Jeff Minter

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Jeff 'Yak' Minter (born in Reading, 22 April 1962[citation needed]) is a British computer/video game designer and programmer. He is the founder of software house Llamasoft and his recent works include Neon (2004), a non-game music visualization program that has been built into the Xbox 360 console, and the video games Space Giraffe (Xbox Live Arcade, 2007 and PC, 2008), and Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox Live Arcade, May 2009).

Fans of Minter's games have identified a number of distinctive elements common to his games.[citation needed] They are often arcade style shoot 'em ups. They often contain titular and/or in-game references demonstrating his fondness of ruminants (llamas, sheep, camels, etc.). Many of his programs also feature something of a psychedelic element, as in some of the earliest "light synthesizer" programs including his Trip-a-Tron.

In online forums and informal game credits pages Minter usually signs as "Yak", which is, in his own words

"a pseudonym chosen a long time ago, back in the days when hi-score tables on coin-op machines only held three letters, and I settled on Yak because the yak is a scruffy hairy beast - a lot like me ;-)."

[1]

Contents

Programming career

Pre-commercial career (early years)

Jeff Minter had expressed an interest in programming computers from a young age, however it would not be until a long illness during secondary school that Minter's talents would develop in any meaningful way. Following a 3-month stint in which Minter was restricted to lying on his back and was confined to his bed between November and January, boredom led him to take up computer programming in earnest to pass the time.[2]

Upon recovery, Minter teamed up with Richard Jones, a fellow pupil, and together they started writing their own games on their school's Commodore PET.[citation needed] They soon parted ways. Jones went on to commercial projects, some of them in the software market (e.g., Interceptor Micros).

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