Smila Interview

Who were your main inspirations when you started out as a c64 graphic artist?

I worked on my first gfx in 1986 so there wasn’t really any “famous” game artists around at the time.

The arcades inspired me more than any artist did.

What games inspired you to get into game development?

Manic miner / the ultimate games as well as arcade shooters like Terra Cresta, I loved the amazing designs on the alien ships and the amazing cabinets.

You have a long history with the c64, working for Acclaim and doing titles for Ocean and US Gold. Would we know any of the games you worked on?

I’ve worked on well over 100 games but I guess the biggest games I’ve worked on are – Forsaken, NBA Jam, Shadowman, Alien Breed, Worms.

 

SoullessWhat was your favourite game that you have released?

On the c64 it’s probably Soulless as it was a return to doing 8 bit games after a few decades, working with heavy restrictions is a real blast.

Other platforms i would probably say Shadowman, as we had a great team and we really did have a lot of fun creating it.

Which game was the most fun to design?

I think I would say MY LIFE, i had a clear idea of how i wanted it to turn out and got the design done really quickly, achim (the programmer) and myself managed to get the game done really quickly.

You design games as well as do the graphics, but you’re not a coder, surely you must think like a coder to design c64 games?

I’ve been in the games industry for 30 years so I guess all parts of development have just rubbed off on me.

You have a distinctive graphical style, how did this evolve?

Years of working in the industry I guess, I’ve worked with some amazingly talented people over the years and you always learn little tips and tricks to help you improve.

You’re now working on a sequel to Soulless, can you tell us what the main features are in the sequel?

With the first Soulless I based it on 2 of my favourite c64 games, Draconus and Impossible Mission, this time I’ve looked at another one of my faves “Sacred Armour of Antiriad”.

It’s a multiload over 4 different looking levels with the ability to upgrade your weapon and find a suit which allows you to fly.

It will also have a few boss battles.

You also do cover artwork for some games, do you do any graphic design work outside of the c64?

My main job these days is a concept artist on TV and film, I also create album and book covers. I still keep my finger in games a little tho, recently doing work for team17.

Excellent, we certainly can’t get enough of your original game concepts, and can’t wait for the next one! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!

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