Starminer Beta Tester Interview - Edi Woodcock

Marco Lopes bio photo By Marco Lopes Comment

This is the first of a series of posts where I interview some of the people that are helping me testing Starminer. As you can guess I don’t want to be the only person to play the game before releasing it, otherwise a lot of bad things could happen, as for example levels being too hard due to me playing the game so much as part of the development process, or implementation bias, for not having examples of how other people will play the game.

Today I’m posting an interview with Edi Woodcock. Edi is a childwood friend, who agreed to help me with the arduous task of playing Starminer and giving me feedback.

Edi Woodcock reflected on his phone's screen while running Starminer
Edi Woodcock reflected on his phone's screen while running Starminer

Here’s the interview:

Marco Lopes: Tell me about some games which you have fond memories of?

Edi Woodcok: Chuckie Egg. It was one of the first games that I played in a computer. I used compete with family and friends for the highest score. Another game was Formula 1, on the spectrum. It was very basic, but playing it with friends was very enjoyable.

ML: Is there a part of a game or game mechanic that really spoke to you?

EW: On Formula 1, I recall vividly how exciting it was when the cars went for the pit stops to change tires. It was actually the only playable bit of the game (looks lost in thought). Odd, how so little used to make me so happy.

ZX Spectrum - F1 pit stop
ZX Spectrum - F1 pit stop

ML: What was the first game you remember playing?

EW: I think it was the same one, Formula 1. I played it for years. It was always a gamble if the game was going to run. It would work one day, and then it could fail to load in the next one because the K7 player’s head needed adjusting. Emotions used to run high.

ML: What’s your favourite colour?

EW: Colour OK… hummmm… let me see… maybe blue… I really don’t know.

ML: Are you sure?

EW: No. (Smiles) I don’t really have a colour I can say I favour. I don’t really like orange, pink, or violet that much. That much I know. (Laughs)

ML: What’s your favourite Starminer level?

EW: 24 of course, the one which introduces the asteroids. I can never survive through that level. 24 for life.(Laughs)

Edi's Ship blowing up in flames on Level 24, as usual
Edi's Ship blowing up in flames on Level 24, as usual

ML: What’s your favourite thing about Starminer?

EW: Its simplicity. To me that’s what makes it addicting. But level 24? Really, wtf?

ML: Is there a video game moment in your life, that you’ll always remember?

EW: I remember going to meet my friends with a floppy disk and telling them “I have two games in here”. Nowadays I’d have to take a full external drive. I also remember that there was some game where there was a competition between you and I. Can’t remember which game is was though. Do you remember this?

ML: (Laughs) No, I don’t. Was it in high school or later?

EW: Later, I think. You already had the 22” SVGA screen. In high school you still had that amber Hercules/CGA one.

ML: <redacted> mentioned a story about Rollercage that involved the three of us, maybe that’s the one? Or maybe Slicks ‘n’ Slide?

EW: I think it was both of those actually.

Slicks 'n Slide
Slicks 'n' Slide

EW: I also remember playing Larry, and getting a bit shocked with the sex scenes. It was quite strong for the time. Either that or I was a bit naive.

ML: Which game would you take to a desert island, and why?

EW: Some FPS. That way I could try to avoid going crazy by going on a killing spree every time I felt stressed out.

ML: How did you end up as a beta tester for Starminer?

EW: I’ve known the developer for a life time.

ML: True, we’ve know each other for almost 30 years now.

EW: F**#k, that’s right. (Laughs)

NOTE: After feeback from the testers, Level 24 was made easier. No levels were harmed in the making of this game.