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Z & Z Expansion
 System Req.

Mike Interview - The Future

MaD - In the past the BBs did shoot-em-ups, platform, fantasy, and maze-adventure games, to list some styles. Is there any style you'd specially like to revisit in future games? Is that desire due to advances in modern technology and its gameplay implications or for pure passion?

Mike - To be honest, we could revisit any of our old titles - they're a pretty rich heritage for us. You have to remember that they were almost all ST and Amiga games, so if we went back to them now, what we could do with modern PC's and consoles could make for totally different games to their predecessors. And not only do we have some great titles, our back catalogue also has a number of cool universes which can be developed further.
For us, though, the most important element of any game is how fun it will be. With the original Z, we used to get asked "Why are the armies there? Why are they fighting? How did all that unmanned hardware get there?" and the answer was really that there wasn't any reason, it just made a fun game.
That's what's important to us. We tried to define things a bit more in Z:SS and make a more "solid" universe for the game, but the same principles remained. Whichever style of game we approach, it's always from the point of view of "Well, what'll make this game mad fun?".

MaD - Could you feed us with some details about your future game? At least its genre?

Mike - Nope ;-) [Editor note: Damn! :) ]

MaD - In Z Expansion Pack, the bitbros made some balance changes and added many improvements. How probable is a future Z:SS Expansion Pack, and in which ways do you think it would add to the Z:SS experience?

Mike - Well, I hope we have covered a lot of issues in the patches we have put out so far. I don't think there is going to be an expansion pack as such this time. We have been looking at a new story line for a further instalment of the Z series which is quite exciting, and that will be different again to the current two Z games. It would probably be closer to Steel Soldiers than Steel Soliders was to the original Z, but still different. I would like to start work on this right now but we have to wait to see if a publisher come our way first.

MaD - Having recently released games for the Playstation (Speedball 2100) and PC platforms, how do you analyze both? Which platform, console or PC, will the Bitmaps try to concentrate the most?

Mike - We really like to work on the PC format, but as time moves on we are looking at consoles as well. The one big advantage for consoles is that you write a game for one machine and it works - we write a PC game for 1000's of machines and it doesn't matter how well you test it, you just can't test it on all combinations. Then you have to put up with the guys that can't get it to work telling us it's so bugged we should be shot! Sometimes it's just how they have their machines set up. We try and fix problems for people as they crop up. Buying a PC game is a problem - I buy loads and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but all my console games work first time.

Next: The two incarnations





Mike Montgomery

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