After all the options given to them, Psygnosis finally decided on this ship.
The Complete History of
It was now early summer of 1988 and Draconia was almost finished. Dave and Tony both went into overdrive to get those last bits and pieces completed.
Tony animated an end-sequence and Draconia finally gained some high-quality sound effects from musician David Whittaker.
Everything was finished and finalised, and then in another little twist of fate - another game was released with the same name!
CopperCon1 gained its final renaming, illustrating a principle that Dave had since decided on, which was that a name should also be a word that crops up in everyday conversation or is part of a familiar phrase.
CopperCon1 became Menace. It also marked another significant point; one of us had actually finished a commercial game!
A finished game meant cash, and cash meant a fuelling of Dave's now-legendary passion for cars.
First into his garage from the Menace Money was a 16 Valve Vauxhall Astra which he immediately dashed around to show us and of course take us for a ride.
Dave was a very happy man! This passion shows up in his games occasionally, an example of which is the cheat mode for menace, activated by 'xr3iturbonutterbastard' - the XR3i driven by Harry Enfield's famous 80s character, Loadsamoney.
Russell had also finally finished the dreaded "Zone Trooper" on the Spectrum and Amstrad, much to his relief. What had started a simple C64 conversion, had run and run, and it wasn't even that good to begin with!
Now Dave had to think about what he was going to do next. Attending lectures at Bell Street Tech and also writing a game had been a chore, in fact he would sometimes sit at the back of the lecture halls and only seem to be taking notes when in fact he was working on his game. One of them needed his full attention.
He chose writing games.
His lecturers never understood his decision; 'writing games' was a phrase said with scorn. As far as they were concerned, only Systems Engineers made money.
Games had yet come out of the cottage industry stage and the education system just didn't get it. Few of them had even seen a game of the kind Dave was writing, let alone play one and even less had they tried to write one.
One of the lecturers wasn't even familiar with programming in Assembler, something which gave the essential edge over writing in the high-level languages which were the only things that they could envisage.
Dave has long since proven to have made the right choice and proven them wrong.
Only years later did the slow process of getting clued-in about games take place and Abertay University finally showed its understanding by giving Dave an honorary degree and making him a fellow of the university.
Recognising where games were going and holding up Dave as an example, Abertay
created the very first Computer Games Course in the country.
Many of them now give lectures there and help keep the course sharp and up to date, particularly since its in their own best interest. Some of the best talent to apply for jobs are gradates from Abertay.
Its always gratifying for a developer to see his work finally published, and available in the shops. To be able to pick up a box you've spent months or years developing gives them all a warm glow.
Text © Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
All rights reserved.