiy

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RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« on: February 07, 2013, 19:47:28 PM »
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[align=center:3m50tf5v][size=120]Here is our latest interview with Ian Stewart the Founder of Gremlin Interactive.

Huge thanks to Ian for agreeing to take part.

Enjoy

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Zapiy

Tell us a bit about you and Gremlin Interactive started?

IanThe Laird

Zool and Zool 2 were both very popular games and well recieved, how come you never made any more Zool games?

IanThe Laird

I was a massive fan of the Lotus games, did you get the license first and build a game around it or was the game already made and called something else at first?

Ian

It was a bit of both, Magnetic Fields had a demo of a racing game and we worked together on creating the Lotus game in tandem with obtaining the license.

The Laird

The only Monty Mole game on the 16-bits was the quite different Impossamole, was there ever any plans to resurrect him properly?

Ian

No, during the 16 bit era the company fell out of love with Monty and he was retired with a small pension and a tunnel under carver street to see out the rest of his days!

The Laird

Your one and only Atari Lynx game, Switchblade II, was excellent. Was there ever any plans to produce more games for the Lynx?

Ian

I knew the guys that did the original design who worked at Epyx Games and it was a great machine, unfortunately it had a short life and software sales were limited and it made no sense to develop any more titles.

The Laird

With a name like Gremlin how come you never made a game actually based around some sort of Gremlin?

Ian

We never actually owned the Gremlin name! Not long after the company started we received a very strong legal letter from Warner Bros accusing us of passing off of its Gremlins property! Baring in mind that at the time we were a very small company it made no sense in getting in to a fight, so after some lengthy discussions we signed a royalty free license to use Gremlin with the understanding that we would not develop games with Gremlins.

zapiy

How difficult was it being under US Gold in the late 1980's i remember reading it was not an easy time?

Ianzapiy

Was there many cancelled titles during this period? If so can you recall any and would any of the code be available on a disk somewhere?

IanAmigaJay

What was it like working with Magnetic Fields? And did they keep to time schedules or were they left to finish in their own time?

Ian

It was always good working with Doug, Sean and Andrew. Whilst we may have been flexible with schedules the guys worked really hard and never let us down.

AmigaJay

What was your favourite platform to work on, 8bit, 16bit and console?

Ian

I would say 8 bit because we were stepping into the unknown with no barriers apart from our imagination and a maximum of 16-32k to work within!

AmigaJay

What was your best selling title?

Ian

ZOOL followed by Lotus Series and Prem Man.

AmigaJay

What do you miss the most about the industry you were once part of?

IanAmigaJay

Any plans to revive any of the old I.P on the newer digital platforms?

Ian

I have already re-imagined Bounder for iOS and Android, Prem Man will be available soon via Thumbstar Games and you might just see ZOOL sometime soon! Others that I am looking at are Thing on a Spring Jack the Nipper! I am also re-introducing the Actua brand on Facebook as Actua Poker.

TrekMDIan

If I remember rightly, we were looking for an incentive to keep customers coming back to Just Micro and had a whole series of gremlin like characters for people to collect to obtain a discount. Then when we came to choose a name to publish by, Gremlin hit the spot and Gremlin Graphics was formed.

TrekMDIan

I have to be interested in any new console/platform especially where there is an opportunity to reuse code and assets.

The Laird

I recently interviewed former Imagitec Design staff and they talked a lot about the close relationship with Gremlin that eventually saw them being bought out by you. How useful was it having a programming house like that to help you out with music and multi-format conversions?

Ian

At the time it was a great resorse for us to use, they were a smart team of people that worked extremely hard for the group. Music was always produced to the highest quality and complemented the Sheffield music studio with some very different sounds.

The Laird

When Gremlin took over DMA Design did you have any idea just how massive the Grand Theft Auto series would become?

Ian

If we had we would have had to pay a lot more than we did for DMA, unfortunately DMA had already sold the title to Bertlesman who then sold it on to Take Two!
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Offline TL

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Re: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 19:58:36 PM »
Fantastic interview! The story about not being able to make Gremlin games was brilliant!

Offline Carlos

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Re: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 20:01:13 PM »
great stuff, well done on getting this. :)

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 22:02:40 PM »
Very nice interview!

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline AmigaJay

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Re: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 22:49:50 PM »
Nice work as usual Zapiy  nice read.
Old School Gamer Since 1982 - Creator of various gaming websites and blogs 1998-2017

Online zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Ian Stewart
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 20:49:03 PM »
Cheers really enjoy doing them and thanks to all for supporting the idea.
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