Saturday, August 4, 2012

Who is Richard Del Medio? (KUSOGE)

Although not live on a front page update yet, regular forumites were keen to point out that we've reached our 50th entry on Your Weekly Kusoge. I hadn't even been counting! Looking through the staff forum it seems we were discussing the regular feature as far back as 2010, and now it's the 3rd Google result for the word "kusoge". To celebrate I've scanned an interesting article from Electronic Gaming Monthly 159, and I pose a mystery: who is Richard Del Medio?

In October 2002 issue (#159) of EGM there was an article on How Bad Games Get Made. It was written by a games developer under the pseudonym Richard Del Medio. His case example was a terrible game he worked for the N64 - a movie license, from a recent cinema flop. For a long time I thought it was Superman, the worst game on the N64. But that hadn't seen a film release for years. Then I searched through N64 magazine, and realised there was a terrible adaptation of Blues Brothers 2000. It received low scores and seems to match what few details we're given.

To be honest, this is one of the best features I've read in EGM. They tended not to do features like EDGE or GamesTM today do, focusing instead of straight game coverage, but this was an interesting look at how bad games could get made - and it also provides juicy inside gossip about the mysterious game in question.

I couldn't find a credits listing for Blues Brothers 2000 on MobyGames, but the more I think about it, the more likely this seems. Of course it could have been Superman, or another license. We won't know unless Richard Del Medio comes forward. In the meantime, right click these images into new tabs so they're big enough to read, enjoy an inside look at development of a crappy game, and then browse some of the atrocities on our YWK pages.


  1. That's a really good article. After reading it I got pretty interested and started looking around on the internet to see what I could find and found what might be a couple of more leads.
    The first question is whether BB2K is the right game, and from what I can see it looks like it is. The article mentioned Del Medio's company shutting down and their publisher's slowly dying. It looks like the developer for BB2K was Player 1 Inc which shut down in 2001, and the publisher for a lot of P1 games (including BB2K) was Titus which shut down in 2005. The mention of a delay is also mentioned in other information about BB2K like on Wikipedia and such.
    Now apparently BB2K doesn't have credits listed online anywhere so I did the next best thing and tried to find games that P1 made that did have credits. I found a couple but the main ones are probably:
    Milo's Astro Lanes -
    Dead in the Water -
    which seemed to have been developed around the time BB2K was (more on that later).
    Looking at the credits for those you see Matt Saia as designer for Dead in the Water, googling him you find out he left in 1998 and founded Lucky Chicken Games ( Going to the Company section and going down to him you find out he was a competent graphical artist working on some James Cameron movie's digital SFX. So going off the decent artist/designer thing he appears to have been the one in the article with the marriage problems that left.
    So going through all this I was looking at some of the designer/directors since the article mentioned Del Medio was a designer. I found George Weising ( because he was listed as 'Design' on the Robotron 64 credits. Looking at his Linkedin profile he mentions the games he worked on (as 'Senior Designer') and lists BB2K. This is where I got the timeline from earlier and he mentions BB2K starting in 1997 and if Matt Saia left 6 months into development and started a company in 1998 that should fit. When Weising lists the companies he worked at it mentions he left P1 after it closed down and joined Equinoxe in a designer role.
    So to sum it up there is a decent change George Weising is Richard Del Medio.
    On another note the BB2K manual might list actual credits or even beating the game might do it, I just couldn't find a manual online and didn't feel like playing through BB2K at the moment.

