Ever since we first set eyes on an arcade cabinet we wanted to make games.

To this day the games we want to make are exactly the kind of games we were playing as kids, wandering around the arcades of the late 1970s and early 1980s – Aliens, spaceships, lasers, explosions… lots of explosions.
These were the games that thrilled us then and they are the games that continue to thrill us today.

We started out like most game enthusiasts our age by typing out page after page of BASIC code from a magazine. The badly printed, poorly punctuated mess that we were typing into ZX81 / Dragon 32 / Atari 800XL helped to define a discipline in debugging code. It also helped enormously in learning the basics of writing code.

In the years that followed college we each found employment as web developers, designers and even sprite artists for a large game company. This combination of skills has helped us to reunite and bring arcade quality games to the web browser and beyond.

As crazy as it might sound we never considered Flash to be a solution. For us the real challenge was in bringing games to the web browser through the open web.

Initially we had some success with a Space Invaders style game and a Star Wars inspired Defender clone using traditional web technologies. The games were great fun to make but limited in their distribution. The world was going mobile at a rapid rate thanks in no small part to Apple’s iPhone. We needed to rethink how games could be made.

HTML5 was and is the answer. Indeed HTML5 (though its name will surely change over time) will most likely be the answer for many years to come. To embrace JavaScript as a technology for bringing quality games to mobile phones may seem like an enormous step back to 1996 but it is in fact a huge leap forward. The tools and resources available to us are rich and powerful and evolving all the time.

After some initial success crafting small HTML5 arcade games we decided to start Space Monster Games. With it we are dedicated to making games for the mobile web.

With evolving technologies we are also able to publish our games on the app stores. This is a huge thrill and helps us to reach out to retro enthusiasts everywhere.

Apple AppStore Icon
We enjoy researching (not always in a scientific manner) the finer details of game design and have a particular interest in the emotional attachment that we make as gamers.

Whether coding is your thing or not I do hope that you enjoy reading this game designer’s journal. Please feel free to comment on anything that grabs your attention.
Alternatively contact me directly at mark@spacemonstergames.co.uk.

Mark
Space Monster Games
www.spacemonstergames.co.uk

Note: Space Monsters is the name originally given to the classic arcade game Space Invaders. Given our fondness for retro arcade games and classic B-movie monster mayhem it seemed to be rather a fitting title for a game studio :-)

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