R-Type for Timex Sinclair

Just finished reading It's Behind You: The Making of a Computer Game. The book was written by Bob Pape. Download a copy for yourself from his web site. Bob tells the story of how he coded a version of the game R-Type for the Timer Sinclair home computer back in the 1980s. I guess R-Type was an arcade game from the 1980s. Although there was a complex employment and contracting arrangement, the game was published by Activision.

This book covers all kind of good stuff. Some of the best parts have to do with the technical details of stuffing an arcade sized game into a small home computer with limited hardware. Other interesting parts involve the employment arrangement Bob had. He worked for some company who had a deal with Activision to write the game. Of course money dried up in the middle of development. Bob did complete the game, and apparently got paid in development hardware instead of cash.

The book also mentioned development of R-Type for other systems such as the Commodore 64. These other development efforts went on during the same time Rob was working on the Sinclair version. The funny thing about the whole situation was that, even though Rob went on to code other games, he exited the game development industry and went on to work in a different industry. You got to read the book to find out more.

I went onto Amazon to buy a print copy of this book. Seems like Bob never published his book in print form. Too bad because the version of the book I read was reading for printing. Might have to pay someone to print a copy out for me. I would love to pass a few copies on to my friends who want to get into commercial game development.

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