in search of Space Monsters

exploring arcade game design with HTML5 and JavaScript

About

moodyselfie

Ever since I first set eyes on an arcade cabinet I’ve wanted to make games.
To this day the games I want to make are exactly the kind of games I was playing as a 10 year old boy wandering around the arcades of the late 1970s and early 1980s – Aliens, spaceships, lasers, explosions… lots of explosions.
These were the games that thrilled me then and they are the games that continue to thrill me today.

I started out like most game enthusiasts my age by typing out page after page of BASIC code from a magazine. The badly printed, poorly punctuated mess that I was typing in to my 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 I found employment as a web developer, designer and ultimately a sprite artist for a large game company. This combination of skills has helped me to bring arcade quality games to the web browser.

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

Initially I 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. I 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 I decided to start Space Monster Games. With it I am dedicated to making games for the mobile web.

I 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 my 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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