X-Com creators new strategy game
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Julian and Nick Gollop are veterans of the games industry. They originally started as independent publishers and developers before working exclusively as game developers, which proved to be a more difficult and unstable existence. Recently, they have returned to independent publishing and development, delivering games over the internet directly to the people who matter.

Julian Gollop - Game Designer

Julian started creating computer games in 1982 while at school, where he designed 'Time Lords' and 'Islandia' for the BBC Micro. He learned to program on a humble ZX81, before swiftly upgrading to the Sinclair Spectrum. After leaving school he created 'Nebula' and 'Rebelstar Raiders' for RedShift, a pioneering strategy games publisher based in North London. He then attended the London School of Economics to study sociology and econmics. Whilst there he created 'Chaos', published by Games Workshop, and 'Rebelstar', published on Mirrorsoft's budget label, Firebird. After moving back to Harlow he set up Target Games, and was joined by his brother Nick. They created 'Laser Squad' for the Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad CPC, with Atari and Amiga conversions outsourced. This was followed up by 'Lords of Chaos', a sequel to the original Chaos, but with strong RPG elements.

Julian showed a prototype of Laser Squad 2 to several publishers, and it was picked up by MicroProse and transformed into 'UFO: Enemy Unknown' (aka 'X-Com: UFO Defense'). X-Com sold massive numbers, and was followed by two sequels 'X-Com: Terror from the Deep' and 'X-Com: Apocalypse'. Terror from the Deep was developed by Microprose using code licensed by Mythos, while X-Com: Apocalypse was developed by an expanded Mythos development team. X-Com: Apocalypse was a successful and profitable game for Mythos, despite a troubled development, but it was the last X-Com game that the Gollop brothers worked on. Further sequels, 'X-Com: Interceptor' and 'X-Com: Enforcer' were developed by Microprose, but they departed from the established strategy game genre. The much touted 'X-Com: Alliance' was canned by Microprose, despite a massive amount of money being lavished on it.

Meanwhile, Mythos began looking for a better publishing deal, and signed a contract with Virgin Interactive for four titles. The first of these titles, 'Magic & Mayhem' was released in 1998. Unfortunately, Virgin Interactive, once the mightiest publisher in europe, became a shadow of its former self. Mythos began work on the 'Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge', which was essentially a remake of the first X-Com with 3D graphics. VIE was taken over by Titus Interactive, who stopped funding development of the 'Dreamland chronicles', and Mythos was liquidated. In 2001, Julian, Nick and Steve (an ex-Mythos employee) began work on 'Laser Squad Nemesis'.

Julian likes to dabble in many things of a creative nature, including programming, art, music and cooking. He considers Richard Stallman, Tim Berners Lee, Doug Engelbart and Linus Torvalds, among others, to be the true heroes of the modern computer age. Julian likes to relax by reading, swimming, and walking in the mountainst. He was married to Reni, a Bulgarian artist, in 2003, and lives in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Email julian@codotech.com

Nick Gollop - Programmer

Nick studied economics at Liverpool university before being conscripted into Target Games to double the staffing levels. Despite a late start he is now an expert programmer specialising in extreme programming (which is as cool as extreme sports, but much safer). Nick is a keen football fan and one day he wants to create his own football game. He has an enormous collection of music CDs by obscure bands, some of which are actually quite good. Nick seeks light relief by frequenting the live music venues of London and reading copious quantities of books.

Nick was married to a Brazillian, Rosinha, in 2002. They have two daughters, Amy and Sophia. They live in North Yorkshire.

Email: nick@codotech.com