"668 - The Neighbour of the Beast."
Attributed to Terry Pratchett (among others)
AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVE & ANDY (VOLUME 11)
by Richard Karsmakers
For those of you interest in yet more revealings from the lives
of two interesting people, read on...
What is the film you've been to recently that made most of an
impression on you?
Dave: I've never been one for serious films - I prefer action
and comedy any day. I feel a lot of recent films have been
lacking something - whether it's familiarity, or whatever, I
don't know. "Aliens" is still the best film I've seen. This is a
very disorganised answer. The films that make a lot of impact are
often pretty unusual: 1980 was a great year, with "Flash" and a
quite obscure one called "Hawk the Slayer" which is awesome...
swords and sorcery meets Sergio Leone! Editable Anecdote time:
This has been one of my favourite films ever since I saw it back
in the early 80's, and I must have seen it about 15 times now. We
were at a pub quiz, and my brother was in a different team, and
he was called up for a 50 pound question on films - and the 50
pounds questions are always absolutely impossible. The question
was "who played Hawk in Hawk the Slayer", and I screamed and
started banging my head on the table desparately hoping he'd
remember... having seen it nearly as many times as me I thought
he'd be the only person that could! He didn't, and the quizmaster
goes "anyone else know" and this sad lonely voice calls out "John
Terry" and I continue banging my head on the table... I was the
only person probably in Preston who could have answered that one
and my brother gets called up!
Andy: There haven't been that many films recently that I have
found really thought provoking. I was very moved by "Shadowlands"
in which Anthony Hopkins gives his usual superb performance. Like
Dave, I tend to go to the less serious films at the cinema, and I
usually watch the more serious films when they come out on video
- my reasoning for this being that films like "Terminator 2"
require the big screen for the full effect, whereas something
like "Philadelphia" can be seen and appreciated on the small
screen. I am a big fan of 'B' movies since they don't take
themselves anything like as seriously, and are therefore much
Do you remember a film that struck you as being especially crap,
a film you was tempted to get a refund at the cinema for?
Dave: "Batman Returns". It was awful... the first film was
great, but the second... they just shouldn't have bothered. I
have no idea what was wrong with it, but it was just really bad.
Andy: There was a terrible movie back in the days where everyone
was playing with 3D in the cinemas - I think it was called
"Metalstorm" or something like that. Truly dreadful.
Who do you think is the most stunningly beautiful female to roam
Dave: I think every one has to be judged on their individual
merits... there are a lot of times when my jaw has fallen to the
floor. I actually find it rare to think that 'famous' women are
that great though... the Cindy Crawfords and Julia Roberts are
fine but not that amazing! Tia Carrere I suppose is one name that
springs to mind... Christina Applegate is another... I generally
prefer redheads but none in particular... oh Belinda Carlisle put
me off helping my brother out of the attic one evening (we have a
tried and tested method for climbing in and out of our attic - I
give my brother a leg up and down, and while he was up there,
looking for some "Star Wars" figures I think, Ms. Carlisle was on
TV so he got stuck for a bit...)!
Andy: There are many women who I think are incredibly beautiful
-unlike Dave I am a big Cindy Crawford fan, I find it very hard
to pin it down to one. If I had to name a few I would have to
include Christina Applegate, Teri Hatcher, Rebecca Ferrati (Who?
I hear a lot of people ask) and Janet...(Dave knows who I mean).
Danni Behr (a UK TV presenter) is one of the sexiest women I have
ever laid eyes on...
Do you play any musical instruments?
Dave: I once played keyboards for a band but we were abysmal in
the truest sense of the word, we were really really bad. If I
remember right we did improve near the end but I haven't any
tapes of that... I reached grade 4 piano but didn't have the
determination to do 4 hours practice a day so gave it up. I can
also play half a dozen chords on a guitar, if that counts. I have
a great musical ear, and can play by ear really well (by my
standards... not by most people's standards! - I'm better when
the computer does the playing for me and I just figure out the
notes) but have trouble sightreading. I haven't played regularly
since coming to University, but still like a twiddle now and
then, and you never forget. You sit down and play tunes you
haven't touched for a year and it all comes right back!
