Occasional ramblings on games, generally retro related

​When my parents brought home a ZX81 one day (complete with wobbly 16K RAM pack, of course) I discovered the joy of programming. But it wasn't until I got my hands on a ZX Spectrum that my obsession with games really began, which continued with the C64, Amiga, right through to this day. The 80s and early 90s were an amazing time for games, not just for the games themselves but for the fascinating people behind them - it was truly a time of pioneers and creativity.

I myself have spent the last (almost) 20 years working in the games industry on all manner of platforms, most recently iOS. Ziggurat Development Ltd is my company here in NZ that provides contract programming services.

Confidential Magazine #2 Dec 1988/Jan 1989

Postal strikes had caused delays to the first issue, and - whether it was due to this or some other reason - November came and went without the second issue. Going forward they would be sticking to the every-other-month schedule.


  • Interview with Philippe Ulrich, head of the EXXOS group at French software house ERE Informatique which had recently released the rather original and intriguing "Captain Blood".
  • A somewhat tongue in cheek guide to playing adventure games.
  • A gathering of five of the top adventure gaming columnists at the PC Show. The five were: Nick Walkind, Keith Campbell (C&VG, Commodore User), Mike Gerrard (Your Sinclair), Steve Cooke (ACE), Nik Wilde (Newsfield) and Kati Hamza (Zzap and Crash).
  • A look at MUD, including an exerpts from an interview with creator Richard Bartle.
  • Keith Campbell examined the evolution of puzzles in adventure games.
  • Interview with Silicon Software, developers of "Legend of the Sword".
  • An "interview" with Level 9 chatacter Ingrid.
  • An in depth piece on the new Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, "Pool of Radiance".
  • A visit to play-by-mail specialists, KJC Games.
  • The reveal of the new Magnetic Scrolls game, "Myth",that would be exclusively for club members.
  • A short story by Jane Rowe.
  • A visit to The Crazy Dwarf in the Sussex Downs, one of the latest LARP groups to spring up.
  • Michael Baywater pondered puzzles in games and life.