How do you take such unusual screenshots?
constantly testing the game throughout its production, so I just keep an
eye out for interesting images and hit F12 to save them. However, if
there's something I desperately want to portray and it's not happening
naturally, I can always activate the manual camera and go looking for the
Why do your screenshots look better than the actual game?
Firstly because, as mentioned above, I usually end up using exotic camera
angles to take them (which are drastically different from what greets you
when you're first getting used to a game). Plus I run the games in the
highest possible resolution, so the source material is sharper than the
default 800x600 that most people see...
Why do you use such small screenshots?
only have to create a smaller thumbnail for the articles anyway, so I'd
rather just have one set of screenshots that I can use for any purpose.
Besides, I think it adds to a game's allure if you only get to see it in
full screen once it's finished!
Can you sort out a problem with my order?
business side of things has very little to do with me, so I'm not the best
person to ask. Simply direct your query to
CafePress directly, and they'll do everything they can to help you
out. If the problem persists, I may be able to intervene in extreme cases...
Why aren't the downloads as easily updated as the boxed products?
An installation of
boxed game is as "pure" as it would be on my computer, whereas a download
needs all kinds of additional info to make it a publication. That
basically means that its files can't be replaced without great difficulty,
and that's exactly what a patch would need to do. It is perfectly possible
to update an online game, but it involves re-releasing and re-activating
the entire product. Very few game modifications are worth that much
Why don't the downloads cost any less than the boxed products?
highlighted in the above question, the downloads are not - and will never
be - the preferred way of owning the games. They're very much a last
resort for people that can't acquire the game any other way. If they were
cheaper AND more convenient, it would be taken as a green light to ignore
the original game altogether - and that's not the message that I want to
send out. Besides, it's not actually possible for the prices to dip below
Can I activate a download if I own the boxed product?
each format is managed by a completely different company - so neither one has
a vested interest in the fact that you own the other...
Are you the "MDickie" that posts on website forums?
I haven't been visiting any forums of any kind. Anybody that writes under my
name is an impostor...
Why don't you post on any game development forums?
There's no polite way to answer that question - except to say that I find the
inhabitants of the games industry to be very insecure and negative. I'm a
positive person, so I have no business being in that environment! Anything I
have to offer can be found at this very website...
My friend claims to help you with the games. Is he telling the truth?
there's not a human being alive that helps me with the games. Anybody that
claims otherwise is lying to you. Of course, you could always ask them to show
you a running copy of the latest games!
is the volume unusually loud in your games?
of my sound effects are levelled against mainstream efforts, so there's no
problem with the files themselves. The issue is that my games pay more
attention to the "Wave" setting than the master volume. On some sound
cards, these settings can be knocked out of kilter when used for various
things. Simply load up the main volume controls in Windows and make
sure the "Wave" setting is in line with everything else...
How much will you pay me for a game idea?
It's a myth that there's money to be made from game "ideas". That's the easy
part! Bringing them to life is where the real work comes in - and there are
thousands of developers that are capable of doing that all by themselves. As
for me personally, I don't pay anyone for anything - so you're barking up the
wrong tree there...
Why aren't the prices of the older games going down?
They're already at rock-bottom prices. Any lower and it would barely cover the
production costs. You've got to remember that it's not the old games that are
"expensive", it's the new ones that are cheap! That said, you could argue that
the compilations are a good value way of purchasing older titles...
Why do your games have such long instruction manuals?
Well, that's the price you pay for having a
deep game. Underneath the surface, most of my games are highly sophisticated
and I give you the chance to understand them 100%. You don't have to read
the manuals all the way through anyway. Simply take a glance at each header, so that
you know what's in there if you get stuck...
How can I buy your games without a credit card?
to by independent status, I'm afraid it's always going to be difficult to get
hold of my games. All I can suggest is that you ask a friend or relative to
order on your behalf. Other than that, you may want to contact the
distribution companies themselves and see what they suggest...
How can I get a download purchase back after formatting my PC?
Simply direct your enquiry to SoftWrap directly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and they'll check their records to hook you back up. Please appreciate that
these things have very little to do with me personally, so always ask them
Why do your games give me
a "Memory Access Violation" error?
Please take note of
the purple system requirements in the Games section. My
games generally require Windows 95/98/XP and DirectX 7.0
or higher to work.
Errors, such as the one above, are inevitable if your system isn't
compatible. Beyond that, the error could also mean that the game's
files have been tampered with. Installing an update or patch
incorrectly is often the culprit...
some files fail to download properly?
That's just the nature of the Internet, I'm afraid - especially with bigger
files such as the ones I'm posting nowadays. The stability of a connection
changes from computer to computer, file to file, and even country to country.
Sometimes heavy traffic can be a factor too (especially on launch days), so
it's always worth trying again at another time...
you list your name 10 times in the "Credits" instead of once?
general rule is that I credit myself for every job that would/should have
taken a whole other person to do. Left to their own devices, people tend to
forget how much work goes into these games! By listing each of the jobs, it's
easier to appreciate for all concerned...
are you so proud of the name
It's like a battle scar. You can give me the most ridiculous name
possible and I'll still make people respect it! When that's the case,
there's not an awful lot else that can hold you down...
do you end every paragraph with
particular reason. I guess I'm just sickeningly optimistic! I'm always looking
to the future...
