Following is a for-posterity list of every game I have ever made.
Flashback Funnies – Amstrad CPC464, unreleased
Textbook example of a developer’s first game being of incredibly poor quality, this was a text-adventure coded in BASIC parodying (poorly) the events of Delphine Software’s 16-but opus, Flashback. Player interactions were limited to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at various intervals due to a lack of technical knowledge. Created at age 13.
Trax – RISC OS/Amiga 1200, unreleased
Not ‘released’ in the conventional manner, but floated around my school for a while on the Acorn Archimedes platform. I’d discovered a command in BBC Micro BASIC (which the format had an expanded version of) to discern the colour value of a certain point onscreen and, combined with some simple math, made the film Tron‘s light-cycle game from it. Around 50 hand-drawn ‘arenas’ comprised the stages of this two-player jaunt that saw some small-scale popularity among friends. Age 14.
Also of note was the fact that after-school hours and visits to a friend’s house saw me port a version to the Commodore Amiga 1200 using the AMOS language.
Traxxion – RISC OS, unreleased
An experiment into tweaking the mechanics of Trax, Traxxion addressed a problem new players had in adapting to the mechanics of its prequel by giving the players an ‘energy bar’ (an on-screen percentage, in fact) and made the light trails thicker and more visible onscreen. Arenas were now procedurally-generated using a textured background and ‘holes’ cut into it – technically, an infinite amount of them. Despite a lot of effort going into the presentational aspects of this title, it simply didn’t hold player interest like its forerunner. Age 14, also a spare-time school project.
Bong! – RISC OS, unreleased
Incredibly back-to-basics, this was essentially keyboard-driven Pong. Using a coordinates-based collision detection system and angles calculated from where on the player paddle the ball hit, it had 2-player and versus-‘AI’ modes. Of note, I’d written a crude routine to scale a wireframe title graphic. School, age 14.
Trax 2 – RISC OS, unreleased
Back to basics was indeed the theme for my games. Trax 2 retained the original game’s one-hit collisions and pixel-thin light trails, but Traxxion‘s procedurally-generated stages. Except this one took advantage of the amazing keyboard scancode-detection of the Archimedes to give it as many as four players at once. Crammed around one computer. Almost-inevitably, this got banned from the school library at lunchtimes. Age 15.
(Untitled Shooting Game) – RISC OS, incomplete
Mouse-driven gallery shooter, involving a triangle shooting dots at evil circles. Graphics were placeholders. Age 18 — game making had temporarily taken a back seat as I completed my GCSE education, but studying A-Level Computer Studies at the time allowed me more computer time and so game-making resumed. Work on this game stopped as I’d run into difficulties attempting to detect collisions among groups of entities.
(Untitled Strategy-RPG) – RISC OS, incomplete
This one didn’t actually get further than a terrain editor and basic single-character movement. I was very keen on seeing this one through to completion, but life difficulties ended my education and I became homeless for a while. Age 19.
Fruit! – Amiga 1200, unreleased
No longer homeless, I had aqcuired an Amiga 1200 of my own for home use and set about getting to grips with the AMOS toolset. Fruit! was a combination of a sliding-tile puzzle game (set on a 7×7 grid) and Columns’ gameplay — four in a row this time, albeit without diagonal line-detection (as the math for horizontal and vertical detection alone provided enough headaches). Although without sound effects, this was the first game I created music for and got hooked on the idea of being a one-person development outfit. Gave a few friends some copies of this and it went down well. Age 20.
Snac-Man – Amiga 1200, unreleased
A clone of Pac-Man with a speed increase, flashing Robotron-esque colours and 50 different stages due to the fact that I’d coded in my own level editor. Redrawing without double-buffering the screen caused a bit of flicker on this one, but friends loved it. Age 21.
(Untitled Phoenix remake) – Amiga 1200, incomplete
Inspired by Llamatron 2112 and Tempest 2000 (I was fast becoming a fan of Jeff Minter’s), I started remaking the Taito coin-op shooting game, Phoenix. Fundamentally, I’d got all but the mothership working — which I had put off because it was intended to be the final boss anyway. Colours flashed, mechanics worked as intended, I just lost the heart for coding on a very dead format — I do wish I somehow kept the soundtrack I’d made for it though, intense Prodigy-esque breakbeat stuff. Age 21.
Super Breakout – Windows, unreleased
A pixel-perfect remake of Super Breakout put together in The Games Factory, to get the hang of the tool. I had given up on trying to find a ‘friendly’ PC programming language I could understand, The Games Factory was given away by UK magazine, Retro Gamer and seemed a good enough tool. Age 24.
Crazy Penguin Tennis – Flash
Oh dear. I am so sorry. I had actually forgotten about this one due to it being an uneventful project at college, since I’d resumed my attempts at higher education. Basically a math game, where a simple sum has to be worked out in the time it takes a crude animation to complete. The backup work was strong enough for this for it to receive a good grade, but the game itself is very poor. Age 24.
Thunder Fire – Windows, incomplete
The title was a hybrid of Thunder Force and Hellfire, and this shmup did exactly that. Full of appropriated content as placeholders, I’d only completed one level (and wrote the soundtrack to it and the boss) but lost the heart for it because of all the unoriginal content. Age 24.
Velocity Raptor – Windows, incomplete
Oh wow. This was intended to fulfill my childhood dream of making a Sonic-styled game. Art was created, music was written, sound effects were pilfered from whatever free libraries I had access to. I was full-steam on this one, but made the mistake of relying on a friend for half the content – only to see it never appear. The game was just left to fester for this reason, and I learned that if I ever were to make a serious game again, it should be alone. Failures are easier to reconcile when they’re nobody else’s fault. Age 25.
SLaVE – Windows/OS X, in-progress
After a stint at university becoming a qualified animator in a country with few animation jobs, I have been bitten by the game-development bug once more. The Doom engine seemed a natural choice due to my experience in making custom content, and I am able (plus willing) to create an entire game’s worth of content by myself. Robotron 2084 (a firm and time-worn favourite of mine) made FPS.
Happy Turd – HTML, play on itch.io
Once more, an exercise in becoming accustomed to a new tool – in this case Construct 2. A simple idea, as a clone of Flappy Bird, but the challenge was in shaking up the mechanic enough to justify the game’s existence. Has received a positive response thus far, despite the much-needed (and incoming) bug-fixes and polish.
One Shot – HTML, in-progress
A shooting game with a difference — the player will be limited to only one shot per stage. The core mechanic will be of dodging attacks; even bosses will auto-destruct after a period of ever-increasing difficulty in their attack waves. The one shot will destroy everything it touches, and should be used wisely. Bonuses will be given for completion of any stage without using this shot. I am planning for this to use a ‘touch’ mechanic that will be compatible with tablet and phone devices, although development is in the early stages as yet – and running concurrently with development on SLaVE.
Here’s to the past, present and future of my game development. Cheers. 🙂