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INTERVIEW: MO WARDEN

Please provide a one-liner introduction
Mo Warden, graphic designer of Backlash, Damocles and Merc III. More info at http://www.the-company.com/hmo.htm

How long have/did you work in the videogames industry ?
From 1985 to 1992

Which companies did you work with? Any titles we'd know ?
Apart from Novagen: Psygnosis, US Gold, Domark, Anco, Dimension Creative Designs.

How long did you work with Novagen ?
About 5 years.

What exactly was your role ?
Graphic designer. I designed the textures, control interfaces, and most of the 3D maps.

What's your favourite anecdote of this time ?
When we were designing Backlash, I had to design the "attackers" as images (as opposed to 3D objects) and size them from 128 x 128 pixels down to 1/4 pixel, using colour to fade them out. When I took the finished designs to Paul, he used a magnifying glass to check the small ones!

Are you still in contact with any other Novageners ?
Not for a few years, but I still exchange Christmas cards with Bruce and Paul.

What's your all-time favourite computer or console ?
The one I have now.

What's your all-time favourite game?
Unreal (Quake III close second).

Is there a particular developer (code, gfx, whatever) whom you consider as a genius / pioneer / extra-talented ?
Not really. I've met a lot of very talented people over the years so it's difficult to pick one.

How do you feel about people considering the '80s as the videogaming golden age, and the associated hero-worship of some of the people that were part of this ?
I wasn't particularly aware of this. I still get occasional emails from Novagen fans but there is no "hero worship"!

The controversial question - about emulation! Have you noticed the number of emulators on the net ? Have you heard about MDDClone the PC version of Mercenary made by a fan ? Does it bother you if such a clone is freely distributed ? What do you think when you see some of the other games you may have worked on freely available on the net ?
I have a copy of MDDClone and think it's very good. It doesn't worry me that it's freely available but it's not my copyright! I think it's a good idea to distribute the old games as most are impossible to find by any other means.

Have you visited The Mercenary Site? If so, any feedback ?
Yes, I have. An interesting site!

What are you up to these days? What keeps you up at night ?
I'm a freelance web designer. And what keeps me up at night is late movies, strong coffee and deadlines!

Mo Warden
24th July 2002

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