Hi, I’m Biggles and I make games!
Games and the making of games has been my greatest passion for as long as I can remember. I’ve always maintained a deep respect for every aspect of the craft of game-making: all the smoke-and-mirror techniques required to maintain the illusion of the game world; the creative solutions to technical constraints; the stories that hit hardest by successfully putting the player into a character’s mental headspace; and the mechanics that can communicate complex systems and interactions more effectively than any other medium could hope for.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a house filled with antique games and toys. With my older brother’s ZX Spectrum and programming magazines I was able to dabble with coding from a pretty young age while hoovering up any kind of interactive entertainment I could get my hands on. I even taught myself a few programming languages along the way so that I could make my own simple games for my friends & I to play, long before eventually going off to properly study Computer Science formally at Oxford University. Even while making such simple games I was always fascinated by the interactions between game mechanics and the way that subtle changes to the rules of a game can lead to wildly different player considerations and incentives, often leading to unexpected new strategies emerging.
Despite this passion, however, the route to becoming a game developer wasn’t exactly a straight line for me. I won’t bore you with all the details here, but suffice to say that after an initial “failure to launch” my games industry career followed by an “eclectic” 12 years doing all sorts of different jobs, I finally started working as a “full time indie developer” in late 2019 (shortly after being diagnosed with ADHD and finding that I could actually sit in front of a computer and be consistently productive with the help of appropriate medication, support and guidance).
Soon after that, my friend Jeremy showed me a design and early prototype of a minimalistic 4X strategy game he was planning to make (under his Secret Games Company banner) & asked if I would like to partner up & develop it further with him. This eventually became Ozymandias, my first proper, serious commercial indie game. I did all the technical stuff: the UE4 blueprints code, C++ code, async multiplayer server backend in node.js etc. Meanwhile he (having worked in the games industry properly for far longer than I) focused on the design and project management, including organising other contractors to help with art, sound, music and so forth. I’m pretty proud of the game and my work on it, but can only take partial credit for just how well it’s been received by players. The initial concept and many of the design decisions that make it what it is are very much Jeremy’s, while I take my hat off to Sam for the characterful and colourful art style and to Damion and all the musicians for the calming soundscape that accompanies the game.
I’ve also been very fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with CMD Studios as Tech Lead on their upcoming (and now recently announced!) first-person “horror roguelite” called Horror Stories: Harvest Hunt and I’m very much looking forward to players getting a chance to play that soon. The folks at CMD have put together such a fantastic team of brilliantly talented, supportive, pragmatic and humble human beings who deserve every possible success.
Now though, it is time to finally work on my own ideas and my own projects. It feels like I finally have sufficient confidence in my skills and experience to be able to do this, and (much like anyone who’s ever been bitten by the gaming bug, I suspect!) I’ve no shortage of ideas. The plan is to start gradually: making smaller games on my own at first, though over time to build increasingly ambitious titles with a scrappy team of like-minded, passionate individuals…
Suffice to say that I am incredibly excited about this new chapter in my life and (if you made it this far) thank you so much for coming on this journey with me! Let’s make some games!