Wednesday, December 08, 2004

AGDC Awards - Dec 8th, 2004

I just found out that I got Runner Up in the Career Achievement Award at the 2004 Australian Game Developer Awards held on the weekend, which is nice.

Krome Studios also picked up the following:
• Award for Best Handheld Game - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, Krome Studios
• Award for Best Original Character Design - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2, Krome Studios
• Award for Best Game Audio - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, Krome Studios
• Award for Outstanding Visual Arts - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, Krome Studios

Yay team!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

My Greatest Creation Yet! - Nov 6th, 2004

I’ve just finished a nine-month project and it came in on time and budget. It’s the sort of project that will have an ongoing (and rather expensive) running cost, but will bring an immeasurable amount of joy. Actually, the amount of work I did on the project was pretty small, I contributed half the original ideas, then sat back and watched it progress.

My baby daughter Ella Elizabeth has entered the world.

Like all doting fathers, I have to say she’s the most beautiful thing in the world. And in a complete act of geekery she even has her nursery lined with TY the Tasmanian Tiger wall paper. No, I’m not so sad that I would do such a thing. It was actually my wife who insisted on it. She’s a well-rounded, completely sane person and who is quite un-geeky. She’s incredibly proud of TY and wanted our daughter to have something special... that, and she wanted to get the wallpaper done before the TV show airs and we’d have to license the rights for wallpaper J

I’m curious to see how Ella’s birth will affect the way I design games. Recently, with the TY series, I have moved toward more kid friendly games. I wonder if she’ll keep me in that area? One thing’s for sure, if she does play games I’ll probably want to develop family friendly co-operative games. The idea of playing as TY and her playing as Shazza on a PS3, with both of us working together to save the world, sounds kind of cool. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Oh, and in other news, TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue has hit the stores on PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and GBA. It’s getting good reviews and is selling well. But that’s another story for another Game Musings!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Twenty Years Ago - Oct 6th, 2004

I got a call from the Game Developers Association of Australia ( asking me about some of Krome’s major milestones. This was for a display on Australian games they are putting together and they wanted to know stuff like what year Krome was founded (1999 by myself, Steve Stamatiadis and Robert Walsh) and when TY the Tasmanian Tiger was released (2002).

I asked them how far the Aussie games industry went back and was told the earliest entry they had was for Beam Software, which was founded in 1980.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I’ve been in the Aussie industry since pretty much the beginning. My first published game was called Chilly Willy and was released in 1984 on the Microbee system ( by a company called Honeysoft. Halloween Harry followed that up a year later. Then I took time out to study at University, where I wrote some more games. I didn’t release these commercially, but made a text adventure freely available on the university computer system. That was followed by a short stint as a programmer at a telecommunications company after graduation, and then I was straight back into it in 1991.

Back then, the four years between when Beam began and when I was first published seemed like a lifetime, as most things do when you’re a kid. But looking back, I realize that I was there during the heady days of the Aussie industry. It’s weird, even though I’ve been making games for twenty years now it’s still as fresh and exciting as it was back then.

But the great thing about making games today is that it’s a lot easier than it’s ever been! All you need is a PC (which most kids have access to) some development tools (like Blitz Basic and Pro Motion) and the burning desire to make a game. And the costs are so cheap that there’s no excuse. Blitz Basic costs USD $100, the same price as two Playstation2 games - get it online from

I hope that in 2024 a whole bunch of kids will look back at 2004 and fondly remember their first game they wrote and distributed over the net. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Well, that’s enough nostalgia for one day. Time to go make games!