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April 2015 Retro Gaming Article

April 24, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The biography of Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment has a killer chiptune soundtrack

If you remember game development company Hewson Consultants, you'll be excited about the upcoming biography on their rise beginning in the early 80's. If not, this is a great opportunity to learn about this innovative company and the amazing games they made. Hints and Tips for Videogame Pioneers is the biography's title as well as that of the chiptune soundtrack taken from their infamous game library.

Hewson Consultants logo In the early days of video games, there were no rules or limits. Best practices would evolve over time as gaming grew, but anarchy ruled the day as far as game development was concerned. As an Atari kid in the early 80's, my 2600 let me play some amazing games. Across the pond, as they say, gamers were playing amazing games on the ZX Spectrum.

Unlike my 2600, the ZX Spectrum enabled development! Kids who loved playing games could then create their own. That was a powerful difference and Speccy owners took advantage of it and created some of the most insane game concepts ever! It was an interesting time as computers came to market and consumers weren't sure if they should play games on a computer or if game consoles should have computer capabilities.

Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers soundtrack Regardless, those who took to gaming and learned to code games had the power to create anything they could dream of. One such coder was Andrew Hewson who went on to write books that helped others. They began sending him the games they'd created which led to a publishing and development venture in Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment.

Both companies were well respected in the gaming industry and delivered renown games like Paradroid, Uridium, Nebulus, and Pinball Dreams. Their games were quite innovative and often pushed the limits of the various platforms for which they were designed.

The Book

Andrew Hewson tells this story in an upcoming biography. From the Hewson consultants website:
Hints and Tips for Videogame Pioneers is about more than just the history of Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment, and it's about more than just the games. It's a book which digs beneath the surface to examine the forces which made those companies such prolific hit-producers, unearthing a rich tapestry of expertise for the new generation of bedroom coders. It's a story of triumph and disaster, ecstasy and turmoil and perpetual market forces in an industry which is constantly reinventing itself.

The Chiptune Soundtrack - Hints and Tips for Videogame Pioneers

The biography has a companion soundtrack comprised of music from 10 classic Hewson games, remade by legendary artists. I'm loving this soundtrack and highly recommend it! It will liven your next game night and bring back memories of gaming's golden era. Give it a listen!

  1. Firelord: The Orchestral Mix, Ben Daglish & Max Hall
  2. Uridium, PRESS PLAY ON TAPE
  3. Avalon, Steve Turner
  4. Dragontorc, Norbert Weiher
  5. Battle Valley (feat. Tess Fries), Tess & Tel
  6. Rana Rama, Steve Turner
  7. Eliminator, Jeroen Tel
  8. Exolon, Ash Read
  9. Deliverance: Stormlord 2, Matt Gray
  10. Cybernoid II: The Revenge, Jeroen Tel
  11. Firelord: The Acoustic Live Version, Ben Daglish & Max Hall

You can purchase the Hints and Tips for Videogame Pioneers soundtrack on Bandcamp.

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