Interviews// Bitmap Brothers: Mike Montgomery talks Speedball

Posted 26 Sep 2007 17:56 by
Companies:
People:
Games: Speedball 2
Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery
When you think of Bitmap Brothers, you think of Speedball 2. And The Chaos Engine; and you think of Gods... alright then, you think of a lot of things, but for the purposes of this article, it's Speedball 2. Having already spoken with Yann Tambellini from Kylotonn about how the new game will shape up, I was offered the opportunity to speak to one of the grand masters behind one of the most inspiring Amiga teams of the 1990s.

Of course, like the silly nostalgic sod I am, I was thrilled to interview Mike Montgomery from the Bitmap Brothers. I did ? and you can ? find out about his history in games, his new approach to the Speedball 2 classic and why he likes European developers.


SPOnG: Tell me about how you started your career; what interested you about working in video games and how did you get into the industry?

Mike Montgomery: In the early 80?s I was a manager for a large department chain store and they started to send store layouts in computer sheets. As I did not know much about computers I wanted to know more about them. So I bought a (Sinclair) ZX81 and a few magazines with (type-in) programs in them. I soon moved on to a Sinclair Spectrum as at this point I need to know more on how programs worked so I taught myself for the next year. I played a lot of video games in the arcades and I read a lot about games. Soon it was time to see how good I was.

So, I applied for a job at Leisure Genius who published all the original Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo games. I managed to get the job and worked on their games until they got bought by Virgin and I went to work for them.


SPOnG: Recreating a game as revered as Speedball 2 must be a tremendous task. Not many classic games translate well from 2D to 3D ? was this a concern for you at all?

Mike Montgomery: Some 2D games don?t go to 3D, but Speedball works ? much like football and a lot of other sports games. Moving to 3D enhances the whole experience. So this was not a concern but we have to make sure that we keep the same gameplay and not deviate too far from it.


SPOnG: Will there be any future additions to the game to help support it after its release, such as bonus missions or downloadable content?

Mike Montgomery: Oh yes - there's going to be lots of additional content. Our developer already has told us they are working on a first mod. But also new arenas with particular functions, new skins for team members or other new in-game items like special balls are being discussed at the moment.


SPOnG: Now you have the chance to do things a little bit differently, do you feel there are things you can alter, or do you think the Speedball experience is perfect as it is?

Mike Montgomery: There is always room to alter things but we are making sure that anything that is added or altered works and is not just done because we can. We have lots of discussions before anything is done - and if it does not work or is not in line with the Speedball ethos it's dropped.
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