Andy: I mess around with keyboards, but that's about it.
You are (or have been) connected to the Internet. What would you
advise other Internet users to check out without further ado,
i.e. what would you have parted with your right arm for to have
someone reveal to you when you started out?
Dave: The Internet is an amazing, enormous, and potentially
dangerous thing, that is absolutely brilliant as 1. a method of
communication between people - either email or news or whatever,
and 2. a repository of information. It is also completely full of
bullshit. So that's about all I use it for. I've managed to avoid
catching the netsurfing bug in the way that most of those around
me seem to have done. I played a few muds, and was bored, and now
mostly just email and read a couple of newsgroups - for JPEG,
Atari and computer game info, and the new Formula 1 newsgroup
although I don't know how long I'll stay interested in it for...
and rarely read more than five articles a day. For people with
far too much spare time, and nothing to do, I would recommend
"Genocide", the player-vs-player MUD on 184.108.40.206 2222. But
it requires such an investment of time and effort you need to be
a bored sysop with 8 hours a day free to play it. There's
"Monochrome" on neutron.city.ac.uk login as mono, which is a
conferencing system but is rather pointless, and src.doc.ic.ac.uk
which is the UK FTP mirror of everywhere. And that's about it.
Andy: I think Dave has just about covered everything here. He
messes about with the Internet far more than I do these days,
although I used it quite a lot a few years back.
When, in many years, you'll eventually die, which song would you
like to be played at your funeral service?
Dave: One of the few pieces which can genuinely move me is
"Liberty", by Steve Vai, off the Passion & Warfare album. But I
don't know, it's not a sad song but it would be a bit depressing,
and I'd prefer not to get anyone too far down. There's a lot of
great blues stuff out there... I haven't a good answer for this
Andy: Now that's a tough one. My favourite song of that sort is
"Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits, so I guess I'd have to plump
What is to you *the* music release of 1993, and/or 1994 so far?
Dave: Probably "Sex and Religion" by (Steve) Vai. Problem is
it's a bit weird and obsessed with religion for me. I think it's
probably this year's release I've listened to most. "Antenna", by
ZZ Top, is the only other real contender. Music nowadays ain't
what it used to be (that makes me feel so old!).
Andy: For me it's probably "220 Volts" by Tangerine Dream,
that's certainly the one I've listened to the most. I like "Sex
and Religion" too (nudge nudge, wink wink, Say no more!). The
Chris Huelsbeck "Mega Turrican" soundtrack CD is awesome.
What is your favourite holiday destination, and why?
Dave: I used to hate holidays, or use them as excuses to play
lots of arcade games. It's only in the last couple of years I've
really started to enjoy a good holiday, just as a rest. I have a
friend on the Isle of Man I went to see last week, that was
brilliant, and I very much like going to see my relatives in
Wales. I'm not great at abroad holidays, but I can't afford them
either, so that's OK. I would love to go to Australia, because I
feel my personality would fit in better there.
Andy: I'd like to have a skiing holiday some time, but the
country I'd most like to go and see would be America on a sort of
drive around the country sort of holiday. We had a good time in
the Isle of Man, and our bowling scores showed marked improvement
by the end. Watching Dave bowl provided much hilarity since he is
not the world's most graceful individual. I have no doubt that my
"less than perfect" bowling technique also drew a few laughs...
Is there something you see everybody likes but that you loathe
Dave: Not that EVERYBODY likes... but that an awful lot of
people like yes... soap operas probably. I enjoyed watching the
American ones for a laugh, they were not connected with the real
world at all, but you can't with the British ones because they
are too serious. Australian ones are awful too. It's a pity,
because I like Australia, see above, and this is a bad advert!
Andy: Yogurt. Can't stand the stuff.
What do you remember as the worst ever moment in your life?
