Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Bah, Humbug.

21st-24th December 2009
Christmas is coming and it is time to do something of a novelty. I did want to do a game in time for Christmas 2009, but unfortunately because of less spare time, I had my own limitations. Well, I suppose I could have done a 1 level preview of Ultimate Stunt Boat Challenge but I would not have had that one done in time. I was hoping to have a new game produced this Christmas, so I decided to do a quick small game called "Bah, Humbug". Because of my own limitations, it took a a couple or 3 days to produce. I mainly worked on the game code first, before I did the in game graphics, music and SFX.

Bah, Humbug!
is a game, in which you are Mr. Frosty, a snowman who has be sent out to the freezing cold places to collect presents for Santa (As he has had a bit too much to drink the night before). Mr. Frosty discovers that the only way he can gather presents is by bouncing on a spring board. Mainly because some idiot has laid down candles on to the ground. So it was up to Mr. Frosty to jump and grab presents, avoid falling into the candles. But the idea was just too basic. So I decided to make additional characters to the game to make things more interesting and fun. Each character was given a different feature to enhance game play. Here's what I did:

Present - Scores 300 points (Collect enough to complete level)
Humbug - Scores 200 points
Pudding - The brandy makes Mr.Frosty drunk, so controls are reversed for a short period :o)
Grinch - Swipes 200 points off your score
Smelly Stocking - Swipes a chunk off the bonus timer (The higher the bonus timer, the more points awarded to the player)
Candle - Kills Mr.Frosty

At the end of the last level, I could not resist to add a little joke reward, which the gamers would need to play hard to find out what this little reward could be. It was quite funny.

As soon as the game was finished and the front end was done, I decided to do some tape mastering. So I dug out Martin Piper's IRQ tape loader source from Codebase, made some interesting alterations (No more Dance-A-Load now. I got fed up with it for the time being) and I made a nice black & blue flashing border with loading picture and music. The loader also uses a flashing tape sprite at bottom left corner. This is to represent a positive load, just like what Cyberload did back in the 1980's. Final result looked pretty nice, but why the heck did I add a noisy load on boot up and while loading the music data? Bah, Humbug!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Care to be a stunt man?

7th December 2009
Programming C64 games has been a major hobby of mine. Even if it is programming C64 games using a PC. For the past 2 months or so, I have been very busy with the co-op production with Wayne/Art Ravers' game called "Up in the Air". So far 4 levels have been done, but I have decided to put this on hold until after Christmas is finally over. However, I decided that rather than do nothing, I thought I should dig out one of my old unfinished games and create something new out of it. This is where Ultimate Stunt Boat Challenge came.

I was actually going to call this Professional Stunt Boat Simulator, but Ultimate and Challenge sounds much better, compared to Professional Simulator. Don't you agree? Plus professional and simulator kept getting used time and time again. We know who the culprits are, but the games were pretty good. I'd have to admit.

Anyway, my general idea for this game is somewhat different to what some people would expect. USBC uses the code and graphics from my scrapped Real Speed We Need project, and over the week I have been busy reorganizing the type of sprites, and redesign the level map designs. Also yesterday I have been organizing the enemy sprite types and also sprite movements. I was impressed with the work done so far yesterday. All I will need to do is add sprite/sprite collision, sprite/background collision, add the ramps for the boat, so that it can go over the background in some levels. I was very determined to get a special 4 level version of this game done in time for Christmas Day, but I best not rush it for the sake of Christmas. Plus my full time job takes over most of my time. I do miss the good old pub sessions since I was made redundant at my previous workplace in the end of July 2009.

Here's a video of the game in action: