Posts Tagged ‘history’
15th Apr 2012
I borrowed the majority of this text from a great private forum I’m on, where everyone gave a potted biography of who they are and how they got to where they are today as a means to introduce themselves. I wrote my introduction 3 years ago and have toyed many times with the idea of posting it here for all to see, warts and all. And after some editing and refreshing of content I’ve finally decided to do so. The title is a little misleading of course as I’ve not been a game developer for 30 years, but I have always wanted to be, and that passion and love has never left me – as you’ll find if you dare to read on 🙂
I know it’s way too long and probably not even my Mother would read until the end, but here we go. This is how my love affair with computing and game development started, and lead to where I am today…
My name is Richard Davey. I don’t really use pseudonyms on the internet anymore (spent enough years doing that in Quake clans!) but l’m part of Photon Storm. I’ll be 37 in August and I live in a lovely part of the UK with my wife, 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter.
Growing up Atari
Back when I was the age my son is now, my parents were complete technophobes and didn’t buy into the “every home must have a family computer” one bit. So it was a long time until I got one of my own. Ironically my Mum is now the most hardcore gamer I know and I swear 40% of her annual earnings goes direct to Big Fish Games.
I may have been computer-less but I was addicted to the arcades. All of my “holiday money” would vanish into the latest Atari, Williams and Sega machines. When I was 8 we moved house and I made friends with the kids in my new street and got my first experience of home computing. There were ZX81s and Spectrum 48ks within a few houses and that was it. I was utterly hooked. To my shock (as it wasn’t even Christmas or my birthday) one day my Dad bought home a computer: A Toshiba MSX.
In hindsight I appreciate just how amazing that computer was. Built-in cartridge port letting me run all the hottest Konami and Capcom games, tape drive so I could buy budget games from the newsagent, really nice graphics, really nice sound. But no other kid within a hundred miles owned one which made aquiring new games next to impossible. But it did give me my first taste of programming. Type-in listings from magazines and hacking around in BASIC. The MSX and later a Spectrum +3 served me well for a few years until I hit secondary school. And via another kid there I was introduced to the Atari ST.
My whole life changed. It was one of those moments you know? Those real life changing moments. Getting that ST home. Hooking it up to this piece of trash black and white TV in my bedroom. I just knew there and then I was addicted, and that my life would be one spent in computers.
I wasn’t wrong 🙂
18th Aug 2009
I was really excited to receive another couple of books in The Spectrum Games Bible series today. It’s a series of 6 books that present screen shots and mini community written reviews of 1,200 Sinclair Spectrum games released between 1982 and now. Editted and compiled by Paul Johns and Michael Fraser these are fascinating reads.
I love just picking a book and opening it on a random page to see what retro gaming delight (or howler!) will greet me. The games are presented by year and alphabetical order, with a neat index at the back of each should you wish to locate something specific.
Game reviews are often quite short, but for some span a page or two. Nearly all of them have screen shots which really help to jog the old grey matter. As the reviews are written by community members they vary in quality. Some are a little too introspective, focusing on the life story behind that particular game for the reviewer, rather than the game itself. But overall they are still a great read. I’d strongly recommend them to anyone who has an interest in retro gaming, or Flash game development today – as they are a gold mine of ideas and concepts.
The books vary in price as they are printed and delivered by lulu.com, so the higher the page count, the more it costs. The print quality is excellent and the colour covers a nice touch. Layout is clean and clear and I had no printing issues with any of them. If you are extremely flush with cash then you can buy full-colour editions, which have all screen shots in full colour internally. The cost of these editions ranges from between £40 and £70, with postage on-top! However the ones I (and I dare-say most people) own are the colour cover with black and white internal pages. They are a far more reasonable £9 to £10.
Visit the web site for more details: http://www.spectrumgamesbible.co.uk
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