The Making of Beneath a Steel Sky
The Making of Beneath a Steel Sky


"(...) In 1992 Revolution moved into highly prestigious 2nd floor offices on Ferensway in Hull above the sophisticated hubbub of continental city life and care culture. Here we had 5 musty rooms in which to finally complete Lure of the Temptress and play Doom at insanely loud volume in order to scare off the councillors on the 1st floor. Work then began on Beneath a Steel Sky (...)."1





The success af Lure of the Temptress and Virgin's investments in the company enabled Revolution to work on a new game, Beneath a Steel Sky.
"Beneath a Steel Sky is a wry but powerful drama set in a bleak near future, in the claustrophobic world of Union City. The game tells the story of Robert Foster's search for his father, his name and his identity. With his seriously wacky companion, Joey the droid, Foster's journey takes him beneath the City to confront its secret and his past."2


Most members of the team had already been working on Temptress: the co-founders (Charles Cecil, Noirin Carmody, David Sykes, and Tony Warriner), Dave Cummins, Steve Oades, and Adam Tween. Paul Humphreys, James Long, Steve Ince and Jeremy Sallis joined the crew, and Dave Gibbons, artist on the classic comic book Watchmen (with writer Alan Moore), was commissioned as out-house artist, and brought with him Les Pace as colorist.

So Revolution's Steel Sky team had grown into eleven members - and some beards - by the end of 1993.3 Further support came from Virgin, including Dan Marchant, who had already been working with the team when Temptress was in production.4

team
Part of the Revolution team working on Steel Sky by the end of 1993 l/r Dave Cummins, Dave Sykes, James Long, Jeremy Sallis, Stephen Oades, Noirin Carmody, Paul Humphries (back), Tony Warriner (middle), Charles Cecil (front), Steve Ince, and Adam Tween

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons at a Watchmen signing session, ca 1988


Cecil (Designer/Director) was responsible for the design, together with other Revolution members such as Cummins, and with Gibbons and Marchant. Cecil, while he was at Activision, thought that it would be a great idea to work with Gibbons, as he was fan of Watchman.
He approached Gibbons, but shortly after that the old Activision brake down. They maintained a friendship though, and one day he phoned Gibbons to ask if he would consider to work on their second game.5


Dave Gibbons and Charles Cecil in the period that Steel Sky was developed


Gibbons (Backgrounds/Character Art/ Comic) had bought a home computer for his son who was probably ten years old at that time. He thought he could do the accounts on it, but found himself looking over his son's shoulder who was playing games like Harrier Attack.


Charles Cecil and Dave Gibbons working on Steel Sky

He got interested in games and he realized that they were the kind of area where his skills in drawing, writing and conceptualizing could be useful. So he was pleased to get a toe in the water when Cecil called him up. The downside was that he had to travel between London and Hull, but they could use a fax to send the artwork backwards and forwards. He got a sort of wild frontier feel about it.6



(c) All artwork copyright Revolution Software
(c) Text game-nostalgia.com