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Friday 31stAugust 2001

Posted: Friday, 31 August 2001

As you can see the new site for the Bitmap Brothers have finally gone live.  For a brief tour of the new site, check our the New Web Site Tour.  There are lots of new things to look at including a walkthrough for Z: Steel Soldiers in our Support section here.

We are hoping to have lots of updates for this site, including all the Xenon 2000 files and details that appeared in the PC Format articles, a great little game you can play while visiting the site, a range of articles from the guys who work here at the Bitmaps, a list of useful articles about games and game development, plus lots, lots more.

If you have any comments concerning the site, please e-mail the webmaster at


Thursday 23rd August 2001

3DActionPlanet: Speedball Arena - First Looks
Posted: Thursday, 23 August 2001

Gamespy’s 3DActionPlanet has a first look at Speedball Arena.

    Now before you get too excited, re-read the title of this article: you see the wording there? The "First Look" part? In context to Speedball Arena, this is almost literal: the new Speedball game is pretty much still in the concept stage, and it wouldn't even have been announced as under development if it hadn't of been for an unofficial leak. The official news release at explains all this, but thankfully it also tells us that this will not lead to any change in the game's launch strategy or development, which is a good thing indeed. Hopefully, if the game reaches the goals it states on the web-site, Speedball Arena could be a revolutionary release and an excellent update of an old classic.

To read the rest, please go here.



Tuesday 7th August 2001

Posted: Tuesday, 07 August 2001

After someone found the Speedball Arena site (after it being up for almost a year), we released this statement:

    Further to the unofficial leaking of the Speedball Arena project ( we have decided to put out an official press release clarifying the situation.

    As you can obviously see from the placeholder web site (and I stress that it is a placeholder) we are indeed working on a next gen follow up to the Speedball series, although we were kind of hoping to keep it secret for a little while longer!

To read the rest, please go to our Speedball Arena site here.

Also, visit the Speedball Arena at to see the screenshot and video clip, plus read through the game features.


August 2001

PC Gamer: Z: Steel Soldiers is the 74th Best Game Ever
Posted: August 2001

In PC Gamer’s annual round-up of the top 100 games of all-time (which appears in their special 100th issue), Z: Steel Soldiers appears at number 74.

Check out this month’s issue for the list.

PC Gamer magazine


Steel Planet: GameSpy’s StrategyPlanet has a new hosted site for Z: Steel Soldiers
Posted: August 2001

A new site dedicated to Z and Z: Steel Soldiers has gone live on StrategyPlanet, it includes an exclusive interview with Managing Director of The Bitmap Brothers, Mike Montgomery.

    For the ones who doesn't know this gaming legend, Mike Montgomery is the president of The Bitmap Brothers, a british game design company largely known for its excellent games for the 8- and 16-bit computers, and the creators of many great new games like Speedball 2100 for the Playstation and Z:Steel Soldiers for the PC platform.

    MaDDoX: Hi Mike. I'm sure you know how excellent me and many others find your team's new game, so let me compliment you publicly for the achievement. For this interview, instead of keep hitting on the "old games" key - almost unnavoidable when you talk about such a classic company as BB - I'll mainly stick to Z, Z:SS and the future, which I think's the most important as of now.

    MaD - Something really impressive about Z:SS is its carefully crafted gameplay balance. Although I know it's a dynamic process in which beta testers feedback is highly important, who is the person (or folks) responsible for the stats management? Any comment about some difficult balance situations you've come across and how you've handled it?

    Mike - When we initially decided on the unit types, the idea was to go for a relatively low unit count but to clearly define a space for each unit. Remember, at the time we were doing this, Total Annihilation was the RTS to own, and that had over a hundred and fifty units!

    Sometimes those spaces are difficult to define when you're staring at a screen full of numbers that defines a unit's power and behaviour. It was the design guys who spent months and months writing, tweaking, scrapping, and rewriting unit's individual stats (and then scrapping them again!), but feedback came from everyone involved in the game. It wasn't just the stats that affected the balance either, there were many other things in the equation such as AI behaviour. It wasn't easy - an example of a problem we had was making the Missile Launcher feel sufficiently different from the Mortar Tank - that one went unresolved for a long time before the guys finally hit upon a setup for both that they were happy with!

    [Editor Note: According to the credits, the "design guys" are Jamie Barber, Eric Mathews, Graham Sergeant, Neil Jones-Rodway, Ed Bartlett and Paul Hayworth.]

To read the rest, please go here.

Steel Planet


Related Links

Game Sites:

PC Gamer
Steel Planet


Speedball Arena

Bitmap Brothers pages

Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
Speedball 2100




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