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Hocus Focus loading screen

Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Thu, 22 Jan 2009
Subject: Hocus Focus

Ste Pickford

This is another old loading screen that I did during my work experience fortnight at Binary Design, back in 1986.

This was for a Spectrum game, which I think was a version of a C64 game with a different title. I don't remember it very well. I'm sure I never even saw the game when they asked me to do the loading screen. They just told me it was about a bloke in a cave who took photographs, the rest was up to me!

It was written by the excellent musician David Whittaker I think (who was also a pretty decent programmer), who went on to become my first boss when I started work full time later in the summer of that year.

David was a great boss. He'd sit next to me on one side working on his music, with the other artist on the other side (one musician and two artists served about fifteen programmers when I started), and sometimes we'd have the radio on. David used to ask me the year and record label of every song that came on the radio. I never had a clue, and of course David knew each one with absolute certainty (I think he worked as a DJ for a time, before getting into video games).

We didn't have the radio on when he was actually composing a tune, and although he sometimes used headphones, most of the time me and the other artist got to listen the the same tinny, beepy tune over and over all day, with ever so tiny changes being made to timings or notes or filters.

I can't understand how people can listen to 8-bit video game music for entertainment!


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