Archives For DAVID PERRY

Woodworking is tough as it’s easy to start a project, really difficult to get it over the finish line.  (It’s just like the video game industry!)

So, I (on impulse) decided to make a wooden bench at the William NG – School of Fine Woodworking.  It can’t be that hard, right?

What’s 3D joinery?  Well, by my count there’s over 30 different wood surfaces that all need to align absolutely perfectly, all simultaneously touch to get everything to fit together.  Let’s just say it’s a 30+ dimensional problem. If you get it right, you don’t even need glue!  (I needed a lot of glue!)

The instructor insisted that all the joinery HAD to be done with traditional Japanese hand saws and hand chisels, so imagine starting some of the days knowing you have 6 hours of hand sawing!  (It took 4 days to make it.)

Let’s just say, I know how to saw now. I’m pleased how it turned out.

PS. Woodworking is interesting to me as I’ve pretty much led a digital life, so either my grandchildren will need to be happy with my old Powerpoint’s and Excel Spreadsheets, or I’d better learn to make something physical!  (That they would maybe want.)

So, that’s my challenge to you, if you are also just going to leave a digital footprint!

Wow 20 years passed already.  Nice detailed look at humor in games and our old MDK game done by George Ayres Mousinho from The Reactive Code.  I think the theme of the Shiny games were that we always had a new hook (Sniper Mode in MDK, Possession in Messiah, etc.), and we tried to make it hard to predict what was coming next.  What was the next level of Earthworm Jim going to be?

The art that Nick Bruty and Bob Stevenson did for MDK was incredible for it’s time and the 3D coding lead was Andy Astor, who sadly passed away from Cancer.  He was a great loss to the video game industry.

So 20 years ago this was Shiny Entertainment’s first attempt at 3D…

 

Shockingly (according to Good Old Games) MDK still works in Windows 10!

Next ZX Spectrum

October 18, 2016 — 3 Comments

I’m really surprised to be typing that there’s going to be a new ZX Spectrum, it’s been FOREVER since my career really took off developing games for the original one.  My big break was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (called the Hero Turtles in the UK), that gave me a #1 Hit and plenty of work followed.

It’s now a museum piece of hardware and so I must admit I’m excited to see this team making a new one, it’s a retro dream!  (Heck, it even looks cool!)

They have a surprise in the FAQ that it will run ZX81 games as well.  Are you kidding?

I just signed up for their newsletter…  Will be interesting to see it develop.

http://www.specnext.com/

 

 

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

October 12, 2016 — 3 Comments

I’m obviously biased when it comes to certain games (working for Sony PlayStation) so I try to avoid game-spamming.  As I’ve been in the industry a long long time, I’m lucky enough to get to vote on games I respect, and this is definitely one of them. The work that went into this game is pretty remarkable and I’d highly recommend you give it a try.

 

Just had a fun chat with the guys at Lost Treasures of Gaming.

http://omgnexus.com/2016/01/episode-19-earthworm-jim/

 

Really quick interview with BBC America by James Bartlett.

http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2015/11/12/david-perrys-10-tips-for-success/


Mention the name Earthworm Jim, and many people will disappear into digital nostalgia. It was just one of many legendary video games developed by Northern Irish-born David Perry, who has lived in California for over 20 years.

Born in Lisburn, County Down, he went to school in Belfast and became fascinated by computers—especially making video games—and after getting some early games published, Perry moved to England for a developing job, then got a further offer to move to California. It wasn’t L.A.: It was Irvine, and he ended up living down by the beach—something he recalled as “being like Baywatch!”

Perry admits that today he’s seen as a veteran in the business. “I’ve been through plenty of wars and survived! Some are tough, but I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons (the hard way) and ultimately that gives you confidence going forward.”

In 2012 his co-founded venture Gaikai—a company that was involved in cloud-based game streaming technology—was sold to Sony Computer Entertainment for £380 million ($578.3 million), and so BBCAmerica.com wanted to ask for his tips on success in America.

