A Brief History of Chris

May 6, 2009

I wrote this for a forum entry. It wasn't meant to be this big, but since it is, I thought I could post it here too. Here we go then, with A Brief History of Chris. It was a programming forum, so it's focussed on my professional life rather than personal, if you see what I mean:

1. Faffed about with Amstrad CPCs waaaay back. Started by typing in listings from magazines. I remember typing the first one in without knowing that the enter key gave me a new line, so padded them out with spaces to look like it did in the mag. Needless to say my listing didn't work. I learned fast though, and could code a mean pile of spaghetti in Basic before too long.

2. Got into AMOS Basic on the Amiga. Suddenly there was actual power at my fingertips, which was just great. AMOS Basic was easy to use and gave
you all the hardware's power to do things like overscan scrolling, sprite manipulation, sound and so on really fast (for the time at least).

3. Went to uni doing Computer Science. It didn't teach me much about programming, but was did get me a string of really dull programming jobs afterwards. I'm the guy who programmed that little box of hardware that nobody ever sees that sits in a field reporting water levels. Fear my awesome fame! Ok, so it wasn't glamorous, but it did pay the bills.

4. Got intensely bored of writing code that I didn't care about, and learned Flash 6 then MX over about a few months of evenings. The intention was to make a dramatic career swerve into things I enjoyed doing, in a location that I liked. I got a job with Hyperlaunch (a digital marketing agency in Bristol). It was a sizeable drop in pay, but a massive hike in fun. It was also bloody hard work, but I ended up producing many many creative things (very often games) for big names that I'm pretty proud of.

5. Hyperlaunch's "way of the project" was to get things done as quick as possible. It was liberating in a way, but also often led to a feeling of not having given a good idea enough of a chance. It was also high pressure and low pay. I figured I could do high pressure and low pay all by myself and jacked it in to go freelance.

6. Freelance worked out pretty good so far! I had a couple of contracts right off the bat as I left Hyperlaunch, which gave me an encouraging kickstart. Then I sold my first private game, Hanna in a Choppa, to Kong for a decent chunk of money and it's been all go from there.

And that's pretty much it. When I went freelance my main concern was that I'd never find enough work to fill my time and pay the bills. Somehow though, I have even less free time. I have endless ideas I want to try out, but am struggling to find time for. Really must rebuild my ancient website too, and update my blog, and, and...

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  1. stephenw32768 says:
    May 6, 2009 @ 17:16 — Reply

    You updated your blog! Woot! I knew there was a reason I hadn\'t deleted it from my RSS feeds.

  2. Jonathan says:
    May 6, 2009 @ 21:06 — Reply

    Hi Chris-- I'm one of the partners at Ultimate Arcade Empire Inc. and I love your game Hanna in a Choppa. I was wondering if we could get the game for our site? Sorry to email you here but I didn't see a contact email on the main site. Let me know, thanks. Cheers!

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