Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Profile of British developer M4

In my recent Resident Evil Gaiden article for Retro Gamer (hi-res scans in this Biohaze forum topic) I profiled the developers behind the game, but due to dwindling space these weren’t able to used in the article itself. So they won’t go to waste, I’m posting them here. The above photo is from their office during better times.

Here's a web archive of their old website.

M4 was a British developer formed in 1995 by Tim Hull. Primarily known for handheld titles, it was comprised of several former BITS development staff. Although they formed to create new titles, paying the bills necessitated working with licences. Three of their biggest titles, Bounty Hunter (PC), Stuntpigs (Next Gen) and Space Cadets (GBA) never made it to market. Though Space Cadets was actually completed.

As Tim Hull explained in the RG article: “Sadly no original M4 titles made it to the shelves. Bounty Hunter, Space Cadets and Stuntpigs were all games we really wanted to bring to market. The later two are still held by us in Stuntpigs Ltd a dormant company. Who knows maybe one day they will rise.”

With backups of everything still with Tim, there is a chance that in the future we’ll see one of these unreleased M4 games.


Elliot Curtis
Creative Producer
Making Fun Games
Elliot now runs an indie development company called Making Fun Games. They produce browser games for PC and are currently expanding their most popular games onto other platforms, including mobile and X360.

[Sketcz’s note: I’ve checked out the website and it’s got a nice selection of totally free browser games! I tend to dismiss them, because most browser games I see people playing are terribly uninteresting – but I had a go on Outbreak 2012 on the MFG website, and it’s actually pretty damn awesome. It’s a 2D side-scrolling survival horror with an interesting mouse-based combat system and some great atmosphere. Definitely worth checking out! There’s also a diverse range of other games on there.]

[Elliot in RG article: Bounty Hunter was in production when I joined M4 and it really was stunning. As for Stuntpigs - the best game never made. I think it was just ahead of its time... Space Cadets though, that was actually completed and it was a really good game. It was different though and it really worked best multi-player. It’s typical - generally publishers don’t like to risk money on original stuff, especially when there’s cartridges to pay for.]

Stefan Barnett
Artist / Game Designer
Rice Media
Is in Birmingham where he’s working as an Artist/Game Designer on iPhone games.

[FROM RG ARTICLE: I worked as a traditional model-maker on Pepperami adverts, In the theatre with sets, and props and also in Childrens books. I was thrown in right in at the deep end with Resident Evil: Gaiden being my first project]

James Cox
Head of Development
PlayStation Home
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Tim Hull
Games Explorer
One man on a motorcycle around the world in a quest for gameplay.

Kieron Wheeler

I’m not entirely sure what Kieron is doing, to be honest. I liaised with Tim and I don’t recall being told where he moved on to. Perhaps some form of top secret project?

As I've always said, it's important to know who makes your games, never mix up the publisher with the developer, and if you like a game, take a look at the credits to see who made it, since they seldom get the attention they deserve (unless they're someone like Kojima or Molyneux), and they've probably made other great games you might not know about.


  1. british developers are a dieing breed, which is a shame because they are always so damn good!

  2. awesome, sketcz! Great piece. And good call on the whole pub vs dev thing... I always try to pay more attention to the developer than publisher.

  3. I definitely agree with the developer needing attention. But a good publisher shouldn't be disregarded. I tend to think of publisher's like record labels. If the people running them have good taste, then you can usually trust what games they will publish. Recent examples are XSeed, NIS, Atlus for me.