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.

Filtering by Tag: July

Confidential Magazine #5 June/July 1989

In this issue you can find:

  • A bit of a rant by the Ed on the "joys" of running a software mail order service and dealing with clueless, impatient and down right rude customers calling up.
  • A report from the first European Computer Trade Show, which sounded like a right disappointment: "Where were the First Ever Showings? The Exclusive Demos? The Sneako Previews? Well, they certainly weren't present on the day I visited."
  • The history of Sierra Online.
  • A piece pondering why it was that more women seemed to be designing, writing and playing adventures compared to other gaming genres. It was a bit silly and unsurprisingly feels dated, but did include comments from the likes of Anita Sinclair (Magnetic Scrolls) and Amy Biggs (Infocom).
  • A look at the "It's Murder" Play By Mail game.
  • A deep dive on the impressive lookign "Bloodwych", which looked to marry "Dungeon Master" with "The Bards Tale" with "Archon". Supposedly the author had intended to call it "The Dungeonmaster" before FTL announced their game.
  • Infocom had been in decline for a little while, but now they were back with three big releases: "Zork Zero", "Battlehawks - The Crescent Hawk's Inception" (the article kept referring to it as Battlehawks when it was in fact Battletech), "Journey" and "Shogun". Were they enough to raise Infocom back up to the top? The latter three games were examined in detail, and all three were interesting departures from (or, at least, tweaks to/re-imaginings of) the usual text adventure fare.
  • An interview with Infomedia who were busy working on "Chronoquest 2".
  • A write up of MOSAIC, a new concept for a "3rd generation adventure game" system, primarily aimed at Multi User Dungeons.
  • A survey of the state of flight sims.
  • An "interview" with Larry Laffer (AKA, I assume, Al Lowe).
  • A short story sent in by reader David Holden.