Yeah, I feel this isn't so egregious. After 25 years it would be very easy for "We chose to use creepy ambience because we realised we couldn't use music" to turn into "we chose to use creepy ambience".
Jeff Minter of Llamasoft is the latest to pour very cold water on claims Andrew, now Jane Whittaker, gives regarding time on AVP and other claims.
Jane told Andrew Rosa on the Mastercast TV interview part one, that whilst at Sunnyvale, finishing off AVP for Atari (along with Mike Beaton), Jane had 2 legends there as well.
Jeff Minter was to one side, coding Tempest 2000 and there was John Carmack on the other side coding Wolfenstein 3D/Doom (Jane can't seem to remember exactly which).
The claim was put to Jeff, who kindly replied with:
"Hm, well T2K was pretty much all done in Wales, I used to upload builds to the Atari server in Sunnyvale using a pretty slow modem. I only went out to Sunnyvale with T2K for a few weeks of final test, IIRC for about 3 weeks before Xmas of 1993, then home for Xmas, and for a couple of weeks right after Xmas, finishing in Jan '94. Don't think I saw any of AvP at that time (I guess it would have been really early to see any of it anyway in Jan 1994). Don't recall seeing Carmack there either.
I *do* remember DOOM came out while I was in Sunnyvale pre-Xmas, and I couldn't wait to get T2K finished off so I could go back to Wales and do nothing but play DOOM for a month.
IIRC the next time I was in Sunnyvale was in June '94, I'd been supposed to go back there in May to work on VLM, but I got ill with pneumonia and couldn't fly until that had cleared up enough so I was delayed till June.
Bearing in mind Doom was coded by the TEAM at i.d in Texas (John Carmack, John Romero and Dave Taylor etc)...
I would wager Jane has been name dropping for effect there and that's backfired.
As have the claims of being a VP of Atari aged 19/20...
The Ancedote about using Sam Tramiel's personal coffee machine...
Points put to Sam who has publicly stated Andrew/Jane was never a VP of ANY department at Atari...
Sam himself had no coffee machine as he didn't drink coffee...
Jeff was kind enough to clear up another claim Jane made:
"That chap definitely seems to have his own unique views as to what went on back in the day.
I was somewhat surprised when one day on his Twitter he just randomly told the world that one of his mates had been a gameplay advisor to me when I was developing T2K." https://atariage.com/forums/topic/306326-leonard-tramiel-exclusive-text%C2%A0interview-great-commodore-atari-insight/page/2/
These join the comments made by Steve Turner of Graftgold, regarding Jane taking credit for likes of ST Rainbow Islands (actually done by Andrew Braybrook and team), Ranarama, Morpheus (there were no conversions, it stayed a C64/128 exclusive), Magnetron and Steve detailed wha Jane actually did on Amstrad CPC Flying Shark and why Jane was fired from Graftgold.
Patrick Ketchum and misc Cyberdreams staff, including Mike Dawson.
Jane did not create the graphics for Amiga Dark Seed, was not asked by H. R GIGER to create the game, was not digitized for the main character.
Was never part of Cyberdreams, Jane's only connection to Dark Seed was a few days playtesting of the Amiga version whilst at Mirage.
Various Maelstrom staff who strongly dispute Jane's Midwinter Origins/Chinese Restaurant claims.
Jane has since changed account to being involved with misc Amiga Flight Sims for MicroProse 🤔
Various Bullfrog staff who confirm Jane never had any involvement with Dungeon Keeper II
Misc Perceptions staff who say Power Crystal on the 3DO M2 was far from complete (Jane claims it was finished and reviewed, scored 100%...)
Misc Maxis staff who've never heard of a Jane/Andrew Whittaker, let alone such an individual doing any A. I work on any of The Sims titles.
Whilst it's far from uncommon for people to get confused trying to account for events over 20 years ago, get misquoted, that sadly isn't the case with Andrew /Jane Whittaker, who is currently using social media to act as the Jaguar AVP Guru..
I firmly believe a community should be given truthful, not fanciful accounts of game development.
Some of Andrew%Jane's past AVP Jaguar claims:
STS : I guess you must be tired with explaining the same things again but
please once again, would you be kind enough to tell us how you came to work
for ATARI on AvP ?
ANDREW : Immediately before AvP I had worked on a project called Darkseed
which did very well, especially in the USA. That involved me working alongside
the designer of the "Alien" HR Giger to bring his work to the computer screen.
When AvP came along, because of the success of that I was asked to design and
develop the AvP experience. Giger obviously remembered me as when the Alien
licence was taken by Atari I was approached by Giger, Atari and Fox to develop
that licence for the Jaguar launch. It was a great opportunity to develop on an
exciting new machine with movies that I really loved. I studied the movies
solid for many months before coming up with a game design. My aim was simple,
to recreate the feeling and atmosphere of the "Alien" movie. I wanted people
jumping, feeling claustrophobic and have the fear of being hunted in an unknown
As anyone who's familiar with the games history or read/listened to any interview with likes of Purple Hampton or Jason Kingsley will know, Rebellion were awarded the contract by Atari to develop AVP, Andrew Whittaker joining Rebellion when they expanded the team and tasked with coding the games A. I routines and doing the Computer screens.
Jane's account of being approached by Fox/Giger/Atari is an utter nonsense, Rebellion openly advertised for staff in Edge magazine and that's why Andrew Whittaker doesn't appear in early AVP magazine Previews, only later ones.
Onto a seperate interview:
Pocket : What did you do exactly on Goldeneye ?
AW : A lot of the AI routines from AvP found their way there, and of course I was heavily involved creatively, as my job was to manage exact how James Bond was used in games.
