did it take to write 'Fish!' from concept to release?
My memory is shaky on that point, but I think about a year,
maybe 18 months? 1987 to 1988. I recall us going up to the programmers
house in Cambridge on the first ever Comic Relief Red Nose Day
for a final polish of the game, which would make it Feb 1988.
I worked at 'Your Sinclair' magazine between 1986 and 1988 so
that would be able right. I went freelance round about the time
we released. The conversation with John and me on the bus would
have been in 1987.
If you could
go back to 'Fish!'today, would you want to change anything?
None of the jokes. And as much as I LOVE the text adventures
(and I think reading is important to foster), if I did it again
I would do it in the style of the Lucasfilm 'Monkey Island'
games or Sierra 'Space Quest' games. Interactive cartoons ...
OK so the textual aspect of it meant that the pictures were
created in the mind, like a radio play, our graphics were always
better than everyone elses because we really didn't have any.
We worked in the human imagination. BUT I think we could have
had a ball doing it as a 'Monkey Island' type game. Also my
skills as an animator would have come in much handier. *laughs*
memories do you have working for Magnetic Scrolls?
I remember Magnetic Scrolls being in a rather grimy and unsavoury
Victorian suburb of South London and having to brave the trains
late at night to get there. I remember Anita being small but
scary, and possessing a wisdom far beyond her years. She terrifies
the crap out of men twice her size just by looking at them.
I remember Ken (Gordon) being the most laid back Scotsman I'd
ever met, which puts him on track for being one of the most
laid back guys worldwide. Rob Steggles has an evil sense of
humour and at the time had a real passion for Games Workshop's
BLOODBOWL board game. Michael Bywater is scary smart, hugely
funny and also possibly one of THE most grumpy men I've ever
'Fish!' is one of the most creative, scary, fun, frustrating,
liberating and fascinating pieces of work I've ever been a part
of. I don't regret that it didn't do any business because it
holds a special place in people's hearts and as a writer/creator
you can't hope for that very often in life.