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3 hours ago, jerellis1 said:

Would anyone be able to take a pic or scan of the interview page for The Book of the Game of the Film (if it’s made it into this month’s issue)? My subscriber copy goes to my mum and dad’s in Northampton and I won’t see it for a fortnight... Many thanks!

contact me on monday and I'll sort you out with a PDF

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  • 3 years later...

Sorry to dig this up after so long but I seem to have fallen down a rabbit hole after seeing something on twitter about Jane Whittaker making use of their old Alien Vs Predator code. There seems to be a lot of people coming out of the woodwork claiming they haven't worked on the games they say they has. I know this is outside Retro Gamer's remit but either someone has it out for them or they've pushed the truth a bit.

 

Steve Turner in particular seems to have a completely different story about Jane's contribution to Graftgold! 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Wonderm said:

Well I didn't expect to read that. Really weird and sinister even, what is all that stuff about the socks. 

 

Madness

 

I stopped at the socks...

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Yeah, I was reminded of this interview and dug out the issue to reread it and...there was just something odd about the career path. And when I started digging to confirm their involvement in the projects listed all I found instead were project leads and others stating that their involvement was small or non-existant.

 

Steve Turner wrote more on his blog a couple of years ago. http://graftgold.blogspot.com/2019/09/i-have-not-blogged-for-six-months.html

 

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I was usually a pretty good judge of people. Just look at where the Graftgold staff have ended up. I started off with Andrew Braybrook. Andrew was a professional programmer just like me so we understood each other. Yet he had a unique way of seeing things that added something different to his games. When Telecomsoft agreed to fund Graftgold I made the big decision to change from 2 people to a team of 8. I knew Dominic and John from Hewson and they had a proven record. I wanted staff to cover lots of skus, that seemed to be the way to go to get games in the charts. I already knew Gary Foreman as he worked outhouse on C64 Ranarama. He did a good job so thought it sensible to bring him in house. He only lived 15 miles away so would not have to relocate. I had a letter with a demo from David O'Connor. The spectrum game was really impressive. It was a platform game with a really smooth fast scroll that showed real technical ability.  I also had a letter from Andrew Whittaker. He seemed to really know his stuff on the Z80. He impressed me at his interview with knowledge of Z80 interrupts and Spectrum techniques.  I needed an Amstrad programmer so decided to take him on as well. He was the only one that was a bad choice. Doubts arose when he had difficulty setting up the Amstrad CPC and seemed to be asking the others to for assistance all the time. I wanted to give him a fair chance so specified a sound routine for the Amstrad based on the logic of the C64 version and the specification of the AY sound chip. Most of the logic could just be ported and translated from 6502 to Z80. The instructions to send data to the chip would have to be recoded but the AY was much simpler. It was a task that anyone with a bit of Z80 should have found easy. It became obvious that he was not up to the job. In the end I had to admit I had made a big mistake. Andrew was the only one not to pass the probationary period. I cannot remember using anything that he produced and had to take the Amstrad version over myself. I am amazed that now he claims to have been a programmer on not only Flying Shark but  many of our other games.  It is simply not true,  the only games the team were programming at the time were Flying Shark while I was finishing Magnetron and Andrew Braybrook was finishing Morpheus. Andrew Whittaker may have played some of these but  did not contribute to the programming. It just shows you that you cannot believe all people say about themselves on the internet or in magazine interviews. The credit should go to the people who deserve it. Dominic Robinson  did a superb job on the Spectrum version  and John Cumming did an excellent job on the graphics.

 

Of course now that Mike Singleton has passed away it's impossible to double check with him but one of his long time collaborators has written this

 

https://www.icemark.com/blog/archives/2018/04/16/midwinter-sid-meier-and-the-chinese-restaurant/

 

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I’ve had a number of people contact me with regard an interview with Jane Whittaker in Retro Gamer. It seems part of it details the origin story of Midwinter which took place in a Chinese restaurant in Liverpool and includes Mike, Jane, and Sid Meier.

Firstly, some caveats from myself. I didn’t personally know Mike during the time of Midwinter, not did I ever work in one of his companies, nor involved with their projects at that time. So I cannot vouch for the accuracies or inaccuracies of the interview myself.

What I do know is that a number of people have contacted me with stories of that time. People who knew Mike and people who knew Jane. From speaking with them, Mike’s family, original members of Maelstrom, and direct members of the Midwinter team, I believe I have enough corroborating  information to suggest that the Midwinter parts of the interview are untrue as are much of the Mike Singleton references, but it also casts doubt on much of there rest of the interview.

It’s not my place to detail this. If other people want to go public with their information that would be their choice. I just wanted to publicly make it known that I think the Midwinter parts are complete hokum.

 

It just seems really weird. I recently dealt professionally with a similar case of a creative claiming ownership of many works over a wide spectrum of genres and it feels like when you look at this on a small level it makes sense. But when you look at the full picture it's like a puzzle with too many pieces. I spent a good couple of hours digging into the credits of various games and found either nothing or a smaller contribution.

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