You mentioned earlier that you were quite a competitive guy. Would you really like to be clearly recognised as the number 1 UK games programmer?

I'm not sure if I am already! (laughs)

But would you like to be clearly recognised as that?

Um... I don't know, I don't think you can class anyone like taht - because not everyone's going to like my games, just like not everyone likes Jeff Minter games. But I think everyone knows I'm here. Like I rang up Currah a while back and said: Hello, it's Tony Crowther, and they said: Not THE Tony Crowther - you get all of this. Everyone knows who I am, it's really good.

That gives you a buzz?

Yeah, it does.

Where do you get the idea for the amazing graphics that you have in games like Suicide Express, or should I call it Black Thunder?

What happened was I started doing Suicide and I disappeared off to Span. And when you're on the beach, sunbathing away, you get really bored. I got a little pad and started drawing things like giant mushrooms, mazes, even things like words in stone. So when I got home I just put it straight in.

What do you think of the games market as a whole at the moment, do you think it's in decline?

In what sense.

Well, people talk about the home micro boom being over?

The boom is over, yes. I'm still worried people are going to go on buying software. Eight quid a shot is so expensive - I'd love to release programs at four quid, but it's not advisable for us because we don't get much money that way. I know they're even more expensive than records, that's what worries me about the price of software - you sometimes find you get more enjoyment from a record than you do from a program. It makes the programmer think then because he's got to put so much in it that he keeps them happy for at least two or three hours.

In all, you mean? - for the game's entire lifetime?

For someone who buys the thing he's got to be happy for at least three hours.

A lot longer than that, surely?

No, I buy a record, listen to it onece and never hear it again. Right? So I'm only happy with it for about an hour. With software you're paying twice as much, so I'm saying that if you play a game for three hours you've got your money's worth.

Do you think quite a lot of software on the market won't even hold people's interest for that long?

I don't think they will, some of them. I can only play games for about 10 minutes in some cases. In some cases I play up to three hours.

Long term, what are your plans? Do you want to keep writing games?

I want to keep writing games as long as the market's there. As far as I know I can keep writing games till it comes out of my ears, because I enjoy doing it. With writing them so fast it's really nice because I can spend three weeks on a program and then a full month just thinking about it. You just sit there with a book - when you've bored you can scribble, watch telly. That's the beauty of it - 'cos obviously the software house can't release more than so many, they wouldn't be able to cope with it.

Do you have anything else lined up after your next program?

No, but then I've got a month to think about it - that's the beauty of it.