Game over for legendary 1980s games designer Mike Singleton
Lords of Midnight coder pops clogs
Obituary Classic videogame designer Mike Singleton - famed for titles such as the ZX Spectrum's The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark's Revenge - has died aged 61.
Singleton will be best remembered as a trendsetter, developing popular 1980s titles such as Dark Sceptre and Midwinter, and building hundreds of games for systems from the Sinclair ZX81 and BBC Micro to the Commodore 64, Atari ST and PC.
The former English teacher had an applaudable open world approach to gaming, prevalent in the TLoM collection and many other developments. At the time of his death, Singleton was working on an iOS version of the popular series.
While Singleton struggled to assert his talents in the more modern era of videogames, his involvement in LucasArts' titles such as Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, as well as Codemasters' Grid, showed it would take something major to show this guy the Game Over screen.
Alas, Singleton lost his final boss battle with cancer and passed away last week. RIP, Mike - your work in the field will be fondly remembered. ®
This headline is one of the few I've ever read on El Reg, that's made me say "Oh, no!" out loud.
Didn't know the guy, but it's perhaps a testament to his work that it had that effect. It's a sad loss that he'll never be "Utterly Invigorated" again.
Rest in peace.
Re: Oh no...
Had precisely the same reaction here too.
I've not even given Mike Singleton and his games a second thought in what must be 20 years, but the memory of his work lingers on to this day!
RIP Mike - 61 is no age to go.
Lords of Midnight.
Now there was a game where you had to actually remember where your 'people' were in the larger context. Easy yes, (once you got the feel), but outstanding coding to get it on a 48K speccy. Midwinter was also a tour de force, (and nicely brought upto date by the likes of Just Cause). Carrier Command never appealed, but nice to see the legacy lives on. ZX81 games pack 1, yeh - this is where I came in :-)
A man who brought real innovation to gaming and opened our eyes to what was possible.
Night has fallen and the foul are abroad.
I briefly worked with Mike on the probably justly-obscure Starlord back in '93 at Maelstrom's office in Birkenhead. My strongest memory is of his sitting there staring at the code for an hour, suddenly going "Ah!", typing furiously for twenty minutes and one quick blat through MASM later, the 3D engine had a brand-new feature springing fully-formed from the head of Zeus, so to speak.
Oh, and the code in question was 80x86 assembler with no meaningful symbolic address labels as that would have made it too easy. Even back then, most PC/Amiga/ST development was done in C apart from very low level graphics operations, so his assembly-abilities impressed even then.
It's a shame to see him go.
One thing; I'm fairly certain Carrier Command was done by Realtime Games in Leeds, which was Baird, Oliver and Onions, not Singleton.