Dave: Err the worst one I'm prepared to talk about is when I was
about 9, I stopped on a plank bridge on a bicycle. I ended up
covered in stinking mud on one side and completely clean on the
Andy: Probably when I was a kid of about six when I jumped into
a swimming pool backwards and caught my chin on the side, nearly
breaking my neck. If you've ever seen the bit in "Jaws" movies
where the sea turns red around this thrashing body then you've
got a good idea of the colour of the pool water around me! The
speed with which everyone evacuated the pool to avoid swimming in
blood was remarkable. I've still got the scar, but fortunately
it's under my chin (naturally enough) and inconspicuous. Of
course, embarrassing incidents are always worse than painful
ones, but I'm not going to share my embarrasing moments with
anybody who doesn't already know about them now, am I?
Most cliche question of the interview (possibly): What's your
favourite food? And favourite drink?
Dave: Food? A really good curry. Chicken Karahi with Pilau and
Nan is usually a good start. Drink? Oooh so many great beers,
which to choose, probably a good pint of Boddingtons or
Andy: Favourite food is a really good pizza. As for drink - I'd
go for the Theakstons XB, but if I needed a clear head it would
have to be the old favourite Coca Cola.
Suppose you could be Aladdin for a while. Which three wishes
would you make?
Dave: Actually I was thinking about this a bit ago... it's a
really difficult question. The 'help the world' one would have to
be a 100% efficient human immune system if it wasn't for the fact
I can see all the problems that would cause too. Common Sense in
the world would be great but I can't imagine what that would do.
And I'd take one for myself: the Pheonix powers, for those of you
who've ever read the X-Men or Excalibur comics. Basically
becoming one with a cosmic entity of awesome power - sort of
eliminates the point of any other sort of wish for yourself
because it solves most of the common problems: you can fly, read
minds, become immortal, telekinesis, matter-energy conversion,
all sorts of things. Money becomes immediately irrelevant, but
I've never cared that much about money anyway, you just need
enough to live comfortably on. This is a very silly answer.
Andy: Arrrgh - what a question! I really don't know what I'd do
with three wishes, but Christina Applegate would probably feature
in there somewhere... World peace is a bit cliche isn't it? A
full time job doing computer game graphics would be a good one at
the moment given my current state of not being employed! I could
be persuaded to wish for money and power. The instant eradication
of all IBM PC contemptibles from the world? Microsoft going
bust? "Aliens vs. Predator" actually finally being released for
the Jag? There's so much choice it's impossible to decide.
Is there a person you haven't met yet which you'd dearly love to
Dave: I don't know really. The problem is what are you going to
say to one of your 'heroes' and basically you're just going to
make a right prat of yourself (like I did when I met Jeff Minter
at an Atari show about 6 years back). I would have enjoyed
meeting Feynman. I would like to give Rupert Murdoch a good
kicking. I'd also love to go out on the town with Oliver Reed, as
the ultimate achievement in getting totally blitzed. I hate
getting drunk but with Oliver Reed I'd give it a go for a larf.
Andy: I have to agree with Dave on this one - it's always
worrying that if you meet someone you admire then either you'll
make a fool of yourself or they won't live up to your image of
them. I'd like to meet some of my artistic idols like Rodney
Matthews, but I'd feel a bit overawed.
If you were confined to a desert island and you could only take
with you one book, five CDs and one luxury item, which would they
Dave: Erk! It would have to be a very large book. Since I can go
through "Lord of the Rings" in a day this is probably out of the
question. Probably the "HitchHikers" compilation I suppose, for
decent size reading material that you can go through a few times.
CDs: ZZ Top's greatest hits, the "Best of Rainbow", "Flying in a
Blue Dream" by Joe Satriani, "What Up Dog" the Was (Not Was)
greatest hits album, and Queen's "Greatest Hits", probably. And a
luxury item? A laptop computer, solar powered (stretching limit a
bit) so I could write down what I think about, to keep the
boredom away. I like to write silly SF stories occasionally,
especially when I'm bored. A lot of pens and paper would do.
