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Magicland Dizzy with Paul Ranson.
The Dizzy franchise has brought fun and entertainment to generations over the years, and for everyone of the generation when Dizzy was one of the big names of the days, everyone will have their own personal favorite; but today I’m focusing on one game in particular, Magicland Dizzy, and I’ve been speaking to one of the developers that worked on the game, Mr Paul Ranson.
I have been communicating with Paul for a couple of weeks now and have gotten to know a lot more about Magicland Dizzy and what went into the making of it. Paul is a fascinating man with a fond memory of developing the game and loves to ramble on about his time back then; I hope you all enjoy what he had to say as much as I did. Enjoy.
So Paul, How was the story for MagicLand Dizzy (MLD) created?
‘’ The story and the design for MLD was devised by Phillip and Andrew Oliver. I recall the design was pretty detailed with sketches of what each of the room locations looked like. We developed the game in quick sticks time and were asked by Crash Magazine to do a teaser game. My brother Peter also came up with a simple game that in turn acted as a sort of prequel. We rather irreverently introduced Danny who we cheekily referred to as Dizzy’s illegitimate son. A corporate organization like Codies is now would never let that sort of thing slip these days.’’
Wow, so how many of you were working on the game at the time?
‘’ 3, My brother Peter, R “Fred” Williamson and a teeny bit of me. Andrew had made a map editor and the basic “shell” of the game. I remember building the screens with this editor myself originally and then Peter put a whole heap of art skill into making them look brilliant.’’
So, I’m sure everyone knows that the original Dizzy games were the creations of the Oliver twins, what was your opinion on them?
‘’ Great guys. I feel like I have known them all my life. (basically because I have). Still see them socially to this day. Business wise I made the Prince of the Yolkfolk game for iPhone and Android a couple or three years ago… it was like being in my twenteens again.’’
Did you have much interaction with the Oliver twins during the process?
‘’ Yes loads and loads… mostly by the medium of phone and the odd pub (meeting) conversation. At the time I was also contracted to work on a number of other Codies games so I spent days at the office and a couple of times slept over at Phillip and Andrew’s house.’’
How long did it take to develop?
‘’ It took about 12-16 weeks and was coded in a tiny office in Macclesfield Cheshire while I commuted back and forward to Warwickshire where Codemasters is based.’’
What is it you love most about the Dizzy series?
‘’ At the time it represented a high quality game on the Spectrum and Amstrad computers for pocket money prices. The people who bought the games loved them. I used to read the fan mail while I was at Codies and this was really nice.’’
Do you have a personal favorite console to play Dizzy on?
‘’ Mega Dizzy was made for the Megadrive and was a mash-up of the other games.’’
So, being involved with Dizzy, does that mean you’re a fan of puzzle/adventure games? What is your favorite genre?
‘’ I like adventure and puzzle games. I don’t particularly like violent games and shooters make me shudder.’’
Well Paul, I feel I’ve really gotten to know you a lot better through all this and a lot more about Dizzy and the making of Magicland. Finally I would like to ask, if there was to be a remake of the Dizzy franchise, or an entirely new game to be made, would you love to be involved?
‘’ Yes, would love too and in fact have tried only a couple of years back. The era of social games seems to me to be a replay of my early career.’’
Lovely, well thank you again Paul, this has been thrilling for me and very enlightening. I wish you the best with all your future endeavors and I hope to have dealings with you again.
So there we go yolks, I hope you enjoyed my dealings with Mr Paul Ranson and his ramblings about one of the finest games in the Dizzy Series, Magicland Dizzy.