Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good ol' 80s

The idea for Doodle Blast! has been hatching around for at least two decades. In the 80s, I was growing up in Europe and, back then, Sinclair ZX Spectrum was the pinnacle of home computing as we knew it. It was a pretty cool black box. It came with 48k of RAM (which is less than the size of most icons these days), a built-in BASIC editor and interpreter, whooping 16 colors (only two of which could occupy any 8x8 pixel area), and a jack for a tape recorder that allowed you to store programs on audiotapes as 5mins of screechy noise. In short, it was daBomb! The best parts about it were that coding it was rather simple and that an independent person could sit down and create something that maxed out the capabilities of the machine. In short, it wasn’t very different from the iPhone today.

Back then, my brother and two of our friends decided to form a “company” (and I use that term very loosely) called Sybila Soft to write games for the Spectrum and distribute it to our friends. Friend-to-friend distribution was the modus operandi of the time and we were often surprised ourselves at how far our games travelled. The best part is that those games are still alive and floating around the Internet today, ready to be downloaded and replayed in some java-based Sinclair emulator running as a widget on your desktop.

Anyway, that was the first time we came up with the idea of a tank with an ever-growing tower of more and more obscure guns. However, we grew up out of our teens, moved on with our lives, and the idea never came to fruition.

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