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David Jones creator of Finders Keepers in Retro Gamer #185
I just recently started to pick up issues of Retro Gamer on my weekly trips to Fry's Electronics although the magazine is a bit behind here in the States. 

In load (issue) 185 the 40th anniversary of Space Invaders is featured with an image on the front cover, but I was pleasantly surprised to see there was an section dedicated to David Jones, creator of Finders Keepers, Spellbound.  Although 40 years of Space Invaders is impressive,  someone who can stay active in the Game Industry for 30 years is doubly impressive.  The article is very cool and I found it interesting how he came to be a Game Developer.  I never had a ZX Spectrum, but I am certainly going to find more about this if I can.

And, I do believe this is the same David Jones that is mentioned in the in Brian's Fundamentals book.  

I'm really liking Retro Gamer as well as Wireframe; both are good reads.
Yes David is a collegue of mine here in Breda University of Applied Sciences, like me he's a very old man who has made a decent career out of shuffling code around Big Grin (btw I've been doing this 35+ that triply impressive Smile ).

David was very kind to go through a near complete draft of my book and pinpoint a lot of grammar and continuity errors which would have escaped a less technical minded proof reader.
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 

Yes, 35 years is even more impressive. I've worked at a couple Tech companies in my career where there were folks that had been at the same company for over 40 years which I could not even imagine; I get itchy after just a couple of years. However, I am seeing these folks being pushed out more and more to bring in the younger generation. With the high burn out rate that the game industry has, it is nice to see folks that have the stick to it-ness to stay in the Games for such a period of time.

I've started to listening to the Game Dev Unchained podcast and it was quite disheartening to hear them mention in one ep that they themselves have not seen anyone over the age of 50 in the Game companies they have worked in. I suppose this makes sense. But, then again, to see someone like John Carmack still making a dent in the game business does show there are older folks that can still kick it in games.

The movie business seems to be another medium that is reviving the old retro games where movies like Rampage, Ready Player One and even Ralph Breaks the Internet gives folks like Brian Colin (The creator of Rampage) some press. He is another that is still actively working in the game business producing games.

Back to Mr. Jones, I really like reading about origin stories like that of David Jones. Here is someone with little training in software and was tossed into it while working as a quantity surveyor. Also, his mentioning gaining valuable training from typing in games from books and fighting through the issues with that is something I can certainly relate to. At least he did not give up and fought through it to eventually create some really cool games for the masses. It is a really a good lesson for others like myself who are still learning this stuff. It is is a great article.

I certainly wish I had made the leap into games when I had first jumped into the Tech business many moons ago.
Back in the day, few of us had any real training software. The home computer market introduced us to something new and challenging which turned out to be fun and occasionally profitable, what info there was, was very much for computer science and games coding was a very niche cottage industry which grew as the demand for home computers, then consoles grew. We found ourselves in a situation where our hobby could become our career, and 30/35+ years on we're still learning, still trying to compete with new ideas and learning new things. Its still challenging, but I must admit I'm much slower to learn new things Big Grin

I don't think its true that there are few over 50's in the industry, many of the people I started out with in the 80's are still involved though mostly at senior levels and not so much into the day to day coding they started out on. But they are still there.

I'll ping David and see if he wants to say hi on here and you can pick his brains.
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 


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