Matt Chat 135: Peter on Sierra On-Line, Cinemaware, and Interplay

Matt Barton's picture

Hi, Matt Chatters! I'm back this week with part 2 of my interview with Peter Oliphant, child actor turned game developer. In this part, Peter talks about his transition from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, which includes stops (and stories about) Sierra On-Line, Cinemaware, and Interplay. Peter's a big fan of the Atari 800, so we spend some time talking about that system and his games Wall War and Mr. Cool. Then it's on to Rocket Ranger and S.D.I. before ending with Lexi-Cross, a unique blend of Battleship and Wheel of Fortune.

Download the mp4.

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Bill Loguidice
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Misremembering in a deep sea of memories
Matt Barton wrote:

Heard from Peter. He apparently misspoke and says he has no recollection of Cinemaware ever doing any Colecovision stuff. However, he doesn't rule out the possibility; he just isn't aware of it himself.

I think I'll ask Bob Jacob, too.

Cool, memories (especially on-the-spot recollections) can be funny things. I figured that Cinemaware was formed about a year too late to consider the ColecoVision/Adam as targets. Certainly the big studios of the time, EA, Broderbund, and Epyx, for instance, targeted Coleco's platform, but it was all tail end stuff, sadly. If the crash happened a year or two later (or didn't happen at all), it certainly would have made sense for Cinemaware to target it, particularly since their games appeared on far technologically weaker platforms like the ZX Spectrum.

As we know, the ColecoVision/Adam are very close in spec to the Sega SG/SC-1000 and MSX 1 platforms, so we can clearly see the types of games in them that would have been produced had Coleco survived the crash intact.

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Matt Barton
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Bob Jacob's Response
Bob Jacob wrote:

The only consoles that Cinemaware games appeared on were the NES and TurboGrafx 16

Bob Jacob

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Bill Loguidice
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"Myth" busted?
Matt Barton wrote:
Bob Jacob wrote:

The only consoles that Cinemaware games appeared on were the NES and TurboGrafx 16

Bob Jacob

I guess if there's no recollection of behind-the-scenes attempts at engines that were ultimately abandoned for other platforms, then I guess this is case closed.

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clok1966
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sorta
Matt Barton wrote:
Bob Jacob wrote:

The only consoles that Cinemaware games appeared on were the NES and TurboGrafx 16

Bob Jacob

I hate to say he is wrong (he should know more then anybody shouldnt he?) but nes and TG16.. and MEGADRIVE! (genesis) . sorta.. It Came From The Desert was basicly done (complete) for the megadrive but due to EA going "all sports" it was canned. it never was released so his statment 'appeared on" is correct..

Bill Loguidice
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Cinemaware
clok1966 wrote:
Matt Barton wrote:
Bob Jacob wrote:

The only consoles that Cinemaware games appeared on were the NES and TurboGrafx 16

Bob Jacob

I hate to say he is wrong (he should know more then anybody shouldnt he?) but nes and TG16.. and MEGADRIVE! (genesis) . sorta.. It Came From The Desert was basicly done (complete) for the megadrive but due to EA going "all sports" it was canned. it never was released so his statment 'appeared on" is correct..

Well, I don't think it was meant to be comprehensive. Cinemaware stuff also appeared on CDi and CDTV/CD32. We were more trying to narrow down if creating a ColecoVision or Adam version was a possibility at any point early on. Actually, that Genesis/Megadrive tidbit is fascinating because I remember that Cinemaware was heavily allied with NEC. In fact, next to the Amiga, I think the TG16 was one of their primary overall platform strategies. Maybe if they threw in with Sega instead they would have survived longer...

I'm actually more of a fan of their sports games believe it or not. I loved their football and boxing games in particular.

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Matt Barton
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I sent him the query, Bill,

I sent him the query, Bill, so hopefully we'll know soon. :)

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