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User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/19/2017

I was reading Tall John's BLOG, the bit about owning a ZX Spectrum, it reminds me of programs like Game Designer by Quicksilva for the ZX Spectrum written by John Hollis. The hours of fun I had with that, he even has a small web-page. Then there was H.U.R.G but I only managed a Pacman derivative. I emailed Kevin Toms the writer of Football Manager for the ZX Spectrum to thank him for his incredibly addictive game and I even received a reply, I mean, these guys were like film stars back then.
I used to like making adventure games on the speccy, I remember wanting The Quill and later (GAC) Graphic Adventure Creator but they were too expensive for me. I once designed a simple spectrum piano program and later, a drum machine program for the Amstrad CPC 464. I prefer to write novels nowadays but I still like to refurbish the odd 8 bit computer.
The C64 had the great SEUCK, which didn't, in my opinion, transition well to the Amiga.
I recently purchased an Amiga 500 to fix up, even going to the lengths of using Hydrogen Peroxide to bleach the surface plastic of its stained yellow, back to the original grey but the main thing is this, I'd forgotten just how much fun the Amiga was, the great user interface that was Workbench 1.2 etc, the innovative hardware. I have fond memories of my parents going on holiday and leaving me alone at home for a week when I was a teenager, my Amiga 500 plugged into my parents big TV with a copy of Defender of the Crown.

Happy Days

So, once more, I am glad to be messing about with another piece of game creation kit and making my own arcade games without a line of code in sight.


Tall Karen
User offline. Last seen 40 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 02/26/2011

Hi matabhaine,

Thank you for your blog post. It sent me back in a wave of nostalgia. :D

I'd all but forgotten Game Designer and H.U.R.G. They were impressive pieces of software considering they had to share the 48K with their software and your game. I remember watching one of the creators of H.U.R.G demonstrating it on one of the breakfast television channels and making a Pac-man game with the TV show's logo.

I also enjoyed the Quill and GAC, which were expensive and I resorted to borrowing a copy of the Quill. The Quill was used for quite a few commercial games, which says a lot about the quality of the software.

I had SEUCK on the C64 and enjoyed putting together some games. My art skills weren't up to much but there were a few styles of game which you could adapt as a starting point. My brother bought it for the Amiga and it was nice to try it on a more powerful machine.

I appreciate how special it is to receive a letter from Kevin Toms. That was really nice of him. I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the people who I admired as I read videogame magazines. It's a real privilege to hear stories about the early days of the videogames industry. I also met Matthew Smith - the creator of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy - when he gave a talk once. I was too shy to say much but it was great to meet him and have the opportunity to say thank you.

Thanks again for sharing your memories and experiences.


User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/19/2017
Matthew Smith

Manic Miner blew me away at the time and to be fair, it still does, what a concept and still very playable today. There are some great YouTube videos about its creator. If I ever meet Matthew Smith, I'll have to hand over the £6.99 I cheated him out of back in 84, a mate gave me a copy of Manic Miner. To be fair though, I bought Jet Set Willy with its infuriating anti piracy colour coded pull out. I could never get the code right and it would reset the speccy. >:[

User offline. Last seen 1 year 41 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 02/02/2016
Loved reading through this

Loved reading through this and the memories it produced, yes happy days indeed. I've still got my working Amiga 500, ahh good times..