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Leonard Tramiel Exclusive Text Interview - Great Commodore & Atari Insight

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6 hours ago, LordKraken said:

The reference for game credits: https://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,64909/

(which speaks for itself)

 

@Lost Dragon With your extended knowledge of people within the industry, have you considered writing an article (with sources and references) to (try to) finally close this topic? There are facts, yes she did work on AvP, and at several famous gaming companies later on, and some high profiles game developers have supported her in recent times (for instance nobody else than Richard Garriott himself), so I have the feeling it's not all black or white here.

 

Now when I look at her twitter account, it really feels that her only real programming achievement was the work on AvP and that she has used that experience to her advantage since then. But this happens a lot in the AAA games industry to be fair - I have a few stories I could tell one day :)

 

My feeling is that all her claims start from a truth that get twisted and quickly overexagerated. One exemple, her claims about working on Flight Simulator X. Her linkedin profile only tell about being an "advisor to the board" at Microsoft, and this is definitely not a position where you do actual work on a game. Beside she was employed at EA at that time, so I doubt EA would allow any of its employee to work elsewhere. Now I just found out about this interview today: 

 

And then while reading the comment, I stumble across one from a David Chester: 

"Well done for coming forward at last. It was a pleasure to work with you on the flight simulator projects for Robert @ Excalibur and to get to know you."

 

So it appears she did work on FSX... or... wait... who is David Chester again... Well linkedin tell you that he actually owns a small company called Addictive Simulation that create... add-ons for FSX!!! So here we are, she never worked on FSX, but maybe on some add-ons. End of the story. Now check her linkedin profile background and tell me what is her message there :roll:

 

What I personally dislike about this story is not whether she lied or exaggerated her achievements, but the fact she calls transphobic anyone who challenge her claims. She has been extremely vocal about the harassment she has suffered in the recent years and while it might be true, I haven't read anything against her gender disphoria yet, it was always about her supposedly false claims.

 

ps: What is Mike Beaton saying about her work in AvP?

Would I help anyone write an article, in the vain hope of closure on this matter? 

 

 

Where would we start and what would it achieve? Is the simplest answer. 

 

 

It couldn't be just about Jane Whittaker, the industry is drowning I people who've presented misleading information during press events. 

 

Andrew/Jane Whittaker 

Jez San

Peter Molyneux 

Team Scavenger

Martin Hooley (Imagitec Design) 

Jim Gregory (Handmade Software) 

The Tramiel Family

Ocean Software

Mark Cale (System 3)

Steve Wilcox (Elite). 

 

You'd then have to ask why writers, editors etc ran the interviews, never challenged the claims, did due diligence background research and did so knowing the individual lied, but just wanted the story, their name in lights etc. 

 

 

I've only stuck with the Whittaker fiasco, because I class Andrew Rosa as a good friend and feel Whittaker abused the trust of him, when Andrew interviewed him for his YT channel. 

 

 

Plus this is real, it's going to court, the legal fees involved already are astronomical and that's before the counter claim cases start. 

 

 

A very real line could be drawn under this, Whittaker exposed and a message sent to anyone else thinking they can use the press to rewrite history in their favour. 

 

 

But even with what's been uncovered already, we see the likes of AVP Galaxy, Retro Hour Podcast, Arcade Attack looking to give Whittaker further opportunities to lie and self promote. 

 

 

If people are ignoring the existing clear and present warnings, further articles are pointless. 

 

Let the courts deal with Jane. 

 

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Jeez. That's one reason why I mostly steer clear of the retro-gaming-memoirs, etc. JW is of course an extreme example, but unless you've been there it's always going to be "he says she says" with their musings. People are naturally biased and though I'm sure you can find some objective voices, I'd rather just let the hard and soft ware speak for itself.

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53 minutes ago, youxia said:

Jeez. That's one reason why I mostly steer clear of the retro-gaming-memoirs, etc. JW is of course an extreme example, but unless you've been there it's always going to be "he says she says" with their musings. People are naturally biased and though I'm sure you can find some objective voices, I'd rather just let the hard and soft ware speak for itself.

