Interview with Dave Hawkins by Peter Ward
JimJams games are a small, indie development team with a love for the retro games of the ’80’s and 90’s. We only develop games that embrace that era, aiming to provide true classicly styled gaming, with a massive retro feel, maybe with a slight hint of what these games would have been with a little more processing power.
We don’t aim to develop AAA games, but simply to bring our passion for a time gone by to those who love truly classic themed and inspired games. If this is a genre and era that you love, then our games are for you.
Solar Wind is our take on the classic sidescrolling shoot ’em ups of the past. Fight your way through deep space, penetrate asteriod belts, swoop low across alien moons, and weave through narrow caverns, and alien complexes as you take the fight to an unknown enemy.
Solar Wind encompasses many elements of the classic side scrolling, shoot ’em ups. Blast asteroids, take on alien ships, upgrade your ship with numerous add-ons, and navigate the unknown in the retro-themed blaster. We’ve taken our love of such games as Scramble, R-Type, Gradius, Vanguard, and a load more and combined our favourite features of each…. And we haven’t stopped yet!
- 20 challenging, themed, retro blasting stages.
- A new big boss at the end of every stage.
- Over 90 different aliens, enemy weapons and defences..
- Destroy radar stations and ground bases to interrupt the alien responses.
- Fight challenging and varied mid-stage boss ships.
- Upgrade your ship with over 80 weapons, equipment, armour and add-ons.
- Battle to the thundering, original, Astro rock soundtrack.
What is your first gaming experience?
Hi, thanks for the interview. I go back a long way,
although everyone else in the team is younger than I am. My first video game
experience would have been Pong, and then later Space Invaders in an arcade.
What got you into creating games?
A friend of mine bought a ZX81 many years ago. He went on holiday, and lent it to me. I was pretty much hocked on coding from that day. My first commercial releases go back to the 1980’s.
What development tools or coding did you use?
We use a wide range of tools, which varies on the
task. Currently our main development language is AppGameKit, which is a great
cross-platform coding language. We also use a mix of image software, video and
What hurdles did you have making your current game?
We don’t really have a huge number of hurdles. Like
most indie devs, time and money are a constant barrier, but we have learnt to
develop to a tight budget. Our current project, is a text adventure, which is a
major step away from our normal action packed shoot ’em ups, so I guess the
biggest hurdle for our current project was persuading the team it was a good
idea, as it’s a bit of a vanity project for me.
After the completion of the game what game will you make?
We’re not 100% decided. Most likely we’ll finish a top-down shooter, inspired by some of the old school classics. It’s 90% complete at the moment, but we took a step away from it as we were unhappy with the media choices. That’s something we aim to fix soon.
We also have some ideas for a side scrolling fighting game, and an RTS, and a old school 3D horror game, so lots going on.
What other games have you made you made?
I’ve worked in and around the industry for a lot of years, although I was away from commercial development for about 10 years, mainly working on personal projects. Apart from the ZX Spectrum games I’ve mentioned, I worked on several versions of an FPS game engine called FPS Creator, and it’s successor GameGuru. In fact, I still have an internal version of FPSC which I tinker with now and again.
We also have a few games under our belts on Steam.
There have been a lot of other developments, some for private firms, or promotional use, so there are a few out there.
My favourite computer was my Amiga and console the Megadrive do you have a favourite?
A good question, I’d owned a few over the years. My
first, as I said, was the ZX81, so I have a soft spot for that, and of course
the ZX Spectrum. I owned a C64, which I also enjoyed, and as you say the Amiga.
So, I’ll play this one diplomatically, and say, that they have all had a good
effect on my life.
What is your favourite retro game?
I’m not sure I can answer that. I’ve loved so many.
I would say that the game that had a major effect on me was Manic Miner, but
also Lords of Midnight. I also love the first FPS shooters, text
adventures, and a lot more. So, again, too many choices.
Do you still game on the current consoles if so what’s your favourite game?
No, I gave up on consoles after PS1. But I played a
look of Tekken 2 when I had one.
What’s the worst game you have ever played?
I think we’re all too diplomatic to answer this
Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?
I really like the current combination of reviews and interviews, so I say keep at it.