(1957 – 2006,
Raúl "Zemman Scott"
Steve Cain began his career in the video game industry as Imagine Software's Art Department director in 1983 where he worked on
titles like B.C Bill and the infamous "mega-game" Bandersnatch. His background in Fine Arts from University of Liverpool, his love
for games and his talent at pixel art meant that he was ideally suited for the job.
After Imagine's well known financial issues led to its breakdown, he along with other Imagine employees Ally Nobel, Graham "Kenny"
Everitt, John Gibson and Karen Davies created the software label, Denton Designs, based in Liverpool.
Denton Design went on to win much respect and acclaim for their original work on such well known classics as Frankie Goes to
Hollywood, The Great Escape, Shadowfire and Where Time Stood Still.
In Denton Designs, he helped build a working environment different from the one he knew at Imagine. However, his colleague, Ian
Weatherburn (who had also joined Denton Design), missed Imagine's working environment and never really adapted himself to that of
Denton's, so he eventually left to join Ocean.
Steve later joined Microprose as Art Director and subsequently went on to work with other well-known publishers like Canvas, Rage,
Acclaim and finally Silverback Studios.
Sadly, in 2004 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite the disease, Steve worked for another year in the industry. He died on
July 19th, 2006. On July 25th, many personalities of the video game industry said their final farewell to Steve.
It is not easy to track down Steve's softography - especially for Denton Designs's productions, for which the authors' names are
sometimes unclear. At least, Steve appears in the credits of the following games:
B.C.BILL 1984 Imagine. SP/C64.
THE NEVERENDING STORY 1985 (OCEAN) C64.
BOUNCES 1985 (DENTON DESIGNS) Beyond Software. SP.
SHADOWFIRE 1985 (DENTON DESIGNS) Beyond. C64/
HIGHLANDER 1986 (CANVAS) Ocean. SP/CPC/C64.
WHERE TIME STOOD STILL 1988 (DENTON DESIGNS) Ocean. SP/ST.
STAR TREK: THE REBEL UNIVERSE 1988 (FIREBIRD) C64/PC-DOS
STAR GOOSE (LOGOTRON) 1988 Spinnaker Software Corp. AMIGA/PC-DOS.
BLACK LAMP 1988 (FIREBIRD) ST/SP/.
HELLRAIDER 1989 (FRAMES) Atari. AMIGA/
KNIGHTS OF THE SKY 1990 (MICROPROSE) AMIGA/ST.
PYROTECHNICA 1995 (PSYGNOSIS) PC-DOS
COMBAT AIR PATROL 1995 (PSYGNOSIS) PC.
DARKLIGHT CONFLICT 1997 (RAGE SOFTWARE) EA. PC.
INCOMING FORCE 2002 (RAGE SOFTWARE) PC.
MADEMAN 2006 (SILVERBACK STUDIOS) PS2. [*]
[*]Although he couldn't finish, Steve worked in this project, and the game is dedicated to his memory.
He seems to be related to other games, although it is unclear for which platform version:
ARMY MOVES 1986 (DINAMIC)
SHADOW OF THE BEAST II 1994 (REFLECTIONS INT.) Psygnosis.
BRIAN THE LION 1994 (REFLECTIONS INT.) Psygnosis.
Finally, he had a couple of unfinished projects for the ZX Spectrum (see "The Games That Time Forgot"):
INFODROID (DENTON DESIGNS).
Steve Cain was a talented artist, aware of his strengths but also equally conscious of his weaknesses and humble enough to call upon
others who he knew could achieve something quicker or better than himself. He was affable, sociable and someone that almost everyone
He led then as always, by example. He worked hard, applied himself totally, paid attention to the smallest detail and ensured that
everything went as smoothly as possible.
His dedication to his chosen field faltered at times but once he applied himself to a task, he would stick to a path until he
reached his chosen goal. The success that he was truly capable of may have never reached his grasp but he rarely stopped the journey
towards new and exciting parts of the gaming scene.
He mentored many people as he progressed from one company to another; some who have strayed from the gaming path as they matured and
some who still practice some of the tenets laid down by Steve to this very day.
There were times, I am privileged to say that I accompanied him in his endeavours, at other times we went our separate professional
ways but he always remained my friend.
He faced his final years in typical Steve Cain style, with a philosophical shrug and his trademark laugh. This face may have been
for friends and the facade might have fallen underneath the pain he suffered in his illness, but he never displayed anything other
than the larger than life character I had known all my life.
In his passing, the industry has lost a founding figure but is richer for his time and influence.
Raúl "Zemman Scott" and Simon Butler for the write-up, Juan Pablo López-Grao for the translation.