We used to do quite a lot of shows, ETCS and E3, and it might have been an ECTS in London and we had a carpeted booth, it was fairly conservative. We had Loaded on one of the screens and all of a sudden we couldn’t move. All because you could shoot and splat people. I did think at the time that we might have created a video nasty.
[We wanted to] create a strong 'brand' character for the Amiga, as other platforms already had their own. And obviously to be a fun game. Initial design was a little more surreal, with very early design ideas/sketches/levels inspired by Dali, Picasso, M.C. Escher and the like.... but we went a different way in the final product.
Everyone looked at genres in the market at that time, trying to come up with different ways and ideas of breaking into that genre, and certainly the racing genre was on fire. So I was trying to find a product that could break into that racing genre which could complete. The X220 was the first car that theoretically could do 220mph, it was British, and was this that and the other, and I didn’t think we stood a chance in hell of getting the licence, but we went and meet Jaguar and we got the licence which was fantastic.
I had known Gremlin and Ian Stewart for a while of course, and Jenny Richard’s who had been the buyer for Centresoft. We had also had some meetings about [...] using Ian’s in-house developed Nintendo dev kit. When things started falling around my ears in 1990, Ian and James North-Hearn were actually visiting to discuss development. Ian was a good egg and wanted to help, and being a canny businessman he saw an opportunity too. There was something in it for both of us really, always the best deal, so I moved to Sheffield as a consultant with a fairly open brief to look for opportunities to help build Gremlin.
British companies have never been able to [...] leverage enough debt to compete. We are still told, are we not, not to live beyond our means? Don’t borrow more than you can pay back. The Americans are always in debt. Remember the British companies didn’t fail, they were always acquired by someone else.
I was a big fan. One of the things I’ve always liked was knowing who made the games. I was always interested in the names, like Jeff Minter and of course Tony. There were a few other names and you used to dig those out and try and find out more about them: Who wrote this thing, who made this thing, how did they make it, and all that stuff I’ve always been interested in it - I’m still interested in that now – who really did what.