SHOKIZM is a dream I’ve had for many years – in fact, over a quarter of a century now! Of course it wasn’t always called SHOKIZM and it wasn’t always a fully formed plan. But I’ve been playing games since the age of 7 when my mum and dad bought me an Atari 2600 at a car-boot-sale… and that was really the beginning of all this.
The only game I had for the 2600 was Pong and quite frankly it blew my mind… Although I was too young to know just how futuristic it was, I was still mesmerised by it. (Though at this stage I’ll have to admit I was still more into running around dressed as Spiderman) If you want to check out a demo get yourself on over to PongGame.Org and check it out.
Not long after I graduated to a Sinclair Spectrum 16k – the infamous Rubber Key Speccy… This thing was the real deal – a computer, just like in the films it had a keyboard, a separate tape-input and you could program on it like a hacker! I remember taking hours to learn how to make a pixel change colour in Sinclair Basic – and although I never really mastered programming back in those days, Sinclair certainly gave me my first taste.
Instead I spent the next few years chasing various fads, from the Atari ST to the Play Station 2, you name it I had it – or my best mate did! But eventually I realised that PC’s were fast becoming the future – glorious multimedia machines which could do everything from write up my work reports, to playing high definition films – PC’s simply smash/ed it! But there’s always been one thing I loved the most – playing games.
Half-Life was really the game that got me interested in PC gaming, and it was Half-Life 2 that really made me see the full potential of PC games – since then I’ve never bought another console. But I’m not against consoles – it’s just money-wise I can’t afford both – and a PC is always going to win in that tight-cash situation. Since then I’ve played every major PC first-person or strategy game for the last few years. When the Indie Games Revolution happened it really took me back to the old days of gaming – and my old dreams.
All this time – I hadn’t just been playing games, I’d been dreaming about making them. Outside of my day job as a writer I started practising on Adobe Photoshop making pointless graphics. Even before that – I loved the Atari & Amiga demo-scene, and made terrible 3D looking fonts and wished I could code a demo – I used to lay awake at night plotting multiple-ending for games I’d never make…
Except – fast-forward to 2013 and I finally came across Game Maker Studio. Game Maker Studio (GMS) was the key to everything you see here! A programming language that’s simple enough for beginners but deep enough to create solid games – My Dream Come True.
Next time I’ll explain a little more about how GMS works and my favourite games and influences. Till then, have fun space-cadets!