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Tony Crowther
Tony Crowther - A History of Gremlin Graphics
Birth Date
May 10 1965
Sheffield, England, UK
Occupation
Graphic Novel Artist
Video Game Producer
Map Design & Artwork
Programming & Engineering
Screenplay Writing

Antony 'Ratt' Crowther (born May 10, 1965 in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom) is a British designer, programmer and musician of video games, starting with titles for the Commodore 64 in the 1980s. He is credited as the programmer of Realms of the Haunting.

He became somewhat of a legend on the C64 game scene in the mid 1980s with his highly prolific output, developing complete professional games in only two weeks. Crowther specialized in graphics that gave his games a polished and professional look, making them visually striking and impressive, allowing them to stand out from the crowd. These trademark graphics led some people to purchase a game because of the graphics rather than for the gameplay.

In the early years of his C64 gaming career, he worked for the software company, Alligata. Some of the notable games which he produced during this time include Killer Watt, Blagger and Loco.

In the mid 1980s Crowther moved to a new software company called Gremlin Graphics (the founding name of Gremlin Interactive). During this time, together with Peter Harrap he created the Monty Mole character, which featured in a series of games, released on various home computer formats, such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Commodore machines.

In 1985, together with Roger Taylor, Crowther went on to establish his own computer game company, Wizard Development which spawned such games as Gryphon and William Wobbler.

Aside from his programming efforts, Crowther had a strong interest in computer generated sound, especially on the C64. Crowther had composed music for a number of his own games, like Killer Watt and Suicide Express. In 1985 he asked his friend Ben Daglish whom he had met in school and who was an accomplished computer musician responsible for the soundtrack of Crowther's game Loco if he was interested in forming a company to bring together a number of talented computer musicians to specialize in producing computer music. Daglish agreed and the result was W.E.M.U.S.I.C. (an acronym for We Make Use Of Sound In Computers).

In 1986, Tony developed William Wobbler for the Commodore 64, perpetuating himself in the game by implementing a graphical Cameo appearance in the title screen.

In 1987, FTL Games released the classic Dungeon Master which featured an exciting 3D world filled with monsters and puzzles. The game attracted millions of players around the world, including Crowther's brother Chris who asked him to create a similar game. Crowther sat down in front of his Amiga computer and started writing the game in 68000 assembler using HiSoft's GenAm. Nine months later, Captive was born, featuring 3D realtime graphics from a first-person perspective.

1990 saw the release of Tony's first game on the Personal Computer, Captive.

In 1992, Tony was involved in the production of a Knightmare video game, based on the eponymous British children's TV programme, in which David Learner, who would later take on the role of Belial in Realms of the Haunting, played the part of Pickle the Elf, an assistant to dungeon keeper Treguard.

In 1996 he was involved in the development of Realms of the Haunting as the programmer of the game.

List of GamesEdit

  • Aztec Tomb (1983)
  • Gryphon (1984)
  • Loco (1984)
  • Potty Pigeon (1984)
  • William Wobbler (1986)
  • Captive (1990)
  • Knightmare (1992)
  • Normality (1996)
  • Realms of the Haunting (1996)
  • Wacky Races (2000)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • Burnout Paradise (2008)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2011)

GalleryEdit

LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

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