How You Ended Up Into Making Games

Here’s my story:

It was near the year 1991 when I got Commodore 64. It was an awesome machine and we spent hours and hours playing either MicroProse soccer or the Bruce Lee thingy game (can’t recall the name but somebody cloned it using BlitzBasic I think) with my brothers. At some point I figured out that I could actually create games and borrowed books from library.

I spent hours writing example code just to see that it won’t work (it was BASIC code, but there was no guarantees that it would work with C64). For some reason that didn’t bother me, I just moved to the next page and wrote new code until something worked (hmm, that’s actually a bloody good business principle).

I was totally amazed to find out that I could take a cassette and record my game (I think it took 33 of those “rounds” – you remember those “cassette rounds”, right – to record the “space ship in a tunnel” game)… and I could actually make it work. The game I wrote looked something like this:


You could cruise a ship (the ^ thing on that above example) through a tunnel – and the game would never end (until you crash your plane to the wall).

Boy was I proud to see that working.

And this stuff I did (spending hours and hours writing code and hoping that some of it would work so that you could see ^ mark moving on the screen?) was so cool… that after almost 20 years, I still get kicks from spending hours and hours to write code (and still hoping to see if some it actually works ;).

I wonder when I grow up?

How about you? How you ended up into making games?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Being a professional software developer, I started working on a game about 2.5 years ago. The reason is quite simple: I really fell in love with the Impressions Games City Building Series, including titles like Caesar III and Pharaoh, and I want to see more games along these lines. There are only few studios that make city builders these days, and they all go along different lines, so I had to start doing this myself…

  2. When I first went to computer science school, I knew nobody and the first guy who talk to me asked me the geekiest way : “Do you have some video games ?” even before asking my name. After that I sweared to myself that I wouldn’t work in video games industry.

    Then, I finished university and and did not knew if I would continue in computer science, even if it was I passion for me, I didn’t want to finished being the little office guy who code freaking reports over and over again.

    Then, I passed a video game course and the story began. I found that it was the only way I could mix science and art.

    Now, I made have my own video games company and living my best moments of my life.

    So here’s my story :D

  3. Ah… those were the days, trying to code in basic on my first computer a second-hand Atari 400 with it’s membrane keyboard, which then overheated and the chips blew after a few years!

    Then migrated to Atari 800XL -> Atari 520 STFM -> PC

  4. Vic20 : 6502ASM

    What started me? Some space invader game by Imagine Software (I think).

    Imagine – Play the game ;)

  5. Not a long time ago, I made a “Who wants to be a millionaire” quiz game in VB6. That would be my first game related development.

  6. @Aymes nice one man :D
    I first tried making a computer game as part of a computer science class. Had no idea what i was doing, but ended up being an ok game nonetheless… Still waiting on my first blockbuster, thou

  7. I decided i wanted to make games when i first played Lost Vikings on my fist computer ( a 386, my second one was a P4 ).
    I loved that game and then and there, after playing that game for some hours I decided that I would like to make games as awesome as that one.
    It had the greatest influence on my life.
    That is the impulse that drove me to choose the path of game programming.

  8. Oh man,

    the first time I ever tried to program I thought that if you put REM and then described what you wanted to happen the computer would know! I even thought it would know who timmy mallet was! So it was like:

    REM this is a game like dizzy
    REM except you’re Timmy Mallet
    REM and you’re being chased by the Mallet

    and then I read the manual…

  9. Programmed on Spec, Acorn Electron, C64, Amiga, then PC (and maybe a few others along the way).

    In those days the Spectrum came with a BASIC manual! You never get one with a computer these days. I had to buy one for the C64 though and an assembly one for the Amiga.

Comments are closed.