Andy: The book would probably be the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula
le Guin since I haven't tired of reading it and I've had it a
long time. CDs: "Brothers in Arms" - Dire Straits, "The
Essential" Jean Michel Jarre, Queen's "Greatest Hits", "220
Volts" - Tangerine Dream, Clannad - "The Collection". That should
cover most of the moods I might find myself in. Luxury Item: I
suppose I really need a solar powered CD player with some
headphones don't I! Or how about a solar powered laptop computer
with a CD rom drive. Better yet, a solar powered laptop computer
with built in CD rom, fully stocked beer fridge, TV and satellite
receiver and a lot of games on the hard drive!
What invention do you hope mankind will come up with soon?
Dave: I would love more than anything to go to another planet.
It's really really unlikely though. Realistically you have to
hope for fusion power, or this planet's in deep trouble. Ideally
aliens will land next week and then I might actually get my wish
Andy: Realistically it would have to be a non polluting
transport system that can replace cars. We need power
alternatives to fossil fuels in a _big_ hurry as well or we could
find ourselves in a lot of trouble, really soon. Dave appears to
be developing an alien fixation - this I contribute to him
hanging around with our mate Kev too much. Kev is an insane
Welshman who wanders around all the time going on about aliens
and conspiracy theories. If his sock goes missing either aliens
took it mistaking it for a new lifeform or the CIA wanted it for
American bioweapons research.
If you were ever to have the opportunity to have your own
perfume cosmetics line, what would you call it?
Dave: ...? errr whew talk about questions you'll never have
thought about before... thinks for a long time... this one
actually came to me as I was walking home - knowing me it would
have to be something unsubtle and probably fits an Australian
outlook more, so probably one called 'Get it here, Bruce!' with a
male aftershave called 'Get it here, Sheila!'.
Andy: If I were to name a perfume range it would probably be
something like... errrmmm... actually I haven't got the faintest
idea - I might have to think about this one for a bit.
What do you think when you look at the moon?
Dave: About distance, mostly, the incomprehensibly long way it
is from there to here.
Andy: "Oh look, there's the moon again."
What is your ultimate ambition, the thing you hope to be
Dave: I doubt if I will ever be remembered for anything, but I'd
like to provide some entertainment to some people along the way.
I would love to make films, or do computer FX for films...
Andy: I have no real use for general recognition, but I would
like to make a name for myself in the field of computer graphics.
I would like to do the FX for films as well eventually, but Dave
appears to have stolen my career choice in his answer.
Well...on to the "words to react to (more often than not
designed to provoke)" section then...
Dave: I hate professional piracy. I have heard about people
distributing PC CDs with hundreds of games on, and this sort of
thing is well out of order. On the other hand, software companies
don't want to admit it but a certain amount of piracy does
actually help sell a new machine - the 'buy this and you can have
100 games from me' thing. Undoubtedly, there is a point at which
this becomes very harmful, but I still reserve judgement on how
many people would actually buy the software anyway. It is
probably more damaging in the PC community, how much Microsoft
would make if nobody copied "Word" and "Excel" is anyone's guess.
It's never going to go away, and there are some people who will
always copy software - not least because of the exorbitant price.
We ask 5 pounds for "Starball" because it is what I consider a
fair price, and if we had the circulation of a MegaDrive game, we
would be dangerously close to millionaires - and people buy MD
games for up to 50 or 60 pounds! The console market is even now
having trouble with piracy because of overpricing... as does the
CD market... it's all about providing a service rather than
trying to make money. You need a certain amount to be able to
afford to provide the service, but beyond that is greediness. But
then again if you compare a really good computer game - "UFO" for
example - with cinema prices it's a lot better value for money.
But if you've paid 50 quid for a game you complete in one sitting
(which you can easily do with many MD games)...
