cover art for Charles Cecil MBE, gamemaker (Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky).

My Perfect Console with Simon Parkin

Charles Cecil MBE, gamemaker (Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky).

Ep. 15

My guest today is a legendary British video game designer. While a student at Manchester University, a friend invited him to write a text adventure which led him to work for the video game publishers US Gold and, later, Activision. In 1990 he co-founded Revolution Software in the North of England.

After releasing Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky, he began work on Broken Sword, a world-spanning adventure game starring the American patent lawyer, George Stobbart and his French girlfriend, Nicole Collard, a freelance journalist. The game had a witty script, was beautifully illustrated, and featured a soundtrack by Barrington Pheloung, the composer of the Inspector Morse TV series, who my guest first met over a game of cricket.

After Sony reluctantly brought the game to PlayStation, it became a smash hit, leading to a string of successful sequels. But the course has not always been easy. “The audience for adventure games is limited,” he once told me. “But that audience is incredibly loyal.”

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