Nicholas Lever

Nicholas Lever

Game developer

Bio

After getting a degree in Graphic Design, I started work in 1980 as a cartoon animator. Buying a Sinclair ZX81 back in 1982 was the start of a migration to a full time programmer. The ZX81 was quickly swapped for the Sinclair Spectrum, a Z80 processor and a massive 48K of ram made this a much better computer to develop games. I developed a few games using Sinclair Basic and then Assembler. The Spectrum was swapped for a Commodore Amiga and I developed more games in the shareware market, moving to using C. At this stage it was essentially a hobby. Paid work was still animated commercials. 

I finally bought a PC in the early nineties and completed an Open University degree in Maths and Computing. I created a sprite library ActiveX control and authored my first book, aimed at getting designers into programming. In the mid nineties along came Flash and the company I was now running, Catalyst Pictures, became known for creating games. 

Since then the majority of my working life has been creating games, first in Flash and Director, as Director published the first widely available 3D library that would run in a browser using a plugin. 

In recent years game development has involved using HTML5 and Canvas. Using both custom code and various libraries. A particular preference is to use the latest version of Adobe Flash, now called Animate that exports to the Javascript library Createjs

I've worked for the BBC. Johnson and Johnson. Deloitte, Mars Corporation and many other blue chip clients. The company I've run for over 30 years has won a number of awards and been nominated for a BAFTA twice, the UK equivalent to the Oscar. 

Over the last 20 years I have been struck by just how difficult it has been to get good developers and have decided to do something about this rather than just complain. I run a CodeClub for kids 9-13 years old and I'm developing a number of courses for Arbington.com hoping to inspire and educate new developers. Most of my courses involve real-time 3d either using the popular Open Source library Three.JS or Unity. I'm currently having a lot of fun developing WebXR games and playing with my Oculus Quest.

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