GAME HISTORY

In this section, I hope to show off some of my past programming projects with a little background information / story for each one.
I still need to update this page with my Windows game programming as I only cover my early days.

Unfortunately I won't be able to show them all as some of my disks are getting old (and have subsequently died), plus I've done an enormous amount of programming in my years and it would be impossible to show it all. Digging it up, transferring it from the original machine to my PC, running it under an emulator and collating screen shots is a lengthy process but I hope to get the things I'm most proud of up here (over time ;-)

I also want to provide links to all the games / programs on this page so other people can relive my madness ;-)

This is not in any any chronological order and is quite big so it will take a while to download.

Let the instrumentality project begin...

 

COMMODORE 64

Well I guess this would be the best place to start ;-

I began getting interested in computers way back in 1980, when i started writing on an Index 2000 in basic, after a while I had been involved in writing two games called 'Frog Invaders' a space invaders clone and a 'Apple Monsters' clone in which you had to dig holes and catch Monsters.

I spent many years programming on the Commodore 64 and achieved quite a lot I think for this simple but now classic machine. I still remember the night my dad bought one and me spending the night typing in that bloody basic bouncing ball program from the instruction manual. (I'm sure, I'm not the only person in the world to do that one ;-)

I soon got tired of basic and started into the long road to Assembler (something I've been doing now for over 15 years). Once the art of printing my name on the screen was mastered (no mean feat in those days as assembler instruction manuals were nonexistent ;-), sprites, graphics, sound all came next and I was soon hacking my way around like the pro I though I was at the time (Isn't hindsight wonderful ;-). Anyway the hacker scene was just begriming in Australia at that point, so I was soon hacking/cracking/copying games for fun and releasing them as hacked by ... (didn't we all do that ;-). Anyway I soon met up with the Nutcrackers which were the best group in WA (not your average group of lamers) and such a long friendship began.

Over those years I wrote several text adventures (a big fav of mine at the time), lots of demos, a few attempts at games and some real games. All in all, it was a good time, as computers were just starting to become popular and everything was new and interesting.


JOTRIS

I wrote this Tetris game for a friend of mine
(Joanne Church, hence Jotris) who wanted a tetris
game to play (she only had a commodore 64
and an Atari at that stage). Gave it to her for her
12th birthday (end of 1993)

I hadn't done any 64 programming for years at this
point but it was fun getting back into it, reliving
the old days ;-)


The main game screen of Jotris.

Just your basic Tetris cone, but it did allow for
a wide playing area and high scores.

As usual for most of my stuff, was full of
rainbow colour cycling ;-)

Written all in Assembler ;-) and had the
Auf Weildermon Monty sound track.

 

 

THE AMIGA

I bought myself a Amiga 500 (Serial #1917) and started to program in C after buying all the reference manuals.
Big mistake!

Colin (my friend from the Nutcrackers), who had an A1000, had just started to do 68000. After that day I dropped C and started on 68000. After the weekend I had written a demo to display a piccy, play a sound and do some copper bar scrolling. I met Colin again the next week and told him what I had done, after that we worked together for the next 3 months discovering the secret of Amiga. I would turn up each day (we where both unemployed at that time) and we would play and experiment, look at the binary of other people demos, anything that would help us understand this beast. I think the blitter was the hardest thing to really learn. Years later I was still working out ways to use it more efficiently ;-)

Over the next 7 years I wrote a heap of demos, worked for a game software company, wrote a lot of games myself , a few game editors and went to lots of copy partys!

It was fun period of life, the Amiga was a classic machine and years ahead of anything else out at the time.


THE ADVENTURES OF FREDDY FISH

Another game I wrote for Joanne ;-)
I turned up one day and she was all excited with this idea of a game which starred a fish, which had to swim around the ocean. After that she didn't have much idea but it was enough to spark my imagination and we sat down and worked out a bit of a game plan.

I was quite simple. Freddy would have to pick up bars of gold from the ocean floor, dodging a variety of bad fish, and take them up to his friend in the boat. After 16 levels he would have enough money to marry his true love Ariel the mermaid

After coming home I spent all of my available time over the next 6 weeks, creating 'The Adventures of Freddy Fish', which I think turned to be a great kids game

The loading intro.

Had a stereo sound sample which sounded great.
Colin sampled each channel separately on his trusty A1000. How he got both channels to play perfectly together was beyond me. I was impressive though.

The little character at the bottom of the screen is called 'Weasel' and was the main character from one of my other games, Weasel on the Go!.

He appeared in almost every thing I did ;-)

The title screen for the game.

The screen was constantly changing with character profiles, animations and stories. Also had a very good sound track.

The bottom scroller was usual for my software and was my change to get things off my chest ;-)

The main playing screen of the game.

John in the boat is about to be hit by the pelican while Freddy is keeping busy dodging fish and picking up gold bars.