Andy: PC. Every single person I know who has a PC has a software
collection made up almost entirely of pirated packages. Everyone
states that the PC is the cheapest computer you can buy when you
look at its Price/Power ratio, and this is true until you look at
the software price. It ceases to be a cheap option when every
package you buy costs you 300 pounds! People never weigh this in
the balance when talking about PC cost because everybody knows a
mate from whom they can pirate "Word 6" or "Borland C" etc. It's
a pretty depressing state of affairs - I would estimate that the
amount of pirated software on the average PC owner's hard drive
comes to many times the amount that they paid for the machine
itself. The simple fact is, in the PC market at least, people
cannot afford to buy the packages they want, and they take this
to give them free license to pirate said software because they
"wouldn't be able to buy it anyway so I'm not really taking any
money away from the authors." It's a bad attitude, but pretty
much _everybody_ in the PC owning community is a guilty as
Dave: Abbreviation for the legendary Thompson sub-machine gun,
very popular amongst Chicago gangsters in the first half of the
century, not least because of its ability to fit snugly in a
Andy: Is this, perhaps, a pinball reference? (Yes, it was, and
Dave missed it completely!, ED.)
Dave: An underpowered, overpriced machine that although a great
architecture (except the DSP-030 interface) can't compete with
the PC market. Therefore I'm annoyed that I'm going to be forced
onto the PC and consoles because it will be all I can make money
out of. Unless people get their act together and stump up for
"Starball" and our next project. For the same amount I paid for
my Falcon I could have had a PC with a 486 processor, twice the
HD space and a monitor. Now you can almost get a Pentium for the
price of a Falcon, with the rate at which PC prices are dropping
Andy: An interesting machine, with a steep price tag in this
country. Can't compete with the PC because on the PC you can get
all the latest software and it's all free because nobody buys
software on the PC anymore - everybody pirates it. You can get a
Pentium based PC for the price of a Falcon, which puts the Falcon
in no man's land really except for the music industry. Of course,
being a graphic artist I can use the Falcon to produce gfx for
almost any other machine, provided I can get a good package - I'm
waiting with breathless anticipation for "Chroma Studio" which
could be totally unreal if it lives up to its promise.
Dave: The Pub Quiz at a local pub in Preston, where some friends
and I had a team called 'Jimmy Hill's Chin' (Jimmy Hill is an
English football commentator who used to have a pointy beard.
Then he shaved it off and everyone realised he didn't have a
pointy beard, he actually had a pointy chin) which has stuck
around for about 4 years now and is where the Jimmy Hill's Chin
bonus in "Starball" comes from. All sorts of people from abroad
have been really confused about this one. The reason 42 reminds
me of that is that we always used to put down 42 if we didn't
know what the answer was for numerical questions (incidentally we
always used Adam Faith for 60's music questions). Later pub quiz
teams have been called 'Des Lynam's moustache' and 'Jon Motson's
Statistics Book'. There was a Frank Bough one but for libel
reasons I won't put that in here. None of this will make any
sense to anyone outside the UK.
Andy: The obvious answer here is so obvious that obviously I'm
not going to say it because I hate to be obvious.
Dave: In theory it's brilliant. In practice, hardly anyone ever
registers. I think the only shareware success has been Doom and
Wolfenstein - which made ID about 10 million dollars according to
the estimates I've seen. So far we've had about thirty
registrations for "Starball", despite amazing reviews everywhere
I've seen, and I personally find it a little disappointing...
