Author Topic: RVG Interviews Shaun McClure  (Read 2196 times)

Offline zapiy

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RVG Interviews Shaun McClure
« on: February 23, 2015, 16:04:58 PM »
[align=center:fc98zuf9][size=360]Shaun McClure[/size][/b]

[size=140]Shaun McClure might not be a name you have instantly heard of but the huge amount of games he has worked on will be instant recognisable! Shaun is a 2D graphic artist who still works in the industry today and has worked on everything from the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Atari 7800 to the PS3 and Android platforms. For a full bio of his work take a look at his website, but a few highlights of his career include:

Raiden - Atari Jaguar
Kick Off 2 - Sinclair Spectrum
Renegade - Thomson MO5/MO6
Split Personalities - Sam Coupe
Hong Kong Fooey - Commodore 64
Final Blow - Atari ST
Double Dragon 3 - Nintendo Gameboy
Time Machine - Commodore Amiga
Rodland - Super Nintendo
NARC - Amstrad CPC
Space Junk - Atari Falcon
Viking Child - Sega Game Gear
Tempest 2000 - PC Compatibles
Loaded - Sega Saturn
Repton - Game Boy Advance
Premier Manager - Sony Playstation
California Games - Tapwave Zodiac
Postman Pat - Nintendo DS
Crazy Frog - Sony PSP
Castlevania - Apple iOS
Virtua Tennis - Google Android
Broken Sword - Nintendo Wii
Shadow Warriors - Sony PlayStation 3[/size][/align:fc98zuf9]


Q. Quite an impressive list of systems you have worked on. Do you have a favourite out of them?Q. Was it difficult working with any of the companies such as Atari, Sega, Nintendo, etc?Q. Out of all the games you have had a hand in is there one that stands out for you?Rogue Trooper

Q. I can recall seeing Space Junk being shown on Gamesmaster TV show (of all places) as part of the Atari Falcon showcase feature, looked fantastic, I next saw it as a MCD preview, just how far along was the Falcon version? And what if any Falcon specific hardware features were used? Also as a gaming platform, what was your impression of the hardware, i.e. could it have held it's own compared to the Amiga 1200 for example?Q. Putting something written for the PlayStation such as Loaded onto the Saturn must have thrown up all manner of obstacles, as hardware very different in key areas. How did you approach the task and your thoughts on the finished article and Saturn hardware itself would be great to hear.

From an art point of view we had to optimise the models right down, the textures were smaller and had less colours. Other than that, you better ask the coders.


Q. Is there a game genre that you most prefer to work on?Jag Slave

Q. How did you get your start? We all know you have worked on a multitude of different systems, but what was it that moved you forward and brought you where you are today?Greyfox

Q. With such a vast array of amazing graphical work and experience behind you, how difficult or not is it for you when in negotiations on new projects competing with others with possible less experience but willing to work cheaper, how to manage to secure the job?Q. Having done so much work in the video games industry, was this a life's ambition to solely work in this industry, or would you of liken to work in another, e.g. Story board artist on a feature film, or matte painter for a visual effect? Q. Did you find it difficult at the time to migrant from 2D pixel based work to having to adapt to 3D modelling, texturing and animation? What's your favourite 3D package today? Also which does your heart belong to? 3D or classic 2D graphics?Q. I found allot of computer artists never really got credited the same way programmers did (not including Activision) as a computer artist, do you feel it was unfair in the earlier days that your work may or may not be recognised? After all, the programmer only drove the game, it was your artwork that defined it, what's your thoughts on this?Q. 8-bit and 16-bit era must of being brilliant to work on, can you tell us, what was in your opinion, what the best 8-bit graphic / sprite software you found to be the easiest and fastest to work with on the 16-bit computer front, what was tops? Neo-Chrome, Degas Elite, Art Director (Atari ST), Deluxe Paint series, Brilliance or Personal Paint (Amiga) which was your favourite and why?Q. Any professional advice you feel you could share for anyone who sees this interview and is considering a career in this profession, what the expectations are, the level of expertise required or are they living a pipe dream?108 Stars

Q. You have worked on a wide array of genres, are there any you particularly dislike working on? For example I imagine working on a racing game, drawing each vehicle from X perspectives rather boring compared to a game where you animate humans.Q. Possibilities are much greater nowadays, where you can basically have 2D graphics with hundreds of animation frames and high res. What do you prefer, working on games with no limitations like today or working on games like in the old days, where every pixel would count?Q. You have worked on lots of conversions to other systems. Western games in the old days seemed to give the graphics artists quite a few liberties when doing a port; how much stricter is it nowadays, for example when you have to convert graphics for a Castlevania game for mobile phones? Are guidelines very strict or can you still add a personal touch.

In the old days you had to be true to the original, but you had some liberties with adding things like extra level sets, so long as they were in keeping with the rest of it. Now you pretty much just do an exact copy, as the IP is more closely guarded.

Q. With games on relatively modern systems like PlayStation and Saturn, with high colour counts, how much work is there still to be done when a port is made? I had presumed the 2D art of Loaded could pretty much be taken 1:1 from PlayStation to Saturn, and I couldn't tell the difference from Baldur's Gate PC to PlayStation just from playing (The PS1-beta was leaked, so I did indeed play it).Q. A rather specific question: I see "Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales" in your list of work, for Jaguar, Amiga, ST and SNES. Only a Jaguar version was ever released... is that a mistake and you meant that you had also worked on previous Bubsy games for the other platforms, or was Fractured Furry Tales actually in development for all of them? If so, do you have any material of those versions? I imagine an SNES version looking quite different with its 256x224 resolution and 256 colour maximum.Q. 2D games had a bit of a return to importance in the early 2000s with the success of the GBA, the DS and mobile phones. Now with even handheld devices and mobiles phones being strong enough for detailed 3D graphics, do you feel pixel art still has a future?The Laird

Q. You worked on one of the very first games for the Atari Jaguar in Raiden. What was it like working with the Jag and its graphics chip that was so far ahead of anything else out there at the time, did it remove a lot of the limits you had previously encountered?Q. What do you find are the biggest differences working with traditional consoles and modern mobile devices?

Do you mean Mobile phone games or 3DS etc? I think they are about the same, obviously less palette restrictions. The mobile games are a pain, as I think there are about 33 screen resolutions you have to do for games that span all formats. Mobile phone games really need a good technical artist, that can scale down properly, it is actually quite tricky to stop graphics desaturating and bleaching out when all the dithering effects have come into play when you rescale.

Q. Did you ever thing about moving into 3D art or have you always been a purely 2D man?

Yes, I have worked on some 3D titles, and recently it was an online MMO, which was a bit like, but not, World of Warcraft, but I prefer 2D.

Q. I see from your bio that you worked on a lot of games for the French Thomson computer. I know little about this machine, what was it like and how did it differ to the other 8-bit computers that were popular in the UK?Q. What do you consider the greatest achievement of your career thus far?Q. I see that Rampart for the Atari 7800 is on your C.V., this game was never released and the only existing prototype out there has very basic placeholder graphics. Do you know how far this game got and were the proper graphics by you ever implemented?Zapiy

Q. Can you share any interesting info on any unfinished/unreleased games that you worked on?RVG would once again like to thank Shaun for taking the time to talk to us!
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 Carlos

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Re: RVG Interviews Shaun McClure
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 16:08:23 PM »
Another great interview, interesting to see that Shaun enjoyed the ZX the most. Very informed IMO  :41:

Offline zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Shaun McClure
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 06:15:55 AM »
Great interview guys.
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


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