Although previously an unknown quantity to 16-bit owners, John Phillips has been programming games for the last couple of years on the popular 8-bit machines. (Just for the record, his earlier successes include Impossaball. Sunburst and Nebulus - now on the ST. and our cover disk for that matter!) It was with the latter product that he had his first major hit: It was received to critical acclaim and reasonable sales in the high street.
After completing Nebulus. John moved onto the ST and his first 16 bit project. Eliminator. The transition from 8- to 1 6 bit was made less problematic due to the fact that John had been using the larger machines during his University days when he studied cybernetics. He also feels that the ST is easier to program than the 8-bit machines. "I started Eliminator last November. However I wasn't pleased with my started again from scratch. It then took me another three or four months to complete it. I learned a lot during the previous four months but I suppose I do work quickly."
The speed at which John can finish projects is emphasised by the ST conversion of Nebulus: Andrew Hewson farmed the project out to another software house who struggled for three months without any real progress. John then decided to do it himself and completed at in a month!
John's games are all recognisable as being innovative and unusually presented. And although proud of the Idea for Nebuius. john admits that it was more a product of duck than a fertileImagination: "I was working on a Uridium-style shoot'em up for the Spectrum, where the player had to negotiate the surface of a constantly rotating horizontal tube littered with raised constructlons. Technical problems forced me to move the project elsewhere, and during Its implementation on the 64, I turned the tube on end. It was then just a simple matter of converting it into a platform game.
"I always try to incorporate simple or easy to learn gameplay into a totally different environment. I prefer games which work on a 'levels'principle, rather than with a large, sprawling gameplay. I also like to create a sense of atmosphere. In Nebulus I wanted the player to feel as if he could reach out and grab the towers: or reach into the screen In the case of Eliminator."
John sees his latest project as a follow-up to Nebulus. In that it uses the rotating routines as its inspiration. He plans to have the player's craft on the surface of a rotating sphere with aliens moving around its surface In true 3D. It's definitely a 16-bit only game - and he's still not sure whether the ST can cope with the maths or not.
John likes playing as well as programming, although he rarely has the time to do so. His favourite at the moment is Virus, and he's looking forward to seeing Whirligig and Damocles.
JOHN PHILLIPS (JMP) 1988 >> The One Issue 01 (1988-10)
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.