Fitting this enormous amount of audio-visual creativity onto a single disc was the task of the programming team, led by Michael Dean, Matthew Thurling and Darren Umney. Providing an eye of calm professionalism in a storm of demands, they maintained a truly artistic relationship with multimedia software. Other programmers included Robert Mettler, Peter Fierlinger (Turntable Media), Josh Portway, Andy Lovelock, David Bateman, Sam Deane, Bill Marten, Chris Wright and Sam Clegg.
Michael's speciality was the engine, a heart of computer code that pumps away behind the scenes keeping everything running smoothly. He explains the team's approach:
As programmers, we became involved at the beginning of the production, working with the artists to help them take advantage of the full potential of interactive multimedia. The possibilities we presented led to the development of ideas that have worked really well in the end product. I think it is the fusion of creative and logical thought at a fundamental level that stands out in this production - it is both beautiful and intelligent.
Matthew, in addition to his programming skills, is a superb jazz trumpeter with a music degree. He combined his talents to specialise in the audio side of the programming.
I took all the sounds - music, effects and voices - and linked them together to work smoothly with the visuals. The way in which all the elements of the production combine to create a believable space is quite magical. In fact it goes further than believable - there is an emotional interaction with the viewer as well. It's hard to explain the why and how of it; when you're working with feelings, like playing music, you just know when it's right, the pieces all work together to create the big picture.
Darren Umney was the technical team's own "island muse", visiting Real World from his Channel Island hideaway whenever a flood of work threatened to overwhelm them. His wealth of experience was vital when difficulties arose.
We were working on a moving, three-dimensional, audio-visual jigsaw puzzle, and every so often it turned out that some of the pieces didn't fit. When this happened, I was called in to either sculpt them into the right shape, or to create different pieces that would fit into the gap.