I’ve downloaded the free ebook ‘It’s behind you – The making of a computer game’ by Bob Pape a while ago, but I never got around to actually read it. If you haven’t heard of it, the book was released in 2013 and it tells the story of the making of the ZX Spectrum port of R-Type.
This weekend I decided to give it a try, and I couldn’t stop until it was over. The book mix technical information about problems and challenges while porting the arcade game to the Spectrum, but also shows and the ups and downs of a indie developer back in the 80’s, giving a clear vision what was about to deal with publishers, (not) being paid.
Bob doesn’t seem to be professional writer based on his style, and that’s actually a great quality of the book. The book is well written, don’t get me wrong, but reading it is like I am chattingwith a friend listening to his stories about something that happened – I felt really close to Bob and what he had to endure.
On the technical side, the book goes deep sometimes, talking about sprite multiplexers, interrupts, music routines and so on, but even if you don’t like, or don’t care about that side of things, just the picture of that time game industry is worth the reading.
I recommend you to give it a try, the book is available for free in PDF, ePub and Kindle format.