Q: What features would you add to a SEGA Swirl 2?
"We actually got the opportunity to create SEGA Swirl 2 and release it on GameTap. We included several new features including the ability for the swirls to move in different directions after a combo is cleared, real-time network play, and a Swirl of the day mode that included themed levels for holidays and other key events. I wish more people got the chance to play SEGA Swirl 2. The game was ahead of its time – and it would be great for mobile, Nintendo Switch, and many other platforms. Maybe we will get to make a SEGA Swirl 3 in the future…"
Q: What are your favorite first-person shooters and puzzle games?
"I had been a fan of id Software since the days of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, so it was a tremendous honor to get to work with id Software on Quake III Arena for SEGA Dreamcast. After working for Activision for 5+ years, I must throw in Call of Duty and Destiny, but I never got to work on either of those franchises.
As for puzzle games, SEGA has released so many awesome puzzle games including Baku Baku, Lose Your Marbles, Puyo Puyo, and Columns. I am also a fan of Tetris, Bejeweled, and Candy Crush. As you can tell, I like to play lots of games – but especially puzzle games and first-person shooters!!"
Q: While working on the Dreamcast port of Quake III Arena, did the dev team prefer using the controller or keyboard/mouse?
"We mostly used keyboard, mouse, and the broadband adapter, but we also felt it was important that people put in a lot of time with the Dreamcast controller. Since this is the way that the majority of people would be playing the game on Dreamcast, it was extremely important that the game work well with this control scheme. We took lessons from Goldeneye and other console FPS titles – and we even included a control scheme option that was more familiar for players who started playing FPS games on console.
I started playing FPS games with just the keyboard (because Doom did not support the mouse back in the day) – and it was a big transition for me to move from keyboard only to keyboard + mouse. Many people feel the same way about jumping from keyboard and mouse to a game controller. I have seen some people play Q3A with some crazy peripherals (like Madcatz’s Panther XL) – if you spend long enough with a specific device, you can be amazed how good you can get with the game."
Q: Is it fair to play with keyboard and mouse against people with joypad only?
"When the game was first released on Dreamcast, the players going up against PC users had a huge disadvantage because Dreamcast users were (1) new to the game, (2) unfamiliar with the maps, (3) getting up to speed with controls on a Dreamcast controller, and (4) playing on a 56K dial-up connection against experienced PC players that (1) had been playing most of the maps for 6+ months, (2) were using mouse and keyboard, and (3) had much lower ping times because they were playing the game with high-speed broadband connections. Ironically, I would jump on Dreamcast game servers with my Dreamcast and hunt down the low-ping PC players to discourage them from dominating the new Dreamcast players. So yep, SEGA paid me to play Quake III Arena for Dreamcast soon after we shipped the game. How awesome is that?!"
Q: Years after the development, what features would you love to add to Quake III? Either things only possible at this period or more modern features.
"The one feature that I wanted to add even when we were working on the project, but we were unable to support, was supporting a larger number of players online in a game. The Dreamcast version only supports up to four online players in a match. I would have loved to see support for 8 or 16 players online. I think that would have made a huge difference.
Another feature that I would have loved to see would have been cross-platform online play between Dreamcast and PlayStation. It would have been great fuel for the fire of the console wars, but we never got to do it. Ironically, you still see people asking for this feature between PlayStation and Xbox now!!"