KickTock and the return of the bedroom coder

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Developer of Doodle Find, Little Things and KlickTock founder, Matthew Hall, has been featured at the blog of Jordan Mechner. You may know Mechner as the creator of the original Prince of Persia.

Hall recounts missing the 'golden age' of the bedroom developer during the 8-bit era, where a lone person could create their own games and make a living out of it. I'm sure there are a lot of us who had an 8-bit computer (perhaps a Commodore 64 or Amstrad) when we were in primary school or just beginning highschool and dreamt of making games, but after finishing our studies, the industry had already moved beyond 16-bit consoles and towards bigger games and much larger teams.

Of course, now that things have gone a complete circle with the emergence of new markets as well as highly accessible tools and engines, the bedroom developer is back.

Matthew started programming games at the age of seven and later developed free games for the Game Boy Advance before spending eight years in the work-for-hire games industry. Luckily, he struck out on his own at the right time establishing KlickTock in 2009 in rural Melbourne and released his successful Little Things title for the iOS platform just a year after Apple launched their App Store.

His other title, Doodle Find, has been downloaded over 2,000,000 times while Little Things has sold over 125,000 copies so far which has allowed him to continue doing what he loves. He's provided the following tips for other bedroom developers who may want to seek out a similar parth. From the blog...

1. Head out to the store and pick yourself up a Macbook and an iPod. You’ve now got the top of the line development system used by every iOS developer in the world! No need to call a console manufacturer and beg them to allow you to drop thousands of dollars on a single dev kit.

2. Now, for the game engine! From popular open-source solutions like Cocos2D to powerful 3D engines like Unity 3D the choice is yours. If learning to code is too much at first, there’s even Stencyl, which allows you to develop games with a visual interface.

3. When I was a kid, if I got stuck on a problem, I got STUCK. I was a 14 year old kid programming games from a farm in rural Australia. Who was I going to call? Jordan Mechner? I may as well just call Steven Spielberg for film-making advice. The Internet has completely changed programming and if you find yourself with a problem you can’t seem to solve, most likely someone has already solved it for you. With Google around, programming is much less scary.

Excellent article, click on the link for the full write up.