My name is Michael
and I'm a software engineer from Poland, the country that never got the NES.
However, 10 years from its American release, a Famicom hardware clone Pegasus captured our imagination in its place.
It came with the legendary "Contra 168in1" cartridge and countless more were available through friendly trades or from the market.
As such, my first game was Contra
, which I loved to play (along with other co-op games) with my big sister.
I have fond memories of beating Adventure Island 2 (or its hack, Super Mario World 9) regularly before school.
Over the years, I got to play Megaman, SMB3, Duck Tales and other classics.
At that time, the Pegasus was my only gaming system, until I got my first computer.
As the 8-bit and 16-bit computers became popular, I got my first taste of programming with Atari Logo.
Even today, this era remains to me a time of legends, with uncharted and surreal worlds asleep within the black depths.
This impression was further reinforced by the likes of the glitched Jet Set Willy, Trailblaser and Arkanoid.
Perhaps it was also due to so many games recalling the time of lore, like Rodland, Aztec, Toki and Smuś (a dragon Metroidvania by LK Avalon).
While NES games radiated with color and adventure, these games inspired the foreboding atmosphere of mystery.
Eternity passed and the Sony Playstation was discovered.
Ever since I saw the TV ad of Croc: Legend of the Gobbos and played the '97 Demo 1, I knew it's going to be big.
It ended up to be my 1st game on the PSX (as it was affectionately called in Poland), along with Tekken later on.
These introduced me to the bright, colorful and imaginative world of 3D gaming.
To this very day, my favorite platformer of all time is Crash Bandicoot 2
As if almost immediately after I got my console, shops began stocking on magazines, which included demo discs.
In the very first Official Playstation Magazine, I got my 1st taste of Soul Reaver
and the Net Yaroze console.
It was approximately then that I decided that I want to make video games.
But games weren't the only thing that fueled my imagination.
At one point I got this huge red treasure chest full of Lego's, which allowed me to build everything I could imagine.
This was also true for the colorful domino bricks, which I arranged into surreal worlds of 8-bit nostalgia.
Along with a multitude of toys, at that time this was the way I could feed my desire to create the game of my dreams.
Meanwhile, several things became popular at my school.
Chupa Chups released its version of caps/Pogs/Tazos/Flippos, which
introduced children to gambling
became a huge fad.
With the Pokemon Trading Card Game we got our first taste of tournament play and competitive multiplayer, way before the PCs.
But when that time arrived, our world was changed...
StarCraft: Brood War became sort of a phenomenon, to say the least.
People stayed in line for their turn at the Internet cafes to play it with their friends over LAN.
This was the only way to get on the Internet back then, as the Internet was something of a costly novelty.
Albeit my 1st PC was the black-and-green Tulip PC, which barely ran DOS games, we finally got the real thing...
...a lowly PC with Windows ME.
I practiced playing at home through the campaign and I really enjoyed making my own maps.
Later on, when the schools came equipped with computer laboratories, we organized our own StarCraft, UT GotYE, Quake 3 and even Prince of Persia tournaments.
Yet offline gaming thrived.
People kept playing Heroes of Might & Magic 3 and Wormds World Party for many hours at their friend's houses.
They were also burrowing games, which is how I got to play Alien vs Predator 2, Max Payne or WarCraft 3. Plus, having a PC opened up new (and cheaper) magazines with their own demo discs.
During the vacation I used to borrow a laptop with old-school PC games, like Prince of Persia, Volfied, Rollercoaster Tycoon or Commander Keen.
Then at last, within one computer magazine, I got the full version of The Games Factory by Clickteam.
This, along the DnD source books (my favorite being Manual of the Planes) and RPGs like Baldur's Gate, opened a huge array of possibilities.
My quest to create the best game ever began.
In the past 10 years or so, I faced major difficulties.
People kept telling me "you will fail", "who are you compared to big game companies?", "will this earn you bread?", "what does it matter?", all while all I wanted was for my childhood wishes to come to pass.
Their looks of contempt betrayed their stance on games in general - this loathsome childish pasttime hardly worth pursuing and rightly deserving public scorn.
But something changed this time.
People like you and me were creating their very own games, drawing from the potential long abandoned by the gray-brown games of today and turning mere shadows of the past into a marvelous reality.
Could this be possible?
With hope rekindled, I am that much closer to fulfilling my dreams and that of others...
...and for that I thank all of you!
Let's bring gaming back to life!
I already got the opportunity to work on the upcoming AM2R
fan game project - http://metroid2remake.blogspot.nl/
Currently I am working on my "original" title, called "Legends of Zeranoth"
, which I will discuss in these forums soon enough.Trivia:
-I prefer Tekken 2 over 3. The later felt like a downgrade, with most of the cast either missing or replaced by strangers.
-No matter what, I find myself returnig to a handful of games (probably as a detox to all the awful ones), which I love to play. These evergreen titles are - Crash Bandicoot 2, Spelunky, Team Fortress 2, Contra, Tekken series and Adventure Island 2.
-Why Crash 2 and not 3? I played it first, so the setting didn't come to me as a rehash of C1 and C3 felt like overdoing it, kind of like SMB2 feels to a lot of Mario fans. Worst yet, every other game were either trying too hard to be the third one or mutated into the likes of Titans.
Thanks for reading,