The small green fish don't hurt Freddy, while the small yellow fish reduce you score a little. Everything else turns Freddy into fish fingers ;-)

Some of the in-game graphical sprites
(really bobs or blitter objects)

All characters had a left and right animation.

Some more graphics.

These made up the sea floor background in each level

The end game message.

Freddy and Ariel would swim in and meet each other in the middle of the screen which would then erupt in a field of love hearts ;-)

 

FORTRESS
The Main Title to Fortress (though this picture is very out of date compared to the final version. I guess when I made the screen shots I was using an old copy (don't ask me why. I can't tell you.. ;-)

Fortress was basically the Amiga version of the Commodore 64 Classic 'Fort Apocalypse'

And anybody who has played FA will instantly recognize some of these screen.

The Running Joke was calling this level the cocopop level as all the rocks looked like the breakfast cereal.

Waiting to be transported to anther area of the map.
Again very close to the Original Fort Apocalypse
The Animation frames of the Players Helicopter.
More Helicopter graphics though these are when you get shot down, blow up and lay burning on the ground..

Some of the graphics of the men wandering around the maps.. (You had to rescue them)

Notice the Yoga and Karate Kick Animations

The Score Panel went though Many versions until we decided of the final version

You can see all the graphical elements that went into making and animating the score panel.

A different version again.
One of my Graphic Artists (Paul Wright) drew up a spinning Radar animation as you could change what was displayed on it with a keyboard key.

The Spinning Radar was a good Idea but we decided to reduce the size of it and took out the glass shine which was distracting during game play.

This Panel was the one that was used in the final version of the game and the yellow lights where used as warning to the player.

The Text Plotter could take a Font Graphic and render it with a really nice fade effects which would scroll across the screen. Did look very nice and is one of the nicest things I wrote on the Amiga

Some Graphics from the 3rd Level (There where 5 in total)

This level had a techno greece them.

Ah. I do have a copy of the final title screen
(though it is missing the animated text)

The home base (tower) which was where the helicopter landed at the end of the level and all the rescued men would run out and enter the tower.

This idea was very blatantly nicked from another class game 'Choplifter'.

MORE COMING SOON !!

 

FREDITOR!

The Graphics editor I wrote for Fortress (and quite a few others)

Spent a lot of time on this program and it turned out to be quite professional by the time it was complete. (even got a offer from a software house to publish it).

The title page of Freditor! after it had loaded and allocated enough memory to run ;-)
The File Requester from Freditor!

This allowed to the user to specify which graphic set to load and which map (only 1 map could be edited at any one time).

Freditor! was a fully multitasking program so the use could switch back to AmigaDos or Workbench at any time.

The Main Tile Editor.

It used the copper to draw the expanded tile being edited!. Upto 256 tiles could be used per tile set.

From here the user could go into the other modes of the editor, which were the palette editor, tile animation editor, font editor, copper editor, map editor and the preferences screen.

Example graphics are from Gauntlet ;-)

The Map Editor!

This allowed a lap map (of any size) to be edited.

The user could click on a tile and place it into the map. Quite simple. It had block copy/paste modes to allow for faster development of maps.

The Animation Editor

This allowed tile animations to be made up, such as this pulsing teleport from Gauntlet!

Freditor! came with complete source code to control this animation in the game, aswell as decent tile/map drawing source.

There was also a converted to convert the tiles from block mode into interleave for maximum blitter performance.

The CopperList Editor

Allowed a large scrolling copper list to be generated as a background to transparent maps

The map could be overlayed so the final result could be shown on screen.

 

The Font Editor

This allowed creation of a simple single colour 8x8 font to be used in a game or demo.

 

MAGNATRON

Now this was a weird game done by Stuart Meek (also from the Nutcrackers) and myself.

As with all games, you are only one that is able to save the earth from attacking aliens ;-)

You control the artificially intelligent magnatron droid. The magnatron uses electrospacial generators to move around space. None of the alien spaceships can generate enough influence to really hold it still, though they can speed it up or slow it down. The magnatron was principally designed as an asteroid displacement droid and as such doesn't have any real weapons. it does however have a powerful influence device capable of moving quite heavy objects around in space. it can double as a shield but the magnatron has to be perfectly still so it can generate the energy needed.

This game is impossible to really describe. It was rather unique in it's ideas and game play. It was released as shareware (we did actually get some money for it) and was well received by most people. Even got in a few Australian and English game magazines under the shareware section.

The game side of things was mainly done by Stuart while I did all the wizbang special effects, title, demo, intro, graphic routines etc..

The Zaphod part of the loading demo
Shadowdooms logo from the loading demo

Had a nice flame animation in the letters.

