Wayne Smithson - Sunrise Games Jul 16, 2015 10:30:56 GMT
Post by The Laird on Jul 16, 2015 10:30:56 GMT
Do you remember when you first heard about the Jaguar and what was your initial reaction to it?
I do remember, and I remember wanting to be involved with it. I had always been an Atari fan since the ST days, as that was the first computer I saw that proper blew me away (we were easily pleased back then).
When did you first come into contact with it and what did you think of it?
I can’t remember exactly but it was certainly before launch. Initially I was probably a little disappointed with it, but that was because at that point we had no idea how to get the best out of it. After spending some time with it, it became clearer that actually it was quite a powerful machine (for the day) – it just took some work figuring it all out.
Tell me about your involvement with the Jaguar, what games did you work on etc.?
I only worked on one game that was actually released - “Attack of the Mutant Penguins” which I think was going to be one of the launch titles. The game started out as something completely different to what it ended up being. The game changed mainly because we wanted to showcase what the Jaguar could do, which I think we did. Unfortunately the game turned out to be a bit like Marmite – you either loved it or hated it, it was a bit bonkers.
What was the Jaguar like to work with? Good and bad points!
It was initially difficult to get anything decent out of it, it had more than one processor if I remember correctly and the way the sprites were drawn required a fair bit of trickery. Also, it was the first time I had encountered parallel processing which took some getting used to, interleaving instructions to get the best performance out of the code was an art form in itself.
Can you tell me any interesting stories about your involvement with the machine?
No, not really, the life of a coder isn’t very interesting!
Do you have a favourite game for the Jaguar and why that game?
Only “AOTMP” – can’t think why…
In your opinion why do you think the Jaguar was a commercial failure?
Two main reasons I think. Firstly it was cartridge based, which made the games really expensive. Secondly, mainly, because Atari UK at least, were vastly under-resourced to successfully launch a new machine, they simple didn’t have the budget to do it justice.
What do you think Atari could have done differently?
Spent more money on the launch, but I guess it could still have failed, we will never know.
Why do you think the Jaguar should be remembered? (or not as the case may be!)
Because it was a bold move at the time from an iconic company who were pushing the boundaries. It could have been great…
Why do you think the Jaguar gets such a bad press these days and do you think it is justified?
I wasn’t aware that it did and if it does then it’s probably from people who weren’t there at the time, or have selective memory (or maybe that might be me).
This interview was conducted by Kieren Hawken and is not to be shared elsewhere without strict permission.