Back In 1987 was working on my GCSE Computer Studies project. I programmed a little utility on the BBC Micro called, rather inspirationally, Housing Estate Planner. Written in BASIC, you could move around the screen with the cursor keys and place a section of road with the 'R' key or a house by pressing 'H'. It was a terrible, unwieldy thing - but incredibly I got an A for it.
Mr Wright, my teacher, obviously saw something there. Now, whilst he wasn't the Mr Wright, I have my suspicions they were related. The fact that my teacher lived in Portsmouth, England and Will Wright lived in America isn't relevant. As techy types they probably had futuristic means of communication using a powerful computer and a phone line. I know because I saw it on WarGames.
Anyway, during one particularly drunken multiplayer session when the two of them were bemoaning the state of online 8-bit gaming, Mr Wright the teacher must have let slip the genius of my GCSE project to Will. And an 8x8 seed was sown. Before you know it Will Wright is a multi-millionaire game designer whereas I. Am. Not.
I'm not bitter. I only think about it once or twice a day and sometimes I don't even think about it at all. In fact, I like to play SimCity 4 as much as possible so I can make a list of all the things he got wrong (as I have with all the previous versions). I've been doing this for 20 years and have reached the point where I'm ready to email my list to him - with a gallery of screenshots. I have a feeling he'll really appreciate my creative input and knowledge of BASIC. A partnership that should have happened 20 years ago will finally be formed.
This is why I'm currently playing SimCity 4 and why 1 will keep playing until he releases SimCity 5 in 2011.
Download Simcity 4
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP