It isn't much fun being a programmer, spending a huge proportion of your life hunched up over
a computer, slaving away over a hot assembler writing a game that ZZAP!'s probably going
to slag anyway. It's terrible. So, to give them a bit of a break from the hard grind of coding we
asked eleven of the country's finest coders what they would take with them to a Desert Island,
if by some strange misfortune they were going to be stranded on one. Each programmer is
allowed to take five games (Commodore 64, monitor and disk drive are provided), a utility, a
book, a joystick and one luxury item.
Stavros is such a raucous womanizer it's surprising he has any time to program at all. This
slick guy wrote the ever popular Sanxion and
is currently spending his time finishing off Delta
Dropzone: 'It is such a fast good shoot em up.'
Paradroid: 'I used to like it — it's the most
enjoyable game I've ever played and I don't
get nervous with it.'
Bounder: 'It gets me so crazy.'
Revenge of the Mutant Camels: 'I could
complete it and it was one of the first 64 games
I saw. I like the music very much'
Forbidden Forest: 'A brilliant soundtrack,
great graphics, not much of a game itself
Micromon: 'It's all I can use.'
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: 'It would
be something to read.'
'I would like a Wico Red Ball. I couldn't play
Dropzone with it.'
'Eight really big eight channel Dolby speakers
blasting wewy loud Heawy Metal music all over
His name is Stan. He is the man, who was
delighted, to write Cauldron II and Antiriad.
(Well, it nearly rhymes). Stan is Palace
Software's sick person.
Elite: 'It's just so wonderful.'
Paradroid: 'It's fun, I suppose.'
International Karate: 'It pisses all over Fist.'
Super Cycle: 'I ride a bike and it's the best
home computer simulation of the real thing.'
Leather Goddesses of Phobos: 'Infocom
appeal to my lewd sense of humour.'
Epyx Fastload: 'I use an Epyx Fastload all the
'A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: I
love Charles Dickens. I was born near him, you
Tac II: 'It's all I've got!'
Compact Disc Player and lots of Compact
Discs: 'It satisfies my desire for quality.'
Martin Galway, slides better than an old dear
on ice in winter. Wrote lots of great music and
is no doubt going to write a lot more.
Thing on a Spring: 'It was the first time I heard
music better — no — as good as mine. First
time I heard that I thought 'there's someone
out there who's bet ... as good as me.' I
thought I was the best, you see.'
Parallax: 'It's a decent game and I like the
animation on the man. Well, it's crap but...
Terra Cresta: It's got the most objects on
screen I've ever seen ever (ever ever ever).'
Kong Strikes Back: 'It's such a simple game
for a simple me.'
Mikie: 'There's a really nice title sequence and
that was the most memory I've ever had for a
piece of music.'
The Ocean Development System: 'It's 18
times better than the best of the rest.'
The Dungeon Masters Guide: 'I want to know
how to play God properly.'
Quickshot III: 'It clicks louder than any
joystick I've ever heard ever.'
'MY portable compact disc NOT midi hi-fi system.
It's better than Steve Wahid's.'
A BBC man by birth but a 64 coder by
conversion. Orlando is currently writing Firetrack
for Electric Dreams.
NEXUS: 'Five copies of the TAPE version so I
could build a raft out of the boxes.'
London Telephone Directory (Volumes 1-4)
'I could use the pages to make a sail or blow
my nose on.'
A Euromax Joyball: 'With BOMB written on it
in crayon. I'd scare the natives with it.'
Tony originally become famous with Son of
Suicide Loco Express Potty Mole Two. He then
wrote Trap and Kettle. Moebius Strip is his next
Boulderdash: 'Cos I like it.'
Mercenary: 'Cos I like it.'
Encounter: 'Cos I like it.'
Moebius Strip:' I like it cos it's my next game.'
Crystal Castles (The Hackers Version): 'Cos
I like... it's addictive.'
'A cross assembler for an Amiga, 'cos it would
The Commodore PRG: 'It's a bible.'
A Toshiba: Ullo John. I've got a Toshiba: they
An Amiga: 'If I've got the cross assembler I'll
need an Amiga.'
So Jeffrey does some colourspace occasionally.
He can handle it. Doesn't mean he's
hooked. He's in control — isn't he?
Iridis Alpha: 'It's a good blast and I like a good
Thrust: 'I like a good thrust.'
Mama Llama: 'One of the most difficult games
I've ever done, one game I'd never finish, so I'd
Guardian: 'I do like Defender.'
Commodore Colourspace: 'I'm into all things
Laser Genius: 'It's the best assembler that
money can buy.'
The Fractal Nature of Geometry by Benok B
Mandelbrot: 'I could experiment with fractals.'
Euromax Competition Pro: 'I want something to last.'
'A Llama, definitely a Llama. Darling The
Female Llama, so I could just say 'come 'ere
darling' and I'd get a lot of pleasure out of it.'
Though he's only ever written two games —
Dropzone and International Karate — he's got
an ego of a man whose written at least a
hundred times that amount.
