November '85

“A sophisticated paintbox package for your Amstrad microcomputer” 

"The world of computer art is yours to discover and enjoy. This advanced art package has been created with emphasis on 'ease of use' and with on screen menus and paint pallet painting and drawing has never been as simple as 'EASYART'. Whether you want to sketch portraits, create lively posters or advertising material, produce accurate technical drawings or just, doodle, you will find this program useful and exciting to use."

Computers in the early 80’s were uninspiring when switched on. They’d have a black screen with some simple white or green text and a flashing cursor. We wanted to see graphics on screen and this often meant loading up a game, which were usually fairly crude. We thought it would be good to produce an art package where people could draw any pictures limited only by the resolution of the computer.

The “fill command” was so slow that we learnt, with a little help from our computer studies teacher, how to write 6502 Assembly code to speed it up. This was a fundamentally skill required for professional game development and was a significant turning point for us.

Firebird (a division of British Telecom) paid us £2,000 for Easy Art on the BBC, but sadly dropped support for the BBC Micro before it was published. Thankfully they didn’t ask for their money back, which was just as well since we’d spent it on a car – a secondhand Silver Datsun Cherry. They suggested we remake it for the Amstrad CPC, but after we completed it they decided they didn’t want this version either, so we looked for other publishers and did a publishing deal with Interceptor Software.

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