#Complete and utter nonsense as anyone who's read or listened to a Making Of... feature on Goldeneye will be aware.
Rare hired Dr David Doak to handle the A. I Routines, which he wrote from scratch.
Pocket : What did you do on PC ?
AW : I left MGM for Electronic Arts, so got involved in a whole load of titles there, Dungeon Keeper, Theme park, Indestructibles, etc.
#The teams involved in both Dungeon Keeper 1+2 confirmed both titles had shipped before Jane even joined Bullfrog.
Jane in the Retrogamer Magazine Interview claims involvement in Playstation 2 Theme Park World (but isnt listed in the credits)
Jane DID head up the third and final attempt to salvage My Indestructible Super Team/The Indestructibles, but it was a much dumber game than the original and was canned.
Pocket : Did you work on the first PC sequel of AVP too ?
AW : Yes I did, although most of the avp algorithms I put into goldeneye on the N64.
#Producer Dave Stalker confirmed game was built from scratch for the PC, none of the Jaguar code used.
Jane never returned to Rebellion to do any work on PC AVP. http://mleguludec.free.fr/dossiers/interview/jc_interview_Andrew_Wittaker.htm
This is the account of AVP Jane now gives:
"I was incredibly lucky to have been asked to be the gameplay and AI programmer of Alien Vs Predator for the Atari Jaguar. Working with Mike Beaton, who wrote the groundbreaking 3D engine that changed the first person shooter world, the incredible producer James "Purple" Hampton, Lance Lewis and a host of talented individuals whom I consider to be the best team in the business.
Industry pundits and publications regularly cite my artificial intelligence and gameplay programming for the game as breaking new ground in technology. The game is still cited today as one of the finest movie spin-offs ever made, revered by fans as capturing the essence of the iconic movies.
The game would go on to be one of the bestselling Atari games of all time, spawning a host of sequels and spin-offs. Our game would even go on to feature in the Guinness Book of Records. My involvement as programmer has become a major part of my life, being classed by fans as being part of the “Alien” franchise family, with regular invites to conventions and being featured in publications about the history of the franchise. We never realised at the time, we would be making one of the most iconic games ever made!"https://www.janewhittaker.com/atari
You'll notice coder Mike Pooler isn't credited for the additional coding he did...
I'd hope he's among the uncredited talented individuals...
The AVP Engine is described as a 3D Engine, it's not, it's of a similar type to Doom/Wolfenstein... A 2.5 D engine, flat planes, no changes in elevation, all corners are at 90 angles.
This is important as Jane has talked of developing a version of AVP with the Xenomorphs scaling the walls, but this being cut due to memory restrictions on the cartridge Atari would allow.
The existing AVP Engine is physically incapable of doing this, plus the games physics engine would of needed to be far more powerful and the A. I codes as they are, crippled the frame rate and the pathfinding A. I is so limited, Aliens get stuck behind objects in the environment.
Atari DID ask for a new game engine for the proposed AVP S. E for the Jaguar CD and for it to include smarter A. I, the ability for the Aliens to run along all surfaces of the base (walks, floors, Ceilings etc)
See the AVP CD enhancements document, Atari Corp February 1995.
Jane has told the Waffling Taylor's in a recent podcast interview, he showed Purple Hampton a joke mode where he had the Aliens Ballet Dancing.. Spinning and pirouetting around...
Physically impossible, the Engine doesn't render the creatures as 3D models, no side view.
Later AVP games by Rebellion and Monolith were not sequels.
Rebellion's PC original used concepts they wanted to use in Jaguar AVP but were unable to use.
Monolith AVP II has no connection to the Jaguar title.
The PSP game by Rebellion is based on the film.
Opinion is split as to which was the best selling Jaguar title..
Whittaker and Jason Kingsley of Rebellion say AVP, Jeff Minter says Tempest 2000..but there are no confirmed sales figures for either title, just estimates and talk of market penetration.
Not sure about the models they would’ve used. I haven’t seen anything of that scale really from that era. There’s a great video on YouTube where the game’s producer James Hampton gives a pretty good account of the process of making the game. It includes a segment about how they had to repeatedly buy and ship models of the Queen because UK customs would frequently seize her under pornography legislation! She almost didn’t make it into the game for this reason. He eventually “smuggled” it in via a local model shop in the US and posted it himself. There are several pictures of this model in the video but I can’t make out the brand name on the box.
In the interest of balance having pointed out the dangers of going on what Jane Whittaker likes to tell people about AVP..
Jason Kingsley, Rebellion, talking to Retrogamer Magazine:
RG:The choice of 3 characters added a lot of to the games depth-were you pleased how it turned out?
JASON:Yes, that was specifically mine and Chris's idea. It was a very early instance of a game allowing you to play the bad guys, as it were, as well as the good guys. So yes, it's something we're very happy with.
As a game mechanic it really complicated things for us, because effectively we had to make 3 different games instead of 1,so it really was an unusual, innovative game.
Now given Purple Hampton claims the idea for 3 seperate camapains was HIS...
Jason also glosses over the mediocre reviews their first game, Eye Of The Storm recieved.
Jason had years earlier told Game Pro magazine, he'd coded Star Raiders on the Atari 400/800...
You wish Jason, that was Doug Neubauer.
Why folks from the industry can't simply be content with the roles they had on flagship titles and thus need to exaggerate and fabricate stories, I will never know.
Just take claims by all the surviving AVP teams with a punch of salt, not face value.
Forwarding the Stalking The Jaguar Videogames Magazine Interview with Purple Hampton, to site mods, hopefully they can add it to the achieves.