I talked to Randy Glover about Jumpman.
I read somewhere that the Donkey Kong arcade was the beginning of it all? Please tell me a little history of Jumpman.
"Yes. Donkey Kong was out in the arcades and although it was not my favorite arcade game at the time it is what caused me to choose the format I did for Jumpman."
There's a PC-Booter version of Jumpman in CGA graphics out there. It looks like IBM had something to do with it. Do you know anything about that? Is that the official PC-Version?
"I have seen that version. While I worked at Epyx there were no discussions of a PC version. I assume that someone must have struck out on their own for that one."
Is it luck or cleverness, that you now own the 'Jumpman' name?
"Luck I guess. Contract clause called for the name rights to return to me 7 years after production/sales of the product ceased. Was that a standard clause or not? That I cannot answer so I have to call it luck. I would have agreed to about anything back then. :-)"
Was Jumpman already 100% finished when you contacted Epyx? I mean did they influence the game somehow?
"The program was about 85% when Epyx purchased it. At that time the people at Epyx had little experience in action games so they just let me finish on my own terms. They had little to no imput on any part of the game design."
Did you really do it all on your own?
Where did you get all these awesome ideas from? Each of the 30 levels seems totally unique...
"Where do ideas come from? Always a good question. I cannot remember much in the area of specific inspiration for most things in the game. A lot of the ideas were based on working the "game engine"."
Did you have even more ideas which didn't make it in the game? Stuff you dropped, because it was not realizable or not playable?
"Many. Most dropped because just to difficult to implement. The most memorable one being a shark tank in the middle in which Jumpman must swim (and avoid sharks)."
I think I read somewhere, that each level had it's own source code, is that true?
"80% of the level was run by the game generator. In order to ad each levels special flair unique code was created for each."
When playing your own game, did you manage to finish all 12 levels in "Advanced" mode? I think some of them redefine the word "Advanced" a bit... :-)
"Yes ... but of course, I knew all the angles and lots of practice."
Did you know that you created such a hit, when you were done with it?
"Heck no. I was in it for the fun of writing the code and creating a game. It wasn't till much later that I realized the potential for a hit game."
What do you think about all these people still playing Jumpman today?
"I have no idea how many might still be playing it. I do know, that from previous contacts, many have a fondness for it as they played it when they were younger."
Thank you for the interview!