How do you make your 3D models?
use an industry-standard package called 3D Studio MAX. It's
expensive and hard to get hold of, but it's practically the only
program worth using...
Why doesn't MDickie.com promote message boards and fan sites?
The sad truth is
that they end up doing more harm than good! They soon deteriorate into a
breeding ground for piracy.
I can't support any content that's beyond my control...
Why have the older games been removed from the Games section?
Since they require Windows 95, very few people can play those games nowadays -
and probably wouldn't choose to even if they could! Above all else, they don't
represent what my work is about anymore. The downloads are still available,
but they've been relegated to the
How do I
apply the patches and updates for your games?
You simply open the file in WinZip and
use the "Extract" option to install the contents to the game's main
directory. This ensures that all of the extra files find their correct
folder. You may find that later files are "self-extracting"; in which case
all you have to do is enter the directory of your game...
How do you
draw your textures for 3D games?
I use a little-known program called Painter 5. However,
all you really need is a program that has a good "Airbrush" tool. That's how
you achieve the realistic shading in things like faces. As for costumes, there
are many templates in the bonus material of the CD version...
do you make the graphics for your 2D games?
They were initially edited from a game called Fire Pro Wrestling. I
took a screenshot, cut
out the character I wanted, then edited them beyond recognition - using the original graphic as an outline.
Nowadays I'm experienced enough to draw the graphics from scratch
Paint) so I've
pretty much made the style my own...
Is Federation Booker
the last 2D you'll ever make?
It's certainly the last big game I'll ever make
in 2D. I was only just getting to grips with my 2D graphics, but
unfortunately they're a pain to work with. Strangely enough, they're
harder to make than 3D games!
How long do your boxed games take
to ship to England?
I live in England myself, and in my experience
orders will arrive within 10 days...
the boxed games take
so long to deliver?
A by-product of my small, independent status is
that I don't have the muscle that
mainstream companies have. Rather than being mass-produced, the games are
manufactured as and when orders come in - so there's a slight delay...
much do products priced in $$$ end
up costing a British customer?
Well there are $1.8 to £1, so if you just take
a calculator and divide any price in Dollars by 1.8 you'll get your
magic number. International shipping costs tend to be $7,
which translates as an extra £4. All in all, the whole order ends up costing just
£12 - which is nowhere near as bad as it first seems!
What do you make your
I have used DIV, Dark BASIC, and most recently Blitz 3D. Details of
all of those products can be found in the
Can you teach me how to make
I've certainly got
knowledge to offer, but unfortunately it's not practical. It took me 3
years of hard work to get anywhere near where I am now - and I obviously
haven't got the time or the inclination to repeat that process. The best thing to
do is keep an eye on my site and pick up what you can from the occasional
Can you tell me of any free
game development tools?
I'm afraid nothing worth having is "free".
You should always seek out professional products, and
avoid piracy wherever possible...
else works on your games?
do everything myself. From the graphics to the programming that turns them into a
game, it's all my work. I'm responsible for the
entire MDickie empire - including this site!
I taught myself every aspect of game
in order to attain that creative freedom...
do you work alone?
Simply because I can. Working in a team is a huge creative compromise, and
I will avoid it for as long as I can. Also, contrary to popular belief,
working alone is
infinitely more productive. If I had to rely on other people
(and wait for
their work to come in), the whole process would take much longer. The
biggest reason of all though is that it's impressive. Being able to make
games of all kinds single-handedly, in this day and age, is a spectacular
achievement. It makes me unique...
Do you need any help with the
No thanks, I've got it covered. The best way to
help me is to simply spread the word about the site and games...
How long does
it take to make a game?
It takes up to 3 months to make a "decent"
game, but I can make a game in a single afternoon if it's simple
Is there any way to make the
older games work on Windows XP?
It's not easy, because they're designed to run in DOS and
Windows XP doesn't support that. There is one emulator that gives
it a shot at it though, and details of that can be found
are the controls for your games?!
Always look for a text document in the
game's main directory once installed. Everything
you need to know is in there - and you may even find an
additional document that explains the intricacies of deeper concepts...
link to your site?
Of course, but I can't
guarantee that I'll return the favour...
you spell your name with one "t" instead of two?
No specific reason,
but I suppose it's got something to do with those old
arcade scoreboards only accepting 3 letters:
1. M - A - T 2865000
I take screen shots of your games?
For the older games
you press CTRL
& ALT & P. The screens will be saved in the
game's directory as PCX images. For the more recent games, you
simply press F12. A
bitmap will then be saved in the game's directory...
often do you play games instead of making them?
Hardly ever! As strange as it
sounds, it's hard to do both. When you've spent hours making a game, the
last thing you want to do to relax is play one...
was the first game you ever made?
You can figure that out for yourself by reading my History!
I generally consider Hardyz Stunt Challenge to be the first game I
ever made, because it was the first public release...
the point of the XXX section of your site?
Every page or section exists because enough
people have enquired about it...
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