chris: (crisis)
[personal profile] chris
I'd say that I was getting myself onto night shift mode, but I just have a headache and cannot sleep. Normally I would post this elsewhere except that colleagues might worry about my ability to work the night shift tonight, which should be fine.

I'm at Dad's house and, in this insomnia, have been looking through drawers for a letter that I received, literally half a lifetime ago, from someone who has been in the news recently. I didn't find it but there are other places to look yet.

However, I did find some exercise books from the late '80s and early '90s with pencil-on-paper designs for games and game systems: some RPG character attribute systems, a few adventures, but mostly pencil-and-paper designs that I might have got round to programming in Sinclair BASIC - or, later, AmigaBASIC - some day. It's unclear that any of them would stand up on their own merits, but fun personal nostalgia all the same.

A frequent theme is comparing games to each other in slightly unnecessarily complicated ways. One notebook has one particular comparison scheme for ZX Spectrum games, iterated several times in 1988, a couple of times in 1989, an "end of the decade special" and a retrospective edition from, gasp, 1997. Would it be fun to go back and create one more edition, comparing memories of games I haven't played for twenty years? Would it be worthwhile to run them through emulators to refresh my memory? Perhaps if I still can't get to sleep in another hour or two. Nevertheless, it's cute to know how I thought of them at the time, even if giving reasons to the scores was beyond me.

It's also a reminder - hopefully salutary, though I doubt it - that my taste in games has changed little if at all over the last two-thirds of my life. Ever since I became fully aware of the depth of the football pyramid system, I have loved the idea of a game where you manage a football club that starts in a hypothetical league made up of teams representing parts of Middlesbrough, then in successive leagues covering larger and larger areas of population still, onto the national stage and beyond.

What have I been doing on and off for the last couple of days when concentration has permitted? Why, trying to work out which teams would be in which leagues so that I might produce a customised data pack for the (pro version of the) Football Chairman management game for iOS and actually play out a much better version of the game that I idly dreamt of back then. Given that my pencil-and-paper notes from the previous version of the exercise had Liverpool as top team in the land, they probably date from late 1988, give or take, at a guess.

If you'd told me then that I would still have been actively interested in the concept when three times my age, I think tiny!Chris would have been amused. He would also have been impressed that my taste in computer games still hasn't grown beyond games that cost £2.99.
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Chris

November 2016

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