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Freejack

Programming and Gaming (1)

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There has to be a purpose, a reason for writing a gaming tool. People don't generally just start writing software. There's a perceived need, something missing or just a personal need to create.

Much like gaming adventures or sourcebooks. Someone, a Ref for example, spends time running a game and decides to clean up the adventure and make it available.

I'm not sure what sent me into the programming realm though. I see all the tables for Car Wars spread throughout the various books. I compiled them into a single sheet (which I still have, by the way). Then after looking at it, I figure "hey, this would be easy to program" and a bit later I have a vehicle generation program.

But what started it all? My Dad was a computer person in The Navy. Naval Tactical Data Systems officer (I didn't know what that meant for a long time). He said that there wasn't any future in computers. Computer techs would simply be janitors.

I studied Architecture and Mechanical Drafting in High School. I was a Graphic Artist in The Army, but more of a line artist than someone who can draw freehand. I did well with charts and graphs. Layouts were a breeze. Heck, I was commended and even used for special projects that required straight black lines (it's not as easy as it sounds).

From there though, I got into computerized typesetters. I used the one at work to create personal stuff and had an 8" disc to myself. I created D&D characters sheets. Fighters, Wizards, Thieves, and Clerics. I had a Multi-Class sheet and an NPC sheet. It had different fronts but the back of the sheets were the same. It was a lot of layout and keyboarding to get things where they belonged and looking right.

I suspect a combination of gaming and the typesetter along with the board I was using to keep track of characters in game and the availability of the Sinclair computer gave me the impetus to begin this journey. It was a key pivot point in my history where it all came together.

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