I've just deleted the first version of this introduction to Jeff Minter's 'History of Llamasoft.' It was full of 'legendary this...' and 'outstanding that...' which is not unreasonable given Jeff's still unbroken two-decade run of wonderful videogame coding (with a new game, Unity, in-code right now and slated for a 2005 release). It's just that the man himself is such a humble and, genuinely, nice bloke that it just all seemed - well too much. Minter has always let his games speak for themselves and now it's his turn to do the talking.
If you've ever wondered what run of outrageous events could have led a previously sane man to write videogaming's maddest but most consistently playable series of titles then these columns are for you. But more than that - if you were there, among the home-computer bedroom pioneers, I defy you not to be moved by recollections of the time when uncharted machines could be unlocked by the creativity of the inquisitive mind.
The History of Llamasoft is an epic undertaking - although it focuses in on the trials and tribulations of one relatively small British software house (Llamasoft's success was always essentially the combined efforts of just Minter and his Mum and Dad) the detail Jeff paints around his 33 year time-line conjures such a wide memory-vista that you cannot help but want to fall into it for a while.
This isn't sugar-coated, rose-tinted, name-dropping anecdote - it's the straightforward, and important, chronicling of a quiet revolution.
Part One – In The Beginning…
Part Two – Colour, Sound, Poking Around…
Part Three – Welcome To The Machine…
Part Four – The Joy Of ZX & Hex.
Part Five – Fur-Ther Education
Yak's progress indeed.