|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ SOFTOGRAPHIE ★ PETER WILLIAMSON ★|
IS this man on top of the world?
Code Masters is riding top of the Gallup chart. This is due mainly to a constant stream of quality releases, most of which are on the Spectrum and Amstrad. Behind those games is a team of dedicated programmers and we decided to look a little closer to see what little programmers are made of Peter Williamson works on a freelance basis for Code Masters and is responsible, or partially responsible in some cases, for such Amstrad hits as Soccer Simulator, Stuntman. Super Stuntman. BMX Freestyle. Street Gang Football and. most recently, Motorcross Simulator. How did it all begin for him? As with many of us his career started with a Christmas present -a Spectrum. Having showed some promise as a programmer, a teacher who was an old friend of the then software manager at Database Software managed to get him involved in the programming of Mini Office on the Amstrad and Spectrum and Mini Office II on the Amstrad.
He says: "It was just luck really;" although I am inclined to believe more in the hard work and talent theory. Williamson then decided it was time to move into the entertainment side of the industry. He produced two games for Players, one of which he would rather forget , before moving to be a freelance programmer for Code Masters.
Working initially from home, he started with the Spectrum conversion of G-Man and from there to developing the aforementioned titles. Last September he became a permanent fixture at Code Masters. Although still freelance, he now rates a Portacabin. His fervent wish is for a telephone extension so that he does not have to walk to the main building every time someone calls him. He prefers that arrangement, despite the lack of a telephone, as it permits greater communication with the powers that be, thus enabling a better product to be produced.
Although Williamson writes games for the Spectrum and Amstrad he does all his programming on a PC. That allows him to use more advanced programming tools and compile programs in memory, thus saving a good deal of time. A cross compiler is used to produce a compatible code for the two machines.
Williamson discusses his ideas for games with Code Masters anci. if approved, he produces a detailed game design. He says that the advantage of working on-site is that any new ideas can easily be incorporated because the management can be consulted by walking to the main building.
He says the budget games are faster to program because "they are usually simpler games and much more cheerful." When asked how long, he replied: "Anything between two to three months."
Williamson has been with Code Masters for two years now and despite his freelance status he is more than happy to stay with the company. When asked why, he replied: "Code Masters pays well." In his work for Code Masters he has covered many subjects but he prefers the arcade-type games above all else. Although he finds the role of pogrammer lucrative he intends to move eventually into software management.
Originally from Dunfries, he is studying management and computer science at Edinburgh University. While at Code Masters he is taking a year off from his studies but if his one-man company. Super Sonic Software, continues to prove lucrative he may decide to take a more permanent break. Considering his tender age of 19. I think Williamson is doing rather well for himself and the Amstrad community.
Peter Williamson works on a freelance basis for Code Masters and is responsible, or partially responsible in some cases, for such Amstrad hits as BMX Freestyle, Street Gang Football and, Motorcross Simulator.