The Main game introduction. Was quite spun out with lots of parts
Getting ready to play the first level

'Spheroids are First'

The Main game play screen

You are the Magnatron (gold blob) and you have to destroy any enemy's (non on screen yet) using only the influence device to move the Spheroids (gray blobs) into each other (would bounce off) or directly into the enemy

 

WEASEL ON THE GO!

The First game I did. After coming from the 64 and spending a great deal of time playing 'Monty on the Run!', I wanted to write a similar game on the Amiga. We worked (mostly Nutcracker members) on the game plan, ideas and graphics. A good friend of mine, Rod Utting did the Music. He had done quite a lot of decent tunes before then and probably churned out about 300-400 by the time he left the Amiga.

The hardest thing about writing games is that there are no real tools for development which is why I wrote the Editor7 program (below) which was the pre-sessor for Freditor!

All the pictures here are from the distribution demo of the game (very early in the development).
I will be adding some from the real game soon

The title screen.

Was a blatant copy of the Monty on the Run! title.
(exactly the same)

(Mind you this was the early demo which was sent to Gremlin)

Had the super cool Weasel theme music!

One of the levels from the work in process demo.
The main game character

Weasel !!

All the player sprites over the various levels.

They were normal, space, cool and underwater. Also there where the various playing dying animations for each Weasel theme.
(being crushed, sinking and burning into a cinder ;-)

Some of the Enemy Sprites from the game

The small TV had pictures of the Amiga kickstart disk, A test pattern, a 64 screen and the 'Dark Side of the Moon' from the Pink Floyd album of the same name ;-)

More enemy sprites.

Notice the Sinister graphic from the classic Williams 'Sinister' arcade game which we used to own.
(Beware I live!, run coward, run!)

Some of the special items which could be selected at the start of the game. (ala Monty on the Run!) or collected during the progress of the game.
MORE COMING SOON !!

 

EDITOR 7

The Graphics editor I wrote for 'Weasel on the Go' which was basically a Monty on the Run clone.

Allowed multiple graphics set to be created, with attributes assigned to each block (ie block would dissolve, cause the player to move when touched, etc..)

Spent a lot of time on the editor (not as much as Freditor though).  Turned out quite flexible

The Main Editing screen

The user could edit upto 256 8x8 blocks per graphic set, change the palette, edit a game font and jump into the map editor.

 The editor also allowed lots of single screen rooms to be designed using one of the character sets.  Each room could be linked to another, aswell upto 4 enemy's could be defined (their movement paths), a special item, a hammer or stomper.

With this editor basically any old platformer could be created. (ie Monty, Blagger, Jet Set Willy, etc..)

 

OTHERS

Miscellaneous bits and pieces which don't really belong anywhere.

A Game menu I did with Colin
(back in our early days)

One of the first things we did.

Was a trackloader, so no messing around with Amiga Dos and load times where fast.

When I was a great fan of Danger Mouse (and still am) when I had an idea of doing a DM game.

The game was similar to 'The Mad Professor' which involved exploring large areas, picking up items and solving puzzles.

Unfortunately due to all the copyright issues it never got finished.

The title picture was drawn by me!

Another picture from Danger Mouse.
(also done by me!)

Was part of the introduction.

Greenback threatening to destroy Penfold if DM didn't do his bidding ;-)

The last thing on the Amiga I did (from memory)

Basically a clone of the classic Williams 'Moon Patrol'

got the first couple of levels done and a great parallax landscape scroller, but the Amiga scene died and I had really lost interest by then.

 

THE ZAPHOD COLLECTION 1

My first 'Mega Demo', but was really a collection of individual demos strung together.

Main menu

A boring old menu screen

Nothing too exciting ;-)

My First Demo

Well not quite, but it's the first real attempt at writing a decent demo.

The bottom two scrollys would circle around each other which looked rather cool.

Bob Demo

My first attempt at doing bobs
(the Zaphod logo)

They would bounce around on a sinus and change pattern once in a while.

The checker board floor would come towards you (ala BallBlazter)

As with a domes had a sinus scroller. The background copper looked neat as it would merge the three primary coloured copper bars into each other to make all the colours in the rainbow.

Monty Demo - Title

Several Scrollers, sinus bobs, a nice rotating scroller in the background and a 3d star field.

Monty Demo - Game

The very basic, early 'Weasel on the Go!' demo.

Only had a few rooms, a few creatures but played just like the original

Notice the 'Monty on the Run!' sprite ;-)

Got For Zaphod

A small demo I did one Sunday afternoon when I was bored.

Had a nice set of explosions on the background (not shown as the emulator couldn't display them ;-(

Gay Beached Zombie Whales on Acid!

A small demo we did at a party one night.

Was made very quickly with bizarre text, graphics and music.

The text took 2 hours to read but was quite funny.

The Music was made by all of us probing the keyboard randomly with a bit of beat in the background. Actually it sounded pretty good.

