Basic Programming

Arcadia Screenshot

Hotel Manager .adf file (Amiga)
(880 KB)

My first PC was a Compaq Deskpro
(A 386 running Windows 2.1)


If you can spare the time, please take a moment to contact me. This is my first (indulgent) attempt at a website and I could do with some feedback.



I started programming in basic on my first computer (sinclair ZX80) in 1980, but with 1k of ram it was severely limited and I quickly replaced it with the Sharp MZ80k which for the next year took over my life and set me up with a lifelong pastime.

My next purchase was the sinclair ZX81, not my best decision ever, no sound, no colour and not even upper/lower case! Glad I hung on to my MZ80K.

The Acorn Atom was my first computer that allowed me to get to grips with programming (and in colour).

The BBC Micro - what can I say? BBC basic was the 'bee's knees', way ahead of the competition in it's day and changed the course of home computing in the UK. I wrote loads of programs on my BBC, with my most memorable being a slapstick horse racing game with comic names for the horses and jockeys, like 'hoof hearted' and 'half hearted' (say them out loud if you don't get the joke!) 

The next two computers I owned, although popular with others never really held my interest as far as programming was concerned. C64 was the first computer I had a mouse permanently connected to.

Don't know why I was tempted to buy another Sinclair product, never really got to grips with the Spectrum+.


I think I tried out every basic available on the Amiga (Blitz, GFA and Amiga Basic etc.) eventually settling on Amos. Interesting to note is that Amiga Basic was written and produced by Microsoft.

My first full game on the amiga was Cliffhanger which proved quite popular and appeared on a few PD compilations. If you have an Amiga or run an emulator, feel free to download it here>

Next game of note was Arcadia, an Arkanoid type breakout which I produced and released to the public domain in 1989. It must have caught the attention of Richard Vanner at Europress as he contacted me to do a version for  the soon to be released 'Easy Amos'

Bundled along with Easy AMOS as a showcase game, Block-Buster was fully documented in the manual in the tutorial section 'creating a game'. I must have done a reasonably good job as it led to me being asked to join the development team of AMOS Professional.

I enjoyed my time working with  François Lionet (now Clickteam) as he developed AMOS pro. My job was to write a demo program which illustrated the correct use for every command used (100's of them) as François churned them out. These mostly small files were then OK'd by the rest of the team, documented by the authors and then added to the help system available directly from the editor.

Most of the games I produced using Amos Pro. I released as Licenceware through the Deja-Vu library based in Wigan. I was supposed to receive a commission on each game sold but although I did get the sales figures, at the end I did not get any money. Sandra Sharkey (well named eh?) who owned the company decided to disappear with my money and my program disks. So if anybody reading this still has any of my Deja-Vu titles, I'd love a copy.  

I continued to program games on the Amiga up until I started my own one-man buisness which for 10 years left me little time for any other projects. During this period, with the demise of the Amiga, I migrated to my ever-changing PC set-up.

I tried out many of the Basic languages available for the PC, Dark Basic followed by Dark Basic Pro kept me interested and I toyed with The Games Factory from Clickteam for a while. Play basic sounded good and I purchased that but found the buggy editor and the attitude of the forum a bit of a turn-off.

I've now settled almost exclusively on using App Game Kit  which (as a retro 2D programmer) ticks all the boxes for me and I look forward to the task in hand. As well as  programming for the PC I am now compiling for android smart phons and tablets.


Elite on the BBC

Cliffhanger.adf file (PD)

      Main programmer:  François Lionet
        Project manager:   Richard Vanner
    Demo programmer:   Ronnie Simpson
           Manual author:   Mel Croucher
       Technical author:   Stephen Hill

X-IT-50.adf file (Amiga)