Interviews// Bitmap Brothers: Mike Montgomery talks Speedball

Posted 26 Sep 2007 17:56 by
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Games: Speedball 2
SPOnG: Might we see a return of The Bitmap Brothers on the back of this remake? Could we see another classic remake, or maybe some original projects perhaps?

Mike Montgomery: We are working on both new and old IPs - you'll just have to watch this space. Frogster Interactive, our publisher for Speedball 2, has also acquired the rights for The Chaos Engine - so this one could be a next big project.


SPOnG: Do you have anybody you would consider an inspiration to your past work? What would you say The Bitmap Brothers? distinctive style was influenced by?

Mike Montgomery: The style was really our own. The basic drive was to, ?make games we wanted to play and make them better than any one else?. This we did back in the old days when games were a lot cheaper to make so we did not need to rush. Nowadays, having the right publisher is important and we still need the time to get it right and great.


SPOnG: What has been your fondest memory working at Bitmap Brothers since its foundation in 1987?

Mike Montgomery: There are so many, but getting the INDIN (Industry Dinner ? the great British celebration of indigenous games development) award for ?Developer of the Year? was one high point. We had been working on Gods and to get it finished I had no sleep for a few days and thought I was too tired to go. But Eric (Matthews) and Steve (Kelly) - my ex partners - forced me. It was the best night I have ever had; and then to pick up the award was fantastic - I got so drunk that night. Going back to work next day was hard.


SPOnG: Looking at the current situation of British and European developers today, would you say things have changed since the 1990s? Would you agree with the idea that the European development industry is not as strong as it once was?

Mike Montgomery: I think the biggest problem is that in the USA there's something of a ?not made here? syndrome and most of the biggest publishers are from the USA. Development is more expensive in the USA but the publishers like to work with American developers because it's easier, mainly due to the time difference.

Having worked with some USA publishers, they'll phone you at any time of night. But you try phoning them - they hate working outside of normal working hours.

We must also remember that a lot of European talent has crossed the Pond, which also leaves us short. I much prefer working with European teams. They work longer hours because they live and breathe games.


SPOnG: What games, other than those that you are working on, are you most looking forward to this year?

Mike Montgomery: Every one keeps asking me this and I can never answer it. I tend to play games that other Bitmaps have recommended.

SPOnG: Mike Montgomery, thank you very much for your time.

Check out our past interview with Kylotonn's Yann Tambellini and keep an eye on SPOnG for more news on Speedball 2!
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