Moby ID: 32106
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Mike was schooled at Billingham South Infant/Junior school, and Faraday Hall, which he graduated from in 1975, immediately after finishing O-levels. His father wasn’t an educationalist so Mike was “encouraged” to seek employment at his earliest convenience.
A creative career shot down in flames, Mike worked through his teens and early twenties as a bingo hall attendant, Shop Assistant, Retail Manager (Mappin & Webb), Musician and Industrial Stores Manager (BSC).
At 18, he managed to start playing a guitar that had laid around since he was 12 and formed a band with three other like-minded geezers, playing gigs in the Teesside/Cleveland area from around mid 1978.
Art came back into Mike’s life in 1987 when he secured a one year post with Middlesbrough LEA, producing artwork and video for their Multicultural section. Music, though, was still his main focus in life, by now having worked with some excellent musicians in the groups Skitzo, Millennium and Europa; performing hundreds of gigs around the country and doing a good deal of recording; several pieces of vinyl being released on the Guardian label.
In 1989 Mike was invited to join Darren and Jason Falcus’s brilliant software company “Optimus” as a programmer, artist and musician - they didn’t know what to do with him at first. As it turned out, after 12 months of mixed duties he moved into gfx full time when the Lead Artist of the Studio, a fantastic artist called Adrian “let’s go to Blackpool” Ludley moved off to America to follow his dream. Happy days, except for the devastating onset of RA just one day after starting his new career: he couldn’t walk for at least two weeks after the initial “flare-up” and has struggled with the disease ever since, eventually having to giving up music for long periods due to the crippling effect on his hands.
Optimus produced loads of budget games for Codemasters before moving into full priced games with release of Pegasus for Gremlin. Meanwhile, Adrian Ludley, who’d been working with “Punk Developments” in San Francisco, put his CEO, Jeff Spangenburg, in touch with Darren and Jason when Punk needed to start boosting their numbers: Optimus became their main source of talent and the studio was renamed “Iguana Entertainment UK” in 1993, with Mike becoming the Iguana Art Director on the UK side of the pond. The first game by the new studio was NBA Jam.
After completing Jam (5 man team+7 months of overtime=5 million copies sold) the publisher, Acclaim, decided they liked the way Iguana worked and bought both studios. Acclaim Studios Teesside was born which produced titles such as “Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball” and “Shadowman” I & II.
An exciting time for Mike, especially in setting up the studio’s first dedicated Animation Group, employing Paul McHugh (now of Carbon Digital) and the Oscar winning Barry Hutchinson.
In 2002, Darren & Jason Falcus having set up Atomic Planet Entertainment, the Teesside studio was amalgamated into the Cheltenham studio and the new studio was working on four brilliant games when the company went belly-up in 2004, due to alleged “mishandling” of finances. Time to move on!
Mike now runs his own company, Yo-Mo Group. The company is split into three distinct entities:
1). Driving courses from beginner to advanced (Yo-Motoring). 2). Guitar/music tuition through the Gigajam network of professional music tutors (Yo-Mozart). 3). Authorised Distribution for the services offered by Telecomplus, a major British plc which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
All of which just about leaves Mike with some spare time for the following hobbies and interests: Family, Art, Jaguar cars, Music (all types), Fender/Gibson Guitars, Sports (mostly Rugby), Computers & Software; he still loves computer games and is the proud owner of 2 Amstrad CPCs, 2 Amigas, 1 Atari ST, 1 Acorn Archie, a Game cube, PS2, X-box and several high end PCs.
Titles worked on between 1989 and 2004:
2004 Blue Pandora (working title, pre-production) X-box 360
2004 Heist PS2, X-box.
2004 Emergency Mayhem PS2, X-box.
2003 Alias PS2, X-box.
2003 XGRA PS2, X-box.
2003 Paris Dakar II PS2, X-box, Game cube.
2003 Summer Heat Beach Volleyball PS2, X-box, Game Cube.
2002 Forsaken II PS2, Game Cube, PC - Unpublished.
2001 Shadowman: 2econd Coming PS2.
1999 Shadowman PC, Playstation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast.
1999 Forsaken Nintendo 64.
1997 All Star Baseball Playstation, Sega Saturn, PC.
1997 Batman Forever Arcade PC, Playstation, Sega Saturn
1996 College Slam SNES, Genesis, PC, Sega Saturn, Playstation.
1996 Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball SNES, Genesis, PC, Sega Saturn, Playstation.
