Author Topic: RVG Interviews Stephen Thomson  (Read 6904 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Stephen Thomson
« on: April 22, 2013, 18:47:36 PM »
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zapiy

Tell us a little about you, where you started, how you got involved in Ocean and what your upto these days?

StephenRogue Trooper

Operation Thunderbolt C64 and THAT Zap 64 review. A Sizzler awarded for a game based on unfinished code, which was never finished leading to C64 owners getting a very different game. Can you shed any light on this?. For example did you know Zzap were going to do a review based on beta code and if so, how did you feel about it and also, why did'nt Zzap make any mention of this change of code in issues after the review, until it was re-reviewed (by different staff) on Budget re-release?

StephenThe Laird

Can you tell us why all 3 8-bit computers had different versions of Robocop?

Stephen

Back then we rarely mimicked each other versions of games, preferring to take the different approach with each artist and programmer (for the C64 myself and John Meegan, with Dawn Drake and Mike Lamb making the Spectrum versions) making the title based on a loose level flow. This method would be deemed as crazy nowadays, but back then it worked out really well, as we could focus on what each of the computers were good at. I guess it would have been an easy shortcut to take the spectrum hi-res 1bit art and just port to the Commodore, but we wanted to put our individual stamp on our title. The only title where we were much closer game flow and Level design wise was The Untouchables, by far the biggest game I had ever been involved with up until then.
 
The Laird

How did Ariston deal come about to use the Robocop title music on their washing machine adverts?

StephenThe Laird

Do you think it was a mistake to support the Amstrad GX4000 and C64GS?

StephenThe Laird

Do you think Ocean should have moved into producing console games much sooner?

Stephenzapiy

What was it like working for a company like Ocean during those days of budget gaming?

Stephenzapiy

What's the great achievement during your time at Ocean?

Stephenzapiy

Did you ever start work on games development for Konix Multisystem games? If so have you got any info?

StephenThe Laird

Movie and arcades licenses became the staple of Ocean over the years, how important were they to the company?

Stephen

I think they gave Ocean its identity over everyone else, and TBH made then a lot of money. I do remember back then a lot of people bemoaning Ocean, saying their titles were unoriginal, but I really enjoyed everything I worked on everything there. I think Ocean were probably the first big U.K. publisher, and had a strong business ethic.

The Laird
 
Any idea what became of the Spectrum and Amstrad versions of Toki?

Stephen

Not sure, I think Toki was outsourced, and the team only developed on the C64.

zapiy

What were the best/worse things about working with the game systems back then?

Stephenzapiy

Out of all the work you've done, what was the hardest to work on and why?

Stephen

The hardest game was operation Thunderbolt, was a real challenge and we had so much work to get done in very little time.
 
zapiy

What other games have you worked on?

Stephenzapiy

Can you share any graphics with us of games that may have never seen the light of day?

Stephen

Yes i sure can..






 
 
Acme
 
zapiy

Tell us a little about you, where you started, how you got involved in Acme and what your upto these days?

Stephen

I joined Acme interactive in Late 1991. A few of my collegues were already working over there, so I decided to apply myself and got the job. It was a real culture shock at first, but I soon settled in and proceeded to work on many title for Acme. The highlight titles for me were Evander Holyfield boxing and Batman returns on the Mega C.D.
 
zapiy

Can you share any of your early images for Batman Returns?

Stephen

I sure can.





zapiy

What was it like working for a company like Acme during those days of budget gaming?

Stephen

I loved working at Acme, My boss Bob Jacob, really understood the making of games and saw the potential for them as storytelling devices way before a lot of the rest of the industry. The Cinemaware titles he was involved with are testament to that
 
zapiy

Whats the great achievement during your time at Acme?

Stephenzapiy

Did Acme start work on games development for Konix Multisystem games? If so have you got any info?

Stephen zapiy

What other games have you worked on?

Stephenzapiy
 
Can you share any graphics with us of games that may have never seen the light of day?

Stephen

See below.

Batman Retrurns





X-Women an unreleased game.



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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 Stephen Thomson
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 20:35:03 PM »
Great interview, especially as we got to see all those gorgeous unreleased graphics!

Offline zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Stephen Thomson
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 20:46:28 PM »
I have a load more fella.. Going to do a special post relating them once i get a chance to chat live with Stephen. :113:
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 108 Stars

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Re: RVG Interviews Stephen Thomson
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 00:06:25 AM »
Wow, his is awesome, especially for me as a wannabe graphics artist. Some of the stuff he shared puts me to shame really... he's in a totally different league!

I missed asking questions myself, but you asked good stuff.

I was unaware of his name, but Batman Returns for Mega-CD and Adventures of Batman & Robin for Mega Drive really are among the most technically superb games on the machines. Hard as hell, but plenty of wow-moments. Hats off to Mr.Thomson!
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Offline DreamcastRIP

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Re: RVG Interviews Stephen Thomson
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 00:34:13 AM »
Another fine interview on RVG.  :1:

I particularly enjoyed the parts about Operation Thunderbolt and Batman Returns.

Props to RT for the valiant attempt at getting a scoop on the Zzap!64 review of Operation Thunderbolt!
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