Yep, way too many egos. 

Jez San blames Sega for DC Red Dog

 

 

Jim Gregory and Martin Hooley blame Atari for Jaguar and Lynx failures.. 

 

 

It's never that black and white. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, youxia said:

Jeez. That's one reason why I mostly steer clear of the retro-gaming-memoirs, etc. JW is of course an extreme example, but unless you've been there it's always going to be "he says she says" with their musings. People are naturally biased and though I'm sure you can find some objective voices, I'd rather just let the hard and soft ware speak for itself.

 

 

24 minutes ago, Lost Dragon said:

Yep, way too many egos. 

Jez San blames Sega for DC Red Dog

 

 

Jim Gregory and Martin Hooley blame Atari for Jaguar and Lynx failures.. 

 

 

It's never that black and white. 

Such is life, drama and conflicts because of petty things. People are not perfect, they make mistakes. So what is the problem?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu

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7 hours ago, Lost Dragon said:

Kingsley also swears blind he and his team which includes Whittaker, watched all the movies as research, Lance Lewis strongly disputes it. 

 

To be clear Lance never disputed this. He stated they did so but only after Atari made them. 

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On 3/9/2021 at 9:12 PM, JagChris said:

 

To be clear Lance never disputed this. He stated they did so but only after Atari made them. 

Jane credits himself as being an absolute Alien Fan, having watched the movie some 200X during the making of AVP and depending on which interview with him you read, working with H. R GIGER on Dark Seed, prior to working on AVP.

 

Yet he also talks of AVP being the first game that let's you play as The Monster. 

 

 

So, he's had all this experience, worked with Giger, Ridley Scott etc, yet still fails to understand the nature of the Alien species? 

 

 

From the Wiki:

 

 

The Alien (also known as a Xenomorph XX121 or Internecivus raptus) is a fictional endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the antagonist of the Alien film

 

 

It has no higher goals than Propagation and self-preservation, it eliminates any other species it perceives as a threat. 

 

 

 

Whittaker tells Pocket Gamer he was never a Rebellion employee, only an Atari one, yet in the Game Pro Interview, he's a Rebellion employee.. 

 

It's nigh on impossible to say if he watched the movies before, during or whatever and if by his own choice. 

 

He contradicts himself so much so often. 

 

 

And, having read interviews with Dave Stalker, Fox Interactive, producer on PC AVP (Rebellion) and AVP II (Monolith), he makes very clear Fox have the final say on what goes in the games and that often means what occurs in the films, isn't allowed or is workable in the games,so watching the movies countless times wasn't the be all and end all for making a game based on the Dark Horse Comics franchise.. 

 

They wouldn't allow Hicks Pistol Grip Shotgun, Aliens would be on you before you had chance to use it.

 

The Aliens aren't allowed to spit acid, despite the xenomorphs in Alien Resurrection doing just that, they have to be in your face to kill you. 

 

 

They couldn't use the movie Predator cloaking effect, it didn't make the Predator invisible in the game. 

 

 

Yet you can find Jane telling Pocket Gamer, Sam Tramiel and Atari let him make the AVP game he wanted.. 

 

That's nonsense, as Stalker put it, Fox were very careful how the franchises were used in games. 

 

Whittaker's comments constantly jar with others accounts. 

 

Whittaker claims Mike Beaton flew back to the UK with him to finish AVP, Purple states Mike stayed in the USA until game was finished. 

 

Jane describes coding duties as being done by just him and Mike, yet credits clearly state additional coding by Mike Pooler. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2021 at 9:12 PM, JagChris said:

 

To be clear Lance never disputed this. He stated they did so but only after Atari made them. 

