GQ: We had the pleasure to ask ex-Rare employee David Wise some questions a couple of days ago. He seems like a very great guy and I’m sure you know him well. Question is, why wasn’t he involved with Robin Beanland for Conker’s music?
CS: I guess he was busy. We were all very busy on things, as teams then weren’t massive like they are now and most people had more than enough to do in their own barn without getting involved with anything else. That’s the nice answer by the way.
The real one is this: Robin ‘Bunny Killer’ Beanland (as he was known) is a total control freak who once, i kid you not, threw a monitor out of a barn window when someone suggested he might need help on Conker. Don’t be fooled by that Mr. Nice Guy, pity the poor ginger person persona he puts on; all a sham. When Grant Monkeyknuckles, Him and The Norgate got together and strutted down the corridors, everyone got out of the way.
The Dinsdales of Twycross we called’em, flicking peas at Tim, cling film over the ladies toilet bowl, they even put some poo in Miyamoto’s shoe when he visited once. That’s why Dave Wise didn’t work on Conker. He was in fear of his life…erm, none of that was true by the way I couldn’t think of an interesting answer so i sexed it up a bit… (‘cept for the poo in the shoe bit… They did do that)
GQ: You said in the past that nowadays, Conker probably wouldn’t even find an audience, much less a budget. I don’t agree with the first part: funny videogames are an untapped market in my opinion and it seems no developer has the balls to even try or when they do it just sucks. Honestly, who wouldn’t buy Conker: The Other Day on release? So it comes down to budget and IP rights. Have you ever thought of asking Rare to buy the IP and start a studio to work on a sequel since they have abandoned it? I know it sounds far-fetched, but like many others I want to see more Conker or just more Chris Seavor in my digital entertainment.
CS: You’re right…It is VERY far-fetched. Even if Conker has an audience of 1,000,000 which to be honest I think is really pushing it, that still wouldn’t be enough to justify putting a team together to make it. It’s just too risky. The only way a Conker or it’s like could get made is because a smaller company with a really streamlined business and no wasteful overheads, went on the Kickstarter crowd source thingy and said “Give us some money please..!!?” Hope they do, I’ll donate in a second. But as for doing it myself… Fuck that shit!! I got other things i wanna make.
GQ: People want to know more about The Other Day, rightfully so. Rare had trademarked the name, but the sequel never happened. More than 10 years later, can you spoil what we were going to see as far as the story goes? Did it ever make it to a prototype?
CS: It had some graphics and concepts done for sure, but didn’t really get much further than that. As for what happened to Conker in OBD, well he became Emperor of the Known Universe, got a new girlfriend, and lost an old one (again). There was also a massive space poo: The Cthulpoo, the main baddie. Lots of other stuff happened, with some new characters appeared and old favourites returned. We got to find out about Greg’s childhood and why he hated cats, there were tons and tons of parodies of the more contemporary movies, and an evil doppleganger version of Conker that you got to play for a while. And Beardy (Birdy) died. That kinda stuff…
As with the original, it ended on a bittersweet note. I did actually do an act by act summary for you and the fans, but it was twice as big as the rest of the interview so i took it out… sorry. As consolation here’s a piccy of some early designs for the first level, just to prove we actually did do some work on the bugger:
GQ: A few months ago you tweeted that Rare fired you. Can you tell us a bit more? It seems like we are missing a piece of the puzzle. Was it really their decision or you just got burned out of seeing Kinect games all day?
CS: Hehe. I suspect the one may have led to the other. Who can say what really went on there. However, as far as things are now, I’ve never been happier.
GQ: I’ve read a lot about you [insert creepy joke] and you seem to be very passionate pretty much about everything. It’s part of your personality. Since you no longer work at Rare, what exactly do you do? I heard talks about an unannounced iOS/Android videogame involving a character called Stan (South Park fan?)…
CS: South Park? Nah, that’s a coincidence I’d not noticed before. Stanley was picked because Stan rhymes with Man, and also it was a very popular name from the 1920′s and ’30s which fits perfectly with the premise of the game. Can’t really say much more, but here’s a new picky of the little fella to liven up all these boring blocks of prose with something pretty:
GQ: It must be hard seeing Rare completely “trashed” by Microsoft who, according to new info, even said “no” to a sequel for Killer Instinct. Recently, we also learned other ideas you were working on such as Savannah were canned. How do you feel about that, and just how many ideas had you in store?
CS: I’m not sure about the Killer thing that was mentioned. I could be wrong but I never heard of a version of Killer Instinct 3 ever getting further than small talk. Should it have happened? Yeah. I reckon it would have done okay. Not so sure it would have worked on Kinect, I mean let’s be honest, nothing that needs tight precision really does. Killer Instinct 3 would need to have very tight precision. I personally wasn’t involved with Savannah just to be sure, that was Phil Dunne’s baby. Ironically Savannah would have benefited really well from Kinect I reckon, it was a more passive play experience, a gentler, nurturing type of game rather than button bashing or the frenzied jumping around that Kinect games are infamous for. Pity really, but it was put to rest before Kinect came along.
And as for MS “trashing” Rare, look chaps, they bought it fair and square. Microsoft obviously wanted to maximize the potential of their new toy, but lots of games that Rare were known for would struggle to use it. Rock and a Hard Place. Although, as I tweeted only the other day, it might have been fun to smash the Big Bollocked Boiler’s Bollocks using Kinect, or the Pissing even. You could also have a sing song, sing along with the Mighty Poo, hehe. Endless possibilities…(yes, I’m jesting by the way)
Ultimately they can do what they like and indeed do so. Let’s not forget, however irksome it might be to the Rare fanboys (myself included), that both Sports 1 and 2 sold a shit load of copies with whatever is coming next likely to do the same. So they must be doing something right in their eyes. To be honest, it’s not something I’d normally give much thought to.
GQ: Let’s stop talking about Conker and Rare for a while. You said you played a lot of games in the past decade so would you mind sharing with us which titles really blew you away and why?
CS: Well, I’ve played nowhere near as many as I’d like too, and I really wish i could play GW2 all day atm, but that’s a tough one as I’m pretty busy now, until Nov at least. So, there are lots of games I really liked, but the games that made an impression, that made me sit up and go “Oh, fuck, what just happened there!!? Are in no particular order: Gothic 2, Bioshock, Deus Ex, Half- Life, Planescape: Torment, Homeworld, Warcraft (fucking thing), Morrowind (eventually…took me 3 goes to get into), Condemned, Res 4 (of course), Beyond Good and Evil (little gem of a game), Eternal Darkness (plz do HD version..NOW), and a few from the middle ages: Knightlore and Rebel Star Raiders (the latter being the game that dragged me away from Elite)…Oh, and Elite.
My favourite game of all time though has to be Baldur’s Gate. Nothing has ever, nor will ever beat that game for me. Not happening. Anyway, lists are really boring and totally subjective, so let’s stop there. There, that’s it, go home now…