From the Top

When I first touched technology back in the early 80s, I cared more about avoiding the Wacky Amoebatrons and climbing the Banyan Tree than what Apple or Microsoft were up to. On reflection it was surprising I even had access to my rubber-keyed friend; Norfolk was certainly not renowned for its presence on the country’s technological stage. Tractors? Yes. Personal computers? Not so much.

However a teenage life spent working in a newsagents surrounded by technology magazines soon opened the eyes to the possibilities of spending entire weekends typing in games from Sinclair Programs that then had to be re-typed as they failed to load from the tape drive. In hindsight at the rate I went through those D60’s I may have been better off spending my time buying shares in TDK. Ah well, vive la patience/typing/BASIC skills.

Failed save/loads aside, the hardest parts en-route to turning dabblings into professional endeavours were the A-level and Degree Computing courses. My technology chops were driven by the colour and passion of the burgeoning games industry at the time, only to then be rudely slapped in the face by courses that had the divine capability of sucking the very light out of the day. Looking back, I’m astonished I made it through University, not because I couldn’t manage the course, but because it was just so grey. Really, really grey.

Fortunately my first position in a small, youthful games company near Oxford recharged the batteries somewhat, and by the time I’d left there to move on to Gremlin up in Sheffield, things were looking far brighter. Gremlin kinda set the scene of life from that point on; the teams were bright, focused, and enjoying themselves. I was lucky enough to be working on some great projects with some great people, and Hogs of War was a real peach, sat as it was amongst the many sports games being developed at the time.

So all told I consider myself extremely fortunate; I was lucky enough to get my break in a very creative industry very early on, and had the opportunity to be involved with some great products on many of the big platforms around today. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of lines of C-variant code to throw 3D missiles around, to make Medic Pigs behave differently to Commando Pigs, and to play entire symphonies in stereo surround sound. It’s been a fascinating and eminently enjoyable journey so far, and a big shout out to everyone that I got close to along the way.

So now with the advent of Apple’s new technology winging its way around the world, it seems I have a chance to take everything I’ve learnt to date and start something completely new with the iPhone and iPad, alongside yet another bunch of great people. Can it really get any better than this? I think we’re all looking forward to finding out…

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