Jeff Minter recently
made a presentation at Google. If you are not a gamer, Jeff is a very
prolific programmer with a perplexing obsessions for animals and an undisputable
talent for writing top-rated action games. He started his career on Vic’s
and C-64 and he’s been repeatedly known to push the limits of whatever hardware
he was programming on. All his games feature spectacular psychedelic
effects and sound tracks that are guaranteed to make you laugh even if you’re
just watching the game.
Jeff went through a quick history of the games he worked on and concluded on
his current project, called Space Giraffes. Here is a quick overview:
- GridRunner, on C64. A Centipede-looking game that is going much faster
than any you’ve seen.
- Attack of the Mutant Camels. A Defender-like game that includes giant
camels that got in trouble because it was looking too much like The Empire
- Sheep in Space. A space shooter with a sheep as a… ship, that
needs to land and graze on grass to refuel.
- Llamatron. A supercharged Robotron, probably his most famous game.
- Tempest 2000, on the Jaguar. When he presented this game to Atari, he
was told that he wasn’t programming the console correctly. Tempest became
the number one selling game on the Jaguar and he was hired at Atari shortly
His current project is Space Giraffe, on the XBox 360, a souped up version of
Tempest. Jeff spent some time showing the game and explaining the thought
process behind the logic, how the hostiles work and react and where his
inspiration comes from.
If you’ve never played a Jeff Minter game and that you like fast-paced action
games with an edge, you know what to do.