    1. As an addendum, I did more searching relating to specific programmers trying to pin down some more of the people in the article.
      After doing some searching around for Player 1 I found their old website ( and using the Wayback Machine I tried to find some time in which they list their employees, and while I did not find that I found some other interesting things, mainly: - This is the early days where they mention on starting BB2K - Here they talk about having BB2K in the works along with Hercules and Dream Roadsters (apparently later renamed Roadsters) so assuming they were being worked on at the same time the people working on the other 2 wouldn't be working on BB2K - So it seems BB2K released at least some time before Dec 3.
      So after all that I found some interesting facts that might pinpoint down a couple of people:
      I found Daniel Hope ( which mentions he worked for P1 as a software engineer from 98-99 and mentions writing support code for AI tracking, so he might be the junior programmer mentioned.
      As for the main programmer that quit, that is still somwhat confusing as it appears two main programmers left P1 in 1998. First there is Jon Hilliard, who founded Lucky Chicken Games mentioned before along with Matt Saia. So if Matt Saia was the designer that left it's not a large stretch to assume the programmer left with him and they founded Lucky Chicken Games. Second is Tom Ketola ( who left and later on founded Radius9 ( and seems to have taken on a managerial role later on. The article actually mentions three programmers were left after the main one quit so the third one is a mystery. Also there were two other games going on so someone that left might have been working on them.
      Richard Del Medio is still a mystery as there were way more people at P1 than I thought originally. Mike Bell-Rao sounds like he might be the one though he was only listed as QA in Hercules and if they were worked on at the same time he wouldn't be a 'bad-game designer' maybe.
      Some additional things are the credits to Hercules typed out ( and an interview for Tommy Thunder a cancelled N64-then-PSX game with George Weising et al ( Also the manual for Roadsters or even an LP on youtube doesn't appear to be on the internet.
      The leads left for BB2K are maybe the manual, which seems to be sold on Ebay for around 4 dollars, or maybe just contacting someone like George Weising or the others and asking about BB2K. I mean it has been 10-11 years since this article.

  2. "It seems we were discussing the regular feature as far back as 2010, and now it's the 3rd Google result for the word "kusoge"."

    Too bad the definition is not exactly accurate. A "kusoge" is just a bad game, or more accurately a game that has a negative reception due to many technical issues

  3. I went to YouTube to see if someone had played all the way through Blues Brothers 2000, and they have... and there are no credits in the game. I wonder whether that was deliberate. At any rate, so much for that plan. Wikipedia claims the same development house (Player 1) also did Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for the N64, as well as cancelled Dreamcast racing game Exhibition of Speed.

  4. Wait, scratch that, EOS did apparently come out in Europe.

    Here's the end of a playthrough of Hercules and the start of the credits:

  5. Assuming EGM were being cutesy clever with their pseudonym (and the fact that they bothered to give him a rather involved one rather than just calling him Mr. X or something seems to indicate that they were) then it looks to me like Richard Del Medio might in fact be one Mike Bell-Rao listed as doing QA on Hercules.

    It very well could be someone else, of course, but the wordgames are some evidence at any rate.

  6. Holy crap, I remember getting this issue in the mail back in the day. I always tried to piece together what this "legendary bad game" was, believing Superman 64 to be the obvious culprit.

  7. John B, you have done a phenomenal job investigating this - mysterious trails like these are why I like the internet. Well done to you, good sir!

    The case you present for Mike Bell-Rao is convincing, unless the actual author was a colleague of his, who intentionally created a pseudonym similar to someone he worked with. Regardless, I am now convinced it was BB2K being discussed.

  8. Yeah that possibility crossed my mind. There's no real way to know for sure without getting into contact with ex-Player 1 staff, and Weising and Holly Hirzel were the only names I saw that seemed to be kicking around for a start on that trail. Well, I did see a Mike Bell-Rao listed on Facebook with a funny edited picture but no other public info.

    Props to Funkmiser as well, I ran across some of that info but didn't try piecing together the evidence to strengthen the case that the game in question was in fact BB2K (and of course we were all looking at this separately before comments were approved.)

    Incidentally, Player 1 is a really shitty developer name to try and run a search on.

  9. Some credits are at 0xB90A0 (US)/0xBA260 (PAL) in the BB2K ROM. No idea if they're accessible in-game, I never played it, I just looked into the ROMs:

    Marcus Goodey
    Kevin Hunt
    Mark Jawad

    Art and Animation:
    Cliff Duyn
    Nasim Peterson
    Terry Smith
    and Patrick Charpenet
    (from Arkham Graphics)

    George Weising
    Scott Snopel
    Jared Baierschmidt

    Holly Hirzel

    Quality Assurance:
    Jared Baierschmidt

    Titus QA team
    Eddie Legendre
    Frédéric Lasseret
    Emmanuel Faria

    Remember, Kids:
    Nobody likes a quitter!
    (you know who you are)

