Mastertronic / Aspyre
Xbox, PS2, PC,
AN ORIGINAL production by Acclaim Studios Manchester, this game was initially titled Interview
With A Made Man. Silverback Studios acquired, the rights following the collapse of Acclaim and
eventually completed the project.
As a start-up studio with minimal resources this project was in every sense a budget title,
but it was tremendous fun to work on. The game follows the career of Mafioso Joey Verola
across several decades and numerous locations. From the jungles of Vietnam and the swamps of
Carolina, to Little Italy and the skyscrapers of Manhattan, the environments provided an
ever-changing backdrop to the twisting narrative.
As Lead Artist on the project I was responsible for every aspect of art production including
scheduling and data budgeting. I also made major contributions to environment art on The Nightclub,
The Motel, The Arena, and the Triad Dojo.
Without the backing of a major publisher the game was never to see great commercial success
but I am very proud of this title.
We were fortunate with some of these scenes in that the studio was based in Piccadilly in
Manchester, an area that looks enough like old New York that it sometimes doubles for it in movies.
The game was very narrative driven and spans the 1960s to the 1980s.
The great variety of environments made for a very interesting project to work on but
caused a major headache for production, as many objects could not be shared between levels.
The game was rendered with an in-house portal engine and the designers and artists worked
very hard to give the game an open, real world feel rather than a simplistic layout of corridors.
Joey Verola and Philly battle their way out of the nightclub.
The original idea was based on the club in Carlito’s Way but I wanted something more in the style of a '70s cop show.
To get some animation into the scene I used projected textures of the ceiling fan blades onto the floor.
Wireframe model of the nightclub environment showing the high density of vertices.
The scenes were lit using the radiosity plugin in 3dsMax and a relatively high number
of vertices were needed to hold the colours.
Shoot-out At The Bar - wireframe
South Carolina - Cigarette Run
Joey begins his criminal career smuggling cigarettes.
Joey battles rednecks in an abandoned motel.
Love that wallpaper.
New York Arena
In this mission Joey raids the box office during a rock concert.
This location was inspired by stadium rock shows of the 1970's and a feature we wanted to show
was the curving corridors under the arena seating. Getting curved corridors to work with the rectangular structure
of the portal engine required careful planning.
Joey enters the lair of Jade Li.
This location was a run down office building which had been taken over by Triad leader Jade Li as
an operations headquarters.
... and battles with yet more mobsters...
As Joey penetrates further into the hideout the setting becomes more opulent and the influence of the
Triad gang more apparent.
Joey takes his revenge on Jade's prized collection.