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february 2003  

Halo Herr Otto Partz 24/02/2003

Erik Kiss, the höflich 'ex military' Otto Partz car lover from stunts.


Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 10:10 AM To: Kiss, Erik Subject: halo herr otto partz :)

Hello Mr Kiss !

I hope this mail will work, i am a french stunts aka 4d sports driving fan and i look for all the members of distinctive software makers of this game. I would really be pleased and honoured that u could answer a few questions for “stunts are us”, the online newspaper related on stunts I manage. U can see it here: http://www.stuntsrus.fr.st Kevin Pickell, the lead programmer, answered a few questions, but I’d still love to hear your opinion about this game, more than 10 years after ! So, I hope you will answer… and don’t answer if you are not pleased with it ;)

Alain, Hendaye france.

Nice site, Alain. Congratulations on getting hold of Kevin Pickell (now a full time model car salesman as he has retired from the game industry, although I still see him from time to time.) I don't know how much I can add to his answers, but I'll tell you what I know.

I was a programmer who'd only been with the company for a couple of years when Stunts was being developed. I'd worked on Test Drive II for the Apple IIGS (does anyone even remember that system? ;-) and a couple of other IIGS games. I didn't actually do any programming for Stunts (Kevin was the only programmer), but I play tested it along with everyone else who sat anywhere near Kevin. It was pretty revolutionary for its time and I remember being impressed with Kevin's ability to do 3D graphics and simulate reasonably complex physics with very little formal mathematics or physics education. He was a master of game play programming and if he didn't know how to do something the mathematically correct way, he just invented a way that seemed right.

I was chosen as an actor for one of the opponents because I'm kind of a big guy, plus I had a nice egg-shaped head and short, military-style haircut which made me look (according to Dave Adams, the head artist) like a grumpy old German ex-military man/car enthusiast. In real life, I do not wear a monocle or have a big, bushy mustache. I'm also not ethnically German (I'm English on my mother's side and Hungarian on my father's.) Unfortunately, I was made one of the weaker drivers of the game, something that's always made me a little sad ;->

Since Stunts, I've kept working at the same company, which was bought in 1991 by Electronic Arts. I still work for EA and have been working on various sports games for the past several years. Anyway, that's about it for my story. It was a great game that was ahead of its time (at least on home systems) and I'm not sure why it didn't sell better. I think this style of game could be made quite easily today, but nobody seems interested in doing it and I'm still not sure if it would sell.

Erik Kiss-Alain...

Erik Kiss was credited on a game as early as 1989 and as recently as 2002. Erik Kiss has been credited with the roles Programming, Other and Support. Erik Kiss has been credited on games developed by the following companies: EA Sports, Distinctive Software, Inc. and Pandemic Studios.

Games Credited

Triple Play 2002 (2002), Electronic Arts SSX (2000), EA Sports NHL 98 (1997), EA Sports, Electronic Arts Triple Play 98 (1997), EA Sports, Electronic Arts NHL 96 (1995), EA Sports, Electronic Arts The Duel: Test Drive II (1989), Accolade, Ballistic