I have worked in video games since 1982, forsaking the successful completion of my ‘A’ levels to become a bedroom programmer. It seems to have worked out pretty well.
One of my earliest successes was Chimera, made and released in 1985. It did reasonably well both critically and commercially. It was an homage to (rip-off of) Knight Lore and Alien 8 and despite its obvious lack of serious gameplay, it was the first “clone” of Chris Stamper’s Filmation technique. Clearly inferior to the games whose groundbreaking technique inspired it, Chimera nevertheless had some nice touches of its own, including the sampled scream that so terrified a generation of Spectrum and C64 budget-title-buying kids.
The game was made on the Spectrum, the Commodore 64, the Amstrad CPC and the Atari 800. It even made its way onto the ill-fated SuperVision because I needed the money. So now I’ve decided to remake it. I’m not sure which platform it will end up on, but I’ll probably start with a prototype on the Mac.
How often do you get to reprise a 25-year old work? How many people get to work in one industry for so long any more? As my uncle said to me in 2003, “If you’d served this time in the army, you’d be getting a pension by now”
Today I work as a Senior Business Development Manager for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Along the way, I had a long stint as a freelancer, then another long stint at BITS, then spells at Virgin, Hasbro and START! games where I climbed the slippery slope of publishing, business development, finance and entrepreneurship. Then I slipped a bit and started all over again. Not quite all over again of course.
Nothing I say on this blog has anything to do with my job. Everything here is my own viewpoint and cannot be attributed to SCEE in any way, I am here in a purely unofficial capacity, in my own time.
I’m not sure what will come of this, if anything, but by making it public and inviting my friends, colleagues, acquaintances and former customers here, I hope I get pushed to finish, if not on this, then something else.
Making games is like malaria. Once you get bitten by the bug, it’s there for life. At least with programming, you get to fight back against the bug.