How I got Started

In September 1982, I went to a friends and saw a commodore 64 for the first time, spent a day typing in and playing with the balloon program from the book of basic that came with it! I loved it so much the very next day I went and got £250 worth of credit at Dixons and brought a C64 and tape deck.

I spent every free minute playing with my new toy, as soon as I got home from work till the early hours in the morning and all weekend. It took a while to master but I did manage to write a couple of half decent things in basic. The first one was similar to scramble with spaceships on the right and your ship on the left that could fire at the spaceships and only collision detection was for the bullets and ships.

Just after that I wrote a sprite editor in basic, so I could make better game sprites, It was not long after that was done that I discovered machine code, so I started playing with that through a monitor cartridge writing directly into the memory. The first thing I did was made a clone ofHunchback by Ocean a boy having to get from the left side of the screen to the right, mine was called Cyril and was similar but not a copy as I had different obstacles, but looking back now it was not that great.


It was at that time that I saw an advert in one of the games magazines, Telecomsoft wanted games, so sent Cyril off to them to see if they would publish it, after a couple of weeks I received a phone call asking me to visit there plush London offices. I asked for a day off work and my boss at the time said no, so I left resigned from and left work there and then.

I went to the meeting in London where they showed me another game called Happiest Days of Your Life on the Sinclair Spectrum, they asked my opinion and I told them is as a good game, but to be honest it was average, but after leaving me with the game for a while they told me to go home and the meeting was over.

I went home all fed up and confused however a bit later during dinner I received another telephone call from Colin Fuidge at Telecomsoft, who offered me £2000 to port Happiest days to the commodore 64, and it had to be dome two months, so of course I said yes. It took me about 10 weeks and I lost £500 in penalties, but it was the start of a career lasting over 30 years.