Hire great people.
“I call them ‘hurdle jumpers’—people that don’t waste time pointing at all the hurdles and telling you endlessly why they can’t move forward: They just jump the hurdles.”

Work on interesting and meaningful projects.
“There are too many opportunities to ‘wash the dishes,’ meaning you’ll work for two years and get very little thanks. Great projects are the bait for hiring great people, and working on them is much easier when they feel they are inventing the future or making a game with some new experience or idea.”

Don’t let people say no.
“In the 1990s I used to drive for three hours to sit in Hollywood meetings with people that didn’t have the power to say ‘Yes.’ Call me impatient, but when I get the feeling a meeting has no possibility of a ‘Yes,’ then I avoid them; your job is to get decision makers into the room.”

Some people HAVE to say no.
“Equally, be aware that it’s dangerous to say ‘Yes.’ There are a lot of people very safe and secure in their jobs, just as long as they don’t put their neck out, and ‘No’ doesn’t get you in trouble. This helps you think about your pitch…”

Don’t lose anyone on the pitch.
“When you pitch something, remember the pitch is for them, not you. It’s about them, for them, and dealing with their concerns. So, ask yourself at every moment: ‘Did I lose anyone?’ If you lose anyone, they can kill your deal the moment you leave the room, when you won’t be there to defend it.”

Do your homework.
“Read these books: don’t ask why, just do it. They are all forms of modern thinking and break you free from just doing things the way they’ve always been done.”

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Yes! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion by Noah Goldstein, Steve J. Martin,Robert B. Cialdini
The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Hooked by Nir Eyal
Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Don’t be greedy.
“A friend was offered $100 million for his company, but he decided to hold out for $300 million. The company went bankrupt and everyone lost their jobs. It was a disaster for everyone involved.”

Contribute your time.
“I’ve done countless hours helping schools, colleges, mentoring etc, and it’s some of the most rewarding work you’ll do. It’s inspiring, and you’ll be certain to meet raw talent; people that don’t know how amazing they are yet. You get to tell them!”

Attend conferences.
“I started to collect my conference badges, and now have hundreds on my wall. Why do conferences matter? You must never stop learning. You need to keep an eye on what everyone else is thinking, and you get to see in just a few days who are leading in any given space. Networking is key, so make sure you know who will be there, research them and meet them whatever it takes. Once you understand what audiences respond to, submit your own ideas as a potential speaker at conferences. They give you feedback, or maybe even a ‘Yes!’ Speaking is very valuable to your career, and a great example [of a conference for] the video game industry is the Game Developers Conference.”

Evolve.
“Think of the music industry, and how many amazing bands just disappear after one hit. It’s far too easy to get trapped in the one thing you do, so if you get the chance to evolve and learn in your industry, take it. Wear many hats, and see things from many perspectives; it makes you appreciate other people and what they do much more, and it will also create rapport when you meet new people. In my case, talking to a programmer is much easier if you’ve taken the time to learn how to program.”

As a glance at his website shows, Perry is always busy. But does he ever set aside time to play any of his old games?

“Not really. It’s like books; you write it, but you move on and don’t look back for a minute. I’ve worked on a lot of titles, and every now and again you get a No. 1 hit, and that changes everything. Then you are hungry for that experience again.”

Finally, Perry mentioned speaking on the phone to his mother in Northern Ireland that morning: “I said to her that there must be something in the water in America. I don’t know what it is, and maybe it’s just my optimism, but I believe that you can learn and do just about anything you put your mind to, as long as you start. I think that’s the meta-tip. I wanted to learn how to fly helicopters, but I procrastinated. I got an invite to try it and became a pilot later, but why didn’t I just start by myself? Why did I have to wait to be asked? Life is short, and these days I just start.”

I don’t have a copy yet, but just getting a glimpse it looks like Sam has hit it out of the park.

This kind of work is important as it’s recording some of the video game industry history in an incredibly high quality format.

More info here:

http://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/products/sinclair-zx-spectrum-a-visual-compendium

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