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Archive / BH Projects History


1981 to 3rd July 1996

Born. Lots of character developing stuff. Then in 1981 my mum goes half with me on a Commodore Vic 20. I write a terrible roulette wheel game with lots of flashing colours, but it's still better than Pool Shark V1.00. Go from a Vic 20 to a BBC Micro to an Amiga 1000, learning to program all of them,and along the way running Betelgeuse 5, a mildly successful Bulletin Board system, work as an Amiga journalist. Sell a bulletin board system for the Amiga.

Get a job with Digigraphic and then Optonica writing amiga software that's cool... But nobody will ever hear about. Electric Billboard, Simpatica, and Interplay authoring system. Don't look for them on google, you'll never find them. They were my best work up until the later versions of MJS2. Get to meet some cool people like Chris Newcombe who went on to do the awesome Gunship 2000 on Amiga and Valve's Steam groundbreaking content delivery system. He's still making buttons on Steam the same way he did on the Amiga in 1990 you know. :D If I live to 100 I may still never make anything as good as Gunship 2000.

I think my later decision to become a games programmer was directly influenced by all the lovely chats over the road at the pub with Mr Newcombe. I had the attitude that games programming wasn't "real programming", which is of course, silly, and got put straight on that. I think outside university research, games programming is the peak of the programming artform. Also working at Digigraphic made me certain I never wanted a boss again to suck up all the profit from my efforts and influence the design of products.

Get to go to an Atlanta Amiga devcon, but get made to wear a suit. We're the only people there in suits. They are still around as ANQ . Stands for "Answers not Questions". But surely without questions there can be no answers...

Quit in 1991 after seeing the writing on the wall for Commodore. Back NeXTStep as the next big thing. Realise I picked the wrong horse in the race, lots more character building stuff begging for work, the options for an Amiga/NeXTStep programmer were somewhat limited. Then read about this awesome new Operating System called "Copland" which will be NeXTStep for the masses. Intrigued, get into Macintoshes and await Copland.

3rd July 1996
After a great deal of book reading, and expensive hardware buying, Bonehead Projects is born. The reason why it's called that isn't terribly nice, let's just say... It's motivational.
Mac Invaders V1.00 - December 1996
First release by BH Projects, your basic Space Invaders built in C++ and Quickdraw. not terribly good.
Enforced Holiday. Let's just say just when you think nothing else could possinly go wrong, the sky falls in.
Mac Invaders V1.12 - November 1999
Funked up version, with DrawSprocket, direct to screen drawing, and an extra mode. There's an awesome amount of work that went into producing this game, but it never did so well, for a number of reasons. Timing is everything. I'm really proud of Mac Invaders, and I think it's got a small hardcore of about 10 people who like it too. :D
Ultra Ball V1.00 Beta - November 1999
Breakout clone, never got finished. You can still get it working by setting your clock back. Frightening dayglow graphics. :D Until the later versions of MJS2, the biggest, most complex thing I've ever built.
Unenforced Holiday. Convinced that it's impossible to make any kind of living out of Shareware or even programming, I give up and try different things. Bonehead! I run a failed games web site that gets involved in a pretty sad hoax on slashdot(Nothing to do with me guv), take lots of Psychology courses, meet my future wife, and play lots of obscure import video games.
August 2002
Decide to defrost the company, not out of a desire to make money but just to program for fun, after, to my complete suprise, my old NeXTstation is now being made by Apple, uses a PowerPC processor instead of a 68040, and is being called "Mac OS X", how odd. Get back to writing NeXTStep software. Now where's Display Postscript gone....
Elite TNK Mac OS X - October 2002
Mac OS X Port of the cult BBC Micro classic. Pulled after one of the original authors changed his mind. Shame.
Mah Jong Solitaire V1.00 - January 2003
One tileset, no sound, no solvable games, 7 layouts. As an afterthought I make it shareware.
Mah Jong Solitaire V1.03 - January 2003
One tileset, odd sound, 12 layouts, but getting better.
Mah Jong Solitaire V1.25 - January 2003
One tileset, better sound, 17 layouts, random layout generator..
Febuary 2003
Company in profit for the first time in nearly 7 years. Life is what happens while you're making other plans baby.
Mah Jong Solitaire V1.50 - February 2003
Alternate layer shadowing, two tilesets..
Burning Monkey Mahjong - March 2003
Work begins. It's monkeylicious!
Mah Jong Solitaire V1.81 - March 2003
Five tilesets, 30 Layouts, Midi Song player, solvable games. German, Italian,and Dutch translations. Getting good.
Mah Jong Solitaire Classic V1.00 - April 2003
Well, it was a start....
Mah Jong Solitaire V2.00 - May 2003
Better solvable games, tooltips, stats, fading tiles, more tilesets, more layouts!
Mah Jong Solitaire Classic V1.25 - May 2003
A bit better.
Pool Shark V1.00 - August 2003
I can explain. :D I'm glad I wrote this, as I learnt a lot about game physics. I'm glad I released it, as I found out if people would be interested in more of the same. But... Sometimes you have an awesome development time, the 5 weeks the initial version of Phoenix Ball took to write was one of those, and sometimes... Not so good. A new version is being worked on, V1.80. as BareBones would say, it doesn't suck.
Mah Jong Solitaire 1 V2.25 - December 2003
Rather nice very nearly final version of Mah Jong Solitaire 1.
Mah Jong Solitaire 2 V1.01 - March 2004
Last Quartz version of Mah Jong Solitaire. Has a nasty high scores bug so maybe you really don't want this.
Mah Jong Solitaire 2 V1.36c - April 2004
First 3D version of Mah Jong Solitaire. Frankly I love it to bits but it only runs well on G4s and G5s, and seems to give the punters sea sickness. :D So the sales dropped like a stone after this version. :( Billed as "The first, the one, the only, 3D Mah Jong Solitiare for Macintosh". Still is as of writing.
Mah Jong Solitaire 2 V1.50d - May 2004
The better, more refined version of MJS2. Fixed all the problems the previous version had, and it ran on as many machines as MJS1 did. Spent a good long time trying to get it to work on a 1999 original iBook, and it does! As long as you like purple backgrounds that is. :D
Phoenix Ball V1.01 - June 2004
Our big new Breakout game, Phoenix Ball. The kids seem to like it.
Mah Jong Solitaire 2 V1.80b - July 2004
Funkified version.
Mah Jong Solitaire 2 V2.00 - January 2005
Last version of MJS2 free for MJS1 owners. Banner Exchange Network