Saturday, April 28, 2018

Game Development from 30 years ago!

What an interesting month this has been! And it really hasn't been without a dull moment with plenty going on, even if in small amounts. The weather has brought us both warm temperatures and rain. I am looking forward to the month of May onwards with warmer days ahead. 😊
Whilst out on a walk with a work friend, we came across a fully working water pump which uses water from a nearby stream. The water is generally used for an Allotment 🌱 a very short distance away and I wouldn't even attempt to drink from its source. 😬
Ah! Its Chicago's finest on a slightly rainy day in Stratford-upon-Avon. 😃 I never thought we'd see a Ford Police car 🚔 in really good condition and that looked the part, even if it was parked on the top floor of a car park.
Construction Cranes everywhere! At the moment Oxford has them scattered all over the place because of a slight boom of business and housing projects. It just seems ironic at the moment that there some many of them. 😵

GameDev :: ( PC | Shooter - 16 Degrees )
The official collision detection switch on happened this month and the game plays really well. At the moment I can complete the entire game in less than 10 minutes. Easy said when I know the game itself inside out. Some tweaks definitely need to be applied in order to make the gameplay longer and at the moment when your weapon overheats, the energy is replenished. I think this needs to be switched off and the challenge itself will become more.
I did find one bizarre bug where an end level boss hit count stopped working. After some reverse step diagnosis, I discovered that the collision detection mask had been set to a square outside of the main sprite. Thus the reason for the boss hit count not working and thanks to displaying the varibles on the screen, I could see that everything was working. The Earth enemy boss was the only one affected, leaving the Wind and Fire bosses A O.K.! 😊

On the Title screen when the scoring objects are displayed are I wanted to include a rank system that equalled to a score and then display a word or phrase. For several days I could get the piece of code to work, until tried the following :

if (scorehi > 501 && scorehi < 1000) // Checks for variable greater than 501 and less than 1000

 Hey! Presto! It worked and now scores can now have a certain word or phrase! 😊

Phantom - The Mission :: ( Commodore 64 | Shooter - Shoot'em up Construction Kit )
This year marks the 30th anniversary since the release of Phantom - The Mission on the Commodore 64. It was created using the Shoot'em up Construction Kit ( SEUCK ). Having read reviews of SEUCK in several computer magazines, I was eagerly anticipating it's release. Then came the day, after a days work at my work placement on the Youth Training Scheme, I headed into Oxford City and straight to Boots the Chemist. They sold Music and Video games back in the 1980's! Being 1988 and it's general release being 1989, there might have been a few months lapse with me purchasing it.
Commodore 64 Setup from 1988/9
What made me most excited about this creative piece of software, was the fact that you didn't need any programming experience. Just an idea for a game and it's rules! Even now in 2018, games are still being created with SEUCK and additional software add-ons and modified versions help expand your creations even further.

If I had any regrets about my creativity in the 1980's with the Commodore 64, it would that my mind didn't understand programming more, especially with Machine Code. I know there were many books for beginners, but my mindset was quite different back then than it is today.
Despite the fact that Phantom - The Mission was created using a game creator tool, I was very proud and even more so for it to be published on a monthly disk magazine called Commodore Disk User. I still have the very same magazine and disk from all those years ago. A friend at the time, David Axtell helped with the creation and we earned £100 ( GBP ). In today's money that would be around £250 ( GBP ).
PC - Phantom Millennium
In 2010, I made an attempt to recreate the Phantom - The Mission experience with Phantom Millennium. Thinking back that that was eight years ago now and my game design and techniques have come along way since then. All of the games I design, always prove interesting in terms of problems that occur and solutions that evolve in remedying a bug or problem.

Crowdfunding :: ( Symphony 64 - The Collection | Reformation 2 )
With the kindness of Mrs. A, two late coming Commodore 64 crowd funding albums have been bought for me. Symphony 64 - The Collection ( Chris Abbott ) and Reformation 2 ( Matt Gray ).
Symphony 64 - The Collection ( Chris Abbott ) is due for release late Summer 2018 and  Reformation 2 ( Matt Gray ) late May into June 2018. After this, I will have more than enough music to keep my ears entertained for the coming months and years. 🎵 😊

And finally ...

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