Saturday, 30 January 2010

Let the Invasion Commence

Saturday 30th January 2010

I felt like playing around with the Sideways Shoot Em Up Construction Kit as I had this rather funny idea for a a new C64 for diskmag Digital Talk. Well, after 4 days or so, this 'ickle project is finally finished, but will not be released on my web site until a week after Digital Talk #90 has been released with the game and could this game be going to the 2010 Retro Computing event in Oxford? Well, just have to wait and see, despite that I will not be down there.

27th January 2010

Okay, so what was the idea behind this game? Imagine this, you are an alien that wants to take over another planet so that you can make it your own home. Well, Mutilator was born. But why is the name Mutilator used? Well, just to make things pretty funny in the game, you are able to mutilate cows during your travelling across planet Earth, as well as fighting the army forces. What a cruel thing 1 alien vs loads of armed forces :)

I did an earlier unfinished SEUCK game called Kick Ass. Unfortunately Kick Ass did not turn out very well, so I decided to use the background from Kick Ass and import it into Mutilator, as the background looked better compared to an earlier version I did. All I had to do was create some additional designs.

After getting the background finished, I worked on the main sprites for the game. Quite unusual ideas came to my head. I wanted to create a suitable looking alien ship. Well, I drew one. It sort was based on the player in Mastertronic's Erebus, but the sprite in my game was my own work. I also created a few frames to make the player's smooth animation. Looked much cooler. Now it was time for me to draw various enemies and other objects and insert those into the game's map. Then redesign the front end and charset. :)

28th January 2010

Phase 1 complete. Phase 2 was to write the music for the game. Done :) Phase 3 was to import everything into the SEUCK Redux source. No problem, but there was still a lot of work to be done as I did not want this creation to be a typical SEUCK game. I wanted to add some to the game. One of which was extras. One of which was that if you mutilate a cow, you will be given a smart bomb. Also if you do not lose a life and you mutilate more cows (before activating a smart bomb) it gets more powerful. Quite an interesting idea.

29th January 2010

It wasn't until today where I had some more interesting ideas. For a start off the front end. It still looked very SEUCK ish like as all text was using a silver colour bar scroll effect. So I decided to add some more flashing colours to the front end. It looked much better. Now the next bit, was background animation. I programmed some character scrolling routine for the flowing water background. It looked much nicer. I came across another idea. The LEVEL stages. Would be nice to add some effect to the intermission to each level. So I went back to the Sideways SEUCK and created a brand new block and made 7 frames in the character set. Saved everything again, and imported the new work into the redux source. I added a subroutine to animate the laser beam character sets. Looks great. Now the game is finished .... I thought!

Whoops there was still something wrong. The smart bomb effect never worked very well as the wrong sprite was detected to activate it. So I corrected this problem. I thought the game score looked pretty naff, I had to do something with it, so I centred the score panel and expanded both x and y values of it and repositioned all those sprites that formed it. The score panel looked much better. There was still something I wanted to do to it. So I linked the flashing colour routine from the title screen, to the score sprites. It looked much nicer. Now I'm ready to send to Digital Talk!

30th January 2010 (Today)

Ah, no. I should not have sent that version. There was still some tweaking to be done and additional ideas came in place to improve the game. So I updated the in game music, added a game over jingle. I also thought that the game would look cool if when the player is temporarily invulnerable, it will flash one of the colours from the front end. Well, that looked much better. I had to make a tweak in Sideways SEUCK to alter the front end raster bar colour. I also had to tidy up the level settings and delete a few enemies. As I wanted to use the last of the unused enemy sprites. A giant gun boat. I imported all of the SEUCK data into the redux source and finally, a Sideways scrolling SEUCK game that looks commercial :)

Lumme, this is cool. I wanna play this game. Can I get it yet?

The game was produced for Digital Talk #90 disk mag, and will not be released on the TND web site until a week after release of the diskmag. Hopefully some time in February. You should be in for a treat. However, I have donated an earlier (un redux'd) version of this game and the unfinished (and scrapped) Kick Ass game to The SEUCK Vault and should be released hopefully soon. :)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Enter the Master! (Get it taped)

15th January 2009

Well, well, well. Been a little while since I last wrote something in this blog. Finally (although it is getting rather late) I can blog something. Well, once again I have been very creative. Last week I wrote a Koala Paint 2 Frame Picture Animator V1.0, but this week I worked on something better. The Tape Master Pro V1.0.

I'll give out a story and explain about this program. Over the past year or so, I went on to Codebase 64 and read about the Auto boot tape turbo loader source, by Martin Piper. I thought that I should give this open source a try and modified some of it to make my own loader routines. The scroll text routine was written from scratch and also I added routines that can display a loading picture. Although my knowledge of loaders, etc is limited. I started talking to Martin via email, about his IRQ loader. Gave him some ideas, which included Marty Load, a tribute to the Cyber Load loader. I was also given kind permission to use this source whichever way I like.

I used the same auto boot type of loading source for a couple of Psytronik Software releases (As I was a very kind person) and prepared the auto booting tape masters for The Last Amazon Trilogy and also The Wild Bunch. Now I decided earlier on this month to write a program that allows people to master their own files from a disk and write it to tape with an auto boot turbo loader (Also by Martin Piper) which will play loading music and the loader can also draw a koala paint picture during loading (Just like the Ocean Loader back in the 1980's). The user can also choose whether or not they want flashing sprites or loading noise during loading.

This program is nothing like any ordinary disk/tape transfer tool. As this is probably somewhat more special. Have you ever saw a disk/tape transfer that allows you to choose the type of flashing border you like before mastering to tape? Well, have you? I thought not. Hahaha. Anyway, the overall result was great.

I was very pleased with this tool, and I showed an early version of it to Martin. I think he also liked what he saw. Here are some example loader experiments I have been doing:

1. Sharkz II loading with the Cyber Load style colour bars and a flashing tape sprite at the bottom left corner of the screen.

2. Snacks 4 Snakes (Protovision friends/contributors entry) with a black border and thin light grey stripes.

3. Finally, Hyper Duel, with the classic multicoloured border :)

Where's the tool? How much does it cost? I wanna try it! (Drool, grovel, glaaargh!)

Like with my other C64 programs, the Tape Master Pro V1.0 program has been distributed as freeware for anybody to use it. So if you wanted to, you could create your own master disks and send them to or a retro software that releases new games or upload on to your web site, but it would be nice if on the loading scroll text you credit Martin for the tape turbo, and Richard/TND for the loader's additional programming.

I have uploaded this tool on the tools page of the usual TND web site address

The source for the original autoboot tape turbo loader + explanation about it by Martin Piper can be found here on Codebase64