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!