1996 NBA Jam TE SNES, Genesis, PC, Sega Saturn, Playstation, Game Gear.
1994 NBA Jam SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, Sega Mega CD, Sega 32X.
1993 Switchblade 2 Atari Lynx.
1992 Spellbound Dizzy Amiga, Atari ST.
1992 Seymour Goes to Hollywood Amiga, Atari ST.
1992 Bignose the Caveman Series Amstrad CPC, Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST, NES
1992 Bubble Dizzy Amiga, Atari ST.
1991 Fantasy World Dizzy Amiga, Atari ST.
1991 Boomerang Kid NES.
1991 Soccer Simulator NES.
1991 Pegasus (Gremlin): Amiga, Atari ST. (part programmed PC version – switched to full time art).
1991 Super Seymour Amiga, Atari ST.
1991 Pro Boxing Simulator Amiga, Atari ST.
1990 Fast Food Dizzy Amiga, Atari ST.
1989 Mean Machines Amiga, Atari ST.
1989 Pro Powerboat Simulator Amstrad CPC, Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST.
1989 Unnamed but completed: Submarine shoot-em-up: programming Z80 (for Amstrad CPC and Spectrum), art and music.
Some 30 games/70+ scus, worked on over fourteen and a half years.
Credited on 20 games
Displaying most recent · View all
|Shadow Man: Remastered (2021, Windows)||Art Director|
|Forsaken: Remastered (2018, Windows)||Art Director|
|Alias (2004, PlayStation 2)||Art Director|
|XGRA: Extreme G Racing Association (2003, Xbox)||Art Director|
|ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 (2003, GameCube)||Special Thanks|
|Dakar 2: The World's Ultimate Rally (2003, GameCube)||Art Director|
|Shadow Man: 2econd Coming (2002, PlayStation 2)||Art Director|
|Shadow Man (1999, PlayStation)||Art Director|
|Forsaken 64 (1998, Nintendo 64)||Art Director|
|All-Star 1997 Featuring Frank Thomas (1997, PlayStation)||Art Director|
|Batman Forever (1996, PlayStation)||Art Director|
|College Slam (1996, SEGA Saturn)||Art Director|
|NBA Jam Tournament Edition (1995, DOS)||Acclaim/Iguana Programmers / Developers|
|Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball (1995, SNES)||Art Director|
|Quattro Adventure (1993, NES)||Graphics|
|Big Nose Freaks Out (1992, NES)||Graphics|
|Big Nose the Caveman (1992, Amiga)||Graphics|
|Pegasus (1991, Amiga)||In Game Graphics|
|Pro Powerboat Simulator (1990, Atari ST)||Graphics by|
|By Fair Means or Foul (1990, Atari ST)||Graphics|
[ full credits ]
- 11 games with Jason Falcus
- 9 games with Andrew Wright
- 9 games with Neil Hill
- 9 games with Carol Caracciolo
- 9 games with Darren Falcus
- 9 games with Robert Gray
- 8 games with Richard Frankish
- 8 games with Rick Fox
- 8 games with Harry Reimer
- 8 games with Reeson Ivatts
- 13 games with Acclaim Studios Teesside
- 12 games with Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- 6 games with Acclaim Entertainment Ltd.
- 6 games with Acclaim Entertainment S.A.
- 5 games with Acclaim Distribution, Inc.
- 5 games with Codemasters Software...
- 4 games with Acclaim Entertainment, GmbH
- 4 games with Acclaim Japan, Ltd.
- 4 games with Halifax S.p.A.
- 3 games with Acclaim Studios Cheltenham