Chris Marlow

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Chris Marlow
Chris Marlow.jpg
Born November 9
Active years Rare: 1996–present[1]
Occupation Software engineer • Voice actor
Associates Mark Betteridge, Tony Wong, Shawn Pile

Chris Marlow (Christopher Marlow) is a British video game programmer who has been working at Rare Ltd. since 1996. He has been one of the lead software engineers for the Conker and Kinect Sports series and is currently the principal gameplay programmer for Sea of Thieves.

He is well known as the voice of The Great Mighty Poo.

History

Before Rare Ltd.

Chris Marlow's first computer was a 48K ZX Spectrum and the four games he got, Jetpac, Cookie, Tranz Am and Pssst, were all from Ultimate Play the Game, whom he became a fan of and would buy every single game from. It was at his final year at the University of Bath that he began applying to various companies that could be found listed in the Edge magazine. He never had any of Nintendo consoles up to that point, so he wasn't aware that Rare was actually Ultimate until he went there for an interview.[2]

At Rare Ltd.

He and Shawn Pile joined the team working on Killer Instinct Gold which was to be finished and released in a couple of months. The team included some of the seniors, Mark Betteridge, Tony Wong and Mike Currington and the first project junior developers took on was Twelve Tales: Conker 64 which would eventually become Conker's Bad Fur Day. The team was independent of the other team working on Project Dream (which was still 2.5D), but once in a while when they checked on Twelve Tales' progress, they drew inspiration from it and the game became Banjo-Kazooie. Marlow's team were two and a half years into development of Twelve Tales and felt the game wasn't cohesive as a whole. Chris Seavor was asked to see what can he do to redesign it.[3]

For Conker's Bad Fur Day, Marlow programmed a "cutscene editor" that allowed for separately-made animations, audio files, visual effects, and camera setups to easily be compiled together for cutscenes.[4] He also worked on special effects and the animation system. "Sloprano", the song written to incorporate Marlow's opera-singing talents, was recorded in one afternoon.[5]

Chris Marlow's first Xbox game was Conker: Live & Reloaded for which he was the lead programmer.[6] Latest work includes prototyping gameplay features for Sea of Thieves.[5]

Video game credits

Title Year Credit Notes
Perfect Dark 2000 "Trent's Henchmen"
Conker's Bad Fur Day 2001 Software engineering, Voice acting Cutscene editor, animation system, special effects
Conker: Live & Reloaded 2005
Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise 2008 "Rare Family"
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts "Game Scaffolding and Sticky Tape"
Kinect Sports 2010 "Rare Shared Technology Group"
Kinect Sports: Season Two 2011 Software engineering
Kinect Sports Rivals 2014
Rare Replay 2015 "Rare Team"
Sea of Thieves 2018 Software engineering Principal gameplay programmer

References

  1. "I joined Rare in 1996, developed CBFD and before that 12 Tales, over 5 years, and it was released in 2001 :)" - Chris Marlow's tweet
  2. Chris Marlow (Rare, The Great Mighty Poo) | Sola & Cola Interview - YouTube.com
  3. Conkers Bad Fur Day Development - The Retro Hour @ Retrospillmessen Norway 2019 - YouTube.com
  4. Rare Replay: Conker's Bad Fur Day (Twitch) - 13:51–15:05
  5. a b Conker’s Bad Fur Day Programmer Discusses Cult Classic - SpliceToday.com
  6. "Conker: Live & Reloaded was the first Xbox game I worked on, my first game as a Lead Programmer, and Rare's first online game, so I'm very fond of it. Networking was a huge challenge, as we were all learning as we went. But in the end it even stayed in the Top 10 most played Live games on the 360 via backwards compatibility!" - Tales from 15 Years of Xbox - Rare.co.UK