Photo of Matt Sephton

My name is Matt Sephton. One interesting thing about me is that I prefer to write my first name in lower case, matt, for aesthetic reasons. I’m an independent video game developer working only on my own ideas, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is my life and career.

This blog documents my various interests, and I hope you enjoy reading it.


I was born on 16th December 1976, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. This means I’ll be 48 this year. It also means I’m a Scouser. I have a mild version of the same accent as the The Beatles, which is easily recognised by anybody from the UK and easily mistaken as Irish by anybody who is not.


My early years were filled with collecting toy cars and action figures, watching kids TV, taping songs off the radio, riding my BMX, falling in love with music on Top of the Pops and The Chart Show, playing Top Trumps, learning the names of the best looking cars, and chasing girls.

I consider my real awakening—enlightenment so sudden it was like a bolt from the blue—an afternoon at my friend Rak’s house in 1990, where I saw a Super Famicom (an early unit imported from Japan) and an Atari ST. I distinctly remember the perspective change at the start of a race in F-Zero blowing my tiny little mind wide open. Then later that same day seeing a graphical user interface and computer mouse for the first time rolled out a red carpet through the universe of my mind’s eye, so vivid that I can still recall it today!


It was obvious to me that computers would change the world and that I would be using them for the rest of my life. Exactly what for I didn’t yet know, but that seemed like an unimportant detail. It was inevitable. My family got an Atari ST the following Christmas and my hobbies changed from cars and girls to computers and video games. I taught myself computer programming in GFA BASIC with the help of ST Format computer magazine, transferred my drawing skills to the computer using bitmap graphics (Deluxe Paint) and desktop publishing software (PageStream), learned how to type using a word processor (Protext), and played and loved many great video games. After all this organic discovery and self-learning I did Computing as one of my A-levels, which was a walk in the park. At this point we traded in the Atari ST for a Windows PC, a sad but inevitable day, and I switched to writing software for Windows.

From 1995 I studied Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, discovering the early internet through the NCSA Mosaic browser, learning HTML through viewing source, searching using WebCrawler and AltaVista, having discussions with like-minded people around the world on USENET, listing my early web sites on Yahoo!, uploading my software to Tucows and instantly see other people download it, as well as being one of those downloaders myself. I’d find interesting software and files on the internet, download them using the web browser on the University’s HP-UX terminals, and save them from my user space onto 3.5” floppy disks using an Apple Macintosh in the printer room. This was the first Mac I’d seen and I was smitten. Whilst I waited for PC files to slowly copy across dozens of disks, I would explore System 7 and began to realise why The Macintosh Way was so much better than the other computers I’d used until that point.

During this time I continued to write software. Apps of mine would be featured on magazine CD-ROMs around the world. Two apps I’m particularly proud of are the first hot corners implementation on Windows and fast access to your most used folders whilst using the file selector, both long before Windows got these features natively. Until the early 2000s, at least, magazine cover-mounted media was the main distribution method for free software, as the internet was still in its early days and access was slow and costly.

I would also build websites using HomeSite and early Dreamweaver, create typefaces using Fontographer, write video game guides that were published on GameFAQs, and figured out exactly how I should pursue a career in computers. It seemed obvious I could ride the wave of the internet, so I became a web developer and I was known for my ability to do the impossible in record time.


Immediately after my final University exam, and even before my results, I moved to London to begin work at graphic design agency Form, who I’d discovered through their design credit on the back of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” CD single. I was still using Windows at this point, but would use Macs throughout my work day. It’s at this point in the late 90s that I learnt most about the Mac, topography, and graphic design. Being my first job it was a bit of a birth of fire, but I worked with a good bunch of people and got to go to a fair few star-studded industry events. Standout for me was meeting Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia at the launch of a photo exhibition by Rankin. At one point everybody at Form also had their portrait taken by Rankin. Fun times. That was the start of a dozen years working in London. My second job was at a web agency called Blueberry, which was more like a social club than a job, but one at which we all did amazing work. I worked on a Sony VAIO laptop, used a Palm Vx personal organiser, and stayed connected with a Sony Ericsson mobile phone. It was “work hard, play hard”, at least until the dot-com bubble burst. I also got my first Mac, a Bondi blue iMac, as a parting gift just before the liquidators arrived to claim everything. In fact, I took a second iMac as the first didn’t have a DVD drive. For a while that iMac ran OS 9 and briefly the OS X preview, and I used it play imported movies and learn more about the way Macs worked.

