In April 1982 Clive Sinclair launched the follow up to his successful ZX81 home computer, The ZX Spectrum. In the ten years that followed over nine thousand commercial games were written for this iconic machine. This is the story of one of them.
Welcome to a site that's all about a book what-I-wrote called IT'S BEHIND YOU, which I'm sorry to say has absolutely nothing to do with theatres and pantomimes but everything to do with old computer games, or rather one in particular. Back in the 1980's and 90's I was what was used to be called a bedroom-coder and I made a living writing computer games for some of the simple home computers around at the time on behalf of established software companies in a self-employed or freelance capacity. IT'S BEHIND YOU is specifically about a game called R-Type I wrote back in 1988 for the then Sir-less Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum home computer when I was just starting out in the business and was employed (I use the term loosely) by a company called Catalyst Coders.

My original plan was to self-publish this book and put it up for sale - at a purely nominal price of course (ahem) - and maybe make a few pounds from the thing but there's a part of me that finds this idea just wrong, I grew up with computers when the word "hacker" wasn't a derogatory term for someone who broke into software or systems and creating, writing and sharing computer code was not some anarchist principle but just how it should be. I would be a hypocrite to say on the one hand that I believe all information should be freely available to everyone but then charge people money to read and share something that I've created, which is why I put this site together and am making available the book for free to anyone who wants a copy.

So have a click on the Buttons above and get a feel for the Hows and Whats of the thing and if you think it's something you'd like to read then click on the Download Button and get yourself a PDF or Kindle-compatible copy of it for free. If you do indeed read it then I hope you enjoy it, discover a few things you didn't already know and maybe gain a little insight into how things were in those early frontier-days of computer gaming.

The complete and sometimes absurd story of how a computer game called R-Type came to be on The ZX Spectrum.....and how it almost didn't.