Pioneering UK game designer Mike Singleton passed away last week, following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 61.
Singleton quit his teaching job in 1982 to pursue game development full-time, and caught the attention of the industry with GamesPack1, a compilation for Spectrum ZX81 that fit a number of games into a tiny amount of memory.
In 1984 he released beloved adventure title Lords of Midnight for the Spectrum, and continued to make 8-bit titles up until 1988.
Singleton also had a hand in many 16-bit games for the Atari ST, Amiga, and PC, including War in Middle-earth and Starlord.
He also designed the critically-acclaimed and award-winning RPGs Midwinter and Flames of Freedom.
His final credit was on GRID for Codemasters in 2008.
A 2005 interview with Edge revealed that Singleton still had all of the source code for every one of his releases.
“I still have a cardboard box at home full of 100 five-minute tapes which comprise the source code and the graphics of Lords Of Midnight and all the back-ups and back-ups of back-ups,” he said.
He was also impressed by the exponential growth of computer technology.
“New technology is even more exciting than the old was, even in its day. Our imaginations are still racing to catch up with what’s possible now. There’s so much more scope for creativity now. In five or six years’ time, there will be categories of game no one’s dreamed of.”