This year will be the 20th anniversary of the release of Fish! from Magnetic Scrolls.

Fish! was the first game and first real live commercial software project that I worked on and the first product that I really argued for the inclusion of an exclamation point in it's name :-) Somehow the exclamation point disappeared from the packaging for the US release…

Released towards the end of 1988 was Fish!, a more light-hearted, surreal adventure game, where the player assumed the role of a dimension-jumping goldfish. Written by John Molloy, Pete Kemp, Phil South and edited by Rob Steggles, Fish! would prove to be the last of Magnetic Scrolls' traditional commercial releases.

I loved Fish! It was weird, different and totally odd. I also loved working for Magnetic Scrolls which was Unix-centric - everything was developed on a MicroVax and cross-compiled and the guys were way overboard on the intelligence level which led to very interesting pub discussions.

Stories around working there mostly involve great coding, fun problems and south London pubs. In fact I remember that when the UK went to all day licensing hours (i.e. the pubs were open all day), we decided to “extend” our lunch hour. We all came back to the office fairly “happy” to the chagrin of our boss, Anita Sinclair, who'd been schmoozing a potential investor who'd been hoping to meet the team :-)

Alumni from the company are pretty well known in the computer graphics space - two of the guys, Doug Rabson and Servan Keondjian (both now at Qube), went on to form RenderMorphics, which I joined in 1995 shortly before it's acquisition by Microsoft and Richard Huddy went on to work for ATI and NVidia.

Ahhh, reminiscing… I am, indeed, an old fart.

Update: Oh, and yes, I know the quote and US reviews say 1998, but it went out in 1997 to the world at large…