ANDREW : Immediately before AvP I had worked on a project called Darkseed which did very well, especially in the USA. That involved me working alongside the designer of the "Alien" HR Giger to bring his work to the computer screen. When AvP came along, because of the success of that I was asked to design and develop the AvP experience. Giger obviously remembered me as when the Alien licence was taken by Atari I was approached by Giger, Atari and Fox to develop that licence for the Jaguar launch. It was a great opportunity to develop on an exciting new machine with movies that I really loved. I studied the movies solid for many months before coming up with a game design. My aim was simple, to recreate the feeling and atmosphere of the "Alien" movie. I wanted people jumping, feeling claustrophobic and have the fear of being hunted in an unknown environment.

http://alive.atari.org/alive8/andreww.php
 

Lance: What was great, was that the lead programmers/artists at Rebellion had never even seen Alien or Predator movies. None of them.
Greg: Funny, I remember reading how they went and watched them all though.
Lance: They watched the movies after we MADE them. The first rev they submitted to us as a FINAL was awful...There was no objectives other than shooting and finding the exit.

That was all the game consisted of.

 

 

*Jane has classed his role as lead coder on AVP numerous times...

 

Our due diligence research has shown Jane's actual involvement with Dark Seed was not as he claims, working with Cyberdreams, being scanned for main character, providing voice work, doing graphics on the Amiga version.. 

 

He was a playtester for a brief stint whilst at Mirage. 

 

 

The statements proving the above have been passed onto the Judge dealing with the ongoing court case and the evidence also explains why only Cyberdreams staff and UK magazine writers are in photographs with Giger for Dark Seed press, not Jane. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lost Dragon

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On 3/9/2021 at 9:12 PM, JagChris said:

 

To be clear Lance never disputed this. He stated they did so but only after Atari made them. 

 

 

Purple confirms Rebellion won the AVP contract at Jaguar Development conference. 

 

Whittaker tells Pocket Magazine HE was hired by Atari to make AVP. 

 

Aso he only visited Rebellion once, was never a Rebellion employee, yet worked on PC AVP 5 years later... 

 

 

http://mleguludec.free.fr/dossiers/interview/jc_interview_Andrew_Wittaker.htm

 

 

Purple makes clear Whittaker was a Rebellion coder and just another coder, duties were A. I routines,Mike Beaton was lead coder.. 

 

Whittaker tells Wireframe Magazine, issue 2, HE and Mike were leading coding. 

 

 

Purple talks of movie nights, watching all the films at Ted and Carrie Tahquechi's house, brainstorming sessions, faxes going to and fro between Atari and Rebellion, Purple 'encouraging' Rebellion to do the same due process research. 

 

Jane's stance is a blunt.. I was an avid Alien fan, must of watched the movie over 200 times during making of AVP. 

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@Lost Dragon

Assuming that this lawsuit ultimately results in a final judgement which is publicly made available, e.g. https://www.bailii.org/

would you kindly let us know.

 

I cannot speak for the U.K. but here in Canada, only some 10-15% of civil lawsuits ever reach that point. Settlement is the most common resolution. 

 

 

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So... They're developing supposedly breakthrough 3D software but their "team" only has one person who's actually touched code on it?

 

Gene_Wilder_as_Willy_Wonka.jpg.ba40e87997ebb78a79551a22476be986.jpg

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On 3/9/2021 at 11:48 AM, agradeneu said:

 

 

Such is life, drama and conflicts because of petty things. People are not perfect, they make mistakes. So what is the problem?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To add to that, this was a job a cool job, but a job, coding and assembling a game involves, tons of meetings interrupted by the true mundane job of coding a game between egos, family life etc.  Plus using this as a stepping stone to your next gig.

 

As a person involved you will ways make your job sound important...who knows what other games are being done on the side.

 

Also, as a person with some age on them asking a person in their late 40s to reminesis about their early 20s will lead to some inaccuracies...if they are a great story teller also some embelishments to make the story better.

 

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That chap definitely seems to have his own unique views as to what went on back in the day.

 

I was somewhat surprised when one day on his Twitter he just randomly told the world that one of his mates had been a gameplay advisor to me when I was developing T2K.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Yak said:

That chap definitely seems to have his own unique views as to what went on back in the day.

