Farewell To British Game Design Legend Mike Singleton

By Jim Rossignol on October 16th, 2012 at 10:00 am.


Very sad news. British programmer and game designer Mike Singleton has died, aged 61. Singleton will perhaps be best remembered for a series of remarkably ambitious ZX Spectrum titles including The Lords of Midnight, Doomdark’s Revenge, and War In Middle-Earth. Personally I was enormously influenced by his Midwinter games for 16-bit home computers – pioneering works of procedural generation and designs of immense scope that have to this day defined for me what games could and should be. With those games alone Singleton made an extraordinary contribution to the depth and diversity of game development. Singleton worked in game development into the 21st century, contributing to games on the Playstation and Xbox 360.

Mr Singleton died in Switzerland on Wednesday 10th October. He had been suffering from cancer.

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87 Comments »

  1. Swanky says:

    Thanks for the memories, Mike. RIP.

  2. McSweep says:

    Julian Gollop and Mike Singleton were my gaming heroes growing up with a rubber keyed spectrum.

    What I remember most about Mike’s games was the amazing atmosphere. Lords of Midnight was silent and yet you felt you were wandering around this world, recruiting as many lords as you could before hightailing it to Xajorkith for a last stand. Doomdarks I remember as a “dynamic” world where various lords didnt just sit in their keeps until recruited but moved around warring with other characters, that if you read their info screen you noticed they had a grudge against. Later on when I had picked up an Atari ST I got that same feeling of being there with Midwinter, hang gliding or skiing.

    Thanks Mike, your games were special. RIP.

  3. MiniMatt says:

    Having recently been through, still going through, a bereavement I can somewhat predict the following:

    Right now, some poor sod is writing and re-writing a eulogy. Or, upon reaching these pages several months from now some poor sod, following a spate of reminiscence, has started googling and stumbled across these comments.

    I have no idea whatsoever what Mike Singleton was like as a person, to friends and family that will always define his memory and rightly so; he might have been an utter bastard, he might have been a complete saint.

    But as a professional, take some comfort from the fact that in his short time he literally, and without any hint of hyperbole, changed the world for the better. He made an impact upon this world, and that is an impact that shall be everlasting. He entertained a generation, he inspired a generation, and that generation in turn took to entertaining and inspiring future generations because of his work.

    The comments above go in some small way to illustrate that this man did great things upon this earth.

  4. flyingtriffid says:

    I have very fond memories of Midwinter on my trusty Amiga A500. The atmosphere & setting were amazing. The scope of the snow covered island was immense. I can still remember getting into the snowcat to recruit Caygill (the ski instructor- the only person in the game with an “excellent” ski skill rating) so I could recruit the bad tempered Professor Kristiansen (Caygill was a hot chick and charmed him) so he could drive to the radio tower to recruit more resistance members via a radio broadcast. The tension in that game was amazing- handgliding ( a la Far Cry) over a mountain range, avoiding enemy patrols, trying to get to a destination before freezing. Not to mention sniping from church towers, planting bombs in buildings and air to air combat in a glider! Amazing for 1989- all in 1st person. Midwinter REALLY needs a remake! RIP Mike, your games were soooo far ahead of their time, the world still hasn’t caught up!

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