Author Archives: Mark Stevens

About Mark Stevens

Mark is British but lives in the USA, which is why you'll see him flip-flopping between British and American spelling without a care in the world. As a veteran of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras you'll notice a decidedly retro slant to his posts, but he has just as much to say about contemporary gaming too. Outside the world of blogging Mark has previously written for Wired and The Guardian and has written a number of Doctor Who short stories for Big Finish.

Impossible Spaces

Check out this intriguing animated short that Chris Kelly put together for a graduate project. Entitled Time and Relative Dimensions in Space: The Possibilities of Utilising Virtual[ly Impossible] Environments in Architecture, it’s a fascinating exploration of our perception of architectural spaces, both real and imagined. The full thesis is available in PDF format from Chris Kelly’s […]

Hunter’s Moon: Third Person Soother

“Relaxed” and “chilled out” aren’t words you would normally associate with 8-bit shoot ‘em ups, but that’s exactly what Thalamus Ltd achieved in 1987 when they released Hunter’s Moon on the Commodore 64. Mark Stevens delves into the bag of aesthetic tricks the game played to prepare players for an unconventional shoot ‘em up experience.

Open World Dreams (Part 2): Islands in the Stream

Welcome to the 16-bit era, complete with games on disk and ten times the usable RAM of the more capable 8-bit systems. Goodbye wireframe 3D, hello solid shading (Gouraud if you were particularly lucky!). Does this technology herald a new era of open world games, or will we need to continue waiting for that definitive open world experience? Mark Stevens wanders down memory lane to recall his open world gaming experiences on the Amiga and Atari ST.

How the Commodore 64 defined my taste in music

It’s fair to say that the Commodore 64 took video game music to an entirely new level when a talented bunch of musicians/programmers learned how to tame the SID chip in the 1980s. Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway and Jeroen Tel would go on to influence my taste in music for the next three decades. Here’s my thank you note to those plucky chiptune pioneers.