Interview:Paul Hutchinson

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GDRI: We noticed you programmed Master System Spider-Man and Game Gear Chakan and X-Men: Mojo World. Were you working for Sega of America or some other division at the time? Were these games actually developed at Sega of America?

PH: I programmed SMS Spider-Man, GG Spider-Man, GG Chakan, and three GG X-Men titles, finishing off with the SMS version of the final X-Men (Brazilian market). I also did sound and graphic work for those titles. I was an independent contractor, uniquely so, as far as I know (that's what I was told). Sega provided sound and artwork and some programming help early on. The project managers were all inside Sega of America, three in total (Ed Annunziata, Stewart Kosoy, and Jerry Markota). I would visit once or twice a year to discuss projects.

I was based in Timonium, MD, and later (as now) in Gettysburg, PA. I have not programmed in over a decade, and I do miss those days. It was fun when just one person working at home could make games.

I started off programming the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1984, working for PSS and then Firebird (British Telecom). I also wrote for the Amstrad CPC 464. MicroProse brought me over to the States to convert F-19 Stealth Fighter from the C64 version to the Spectrum 48k/128k. Sid Meier was my boss then (fun times). I worked for InnerPrise briefly before leaving and getting in with Sega of America.

GDRI: You say you were an independent contractor. For the sake of the various video game databases online, would you say Sega was the developer (entity) of these games [SMS Spider-Man, et al.]?

PH: Sega of America, to be specific.

GDRI: I'm surprised to hear that a Brazilian Game Gear-to-Master System conversion was done by someone who worked on the original game and not by people in Brazil. What did the conversion work on X-Men: Mojo World entail?

PH: Basically reworking the display code, as I recall. The SMS does not have as good a graphic processor as the GG. There was more sprite flicker. It didn't look as good.

We'd like to thank Mr. Hutchinson for his time. We could write a summary about what he's doing currently, but he does a better job:

PH: I am now a stay-at-home dad, and I podcast. As part of the podcast [Total PodCastrophe], I play various video games, and the resulting audio is humorous. I am an avid collector of old systems (have most of them), and I am heavily into NextGen consoles. I am Z80GameCoder online. I just completed Halo 3 on Legendary level solo (I wanted to prove I don't suck).

Interview conducted via e-mail by CRV in March 2008.