Interview with Marcus Dyson Project Manager

 

1) What was your role as 'project manager' for the two versions?

 

Project managing a title in a small developer/publisher used to include many of the duties we currently associate with the producer role. But project managing a port of an existing title is quite different to project managing an original title. It's more of a straightforward management role, will less creative input. It's more managing schedules and facilitating communication between the developer and the publisher.

 

 

2) How much communication was there between you and the rest of the team?

 

Team17 is a great company. And at the time both Andreas and Rico were about the office regularly, and we used to socialise, and work together often. But Superfrog for PC was developed by Bubball Systems whose office was only a few miles from Team17 headquarters, so I used to see the boys pretty much every day.

 

 

3) Were you involved in the eventual marketing of the product?

 

No.

 

 

4) What were the titles you worked on for Team17? Which was your favourite?

 

I think people forget how many great titles Team17 had, and I worked only on a small number of them. Worms, obviously has to be a fave, but Qwak (which I worked on the CD32 version of) and Alien Breed Tower Assault were great games that I was very proud to be associated with.

 

 

5) Did you ever play Superfrog?

 

Life at a small publisher is great fun, but you get involved in a bit of everything, not only did I play Superfrog, but I play-tested the PC version, comparing it with the Amiga version for difficulty.

 

 

6) The PC version was quite different from the AMIGA version; was there anything special about your role in project-managing that?

 

No; people forget that at the time, the PC was not cut out for those kinds of games - much of the differences were due to technical and time limitations rather than creative reasons.

 

 

7) Did you have any "deputies" in your job?

 

I didn't. Games projects were much smaller in those days, and assistant producers and deputy project managers were still limited to the very biggest projects.

 

 

8) Were you content with the finished product?

 

I was, though Arden Aspinall, the lead programmer on the PC version, continued to work on it after it was published, and I think, somewhere, he has an even better version that runs in Windows!

 

 

9) What are you working on now?

 

I run an Internet development company that develops press extranets for people like UbiSoft, Eidos and THQ. We also do sales-reporting systems for companies like Activision, Vivendi, Codemasters and EA.

 

And I started the popular games website - SPOnG.com

 

 

10) Do you actually like Lucozade?

 

Lucozade. It's great, if you're off school ill, or if you're off your head at a rave. But I'm watching my weight so I don't drink it as much as I used to!