Author Topic: RVG Interviews Fred Gill.  (Read 1292 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Fred Gill.
« on: May 17, 2015, 20:13:08 PM »
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RVG is please to announce our latest interview with Fred Gill, Fred is the co-founder of Attention to Detail.

Attention to Detail, also known as ATD, is a software developer based in the UK. ATD was formed in September, 1998 by a group of graduates from Birmingham university, as well as working on games they also created some development tools and designed electronic parts for arcade machines. The company worked out of converted barns in the countryside of Warwickshire and at one time had 75 empoyees working at the studio. The original five founding members are; Chris Gibbs, Fred Gill, Martin Green, Jon Steele and Jim Torjussen. Attention to Detail developed many games that have gained a cult status and had significantly more success in Europe than it ever did in America. The company went out of business on August 28, 2003.

Some of the game developed by ATD]
TrekMD

How did you get Attention to Detail started? How was the company's name chosen?

Fred
TrekMD


Can you tell us of your involvement in the development of the Konix Multi-system?

Fred
TrekMD


What were the challenges faced during the development of the machine?

Fred

TrekMD

ATD developed three games for the Atari Jaguar/CD: Blue Lightning, Cybermorph, and Battlemorph. Can you tell us of the challenges in making these games for the system?

Fred

TrekMD

Cybermorph was released in two different versions, a 1 MB and a 2 MB cartridge version. What was the reason for having these two different releases?

Fred

TrekMD

Was Battlemorph developed at the request of Atari or did your team see the opportunity of using the Jaguar CD as a way to improve upon the original Cybermorph concept and approach Atari?

Fred

TrekMDCan you discuss the development of Blue Lightning for the Jaguar CD?


Fred

As above, I believe we misjudged the effort required to make a good game. This was made even worse as ATD was expanding to multiple teams, and we made a lot of mistakes with the way we expanded and how we ran the teams.


TrekMD

Were there any titles ATD had started to develop for the Atari Jaguar that were never completed/released?

Fred

No. By the time Battlemorph had shipped, Atari were in a lot of financial trouble, and the Playstation and Saturn killed off their markets.


zapiy

Have you seen the news relating to a possible new console designed for retro gaming that uses the Atari Jaguar tooling? What do you make of this idea?

Fred

zapiy

Can you divulge any stories from your time in and around both the Jaguar and Konix consoles?

Fred

zapiy

What was your greatest achievement in the games industry?

Fred

Greyfox

What are your fondest memories working in the industry and why?

Fred

Greyfox

If given the chance is there anything you would of changed in the production of the games you worked on?

Fred

Greyfox

It must of been ground breaking to have worked on the Atari Lynx at the time, what was it like to program software for such a console?

Fred

Greyfox

How do you feel the industry compares now to what it was back in the early 90's?

Fred

Greyfox

What's the story behind the inital screens of Blue Lightning on Jaguar CD? that were doing the rounds in the UK Press?. They looked far more impressive than anything in the final product, lot better texture-mapping etc. Were they mock-up's or real in-game shots from the game as it was then?.

Fred

Greyfox

ATD had 12 weeks to debug and test the Jaguar hardware, yet it's the bugged hardware that everyone mentions as the reason the Jaguar was such a nightmare to work with. Do you feel you had anything like enough time to bug test the chipsets?, what did you find and advise Atari needed changing/fixing? and what did they fix? Impression always seemed Atari simply had to launch the hardware ASAP, so simply didn't have time to do the much needed fault finding and fixing on the hardware.

Fred

Greyfox

ATD seemed to change it's mind on the Jaguar over the years, originally praising the hardware, saying it'd be a good few years before anyone got the best out of it, then feeling it was something of a ball and chain as it were, Atari wanting Jag CD games to be fully textured, so they could compete again'st 3DO/Saturn+PS1 games, even though that'd mean a frame rate of 3-5 FPS and by being contractually obliged to finish Battlemorph, you were going to be late getting started on development for PS1+Saturn Would you of liked to have just finished up Atari work once Cybermorph was finished and it was apparent Atari simply did'nt have the resources to compete, or support the Jaguar properly, so you could of started on development work on other systems sooner?.

Fred

GreyfoxFred

Greyfox

One of your 1st projects for Atari was the conversion of Super Sprint to the ST, did Atari ever approach you to do any work on the Lynx at all?

Fred

No


Greyfox

Cybermorph started out on the Atari Panther console, can you talk us through how far along it got, your impressions of the Panther hardware and whether code was used from the Panther version on Jaguar Cybermorph.

Fred

Shadowrunner

Cybermorph is one of my favourite Jaguar games! How did your company get the job of making the original pack-in game for the system, and what did you think of the hardware?

Fred

Shadowrunner

How did you come up with the idea for the computer guide Skylar and the different things she would say?

Fred

We brainstormed a lot with the Atari team; I cannot remember, but Sean Patten (Atari Producer) was a big influence and so we probably came up with a list of about 50 things and then as reality kicked in, reduced it to the final 10-15 that we ultimately used (I honestly cannot remember how many are in the game now).


Shadowrunner

What did you think of the infamous Diehard Gamefan review of Cybermorph, and did you ever talk to anyone at the magazine after that?

Fred

Shadowrunner

Rollcage is a really fun racing game on the PS1! Where did the idea of being able to drive on the walls and ceiling come from?

Fred

Shadowrunner

How were you able to get all the musicians on board for the soundtrack of Rollcage?

Fred

Shadowrunner

How come ATD closed in 2003, and what are you up to these days?

Fred

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: Hello There
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2015, 20:52:22 PM »
Lovely and lengthy interview, thanks to all who got involved in this one :)

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews Fred Gill.
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 04:59:05 AM »
Wow, this was an excellent interview!  Great answers!

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: RVG Interviews Fred Gill.
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 05:12:02 AM »
Great interview! I really enjoyed reading it, thanks to all involved :)

Offline vandro

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Re: RVG Interviews Fred Gill.
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 22:32:13 PM »
Great interview. Thanks :)