FW Editor: Hello, please tell us some things about yourself because our readers are eager to meet the developer of Spots.
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: Hello!
I've been programming computers since the Commodore 64 came out and have progressed through to the Amiga 600 (which was awful to program), Acorn Archimedes A3010 and RiscPC (both of which were great machines - probably even better than the C64) and then finally the PC.
I went to the Chichester College to study computer science, and thereafter Royal Holloway University for a degree in Computer Science.
After a year of unemployment, I worked for Plastics Software for 10 years, developing software for the plastics industry until the company went bankrupt.
Unfortunately since then I've been unemployed again, but I spend my time programming and walking my sisters dog.
FW Editor: How did you come up with the idea for Spots? It is a very simple game but it is very fun as well.
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: This is the third version of Spots that I've written, and is the only version that has all the features of the original. I wanted to convert the game because it is a pretty original game, the likes of which haven't really been seen on a desktop machine.
The previous versions suffered from a lack of AI, but fortunately the original author gave me some ideas on how it was done, enabling the final piece of the puzzle to be put together.
FW Editor: Can you tell us what is your favorite thing about Spots is? What feature of this game are you the most proud of?
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: I think my favourite part of the game is the Podium screen - whilst it looks simple, there was a lot of work that needed to be done to enable everything to look right. And the music generated by cgMusic produces a nice atmosphere.
FW Editor: When did you start developing this program? Are you planning to constantly update it?
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: I started writing this program on August 7th 2010, after being unable to think of anything appropriate to program.
I certainly plan to constantly update it, especially if anyone finds any bugs or has any suggestions.
At the moment I'm writing a networking system that will allow the game to be played over a network.
A thought I have had is to also incorporate my other game (The Grid) into this one - although whether anything comes of it is another matter.
FW Editor: Are you planning to release versions for all the major operating systems or only for Windows?
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: I could release a version (thanks to GLBasic) for the Mac (as I have done with the previous versions), Pandora, Gamepark's Gp2X and WIZ, but unfortunately I have no machine to test the program on, and thus Spots isn't available for these platforms.
However, due to the nice people at Palm sending me a Palm Pre, Spots will be available for that device, although, whilst it wont be free, it will be cheap.
FW Editor: Is this the first software you have developed? Please tell us something more about your work. After you finish Spots, do you have some future plans?
Nicholas J. Kingsley BSc: This is one of the many pieces of software I've written over the years.
The first was a game somewhat like Mastermind for the Commodore 64. After that came Walker (which was also converted to the Amiga and Archimedes) and several shhot-em-up's (of which Duel was one).
After writing games, I spent several years writing utility programs for the Archimedes, one of which appeared on the cover of a now defunct Archimedes magazine. I was paid around £30 for that, although it came several months late!
After Spots is finished, I will just keep updating it and possibly write more utility programs.
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