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Old 26 June 2004, 03:34   #1
CodyJarrett
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Dino Dini Interview In Retro Gamer

This thread is probably on a one-way road to Flameland; if so, I apologise!

In issue 4 of Retro Gamer (a UK magazine dedicated to retrogaming), there is an interview with Dino Dini. It's been mentioned on numerous other forums since the issue game out. I couldn't keep going without talking about it.

It's essentially an excuse to raise Kick Off to the heights of heaven, whilst putting down other football games. Here's the full interview, along with some highlights and comments from me. There's also a handy SelfMythologiserCounter? which measures the level of self-mythologising throughout the interview.


Quote:
RG: Did any particular football game have an influence on Kick Off?
DD: I did not play other football games, so no other football games had an influence.
Good way to start. It means that any suggestion that Kick Off was inspired by anything else can be countered with "I lived and coded in a vacuum, thus the genius originated with me".
SelfMythologiserCounter: 80/100


Quote:
RG: Why do you feel Kick Off worked so well? Was it a straightforward case of gameplay over graphics?
I would not say "over graphics". I mean, better graphics would not have hurt. But at the end of the day, it was the quality of the gameplay.

RG: Were you happy tweaking and improving Kick Off, with add-on disks and sequels, or was there pressure from Anco to turn the game into a franchise?
DD: It already was a franchise, and Anco exploited it in all manner of ways for which I got no reward. I wanted to create a new game that improved upon Kick Off by adding more depth and removing some of the shortcoming of the original game. This eventually became Goal!

RG: What are your opinions on Sensible Soccer? Did you feel slightly aggrieved when you first saw it, or did you take it as a compliment?
DD: I was annoyed because the developer had already its share of success in other well made products, and it decided to invade my patch.
Sensible Software invaded Kick Off's patch by doing a football game... which they had already done years before in the form of MicroProse Soccer. Right. Of course, Dino also said once "Then Sensible Software released a game with many, many features directly copied from my games, such as overhead view, aftertouch, and most important of all, the unattached ball which was always the most significant trademark of my work". Even though Sensible created an overhead football game previously, they actually copied the most basic gameplay element of an overhead view from Dino's games. *Cough*


Quote:
I took it as both a compliment and a kick in the teeth. It undermined my plan to move football gaming on to the next level. In undermining my efforts, Sensible Soccer perhaps allowed FIFA to take hold. The lack of football games with real playability today can perhaps be blamed in part upon this. Of course had I got Goal! out before Sensible Soccer, things might well be very different now.
Sensible Soccer's success was an accident of fate apparently. Nothing to do with it being a highly playable Amiga game then. How football gaming history might have been different!
SelfMythologiserCounter: 140/100

Quote:
But we learn from our mistakes, although my biggest mistake has always been to take things too seriously.
Heh. I think it's rubbed off on the Kick Off fanatics too.
SelfMythologiserCounter: 90/100


Quote:
RG: When developing Goal!, did you set out to try and surpass Sensible Soccer?
DD: No, because Sensible Soccer was already inferior to Kick Off. The success it has was due to the fact that, as a simplified game, it appealed to those who had never got to grips with Kick Off. What I did attempt to do with Goal! was create a game with a better learning curve so that fewer people would stumble at the first hurdle. Sensible Soccer had a head start in learning from what I had done - in doing Kick Off I had to start completely from scratch. This is why I say that, in this sense, I am also the father of Sensible Soccer.
It's time to drag out the old argument that if you didn't like something, it must be because you don't understand it or aren't good enough for it. Gameplay is an abstract thing; the simplification is not of Sensible Soccer's gameplay, but of gameplay itself.

As for the paternal analogy, well it's hard to know what to say.
SelfMythologiserCounter: 150/100

Quote:
RG: How did programming the Atari ST compare to the Amiga? Did you have to make any compromises when porting your games?
DD: The Amiga was much more powerful than the ST, but Kick Off was originally written for ST, and then ported to Amiga.


RG: Goal! was released on the Megadrive as Dino Dini's Soccer. How easy was it to convert the game to a console?
DD: There were several challenges, but the result was excellent. The core engine was converted in seven weeks; the rest of the development time was spent dealing with the front end, which was a real pain.


RG: Did you feel like a superstar seeing your name above the title?
No, but it felt good to have my name on something as concrete as that.
That sounds suspiciously like a glimmer of humility!
SelfMythologiserCounter: 80/100


Quote:
RG: What are your opinions of the Kick Off and Player Manager sequels that have appeared since you parted company with Anco?
DD: I have not played any of them. From what I hear they are by and large terrible.


