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Lords of Midnight creator Mike Singleton dies

Friends and fans remember the father of home computing.

Mike Singleton, considered by many to be the father of home computing, died last week.

The 61-year-old British programmer died in Switzerland on Wednesday 10th October after a year-long battle with cancer.

Singleton was perhaps best known for the fantasy role-playing games he created for the Spectrum in the 1980s, including Lords of Midnight, Doomdark's Revenge, Throne of Fire, Dark Sceptre and War In Middle-earth.

Later, Singleton created the fondly remembered Midwinter for the Amiga. Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead looked back at Midwinter for a Retrospective in 2010.

In a Making Of article in Edge magazine from 2009, Singleton was interviewed about the creation of Lords of Midnight and asked if he preferred the days of 8bit coding to today's two year development cycles.

"Would I rather be programming Lords Of Midnight on a Spectrum or G-Surfers on a PlayStation2? Don't be silly. The new technology is even more exciting than the old was, even in its day. Our imaginations are still racing to catch up with what's possible now. There's so much more scope for creativity now. In five or six years' time, there will be categories of game no one's dreamed of."

Singleton was remembered in a post by "wibby" on GiantBomb.

"He was also my first employer," he wrote. "I used to go straight from school to his company for his wisdom and generosity, He was an amazing boss, single father of two young boys but most importantly he was my friend.

"The last 12 months where hard for him he was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw and had to have it removed but he always kept his spirits up. I even sat with him in our local pub for our first post-op beer! Alas last week he died in Switzerland of natural causes.

"I just wanted for you guys to understand where most of the roots of the games you play today came from, so next time you pop in a disk, raise a glass and say 'Cheers Singo!'"

Programmer Christopher Jon Wild, who converted Lords of Midnight and Doomdark's Revenge to the PC in 1991, published his thoughts on his blog.

"Tonight has shaken me in a way that I would never have expected and I already badly miss my friend," he said.

Singleton, with Wild, had been working on a remake of Lords of Midnight for iPhone.

Fans took to Twitter to remember Singleton's impressive body of work and the influence it had on the games industry.

"Very sorry to hear gaming legend Mike Singleton died," said Funcom's Erling Erlingsen. "I'll never forget the first time I immersed myself in 'Lords of Midnight'. Rest well."

"Midwinter 2 is in my Top 5 games, and it made me want to make games too," said Twisted Pixel Games lead designer Dan Teasdale. "A great loss."

"Very sad to hear of the passing of Mike Singleton whose games I enjoyed very much as a youngster & an oldster," added Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson. "RIP."

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