14th May 2010
Okay, slightly late than usual with this blog. I have been busy, and the last two days were quite disastrous. Anyway, I am happy to blog about The Sideways SEUCK competition 2010. First of all I launched the competition back in January 2010 and gave the Sideways SEUCK'ers just over 2 months to design and create their own game using the Sideways Scrolling Shoot Em Up Construction Kit - Downloaded from the official SEUCK Sideways web site. I originally expected about one or two entries, but after the submissions were finally over, I received 8 entries. 7 of them looked really nice, and one looked pretty rushed.
When I checked out the entries, I was really amazed with the quality on the graphics front of MOST of the SEUCK games.
Barney - The Cow Fish
Starting with Barney by WEC/Cosine. It isn't really a shoot 'em up, but a collect 'em up adventure, with some wonderful background graphics. Something that I have never seen done with SEUCK before. The game concept was very simple, but rather than frantic game play. WEC made this game into a relaxing title. The sound effects were very atmospheric, and ocean like. The game is slow and quite easy and overall it is very relaxing. I was asked if I could do the music for the game, which was a C64 conversion of a classic video game. The game was very short, but was relaxing to play. A few weeks later, I received a bitmap picture to use as the tape loader picture for Barney, and also I did a special version of the same game (Which is available from CSDB, although I could have uploaded it on to the friends/contributors page on my web site.
No SEUCK compo can be without an Alf Yngve SEUCK game. I love his SEUCK games, such as Twin Tigers, COPS, Holiday Cops, Tau Zero, Tau Omega and a couple of games that appeared on magazine cover tapes (First Strike , Cyforce 1 and 3D Spacewar). Alf made many classic SEUCK games in the past, and it sure was a privilege to include Tau Zeta as an entry. This game is based in the future. It's an interstellar war against an enemy empire. The game has some clever tricks with background graphics and the sprite objects. Usually when you have a player in a SEUCK game. You usually control one space craft, soldier, alien, etc. However with Tau Zeta - The player controls 5 allied ships. There are some clever parallax effects later on during this game. Alf also made (What I thought would have been impossible with SEUCK) very possible. For the main space background, he used hi-res colours to plot the star field. Looks awesome. The game itself, despite the faulty collision in the original Sideways SEUCK - When inserted into the SEUCK redux - game play is excellent. Alf has created another masterpiece, but there's an even better game in the pipeline. I won't say any more. :o)
The Rocket Man
I know this was a famous Elton John song, but was this game based on the song? Absolutely not. The Rocket Man is a nice and funny sideways SEUCK game by Gaetano of Sea Software. The player controlled a superhero, who calls himself The Rocket Man, and has been held captive by some of the evil dragon's guards. The rocket man manages to escape from prison and sets off to find the dragon, and of course defeat it. To be able to do this, The Rocket Man starts from the Factory.He has to fly through and defeat the deadly guards, and reach the end where he will meet a robot. Then the rocket man, has to fly through 2 other zones. Where one is through the ruins and past volcanoes. And secondly through the dark damp cave, where the dragon dwells. This game was very imaginative and good fun to play. It's a really colourful title as well. Very pleasing and hilarious at times. Gaetano did a great job with the graphics and game play. There weren't many SEUCK slow down faults during the game either, which was a good thing. :o)
Pour le Merite
Bamse showed off his SEUCK talent with Pour le Merite? What the heck's that supposed to mean? Well, using a translation web site, it came out as For Merit. I know I did a bit of French as school, but sadly as several, several years have passed. I can only know basic French words (And one or two naughty words as well, as someone from my previous work place taught me those. LOL). Anyway, the game itself looks very movie like (I thought the film style background looked appealing, as if it was an action movie based game). The game was based on the year 1917, where Europe was at War. The player is a keen pilot, who wants to achieve the Pour Le Merite. To do this, the player must battle through the enemy front in their Red Fokker (I beg your pardon?) and also take part in a series of Dogfights against a skilled enemy pilot. Graphics wise, this game feels as if you're back in the mid-late 1980's, where those kind of games ruled. This game was an excellent attempt at making something purely nostalgic and fun. The author sort of based this on Blue Max, by U.S. Gold. Sadly parts of the game had to be left out. This was originally going to be a Silkworm style of game, but the jeep part did not work out very well in the Sideways SEUCK. This game was very playable indeed. If a C64 magazine played this, back in the days. They would have loved it and submitted it on to one of their cover tapes.
I wasn't too sure whether or not this game should have been entered for the 2010 SEUCK compo. However, as I was a bit worried about the theme for the game. Thankfully, it was a fictitious storyline with fictitious and quite funny characters. You played a God Slayer, who has been assigned by the Alfather, to go around and slay down all the fictitious but evil gods, that dwell around three different zones. This game looked sort of Zelda (esque), and is graphically nice. To gain bonus points, you could collect sacred stones, which spin. The game itself could have been improved slightly, for example - traps to avoid, etc, more powerful bosses. but he game itself is pretty good. Very nice graphics as well.
The Earth Superforce
Mad Scientist productions came up with The Earth Superforce. Well, quite a fun game with a hilarious story line. :o). The game itself looks very rushed, but I had good fun playing this game, however there are parts which are bad in the game. One of the major flaws are the positions of some of the aliens that are shooting. You cannot shoot at them, because your player ship cannot reach that position, due to the max-position boundaries set as player limitations. Some of the aliens are quite hard to see, and where the player's flying through the tunnel. What does that look like? A black hole maybe? :o). Despite those bad flaws, it was Joonas' first ever attempt at making something with the Sideways SEUCK, but we praise and thank him for his effort, at making an entry for this competition. :o)
When I first read the title of this game, Sylphwyrm. Straight away I thought to myself. This is going to be a spin off to Silkworm. How wrong I was here. Sylphwyrm by Anthony Burns, was based after Legion of the Damned. There is a long story to this game, but I'll cut it short for you. The villagers of Hameria cut down trees of the forest, to keep the fires burning. After Queen Stryxia was defeated, her sister, Lamia takes reign and seeks revenge after for her sister was defeated by a warrior from Hameria. This game is set out in the dark depths, where you could control one of the two players. The game has a Ghouls and Ghosts feel to it, and was all monochrome. The idea of this game was to fly through 3 different zones, and fight against all evil that comes near by. You could collect crosses to gain bonus points. Anthony made some clever features in this game. One of which he made the portcullis doors, using enemy bullets constantly. The second of which there were balls that explode after a while. There are also clever tricks with the end part of the game. It is good that you can choose which player to use (by pressing the fire button on a joystick) as the game is for 1 or 2 players.
This was the last entry, which was submitted just in time for the deadline. It was a cute little game by Aldo from Sea Software. You played Verde, a cute little green creature, who has to save his kind, The Rosa Tribe from the evil guards. You had to fly through 3 different levels. There's strange creatures, which makes me laugh, some of which are bear type of creatures that throw off their heads and grow new ones LOL. The game itself is quite clever. The graphics are nicely presentable. Especially, when Verde enters level 3. Level 3's a still stage, where each screen flips but there are plenty of baddies to defeat in this stage. A couple of SEUCK slowdown faults in level 3, but apart from that, the game is marvellous and good fun.
The SEUCK Compo Results
The SEUCK compo final standings ended up like this:
1. WINNER - Pour Le Merite
2. RUNNER UP - The Rocket Man
3. RUNNER UP - Sylphwyrm
5. Tau Zeta
7. God Slayer
8. Earth Super Force
The Sideway SEUCK compo page and releases are available from HERE.