HBL Interviews: Z Team.

HBL Interviews Z Team about their game remakes and the potential for original content.

Enjoy!

HBL

Thank you for agreeing to our interview, please take a moment to tell us a little about you and the team?

Z-Team

Hi there, We are Z-Team, a french artist and developer collective who grew up with the awesome 90’s video games on ATARI/AMIGA computer.Our purpose is to bring back those classics on our favorite SEGA MegaDrive / Genesis consoles.

HBL

What was the first game you created?

Z-Team

The first game we did a remake is  «  Return to Genesis »  . A classic shoot them up on Atari ST/AMIGA that we like to play ..

It’s also a wink. Genesis is the name of Sega Megadrive on US market.

HBL

What do you for a living away from game creation?

Z-Team

We are professor, telecom engineer, financial support and salesman .. none in the world of video games 😉

HBL

What’s the idea behind the name The Z Team?

Z-Team

The Z-team is a rugball team that integrates Joe Gillian (aka Cobra the Space Pirate)

As in the anime, we chose this name because nobody knows us but we can do interesting things.

HBL

What is your mission statement for The Z Team?

Z-Team

Master the development on Megadrive until the realization of a game ready to be burned.

Many people try the dev on megadrive but give up for lack of knowledge or project too complex. Make a remake, we know the final gameplay, the media and the different sequences of the game so we focus on algorithms and code.

HBL

What is the typical conversion process like?

Z-Team

First we look for a game with media already ripped, games we like of course. Otherwise, we try to recover ourselves. (screenshot with emulator) Color adaptation for images and recreate maps with modern tools like Tiled. Then we watch long play on Youtube.. and we code game sequences.

HBL

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

Z-Team

The retro gaming scene is on the rise but we are more surprised by the dev/ homebrew and the original creations. What is surprising about Megadrive is that most of the developers come from Europe ( UK, Spain, France)

HBL

Which one of your game conversions/remakes are you the proudest of and why?

Z-Team

Barbarian (Psygnosis version) is a game that made a big impression on Atari ST. We have integrated unpublished scenes that we saw only on the cover box. We also add the original hud and mix the Atari and Amiga version for more colors for the sprites.

HBL

Which game caused you the most headaches?
Z-Team

Ivanhoe (Ocean France) is a game with beautiful and very big scenery very hard to optimize on Megadrive. There is a bit of latency in the game, we always try to optimize

HBL

Do you have any games that are just sitting on your drives unfinished that you may release one day?

Z-Team

All our achievements at different stages are available by our Patreon ’s campaign. https://www.patreon.com/zteam The patrons encourage us to create more content and can test even the canceled versions like SwitchBlade , Sukiya .

HBL

Can you tell us what prompted you to get involved in Retro Game Development?

Z-Team

Being able to develop and create a physical product on a game console is a dream for many players. Especially when the console has experienced glory.

HBL

What games at the time (and now) would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Z-Team

There are so many games on Atari and Amiga that remain gameplay references nowadays the games are beautiful, too realistic but too violent.

HBL

Do you have timelines built into the management of these games?

Z-Team

We have fun before anything else.We make remakes of free games and accessible to all, but impossible to keep commitments.

HBL

Any plans for an original title after Cobra was cancelled?

Z-Team

Cobra has a beautiful universe exploited badly in games console, computers or arcade. We had an idea of an ivanhoe type games with several decors and characters very oriented beat them all.

HBL

Can you expand on what Cobra was cancelled as the concept sounds great?

Z-Team

We did not want to expose too much because the licenses for this product are complex and we could not work in vain

HBL

Are you doing all the development independently?

Z-Team

We are a team with several profiles (dev, pixel artist, tools and musicians) so for the moment we can advance on 2 remakes at the same time.

HBL

Whats next?

Z-Team

It’s been 3 years now that we are practicing on the Megadrive with remakes. We will now move on the original content.

HBL

Where can people get physical copies of your games?

Z-Team

We make private versions with addons for our patrons. These are primarily goodies. For the original games there will be a more traditional distribution.

HBL

Do all your games have English translations?

Z-Team

Our next achievements will be multi languages (French, English, Spanish and Brazilian)

HBL

What is the Retro scene like over in France?

Z-Team

The retro scene in France is very active with a lot of convention, skilled developers such as Stephane Dallongeville with his SGDK (SDK for Megadrive), original creations such as Vetea Studio, forums, mutual help and lots of fun.

Finally

Huge thanks for the guys for chatting to us, it’s always difficult to bring you these interviews especially when there is a language barrier but I feel its worth the effort and I hope you enjoyed this interview.

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