RG: Did you play any of the recent football games lke FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer?
DD: Yes, for research purposes, not because I enjoy them.
Well, at least they didn't rip off Kick Off! Or did they? Eh?


Quote:
RG: Right, so you're working on a football game at the moment?
DD: Yes, but it is all secret.
Ssshhhhhh!

Quote:
RG: Finally, the inevitable football question. Which national team do you support, and who do you think will win Euro 2004?
DD: I support Italy and England, depending on my mood. If I am in the mood for a horror-suspense I watch Italy. If I am in the mood for a comedy-farce, I watch England. I think Italy will win, but I will be just as happy if England do.

So, there it is. Don't misunderstand me; both Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer have their unique places in gaming history. It's the attitude of the Kick Off group that infuriates me. At their worst, they display fundamental flaws in logic, make general comments (usually based on opinion or conjecture) and assume that they are plain facts, make wild statements without any evidence and offer a completely biased version of things. At their best, they grudgingly admit Sensible Soccer to be okay, but that the next step after graduation is Kick Off 2.

I'm passionate about gaming and its past. I hate to see it being twisted and abused in this way. If I want to say anything here in particular here, it's that there are at least some of us unwilling to let this sort of disrespect for gaming history pass.
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Old 26 June 2004, 05:40   #2
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I wouldn't expect Dino Dini to make such "directly immature" comments. Even if he was pissed off because of sensi, he should still have been politically correct with whatever he said. Are you sure this is really him? This guy sounds like an ass
 
Old 26 June 2004, 10:20   #3
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Well, Dino Dini was impersonated by somebody once before. They sent a letter to Amiga Power magazine, claiming to be him. This time it's genuine, I think.
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Old 26 June 2004, 10:47   #4
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Wink Heheh

Hehehe this sounds genuine to me too.. because Dino can be an ass.

I`ve spoken to him a fair amount, and he does exactly what it says on the tin ( that interview )

But Kick Off and Sensible are truly great games.. it has to be said.. people prefer either.
So much has been said on this!! especially when Dino appeared on the KO-Gathering website a few years ago.. and again when that Mr Campbell surfaced too..

I did chuckle reading that well done Cody
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Old 26 June 2004, 12:43   #5
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Thanks for a great post Cody. As stated previously I am very suspicious of these 'Retro' mags whicha re poping up all over the shop as they are in effect rewriting history.

I enjoy KO2 but can't for one second agree with Deadball Dini. He seems to still be under the impression that the one man programming unit can alter the course of history. Sensible Software were a team which may suggest why Sensi cam out before Goal! and why they don't [dispite their success among some very different genres] take themselves too seriously.

He's claims to have been ripped of by Sensi is very sad, as is the fact that he can't enjoy modern football games as they are just poor-man's projections of his unrealised creative prowess.

Is is like Scott Adam's deriding Dungeon Master for ripping off his best ideas and retarding the development of adventure gaming for the last two decades. Bizarre.

There is a way to combat this via our own work such as APoV. I hope that this project will remain regular and at least provide and unbiased compromise to such mythologizing nonsense.
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Old 26 June 2004, 13:12   #6
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I think it's a little strange that he accuse Sensi of ripping off Kick Off, when the fact is that they're both ripping off a real-world game called football.

Anyway, there's some more info about the new football game here: http://www.1up.com/article2/0,2053,1613691,00.asp
I always preferred Sensi, but it's quite clear that Dino and the crew did something very right during the development of the KO-games. So I'm hoping they can bring some fun back into the genre.

Last edited by kolorabi; 26 June 2004 at 13:18.
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Old 26 June 2004, 13:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolorabi
but it's quite clear that Dino and the crew did something very right during the development of the KO-games.
Absolutely, but it's the attitude on display that's the issue here. The attitude that it's not enough to celebrate a gaming world where the likes of Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer co-exist.
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Old 26 June 2004, 14:15   #8
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It's just cock waving.
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Old 26 June 2004, 14:45   #9
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arrogance is an art! hmm, who`s group slogan was that? well, dino dini is exaggerating here...
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Old 26 June 2004, 17:16   #10
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As I said..
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Old 26 June 2004, 20:08   #11
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Arrogance, or maybe severe narkiness at loss of glamour/hero worship once some competition appeared on the horizon?
I was never a huge soccer game fan even in "the old days",although I did enjoy the occasional penalty-ridden bash of the original Kick Off, as I did Sensi's classic C64 Microprose Soccer before that.

