Many Pies

Many Pies

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Publishing computer games

I was looking up in the loft for the paperwork I kept from when I was a teenager and sent in games for the ZX80, ZX81 and Spectrum to magazines. I didn't find that, but I found some other paperwork:
ZX81 ROM disassembly

A friend on Facebook found a copy of the Sinclair User Annual 1983 which had one of them in.

(Update: I called this game "Beancup" but I've just found out (Nov 2016) it's called Oware amongst other names.) I didn't always buy the magazines that published my games, because that would eat into the money I'd made, so it was quite exciting to see my work from so many years ago revived again. I didn't have a printer, so unlike many of the other listings this one was typeset.

Some things strike me about this:

  • no function names, you just GOSUB a line number
  • line numbers!
  • I'm surprised how compact it is - a two player game, plus the computer's strategy in just a few lines
Update: I was searching my blog archives for the word Sinclair and I came across this post about mobiles and gaming. What is interesting is the article I link to which talks about the potential for mobile (what we now call) apps. This was pre iPhone and Android app stores, so presents a "historical" perspective before things all changed.

Update (14 April 2023): while visiting my parents I found the original game which inspired me to write the program. 

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