Author Topic: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg  (Read 2028 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« on: August 21, 2014, 16:52:09 PM »
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Here's our interview with the great Stuart Gregg, Stu has worked on some classics such as Gauntlet I & II, OutRun Europa, Rick Dangerous to name a few.

Below is a list of all Stu's work.


DesignProgramming/Engineering

Can i say a huge thanks to Stuart for agreeing to take part in this interview.[/align:33735qb8]



zapiy

Firstly Stuart thanks for agreeing to take part in this interview with RVG and its members.. Can you tell us a little about you and how you got into the gaming industry?


Stuart

I was lucky to be a teenager when the first home computers first came out. I didn't have my own computer so would go round to my friends and relations to use them. To start with we would just play games, but more and more I got into the programming side of things, one of my friends is/was Simon Phipps, and we just kind of feed of each other, it was a very cool time. Eventually I dropped out of six form because all I cared about was programming (fortunately that worked out reasonably well). My first Job was working at Loughbourgh University making educational videos. That's were I met Paul Carruthers, Ian Downend and and Richard Costello. When the grant money ran out I went on a government scheme to start up my own business bought my self a Amstrad cpc 6128 and the rest is history.


zapiy

What was your first game you ever wrote? Was it ever released or can we get hold of it?


Stuart

I did a really bad port of way of the exploding fist for MSX, it didn't get finished.


zapiy

Do you have any unreleased games on any platforms you'd like to share with us?


Stuart

I did port Rick Dangerous to the Acorn Archimedes, I have no idea where that is.


zapiy

How does it feel to be known as an industry legend?


Stuart

I wouldn't know, I certainly don't feel that way.


zapiy

Did you ever do any programming or game design for the Konix Multisystem?


Stuart

Nope


Vyothric

Can you tell us anything about the motion capture/extra scenes that were shot for Demolition Man on the 3DO?


Stuart

It cost a lot of money! They were pretty much done by the time I got to Virgin, except the ones that had to be redone that is.


TrekMD

With all the titles you've worked on, is there a particular favourite of yours?


Stuart

Rick Dangerous was a fun team. Funnily enough Outrun Europa, I had never done a racing game.


TrekMD

What would be your dream video game project to work on?


Stuart

Something old school and 2D, either a platformer or something Zeldaesk.


TrekMD

You've worked in the development of games of many types (Disney, racing, horror, fantasy, adventure, etc), is there a particular type of game that you prefer to work on most?


Stuart

Not really just something new.


Shadowrunner

There was supposed to be an Atari Jaguar CD release of Demolition Man and there's even a really early beta floating around. Do you know how far along it was, and if there would have been differences between it and the 3DO version?


Stuart

The first time I have heard of it...


Greyfox

Throughout the design process of Rick dangerous how difficult was it to design the traps and layout to implement them into the game? Did doing something like this increase development time?


Stuart

Some of the traps were a pain in the backside, but we made sure all version of the game ran exactly the same so it was a group effort, plus we had Rob (Big Lad) Toone as our secret weapon.


Greyfox

Were you involved with the concept design of the Rick Dangerous main character?


Stuart

I was in the room when Simes thought of it if that counts.


Greyfox

Outrun Europa is classed as one of the worse outrun games bearing no resemblance on the original and accused as a simple cash in on the name, what are you views on this in its defence? Do you feel it could of been better?, or because of the platforms it was created for, simply couldn't do any better on the mechanics and gameplay?


Stuart

When I worked at Gremlin we used to have the original arcade in our office. We would play it after work, so it's defiantly one of my favorite games to play. It was an interesting time in my life, I was supposed to go to Cinemaware I had my Visa and tickets in hand and had sold my car etc and was ready to leave. I got a call in the middle of the night from Andy Green telling me not to get on the plane as the were closing shop, plus I had also just meet my first wife a few weeks before. So I looked around for some work and ended up doing it as a contractor for Probe. I did the 16 bit versions, the 8 bit version had been completed about 6 Months before I started it and they just needed it done on time. So yes it could have been better, but I actually learned a lot and grew as a programmer doing it. But to have had the time and made it more like the Gremlin Lotus game would have been a more fitting send of for Outrun.


