Shahid Ahmad was not a prolific C64 developer, having just a few titles released before he moved onto bigger platforms. He produced the stunning Chimera and Pandora games, as well as wowing Ultimate with his C64 conversion of Nightshade.
But Shahid really came to the forefront when he did the C64 conversion of Jet Set Willy for Software Projects back in 1984.
Shortly after the game’s release, Shahid was trying to work out if the games industry was for him or not. In the meantime, with a friend they started a game called Baby Starts Walking.
Essentially Shahid took the JSW code he produced as a starting point and tidied it all up. A friend supplied graphics and did most of the room designs. Just before finishing the game completely and including all the enemy sprites, they tried to sell it to a company (as of yet unknown, and which Shahid may not decide to name). They offered £3000 for the game, but it was turned down by Shahid and his friend – in hindsight a decision they now regret.
Sadly we may never get to see the game, as Shahid had all his work stolen back in the late 80’s – and none of his source code seems to exist any longer. But luckily Shahid has been finding various documents and designs for various games, and recently found a game map showing all the rooms for Baby Starts Walking – you can check this out for yourself in the gallery.
Maybe, just maybe, Shahid’s friend kept a copy of the game in an executable form … but its unlikely. A sad end to a potentially fun JSW clone, actually using the original JSW engine!
Shahid Ahmad talks about development of a quick JSW clone called Baby Starts Walking:
“I’d written Jet Set Willy on the Commodore 64 the year before Chimera and towards the end of 1984 I was wondering whether I was finished in video games or not. I did a game with a friend called “Baby Starts Walking” on the Commodore 64. My friend did most of the graphics and room design, I took the code I’d written for Jet Set Willy and cleaned it up a bit. Before we’d quite finished and before we’d had a chance to create any enemy sprites, we decided to try and sell the game.
I won’t say where we took it, but we were offered £3000 and turned it down. Daft really, we should have taken the money and moved on. Instead I carried on playing video games, having already pretty much dropped out of school. Chimera was my last chance saloon. Having started in 1983, 27 years later, here I still am.”