Fruit Machine Simulator was our first conversion project. A Spectrum version of the game had just been written by the programmer who had converted our Super Robin Hood title and we took on the work of converting it for the Amstrad. We hadn't done pure conversion work before but following the death of a close friend, who was also our main artist, we decided to take this on and immerse ourselves in our work.
It sold fantastically well, although reviewers liked to pick on the fact that you couldn't put money in and you couldn't get money out of your Amstrad, a fact that most customers were well aware of when they bought it. Nevertheless our reviews on our Codemasters games at that point were averaging around 90% and this game averaged much lower. However, as they say, it did what it said on the box, and was good fun.
The Codemasters offices were already receiving lots of fan mail about Dizzy so we decided to write Treasure Island Dizzy as a follow-up. This went straight to No. 1 and fuelled the ever-growing press coverage about our games!
After the success of Fruit Machine Simulator it seemed like a good idea to produce another game with a similar theme so we wrote Advanced Pinball Simulator. We tended to alternate the type of games we wrote for two reasons. Firstly because we wanted a change and secondly because as we finished one we had no idea how it was going to sell.
We'd been big fans of 'Night Mission' the pinball game on the Apple IIe. We thought if we could create a specific engine, as we'd done for the Dizzy games, we could simply create new tables and release it lots of times.
It seemed an easy game to write at first, but it soon became apparent that the whole idea was more complicated than we'd first thought. We had to implement a more complex system, meaning the game took a lot longer to write than anticipated and the idea of producing more tables to release later was forgotten.