From first reading Lord of the Rings in primary school (some, oh.. almost four decades ago), I have long been captivated by Fantasy Worlds.
My teen years were spent reading books by Tolkien, Moorcock and Howard, to a metal soundtrack by Sabbath, Zeppelin, Genesis, Tull (and later Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Celtic Frost). Often in a tent or caravan in the Lake District, surrounded by green hills, streams and bleak moors.
When home computers broke onto the scene, my Commodore 64 was usually loaded with text based adventures – The Hobbit, Infocom, Level 9. I even cobbled together my own primitive ones (rubbish of course, but fun to write).
Fast forward to now.
Married, father, long career as an enterprise software development. Fantasy and games have taken a bit of a back seat over the last few decades. I’ve still managed the occasional game of Warhammer, and squeezed in painting a fair few miniatures, but little else really.
I’ve always enjoyed running one or more little technology based side projects. But I ditched them all recently (I’d been developing a software service, Android and iOS apps and websites). They had been limping along, but not really going anywhere. They had served their main purpose (as a technology playpen for me) – but it was time to let them go.
So with a clean sheet – I sat down and thought about what I wanted to do next. One thing I had learned from the side projects was that it’s important to do something that you love.
I kept thinking back to those old text adventures on the Commodore 64. It was the perfect mix of technology and fun. I wanted something for mobiles, and didn’t want to try and implement a text parser (they don’t fit with mobiles easily – and when you do something on a phone, it needs to be super simple I think). So I decided on more of a ‘Choose your own adventure’/game book style of approach.
So I sat down and got the basic engine working (java), and an app interface (android). I then just needed to create some stories and find a setting for them. I always thought Fantasy was a good, safe starting point – but what setting to use? The more I thought about it – the more I came back to the idea – why not create my own Fantasy world?
So here we are. Alkainos. A work in progress…