 

I was somewhat surprised when one day on his Twitter he just randomly told the world that one of his mates had been a gameplay advisor to me when I was developing T2K.

 

 

Its on the Internet so it must be true now :D 

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Yeah he's definitely a character. Claiming someone messaged him about how he revolutionized gaming. I just figure it's him messaging himself. 

 

Jane: You're the greatest!

 

Jane: Oh thank you!

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3 hours ago, Yak said:

That chap definitely seems to have his own unique views as to what went on back in the day.

 

I was somewhat surprised when one day on his Twitter he just randomly told the world that one of his mates had been a gameplay advisor to me when I was developing T2K.

 

 

 

Hi Jeff,

 

Seems Jane created AvP sitting next to you, can you confirm that or is it one of her unique view again?

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/304372/The_Untold_Development_Story_of_Goldeneye.php

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Hm, well T2K was pretty much all done in Wales, I used to upload builds to the Atari server in Sunnyvale using a pretty slow modem. I only went out to Sunnyvale with T2K for a few weeks of final test, IIRC for about 3 weeks before Xmas of 1993, then home for Xmas, and for a couple of weeks right after Xmas, finishing in Jan '94. Don't think I saw any of AvP at that time (I guess it would have been really early to see any of it anyway in Jan 1994). Don't recall seeing Carmack there either.

 

I *do* remember DOOM came out while I was in Sunnyvale pre-Xmas, and I couldn't wait to get T2K finished off so I could go back to Wales and do nothing but play DOOM for a month. :D

 

IIRC the next time I was in Sunnyvale was in June '94, I'd been supposed to go back there in May to work on VLM, but I got ill with pneumonia and couldn't fly until that had cleared up enough so I was delayed till June. 

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Man, Jane has unique accounts on what happened last week, let alone decades ago. I worked for Jane between 2017 and 2019 and wow the stories they told. 

And wouldnt you know it, these stories never matched up with anyone elses accounts.

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On 3/15/2021 at 4:28 PM, jhd said:

@Lost Dragon

Assuming that this lawsuit ultimately results in a final judgement which is publicly made available, e.g. https://www.bailii.org/

would you kindly let us know.

 

I cannot speak for the U.K. but here in Canada, only some 10-15% of civil lawsuits ever reach that point. Settlement is the most common resolution. 

 

 

Apologies for the very late reply, had to re-register to post after loosing my password on top of everything else. 

 

 

There have been a good few developments since i last posted, not all that can be discussed publicly, but I will detail what i can. 

 

 

It's been some weeks since i last had contact with my source and his email seems to now be a dead one, had the unable to deliver... Message come through on the last message i sent, which is a little concerning. 

 

 

I'll create a Seperate post for the updates, but personally i am expecting an out of court settlement on this one, as i made clear to my source, you try and find a key figure in the games industry who hasn't lied during an interview, taken credit for a games success when they had little, if anything to do with it.. 

 

Or simply given various, differing accounts on the origins of a flapship title. 

 

 

I recently sent GTW Jez San giving the Nintendo Press a very different account over how Argonaut got into developing the SFX Chip for Nintendo, gone was the NESGLIDER story.. 

 

Here Jez was claiming he had reverse engineered a Prototype SNES, converted Barrlezone to it within a few weeks, added speech to it, shown Nintendo who weren't that impressed... 

 

Then looked at using the Custom Chips on the SNES to do Polygon 3D,found them too slow, cue starting work on the SFX Chip. 

 

 

His account over the SNES Transformers title they were working on, not becoming Citadel aka Vortex, doesn't hold up to scrutiny either... 

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On 7/1/2021 at 6:52 PM, JagChris said:

Yeah he's definitely a character. Claiming someone messaged him about how he revolutionized gaming. I just figure it's him messaging himself. 

 

Jane: You're the greatest!

 

Jane: Oh thank you!

Jane has managed to convince enough people he's THE REAL DEAL... 

 

Despite everything that's been exposed, Jane still landed YT interviews, Podcast interviews etc. 

 

 

The stories change when he starts talking... 

