Category Archives: Sensible Software

Mean Machine Dean Podcast!

Posted: June 17, 2020 at 7:10 pm
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I had the pleasure of speaking in depth about my career in the games industry with the awesome Dean from the Mean Machine Dean Podcast recorded recently with my lockdown hair and wannabe Gandalf (feeling) beard! Oh and my trusty ZZap! 64 mug courtesy of my ol’mate at Fusion RetroBook Chris Wilkins.

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BBC Level 23! I was on it!

Posted: January 30, 2020 at 8:29 pm
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Before I start this post I’d like to send out a big thanks to Quang from Asobitech for putting Danny (BBC Level 23) in touch with me without whom I would not have been a guest on the show – thanks man I appreciate it! (Quang is awesome by the way check out Mao Mao Castle which I had the pleasure of playing at EGX 2019 – if you love Space Harrier you will adore this! – Check it out >>>here<<< ).

So where was I…Ah yes...BBC Level 23 – I’ve given a fair number of interviews over the years; some in print, some on the web, some as audio and a few on video, so when I was approached by BBC 3 Counties radio to feature as a guest on their Level 23 gaming show I couldn’t say no could I.

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The Sensible Talk @ Revival 2019

Posted: July 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm
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I was honoured when Chris (Wilkins) invited me to join my old Sensible mate Jon Hare to give a talk about all things Sensible Software at the recent Retro Revival 2019 event in Walsall, UK.

The thing is I’ve never actually been to a retro gaming event before so I had no idea what it was going to be like. I’d seen a few photos on line from similar events but up until this point I hadn’t attend one. Crazy right?

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Retro Tea Break Interview

Posted: July 29, 2019 at 9:20 am
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What a crazy situation to be in, you’re about to make a cup of tea then all of a sudden you find yourself sitting down having a Retro Tea Break whilst being interviewed about your life and your work – I say interviewed, talking with Neil is more like sitting down with a mate and having a good old chin wag.

But in all seriousness, when Neil contacted me for an interview, what could I say? His channel is awesome, a real treasure trove of quality content professionally presented and edited – a proper treat if retro computing hardware, software and history is your thing. I was trying to think of what RMC feels like to me, and I reckon a close comparison would be to that of a TV show that would be on now if computing TV shows were still on the telly. You know the sort of shows that you kind of remember forever. For someone like me growing up in the 70s and 80s it would be like remembering BBC Micro Live especially that episode where we all got to see a glimpse of the mighty Amiga A1000.

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Arcade Attack Interview Woohoo!!

Posted: June 6, 2019 at 11:36 am
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It was my genuine pleasure to answer a few questions from the lovely chaps at Arcade Attack Retro Gaming and I thank them for asking me. It’s always nice to talk about a subject that’s been part of my life for many many years and I appreciate the interest in my work.
>>>>Check out my interview here<<<<


Fusion Magazine – Issue #6

Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:02 am
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Before I start this little post about what this little post is all about, can I ask if you would check out Fusion Magazine , you’ll understand why in minute. All I’ll say is it’s a rather nifty publication I’ve been honoured to have written for in the past, put together by some really talented folks who all share a genuine passion for video games.

So what’s this all about then? Well a few weeks ago Chris Wilkins (Time lord and publishing wizard) asked me if I would like to write something for an upcoming issue. Ok I said what did you have in mind? Erm.. something about Cannon Fodder if you can? (…cue long drawn out pause while my brain scrambles about thinking of what to say, what to write and why the dead pixel is Theresa May still PM(correct at time of keyboard tappingthankfully she’s going going gone!).. well maybe that last part is every day – am I alone here?)

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Revisting the Sensible Golf Editor Part 2

Posted: June 7, 2017 at 11:59 am
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Back in 2011 whilst browsing through some of my art archives I found a disc image called “Sensible Golf Editor”.  Of course I simple had to try it out even if I couldn’t remember how the thing actually worked!

Well it was a great idea at the time but I just couldn’t remember what keys did what

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Football sprites… I wondered I did…

Posted: February 8, 2016 at 11:15 am
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I was sitting on the sofa, as you do (or don’t if you have successfully mastered the art of levitation), when a thought crossed my mind. I pondered I did, I pondered again and this time the thought went a little something like this..”I wonder how many times  I’ve drawn football player sprites over the years?”

Hmmm I thought, followed quite closely by an ahhhh, swiftly with a thought of making a drink before I log off. (tea of course!)

The first thing I should clear up is that I didn’t work on the original Sensible Soccer, my old mate Jon Hare created the graphics for this back in the dark ages when the Amiga was the new kid on the block, although I did create the small 16 colour Sensible logo seen here which was used in the game. This itself was based on the rather splendid air brushed version we used to have on the office wall.

Jools’ hand actually writing Cannon Fodder! History in the making!
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Molotov Man Concept Sprite

Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:53 am
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Meet Molly, nickname for the main character from the unreleased unfinished and unsigned game called Molotov Man developer to work on the Super Nintendo.


Nintendo Gamer; Memories of Sensi Soccer on the SNES

Posted: July 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm
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Funny how things turn out isn’t it?
July 2012 edition, Sensi SNES Article

Take Sensible Soccer on the Super Nintendo for example,(SNES for those not in the know or have forgotten).Unlike the version we ported to the Sega Mega-drive, Nintendo’s 16bit wonder involved a bit more work than the relatively easy port to the Sega hardware. For a start the original Amiga code was written in 68000 assembler which also happens to be the same processor used in the Mega-drive.Converting a game is just a tad easier when both your original code and the target code can effectively run on the same processor.

Unfortunately  the same can not be said when converting to a totally different microprocessor, say one that has its foot still in the 8bit era. You see the processor in the SNES was at it’s brass roots level a MOS 6502, yes ‘that’ very same family of processors used in the Commodore C64 and many other 8bit computers, consoles and arcade machines. Not that I have anything against the 6502 in fact I cut my coding teeth on it back in the day. Thankfully Nintendo opted to use the updated version developed by Western Design Center  which has a wonderful assortment of extras over it’s older brother. What extras are these then? Well, extras like 16 bit registers, more instructions and and the ability to address up to 16 megabytes of memory which is somewhat greater than the 6502 and it’s comparatively puny 64k addressing range. Cool! (Thanks Wikipedia! come on you didn’t think I’d remember all that geek stuff? )

So what’s all that got to do with the price of fish? Well nothing but it does remind us that converting a game isn’t a just a case of converting the graphics, changing a few lines of code and hey presto you have a new target platform with which to publish your game on. No, it’s far more involved than that, even today with multi platform game engines like Unity or Corona which makes the whole process far easier there are still rules to follow but these falter in my opinion when compared to the technical work required doing it old skool!.

 So anyway as I was saying it’s funny how things turn out isn’t it? I was going through some old graphics files recently when out of the blue I was contacted by Nintendo Gamer Magazine who invited me to comment on my memories of converting Sensible Soccer to the Super Nintendo. Well it took me a while to remember what we did but after after viewing a few old Amiga IFF files, drinking a large mug of tea (or three) those old memories soon resurfaced and before I knew it I’d written enough waffle to pad out a few paragraphs.

So if you want to know how this version of Sensi Soccer differs from that of the original , grab yourself a copy today! Nintendo Gamer July 2012.

 

 


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