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Old 10 April 2011, 14:35   #21
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Very much looking forward to any further interviews, also it'd be great to have a collection of funny s-s's/bootblocks from other coders
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Old 11 April 2011, 10:05   #22
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Hey Codetapper

Nice interviews - thanks for sharing, man.
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Old 11 April 2011, 13:13   #23
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Any chance you'd consider interviewing Mark Knight and Matthew Simmonds?
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Old 12 April 2011, 11:23   #24
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@Hewitson: I'm not sure I could do a musician interview justice to be honest!

I like asking technical stuff about how the games were put together, as all the magazines at the time just asked generic questions that could apply to almost any game. None of the questions seemed to be based on what they had seen in that particular game. I never cared about the plot in previews for new games and the mags seemed to enjoy pointing out that the version they had seen wasn't complete but they were promised it would have more levels, more enemies, more colour, more sound, more everything under the sun. Often just more lies!

So at this stage I reckon somebody more musician gifted would do a far better job at asking interesting music questions than me!
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Old 12 April 2011, 11:51   #25
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Excellent job there Codetapper
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Old 12 April 2011, 13:20   #26
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Really like this! I'll add a link from binarydevotion.com!

Regarding spam, I use wordpress with Akismet, and so far it has spambinned 23 spammy comments automatically... I'd recommend it on that basis
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Old 13 April 2011, 00:00   #27
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A new day, and a new interview online! This time it's Peter Johnson who wrote many of Ocean's early conversions including Robocop.
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Old 13 April 2011, 01:16   #28
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Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
A new day, and a new interview online! This time it's Peter Johnson who wrote many of Ocean's early conversions including Robocop.
Grrr.... Oceans equivalent of Tiertex! Grrrrrrr!!!!
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Old 13 April 2011, 13:12   #29
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Great content in your web Codetapper!!!

I always have enjoyed the startup-sequences of Mr. Aplin , and i remembered that he began with these "messages" in his Amstrad CPC games (usually they are in sprites or keyboard buffers) , i'm going to paste them in this post, because i think that they are not well known between amiga circles...

Double Dragon I
Hint about the cheat mode (hiya hackers!)....

Sing along if you know the words..
"You'd better make your face up with your favourite disguise,
with your button-down lips and your roller-blind eyes,
with your empty smile and your hungry heart,
feel the bile rising from your guilty past,
with your nerves in tatters as the cockle-shell shatters,
and the hammers batter down your door!"....

any ideas yet?

Second verse:
"You'd better run all day and run all night,
and keep your dirty feelings deep inside,
and if you're taking your girlfriend out tonight,
you'd better park the car well out of sight,
'cause if they catch you in the back seat tryin' to pick her locks,
they're gonna send you back to mother in a cardboard box!"

..the chorus might give the game away a bit,
so just you go through your record collection
and if it contains a certain favourite album
of mine you may well suss the cheat mode!

Have fun... Richard Aplin
Double Dragon II
Well done! You have killed the evil Boss and his henchmen!!
Marian can now be rescued and life can continue happily for ever after...

..Or can it??

CREDITS: A Creative Materials production of a Technos game


All Programming: Richard Aplin
Graphics: The Picture Element (Nick Vincent)
Music & Sound effects: Steve Barrett Richard Aplin

Attention to the production of this game:
Beverages: THAT fizzy drink A certain tall, dark pint of liquid
Food: Rajdoot Restaurant
Music: Pink Floyd The The Simple Minds Pet Shop Boys Talking Heads Texas
Tangerine Dream Pink Floyd The Police Dire Straits Pink Floyd Cutting Crew
The Cure Bomb the Bass U2 Tom Petty New Order
Salary: Andy Heike Pat Dempsey
General merriment: Nick Vincent Tim Cannell Joby Wood Derek & Tanya L.G.
Paul Dunning Adam Lucas Dave Leitch

3-D Unicycling: Mike Day
General Pinkness: Pink Floyd
Speedy assembling: P.D. Systems
Living elsewhere: Steven Curtis
Scottish amusement: Elizabeth Aplin
Reading matter: The Independent Am***ad Ac**on
Extreme Excellence: Pink Floyd
Being there: My parents Australia Floyd (Pink) Bristol Edinburgh Manchester My bed
Office toys: Video Walkman Roland D110 synth HST Modem Sega MegaDrive
Devious protection: Dave Looker
Saying "Hi!" a lot: Ian Mathias
Office Yucca plant: Robert (.. Plant?)
Playing the Guitar: Dave Gilmour Johnny Marr Ally McErlaine
Any resemblence to persons living, dead, or residing in Wales is purely intentional, unless you plan legal action, in which case I've never seen you before in my life.

