Some previous Games I worked on

Terry Pratchett's Discworld image
Terry Pratchett's Discworld image
Terry Pratchett's Discworld image

Terry Pratchett's Discworld (1995)

Discworld is a third-person point-and-click graphic adventure game. In each location in the game, players can examine and interact with people and objects, picking up and using items to acquire other objects or solve puzzles to remove obstacles. Conversations focus on Rincewind using one of four topics with characters: Greet, Sarcastic/Joking, Question and Anger. Additional topics may sometimes appear related to a subject that Rincewind learns during the course of the game, with the character interacting with a variety of people during the game, including Archchancellor, the Dibbler, the Librarian, and Death.

Released on

  • IBM PC


  • Infamous: "I want to be the first person in a game to say F%$k!"

    Based on John Cleese's immortal speech at the memorial of Graham Chapman, including the phrase "I want to be the first person ever at British memorial service to say f%$k", we got Eric Idle to record the phrase "I want to be the first person in a game to say f%$k". Without permission (is that karma I hear coming?), I included that soundbite with the 1000s of others and wired it up to a sequence of game hotspots on the final scene so obscure I knew it would never be found by accident. Fate had other ideas... The game crashed on a customer's PC and started playing all sound-bites and sound effects, end-to-end, include the carefully hidden phrase. That incident was reported to the publisher and then to Teeny Weeny games and eventually to me via my good friend (the game's designer) Gregg Barnett. No repercussions occurred however it was required that the similar phrase be bleeped out in Discworld II. After a decade, and not having the original source data for the scenes, I could not remember the exact sequence of clicks as I had tried a few variations including characters across multiple screens. Luckily some hard-working investigators worked it out and an annotated screen shot shows the sequence. Only I know why I chose those specific hot-spots (beware imitators who claim they put that phrase into Discworld).

  • Tidbit: Original Artwork

    Only background art exist as the foreground was all pixel art. The single screen pictures are only the size of postcards, drawn in ink and water colours, as no more resolution was needed. The original artwork was divided among various staff at Teeny Weeny games. I swapped a number of background paintings with Terry Pratchett's agent, for a set of international paperback copies of Terry's novels. I still have a couple of paintings including the background for Rincewind's bedroom from the opening game scene.

  • Tidbit: Paintbrush goof

    I think the paint program we used for touching up images was Paintbrush. The animation tool I wrote would import backgrounds and let you overlay animations and hotspots in a scene. It allowed for 2 formats of the files from that paint program and they differed ever-so-slightly. Due to a mistake, I think on my part, the last scan line of all background images shown in Discworld are actually just whatever random garbage was in memory there. If you look closely you should see the last line of the screen is corrupted.

  • Tidbit: Localisation - what's in a name?

    I don't speak any languages, other than English and Australian :), but I was also responsible for integrating translations of all languages into variations of the game. The hardest one was Japanese as it required non-English characters (from a possible set of around 50,000 characters). The process went something like: 1. Install Japanese DOS (blindly as can't read a single button) 2. Install Japanese Windows 3.1 (same problem, luckily the icons are often the same) 3. Capture all the character code pages, using screen grabs from the Windows CharMap program We then took the translated Japanese dialog, worked out exactly which characters were needed and mapped them into a rather large sprite. We used a contrasting border so that they could be read regardless of the colour under them.

  • Involvement - Game co-designer & Lead Developer

    Started on this project while still living in Australia, creating the animation editing tool that would be required to edit together 1000s of visual assets & author animation sequences. On moving to the UK spent a very hot summer, under a tar roof in the middle of London (phew), creating the scene editing tools required to place hotspots and animation in scenes. Finally moved to a house near the company to work in the office. Created an Access database of all scenes, objects and dialog that could then generate the framework code for each scene in a custom language called Tinsel. That reduced development time by many many months as all a small dev team then had to do was add code to trigger interactions and animations. That took around 9 months from memory.