John Marshall of Orpheus Software rang to tell us that he’s an expert at cooking basmati rice and his girlfriend makes wonderful stuffed peppers. None of this was really relevant, but it filled in time while an ‘official statement’ was hurriedly prepared about their forthcoming game based on the telly series The Young Ones. With editorial control for the game in the hands of the anti-social heroes, it promises to be unique (well different anyway).
There now follows an official press statement: Orpheus’ Managing Director, Paul Kaufman said, ‘As far as I am concerned The Young Ones will be the only game worth buying this Christmas. We have spent 8 months on the development of the game and you can be guaranteed fans of the series will not be disappointed. This is the game that everyone’s been waiting for. It will be a subtle blend of psychology and extreme violence.’
Phew! The unofficial quote from MD Paul Kaufman was ‘My bowels exploded with laughter when I saw this game’, but as he doesn’t want that printed we won’t mention it.
Orpheus wrote a pilot version of the game ages ago and has been negotiating for the rights against fierce competition since January. In the game, which features the four major characters Rick, Vyvyan Basterd, Neil Pye and Mike the Cool Person, you can choose to play any one of them, the computer then controls the other three. All the characters have realistic personalities with memories, so they react towards you accordingly and can be helpful or even rude. The action takes place in the house of the series and is helpfully described by John as ‘a sort of arcade adventure but it isn’t really.’ There is text involved but no text input is required by the player, and the characters talk back in some fiendishly secret way that Orpheus won’t yet reveal.
The Young Ones will be released on the 1st of October, look for more details next month. Wow, heavy man...
Yesterday, Auntie Aggie, the CRASH Mail Order Queen took a break from chatting up software distributors and left off arranging her social calendar for the Personal Computer World Show to pop down and ask us to tell people who order things from her department to stop sending coins in the post.
It seems the new-fangled machines the Post Office now uses to sort mail get bunged up by letters which contain coin of the realm, and the Posties have to unjam them every time you send a pound coin or other bits of metal to us. This annoys the boys on the sorting line — so much that they charge us £1.70 odd for each and every coin-containing envelope that they have to hand deliver in a very sorry state.
Bad news, indeed, for if you send us a pound coin and a few coppers for a back issue to complete your collection, we end up making a loss before we even get to send you your magazine. So in future, cheques and postal orders only — or we’ll have to knock off the cost of receiving your letter before we do anything. OK? OK.
One last point: could you chap and chapesses who write in with a complaint or problem that needs sorting include a telephone number? Then we can ’phone you and sort things out quickly...
Nag over, Aggie’s gone back to her telephone. Don’t make her come back down here again moaning... pretty please?
Ahh. The raging furnace, scalding steam, grit, grease and grime — no, not the working conditions of CRASH minions, but the footplate of a puffing, panting, live steam locomotive.
Hewson’s launch games in style, and Southern Belle their steam engine simulation made its debut in Didcot, at the Great Western Railway Society’s Headquarters, where, having wined and dined in a luxury restaurant car, the assembled hacks trundled happily up and down the line on the footplate of Thomas the Tank Engine’s second cousin.
The co-authors of the game are Bob Hillyer, a self-confessed steam train fanatic, and Mike Male, author of Hewson classics Heathrow ATC and Nightflite II (if they’d stayed nocturnal for this program would it have been called Starlight Express?). You have to pilot the pride of Southern Railways from London to Brighton avoiding British Rail practices such as lateness! Options include attempting the line record. The fact that Bob has only beaten it by seconds is a measure of this labour of love’s accuracy.
Andrew Hewson also used the occasion to honour the distributors (without whom... etc) by presenting Terry Jeffries of Terry Blood with an award for sales of Dragontorc. He also let on that Astro Clone adds inter-galactic shoot em ups to Steve Turner’s arcade adventure system.
So I departed, leaving my fellow hacks wrangling over who would tie CRASH’s very own Mr Spencer to the rails before the next train came.
It’s early days yet, but the ubiquitous CRASH Software Ed, Jeremy Spencer has press-ganged everyone in the office into agreeing to jump from an aeroplane. With a parachute, fortunately.
The daft fellow suddenly came up with the idea of pushing us all out of a plane flying at several thousand feet while he was enjoying a couple of Sausage Sarnies the other evening, at a local watering hole.
Foolishly, we went along with his plan — Old Flatulence Bitter had taken its toll.
It’s all in a good cause, really. Some of us will be sproinging out into the great blue yonder over an airfield somewhere in England this Spring. The Red Devils have been coerced into helping the enterprise along, as it’s all being done for charity. Dr Barnardos, and The Active Group which provides electronic aids for handicapped children, will both benefit from funds raised.
More details of the whole event will appear in these hallowed pages in due course.
Sinclair Research has a new Chief Executive, in the person of Bill Jeffrey, who was managing director of Sinclair’s TV and Communications Division until July 23rd this year, when he was appointed to his new position.
Bill Jeifries joined Sinclair Research less than six months ago, leaving a high powered post with Mars Electronics, a division of Mars (GB) Ltd.
Mr Jeffries’ efforts on behalf of Sinclair Research have already had a significant impact on the success of the Pocket TV, which is now available in over 1,000 High Street outlets. He intends to become actively involved with the marketing of Sinclair Research products worldwide, and his marketing contribution to the Pocket TV project has been fully recognised by Sir Clive.
Competition is honing up on the tape magazines front. The Man from Argus Press Software which publishes Spectrum Computing and 16/48 rings up to let us know that they are both running a competition to find a computer genius.
Who knows what they’ll do with him or her when they find him, her or it, but the first thing they plan to do is to hand over a tailor made Metro Special Edition, or £5,500 in cash.
‘A Unique chance to win a Unique Car’ is the slogan apparently.
Our financial wizards haven’t been able to compile their complete chart of bad paying, naughty fellows — they spend too much time actually chasing the money. Finance, however, are coming round to the idea of having a DEBTOR OF THE MONTH slot.
Hmmm. Could prove interesting... Next munf maybe.
The TOP MEN of Newsfield have decreed that a veritable host of minions shall be despatched to this year’s Personal Computer World Show in London. Running from the 4th to 8th September at Olympia, the show will be graced by the full gamut of CRASH types, including, Jeremy Spencer, Roger Kean, Oh Frey, Graeme Kidd, Franco Frey, Sally Newman, Robin Candy, and even Aggie and Denise from Mail order and subscriptions.
And yes! The evil ZZAP! reviewers Gary Penn and Julian Rig nail will be in attendance, as will T Shirts, Sweatshirts, Hats and backnumbers for the two magazines.
AMTIX!, a new magazine for Amstrad Owners to be produced from CRASH Towers will make its debut at the show, with thousands and thousands and thousands (That’s enough thousands — ED) of copies of a special Issue Zero given away free.
Come and see us on the stand — we might even let you feed us!