To give you an idea of how crazy those dot-com days were: at one point I was asked to work a weekend but I already had plans, so they asked me what it would take for me to work the weekend. At the time I wanted to buy a classic FIAT 500 car, so I told them the price of the car: multiple thousands of pounds. So that’s what I got paid for a weekend’s work building a website that nobody else could get done in time. That car was a lot of fun, until it spontaneously ignited one day whilst I was driving along. RIP.

The final ten years of my time in London were spent working at various internet-adjacent agencies: design, branding, advertising, travel, consultancy. I bought the first computer with my own money, a Power Mac G5 tower with an iPod Colour, and sold my physical MiniDisc setup to go all-in on digital. At my peak I was going to multiple live music gigs a month. I eventually started freelancing and was based at a shared work space in Dalston, until one day in bad weather it took me almost 3 hours to do my usual 30 minute overground train ride to Stroud Green. I could have walked it in a fraction of that time. So, in 2010, we decided to move out of London and went to live in Cornwall near the beach.


Days after getting married, in 2013, I got a call from a headhunter about a job at Apple, where I ended up working as a Technology Evangelist for a few years. Back to London. This was pretty cool as it involved international travel, interesting colleagues, and easy access to product discounts! The only down side was seeing behind the curtain, which was when I realised that things didn’t really match how I had known Apple from outside over the previous 20 years. So in 2016, just as quickly as I started working there, I stopped working there. It’s fun to know that both iOS and macOS contain some of my ideas and DNA. We moved out of London again, back to Cornwall.

At this point, early 2017, I interviewed at Apple for the iOS design team, but after two presentations they ended up ghosting me and I never heard back from them. Then I entered what I refer to as my “wilderness” years—I was doing work but not really enjoying it. Until in 2019 I saw the announcement of a new handheld gaming console called Playdate which was instantly attractive to me. So I spent time getting back up to speed with 1-bit art, classic Macintosh graphics software, and other related things. By the time COVID lockdown hit the UK, I had just received an early Playdate Developer Preview unit. I had a bunch of extra free time, as we all did, so I began staying up late most nights making game prototypes. It was the most fun I’d had “working” in about 20 years, so it felt natural to change my work focus to game development. I’d made successful games over the years, since 1991 for Atari ST and 2001 for Windows/Mac, but it was never more than a hobby. With Playdate I knew that it could be more than that.


By the end of COVID lockdown I had created a body of work—games, animations, fonts, and artwork—which was enough for me to secure a shared work space at a place called Krowji in Cornwall.

One of the games I made in September 2023, YOYOZO, won a “Game of the Year” accolade. So that was a nice diversion, if only for a short time. Another of my Playdate games, Sparrow Solitaire that I made with Mac Vogelsang, seems to be the top-rated game for the system. And in early-2024, whilst using an old pocket computer, I randomly stumbled across the earliest digital emoji, which was another nice surprise.

And that brings us to the present. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this page, and I’ll be sure to update it as time goes on. Cheers!

Old but gold

Before this blog my main web presence was the main domain gingerbeardman.com, which is still updated and contains a portfolio of sorts: lists of websites, app, projects, that I created over the years. My original web sites from 1996 are also archived, including my old Windows and Atari software.

History repeating

Every year I try to do a summary of blog posts from the past year, listing those that were most popular, most enduring, and my own personal favourites. I’ve also started doing playlists of my favourite music of the year, which I’ll hopefully continue with.

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This site is powered by Jekyll (but, I absolutely definitely do not recommend it), stored in source control on GitHub, deployed and hosted statically on Netlify, though images are served from a separate Oracle Cloud server to keep my costs down. I edit my posts as Markdown in the Nova editor on macOS. The site presentation is a heavily modified version of the “Type” theme.