INTERVIEW: Sefton Hill on Adidas Power Soccer & Red Dog

While looking for people to interview, I preferably pick people who worked on multiple projects, or (even better) multiple SEGA formats. I often come across names in ancient articles and interviews. Recently, I came across a special on Perfect Entertainment and an interview on Red Dog that both mentioned Sefton Hill. I was familiar with the name as I interviewed his former colleague at Argonaut Matt Godbolt some years ago. A quick Google search later, I ended up at Rocksteady Studios. Sefton wasn't able to remember much (hey, it's been over ten years) but my efforts weren't fruitless..


What Saturn projects have you worked on at Perfect Entertainment? I know of Adidas Power Soccer and Assault Rigs.

S.H: Wow. You remember more than me already. I worked on Manx TT as well and I'm sure there was lots of other stuff.

S.F: About Adidas Power Soccer, my sources tell this game was completed, what can you tell about it? How many players did it support and why wasn't it released?

S.H: I remember it being fully playable. In fact I remember working with the coder (Adrian) to add some improvements which needed to be removed as it wasn't supposed to be better than the original and they had a sequel lined up. I honestly can't remember why it wasn't released.

S.F: About Assault Rigs, the game wasn't released in Europe but Gamebank did release it in Japan. Do you have an idea why the European release fell through?

S.H: I remember it was actually a very good conversion at a time when people were saying the Saturn was nowhere near as powerful as the PS. No idea why the release fell through though!

S.F: Assault Rigs was one of the games that featured link-cable support in its PSX incarnation, was this option considered or even tested on the Saturn?

S.H: I don't think we did ever do this.

S.F: Perfect had loads of Saturn games planned that didn't make it out in the end, can you tell anything about the likes of; Novastorm, Moto X, Hard Corps, The Big Kahuna, Space Babes, Tenka, Destruction Derby 2 .. considering you know anything. Any other projects perhaps?

S.H: Wow! You remember loads of stuff that didn't even make it much beyond a few ideas on a piece of paper!

S.F: About Red Dog; The jungle mission with the Red Dog tank on the float, how complete was it and why was it dropped? Also, I recall a screenshot with the tank above a lava pool near loads of small platforms connected by

S.H: It was about 75% complete and good fun. It was our little riff on Starfox. It also had one of my favourite sections in the game where you went down through a small tunnel but could drive up and around ceiling if you timed it right. Unfortunately, in the end it came down to a mad rush to get the game out the door when time was running short. We had to focus on a small number of levels to get it done and it was one that didn't make the cut. In fact I remember this was the only other level that nearly made it into the final game.

One of the Cheekyimages found on the Red Dog disc

S.F: I know you were heavily involved in the design of the single players levels, but what about the multiplayer ones? Which one is your favorite?

S.H: I loved the multiplayer! I really just designed something that I wanted to play because I was playing lots of multiplayer games at the time and wanted something else to take home and enjoy with my mates! There's actually stuff we did with the multiplayer (such as custom transferable tournaments) that no one has done since. Most of all though we just wanted to create something that was fun. I think we got a really good balance between the fun of driving and combat and I'm still proud of it now. Shame we made the single player game the hardest thing in the world otherwise I think it would have been received much better.

S.F: Dreamcast Croc 2, did it ever became more than just speculation? An early prototype perhaps?

I honestly can't remember.

S.F: Are you still in contact with some of the Argonaut or Perfect people?

S.H: Of course! Lots of Argonaut people still work at Rocksteady although things have changed a lot since then!

S.F: Please tell us about Rocksteady Studios, it's been a while since Urban Chaos.

S.H: We're working on something that I'm not allowed to tell you about! :-) I can tell you that its amazing! What I can also tell you that's pretty weird is that our publishing producer at Eidos is Matt O'Driscoll and he was the same publishing producer that was on Red Dog all those years ago!


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