Flashing lights, musty smells and clattering pennies


It's been a long time since I was just a kid, and yet to this day, well into adulthood, the feelings I experienced wheneever I entered an arcade remain some of the strongest I've ever felt in my life. It's hard to describe just how overwhelmingly euphoric those places felt to a little boy in the late 80s, raised on a diet of cartoons, pop music and brightly coloured, magical toys. Sure, I'd seen my beloved knights, dragons and robots many times on tv, but the arcade was a place where, surrounded by spectacular flashing displays, worn carpets and that ever present 'DIDDLY DOODLY DIDDLY DOODLY!' of the slot machines, you had a chance to BE those amazing things that sparkled in your fertile imagination.

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I was happy just to look at the screens and watch the demos of these wonderful games, seeing musclebound barbarians wielding flaming swords against evil trolls, undead skeletons and boulder hurling rock monsters, ninjas cutting down swathes of cyborgs and somersaulting over building-sized battle tanks, futuristic starfighters dodging burning meteors and blasting lasers at multiheaded space dragons, it was like being surrounded by all the things a boys dreams are made of, but even BETTER! Occasionally I'd be given a few 20ps to put in them, and I'd feel my little heart thunder as 'Press Start!' flashed up on the screen. I had to get up on my tip toes to see properly, and of course was terrible at them, usually being cut down by the first handful of fire breathing mummies to amble onto the screen, but it didn't matter, every time I stepped into one of those wonderful places, my mind was fertilised with fresh new fantasies and ideas, and every moment spent in them I crackled with excitement.


I remember for weeks after I'd tell my schoolfriends all about the things I'd seen, often I'd sit at the kitchen table and draw pictures of games with images plucked from my memory, sometimes, I'd even 'play' them on the paper, moving my finger around and going 'PEW PEW!' at the baddies.

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Whilst the adults around me of the time never approved of these 'silly' games, looking back, I realise that they truly were some of my happiest experiences of my childhood, and my life. I don't know quite why they spoke to me in the way they did, but I know that they moved me more than almost anything else in my life ever could, and I'm so glad to have finally embarked upon my own game development journey with CelesSteel, and hope that I can somehow create a title which can have the same effect upon the kids of today, as those old games once did to me, so long ago, in those magical, innocent days of wonder...

luke kiedron