Do you think you're a particularly competitive person?

I love competing with people. But I also love people to tell the truth, what they really feel about my programs. When I write a prog-ram it's how I like it, but that isn't the way it should be when you think about it because N's not just me that's having the program. So what I do is I usually show it to people. If they're not impressed with it I scrap it and start again.

You're working on a new program at the moment. Tell me about it - as much as you can at this stage?

Well, it's a system - how can you explain it without giving too much away?-well hope-fully it's going to be a new side to computer games, that 99 per cent of them will appear like this is. If other people feel about it what I feel, they'll follow it. It's going to make a package worth the money ... um . . . it's difficult to explain. I'd love to show you, but it's best not to ... I'd say it's going to be a new format to games. You know you've got scrolling screens as a format, and flick screens - those two types - welI it's a new type.

You're spending quite a bit of time on it by your own standards. Over a month?

It is a long time, but I'm hoping, with it being my first program for my new company, Wizard, I want it to be a success. In fact my working companion doesn't like it. But my brother has never liked any of my games, but he's never stopped playing this one.

You've had quite an interesting history over the last year or so. Some people feel you have a reputation for not being at all settled, for chopping and changing a lot. What actually happened? Why did you leave Alligata?

I know a lot of people who've got standard jobs, like working in insurance. If they're not happy with the people they're working with they leave. Some people stick at it, some people decide to leave. I've become one of those people.

So were there particular reasons for leaving Alligata?

I think it's just the fact I wasn't happy working. I didn't get out of the company what I wanted to, I could have got a lot more. I was told in fact that I should do what Jeff Minter is doing - work on my own, get my own company. But obviously - I'd just left school, I didn't like that idea at all. What I did was leave Alligata and attempt to work along those lines. But as soon as I left I got tied up with Gremlin Graphics.

Were you actually lured away from Alligata by Gremlin Graphics?

No I had already left.

So you stayed with Gremlin Graphics for three or four months, was it?

Yeah, around that.

And what happened there?

Well again I didn't like the people I was working with -well, not so much I didn't like them ... it was just that ... I'd never seen a company in my life, and suddenly 'l was in one. All right the company was doing well, but I wasn't satisfied with that. It's not the money I was after, it's a satisfying job. I noticed that the company was not set up correctly, it seemed as though no one knew exactly how to run the company ... I don't want to go into that ... I lost interest in that and didn't find I was getting what I wanted out of it.

Did you feel they weren't giving you enough share in royalties?

No it's nothing to do with the money -1 was quite happy with what I was on. There were just certain advantages I wasn't getting.

To do with control over how the programs were marketed?

I had no say whatsoever, the way I saw it. Obviously I said what I wanted, and they just said, it's all right, we'll do it. I was left on the outside writing my programs. So I decided to leave. I met up with Roger Taylor and we decided to split Wizard in half - we would own half each. Now we have the situation if I want to do something I'll do it. If Zzap!64 wants an interview I'll do it.

So you feel more settled now?

I don't think I'll be leaving Wizard, don't worry about that.