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Wow. In September 2011 at the age of 35 I started a BA(Hons) in Computer Games Design. Part-Time. That means that I will not graduate until June 2017 when I am 41.

Why this?

Input Magazine

Input taught BASIC programming across a multitude of 8-bit formats.

I have always loved computer games, I have always loved being creative, innovative and building things: my Dad will tell you that I started playing computer games at 5 years old and programming at about 8. I used to spend hours on a Commodore 64 typing in lines of code from the magazine Input only to have to type it all in again because I had made a mistake.

AMOS Cover

AMOS – The Creator for the Commodore Amiga

At the age of 13 I got myself an upgrade… a Commodore Amiga and this was where I really kicked off. I asked for AMOS (AMiga Operating System), a game development platform using an advanced form of BASIC and with the aid of Deluxe Paint 2 and MED, a music sequencer, I began to make games. Nothing major. Just for fun.

I streamed my whole life towards becoming a games programmer. I chose my GCSE options around it (IT – it was all they had). I chose my A-levels around it: maths, physics and computer science. I even began a degree in computer science – but that was not to be. I was, in all honesty, too immature to value the chance that I had been given.

Life then happened… rapidly. Until the point that I had a wife and four lovely children and a steady job instigating, researching, developing and teaching the use of Technology Based Training in the classrooms of a super large organization. Then my boss said that I should really get a higher level qualification to match my abilities.

So I chose Computer Game Design. It fits in with the interactive and technological nature of my job while allowing me to work and learn in an area that I have always cherished.

The Degree…

Automaton Level Design Concept Art

is not programming. At least not much. It is an art and design based degree with some programming and scripting in some of the modules, but it is predominantly everything but. There is no entry into 3D mathematics, I won’t have to learn how to differentiate between a linked list and a binary sorting algorithm (although if you would like a hint, you could use a linked list to create a binary sorting algorithm!!) but I will have to learn how to use Flash, 3DS Max, the Unreal Development Kit, Photoshop and some other packages in the later years.

So… I’m doing lots of drawing. Erm… I didn’t take art at GCSE… nor A-Level.

In 1990 I actually ate the last of my wax crayons and hung up my apron on my easel in order to meet my goal of a Games Designer… my, was I in for a shock!!!

Over the next few months I’ll be letting you catch up with some of the work that I’ve done over the past year as well as letting you in on the new stuff. This post will also be added as a page, for posterity and to provide a frame of reference for new comers.

I also reserve the right to add in new work related content as and when I see fit… after all… it is my blog 😀

Jon

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