Welcome to the Electron Dance Advent calendar. Each day will bring another post from the archives.
Have you read the three-part Learning Curve that ran from 10 December 2013 to 14 January 2014?
In the wake of The Ethics of Selling Children, I'd been trying to stay away from writing personal stories, particularly about growing up. But I felt the time had finally come to tell the story of my indie developer years. Yes my dark secret was that I had been a games programmer... 30 years ago.
The trilogy of articles cover my growth from zero to competent programmer, the commercial game I developed to prove I could actually achieve something with all this knowledge and then... how it all came to an end.
On the whole, I was trying to recreate other people's ideas but there were signs that I was aware of the limited visions for the computer game towards the end. In fact, it's not mentioned explicitly in the articles, but I was starting to think of games "for adults". I recall being fired up, wanting to show an "adult" videogame did not meant simply it included references to sex.
I had assumed this would only be of niche interest but I'd packed in enough curious details to attract a wider audience. How I made a game without a computer, the day I was cloned, the titles of all those games I didn't make like Suicide Dancing.
From the comments:
- Nicolau: "Great piece. Feels like something you’ve been writing mentally for years."
- Badger Commander: "You can see exactly where our paths split. You saw code and became fascinated. I saw code and became bored instantly."
- Richard Goodness: "Well, Joel, I guess you were the original Zinester."
- Matt W: "It’s a bit odd to find out that all the time the chap I’ve been chatting about games with was a bleeping savant."
- James Patton: "Wow, what an article. It left me feeling both sad and hopeful, which I suppose was the point."