Monday, 4 February 2013

Stand by your Llamas - The Alpacalypse is coming

4th February 2013

Stand by your Llamas. Engage defences as an Alpacalypse is coming - well, near your Commodore 64 and WinVice of course. I have been very busy the past few weeks (despite problems on get graphics in place) bringing yet a sequel to the Jeff Minter tribute "Sheepoid". It's called "Sheepoid DX". It is a fun cute game inspired by the classic Laser Zone, which Jeff wrote back in the early 1980's. Compared to Laser Zone, Sheepoid DX is somehow different. Especially when on later levels, the aliens start moving diagonal directions. One sheep would have to defend the other.

Sheepoid DX consists of 24 levels, in which the world is under threat of an alien invasion - or to put it another way an Alpacalypse. Two sheep have been transported into a incoming mother ship. A funny discovery was made, that there are 24 different neon vortexes, which give a strange vision for the sheep. One sheep is placed at the bottom of the screen, and another is placed on the far right. They have to defend themselves from ongoing invaders of each zone, simply by bleating pulse waves at them - so the aliens get destroyed. The player can also rescue sheep to gain smart bombs, those get activated with the space bar. The player's sheep has to try and avoid shooting the incoming sheep. If those poor little blighters get shot, 1000 points gets deducted from your score. No matter how far you get, it can be possible to end up with a very low score if you keep shooting the sheep.

Unlike the original Sheepoid. This game is more polished, with amazing graphics by Trevor Storey. The front end presentation looks similar to the original title screen from the first Sheepoid. The game has some better features installed. I still added the scrolling void in each neon vortex, but Trevor did amazing level graphics, which I am sure you would love a lot in this version of the game. I also removed the witty captions to make way for a better effect. The lazer beams. These are to make it look as if each invader is entering the vortex.

There are still some old Yak style favourites such as the camels (They still roam level 2 of this game), the Ancipital goat type of creature, but the majority of the enemies are completely different compared to the original Sheepoid.

I had a laugh with some of the ideas I wanted to implement into Sheepoid DX. I thought it would be quite funny to add a funny phrase for engaging a hidden cheat into the game (That was yesterday). I also had some fun playing around making music and sound effects using a music editor I had never used before. SidWizard in fact. SidWizard's awesome. So if you want to be a C64 composer, I recommend that you try it.

Well, the main game of Sheepoid DX is finished (I hope) and it is just the final mastering to finish off. I'm releasing this along with Woolly Jumper, hopefully via Psytronik Software and RGCD in a month's time or possibly over that period. It will be worth the wait I can promise you.

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