Jay Derrett is a British programmer and former video game composer at CRL Group.
In 1983, Derrett and 4 schoolmates were going to enter a Micromouse competition at the annual PCW show in Earl's Court, London. Derrett programmed the EPROM, based on a Z80 CPU which he thinks was removed from someone's old Sinclair ZX81 computer. In a tube train to the show, they were still gluing the robot together. Watching from an opposite seat and on his way to the same show was the founder of CRL, Clem Chambers, who was so impressed that he introduced himself. After the show, he sponsored them to build a proper micromouse for the European competition in Madrid (where it won the novice round). To Derrett, he offered programming work, first parallel to school, and in July 1984, full-time.
Initially, Derrett wrote Sinclair ZX Spectrum games on his own, but quickly moved to Commodore 64 games, music drivers, and finally composing. He also shared code with others, tried out new platforms and developed an interface to transfer data between all of them. His brother Jared (now Jayenne Montana) did graphics at CRL.
After a bit over 4 years, Derrett found CRL and the video game industry altogether too unstable and went to program for printing and, to this day, for finance. In retrospect, he does not consider himself creative and dislikes all his own games. As of 2014, his hobbies are flying gliders, playing music on more mainstream instruments, and the church.
Derrett used the same format as on the C64.
Originally, Clever Music pitched for score writing in CRL's games. It is unclear if and how Derrett was involved then. Graham Jarvis of Clever Music is cited as having written the drivers, while Derrett stated that Clever Music were not technical; they submitted a disk with scores "they'd made up in some cheap commercial sequencer software Clever Music had found to use", and Chambers "asked [Derrett] to write some technical interfaces and SID drivers" to turn them "into a block of data and code that a developer could include in their game". Clever Music's work for other publishers is in other drivers, all of which however use the same unique repetition format as the driver for Derrett's and Clever Music's CRL work (except for Plasmatron).
When Clever Music became overloaded with work from CRL, Derrett thought to try writing some tunes himself in the same driver and was subsequently made "the main tune writer" by Chambers. Over time, he also reimplemented the "cool" effects of Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway, added several drum samples from Dulcedo Cogitationis (C64) and a brush slap from an unknown source.
It is unknown what Derrett used on the Spectrum 48K, but on the Spectrum 128, it was the same format as on the C64.
|1985-0?-??||The Rocky Horror Show (C64)||Sound Driver?|
|1985-0?-??||The Rocky Horror Show (ZXS)||48K Version Only.|
|1985-??-??||Blade Runner (C64)||Sound Driver?|
|1986-0?-??||Space Doubt (C64)||Sound Driver?|
|1987-0?-??||Death or Glory (C64)|
|1987-0?-??||The Equalizer (C64)|
|1987-0?-??||Gun Runner (C64)||In-Game Music by Gavin Raeburn.|
|1987-0?-??||Shao-Lin's Road (C64)||Sound Driver?|
|1987-??-??||Ninja Hamster (C64)|
|1987-??-??||Ninja Hamster (CPC)|
|1988-0?-??||Road Warrior (C64)|
|1988-0?-??||Zip (C64)||Sound Effects by Darren Watts.|
|1988-??-??||Trigger Happy (C64)|
|19??-??-??||Spindizzy (C64)||US Version Only. Sound Driver?|
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,246546/ - MobyGames.
- linkedin.com/in/jay-derrett-6180b1a1 - LinkedIn.
- web.archive.org/web/20160304084513/http://www.wizwords.net/from-the-archives-crl-extras/ - Interview from 2011.
- commodorefree.com/magazine/vol8/issue84.html#ARTICLE12 - Interview from 2014.