  10. Awesome, now we're getting somewhere. When I was mentioning this article to a friend he mentioned the credits maybe being in the game ROM, but I never thought about it much and here it seems that's where they we're all along. I tried playing BB2K after the first comment and while the movement is kind of nice there are a lot of technical problems with the game that make it really annoying. But I got stopped in the sewer on the second world because all the emulators I tried make the alligator that chases you go too fast and thus it kills you almost immediately.
    Now for the credits, it seems there are even more people to look for. But to start off, I remember Marcus Goodey being their general coder and he was mentioned as 'N64 Coder' or some such in one of the credits. I couldn't really find anything about Kevin Hunt, he was also mentioned before as Kevin VA Hunt I believe. As for Mark Jawad I can't remember anything specific. - Actually, right before I submitted this I googled him and found his LinkedIn profile ( and it seems he started working at Player 1 right when BB2K would have been starting, so that with the credits mean he is in a strong running to be the junior programmer the article mentioned.
    George Weising is credited as one of the designers but he is credited like that in almost every game they made because he was senior designer overlooking the projects it seems. Holly Hirzel has a LinkedIn profile I believe. The three programmers jive with the article but I dont know if there were more leavings and shifting around later on because I assume only the people that actually saw it through were credited.
    I look around some more and try and see what I can find.

  11. Wow, so after doing some searching I'm finding more and more loose ends and guesses.
    Aside from Mark Jawad it seems Kevin Hunt has a 'credits' page at MobyGames (,20396/) and looking at that the first game he would have made for Player 1 would have been the Hercules one, but now it seems it was BB2K, but the interesting point is that the games before that he was working on as part of Trimark Interactive as seen in the Halls of the Dead credits ( and as you can see Holly Hirzel was also a producer at Trimark.
    Looking at her LinkedIn profile ( it seems she came in at the same time as BB2K and might have brought Kevin Hunt along. Another thing to point out is that Kevin Hunt has been in mostly producer/managerial roles except for BB2K where he is listed as 'Programming'.
    That being said I can't find a single thing about Jared Baierschmidt unless he moved to Japan some time after Player 1 and started learning Japanese and became a language teacher for English which is a possibility. Interesting to note is Scott Snopel, while he appears to not have that much information I found some Star Wars Galaxy articles and interviews ( that mention him. In fact one says, "Taurin (Scott Snopel) joined SWG in July 2002 and worked on QA and design. He registered on the forums at launch but last posted in the JTL Dev team intro thread in October 2004." Which means that Scott Snopel also seems to have left to find a better design job elsewhere.
    Other things of note is that the 'Dream Roadsters' game might have been the Saturn game mentioned in the article as it is listed under Charpenet's profile as being a Saturn game (
    Also apparently here is the resume for Terry Smith which mentions working on BB2K ( He, along with Lucky Chicken Games also apparently worked on the Aquaman game.

  12. what i realy want to know is who is the "dead wood" programmer ?

  13. Ooh, savage burn on that last line. Directed perhaps at the guy who left the company midway? Regardless, excellent work xdaniel!

  14. Just saw Funkster's post - that's also some excellent work. The mystery thickens, it appears!

    I missed the post originally because it turned up as a reply to an earlier post. I usually scroll to the bottom to see new messages, like on a forum.

    Anyway, I'm sending some Facebook messages to various people listed in those credits. With any luck I get a reply or two.

  15. Oh man, I actually read this article in EGM back in the day, thank you Sketcz for investigating this!

  16. Xerxes --I would like to speak with you about a potential gig as an expert on old arcade games. Please email me at playagamejst at yahoo dotcom.

  17. It's a few days later and I've had a reply from a gentleman at Player 1, and linked him here. Hopefully he decides pop along and offer his insight into things.

  18. Anyone try to reach out to the former EGM editors on this? There's a bunch of them on twitter.

  19. Dan Hsu retweeted a mention of it, but didn't comment directly on it (he was editor on that issue). Good idea though! Crispin Boyer was the Features Editor, so I'll try find him too.