But the height of hypocrtitical claptrap is astonishing-so if someone does a game type, is Mr Dini suggesting that noone else would be allowed to program a rival game to better it?
There certainly seems a touch of the green-eyed monster though-the fact that Sensi expanded from the original 2 man,(sometimes 3 including the brilliant Martin Galway of course), all conquering C64 crew to successfully expand & become one of the great 16bit crews said a lot for their collective talents. They hardly sat on their laurels & churned out a remix of the same old concept when you include games like Mega Lo Mania, Cannon Fodder, Sensi Golf etc., Wizkid (& the aformentioned C64 games before that from Jon Hare & Chris Yates).

To last as long as they did,they must've done something right Dino!
Probably sound a lot harsher than intended, but going off those alledged quotes it does smack of jealousy.
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Old 26 June 2004, 20:26   #12
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The sad thing about the 'retro' scene is that petty arguments that should have long been laid to rest have an excuse to keep cursing us with their presence. I really can't believe that Mr Dini really thinks this, it's surely a marketing ploy..

Anyway......

Last edited by Peanutuk; 26 June 2004 at 22:38.
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Old 26 June 2004, 20:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanutuk
The sad think about the 'retro' scene is that petty arguments that should have long been laid to rest have an excuse to keep cursing us with their presence. I really can't believe that Mr Dini really things this, it's surely a marketing ploy..

Anyway......

maybeis is marketing,.. Im surprised of that declarations, I found his words very sensate when he was chating here in this forum.

btw, I remember that when KickOff was released I thought "cool! a home computer game likes TechkanWorldCup".. I think that was the first seoccer game that used top down view,.. at least the first soccer game with that view and real success.
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Old 26 June 2004, 23:18   #14
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Hmmpff

Yeah wish I could go back to the time when I ordered KO2 from ANCO and was impatiently waiting for it to arrive. reading the WIP in The One magazine etc..
awww superb days!
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Old 27 June 2004, 00:36   #15
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after reading this all I can say is that dino dini is a wanker!

What's this thing about "sensible got into MY patch"?? WTF? when did he buy the universal license for making every football game exclusively? I didn't see the creator of Space Invaders saying such stupid shit as this.

Is he really still making a football game ? Doens't he get bored? all fucking life doing football games which all are just like Kick Off?
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Old 27 June 2004, 01:14   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira
after reading this all I can say is that dino dini is a wanker!

What's this thing about "sensible got into MY patch"?? WTF? when did he buy the universal license for making every football game exclusively?
I think that Dino Dini's problem with Sensible Soccer was that he believed it used individual football game elements that he supposedly thought up, rather than it being another game in the same genre. But, as I mentioned earlier, these tended to be generic gaming elements, such as an overhead view.

In any case, Sensible Software acknowledged their debt to Kick Off in that they were Kick Off fans and it inspired them to make Sensible Soccer. This has now been stretched quite far by Dino, who claims to be the paterfamilias of Sensible Soccer while simultaneously denouncing it as a rip-off.

The whole sorry state of affairs has an extra cherry of insanity on the rotten cake. Most of the Amiga Power team didn't like Kick Off (especially Stuart Campbell who had given it up and moved to Sensible Soccer when it appeared), so naturally this was a 'hate campaign'. This view was partly based on an incident where a Dino Dini impersonator sent a letter to the magazine. A subsequent issue contained an apology from Amiga Power. The hate campaign conspiracy theory was also apparently displayed by AP's attitude to Dino Dini and his games. Of course, if you do any research instead of just making vague comments about hate campaigns, it's clear that there is a mix of complimentary and uncomplimentary comments and scores for Dino Dini games/Kick Off throughout the history of AP. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding about AP in that they said what they really thought about games and angered many in the games industry who thought that magazines should be an extension of their own marketing teams.

Anyway, Stuart Campbell may not be the most pleasant of people to get into an argument with, but at least he respects the sanctity of logic in what he says. The Kick Off hardcore, on the other hand, slavishly follow the Dino Dini gospel, spread malicious rumours and show little understanding of any kind of middle ground.
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Old 27 June 2004, 01:18   #17
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Egg-actly.
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Old 27 June 2004, 03:50   #18
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by this and the other battle thread between campbell and the world, one cold be pulled to think that if one has the ability to code/design a footbal game and it has succes, chances are that he's a dumbass. mah!
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Old 27 June 2004, 11:49   #19
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I think Exciting Soccer from 1982 has an overhead view of action.

And then Tehkan World Cup, which if I remeber correctly, is from 1985, also has an overhead view.

And didn't Microprose Soccer had some kind of aftertouch way before Kick Off?
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Old 27 June 2004, 14:37   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira
Is he really still making a football game ? Doens't he get bored? all fucking life doing football games which all are just like Kick Off?

if they are as goods as KickOff in its days, theres no problem with me.

Dont get bored JohnCarmack of make first person shooters??

Last edited by JudasEZT; 27 June 2004 at 14:44.
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