Shaun Hollingworth (Crash n°18 / July 1985)
At 28. Shaun is the oldest of the bunch. His introduction to computers came through his previous job as a chief video technician for a certain TV rental company. 'I had to know a lot about digital logic circuitry,' says this softly spoken native of Sheffield, 'so we were taught about microprocessors long before computers took off-1 knew all about ANDing and ORing. so it didn't come terribly difficult.'
Shaun came to Gremlin Graphics through Just Micro as well, buying games for his Spectrum, but a friend who works in the shop had also worked with Ian Stewart at Laskys. so they got to know each other. The firstjob was Potty Pigeon on the Spectrum. 'It wasn't really a conversion, everyone says it was a conversion, but it wasn't. We thought we couldn't really do the scrolling screen on the Spectrum like we did on the Commodore, so we thought we would extend the story a little bit. It was the first full length games program I'd ever done, and of course, I had a lot of things to learn, and I think if I'd done it now I could have made a far better job of it.'
Shaun's technical background stands him in good stead when it comes to some of the team's programming problems, and he is responsible for the disc system they use with the Spectrums. We had to convert all the programs which meant breaking down the code used by the assemblers to get the disc system to run–we had that much trouble with microdrives it were unbelievable.'
Since he is more inclined to the technical side of programming, I asked whether he considered the programming or the games design more important. 'The game, definitely. I wake up in the morning thinking, now am I going to do this next bit, but not from a program point of view – from the final effect, to get the game to a standard whereby people will really enjoy it when they play it.'
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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.