 

 

The Cigarette smoking Predator which Jane originally claimed, chased the player, leant against a wall saying it was exhausted  before lighting up a smoke has chopped and changed to going into a room, sitting down and having a smoke, sitting down and drinking a beer and having a cigarette.. 

 

 

It was definitely in the retail code, Jane had that code somewhere, then Jane wasn't sure it ever made it, it made it but Jane didn't have the cheat code to unlock it... 

 

 

Jane's added an extra Easter Egg to the Ancedotes, he told The Waffling Taylor's an anonymous artist suggested the above Easter Egg, originally it was Jane's idea.. 

 

 

There's now talk of Jane showing Purple Hampton an Easter Egg where the Aliens perform ballet on screen, spinning and pirouetting around in full 360 motion, yet the game doesn't use true 3D models does it, you never see the Aliens side on. 

 

 

Jane will tell you he had to drop the wall climbing Aliens due to limited cartridge space that Mike Beaton created a groundbreaking 3D engine for Jaguar AVP.. 

 

 

PC AVP Producer Dave Stalker will tell you how the custom built PC Game Engine had an entire new physics engine built just so they could implement what Jane claims he wrote. 

 

 

The AVP  Jaguar CD Wish List from Atari Corp has Atari asking for an updated engine, better A. I routines, ability for Aliens to use all surfaces, walks, floors and ceilings... 

 

Yet still people buy into Jane's nonsense. 

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On 7/1/2021 at 6:35 PM, Yak said:

That chap definitely seems to have his own unique views as to what went on back in the day.

 

I was somewhat surprised when one day on his Twitter he just randomly told the world that one of his mates had been a gameplay advisor to me when I was developing T2K.

 

 

Thank you Jeff for coming forward and putting the record straight on this one. 

 

 

I did wonder how long you'd allow Jane to name drop you on Twitter before coming forward to add clarity. 

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On 7/1/2021 at 11:24 PM, Yak said:

Hm, well T2K was pretty much all done in Wales, I used to upload builds to the Atari server in Sunnyvale using a pretty slow modem. I only went out to Sunnyvale with T2K for a few weeks of final test, IIRC for about 3 weeks before Xmas of 1993, then home for Xmas, and for a couple of weeks right after Xmas, finishing in Jan '94. Don't think I saw any of AvP at that time (I guess it would have been really early to see any of it anyway in Jan 1994). Don't recall seeing Carmack there either.

 

I *do* remember DOOM came out while I was in Sunnyvale pre-Xmas, and I couldn't wait to get T2K finished off so I could go back to Wales and do nothing but play DOOM for a month. :D

 

IIRC the next time I was in Sunnyvale was in June '94, I'd been supposed to go back there in May to work on VLM, but I got ill with pneumonia and couldn't fly until that had cleared up enough so I was delayed till June. 

Again, HUGE thanks for coming forward Jeff, we knew (thanks to your Making Of Tempest 2000 feature in Edge Magazine and your Tweets), Tempest 2000 was done in Wales. 

 

We also had some of your old newsgroup posts from back in the day, confirming this and you saying you'd been to Sunnyvale doing some test work with the Jaguar, before returning home to Wales to start coding on Tempest 2000. 

 

 

 

It was also rather telling that when Jane was waxing lyrical about seeing both you and John Carmack at Sunnyvale, he'd not seen figures from Eclipse, nor even heard about the Handmade Software coder who apparently was that pissed off with the Tramiels, he smashed up the loo's a Sunnyvale. 

 

 

Also Jane's account of where each Tramiel office was located in the building, didn't tie with documented reports. 

 

 

Question for you though Jeff... 

 

 

Both Whittaker and Jason Kingsley of Rebellion, put AVP as the best selling Jaguar title, but figures appear pure speculation, Kingsley claims something like an 84% attachment rate, in some interviews. 

 

I've seen you say on newsgroups Tempest 2000 had the biggest Jaguar attachment rate. 

 

Did Atari give you any sales numbers at any point? 

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