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CREATED XXX.XX.2001
UPDATED XXX.XX.2001
CREDITS
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN

Once again I'd like to thank Vance Kozik, Dan Lawton, Dan Burke and everyone else for their incredible help and interest in telling about the days at the software house.

COLOR DREAMS
... THE STORY OF (PART 3)
Will it ever end? Yes it will, this is the final Color Dreams Special I've planned for now, sources have "dried out", can you actually say that?. Anyway it's been quite cool talking to the people making Color Dreams, good or bad is up to you to decide. There was something about this company that kinda dragged me into something of an addiction, I think it was the cool logo, the second one that is.

I just had to know more about this unlicensed company, and now a few years later I've talked to a lot of the old employees and learned a great deal about the company, and even the famous Hellraiser, which still is a bit of a mystery, atleast finding the art files it, because that is as far as I know the only thing that actually exists, if they aren't gone by now, more than one person has now confirmed that they never bothered coding any of the game.

The boxart was somewhat finalized for Hellraiser, but never went into production, however the labels for the cartridges did, rolls with thousands of labels are lying around, some have been found, some haven't.

Since I'm talking about Hellraiser, again, let's continue a little. Dan Burke, one of the first to start making games for Color Dreams, designed the titlescreen for Hellraiser as well a some minor additions, the main Hellraiser graphics guy was called Roger Sommerville, who I unfortunately haven't been able to find.

Dan Burke was also the man behind the graphics for another of the better Color Dreams releases, Challenge of the Dragon. The graphics on this were the result of me being more experienced with both art and the tools for making the Nintendo products...actually we had proprietary tools when we first started..that is, I had to draw things on graph paper, pixellate them on paper so I would know how to enter them into the Nintendo development system by Color Dreams. The way we got the graphics in was via the primitive Nintendo controller...we had to select colors with the buttons and then scroll, enter pixel, cursor, pixel, cursor pixel...over and over for all the rows of a particular piece of art...it was quite time consuming, especially for animation. By the time Challenge of the Dragon rolled around, we had swank offices in Tustin (this was the first game done there) and I think we got better tools written by Ken Beckett during the course of this game. Or maybe not..can't remember. ;) I am pretty sure it was during this time or right during Pesterminator, which I also worked on (Western Exterminator tie-in).

How Dan Burke ended up at Color Dreams, I was Art Editor for the Saddleback College Lariat at the time...around 19 or 20 years old. I had my own comic strip, did all the cartoons for the paper and won some awards...I was also working at a retail art store called Sterling Art, in Irvine. Staff writer Leo Gilreath mentioned that he had met some programmer in an arcade nearby, and that I might like to meet him. I give credit to Leo for this awesome opportunity (tho I didn't see it as particularly awesome at that time). I figured it was some hack with big dreams. ;)

So Leo and I met with Frank Waung, a nice guy and we hit it off great at our meeting place, Round Table Pizza...we had garlic bread and drinks..that's it. :) So it turns out Frank had met with Color Dreams in response to an ad asking for developers....I became the artist half of the team with Frank...and Leo was going to be the writer but as you know..most games don't have writers...designers maybe, but back in those days...programmers sometimes did everything. Frank and I met with Color Dreams..told them about our idea to do a game called 'Drug Czar', which later got changed to 'Raid 2020' because of controversy with Toys R Us not liking that original title. Frank and I worked our behinds off for around 6 months..I quite my job at Sterling Art...in fact when I told my boss what the opportunity\reason was, he said he would have fired me if I didn't quit! Haha...great guy....ironically I am back in the area where his store is. Frank quit his job at Unisys (after much hand-wringing, and he had more to lose than I did). We finished our game on time, and after I had borrowed $400 from Frank's girlfriend, $150 from my Dad's girlfriend and had .053 cents in the bank, I got my first royalty check for $10,000! Frank and I both got these...we celebrated and bought some things we needed...and we knew we were in this industry for good.

Basically...I got to know Dan Lawton just by my contacts with the company...and Dan and I hit it off as well...eventually they asked me aboard after I went and worked freelance for Interplay (a job I got over a 1200 baud modem!). :)

He left by the time Color Dreams decided to go christian, he was a devout Christian at that time, and did not want to exploit the Bible. However he and Nina Stanley fell in love wile working at Color Dreams. Yep..I met her while working on Challenge of the Dragon (she worked right next to me). I'd be up all night working and she come in super early in the morning..and we had plenty of time to talk and such, so he did help a bit with manual art for the bible games though. After awhile he went to work for THQ where he worked on Super Nintendo games such as Bass Master and The Mask, today he's working at Blizzard Entertainment, Cinematics department and has become "a singer" launching his own songs on mp3.com as NukleoN.

This may well be the final chapter in my Color Dreams story, I do have a few more details, but none which could be confirmed by others than the source they came from. Thanks to everyone who showed interest in these articles, and if you used to work at Color Dreams then feel free to leave a small comment in my mailbox :)

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