Whenever I write a video-game feature, I usually end up interviewing the people involved remotely, by phone or video call. So it was a real treat to actually visit Robert Troughton in person when I was researching the history of the Destruction Derby games for Retro Gamer. Robert worked on the original Destruction Derby with his brother Mike, and he now runs Coconut Lizard in Newcastle, so back in February I hopped in my car to drive up and visit him – Newcastle is only about an hour away from my home town of Darlington.
I think it makes a huge difference to actually speak to interviewees in person: they tend to be much more at ease and off the cuff, and you also get much more of an insight into their personality. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen that often, since most people I chat to live too far away to visit – and of course, with the coronavirus pandemic, face-to-face meetings are off the menu for the foreseeable. But I dearly hope that someday soon I’ll be able to hop in my little car and visit some more developers for cosy chats.
I also spoke to Mike Troughton and former Reflections head Martin Edmondson for this six-page feature on the Destruction Derby games, and Martin in particular gave some fantastic insights into how the game was made. It was particularly interesting to find out that the cars were all based on photos that Martin took at banger races across the UK!
Check out the full feature in issue 208 of Retro Gamer.
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