  20. Nice to see that 10 years later we still give a semblance of a shit. Yes, the article is clearly about bb2k and yes it was a total piece. we took the job to stay open and did the best we could with the time and resources we had. looking back there were quite a few of us that were noob as hell, and yes we did have key people quit (I had forgotten my passive aggressive credits that I wrote). I'm not sure who wrote this, to be honest, I have some guesses as there is some level of detail (the 150K last payment for example) that only us 3 owners would know, but.....shrug. The article is spot on, that shit still happens today, so there you go ;)

    - Holly

  21. and also for the record, we didn't know shit from shinola back then but it was still the best game job i ever had.

  22. I contacted Ms Hirzel and linked her to this blog entry in the hopes of clarification. Which we now have - thanks for the comments!

    You'd be surprised at the degree to which some people care about the stories behind older games, and the sometimes crazy lengths gone to in order to contact and get the inside story. I hope this entry didn't come across as negativity for the sake of it - I am sincerely interested to hear what went on, and to understand the difficulties involved. Again, many thanks for taking the time to respond.

  23. I should add, the previous person who I mentioned, who I linked this to, hasn't gotten back to me.

    I hope I didn't offend him with this. But I guess that's always the difficulty trying to document bad games - not everyone wants to talk about it.

  24. Anyone looked into contacting Tim Lindquist about George Weising? Over on the GameFan history article, he says:

    "George (former GF designer that started the mag with Tim back in the day) was working at Atari last I heard.

    After G left GF he got a job at SCEA, later left there, started a dev house called Player 1, developed a game called Robotron X and five or six other games for Midway and Crave, which didn't take off. So now he's back at SCEA doing game design again. Sounds like he's doing pretty good there. George is, like, my best friend in the world. Went to high school with him."

    George Weising was one of the original GameFan staff, so he'd be no stranger to pseudonyms.

  25. I asked George Weising and he says he is not Richard Del Medio.

  26. Wow! You guys deserve an "Internet Sleuth Award" or something! I suppose 14 years is long enough to let the secret out that I am "Richard Del Medio"--Richard being my middle name and Del Medio being the street I used to live on (that was how you formed your porn star name back in the day, BTW). Major props to my former co-workers for not outing me, since they had to have known I was the one who wrote it.

    Thanks for uploading the article. I had totally forgotten I wrote it! I didn't even have a copy of it until I googled myself and stumbled on this page!

    To make a very long story short, after Player 1 went bankrupt I briefly considered a transition from game development to freelance writer. Also, I wanted for people to know why games like BB2K--which a lot of people worked incredibly hard on--turned out the way they did. So I contacted Crispin Boyer and pitched the idea for the story. Originally, he wanted to use real names in the story (my own included), feeling it added more authenticity to the article. I resisted though both because of NDAs I had signed and also because if I did try to return to game development, I knew no one would hire the guy who might air the company's dirty laundry in public.

    After the article was published (I think I received around $500 for it at the time), I tried my hand at a few more non-gaming freelance gigs but nothing panned out and I eventually landed a job at 3DO in Redwood City (ironically working in the same office, but not on the same team, as Howard Scott Warshaw of Atari's ET fame). Unfortunately that company went bankrupt a year later and convinced me it was time to move on from the games industry into something more stable.

    So, as Funkmiser noted above, I got my Master's in teaching English, moved to Japan, and have been educating ever since. Instead of designing commercial games, I now research their effects on the language development of second language learners. The only thing Funkmiser didn't get right is that I actually knew Japanese before I got here. In fact at Player 1 I localized one of the game's instructions into Japanese... might have been Roadsters, I can't remember now.

    Anyways, great work trying to solve the mystery of Richard Del Medio! And no, I won't tell you who the "dead wood" programmer was. That's water under the bridge. I will tell you that the publisher in question was Titus (publishers of Superman 64), run by Herve and Eric Caen, and you only need to look at what they did to Bioware after they acquired it to understand how Player 1 also wound up bankrupt.

    1. Gah, sorry, that should read "what they did to Interplay"--not Bioware.

  27. Thanks for posting! It's unfortunate that because this is an old blog post the update won't be noticed so much (our editor in chief who runs the blog tipped me off to the post).

    Fascinating stuff. I love solving a good mystery.

    As for Titus, I've read some amazingly delusional interviews with the guys who ran the company. I'll leave it at that.

  28. Interesting story and sleuthing, 19 years on. Will there ever be a day shovelware won't be profitable?