© 1990 Virgin Mastertronic
Ok, now all that game rubbish is out of the way, I would like to begin the customary rant, which programmers often put in their code.

It is at the moment 04:04:38 on 04/06/89. It is, if you were wondering, very early on a Sunday morning,
and I am sitting here in a totally empty office in the centre of Bristol, (13 Small St, if you want to pop in and say hello!) and I am in raptures at the moment listening to the utterly, ridiculously excellent album 'The Wall' by the utterly, ridiculously excellent Pink Floyd. (It's just got to the classic 'How can ye have any pudding if ye don't eat yer meat?' bit!)

I am, as if you cared, Richard Aplin, Project Manager (and the person who gets to rush in at the last moment and finish/rewrite games when someone else screws them up totally and then buggers off leaving us well and truly up the proverbial creek without the proverbial wooden implement. (YES ROB! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)

I had the misfortune to be left with the task of rewriting this from scratch! Fortunatly, I have just (last week!) got a PDS development system together (as any programmer will tell you, it is the ant's elbows for writing games on) and I am sitting here typing this on my PC (with 32mb hard disk), safe in the knowledge that it will assemble all 150k of source in the blink of an eyelid! (well, 5.2 seconds anyway)

Right, enough of that rubbish, as the album has just started on 'Goodbye Blue Sky'.. another of my favourite tracks. Sing along if you know the words....

D-d-d-did you see the frightened ones..
D-d-d-did you ever hear the falling bombs..
D-d-d-did you ever wonder why you had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue skyyyyy...'


Anyway, I want to get this bloody game finished before 6am, so I can get a couple of hours' kip and then go to the Commodore show in London.. But if I keep typing this it's not going to happen! Mind you, I've just done the speech for the 6128 version, and all I've got left to do is play with the map editor (runs on an amiga) and get rid of some of the crap left on the map of mission 3, level 3. I might even try and get some memory back so I can do a high-score table... but there's little chance of that I'm afraid.. according to this excellent assembler, I've only got $74 bytes left before my code runs over the start of the sprites.. which would cause nice big crashipoos!

Pity the bloody 464 is so underpowered memory-wise. Anyway, next on the agenda after this damn game is Double Dragon 1.. then Double Dragon 2! (Aaargh!) Anyway, due the the immense complexity of the Artificial Intelligence in those two, Virgin have agreed to a 6128-only game!!!! YAHOO!!(Types happily as The Wall rolls on into 'One Of My Turns')

Incidentally, did you ever see my best game.. 'Fly Spy' from Mastertronic? I spent AGES on that game, and I was well chuffed with it.. pity it didn't sell that well... ('Go up to the bedroom in the suitcase on the left you'll find my favourite AXE!'-classic line by Roger Waters!)

Anyway, I really AM getting bored with typing all this crap for you to read.. so I'll get on with finishing the game, and who knows? Maybe I'll carry on with this later! Bye for now!!(current time 04:27:01 on 04/06/89) .....

..... Okay!! Back again! It's now 08:24:03 on 04/06/89 and I'm getting a bit tired! (In case you were wondering about the strange format for the time/date: in PDS if you press CTRL and ENTER then it automatically inserts the current date/time wherever you are typing - Useless but fun!) Right! I've just finished all the alterations to the backgrounds and maps and things.. and I just exercised a bit of sadism with the ninja positioning on mission 3 level 3! (Putting in the baddies is all just a case of playing with numbers which determine what baddies start where and what they are doing. It is VERY boring, but then so would be the game if I didn't do it!)

