Our interest in computer games started in 1980 at the age of 12. A school friend, Ivan, showed us his dad's Apple II. He had games like Tax-Man (a copy of Pac-Man), Night Mission (a pinball simulation) and Zork (a text adventure). We spent hours at a time playing these games. Our parents bought a Binatone Console for £20 which had several pre-programmed variations on Pong, but it wasn't the same!
In 1981 our older brother bought a Sinclair ZX81 which had 1K RAM and only a black and white character- mapped screen.
Despite its limited appeal, we spent every minute possible trying to write very simple BASIC games on the family TV, games like Pong.
We tried to convince our parents to buy us a computer but it cost £200 so we did a newspaper round every morning and evening for around six months and managed to save up for a new computer in 1982 - the Dragon 32.
It was great because it was colour and, unlike the
Sinclair Spectrum that had just released, it had a proper keyboard.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it never really took off and not many games were released. Those that did appear were so poor that we felt we could write better ones ourselves, and that's what we set out to do.
We were lucky enough to discover a new magazine called Model B Computing that wanted to publish games on cassette. It needed lots of game reviews, articles and BASIC games and we contributed heavily for 6 months or so before it was closed down due to poor sales. Although this was short-lived, it gave us the chance to dabble with Assembler.