A former soldier and Jaguar Land Rover employee is hoping to fulfil a childhood ambition by forging a very different career developing his own computer games.
Fabian Jarrett, from Erdington, took the brave step to go it alone in the digital world after developing a succession of games and his latest creation is already attracting plenty of interest.
Called ‘Woof Blaster’ the game was inspired by Mr Jarrett’s memories of playing on a Super Nintendo as a youngster and follows the current trend of creating retro-style games characterised by simple graphics.
The Windows/PC shooting game - which features a cartoon-style dog with a gun and jet boots - is being sold via Steam, the go-to app for downloading PC games, but Mr Jarrett had to get the thumbs-up from the gaming world before it was made available.
He said: “For my game to have got sold on Steam I first needed to get it ‘greenlit’ on Steam Greenlight.
“Steam Greenlight is a system that enlists the community’s help in picking some of the new games to be released on Steam, which has more than 125 million active users.
“Developers post information, screenshots, and video for their game and seek a critical mass of community support in order to get selected for distribution.
“Steam Greenlight also helps developers get feedback from potential customers and start creating an active community around their game during the development process.”
Explaining the inspiration for the game and what it’s about, Mr Jarrett, aged 26, said: “Woof Blaster is an action-packed shooter featuring a dog with a gun and jet boots in search of a magical pizza which holds the key to becoming King of the Dog Planet.
“It involves destroying waves of enemies with an array of weapons, power-ups and the ability to transform into different monsters such as a T-Rex that shoots rockets from its mouth.
“It’s highly inspired by the carnage caused from shooting waves of enemies in Smash TV I played on the Super Nintendo as a child.
“It also looks very colourful and childlike, like Super Mario World. I loved the pixel graphics on computer games back in the day and I am happy there are still a large number of games being created in this style by independent game developers.”
Mr Jarrett’s fascination with gaming started as a youngster but never really went away.
“I am a self taught programmer from the age of 13,” he said. “I created my first game when I was 16 called Ball Puzzle.
“I released it a week before I enlisted in the British Army. While on tour in Afghanistan I create a game called Block Distraction in my spare time and when I finished my tour I got the game sponsored by a company called Flonga.
“I was really happy with the amount of money I received for it and I was then keen to develop games as a career.”
Although Mr Jarrett later went to work for Jaguar Land Rover he still harboured a desire to create games full-time.
He added: “After leaving the Army I started to work at Jaguar Land Rover on the production line. I got married and three years later with a few games under my belt decided to pluck up the courage to quit my well-paid job and attempt to make my own money creating games.
“It’s been four months so far and though I haven’t made any money yet luckily I have an understanding wife who can temporarily support us both at the moment.
“I’m hoping the money I earn from Woof Blaster will be enough for me to make it worth my while.
“Once this game is out I will be eager to start my next project. I have about a hundred different ideas and I am excited to try make something new.”
A trailer for Woof Blaster can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_xFOMCcnnQ and the game is available from Steam to buy for £4.99.
Anyone interested in following Mr Jarrett’s game development activities can follow him on Twitter: @flabby__fabby.