WipEout Futurism art director Michael C Place 5P3AK5!


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This is a big one personally for Nicky and I. We met whilst working on WipEout, Nicky on the WipEout art team at Psygnosis in Liverpool, myself at tDR™ in Sheffield. I think it is fairly safe to say that we were not thinking then that the game would have such a big impact on so many people. I have lost count of the amount of times that when speaking to people about WipEout, they go all misty-eyed and share stories of playing it all night after clubs and nights out, and of being obsessed with shaving that 100th of a second off their best time.

Its brilliant.

So when Darren from Read-Only Memory asked us to work with him on a book of the game we of course couldn’t say no! That was several years ago now... we did some initial work on art direction for the book, spreads and the limited edition covers. It went quiet for a few years as Read-Only Memory worked to get all necessary permissions in place, then finally we got the green light to proceed.

So, what’s it like working on something you originally worked on about 29 years ago? Well, after wondering how we were going to open the original FreeHand artwork files (thank you, internet) it was a C0MPL3T3 J0Y! It took a little while to get back in that headspace but I guess it’s a bit like riding a bike? Dust off the old registered trademark and copyright symbols and jobs a good ‘un!

When we (tDR™) did the original work on the first three games, what we created was genre-defining in many ways, both from a technical design and graphic design perspective. You are kind of in this bubble, it was just heads down in the old AVEC Building, doing what we felt was right. Not having done any work with a videogame company definitely helped. We approached the work as though these things were real, it was world-building really.

All this work was of course, done in isolation. All the best work is done by having a great team, and the teams on WipEout, WipEout 2097 and WipEout 3 were incredible. It was a lot of hard work – a lot of all-nighters – but because we could see how good this could be, it spurred us on to go that extra mile.

So yeah, 29-odd years later, Nicky is sat with me in our studio in Otley. We are both older and a little bit wiser (maybe). But absolutely loving revisiting a big part of our shared history (wait until you see the Psygnosis/tDR™ faxes in the finished book).

We can’t wait for people to see the book.
Its proper.
It’s a real testament to a moment in time where it felt like anything was possible.
It’s a testament to a small group of individuals with a shared vision.
It’s a beautiful thing.

Michael C Place
January 2024

Comments

On arch5tanton1 commented:

Is there an echo in here ?

On arch5tanton1 commented:

Probably the most anticipated book release since the bible.

On arch5tanton1 commented:

Probably the most anticipated book release since the bible.

On ][\\][ (()) ][_ ][ ][v][ ][ "][" commented:

Hell yea. This seems like it’s gonna be a super comprehensive overview (and for sure a beautiful looking book). Thank you tDR™ — W3 W1LL B3 7H3R3!

On Corrine commented:

Angiologia Rokas Georgios – Γεώργιος Ι. Ρόκας Αγγειολόγος – Αγγειοχειρουργός
Αγγειακή & Ενδαγγειακή Χειρουργική
Leof. Kifisias 2 Marousi 151 25 Athens
+302160011006 – +306937 305757
ευρυαγγείες

On Daniel Moore commented:

I’m really looking forward to this. Everything about this game was amazing, had never played anything like it: TDR and WipeOut are ‘burned in’ eternally, and my creative eye is all the greater for it. Great little update-thank you: please keep them coming!

Did someone mention all the various covers as purchaseable separate art-cards? ;-) That would be the icing on the cake…

On Cheapether commented:

There couldn’t be a more fitting, more touching, set of hands guiding this project. I rest assured that the finished product will be absolutely stellar, and eagerly await what you all have crafted in care. My thanks for your CONTINUED contributions to this thing we all love and share. What you’ve made is special, transformative.

On Timothy Griffin commented:

I can’t. Bloody. Wait.

On Adam Christie commented:

I am so looking forward to this. ‘2097 was my gateway drug into consoles and racers. I fell in love with the design, the aesthetic, the music and the sheer joy of barrelling along a sci-fi track in an engine with a seat at the front while triangles frayed at the edges of the screen they were thrown at. It’s got a massive place in my heart.

On Steven Bussey commented:

Super excited to see this. Wipeout 2097 was one of the first games I got for the PS1.

On Antony Kitson commented:

Thanks for the Insight MCP, a touching story to hear how you & Nicky Met! Can’t wait to see the results of all your hard work.

On Steve Lee commented:

Great to know that you’re both involved. Looking forward to my copy, cheers!

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