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Wayne J. Smithson
Year of death
Began its days in Liverpool, UK as a games publisher for platforms such as the Apple II, Macintosh and C64. As one of the pioneers of the Amiga games industry, Psygnosis was arguably responsible for selling more Amiga computers than any other publisher with their releases of SHADOW OF THE BEAST and LEMMINGS.
Psygnosis was acquired by Sony in 1993, which resulted in much of their attention being diverted from the Amiga to development of proprietary 3D graphics technology and CDROM games in preparation for an assault on the console and PC markets. Psygnosis' efforts would be rewarded when they were handed a major role by Sony in the launch of the PlayStation in 1995.
In 1998, Eidos purchased Psygnosis' European operations, while their U.S. operations were absorbed by Sony's own development outfit 989 Studios. The Psygnosis label was eventually abandoned by Sony in 2000.
Wayne Smithson started programming in 1985. His first published programs - Electric Author (a word processor), Super Kid, Frankie and Gordon Bennett - appeared on the Dragon 32. The Dragon was never a huge hit in the UK which meant Wayne received little or no recognition for his work. It was only when he got himself an Atari ST and produced the first ST horizontal scrolling shoot-'em-up, Skyrider, that people started to take notice.
Psygnosis in particular were impressed with Wayne's work and signed him up to produce several games including Baal and Blood Money. Psygnosis contracted Wayne and his team (W. J. S. Design) to produce 3 games in 1989/1990: It Can't Be Done/Anarchy, Firestorm and Witchcraft.
Almost all programming in the early days was done in-house on 42Mhz 386 PC's running the Snasm development system. Graphics and animations for the games were designed on an Amiga running Deluxe Paint 3, even though some games were only due to appear on the Atari ST.