amstradmuseum.com interview Jon Ritman
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Interviews: Jon Ritman, a genius in play

vnomis:
which was your objetive when you started programming videogames?
j. ritman:
when i first bought a zx81 i started learning programming and then started thinking about what was possible, it didn't take long to realise that the only thing you can do on a zx81 was play games. i guess i did it originally just to have something to practice my new found skills on.
v:
which game have you programed is your favourite?
r:
i haven't got one
v:
and which one is the one you hate most?
r:
namtir raiders
v:
do you think that you could be done anything else in the 8 bit era?
r:
yes, given the time
v:
in the 80's there was news about a proyect game called soccerama. did you make any preliminary version and what happened with that game?
r:
soccerama was on an arcade machine than was never launched - the game was finished though but really not that different from matchday 2
v:
have you got any photo of soccerama? could you send it to me?
r:
no i haven't
v:
what do you think about retrovideogaming? and about people that still suport old computers? and about the retro fever?
r:
abunch of sad gits ;-)
v:
what do you think about there is still people loving your games of the 80's?
r:
it's fantastic, i'm so pleased the games have stood the test of time
v:
what kind of assembler technics did you use in hoh to put so big maps into 48kb memory?
r:
the map itself (as opposed to the graphics) was a mere 5k and relied on massive bit streaming (so as not to waste a single bit) and library techniques
v:
do you know anything about 8 bits spanish software? what do you think about it?
r:
no
v:
which is your favourite platform for development?
r:
i haven't started on it yet but I am looking forward to a go at the new game boy advance
v:
what do you prefer for programming aplications for development or games?
r:
i use whatever tools are available, currently that spans GNU & SN software for the psx2, visual basic for tools & probably gnu for the gba
v:
You worked some time for rare. what do you prefer work doing tools for others or programming videogames?
r:
i didn't work for rare as such, I was always an independent but I did work with them for several years, both making tools and games. both styles of programming present interesting programming challenges, and i enjoy both.
v:
and what is the best thing in this two kind of programming job?
r:
games - the best bit is designing & creating the levels
tools -i guess the challenge of complexity makes these fun - with games it is fairly easy to only present a limited range of options (like what door do you go through) and therefore you only have to program those few options, with a tool such as the assembler I wrote for rare the range is greatly increased, the programmer could do anything and the program must work faultlessly all the time.
v:
have you got any unpublished videogame material? could you publish it now?
r:
i haven't got any that i can still run
v:
did you programmed soccerama for consoles systems? i've remembered a domark game named total soccer in which you appear as programmer.Is this correct? then, you programmed for snes, didn't you?
r:
soccerama was probably total soccer on the snes, there was a total soccer on the megadrive but I had nothing to do with it and it was a different game. i did program it but it was never released. There was a problem with a hard to find bug and Domark were unable to get me the equipment I needed to find it.
v:
i've got your pc game super match soccer which was presented in a psx preview here in spain as matchday 3. it has to be renamed because you don't have the righs of matchday brand?
r:
we did have the rights but lawyers got paranoid about it so we changed the name
v:
did you programmed super match soccer or did you colaborate as manager?
r:
i programmed tiny bits of it, mostly i did the in-detail design
v:
in spain super match soccer(sms) wasn't a hit. was it in uk?
r:
no
v:
are you happy with the final result of sms?
r:
not entirely, it could have been better
v:
what do you think about a probably hoh, batman or matchday version for gba? do you think that they'd be a hit?
r:
i don't own the rights for any of these games so there won't be any follow-ups, i shall certainly be looking at creating a large adventure game though
v:
which are your current proyects?
r:
I am programming a GBA 3D engine and also several versions of F1 GP3/4
v:
which question would you like to be asked you? please answer it.
r:
q) would you like a beer? a) yes please
v:
any other interesting thing to comment?
r:
i'm off to make my dinner
thanks for all, jon!
Jon Ritman
Jon Ritman

Batman CPC version (1985)
Batman CPC version (1985)

Matchday CPC version (1987)
Matchday CPC version (1987)

Head Over Heels CPC version (1987)
Head Over Heels CPC version (1987)

Monster Max Game Boy 1994
Monster Max Game Boy 1994

Super Match Soccer
Super Match Soccer PC (1995)


Related Links:

Jon Ritman's webpage