Greyfox

Gauntlet and Gauntlet 2 are some my favourite games, they were very accurate arcade game conversions and i want to thank you for bringing arcade quality conversions to the 16-bit computer platform, With Gauntlet only ever arriving on the Atari ST, was this something Atari themselves insisted on when leasing out the licence and strictly not ported to its competitor the Commodore Amiga when the machine came out and therefore remain an exclusive on the Atari ST?

Or was this simply U.S.Gold porting it before the arrival of the Amiga ?


Stuart

I didn't have anything to do with the Atari version of Gauntlet I apart from the map data, it was done out of house. They Amiga was very thin on the ground when Gauntlet I was released.


Greyfox

Gauntlet 2 luckily did make an appearance on the Amiga, did you any involvement in the Amiga version? What versions were you responsible for and which did you find the easiest versus the hardest to work on. What was involved in porting such mammoth titles to less inferior computer platforms?


Stuart

A year later Gauntlet II was done in house (sort of), and the Amiga had really taken hold. I had a bit more to do with that version and by then we were already developing both version simultaneously. We used to develop using an ST and send the code to either an Amiga or another ST down the parallel port.


Greyfox

Your portfolio has you involved with many real gems and arcade exclusives to your name, how did you manage to land these programming jobs? Was it a case of your availability for them or was it an agency that landed these amazing licences? Since allot of the games are from difference software houses, was it a case of moving to were the money was for the best game?


Stuart

I moved around a lot that's for sure, in the early days I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. But as time went on I got a reputation as some one who could be relied on to get the job done and the work in some ways came to me.


Greyfox

Demolition Man was a great little game, what platform were you responsible for and which version are you most proud of from a technical merit? Were you involved with the 3DO version? Although the 16 bit versions are completely different in allot of ways, how long did the game take for the Megadrive or the SNES version to be finished from your memory of them?.







Stuart

Sorry I had nothing to do with the SNES and Megadrive version of the games and so can't really comment.


Greyfox

What was your favourite platform to work on and why?


Stuart

Not sure I had a favorite, they all had their own strengths and weaknesses, i.e. with spectrum you had a fast processor and no hardware so you had to come up with some imaginative code to get things working, the C64 had hardware but a slow processor. It was similar situation with the ST/Amiga and SNES/Megadrive. Sorry for being non committal. On a side note I'm sure a lot of great Amiga effects were discovered when you crashed the copper list. It would have been nice to do a Amiga only version of a game and not have to worry about the ST.


Greyfox

If you had a choice, who within the industry back in the day would you have loved to be team up with in creating a original ip or licensed one?


Stuart

I'm not sure that always works so well, you know, artistic differences and all that, lol. Core when we first started was a great team and atmosphere can't imagine it better than that. Either way it would be original I.P.


Greyfox

Have you any regrets of games you have worked on, and if given the chance what would you rectify in them to make them better?


Stuart

No regrets. I'm very happy I was able to do what I did, I had a great time doing it and hopefully some people enjoyed what I did.


Greyfox

What was your favourite software house to work for and why, what were the perks? :)


Stuart

I had fun at all of them the least fun was Virgin in the US.


Greyfox

Have you any inside stories your willing to share or anti-dotes that took place within these software houses while you worked there? What were the managers like to work for and who was the best and the worst? Now is your chance to name and shame lol.




zapiy

Do you have any concept art you would be willing to share with us on any games that got released showing how the game was first imagined?


Stuart

I don't sorry.


zapiy

Further to above do you have any games long forgot or never even seen before?


Stuart

I worked on some things at Virgin that never came out, I should have paid attentions to the alarm bells going off in my head, LOL.




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Offline Greyfox

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Re: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 17:04:59 PM »
Another fantastic interview , very happy with my answers here, a little short in places, but over all an excellent interview by all involved, pat yourselves on the back, your all :79:

Great stuff, cheers :113:.

P.s. the only thing I noticed was a few grammar mistakes in my questions and only copping now, can someone do a spot check on future ones before they go out?

Offline zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 17:22:02 PM »
Yeah there is a couple there i will follow up on thats for sure?

Stuart was another great person to interview.

I did make some changes pal before they went out.
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

Online TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 21:52:43 PM »
Very nice! 

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline Carlos

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Re: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 21:55:34 PM »
Good interview, some  very interesting answers. Well done grey,trek and zap.

Offline zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Stuart Gregg
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 21:56:54 PM »
Thanks all, was a pleasure to do this one and i sent a couple follow up questions. :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