I started off doing graphics, the kind of pixel art you needed graph paper for. At least you did in the 1983 at the Kingsway Amateur Computer Club. Having met the people who would be forming DMA a few years later, I initially drew the graphics for Mike Dailly’s Freekout game on the Commodore Plus 4. From there, Dave Jones commissioned me to convert Amiga graphics from Ballistix and then Shadow of the Beast to the Commodore 64 version.
It was during one of the regular trips to deliver my Beast graphics on cassette, that I noticed how slow the levels were being loaded from disk. And that there was only a blank screen during this time. So I offered to write some text to fill in the gap. And that was how I started writing for games.
Not that there was much call for writing, and when I was employed full time by DMA it was as an artist. I converted Lemmings graphics to other platforms, from the Amiga to the PC, the Atari Lynx and more besides. Everyone in the company tried their hand at creating Lemmings levels and I was no exception.
Writing began to include PR material, anything which required text. But it was with Hired Guns that it became my main occupation. Scott Johnston asked me to write some material, having seen my self-published Cyber Rebel newsletter. From there I came up with the story, characters, background and plot.
That set me onto the path of writing and typesetting instruction booklets, manuals, and in-game text whenever it was required. Body Harvest was a big, if unhappy project, and GTA soaked up more text than ever.
I used to joke that my real job was “miscellaneous”, having written reports from trips to shows, writing the newsletter and the Christmas specials. Game proposals. Meeting minutes (though I didn’t last long as I rarely took that seriously.) Coding a level editor. Gathering news. Pitching in at design meetings. Level design.
I'm always keen to take commissions, if I have free time. Lettering commissions are especially welcomed. My own writing projects take up a lot of time, but if you have a particularly interesting project you'd like me to write a script for, I am more than happy to listen.
Not novels though, already neck-deep in my own!
Are wondering how on Earth you can show your appreciation? (You are? Really?) Okay, then. If you enjoyed one of my free downloads, or have fond memories of a retro game I once worked on, you can donate as little as you like. Entirely voluntary of course. Or, of course, you can buy Archangel on Comixology.
For some unnacountable reason, I have T-Shirts for sale. Including that "Lemmings" one that everyone asks me about. Find them here:snap2grid.redbubble.com