You know, It's just occurred to me that the deep freudian reason for me typing all this crap for the one or two people who will actually hack the game and happen to notice this.. the reason I'm doing it is to vent my frustration.. (cor blimeymissus!) at never being asked to do one of those daft writeups for a magazine about 'my work in progress'!! Childish and petty really.. but then that's just the kinda guy I am!

If(* EGO TRIP ALERT*) you were wondering.. I'm the grand old age of 19 (20 on 6th December! Send me a prezzy!), well into music, Wimpeys, Fags (It's my ambition to be the first person to have my lungs used to cover roads when I die..... thinkabout it you slow-witted person!), Diet Coke (In this coding session alone - 3pm Sat. to now - I can see 12 empty cans lying about!), Alcohol (Oh joyous youth! When I'm older my liver will never speak to me again!) Particularly favoured brews include: Guinness, Newcastle Brown (tits oot fer th' lads!), Ruddles County, San Miguel.. in fact.. now I mention it.. I like LOADSABEER! Anyway.. on with my ego trip.. and why not? It's my keyboard and if I want to fill up your memory with text, then I will!

Well, it looks very much like my pretensions to visit the Commodore (or is it commode?) show are well and truly buggered, as it's now (pauses to press CTRL and ENTER) 08:37:58 on 04/06/89..hang on!! 08:37? Is it fuck! It's 08:50! My real-time clock is buggered! Well, serves me right for buying an Amstrad PC1512! Maybe it should be called an Unreal-time clock... Hang on a min.. I'll just assemble this junk and see how much of your ram I've ranted my way through so far.. Bugger me! 5494 bytes! Doesn't ram fly when you're having fun!

Well, my Floyd Collection is exhausted for the night (i.e. I've listened to 'The Wall'(There'll be nobody home), 'Animals'(baaaahh!), 'Dark Side of the Moon'(There is no dark side of the moon.. as a matter of fact it's all dark), 'Wish you were here'(We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl), 'Atom Heart Mother'(You name it!), 'Relics' (biiiiike!), 'Final Cut'(Not that keen on that one actually... sorry Roger), and The Wall(again!) about 4 times each..

I'm exhausted for the DECADE (have to start Double-bloody-Dragon on Monday!), and the Binary Design Bristol Office Fridge is devoid of Diet Coke!! .. definitely time to call it a weekend (weekend? Ha!! I laugh in the face of having a social life! I tweak the nose of hobbies! I kick the shins of spare time! ... ohhhhhh GOD!) and time to go back to my flat and listen to some Talking Heads while drifting off to sleep at the same time as everyone else wakes up and says things like 'ohhhh god.. what DID I drink last night?' In fact, just to celebrate finishing Shinobyl (the office pet name!) I might even treat myself to having a TOASTED CHEESE SANDWITCH! (if I can be bothered to make it)

Oh fuck this, I'm off... Well, goodbye, I hope you like the game as much as I... enjoyed typing this text, and have a nice life. Oh, by the way, pop in and see me some time if you are passing through Bristol!

Seeya, Richard 'Mad as a hatter'Aplin.

Hello again!


It's now 17:46:40 on 05/06/89 and after having a severe sleep yesterday (and I did have that cheese sandwitch!) I thought you might appreciate it a bit if I put on some 'frills' today. Well, having spend an hour squeezing a few more bytes out of the memory (I copied some code that was only used sometimes into a bit of spare space on the end of the screen ram!), I wrote you a silly little 'end of game' thing, and did a high score table. I was quite pleased with the hiscores, as they only took just under an hour to write & debug!

These were done with the aid of aural stimulation (cor blimy missus! Pt.II) from TheThe's rather nice new album 'Mind Bomb'. It's reaaallly good, but a bit more commercially minded than 'Infected' (their previous masterpiece). I had a bit of a Floyd Overdose (if that is possible!) yesterday, so it's been TheThe and Talking Heads today. Oh yes..

I also put on a cheat mode! Not a very good one, only infinite lives, but at least it's a bit of a challenge to find! What do you mean? No of course i'm not going to tell you what it is!!