it's a real pity because it's the only support the Atari's are
going to have from now on. And even I feel I'm being forced to
Andy: Requires more effort out of people than people are willing
to give. In an ideal world if you used a piece of shareware for a
few days you should feel obliged to register it even if you don't
use it after that, but registering shareware is a hassle, and
it's so easy to just put it off and put it off saying "I'll send
the money tomorrow" until eventually you don't register at all. I
have been guilty of this myself in the past, particularly as I'm
forgetful anyway, so I can see how it happens to other people. I
am very disappointed with the number of "Starball" registrations
though, because when you try as hard as Dave and I did with
"Starball" to produce something of a high standard, set the
registration fee as low as can possibly be expected, and then
only get the thirty or so registrations we have had so far you
can't help but be demoralised. In particular, we know that at one
point "Starball" was getting in excess of 100 downloads A DAY
from a single BBS -everyone can't have hated it _that_ much can
Dave: You have to laugh really. I think he personally isn't too
bad... there's not a lot about him to dislike (or like). But the
party he's running is a joke. Their policy of 'if you're rich do
whatever you want, if you're not, get lost' is out of place in
modern society. If they carry on like they do we will end up like
the Americans, where money is everything, which is sad. They
don't even seem to care that half the problems they complain
about - law and order, expensive benefit costs, etc. - would be a
lot easier if you managed to find more jobs for people. I think
that would be the single largest contribution to improving
everything about society in this country. I'm not saying I know
how to do it, but I would at least try!
Andy: I can't agree with Dave here - I think there's quite a lot
about John Major to like, despite his lack of an outgoing
personality I think he is a man of integrity, and I would rather
have him running the country than the vast majority of
politicians. The British Conservative party have been a joke in
recent years, getting themselves involved in stupid scandals left
right and centre, and many of their policies have been outright
disasters, but given current trends it seems that their economic
policies, at least, may be starting to work. That being said it
is probably well past time for a change in government in the UK
in order to shake things up a bit.
Dave: The best chance ever in the computer world, and
unfortunately possibly the biggest missed opportunity ever. What
on earth Atari are playing at I don't know. Their infamous
marketing division lives up to its reputation again, as an
awesome product that is more than 18 months ahead of its
competitors (Saturn, PS-X, whatever) has still only 7 games
available for it after being available for 8 months. If they had
20 titles out by now, and could shift a million by Christmas, its
success would be guaranteed. They only have a month left... if
they don't make the games by then they're in stumm. The problem
is that at no point in the history of computers have more than
three machines had success at the same time in the same market.
So let's look at this: New machines from Sega and Nintendo, which
are almost guaranteed successes, a new machine from Sony, which
is supposed to be extremely good and is backed by about the
world's biggest consumer electronics company, and finally the
Jaguar from Atari, with the worlds worst marketing division.
Which one of those looks like it's going down? Atari have to make
the best of their head start... and so far they haven't. I would
love to program one though...
Andy: When it came out I was massively optimistic about it, and
bought one soon after. Then Atari seemed to have bungled it
(again) and I felt that it might disappear without trace. Now
however I am more optimistic - Atari seem to have got their act
together to release some software (finally), and high quality
software at that. Titles like "AvP", "Syndicate", "Redline
Racing" and many others ("Iron Soldier" looks brilliant) could
still make the Jaguar a big success, and several of these titles
look like they might actually come out soon (No! It can't be
true!). Nintendo won't be releasing their next home machine for a
LONG time. Sega aren't going to release the Saturn in Japan until
the end of '94 (if you can believe their official release dates),
and not in America until well into '95 and so it appears that
Atari still have a good chance to establish a large enough market
to make the Jaguar viable. I really hope they do.
Dave: I was always a fan, in the early days just for his unique
outlook on life - I had a Spectrum game called "Bomber" from
Llamasoft that was apalling - and thought "Llamatron" was a bit
of a larf (that could have done with better graphics). His
greatest talent in the 'new' computer game arena is a massive
familiarity with the 'old' computer games -the arcade games which
hooked everybody fifteen years ago. They don't have all the
cliches of the modern games, and they are ALL about playability,
because back then graphics and sound were pretty terrible. It's
something I've thought about a lot myself, that there is
certainly demand out there not just for updates of old games, but
games that mix modern sound and graphics with the playability of
the older games. I think the current rush to 3d is a little
overenthusiastic and so far only "Doom" has really made a good go
of it! Jeff is a great original talent, and that's really rare
nowadays. The other admiration I have for him is that he can play
his own games. I couldn't stand "Starball" by the time it was
Andy: I'm a big fan of the Yak from the days of the C64, he is
one of only a handful of programmers to place playability at the
top of his priorities list every time. His best stuff on the C64
was brilliant, and "Tempest 2000" is a work of genius. It is very
good to see Jeff out there getting the success he deserves on the
consoles and I'm sure he will be in great demand as a programmer
in years to come. He has the knack of taking simple game concepts
and wrapping them up in a package that is so finely tuned in
difficulty and control that the game becomes irresistable (except
for level 64 on "Tempest 2000" which is just infuriating!). Of
all the people in the computer industry, Jeff is one of those I
would most like to do some work with at some point - I think it
would be quite an experience! I will be watching out for Jeff's
future products with great anticipation, since with the Jag and
other new machines he now has sufficient power to give his
imagination full lease. I loved messing around with "Trip-a-Tron"
and "KML" as well, so it might be worth getting a Jag CD drive
just for his sound to light system!
