No, it’s not Kick Off or Player Manager, but an important step to getting there. The game is called Letteroids 3D and it’s a remake of my very first assembler game. The original was a lot simpler, but that’s because it had to run on a 1Mhz 6502 and 6 K of ram (on the Acorn Atom). It was black and white, but had 10 letters and up to two enemies attacking you and ran at 50 frames per second. It was my first “Professional” game, and its goes back to around 1981 or so when I was 16 or 17. The game was an important step to me becoming a professional video game developer; and now it’s an important step for my return.
The new game is written with Unity 3D (in C#), and in the spirit of my earliest games, everything is done by me. The graphics (yes it’s programmer art). The code. The Design. The sound effects (hand crafted using software synthesisers). The music. It feels good to have done it, to have started and finished a game, and to have people playing it.
Unity 3D, you may ask? C#? For years I have had this dream of a development environment that lets me focus on making games rather than building technology. A few times I tried to make it, and somehow always gave up. It’s not that I can’t build the technology; it’s just that technology is to me what paints, brushes and canvas are to a painter. At my core, I am an entertainer and game designer. It’s what I was made to do. I have finally found a development environment that gives me everything I need, and I will use it to advance the player manager remake in due course.
I lost my way in an industry that ceased to place value in the core art of game design and I had failed to make use of my early successes to give me the opportunity to continue my art. Now, the technology has become so advanced that I can, all by myself, design and build a game that entertains and this is what gives me a second chance. It is quite fitting, I think, that I now start by going back to my earliest substantial professional game.
Another thing that I needed was someone who would help with the business and marketing side of things. An online friend of mine and old fan of GOAL! runs Devil’s MMO. He commissioned me to write some articles for his site, and I did a few. But then I thought, “Surely rather than writing articles, can’t I write games?” and an idea was born.
To my fans eagerly awaiting some kind of football game thing from me, I am sorry, I have to ask you for patience. Before I can rebuild the game, I have to rebuild the game maker.
Letteroids 3D is currently in Beta test, and it’s free to play. When it’s out of Beta, we’ll be running competitions with prizes for the highest scorers.