Anyway, according to a mate, the Commodore show was okish, but he said there were LOADS of crackers wondering about, blatantly showing off.. Well, my views of people who crack and copy games is my own business, and you probably wouldn't be interested anyway. You are most probably hacking this game to cheat, as the Amstrad scene has little piracy (am I joking?!?), and as it looks very much like this game will have no disk protection (sob!), there is nothing to crack!

On the nice game front, (I'm an amiga freak really - i've got two amigas, this PC i'm typing on, a CPC464+drives, a commodore 64, and assorted other bits) Forgotten Worlds looks like a nice amiga game.. good parallax. In case you were wondering (I know you weren't!) I have done games on this, the 64, the Amiga, and I've tinkered with the ST and speccy (two very similar machines!)

Well, I haven't got properly drunk for AGES (what with finishing this), so I'll just dump this code out, run off 3 copies to send to Sales Curve tomorrow, and be off, or, as Biffa Bacon (VIZ READER!) would say: 'Ga'n oot doon pub' (attempts Geordie accent and fails as miserably as southerners usually do)


Hello (again!)

It's now (..wait for it!) 15:21:17 on 02/08/89.. nearly three months later!

I've been slaving away on Double Dragon for a while now and Ian Mathias at Virgin has just given me the FINAL (at last) list of changes for Shinobyl. So, I'm just about to dredge through all my old code and do them. Then, I'll send it off and NEVER SEE IT AGAIN! (well, that is until I have to do the Disk & Tape masters)

Quite a bit has happened since I last typed something here... I bought a Video Walkman (brilliant toy!) I've done most of Double Dragon 1 (I love having 128k and a disk drive to play with!) I went to Paris for the Bastille Day bicentenary (lots of fun but expensive) and now I've caught some nasty disease and I feel like hell.

Anyway, dear ol' CPC owner, I do it all for you! Well, I'd better bugger off and do these changes or it'll never be done in time for the post.

Ok.. now they're done. Andy Green from Virgin has just rung up and asked for a 1-level demo version for some magazine or other. Presumably it's for the excellent Amstrad Action, who just happen to live just down the road in Bath.

Well, I don't know at the mo' whether it'll ever actually happen.. only you will know that!
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Old 13 April 2011, 14:01   #30
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the interviews are great fun to read. Although there is a bit too much "I don't know, I can't remember" stuff going on if you ask me. If you REALLY cared for what you did, you remember most details, not some details...

But perhaps these people just never expected anyone to give a hoot about their work, especially in this day and age. Thats the life of a programmer, all your work is hidden behind the graphics
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Old 15 April 2011, 11:16   #31
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Actually an interview with Richard Aplin I could imagine been very interesting
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Old 17 April 2011, 12:54   #32
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The latest interview is now online - this time it's Chris Sorrell (of James Pond fame) answering the questions. Be warned, this is a long one!
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Old 17 April 2011, 16:12   #33
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Loving the site man, I love reading the 'gory details' even if most of them go way over my head !
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Old 17 April 2011, 19:28   #34
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Love your site. I never paid much attention to the people behind the games etc. back in the day, but it's very interesting to read more about it now... Also love the breakdown of the sprite tricks.
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Old 20 April 2011, 00:57   #35
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Just read bits of the Chris Sorrell interview. If they're all like this, fantastic.

Excellent work!
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Old 17 May 2011, 00:17   #36
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I'm very proud to present my latest (mega) interview: Ian Moran. Ian worked at Special FX, who were renowned for their awesome Amiga specific games. He wrote one of my favourites, Midnight Resistance among others! Enjoy...
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Old 17 May 2011, 00:57   #37
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Thanks Ian, I love RC2
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Old 17 May 2011, 09:17   #38

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Awesome! Thanks.
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Old 17 May 2011, 12:56   #39

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Very nice interview - One thing I would have been curious to ask about is the Palette in Midnight Resistance I think this was assumed to be caused by converting from ST but this may not be the case?

Last edited by Retro1234; 17 May 2011 at 13:03.
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Old 17 May 2011, 13:33   #40
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Another very interesting read, thanks
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