I’ve been interested in computers and electronics for as long as I can remember. As a young child I’d pull apart old radios, junk electronics, anything I could get my hands on – they’d never work again afterwards of course but I was always curious and fascinated by what was inside.
I got my first console, a Sega MegaDrive (aka Genesis) when I was about 6 years old, eventually moving to a Sony PlayStation some years later, but PC gaming is what I really enjoyed.
I used to regularly stay at a friends house where we would mess around on the internet and watch Science Fiction on TV, and that’s where I got my first taste of programming with the legendary QBasic. By my mid teens I had my own PC and was getting stuck into some more serious languages, and went on to study Software Development at College.
Living on a small Island there was not much in the way of computer work, so I had a few local seasonal jobs. I ended up getting married and going to University with my wife, both of us mature students. It was a blast at the time, but ultimately we parted ways.
After leaving University due to relationship issues, I moved back to the Island in an attempt to save my marriage and settle back down with my wife. I was extremely lucky to find a small company Oak Games who had just started up on the island, and I had just the right skills and experience they were looking for. They had received the Java SDK for Kindle eReaders and were developing games for the American-exclusive app store (yeah, you could actually play games on a Kindle DX). We were a big fish in a moderately sized pond, writing titles that outsold big publishers like EA and ultimately we dominated the charts, with 4 of our titles being in the top 5. After the eReader app store support was withdrawn we moved into Android and iOS development and released the hugely popular Odd Socks.
My time at Oak was great, it was a wonderful atmosphere to work in, but ultimately my heart wasn’t in Social Mobile development, so I decided to to part ways and start my own company. What a horrible mistake… The last couple of years have been very stressful. I don’t know if it’s just been circumstance or if I’m just not cut out for running a business, but MonkeyPants Studio has only released one demo, and is pretty much defunct at this point. I’ve had to work for temp agencies just to keep cash coming in, but it’s definitely time to finish this chapter of my life and move on. I don’t regret trying to start my own company, I’ve certainly learnt a lot both personally and professionally, but I often think back to the security and satisfaction of working at Oak.
These days I’m keeping myself occupied with my hobbies. I’m slowly learning Japanese and causing myself an alarming amount of injuries with a yo-yo. I’ve almost always got some project going on, either electronics or coding, or just breaking Linux. I’m trying to save up some cash with my temp agency work so that I can move off the Island again and get back into the professional IT field.
Who knows, maybe I’ll see Oak recruiting again and slide my CV their way. I’m sure they’ll give me an excellent reference!