A blast from the MSX past

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By driversoft

Supporter (12)

driversoft's picture

24-04-2008, 22:07

Hi all,

I'm Paul Johnson, one of the engineers that worked for Electric Software, the small UK company that wrote / distributed some of the early MSX games / utilities in the UK and Europe. I've answered a number of questions about those days for Manuel (who may post something here), but if anyone has any questions they'd like to ask, feel free to post. I'll keep checking here, but if I'm busy, or forget, and you'd like to know something specific that's not mentioned here, your alternative is to email me: driversoft via hotmail dot com.

I've had a diverse programming career since, the last nine years in telecoms, and a previous eight years in motor racing software, having worked for various corporations along the way - including Microsoft. I'm currently contracting, and enjoying it immensely - should anyone be remotely interested, my site is www.[mynamehere].me.uk


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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10077)

wolf_'s picture

24-04-2008, 22:12

Hi Paul, welcome to the big blue! Tongue

It may be informative towards our users if you could list all MSX software you've worked on.

By driversoft

Supporter (12)

driversoft's picture

24-04-2008, 22:46

Thanks for the welcome, wolf_.

Personally, I wrote Buzz Off, and the Graphics (and unfortunately stillborn Music) Editor for Electric Software - and was part of a small team for Shark Hunter (myself, Andy Eltis, Jake Dowding & Graham ???). Team members also developed Le Mans (Mick Rouse, tech lead), The Wreck (Andy Eltis / Jake Dowding), Barnstormer (Andy Eltis) & Norseman (Andy Eltis / Jake Dowding).- and probably some I've omitted, for which I apologise (I must also apologise to Graham, the fifth team member, whose surname I forget - and for any factual errors, which are all mine!).

Electric Software also distributed two Sega titles - Buck Rogers, and Zaxxon - and no doubt a few other games, whose names escape me.

By FiXato

Scribe (1741)

FiXato's picture

24-04-2008, 23:20

(I must also apologise to Graham, the fifth team member, whose surname I forget - and for any factual errors, which are all mine!).

Might it be Graham Conduit?
I found the following post on VideoPac.org about Shark Hunter by him.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10077)

wolf_'s picture

24-04-2008, 23:36

Have you sniffed through the recent MSXdev'0x games already? *clicky* That's what a part of the MSX crowd is doing these days, probably similar specs as your old work.

By Edwin

Paragon (1182)

Edwin's picture

24-04-2008, 23:40

Cool! Shark Hunter was actually one of the high ranking games on my favourites list back in the old days. In fact, never quite forgot the rather dramatic death scene. :)

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5645)

JohnHassink's picture

24-04-2008, 23:48

Buzz Off = one of my earliest childhood memories!

I also enjoyed Shark Hunter in the days. Can I ask where the music is from?

Electric Software rings a bell about 2 other Taito releases as well:

Choroq, and a game I'm coincidentally making a tribute to with some guys:

Here I go plugging my stuff again :p

By MicroTech

Champion (388)

MicroTech's picture

25-04-2008, 00:29

Hi Paul!
Here are my questions:
1) what do you think of MSX, MSX revival and 1chipMSX? Cool
2) are you still interested in MSX? Question
3) considering your experience, which software would you like to develop today for MSX? Hannibal

By jltursan

Prophet (2619)

jltursan's picture

25-04-2008, 00:42

Nice to see you here Paul!, I've always liked a lot the Electric Software games, not only the MSX ones, the Einstein games are one of the best for this platform. IMHO your team, with Kuma and Alligata were the finest Britain MSX developers Smile

Now some questions:

1) How did you usually programmed those titles, cross development or maybe some extra powered MSX machines?

2) AFAIK Electric Software made software for the MSX and the Tatung machines, did you cover some other platforms (close to MSX like Memotech, Sord,etc. or not)?

3) Did you remember when and why ES loose interest on MSX?

4) In 1985 appeared the MSX2 standard with very powerful specs for a 8bits machine (the Einstein 256 was also a clone). Was ES planning something for these new platforms or they show to late to gain the ES interest?

Oh, I forgot the last one:

5) Do you still remember Z80 assembler? Wink

Thanks in advance Paul!

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1782)

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25-04-2008, 03:35

Oh nice ! I remember liking shark hunter, the wreck and barnstormer when i was a kid Smile

By SLotman

Paragon (1242)

SLotman's picture

25-04-2008, 04:40

Wow, I didnt like Buzz Off, but I've played Shark Hunter and The Wreck a lot!! Kudos on those games!!

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