For most people, upgrading your PC only happens every now and again, sometimes when they break, often when they inexplicably slow down and, on rare occasions, when you realise an upgrade can improve your productivity. We so often get used to the computers we use that it's hard to think that this extension of ourselves needs improvement.

Of course, for whatever reason, when you do get a shiny new modern PC, the difference in speed and capability can be night and day and, at least for a while, you are producing your socks off at a lighting speed.

It seems obvious when stated, but it's worth checking what you use your computer for and keep tabs on whether an upgrade will save you time or allow you to work smarter instead of harder. Actually getting an upgrade might be an issue at the moment, as the demand for new chips and other vital components is at an all-time high, and it is rare in our industry to see such a drought of essential hardware.

Our advice during these interesting times is to aim a little lower when spec’ing out your next PC, so that instead of getting the cutting-edge CPU that may be in short supply, get the previous generation CPU that is stockpiled with a great price tag. If you have not upgraded in years, even these chips will still blow you away and with a little luck, make your computing life quicker and more productive ?

AppGameKit Studio will be on offer for two weeks commencing the 24 May so watch out for that offer window later this month.

June will see the start of quarterly updates for AppGameKit Studio ? The main focus of the June update is to bring the engine in line with the recent changes to both the iOS and Android platforms and we’re also aiming to fix any key bugs by then too.

AppGameKit Classic is also earmarked for an update in June. In the meantime, there are some great deals to be had in May.

The AppGameKit Bumper Pack will be discounted by 75% from 10 May and there are similar deals on the VR DLC and Games Pack 1. Towards the end of May the Giant Asset Pack, the Sound Library and the Shader Pack will all be on special offer too ?

Development on GameGuru MAX in April went really well and included enough new art and visuals that, for the first time, enabled us to put together a video round-up of all the major features we added to the builds so far, which you can find here on our YouTube channel

Our promise to release builds every Friday is unbroken ? providing early sneak peeks to all Pre-order users and the ability to try out what we have been working on and feedback to us through our GitHub Issues Board

The plan for May is more cool art reveals, with plenty more asset collections on the way. We also have a huge slew of bug fixes made possible by all the team focusing in a dedicated week on fixing anything reported so far – thus ensuring you have a stable Friday build in addition to new development features.

We’re keeping the next few weeks of content close to our chest and will be broadcasting each Wednesday and releasing a new build each Friday for all those who have pre-ordered. But we can hint at the fact it will make another cool end of month video round-up ?

As always, if you are testing the Pre-order Alpha builds, please let us know if you find anything via our GitHub Issues Board or if you have any ideas on how the software can be even better contact us by Facebook, Twitter or the GameGuru Forums!

If you haven’t as yet taken the plunge and pre-ordered GameGuru MAX, you can claim 25% discount off the launch price and receive all the exclusive Alpha builds as we develop what is going to be a great game-maker!

The great news is that since our GameGuru Classic March Bug Fixes update we have only seen seven (yes – 7!) new bugs reported so far, which means our forthcoming June Bug Fixes update will be a smooth ride for hitting our target of a zero bug count for GameGuru Classic moving forward.

Looking ahead here are some great DLC promotions running in May:

This month we caught up with Dave Hawkins, lead developer at indie game company JimJams Games.

Dave started coding way back in the early 1980s. His first computer was a ZX-81 and he quickly picked up BASIC and later the Z80. It was only when he got a ZX-Spectrum in 1982 that he started to develop games commercially, having several titles released through various publishers throughout the 1980s.

Daves' first published game was called Star Maker, a game of band management.

Like many developers at that time, life took its toll and Dave drifted away from coding until the late 1990s when he returned to game making simply for fun. During this time he wrote several games for the PC, including platformers and a number of arcade remakes. However, it wasn't until the mid 2000’s when he started modding TheGameCreators original FPS game maker ‘FPS Creator’ that he really returned to commercial game development, eventually publishing several updates to the FPS engine for TheGameCreators.

With his coding background in BASIC and work for TheGameCreators, Dave recalls that AppGameKit was a very natural progression for him and the extra power and ease-of-use of the language made it the obvious choice for his future projects.

Since forming JimJams Games with his wife Jocelyn and good friend Mike Hood, the three of them have gone on to publish eight games for PC on Steam covering a wide range of genres, all inspired by retro classics. The range includes several arcade games, a pseudo 3D strategy wargame and two text adventures, one of which drew the attention of legendary text adventure developer Scott Adams who gave their game The Eye of Borrack a very positive review on Steam.

Dave says that he feels that it's important to develop the kind of games that you'd like to play, and not to try to emulate the successes of others. This is reflected in JimJams' choice of games and their fairly eclectic range has been shaped by a love of all game genres. One consistent element of all of their games is music, which the team feels is very important to atmosphere. Luckily for them, Mike Hood is a talented musician and has written multiple tracks for each of their games, ranging from classical, through whimsical to rock.

JimJams is currently working on a new vertical top-down shooter, with the working title of Stella Storm, a game that's actually been in development for a couple of years, but not being seriously worked on until recently. Like all of their games, this one is inspired by many classics, and reflects the teams love of retro-gaming. You can expect to see this one hitting Steam in a couple of months.

Stella Storm is JimJams latest game in development

JimJams have had a successful time on Steam but Dave recalls several rocky starts and the struggle to get noticed. If he had any advice for fellow developers it would be to not get disheartened and stick with it. Don't try to write the next AAA game at first; start small and gain confidence. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for advice - the AppGameKit community is a great place and full of helpful people. Whatever happens, even if you don't make a fortune, you'll have fun.