TC: It's the extra facilities on each company's micro that are causing the problems. If you write software that uses these extras it won't run.
MS: I don't like the machine at all and I can't stand the Spectrum!

As you have written two best seller Spectrum games was it a major effort to do so?

Not really. Although the second one was written to be purely a "Best Selling Game"!
JM: A horrible attitude!

Did you consciously force yourself to learn Z80 code?
stopped it being popular, and the lack of software.
AW: I believe it's failed already.

Why do you think it's failed!?

AW: There just hasn't been the software for it. The Psion software just isn't enough and it doesn't go far enough - it's just not on. It's not a games machine either. Most of the shop owners I've spoken to have had four QL's delivered, three of which have been faulty and one broken down. I haven't spoken to a shop keeper yet who has actually sold one!
Big K - Superstars - Matthew Smith - Tony Takoushi - Jeff Minter
"I don't like the MSX at all, I can't stand the Spectrum!". Shock horror.
MS: No, I was very fond of the Spectrum to begin with because it was similar to my eight-year-old machine with some form of colour, graphics and sound.

How about other new micros? The QL, for example?

It's a nice machine and there's no other way you could have a machine with two drives, so in that respect the QL is solid.

Do you think it will sell, though?

No, it's too late.
MS: It's the software that makes the machine and the QL could have found a place like the BBC.

AW: The BBC is special. It carries the three magic logos.

Is there any way of saving the QL? You all seem to agree that there are bits of the QL worth saving?

I don't think there's anything worth salvaging.
MS: Yes, there is!

If you were Sinclair you'd dump it?

MS: Sinclair could save it.
They went to all the trouble of developing their own video chip and missed off the one most important selling factor. The C64 sold mainly because of its video and SID chips. The Enterprise is too late, its add-ons look remarkably like dustbins. I can't think of anything more awful or hideous - they're like a 1960's architect's nightmare.

The Ronan Point of Computerdom?

AW: Yes! I'm not too sure who's writing for it but I definitely won't be.
TC: I'm the same as Andy.
JM: I would put Psychedelia on it because it's got superb colour
handling, but for other games I wouldn't bother. It had a potential to be an excellent games machine if it hadn't been for the missing sprites.
MS: Two years ago sprites weren't a big problem.
JM: Two years ago I would have said "Get it", despite the sprites; but it just didn't arrive on time. When I went to the launch at the Hippodrome it just didn't impress me enough to think, "Wow", whereas a year ago I did think "Wow".

What are your views on the Amstrad?

I was quite impressed with what I saw. It's the quality of the
TC: I've never seen one!
JM: Don't worry about it. The QL was a good idea - to have a nice, cheap 16-bit micro; but they cut it down from 16 bit for a start and they gave it relatively poor microdrives. If it had been released at the right time with the right software it would have been OK but it was pushed too early and it didn't deliver enough to carry it to big sales.

Is anyone here planning to write for the QL?

MS: Maybe a conversion, but it's the microdrives that

They've got to have 3 and a half inch drives and it's got to have Macintosh-type software.

How about the Enterprise?

MS: I really, really like that machine when it was announced.
JM: So did I!
MS: And I really liked the Atari at that time - and now, two years later, I still really like the Atari!
AW: I was singularly disappointed with the lack of hardware sprites.
Point Tower Block Collapse 1968
Ronan Point Tower Block, London. - suffered a structural collapse due to a gas explosion in May 1968.
BBC news report and video of aftermath available here.