Party Demo

Another demo (done at the same party as GBZWOA) for a copy party. This time it was for a Competition (which I won ;-)

Had some nice tile effects on the Zaphod logo, more bouncy copper bars, another scrolly ;-), some bobs and a spectrum analyser.

Your usual in every demo type effects ;-)

 

THE ZAPHOD COLLECTION 2

My second 'Mega Demo' as such.

Main Menu

The main menu screen. Quite boring but did have a interesting logo drawn by a friend of mine (Hans Klarenbeek) and some cool music by Rod.

Blitz Bomber - Part 1

Two weird sinus scrollers
(the back one was almost impossible to read)
and a nice copper list.

Quite basic

Blitz Bomber - Part 2

This contained the actual blitz bomber game which I remember playing on the Vic 20 many years ago. It was quite simple, a plane would move from left to right, getting lower all the time. The player would have to drop bombs on the buildings to demolish them a bit at a time in order to make enough room to land. Good fun game. (well back then anyway).

Also had a spectrum analyser using grave stones, over with several spooky ;-) creatures would appear and disappear.

Bottom scroller as usual in all demos ;-)

Blitz Bomber - Part 3

A nice multicolored sinus copper. The background effects would be constantly changing.

Great for the eyes after late night ;-)

Copper Racer - Title

This demo was written by just using the copper alone.
No sprites or bitmaps were used. Even the scroller at the bottom was made with the copper. (it only had two speeds 4 or 8 pixel jumps but that was enough to give the effect of a smooth scroller.

The middle section would expand graphics from 'Weasel on the Go!' using the copper (what else ;-)

I think I am the only person in the world to ever make an entire demo just using the copper. I never saw anything like it. ;-)

Copper Racer - Game

The reason this demo was called 'Copper Racer' was the fact that it actually had a game with it.

The game was simple, all you had to do is dodge copper cars coming towards you. They got faster and faster but it was never impossible, just hard.

A full game written just using the Copper.

Only Zaphod made it possible
(There's the EGO creeping in ;-)

Fractal Gen

A simple program which would generate top down fractal landscapes using a random seed.

Got the algorithm from a computer magazine.
(it was written in basic so I had to write it in assembler (what else!))

Attack of the Mutant Camels - Intro

This game was a favorite of mine from the old 64 days written by Jeff Minter, who was (and still is) the most inspirational programmer I have ever known, and I wanted to do a nice conversion of his game to the Amiga.

Just a nice simple upwards scroller giving details of the game.

Attack of the Mutant Camels - Title

The title screen had lots of lovely bouncing rainbow copper bars and some wicked Pink Floyd music.

The Picture, I scanned from a old Jeff Minter game advertisement from a old Computer and Video Games (CV+G) magazine I had
(I've forgotten what game it was from)

Attack of the Mutant Camels - Game

The Main game. Had some nice backgrounds with the landscape scrollers from Batalyx.

Played well and is still a good blast.

Demolition

Names after the old Nutcracker demos on the 64

Simple demo with various pictures and a little story for each one.

Nice relaxing music.

 

PATHETIC

Now this is a story and a half.

Basically Pathetic consisted of some of the best Amiga people in Perth in the scene (plus a few other friends ;-)

It was our job to try and piss everybody off and take pot shots at the lame hacker scene at the time.
(It was all done in good fun, but we did manage to stir the pot once or twice ;-)

The above animation consists of some of our members
(wonder which one I was ;-)

'Soviet Spaz'

The First Pathetic Demo

The bottom Yankee bit was below line 200 so when this demo was played on a NTSC Amiga it wouldn't show ;-)

Had some crazy Russian Marching music.

'Under The Sea'

For a Pathetic demo this was rather boring.

Played the 'Under the Sea' music from Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' which Rod did one night.

Had a nice spectrum analyser in the background with peek levels which would fall after a small amount of delay.

'Flying for the Dictionary Demo'

Done at one of our copy partys
(which were just excesses for a pathetic piss up)

Had a nice plasma font which would be constantly changing, ie the plasma on a letter would be different the next time the letter was drawn.

The logo has a psychedelic tunnel effect which was great for the eyes after a dozen or so beers ;-)

'Morthing Around'

We had just got a capture card when we did this demo. Is it could only sample in black and white we make the entire demo in black and white.

It had a photo of each of us morphing into the next person, and so on. (took up a shit load of memory)

The background was of Colin shirt ;-)

'Clit Simulation Demo'

Hmm ;-). The idea for this little game was to press the joystick button as quickly as possible (it would take the average over a few seconds)

This was inspired by Colin's ability to use 4 fingers to blitz a button on a arcade machine.

Had some wicked music called 'ShuzBut' and a great sample when you exited the demo.

'Come Kiss our Ass Feds Demo'

Done after one of our members was in court for tampering with telephone lines (I won't say anymore ;-)

All he got was a slap on the wrist ;-)