When I was at school, computer games were pretty basic. I grew up in the 1980s, when people who liked video games were considered geeks and often spent their times hanging around at arcades. I was one of those geeks and it was always a goal of mine to work on a video game, even though I wasn't even sure how they worked.
When I left school I took a job in my father’s company and trained to be an electrician. Before long I got a job fixing the very same arcade machines that I had spent my youth playing and this is where I truly understood just how much work went into them. Of course, once you get inside there isn’t much there. The complexity lies within the software and not the hardware, but I was still fascinated with them and immediately fell in love.
A few years later, I began making a few simple games of my own and eventually progressed to BASIC programming back in the early days of Windows. It was a hobby and nothing more. I played PC games myself and had a particular obsession with the data-heavy Championship Manager titles. The games I created were nowhere near as immense or as interesting, so it never crossed my mind to try and compete. It was a project of passion, nothing more.
I eventually created my own computer repair business. I stayed with the times, I launched my business online and I learned HTML to make sure we had a good website (back in the days when it was essential to learn HTML or to battle with MS Frontpage). I still maintained an interest in games and still made them from time to time, but my own games didn’t get much better and the games being produced on PCs and consoles did, so I never entertained the idea of marketing them.
A few years after the iPhone launched I changed tact and finally realized that there was a market for these games. Big graphics had had their day and players were focusing more on social play. They wanted games that were quick, easy and unique.
By that point, I had a successful business, a catalog of games I had created for fun and the platform needed to promote them. So, I created my own gaming subsidiary, I tweaked the older games and ideas I had to make sure they were compatible with the new mobile platforms and I launched them.
I was lucky in that I already had that platform and was able to instantly profit from this. When I start telling people my story, this was the thing they immediately focused on. Obviously, not everyone has that sort of fortune.
But this is not a story about how you shouldn’t give yup on your dreams because they can come to fruition eventually. Being a game creator wasn’t even that much of a dream, even though I now realize this was what I was born to do. The moral of this story is that no matter how off-course you go, no matter how old you become, there will always be a chance to go back to doing what you believe you were born to do. Even if, as in my case, you didn’t quite realize that until you had already started to do it.
As a gamer we all have those thoughts that begin, “Why don’t they do this” or “why don’t they bring back this”. I’m exactly the same and the best thing about doing what I now do is that I have a actual say on what happens and can make games I have always wanted to make. Whether it be a revival of the old-school two-player games, or that time traveling game I’ve always wanted to do (still in development!).