Brian joined the industry back in the days of the ZX81 and Spectrum, but preferred real computers like the Ti99/4A. With a friend and fellow programming enthusiast, he then set up a small company to import TI titles into the UK. Soon they were producing their own titles and selling to a small but eager group of UK Ti99 owners. The demise of the Ti99 meant they had to switch to another machine and Brian chose the Amstrad CPC. His partner preferred so stick with the TI so they parted company. Timeslip Software was then born, publishing games for the new Amstrad machine and selling via mail order, just at the time when the industry started to get all professional and sell through retail. He lost a lot of money and decided to switch to becoming a development company.
Lack of resources and management inexperience (he was only 20 at the time) meant that despite gaining some very impressive contracts, including International Karate by System 3 and Ace by Cascade, they were only able to produce one complete project, the mega-successful Yie Ar Kung Fu for Ocean/Imagine. Ocean then offered him a contract to produce the Spectrum 128K version of Yi Ar, which was to be shipped with the machine.
He then decided to fold the ailing Timeslip and left his native Scotland to work in Manchester. Yie Ar on the 128 was a great game and was completed... just, as Sinclair sold out to Amstrad and the 128 was re-vamped with a different set of launch titles.
Brian left Ocean, but decided to stay in Manchester and went to work for Icon Design, where he developed his programming skills and produced many projects in the 2 years or so he was there. However, the company suffered from the inevitable boom and bust scenario that went on in the 80's and eventually went under. Its a testament to the quality of that company though, that a great many of the people I worked with are now either running their own companies or are high ranking members of large companies even to this day.
He then spent over 12 years as a freelance, working on numerous titles, some of which were well known and some of which were not, but all paid the bills and he was grateful for it.
While working freelance at Creations on the Rugrats and Griffey titles, Brian decided that the new GBC machine was a great opportunity to make use of his programming skills. He then decided to make a break and set up a proper company to exploit what turned out to be a very rich market indeed.
In 1999 Brian funded and co-founded Virtucraft, where his focus was on planning and managing projects and dealing with new and potential clients. Never the less, he still got to program from time to time and very much enjoyed what he did. In 2003, however, Virtucraft was forced to close it door after a major publishing client ran into financial trouble.
Joining Rockpool Games in 2005 as Head of Development, Brian was responsible for project management of all the company's projects, and was the front line development contact for all clients.
Tired of the gruelling daily commute, Brian left Rockpool at the end of 2006 and returned to freelance. In addition to this, in 2008 he became a lecturer in an game development, teaching first year students skills in coding.
Brian Beuken's first video game work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1986 title, "Yie Ar KUNG-FU" (Sinclair Spectrum 128K) .
Brian's most recent involvement was on the 1999 release "Rugrats: The Movie" (Game Boy).
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19 Aug 2003
21 Aug 2003