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Robocop 2 (1990)            

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Details (Commodore Amiga) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Ocean Software Ltd
Shoot 'em Up
Ian Moran
512K

Yes
Eng

3.5" Floppy disk
Worldwide
Game instructions, Poster

Click to choose platform:
Amstrad CPC  NR
Atari ST  NR
Commodore 64  NR
Sinclair ZX Spectrum  NR
Commodore Amiga  8


Same title from other publishers:
Nintendo NES

VideosScreenshots (Commodore Amiga)
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Unknown
Codetapper Interview
Added: 19 Nov 2011
Had you seen the movie while creating the game, or was it still under construction?

Yes we did, we saw a pre production cut of the movie, this had little or no special effects, and many scenes just missing, but you got the idea, we also had the script.

The bottom right hand corner of the RoboCop 2 title screen has always looked like a cut and paste job gone wrong to me. Was the title supposed to look like that or did something get corrupted?

Not sure...

Was this another game where Special FX only did the 16-bit versions? Did you do the ST version as well this time?

Yep I think the 8 bits were another thing done in Manchester, with us doing the 'next gen' platforms.

Each platform seemed to be adapted to a game that would suit it which was quite rare at the time. Did that mean Special FX could pretty much create their own game on the with different levels, enemies, subgames etc or was there a brief from Ocean about what had to be done on the 16-bits?

Well I think we had 3.5 months to complete this, which seemed rather tight for a licence, despite which I remember us storyboarding and planning, there were three main level types, a platform, a target shooter and a puzzle. I expect the 8 bit versions would have been developing these elements, I expect we just took the ideas and worked from them.

Had you played the original version of Robocop by Peter Johnson at all while working on the sequel? If so, what did you think? Assuming SFX designed RoboCop 2, did you analyse anything in it?

I'm not sure we looked at it as a team, but I probably did see it at some point. I think I was quoted in a magazine saying something disparaging due to the port like appearance (sorry Peter), I'm sure it was a great game.

Was the game designed to run at 25 frames per second from the start?

It was always a borderline thing running at 30/60 (25/50 PAL), with a vague recollection I'll have to accept your analysis that it was a two frame game, it would have been nice to keep to 60/50, could have just been to keep things at a consistent frame rate, rather than chugging in places.

Actually it might have been down to animation, we didn't have long to develop the animations, I think they will have been done in 16 colour for ST then drawn over for extended palette. The ST will have had 30Hz animation and because the animation was locked to the feet, running at a different rate would have meant 60 silky smooth scrolling with a dithery main character, maybe that's why?

Were the Amiga and ST versions identical game-play wise (apart from the obvious colour and sound reduction on the ST?)

I think they were very similar, the level design would have been the same, and the puzzle section was cleverly designed by Keith Robinson who handled the ST version.

Did you have anything to do with the pre-level HAM digitised photos that were used or did the graphic artists do those? What hardware/platform did you have to digitise the pictures?

I was well into video, I had a genlock and a digitiser, when they were on the market at a reasonable price, but I'm not sure I actually had anything to do with the capture.

When Robocop is shot, he turns a kind of slight green colour. Was that done by drawing one less bitplane, some kind of mask trick or something else?

Could have just been palette manipulation.

Whose idea was the (annoying) "reverse joystick control direction" pickup? (Grrr!)

Lol, dunno.

The "push joystick straight up to do a diagonal jump" was very unusual at the time - how did that come about? (Did it have anything to do with the design of the game not having too many places where a straight vertical jump was required?)

I think these were the animations we had that looked best, I think I remember that being an irritation at the time, but the level design must have been tuned to make best advantage of it.

Did you enjoy doing the bonus sub-games on this one? (The find-the-path through the computer chip puzzle and the 3D into-the-screen shooting bits?)

Yeah it was all good, the layouts for the puzzle was drawn up by Keith Robinson working from his home office in Wales, and the Amiga version was a copy of that.

The neat line-font drawing effect in Robocop 2 (where each letter was drawn slightly after the last and drawn one pixel at a time) - how was that created? How did you store the data for each letter? It's such a great effect! And how long did it take to perfect?

Wow, you are really generous lol, it's just an idea I had, don't know if it has any link with the RoboCop 2 theme, just thought it would be nice, the letters were just stored as little arrays of 2d offsets, probably points in the order that you might write, so I could trace with a gradient so it would be like it was being written out, multiply this up by the number of characters you want to display and I think it was a nice graphic effect, probably looks pants these days lol.

It wouldn't have taken long to do, and to perfect? I think the artist Karen Davies would have been asked to do some better characters.

One of the most impressive things that first hits you when the game loads is the slick attract mode with its awesome music (on the Amiga at least!) complete with digitised "your move creep!". Everything seems to be nicely timed with the RoboCop 2 letters moving up into position, the 8x8 font being typed out and the line font drawing effect for the high score table. Was a lot of work done on that or did all the effects just come together nicely?

It pretty much fell into place, the audio was handled by Keith Tinman, it was just a case of triggering his stuff at the right time, the visuals were pretty much there for the menus anyway.

Were you happy with the review marks at the time? Most are high 70s to low 80's with a few 90's thrown in too! What did you think it should get at the time?

Some of the scores were great, Zzap! 64 gave us 92% and I think we got a 90% Zero hero, we had comments that it was the best licensed product of the year, and that it was a "massive game". It's hard for me to accept praise, but I suppose I thought I never felt it was 'massive' or the best, but it was drawn up to a formula that people had liked and we had improved it technically with previous games of this type, so I really didn't know.

It wasn't something I remember thinking about, I was just always made up to see coverage, it always seemed positive, we seemed to have more than our fair share of front covers, I think we were well looked after.
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This title was first added on 28th April 2007
This title was most recently updated on 19th November 2011


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