I recently met up again with someone I worked with back in the old Psygnosis days, Mr Martyn Chudley - he of "Killing Gameshow" and "Wiz and Liz" fame.
I went to his studio (which is now Bizarre Creations) and had a look around at the amazing company he has built from the old days of "Raising Hell productions".
Their latest release, Project Gotham Racing 3, for the Xbox 360, has shifted over a million units, and I saw over 100 programmers, artists, animators working on the next awesome release for the PS3. He`s got his own movie-grade mocap studio, (which is available for hire
and the company is basically a model of great working environment, happy and contented programmers with everything they could ever want at their disposal. I think I could learn a thing or two here.
I remember going to a development house or two, back in the year where the obligatory arcade machine was in the brew room, but at Bizarre, the brew room is more like a luxury cafe, complete with several arcade machines and even a footy pitch outside!
It seems Bizarre Creations is one of the few independant development houses still left in the UK, with recent aquisitions of many of the top teams by faceless corporations (Sega is buying up dev teams like crazy).
I was also impressed and suprised to get a hold of a bafta award which they had received (those things weigh a ton!) and to talk about the ethos which has contributed to their success. For instance, the company ideal is still to concentrate resource and investment into the development of great games, and not to stiff the gamer. I asked him why they don`t operate a premium helpline, like many other developers do, and although this is a superbly lucrative operation (one of my guys used to work at Psygnosis, and instigated a premium helpline system back in the day, which netted a bucketload of profit) but he isn`t interested in this kind of business.
Anyway, if you read all this, then you might be interested to know another topic of conversation that came up - Martyn's old source code for "Killing Gameshow" and "Wiz & Liz" amongst others.
It's all currently backed up using some old backup job from Central Point called (obviously) PCBACKUP (PCTOOLS was the whole product). He has been unable to locate the correct version to restore the backup, but I did find a version (4.22) which may suffice. However, this may not be the exact right one, so if anyone has (or knows of) other versions of the said backup software (versions 4.xx) let me know.
Martyn is happy to release the source for these games (and lots of other goodies in the archive) if this old backup software can be found.
Incidentally, it's totally ironic that We used to live 5 miles apart in Devon back in the day, and now I find we live 5 miles apart in Cheshire after 15 years!?