|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ SOFTOGRAPHIE ★ JOHN KENEALLY ★|
|Applications - Auteurs||John Keneally||Games - Auteurs||Camel|
John Keneally's computing experience began with the TRS80, the old Tandy/Radio Shack monster, which had a very wide but short-screened display and was not world famous lor either speed or reliability. From that to the Spectrum was a revelation - 'a nicely self-contained, dependable machine', he says.
The CPC was the first home computer that seemed to John to provide a bit of beef, something you could really get moving on', and indeed it did. for from it was born Camel Micros, one of the longest established CPC mailorder companies still solvent. (The Camel of the name, by the way, refers to the river in Cornwall - you may remember Camelford being in the news not so long ago as the result of water pollution.)
JOHN KENEALLY (1989)
Camel gives Pilgrim hump
Camel has been going for four years now, but it's only in the past 18 months that they have been producing software for themselves and selling direct. The first project, for example, was the adventure creator Genesis for CRL. The Pilgrim, who reviewed it in the Adventuring section of AAA, was impressed with the fact that it enabled you to incorporate sound and split-screen graphics into your games, but thought the whole package a little short on documentation and friendliness.
It was perhaps unlucky to be overshadowed by two other adventure creators that appeared at the time - Incentive's Graphics Adventure Creator and The Quill, the grand-daddy of them all. Genesis is still available (£9.95 tape;£22.95 tor the considerably souped-up disk version), and Keneally claims to have received positive feedback from its users. But then he would, wouldn't he?
Camel's other ventures include Grasp, a graphics/graphing package (£12.50, disk) and GM Chess, a beginner's tutorial (£14.95, disk). Of the latter, Gary (RIP) decided its appeal was limited to chess buffs' (AA38, 63%) -which, all things considered, is not surprising!
Whither the CPC?
More recently there have been WOPS and Interceptor. This new venture is Camel's most interesting contribution to the continuing debate, 'Whither the CPC?' It suggests a new route for software producers to follow, offering add-ons and upgrades to existing and much used software. Keneally has other targets in mind for similar treatment, though not surprisingly he prefers not to name them. He is keen, meanwhile, to hear from AA readers with ideas for such ventures.