Atari ST disk magazines.
Dave: I don't keep up with the ST scene very much so I never
actually get hold of them. If Andy has a few I will occasionally
read the odd article that looks interesting, usually the
technical stuff. Again, like the Internet, it's too much
information, and the natural filters I've adopted to stop me
wasting all my time come straight into action.
Andy: I always enjoy reading the ST's disk based magazines such
as "ST News", "Maggie", "Pure Bo**ocks", and "Scriba" (weird). I
find that the articles in these journals are frequently more
informative and written with more style than those in more
conventional ST magazines, and they cover a wider range of
topics. I find it harder to get hold of the disk mags now since I
no longer have access to the internet having left university and
so I have to try to track them down elsewhere. I hope that ST
disk magazines of this sort of calibre will continue to be
produced for a long time to come.
Dave: The ones living in the Events office, the ones I've
crowbarred out of the pinball game, or other peoples? I hate 'em.
There's this one bug in "Starball" that has never came up in
testing, because there is about a 10% chance per game if you have
more than 25 million points that it will come up. I can't stand
the sight of "Starball" and the couple of attempts I made to find
it were unsuccessful. I have fixed something that was wrong but
it might not be it! Realistically you cannot expect 100% debugged
software, but I have seen bugs in games that must have been
noticed - "F19 Stealth Fighter" is one that comes immediately to
mind, where the plane used to flip upside down about once a
Andy: Bugs = Dave's problem! That's all there is to it. When I
code, of course, I never have bugs - only features.
Anything else you'd like to say?
Dave: The computer game industry is in transition again. It's
moving towards the point where there is only going to be the PC
and the consoles left, in about two to three years time. Even the
console market may fall apart again, like it has done before.
Therefore, unless Atari can make the best of their currently
toehold in the console market they are inevitably doomed. Where
does this leave Atari computer owners? Probably buying a PC in
the near future. If the Atari is going to survive it needs
support from those who can - either by making quality software
that HAS to, despite the limitations of the machine, compete with
PC and console games, or by supporting those who do. If we
received ten thousand donations for "Starball", I'd have another
good game out there before you could say 'good grief'. I know
that isn't going to happen, despite all the good reviews and
publicity we've had. But on a console, sales of ten thousand
would be an abject failure. What I'm trying to point out is that
without the money the people who want to support the machine will
have to move on - and beep beep! that's all folks! wave goodbye
to one of the last decent architectures in the computer world.
Otherwise, expect to see us return on the consoles or PC,
producing the kind of games that aren't aimed at brain-dead 11
year olds, the games that have the playability of early arcade
classics, and the awesome graphics modern gamers expect.
Andy: If we had ten thousand registrations for Starball I bet I
could say "good grief" before we could release another good game!
"Starball" has in the mean time been decleared "Best PD game
EVER" in the October issue of "ST Format" (so Andy had the wits
to inform me), which goes to say that A) "ST Format" might not
actually be too bad a magazine, and B) It's a f*@kin' outrage
that there have been only some 30 registrations instead of
something more like a four-or five-figure amount. Come on
people, shell out those 5 squazoolies for this excellent game!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.