After 15 years in the aerospace industry, I made the decision at the start of the year that it was about time I focused on writing again. It’s something I used to do for DMA Design and it’s something I loved doing – even when Dave Jones once asked me to write a full-sized Body Harvest novel in a month flat. I have a few projects in mind and now I have the time to do them.
Wednesday June 3, 2015 — 11:21 AM
News! Based on @davidkushner’s book! Dan Radcliffe as Sam Houser! Black Mirror director to helm! http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/daniel-radcliffe-talks-star-as-787290 But who’ll play ME?
— Brian Baglow (@flackboy) April 9, 2015
From this tweet:
The things you find…. #Amiga source code to Menace. Has a label under it saying “Draconia source” #DMADesign pic.twitter.com/vCUYnTWkn7
Update: Brian Watson has identified his handwriting, and the disk is therefore the Atari ST source code for Menace! This makes sense, since “Draconia” was an early working title. Not as early as Coppercon1, which was named for an Amiga graphics chip register.
Just found out about this myself. Unclear at the moment whether it will skip over DMA Design entirely in favour of Rockstar. What I’ve been able to find out so far is that it is a 90 minute drama about the making of GTA which will air after the watershed.
I’ll update this post with the latest when I can. May be rough in places
Guy Cocker, who developed it, but didn’t write it has said on Facebook that he can’t yet answer the question of whether or not DMA Design is featured. Interesting.
Update: now that I’ve had a chance to talk with some DMA folk, it seems that this is the first anyone has heard of it. Definitely going to be a Rockstar only gig, I think.
More detail on the GTA show I worked on: it's a 90-minute feature-length drama focussing on the people behind its creation.#BBCMakeItDigital
— Guy Cocker (@guycocker) March 12, 2015
@guycocker Nice one Guy. How involved is Rockstar in the making of this?
— Sam Kieldsen (@samkieldsen) March 12, 2015
@samkieldsen Thanks! It's an independent production.
— Guy Cocker (@guycocker) March 12, 2015
Which would suppose that the famously insular Rockstar North is not involved at all.
Facebook contained this exchange:
Gary Penn: “Go, Guy! Is it all the way back to the quaint, humble DMA origins or focussed more on the far sexier Rockstar years?”
Guy Cocker: “Unfortunately I can’t say more at this stage Gary but I’ll hopefully be able to talk about it soon.”
It is part of the BBC’s new initiative to get kids coding, a season of (TV) programming which suggests we might see it around September this year. Reading between the lines, I believe that it has been written already (Guy “developed” it) by a so-far unnamed person, but not yet filmed. Update: filming begins April 20th and it is written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris.
The BBC has form for this kind of production, having previously dramatised the creation of the ZX Spectrum by Clive Sinclair. It featured a supposed rivalry between the Spectrum and the BBC Micro. I say “supposed” because back in the day everyone knew the rivalry was Spectrum versus Commodore 64!
Update: Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Sam Houser is potentially to be played by Daniel Radcliffe, along with some other creative types who are involved.
More interesting, from my perspective, is the confirmation that it is based on the book Jacked, with the emphasis apparently being on the conflict between the Housers and self-styled anti-GTA nemesis Jack Thomson. This seems to me to be far from the BBC’s initial announcement that it was part of a season geared towards getting kids coding. This removes any doubt that the DMA years might have played a part.
It’s a shame that the story is not about the creation of the game itself, but about the politics surrounding it.
I may be wrong, I would be happy to be wrong, but here is a huge missed opportunity to dramatise what actually goes into making a game. But as ever, controversy sells.
Lemmings Licensing (via @LemmingsPorts). After being around since 1991, Sony is bringing us Lemmings spin-off merchandise:
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has embarked on a licensing programme for the popular game, with the appointment of four new licensees.
Back in the early nineties Lemmings was pretty popular. Non-games appearances were rare but not unknown. A cartoon strip was printed in games magazine Max Overload from Dark Horse comics for example. (This inspired me to pitch for a Hired Guns comic, without success.)
One-offs included a motorised radio-controlled Lemming riding a tricycle, which was used for publicity on the opening day of DMA’s games shop, the SoftWarehouse. (As part of the opening celebration, I wrote a story on the fly, in-store, though sadly I no longer have it.)
The only other official products I know of are the posters, stickers and badges created for publicity purposes at the original launch. Though I do have a Lemmings 2 T-Shirt and personalised mug.
Mooted products are bags, keychains, plushies and wallscrolls.
Personally I think a pair of Blockers as bookends would make for the perfect gift. Or a radio-controlled balloon with Lemmings dropping from it at the touch of a button. Or even an ant-farm with Lemmings placed in the tunnels.
In anticipation of the release of GTA V tomorrow, The Guardian has produced a video of the making of the very original GTA. This gathers together some of the people involved – including myself – and lets them talk about the trials of bringing the game to reality.