Interview:David R. Foley

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We got a chance to talk with David R. Foley about his former company Foley Hi-Tech Systems and his programming work on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.

GDRI: I am interested in more information about Foley Hi-Tech Systems, especially anything concerning Genesis/Sega CD development. Could you possibly share any info about the company with us?

DF: I founded Foley Hi-Tech Systems in 1983 while I was a freshman at Northeastern University. In 1990, I moved to San Francisco and began working as a contract programmer/designer on Sega Genesis games. I was part of the team that developed Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, Taz-Mania, and Chakan. We split up the team after Chakan, and I started taking on projects on my own. My first title under Foley Hi-Tech was B.O.B. That was followed up with Urban Strike, Flintstones, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, Ring of Doom, and Fists of Fury. We worked on two Sega CD projects, Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin CD and the Super Strike Trilogy CD. We also did the UI artwork and menus for the Sega Channel. All of our development was done on a Macintosh II system, using the Mac Developers Workshop and some custom tools for downloading and debugging. In 1996, we started work on PlayStation titles, but our first project with Williams was cancelled and shortly after, our project with Sony was cancelled. I then moved into the arcade business.

GDRI: You were a programmer on Chakan and Taz-Mania for the Genesis, which are credited to Extended Play and Recreational Brainware respectively. Were you contracted by said companies to work on those games?

DF: A little bit more history: When I was in Boston going to Northeastern, I met Randel Reiss. I also met through Randel, Burt Sloane. Burt was also friends with Jon Miller. Eventually, we all headed west between 1988 and 1990. In 1990, Burt and Randel got a contract to work on Joe Montana Football and Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin for Sega. They ended up splitting up, and Burt ended up splitting off and hiring me to help finish Spider-Man. Burt then partnered up with Jon Miller, and the two of them hired me, and the three of us did Taz-Mania. We then started on Chakan, but Burt got burned out and quit and formed Monkey Business. I helped Jon finish Chakan and then went on my own to start with B.O.B. Jon went on to do X-Men games. Burt went on to do some 3DO work.

GDRI: Could you possibly shed some light on some of these seemingly unreleased games such as Savage Heroes?

DF: Savage Heroes was a stop motion fighting game. It was the brainchild of Scott Berfield, producer at EA. He had produced Urban Strike with us. It was killed after he left EA to join Sony. Ring of Doom was based on the Lord of the Rings characters, and we were brought in to develop it after the internal EA team dropped it. We got it mostly done, but then EA decided to kill it.

We would like to thank Mr. Foley for taking the time to answer our questions.

Interview conducted via e-mail by CRV in June 2007.