Paradroid: 'I just really like it. It's a
straightforward game which puts you in a surreal
situation with a real feeling of being there.'
Mercenary: 'A damn good game.'
Boulderdash: 'Great fun solving the problems.'
Any Infocom Adventure: 'They talk back to
International Karate: 'Why not?'
'I don't use a utility on 64, everything I do is on
the Atari. I do use a disk editor a hell of a lot
'A Tom and Jerry Annual. I mean, what's life
without Tom and Jerry? That, or Principles of
Interactive Computer Graphics (Second
Edition) by Robert Sproull and William Newman.
It's a graphics bible.'
Atari joystick: 'It's got a tactile feedback.'
'Hmm ... A toss up with Linda Luscardi, a
telephone, a pair of sunglasses or a drinks
Author of Gribbly's Day Out, Paradroid and
Uridium and owner of a Fiat X-19 — 'No it's not
crap, I had it totally stripped and resprayed.'
Dropzone: 'I can't play it.'
Gyruss: 'I can play it.'
Sheep in Space: 'I love the way all the little
meanies beetle backwards and forwards with
their own little task.'
Pastfinder: 'There's a lot of depth to it,
considering ... well, everything really.
Very professionally done.'
Impossible Mission: 'Because it isn't — but it
is challenging and I can just about do it. If my
disk version didn't have bugs in it, it would be
'The Commodore Macro Assembler.'
Roger Dean's Views: 'He's an awfully good
'I've got two Euromax Arcades and haven't
broken one yet, so that's what I'd take.'
'Clare Hirsch. Definitely.'
Chris is currently converting Space Harrier
(snigger snort) for Elite and is a real swinger on
the Sheffield Night Clubbing scene.
Z: 'It's a combination of all my favourite arcade
games rolled into one.'
Guardian: 'It's almost identical to the original.'
Elite: 'The graphics are good and there's so
much depth to the game.'
Mercenary: 'For much the same reasons as
Space Harrier: 'I don't want to get in trouble
with my bosses.'
'A graphics utility as written by me. Or a
fastload. fastloads are always handy.'
CBM64 ROM Disassembly: 'It's my favourite
book. I can read it from cover to cover. That or
my health food book — The Food Scandal.'
'One I saw in a catalogue recently, I can't
remember its name but it had a huge great big red ball on
it, patterns down the side and four great suckers.
I'd want something that feels good in my
'A bar of Imperial Leather soap.'
Though his second name is a wee bit silly I
wouldn't take the pee out of it if I was you. John
is built like a brick lavatory. John converted
Tau Ceti for CRL and currently converting Ikari
Warriors for Elite.
Boulderdash: 'I don't know why. I played it a
hell of a lot — it's a particularly simple game
but it's bloody addictive.'
Encounter: 'Technically very fast and I admire
it for that.'
Frak!: 'I don't know why I liked it — I just did. I
found it enjoyable to play. I kept playing
because I was told that later levels go upside
down, but they never did. I could find out if it
Fort Apocalypse: 'I played it continually for
three or four days, hardly going to bed.'
Jumpman: 'The first game I got for my 64. An
old tape version, very slow load, but I thought
it was great at the time. I saw it on the shelf next
to a 64 so I bought them both.'
Laser Genius: 'The best thing since sliced
The Commodore PRG: 'I can't remember
locations and I don't like reading a book twice.'
Quickshot I: 'Simply because it's the best
joystick I've ever had. I had it for two years,
then it died and I never managed to replace it
with anything decent.'
'My car with an unlimited supply of fuel. So I
can run over anyone or anything that annoys
me, like Stavros' speakers.'
The industry equivalent of Klaus Wundertich.
Rob's first big break came when he was asked
to write the music tor Razzmatazz- Fortunately
it was never released, so he went on to write
other great things instead, including the brilliant
Sanxion: 'I did the loading music.'
Delta: 'I'm doing the loading music.'
Parallax: 'It's got a brilliant bit of Martin
Galway music on it... oh yeah, it's a good game
Thing on a Spring: 'It's one of the few games
I spent quite a time playing. Nothing to do with
the music, I'd probably turn that off.'
The Fabulous Wanda: 'It's like, a really old
game with no end to it. It's written in basic so
you can rewrite it every time you play. It has to
be about the best game ever on the 64. Better
Tony Trowther's Music Editor:' It's the only
chance I'd ever get to have a look at it.'
'If I was on a Desert Island I'd take the biggest
bas ... book I could find except the yellow
pages and the dictionaries. It'd be useful for
hitting Bazza with if ever he turned up.'
'The best one I could find, not the one I've got
because it's crap. I'd take Gary Liddon's joystick,
cos he probably doesn't need it anymore.'
'An £80000 house fully fitted with a recording
studio and a large selection of synthesisers
and samplers. It must a have a small room with
a ZX81 and wall to wall women who have no
objection to ora...'
This feature was typed in/OCRed by Iain