Mini Update: Meet The Team - Charles Cecil
Hi guys! So the time is almost up for this Kickstarter project. This is the final opportunity to pick any additional Kickstarter-exclusive rewards. It has been the most amazing adventure for which we offer you huge thanks. Your generosity will profoundly affect how we are now able to create new games.
This final 'meet the team' introduces Charles Cecil, CEO and co-founder of Revolution.
Could you introduce yourself to us & what do you do at Revolution?
I’m Charles Cecil, Director of the Broken Sword series. I drive the creative elements of our games, in particular writing the story and designing the puzzles. We have a wonderful team and it is a great pleasure working with them all.
How did you first get into video games?
Back in 1980, I had just left school and was preparing to go to university to study Mechanical Engineering. A friend had started a small games company, Artic Computing, and asked me to write a text adventure game for the ZX81. I was blown away by the opportunities that this home computer, with one whole KB of memory, offered as a medium for entertainment and I wrote my first game Inca Curse. The game sold well, and I went on to write several more. This was a golden era for small developer/publishers – in many ways that sense of excitement has returned as independent developers like Revolution have the ability to communicate directly with their fans, and to self-publish their titles.
Tell us about your life outside Revolution?
Revolution, of course, absolutely dominates my life – how could anyone have a more exciting and stimulating job? My family is part of it too - my wife, Noirin Carmody, was one of the co-founders of Revolution. Both my children are passionate gamers: my daughter is studying Film Studies at university and my son is about to start a Computer Sciences degree with the aim of programming games.
I love travelling and exploring, particularly when it relates to a new game. What a great excuse to really find out everything about a place - its history, drama and quirks.
I row and compete in regattas and head races on our river Ouse. In spring / summer it's glorious – partly because of the contrast to winter when, at its coldest, the river partially freezes over, ice forms around our blades and in our hair, and our fingers get chilblanes. I also used to be an enthusiastic cyclist until someone stole my bicycle!
Have you always lived in York if not, where?
No. I was born in London, but moved to the Belgian Congo when I was very young. We were caught in a very bloody rebellion – the Europeans were massacred in a town opposite ours and we had to escape quickly. My mother was about to give birth to my sister so it was all very traumatic; she has written a book, Drums on the night air, which describes our family’s escape. We eventually returned to London after time in Nigeria and Iran.
I decided to go to Manchester University, a vibrant city in the North of England. This is across from Hull, the city in which Artic Computing was based. So during this time I got to know Lancashire and Yorkshire – and decided to stay.
York is a really lovely city. It has an extraordinary history – originally the second city of Roman Britain (Constantine the Great was declared emperor in the city in AD 306), then the capital for the Vikings. Living in the city centre, I routinely walk through the Shambles, a stunning fifteenth century street in the city centre; past the Merchant Adventurers Hall, a magnificent guild hall built in 1357; and drink at the taverns frequented by Guy Fawkes (who attended York’s St Peter’s School, founded in AD 627). From my house we look up at the East Window of the majestic York Minster, the largest single expanse of medieval glass in the world, and from the office we look back at the West side. The city is on the main train line to London and Edinburgh which ensures excellent travel links. York offers a lovely mix - the best of the old and the new.
What about that film that you have been promising? What about other mediums?
We have been approached by a number of movie studios – and have been exploring ideas. But still haven’t quite got together a team / script that we would have confidence in greenlighting.
The way that various entertainment industries have come to overlap is really exciting – I do consider that Revolution has been a pioneer in this regard. Obviously we worked closely with the wonderful Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) on Beneath a Steel Sky and very much look forward to working with him again before too long. Of course we commissioned Barrington Pheloung (Inspector Morse) to write the music for the first two Broken Swords. And more recently I found myself telling Ron Howard about Templars, and explaining to Harvey Weinstein why Shoalin Soccer wouldn’t work as a video game – but those are different stories.
What are you looking forward to the most in Broken Sword: the Serpent's Curse?
I am really looking forward to working with our fans as a team – as the latest movie update hopefully shows, we really value your comments. I am really excited that some of the financial pressures have been relieved, and that we can be more ambitious – we had come under huge pressure to reduce our costs and this Kickstarter campaign has given us great confidence. We are determined to repay the generosity of our fans with an amazing new adventure which offers both familiarity of what people love, while also offering wonderful surprises. The next six months are going to be amazing.