Sometime around 1974, David Weller discovered a coin-operated Pong game in a pizza parlor in Sacramento, California, and was instantly hooked on computer games. A few years later, he was introduced to the world of programming by his godfather, who let him use his Radio Shack TRS-80 computer to learn about programming in BASIC. David's first program was a simple dice game that graphically displayed the die face (he still has the first version he originally wrote on paper). He quickly outgrew BASIC, though, and soon discovered the amazing speed you could get by writing video games in assembly language. He spent the remainder of his high school years getting bad grades, but writing cool software, none of which made him any money. He spent the next 10 years in the military, learning details about computer systems and software development. Shortly after he left the military, David was offered a job to help build the Space Station Training Facility for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). From that point on, he merrily spent time working on visual simulation and virtual reality applications. He made the odd shift into multitier IT application development during the Internet boom, ultimately landing inside of Microsoft as a technical evangelist, where he spends time playing with all sorts of new technology and merrily saying under his breath, "I can't believe people pay me to have this much fun!"
Alexandre Lob o is a passionate man. His first passion was reading, starting with large books Mark Twain, rico Ver ssimo, Jules Verne, Monteiro Lobato, Alexandre Dumas, and others when he was 7. At age 12, he discovered his next two passions: playing and creating games (by that time on his first Apple computer), and writing.
Many years later he's about forty now these passions still flourish. Now he's a teacher of academic game development courses, has written four books on the topic, and has participated in Brazilian gamse development contests, both as a contestant and as a judge. He has also written short story books, children's books, and young adult books, and in 2008 he released his first romance, The Name of the Eagle, currently available only in Portuguese. And, of course, he still loves to read, some favorite authors being Ken Follett and Paulo Coelho.
His ultimate passions starting in 1995 and still burning are his wife, Wal ria, and his kids, Nat lia and Rafael. Alexandre believes that lives needs passion to be lived entirely, and hopes that this book helps light this passion in readers' hearts. You can find his work at AlexandreLobao.com.
Ellen Hatton is a computer science undergraduate at Edinburgh University. She was exposed to computers at a very early age and has been fascinated with them ever since. Her first experience of computer games was playing Dread Dragon Doom, at which she quickly excelled at the age of 5. She's been hooked on games ever since.
Ellen is not only interested in computers. She skis frequently, among other sports, and enjoys general student life in the bustling Scottish capital, Edinburgh. As her choice of degree suggests, Ellen still finds computers very interesting and is constantly looking for new challenges.